Star Trek: Discovery Recaps-“Context Is For Kings”

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A bit of housekeeping first: I have obtained a new patron, Justin Grays! Thanks Justin! If you look at the right side of the page, you will see a link to his site under “blogroll.” Also, if you enjoy this blog, and would like to throw some money at me, consider donating to my Patreon.

That out of the way, besides my typical spoiler warning I would also like to warn you that this is probably the most gruesome episode of Star Trek I’ve ever seen in my entire life. If you’re a bit squeamish, you may want to sit parts of this one out (though I probably won’t show too much of it in the actual images, though there will be descriptions).

We open with Burnham on a shuttle, as well as a subtitle saying that this is six months after the previous episode. Besides Burnham and the pilot, there are three other prisoners, called Stone, Cold, and Psycho. I am guessing that those aren’t their real names, because otherwise that would be very unfortunate.

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They look nice.

Anyway, Stone (aka the bald dude) begins explaining why they’re there. Basically, a dilithium deposit in a mine on Tellun “went piezoelectric” and killed about 50 of the miners. So they’re being sent there to help replace the poor bastards.

Psycho is not particularly enthused about this trip; not necessarily because of the possibility of death, but because she’s heard that most of the guards there are Andorians. She opines that Andorians are “cold in all the wrong places,” which prompts Cold to pipe up to say that the three Andorians he murdered were “cold all over.”

This actually prompts a response from Burnham, who had just been staring straight ahead until now. Stone notices this, and, recognizing from her uniform that she was a Starfleet officer, asks what she’s in for, “staying out past curfew?” Cold then informs him that he’s talking to Michael Burnham, the infamous mutineer.

Psycho turns to her and says that her cousin had been stationed on the Europa, and that she and 8,000 others are dead because of Burnham. Burnham corrects her, saying 8,186. Before Psycho can say anything else, the shuttle jolts and the computer gives off a proximity warning. Burnham looks out the window to see what appear to be some kind of bio-luminescent bugs.

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The pilot then calls a star base to let them know something is wrong, and they basically tell her that she’ll have to suit up and take care of the bugs herself, much to her displeasure. Still, gets up to do just that, whilst ignoring the prisoners’ questions. Cold asks if somebody should be flying this thing, to which Burnham responds that the bugs are draining the ship’s power. Which means that if it’s not taken care of, eventually they’ll run out of juice completely and drift “until we run out of oxygen, or we freeze to death. Whichever comes first.”

Notably, this does not quell Cold’s fears, and he starts yelling for the pilot to come back. Psycho testily tells him to calm down, and that the pilot’s taking care of it. Which means that, of course, there’s a warning from the ship that a tether’s come loose and we see the pilot’s body go tumbling past the window.

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Well, fuck.

Then the autopilot goes out, which sends everyone but Burnham into a panic, frantically trying to get out of their restraints. They struggle with this for a while, but eventually the ship stops shaking as it’s caught by a tractor beam.

The camera pans through a window, focusing on a ship. The tractor beam pulls the shuttle into a docking bay before the camera pans a bit further, and we see writing on it that identifies it as the USS Discovery. 

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Roll credits, and then the scene shifts to the docking bay itself, where security officers are herding Burnham and the other prisoners off of the shuttle. Stone notes that the floor is quite pristine, noting that “this puppy just rolled off the assembly line.”

Psycho asks why a brand-new ship is so far away from the front lines, but is interrupted by the door opening to admit a woman in a uniform with gold piping. She introduces herself as Commander Landry, the chief security officer on the Discovery, saying, “I see we’re unloading all kinds of garbage today.” She then notices Burnham and adds, “Even Starfleet’s first mutineer.”

The commander snaps her finger and has them follow her out into the hallway, where Stone asks why they’ve seen so many silver uniforms. Psycho answers that it must be a science vessel, but Stone notes that not everyone’s in silver, and asks if they’ve ever seen a uniform with a black insignia before.

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Cold pipes up, saying, “Somewhow this place doesn’t feel very scientific.” Landry tells them to shut up and keep their eyes forward, adding “Starfleet says we have to feed the animals.”

The scene shifts to the mess hall, where Burnham now has a tray of food. She’s looking for some place to sit, when she encounters Detmer. Detmer appears to have seen better days, as her head is now half shaved, and she has some kind of cybernetic device on the side of her face.

