Star Trek Discovery Recaps-“Lethe”


In which we learn a bit more about Sarek and Burnham’s relationship, and that Lorca is more fucked up than we thought.

We begin on Vulcan, with some random Vulcan dude greeting Sarek outside of a shuttle. Sarek returns the greeting to said Vulcan dude, whose name is Adjunct V’Latak, and they board.
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Sarek mentions that his mission is urgent, and they need to get to the Cancri system ASAP. V’Latak asks if he can “inquire as to the nature” of their mission; Sarek basically shuts him down with “In times of crisis, ignorance can be beneficial.” V’Latak looks about as unhappy with that answer as a Vulcan can.
Either way, he plots the course and announces that they’re ready to depart, which they do.
The scene then shifts to the Discovery in a nebula, then zooms in through a window to Burnham and Tilly, who are jogging together through a corridor. Burnham tells the less-than-enthusiastic Tilly that they’ve got 2 more laps to go before they can eat breakfast; Tilly despairingly responds that they’ve already done 10.
Burnham, of course, isn’t going to let her off the hook for this, and tells her that she needs to shave 6.5 seconds off her time if she wants to get on track to someday make captain. Tilly responds, “In my experience, what I lack in athletic ability, I more than make up for in intelligence and personality. We may want to focus on those attributes.”
She is then reminded by Burnham that everyone who applies for command training will also be intelligent, and that “personality doesn’t count.” Tilly, naturally, disagrees with this sentiment: “That’s just something people with no personality say.”
Burnham pulls ahead, and Tilly catches up as the explains that the reason she’s pushing is so that Tilly will get an endurance commendation: “Today, your goal is 6.5 seconds, then getting a transfer on a Constitution class, like the Enterprise. After that, first officer track. See your path, stay on it, reach your destination. Cadet to captain, just like that. What’s it gonna be, Tilly?”
Burnham’s speech has the desired effect, as Tilly pulls ahead of a smiling Burnham.
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The scene then shifts to Lorca and Tyler, shooting a bunch of Klingons in what turns out to be a training exercise. During the exercise, the two are holding a conversation, which eventually turns to Tyler’s background.
He asks the lieutenant where he’s from, and his family background. He responds that he’s from Seattle, he never knew his father, and that his mother died in a shuttle accident on her way to a vacation.
They continue for a bit, and the simulation ends when Lorca is “shot” in the lower back. Lorca asks about Tyler’s mother’s profession, and he clarifies that she was a third grade teacher. They then move to put their weapons away, and Lorca points out an inconsistency: that the school his mother taught at was 24 kilometers away from Seattle, “which makes you not exactly from Seattle.”
Tyler shoots the captain a look, which Lorca brushes off by explaining that he “likes to split hairs.” He adds, however, that he has looked into Tyler’s background, and asks him if he thinks he lets just anyone aboard.
Tyler responds, “No, sir. Assuming I checked out.” Lorca points out he wouldn’t have let him have a weapon if he hadn’t as they start removing the rest of their gear. The captain takes a moment to check a display on his rifle, showing that he had 24 kills. He asks Tyler how he did, and Tyler says he only got 22 before quipping, “Looks like I may be the one who needs to get his eyes fixed.”
Lorca moves to take a look at Tyler’s rifle. Which shows he actually had 36.
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Tyler begins apologizing, but the captain cuts him off: “Don’t apologize for excellence. I want my chief of security to shoot better than I do.”
Lorca heads out, and Tyler follows him out into the corridor. Stunned, he asks the captain if he’s being offered a position on the ship. Lorca tells him that he’s seen Tyler in action, mentions that he was close to his previous security chief and that he needs to get someone he can trust, “someone who understands war.”
Tyler tells the captain that he’d be honored, and won’t let him down. Lorca says, “Good,” claps him on the shoulder, and walks away.
We go back to the Vulcans, and Sarek is looking out of a window and mentions that they should be there soon. While his back is turned, V’Latak takes the opportunity to inject himself with something.
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Nothing nefarious about this at all.