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Burnham calls out to her, but she looks down and walks quickly away. Noticing that no one else there seems to want anything to do with her, she eventually sits down next to her fellow prisoners.

They do not, in fact, want a whole lot to do with her either. Cold says, “How about we make it 8,187?” before the three of them move towards her. One of the security officers moves to break it up, but Landry stops him with a hand to the arm. This turns out to be quite unnecessary, as Burnham rather promptly hands them their asses.

Burnham has Cold by the neck when Landry decides to intervene, pointing a phaser at her and saying that the captain would like to have a chat with her.

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Burnham lets go of cold, and Landry orders her team to throw the other three in the brig as she escorts her from the room.

On the lift, Landry comments on Burnham’s fighting style. Burnham names a form of Vulcan martial arts, to which Landry sneers, “Vulcans should stick to logic.” Wow, the writers are really going out of their way to make me dislike this character, huh?

At any rate, they make it to the bridge, where Burnham is surprised to see Saru in the captain’s chair.

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He seems surprised to see her as well, though they don’t say anything to each other as he turns away from her. Landry continues to lead her to the captain’s ready room, where we are introduced to Captain Gabriel Lorca.

Lorca has his back to her, and is staring out the window. Without turning around, he says, “No matter how deep in space you are, always feels like you can see home. Don’t you think?” When she doesn’t respond, he adds, “Maybe it’s just me,” before apologizing for how dark the room is. He explains that a recent eye injury made it so he can’t tolerate sudden brightness. We then get a close up on one of his eyes, which is both creepy and kind of cool.

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Just introduced and he already creeps me the hell out.

He adds that they can’t really do anything about it without replacing his eyes entirely, which he doesn’t want, before adding, “I like to think it makes me mysterious.”

Lorca finally turns to face Burnham, who looks somewhat less than impressed. He then proceed to introduce himself, welcome her to the ship, and offer her a fortune cookie, adding that it used to be the family business “before the future came, and hunger and need and want disappeared.” The captain then amends this statement, saying that they do seem to be making a comeback, thanks to Burnham.

Burnham does not take a cookie, nor does she respond to his last statement. He continues anyway, adding that he took a look at her file when her name came up, saying that she’s “something.” True to her nature, Burnham just cuts straight to the heart of the matter and asks him why she’s here. He tells her that she’d have to ask the storm the shuttle got caught in.

She adds that she hadn’t been told they were transferring her to another facility, which is against protocol, and that the shuttle suddenly changed course when they were halfway to their destination.

Lorca responds, “Maybe the universe hates waste.” Burnham doesn’t get it, and Lorca asks what’s to be done with her: “I put you in the brig, someone’s gonna die, and I don’t have time for that kind of distraction.” He then points out that Burnham has had training in quantum physics, and that it’ll be three days before the shuttle is ready to launch.

He then adds that she’s going to help them with something, but Burnham says no, and that she’d prefer to just serve out her sentence without getting involved. Lorca doesn’t take this for an answer, and says, “You think I care what your preferences are?” He then adds that there’s no free rides here, and that he’ll use whatever resources he has available to him to complete his mission.

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Do not cross Captain Malfoy.

Burnham asks, somewhat heatedly, what his mission is. Lorca responds, “To win the war, of course. Send everyone home. Safe and happy.” He then dismisses her, and we cut to Landry escorting Burnham to her quarters.

Landry tells her that she’s on the day shift, and someone will be there to escort her to her station at 0800. Unless she’s working, she’s to be confined to quarters. Burnham tries to ask her what she’ll be working, on, but Landry just walks away as the door closes behind her.

She turns to look at her new abode, which contains two beds, and picks one to lay down on. Not long after, the door opens again to admit a young, red-haired woman.

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And she’s adorable!

She sees Burnham on the bed and immediately breaks into a huge smile, gushing about how happy she is that she gets a roommate, especially since they told her she couldn’t have one due to her “special needs.” She then says that a roommate is “like an automatic, built-in friend” as Burnham stares at her.

The young woman realizes that she’s rambling a bit, and introduces herself as Cadet Silvia Tilly, then explains that she has a tendency to talk a lot when she’s nervous. Burnham asks her why she’s nervous, and Tilly responds, “I’m trying to decide if I should tell you that you took my bed.”

Burnham replies, “Seriously?” Which prompts Tilly to start listing off all of the things that she’s allergic to, and that those allergies tend to cause her to snore. Burnham just gets up and moves to the other bed, and Tilly asks for her name. She says it’s Michael, and Tilly tells her she’s never met a woman named Michael before, and that the only one she’s ever heard of is Michael Burnham, the mutineer. She jokingly asks, “You’re not her are you?” Burnham doesn’t answer, and Tilly’s smile starts to fade as she realizes that yes, she is.

An alarm starts to go off with the computer announcing a “black alert.” Burnham sits up and asks what’s happening; Tilly asks if she’s been briefed. Burnham tells her that she hasn’t, and Tilly says that she can’t tell her before lying down in her own bed. The alarm stops, and Burnham looks at a counter top to see something odd: a bunch of floating water droplets.

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They fall, and then vanish, and Burnham asks Tilly, “What the hell is going on on this ship?” A rather frightened-looking Tilly does not respond.

We cut to the next day, where Burnham has changed from the yellow prison uniform to what looks like a Starfleet uniform without the trim. She heads to the door, which opens to reveal Saru, who is to be her escort.

We then learn that Saru is, in fact, the first officer on the Discovery. He then asks her to accompany him, and Burnham starts to notice that the crew are staring at her. Saru comments that she’s famous, to which Burnham responds by congratulating him on his promotion.

He thanks her, and explains that Starfleet was impressed by his actions in the battle six months prior, though he wishes he could have done more. Burnham definitely understands this. Saru then offers her some food from a bowl he’d been eating from as they were walking, which turn out to be blueberries.

She takes some, and comments that they don’t taste the same as the ones in prison. Saru hypothesizes that this has more to do with the location rather than any issues with the food synthesizer. Burnham says that may be, and they walk together in silence for a few moments.

Burnham eventually comments, “So many people with so many places to go.” Saru tells her that the ship is able to accommodate over 300 different scientific missions, which is a Starfleet record. She asks him if the ship is a science vessel, but he dodges the question to point out that they’ve reached their destination: the engineering bay. She’s been assigned there, and Lietenant Stamets will tell her what she needs to do.

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He then turns to leave, but she stops him, saying that she’d watched a recording of a speech he gave at Georgiu’s funeral, before adding “I never though I’d get the chance to say this to you. I think about what happened every day, all the time, and I owe you.”

Saru asks her if she’s trying to apologize, which she says she is, but Saru isn’t particularly inclined to accept:

I believe you feel regret. But, in my mind, you are dangerous. Captain Lorca is a man who does not fear the things that normal people fear. But I do. And you are someone to fear, Michael Burnham.

She assures him that she’s not going to cause any trouble; he assures her that if she does, he’ll do a better job protecting his captain than she did hers. Ouch. Anyway, Saru then takes his leave, and Burnham walks into engineering.

She tells the crew that she’s looking for Stamets, and one of them points towards a door. Burnham moves towards it, but is then told that the area is off limits. Burnham muses that “Starfleet doesn’t keep its engineering bays classified,” but the officer she who had given her directions earlier tells her “this is Discovery” and to find a station.

She comes across one next to Tilly, who nervously tells her that they have assigned seating. Not really knowing what else to do, she wanders a bit before looking into a small, glass-paneled room.

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Her investigation is cut short, however, by the aforementioned Stamets walking in with a container full of glowing things. He asks her who she is, and she introduces himself and says that she was assigned there. Stamets says that he’s “the only one who gives assignments around here,” and brushes something off his shoulder.

He continues, asking if she’s the one Lorca sent. Burnham confirms that she is, and Stamets tells her he was expecting a Vulcan. She tells him that she was raised and educated on Vulcan, to which he responds, “My uncle Everett plays ins a Beatles cover band. It hardly makes him John Lennon.”

She doesn’t get the reference, and he just decides to ignore this and tells her to reconcile some code on a chip he hands her “if Lorca thinks you’re such an asset.” Burnham takes the chip from him, and he shoos her away, saying, “It’s not like we have assigned seats.” She takes it back to the station next to a rather sheepish-looking Tillly before getting to work.