Sarek, who has noticed that something isn’t quite right, asks why they’re still in warp before realizing that their course has been altered. He turns to a now slightly-glowing V’Latak, and realizes that he knows what Sarek’s mission is.
V’Latak then starts to go on a little villain-rant about how Sarek is blinded to humanity’s inferiority, and how his sacrifice will make the rest of Vulcan see that they need to leave the Federation, and so on and so forth.
Then, to no one’s surprise, he explodes. The ship drops out of warp and drifts through a nebula.
Credits roll, then we transition yet again to the Discovery, where Burnham and Tilly are now in the mess hall, their run having been completed. They go to a replicator, where Tilly tries to order “green juice, extra green,” whatever that is. Burnham cancels it, and, noting to Tilly that it’s the incorrect “ratio of protein, carbohydrates, and fat,” instead orders breakfast burritos. Honestly, that sounds better than what Tilly wanted.
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Tilly takes the try, and points out Tyler sitting at a table nearby. She mentions a rumor that’s been going around that he defeated 6 Klingon warriors with his bare hands when he and Lorca escaped. Burnham is a bit skeptical of this, but Tilly doesn’t seem to notice and continues, saying that “the captain practically wants to adopt him as a result.”
Burnham says she can’t really see Lorca feeling that way, and Tilly responds that he basically adopted her before adding, “I believe every word of it. I kind of feel it makes him hotter.”
Tilly then decides to join him, and Burnham follows. The cadet sits down at the table and mentions the rumor to him that she was just telling Burnham about. Tyler shakes his head and tells her that she shouldn’t believe everything she hears, before asking Burnham, who’s still standing, to sit down. She complies, and Tilly gets down to introductions.
Tyler, upon being introduced to Burnham, asks if she’s the Michael Burnham. Burnham cautiously responds that she is indeed, before adding, “You probably can believe everything you hear.”
Tyler, to his credit, says he tends to “assess people in the here and now,” before adding that in this here and now, Burnham is a member of the crew. He reaches out to shake her hand. Burnham doesn’t move to take it until Tilly gives her a bit of an indignant kick under the table.
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Burnham doesn’t move to take it until Tilly gives her a bit of an indignant kick under the table. As Burnham accepts the handshake, Tilly smiles and says, “crazy kids.” However, she stops smiling when she realizes that something’s not quite right with Burnham, who’s now just staring blankly ahead.
Burnham stands up as Tilly asks her what’s wrong. She absently puts a hand to her side, looking pained, and saying that she should go. Tyler then asks if she’s OK, and she says yes initially before a wave of pain changes her assessment.
She then turns to see a vision of a wounded Sarek lying on the floor before screaming and passing out.
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Then, suddenly, she’s not on the ship anymore, but rather what appears to be a Vulcan square. She moves through the milling crowd and her hand passes through someone, which indicates that what’s she’s seeing isn’t real.
We then hear a woman’s voice offscreen, clearly upset about something “We can’t let them do this to her. She has worked her whole life for this. She’s excelled. You have to do something.”
The present Burnham walks towards the voice and finds that it belongs to Amanda, her foster mother and Sarek’s wife. She’s berating her husband for something while a younger Burnham, clearly upset, standing behind them. Amanda tells Sarek that whatever they’re discussing isn’t fair,┬áto which Sarek responds, “There’s no logic in tour request, wife. Fairness is quantifiable.” We then see the cause of Amanda’s ire and Michael’s humiliation: she’s been rejected by the Vulcan Expeditionary Group.
Amanda, however, is not swayed, and flat out says that they made the wrong decision, noting that Burnham was at the top of her class. Sarek, however, argues that she basically failed the tests on logic. The younger Burnham begs to go home.
Sarek, because he’s sort of a dick, tells her that “humiliation is a human emotion.” She, with a little more control but clearly still unhappy, apologizes and tells Sarek that he was wrong to believe in her.
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Amanda interjects to say that she’s wrong about that, but the younger Burnham continues, saying that she can’t compete and isn’t good enough, her voice breaking and tears in her eyes. Her foster mother says this is nonsense, and tells Sarek to “make her see the truth.”