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Quite some time later, after everyone but her and Stamets have left, Burnham overhears a conversation between Stamets and a friend of his on another ship, the Glenn. The friend, whose name is Straal, asks if Lorca is holding them back after Stamets tells him about some sort of reading that seems low. Stamets tells him that it’s the opposite, that he’s actually pushing them to do more. He asks how the Glenn has been doing, and Stral tells him that they’ve reached “Speirin 240.”

Stamets says “I hate you,” but in a joking way, before asking him how he did it. Straal says, “All I can say is that there are unexpected benefits to not growing your own” before saying that he has to go and prepare for the next test, where they’re shooting for Speirin 900.

Stamets shortly tells him that’s impossible, and Straal tesll him, “Don’t be like that. you’re one of my oldest friends. We’ve been working on this for 12 years. When we succeed both of our names are going on the Zee-Magnees Prize.” Stamets explains that he’s not jealous, he’s worried, because he doesn’t think what they’re trying to do is safe. Straal assures him that they’ve worked it all out, before warning Stamets that he has a “lurker” and cutting the transmission.

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Stamets turns to find Burnham standing behind him, and he tells her that he hates lurkers. She ignores this and tells him that she’s having trouble with some of the code that he gave her. Basically, she thought she was dealing with astrophysics, but quickly realized that whatever she was working on also involves biochemistry. She tells him that knowing what she’s working on would be a pretty big help here.

Stamets responds with, “Why would I  tell a prisoner of the Federation, who is essentially a temp, the details of my top-secret research?” Burnham says that’s his call, but then points out that there’s a mistake in the calculations. He takes a look at it, before telling her she can leave and once again calling her a lurker.

He gets up and moves to a door, which is locked with a breath analyzer, which he breathes into to open it. Burnham, of course, witnesses this, and gets an idea.

Back in her quarters, Burnham takes a cloth and wipes some drool from her sleeping roommate’s mouth (ew). She then takes it back to engineering, and uses a hypospray from a kit on the wall to mist some of it into the analyzer. Thinking she’s Tilly, the computer lets her in and she sees a room filled with what’s essentially a forest.

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The scene shifts to the captain’s ready room, where Lorca receives a highly classified transmission containing some not-so-great news. He and Saru then go to engineering to relay said not-so-great news: there was an accident on the Glenn, and everyone who was on the ship is dead.

Stamets, somewhat distressed, asks what happened, and if it was a “bloom failure.” Lorca responds that he’ll be sending a team over to try and find that out, and that Stamets and Landry have the task of making sure all information about “the project” makes it back to the Discovery. Stamets asks why they can’t just beam all of the equipment aboard, and Saru notes that the lab containing said equipment is shielded.

Stamets comments, “That’s curious,” but Lorca tells them they won’t be able to indulge that curiosity, as they’re very close to Klingon territory so they need to just “get in and get out.” Stamets expresses disbelief that they would be running drills that close to Klingon territory, and Lorca tersely responds that they’re at war.

Stamets says that he and Landry will need a team, “You know, for the cumbersome, annoying science part.” Lorca tells him to pick a team, before telling him that said team will include Burnham. The lieutenant is not happy about this, but Lorca reminds him tha this isn’t a democracy before asking Saru his opinion on Burnham’s capabilities.

Saru hesitates for a moment, then says, “Her mutiny aside, she is the smartest Starfleet officer I have ever known.” Lorca then turns back to Stamets and says, “And he knows you.”

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The team leaves on a shuttle, and we see that Tilly’s coming along as well. She’s gushing about how she can’t believe she was picked for this mission, and saying that it’s her first time as part of a landing party. Tilly then turns to Burnham and asks, “Kind of hard to believe, right?” Burnham dryly responds, “Not really.”

Tilly then decides to apologize for the day before, saying that she was afraid that if they associated her with Burnham, it wouldn’t reflect well on her. Burnham tells her that’s OK, but Tilly says that it’s not, and that she has a tendency to care too much about what others think of her. She then adds, “But you don’t care if, like, everybody hates you.”

She then backtracks a bit, saying that came out wrong, and what she was trying to say is she thinks Burnham can help her. Burnham says that she’s very nice, but she won’t be staying on the Discovery long enough to make friends. The pilot then interjects, letting them know that they’ve made it to the Glenn.

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Stamets points out some weird etching on the ship’s hull, and says that it’s evidence of “catastrophic basidiosac rupture.” Burnham comments that she’s not familiar with the term, and Stamets replies, “You’re out of your depth, non-Vulcan number cruncher,” and basically tells her to shut up.

Burnham, however, is undeterred, and says that basidia refers to structures that produce spores. She also connects this to the back that the data she’s been analyzing contains an organic component. Stamets brushes her off by sarcastically asking, “Are you trying to show how smart you are?” She says that what she’s trying to do is catch up to the others so she can actually be of some use on this mission, and asks if the problem is based on biology or physics.

Stamets scoffs, and tells her, “Are you really so naive as to see them as different?” He goes on to explain that there is no difference between the two sciences on a quantam level. He explains some more about the spores, and how they are “the building blocks of energy,” and how he and Straal got into this field to “get to the veins and muscles that hold our galaxies together.” He then has some rather unflattering opinions of Lorca and his ilk, and Burnham herself:

Then your war started, and Starfleet co-opted our research. They split us up. They put us in charge of two different teams so we could work twice as fast. Not for truth, or to further Starfleet’s mission of diplomacy and exploration. But for war. And now my friend and his colleagues are dead because of our research, and I have to live with that. But if you think that I’m OK handing my life’s work over to that warmonger, Lorca, you’re wrong.

Burnham realizes that he thinks she’s there to spy on him, and hurriedly assures him that she has no idea what his research is about, and that she doesn’t even want to be here. He retorts that since Lorca clearly wants her to be there, he doesn’t really care about her intentions.

The team makes it to the ship, which is almost totally dark.

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Landry notes that the relays are shot, and asks Stamets if that’s normal. Stamets replies that “nothing’s normal after an accident like this.” Eventually, they come across some horribly mangled human corpses. Have you ever wrung out a wet dishtowel? It kind of looks like that, except with people.

At any rate, they stop, and Stamets says that he never expected an accident like this would cause these kinds of injuries. He then tells Tilly to scan to see if the bodies’ contortion is related to the etchings on the Glenn’s hull. She does so, and reports that there is correlation.

Stamets leads the merry band towards engineering, when they hear a loud hissing sound and something very large rushes past a partially open door. They continue, and something explodes behind them, sending off a shower of sparks. This gives everyone a start, and then Stamets notices something on the floor ahead of them: a bat’leth.

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Definitely not a good sign.

Tilly asks if this means the Klingons know about what they were doing; Stamets replies that if they do, they’re pretty much screwed. A bit further, they come to a door that’s trying to close but seems to be stuck…on a severed foot. Oh, and also a metric fuck-ton of eviscerated Klingons.

Landry asks why their bodies aren’t all corkscrewed, and Stamets replies that they most likely didn’t board until after the accident. Which prompts Burnham to ask, “What could have done this to a dozen fully armed Klingons?”

Stamets sees something, which turns out to be a busted bulkhead, and wonders how it could have been damaged like that seeing as how it’s double-reinforced. They then hear a roar, and Tilly points her weapon at something and tells whatever it is to show itself.

The thing that she was pointing at turns out to be a Klingon, who puts his finger to his lips and shushes her.

Landry asks if he did, indeed, just shush Tilly, but the conversation is cut short by something grabbing the Klingon from behind and killing him before turning on the landing party. Burnham astutely tells everyone to run, which they quite readily do. Stamets adds to go to engineering as a very, very large creature begins chasing them.

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They take a few potshots at it, but phaser fire doesn’t seem to do all that much besides piss it off. They manage to make it to engineering, but the creature does manage to kill one of Landry’s officers before they get there. Now in relative (if temporary) safety, Burnham asks what that was.

Naturally, no one there has an answer for this, so Stamets just has Burnham try to get the ship’s logs and Tilly pull telemetry and check spore containment. They go to follow his orders, and then Stamets find Straal’s corpse. As is to be expected, it’ ain’t terribly pretty.

He says he’s sorry, but he isn’t given much of an opportunity to grieve as the creature from the hallway has started throwing itself against the door, trying to get in. Burnham then reports that the log was corrupted during the accident, but Tilly has found a navigational hack.

The creature is still trying to get in, and is beginning to succeed, so Landry tells them to just grab what they came for so they can leave. Stamets says that they’re going to bring the hack with them, and enlists Tilly’s aid in retrieving it. Burnham, meanwhile, goes to the other door in the room and tries to open it, but it’s stuck.

Landry takes a phaser rifle and starts using it to try and melt through the door as the creature begins to create a fairly sizable dent in the other door.