Sarek, however, says that this is correct, and that she wouldn’t thrive in the Expeditionary Group and that he’ll try to find a place for her in Starfleet, “where requirements are less extreme.” And all I have to say to that is, dude, read the room.
The conversation, however, is cut off when Sarek notices the present Burnham watching, revealing that this is, in fact, his mind. He angrily asks her what she’s doing there, and Burnham points out that he’s the one who pulled her there. He isn’t listening, however, and hits her so hard she goes flying out of his mind and back to her own.
The scene then transitions to sickbay, where Burnham wakes up. Culber assures her that she’s all right, and Lorca asks what’s wrong with her. The doctor says that he has no idea, since there aren’t any problems showing up on his scans.
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Burnham then clarifies that there’s nothing wrong with her, but there is something wrong with Sarek. Lorca asks her how she knows this, and she responds that she has part of his katra, which Tilly clarifies is basically a Vulcan soul. Culber says he’s heard of this, but always assumed that it was a myth. Lorca, however, is more skeptical and asks how this could be since she isn’t Vulcan.
Burnham responds that she was raised as one, and that Sarek believed she would be able to serve an example of humanity’s potential. Tilly is not pleased by this, and asks how Sarek could have put that much pressure on a child. Burnham continues, explaining how a group of logic extremists bombed the learning center and Sarek performed a mind meld to save her life, which deposited a part of his katra in her mind.
Lorca asks if this has ever happened to her before, and Burnham explains that at the beginning of the war, Sarek had sensed her distress. She explains that Sarek was doing in intentionally then, but this doesn’t appear to be something conscious on his part, and she’s worried that he may be dying. She asks Lorca to help her find him.
We then cut to the captain’s ready room, where he’s discussing this issue via hologram with Admiral Terral.
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The admiral confirms that Sarek’s vessel was, indeed, attacked by logic extremists. He also adds what Sarek’s mission was: a couple of Klingon houses had, in secret, invited the Vulcans to a negotiation, to see about forming an alliance against the rest of the empire.
Lorca dubiously notes that this isn’t exactly a Klingon thing to do, and Terral agrees.
However, he also notes that there were some houses who were ousted from Kol’s ruling council, and thus would have a motive for trying to take him down.
Lorca asks if the Vulcans actually believe that they’re sincere, and Terral notes that there are some reservations, so they chose Sarek to go and check to see if the offer was legit. He adds that Sarek has “demonstrated a unique ability to forge relationships with races that do not follow logic-based ideology.”
The captain is a bit less than pleased with this, noting that the Vulcans did this behind Starfleet’s back to “clear up our illogical mess.” He then asks Terral where Sarek is now. Terral reports that Sarek’s floating in a nebula near a system called Yridia, and that Starfleet is working on assembling a rescue mission.
Lorca responds to this news by saying that the longer they take to assess the situation, the higher the chance that Sarek will die. He then adds that the Discovery will go and fetch him. Terral, of course, absolutely forbids this, but Lorca just says he’s happy to clean up the Vulcan’s mess before closing out the transmission.
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We then cut to the Discovery materializing near the aforementioned nebula, then to the bridge. Saru, at a console, reports that they’ve arrived and Lora, from the captain’s chair, gives the order to start scanning for Sarek’s emergency beacon.
The door to the bridge and Burnham enters, looking a bit worse for wear. She says she can still sense him, but that he seems to be worsening. The captain assures her that they’ll find him, and Saru cuts in to report that they can’t find the ship due to interference from the nebula’s radioactivity.
Lorca suggests sending out probes to try scanning each sector, but Saru points out to him that the nebula is gigantic, and doing it that way would take months. Lorca pointedly asks if there are any other options. Saru doesn’t have any suggestions, but Burnham does.
The scene shifts to engineering, where Lorca and Burnham are discussing their plan with Stamets. The plan, essentially, is trying to use a neural enhancer to try and augment Burnham’s link with Sarek. Stamets fully approves of the plan, calling it “my kind of crazy.”
Lorca notes that Stamets’ little genetic experiment from the previous episode seems to have mellowed him out a little bit, and Stamets replies, “Once you’re past getting stabbed by needles, it’s pretty great.”
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Burnham gets the conversation back on track by asking if what they’re planning will work. Stamets responds that there isn’t really any reason why it shouldn’t, and notes that “this katra stuff is way cool. An uncharted superhighway connecting all of consciousness and life?”
Lorca says that they “have exactly no time to discuss the metaphysical implications” of katra. Burnham adds that what she wants to do is try and wake Sarek up so he can activate the ship’s transponder, which should tell them where he is. Stamets compares it to a hit of speed, which Burnham says she was thinking more like adrenaline, but the comparison is still apt.
Stamets, however, points out a flaw in their plan: the radioactivity from the nebula would interfere with the signal, so they wouldn’t be able to pull it off from the ship. Lorca suggests flying in to try and get close to them, but Stamets says that radioactivity + mycelium spores=you’re gonna have a bad time.
Burnham has a solution, though: take a shuttle and fly that into the nebula to try and get close. Stamets asks if she’s really crazy enough to do that, and she just cocks an eyebrow at him, Vulcan style. Stamets says that’s good to know, and goes to work on the neural enhancer.
Burnham turns to Lorca and assures him that she should be fine so long as she doesn’t stay in there too long. However, she needs someone to work the enhancer, and asks for Tilly. Lorca looks a bit surprised, but Burnahm responds, “She’s smart. And I could use the moral support.”
Lorca agrees to this, and notes that she’ll need a pilot proficient enough to make it through, before noting, “Luckily, I know a guy.”
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We cut to the shuttle bay, where Tilly, Burnham, and Tyler are making their preparations to leave. Lorca boards the shuttle and Tilly greets him, at attention. He walks past her to Tyler, and tells him to “bring her back in one piece.”
Tyler promises he’ll bring back the shuttle without a scratch, but Lorca says he’s not talking about the shuttle before indicating Burnham. He then adds that if Burnham gets hurt or killed, he shouldn’t bother coming back at all before clapping Tyler on the shoulder and leaving the shuttle. Burnham and Tyler share a look, and the shuttle takes off.
The scene shifts to Lorca’s quarters, where he’s looking at a map of the nebula. Saru cuts in to let him know that he has a transmission from Admiral Cornwell, which Lorca says to transfer to his quarters. Saru says that he can’t, because her ship has just dropped out of warp and she’s requesting permission to board. Lorca says to give her the permission, and that he’ll see her in his ready room, looking rather resigned.
There’s then a cut to Cornwell and Lorca in the ready room, and she is pissed.
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She basically wants to know what the hell Lorca is doing here, and notes that she “thought Terral was gonna throw a fit, and he’s a damn Vulcan.”
Lorca says he’s doing what he thinks is best in this situation, and Cornwell retorts that he’s using a convicted mutineer to launch a rescue mission that Starfleet didn’t you know, authorize.
Plus there’s the issue of using Tyler on the mission as well, as he’s barely had time to recover from his ordeal. She then asks if Lorca can trust him.
Lorca responds that he’s vetted Tyler and that he checks out, plus he graduated from the Academy with honors. Cornwell is less than convinced, and tells him that he can’t rule the Discovery like it’s his own personal fiefdom before bringing up Stamets and asking if it’s true that he engaged in genetic experimentation. Which, if you’ll remember, is against Federation regulations.
Lorca tells her that Stamets managed to get the spore drive working again, which is really all that matters to him about that. The admiral, interestingly enough, is not mollified by this and tells him that there are rules, but Lorca interrupts her: “Rules are for admirals in back offices. I’m trying to win a war.”
Cornwell retorts, “Then don’t make enemies on your own side.” Lorca responds by asking her what she’s really doing here, and she tells him that she came to see her friend.
He says, “Okay. Why don’t we stop talking like Starfleet officers, Kat, and start talking like friends?” While pulling out a bottle of whiskey.
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“To alcohol! The cause of, and solution too, all of life’s problems.”