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Tilly, in the meantime, has located something else in the reaction cube. Stamets says that they should bring that as well, then asks if they can go now. The creature is almost through the other door, and Landry tells them that she won’t be able to cut through in time.

Burnham, however, has an idea and starts heading away. Tilly asks her what she’s doing, and Burnham responds, “One Federation ship is pretty much like another, I hope,” before saying that she’s going to need a phaser. Landry says, “Mutineers don’t get phasers,” and Tilly tells her that she won’t be able to kill it. Burnham responds that she’s not going to try and kill it, but rather “piss it off.” Stamets, who seems to understand what she’s planning, throws her his phaser, and she turns and shoots the creature that has just made it through the door.

This manages to draw its attention to Burnham and away from the others, and she turns and runs, saying, “Shit, that worked.” Landry manages to burn her way through the door and tells the other two to move.

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Burnham, meanwhile, has managed to lead the creature into a Jeffries tube, and is crawling away from it very, very quickly. As she’s moving, she starts reciting a passage from Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to herself:

“The rabbit hole went straight on like a tunnel for some way, and then dipped suddenly down, so suddenly that Alice had not a moment to think about stopping herself, but instead found herself falling down a very deep well.”

Stamets then cuts in over the comm, letting her know they’ve reached the shuttle and asking where she is. She responds that she’s in a Jeffries tube, then tells them to lift the shuttle up by 200 feet above the shield replacement units, and to open the top hatch. The creature starts gaining on her, so she continues both her crawling and her recitation:

“She was now only ten inches high. Her face had lightly brightened up. She was now the right size to go through the little door into that lovely garden.”

She then makes it to her destination, and then drops down from the Jeffries tube and into the shuttle through the hatch before yelling to the pilot to go.

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BAD. ASS.

Back on the ship, we cut to the bridge, which Burnham has just walked onto, wearing the yellow prisoner’s uniform again. Saru, who has the bridge, turns to her and she asks for permission to enter the bridge, since Lorca has asked to see her. He grants it, and tells Burnham that the prison shuttle is set to leave within the hour. She assures him that she’ll be on it when it does. Saru commends her for what she had done for the landing party, which Burnham appreciates. He then adds that she was “always a good officer, until you weren’t. If only you hadn’t…You are a valuable asset. It is a loss for Starfleet.”

She thanks him, and goes into the ready room, where Lorca has been waiting for her.

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Is…is that a tribble on his desk?

They greet each other, and Lorca gets down to business: he wants Burnham to stay on Discovery as a member of her crew. She reminds him that she was convicted of mutiny, but he tells her that Starfleet has pretty much given him carte blanche on how to fight this war. They look at each other for a moment before Burnham politely declines the offer.

Lorca asks her, “You hell-bent on self-persecution?” She responds that that’s not quite it, or at least not entirely the reason. He asks her why, and she asks him why he wants her there so badly. She also posits that she’s not there by accident, and that Lorca pulled some strings in order to get her there.

He asks why he would do that, and she tells him that she thinks they’ve been developing some kind of new biological weapon. A weapon of the variety that is distinctly illegal, and that he thinks a disgraced Starfleet officer would be the best person to help with that.

I’m not who you think I am. Before I was a mutineer, I was a first officer in Starfleet. I’ll never bear that rank or any other again. But it is who I am, and who I will always be. It is by the principles of the United Federation of Planets that I live. And by them I will most certainly die.

Lorca just smiles at her, and says that he knows who she is. He also says, “I know you love being right, but I suspect that you hate being wrong even more. So let me stop you going down a path you’ll regret.”

He then tells the computer to beam them to engineering, where he asks Burnham to stop into the glass-walled chamber from earlier. He then takes one of the containers from the slot in the wall, and explains that they’re spores from a fungus that they grow right on the ship: “But you know that because you broke in.”

He inserts the container into a console, which then vents them into the chamber that Burnham is standing in. He then explains what it is they’re doing: “We are not creating a new way to kill. We are creating a new way to fly. An organic propulsion system.”

Lorca adds that she’s already experienced this, and she connects this with the “black alert” from earlier. He also says that while the Discovery has only been able to make short jumps, the Glenn had managed to make it to and from the Beta Quadrant (about 90 light years away) in just over 1 second.