We cut back to the shuttle in the nebula, where Burnham and Tilly are making preparations. Tilly notices that Burnham seems even more subdued than usual, and asks “where’s that old Burnham bluster?” She scoffs a bit at this, and Tilly says that there’s one thing that usually helps when she’s freaked out about something: talking about it.
Burnahm then says what’s bothering her: the fact that Sarek’s dying thoughts are turning towards her. Tilly thinks that’s actually kind of nice, but Burnham shuts this down by saying that he’s not necessarily thinking about her, but about her failure to join the Vulcan Expeditionary Group. Which, as you can tell, is significantly less than nice.
Tyler interrupts this tete-a-tete by announcing that they’re at Sarek’s last known position, and that they should get on with it before they get torn apart by radiation, please and thank you. Tilly hands Burnham a head piece, saying they should be ready to go so long as the enhancer doesn’t fry her brain.
Burnham puts on the headpiece, and Tilly tells her she’ll shut the machine down if her bio-readings go funny. Burnham, lying down, tells her that her bio-readings will go funny regardless because of Sarek’s condition anyway, plus she can’t let him knock her out of his mind again. Tilly asks when she should pull her out then, and Burnham has a very simple answer: don’t.
Tilly, reluctantly, agrees, and turns the enhancer on at Burnham’s signal.
We’re now, once again, up in Sarek’s brain, though we seem to be at a point earlier than the one before. This time, Burnham sees herself and Amanda in conversation, while Sarek is elsewhere. How he would know exactly what was said in this conversation he wasn’t there to hear, I have no idea, but let’s just go with it.
Amanda asks the younger Burnham if she recalls a trip that they took once, to a moon of a planet called Eridani-D. She responds that she does, and that they were there for a book exchange. We see that Amanda is, in fact, handing her foster daughter a book; it is, in fact, the copy of Alice In Wonderland that we saw earlier in the series.
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Amanda then tells Burnham the following: “This gift comes with a mother’s advice. You’re proven that you’re as accomplished as any Vulcan, which is going to serve you well, as long as you never forget that you’re human too. You need to nurture that side.”
She turns to look at her husband, and explains that he’s taking to the director of the Expeditioary Group. The present version of Burnham also turns to look, seeing Sarek walk away from the director and walk towards his wife and foster daughter, the conversation playing out the same way it did before, but with a notable exception.
This time, Burnham interrupts, asking why Sarek’s doing what he’s doing. Instead of answering, Sarek stalks over to her, angrily saying he told her she wasn’t welcome, and a fight scene ensues. This time, though, instead of being pushed out right away, Burnham is able to hold her own.
As they’re fighting, Burnham points out that he called her there, but Sarek isn’t listening and reiterates that she needs to leave. Burnahm says that he’s dying and that he needs to cooperate if she has any hope of saving him.
The scene shifts back to the shuttle, where the machine Burnham’s hooked up to is going crazy. Concerned, Tyler asks Tilly what’s going on. Tilly says she doesn’t know, and Tyler tells her to wake Burnham up. The cadet refuses, citing that Burnham told her not to no matter what, but Tyler pulls rank. Tilly, saying, “Damn it, fine,” complies.
Burnham awakens with a start, and we cut back to the Disconvery, with Cornwell and Lorca in the latter’s quarters.
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The two are drinking the whiskey from the previous scene with them and reminiscing. Cornwell brings up a meteor shower that the two had seen when they were younger. Lorca makes a face, and Cornwell laughs and says, “You don’t remember?”
Lorca responds that he does, but was thinking about how long ago it was. Cornwell brings up that they had so many plans for the future then, and Lorca says that he still has. The admiral pauses for a moment, then says that she’s worried about him, and troubled by some of the decisions that he’d been making recently. She adds that she thinks that he’s unnecessarily putting the ship and crew in harm’s way, not to mention disobeying orders.
The captain responds, “I’m in the front line, Kat. You got to make decisions in a second, sometimes less.” Cornwell counters, “Which is why Starfleet needs you at your best. I”m not sure we’re getting it.”