She asks how this is possible, and Lorca says, “Imagine a microscopic web that spans the entire cosmos. An intergalactic ecosystem. An infinite number of roads leading everywhere.” Burnham repeats what Stamets said earlier about the “veins and muscles that hold our galaxies together.” Lorca tells her that, if they can travel anywhere near-instantaneously, they’ll be able to win the war with the Klingons.

He then asks her if she’d like to see where the spores could take then, then activates a console. The spores then project images of different places.

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He continues his pitch:

Blink: you’re on Ilari. Blink: the moons of Andoria. Blink: you just missed Romulus. All those planets, all those places, all those species seen and yet to be seen. And you’re home like it never happened.

He ends the simulation and opens the door for Burnham. She leaves the chamber, and he tells Burnham that he did, in fact, choose her for this, “but not for the reasons you think.” He tells her that he thinks she was right about why the Klingons were at the binary stars, and that she did the right thing in spite of what it ended up costing her.

And that is the kind of thinking that wins wars. The kind of thinking I need next to me. Universal law is for lackeys. Context is for kings.

The captain then asks what’s in her future, handing her a fortune cookie.

What do you wish for? Atonement? Redemption? Maybe the assurance that the captain you lost didn’t die in vain? You helped start a war. Don’t you want to help me end it?

Burnham takes the cookie and the camera pans out through a vent, eventually reaching the ship’s outer hull.

The scene then cuts to the mess, where Saru is happily pouring what appears to be salt into a cup of tea. He sees the shuttle take off, and a fringe of tendrils fan out from the side of his head. He nervously tries to flatten them as he watches the shuttle leave.

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The scene shifts back to Burnham and Tilly’s quarters, where Burnham walks in to find Tilly with her hair down and in civvies. Tilly gets up and says that she though Burnham was leaving, and Burnham says, “I’m still here” as she begins to unpack her back. She adds that she hopes Tilly doesn’t mind.

Tilly says that she’s glad that Burnham’s going to be staying, and adds that she’s going to be captain someday, and that she’s read everything about both Burnham and Georgiou. Burnham corrects her, saying that it’s Captain Georgiou. Tilly apologizes and Burnham tells her it’s all right as she continues unpacking.

Tilly then takes notice of a book in her possession, which turns out to, in fact, be a copy of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

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Burnham explains that when she was little, her foster mother used to read it to her and her own son. “She and I were the only humans in the house. It’s how I learned that the real world doesn’t always adhere to logic. Sometimes up is down. Sometimes up is down. Sometimes when you’re lost, you’re found.”

Tilly asks what her foster mother’s name was; Burnham replies that it was Amanda.

The scene shifts yet again, to Lorca and Landry in some kind of trophy room, watching the destruction of the Glenn through a window. Landry comments, “Sad to see a ship like that go.”

Lorca tells her that it’s just a ship, before asking if they’re “new guest is settled in.” Landry replies, “Snug as a bug in a rug.” The captain says that he thinks he’ll spend some time with said new guest this evening before thanking Landry for bringing on board and dismissing her.

He then goes to an alcove with a force field, which he places his hand it. And which is also then rammed into by the creature from the Glenn.

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So, final thoughts: my first thought here is that Lorca creeps me the hell out. I’m pretty sure that is the desired effect; Jason Isaacs isn’t usually hired to play paragons of morality.

Also, I liked that there was a bit of a horror element here too, with the scenes that took place on the Glenn. That part actually reminded me a bit of Alien, what with a nigh-indestructible creature going after our heroes. I did shy a bit away from showing the horrible twisted-up corpses of the crew, however, as it was genuinely pretty gruesome and a reminder of what one can get away with on a streaming service as opposed to network television.

Lastly, Cadet Silvia Tilly is my new favorite character, and if they kill her off I will be very upset. Seriously, though, she is a ray of sunshine in what has thus far been a very dark series.

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2 thoughts on “Star Trek: Discovery Recaps-“Context Is For Kings”

  1. I just couldn’t help myself rofling at that part where he tells her to scan for correlations and she seems to point a flashlight at the body and answer “there’s correlation”…..

    1. I’ll have to remember that trick if I ever write a novel, it can be used in a multitude of sci fi investigative situations: “Agent, please scan this room for correlation with any type of crime.”. *scans with flashlight* “There’s correlation, sir”.

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