He tells he that the Klingons would surely disagree, and she tells him that she’s worried about him personally rather than his record, citing that he seems to have changed since the destruction of the Buran. Lorca laughs, leans in, and points out that he’s passed every psychological evaluation he’s had since. Cornwell concedes this, but points out that he was a prisoner of the Klingons less than a week ago, and asks him how that makes him feel to be back in the chair so soon.
Lorca laughs, and says, “Are we in session? ‘Cause I didn’t know you’re practicing again.” He then suggests that there’s something else they could be doing to pass the time. Cornwell smiles, then takes off her badge and puts in on the table.
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Yeah, they’re on the train to Bone Town.
Back on the shuttle, Tyler announces that he’s charting a course back to the ship. Burnham is not pleased with this, and says, “No, you’re not.” Tilly interjects with, “He actually is, though.”
Burnham tells them that she’s not leaving until they get Sarek, and Tyler responds that those weren’t the orders he was given. Burnham tries to get up, but ends up sitting back down in apparent pain, and Tyler moves towards her concerned. She tells them that Sarek keeps trying to block her, and that “I can’t fight you too.”
This actually seems to change Tyler’s mind about leaving, and he asks what they can do to help. Burnahm tells him she doesn’t know, and that he seems stuck on her graduation day, which is emotionally difficult to relive.
Tyler says that it may be difficult for Sarek to remember as well, and Tilly reponds, “Or not. He’s a Vulcan.” He brushes past this statement and continues, pointing out it’s illogical for Sarek to be this close to death and be thinking of he failure: “I’ve been close to death, right? Right up next to it. You don’t think about who’s failed you. You think about who you love, what you wish you’d done differently. What does he wish he’d done differently?”
This seems to cause Burnham to realize something, as she gets up, grabs the headpiece, and tells her companions that she’s going back in. Tyler moves back to the cockpit as Burnham puts the headpiece back on.
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Then we’re back in Sarek’s memories, but this time Burnham doesn’t waste any time getting his attention. Sarek, still not happy about this, tells her that she won’t learn that she’s not welcome there, but Burnham disregards this and asks, “What are you hiding?” Instead of answering, he moves towards him and they start fighting again.
Whilst they fight, Burnham asks again what he doesn’t want her to see, and if it’s worth him dying over. She gains the upper hand, and Sarek admits that the failure that day wasn’t hers, but rather his, and that he’ll show her.
We then shift slightly, to the conversation between Sarek and the Expeditionary Group Director. And we learn the truth of the situation.
Turns out the Vulcan Expeditionary Group was 100% willing to take Burnham on. However, the director then adds that if they take her, then they won’t take Sarek’s son, Spock. See, they didn’t want two non-Vulcans, and they consider Spock non-Vulcan because his mother is human. So Sarek decided to pick his son over his foster daughter to enter the Expeditionary Group.
Of course, Spock kind of fucked that up by going into Starfleet anyway.
Burnham asks him why he didn’t just tell her the truth. Sarek responds that Spock ended up going into Starfleet anyway, so there wouldn’t be any point to telling her. Needless to say, Burnham is not particularly happy about this, and tells Sarek that instead he let her believe she failed him, and asks if he has any idea what she went through emotionally because of this.
Sarek tells her that he does now, and admits that he’s ashamed of how he failed her before collapsing. She crouches next to him, and asks her to guide her through a mind meld. He does, and Burnham wakes up again on the shuttle.
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Tyler, to Burnham’s relief, announces that it worked, and he’s getting Sarek’s transponder signal.
We go back to Lorca and Cornwell, now in bed together in Lorca’s quarters. She’s awake, and Lorca is sleeping with his back to her. She looks at him a moment, then notices some odd scarring on his back.
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She reaches out to touch them, and Lorca reacts…poorly. By which I mean he wakes up, flips her onto her back, and points a phaser he had under his pillow. He comes to his senses, then apologizes, explaining he’s not used to having other people in his bed.
Cornwell, as can be imagined does not take this very well. She pushes him away, jumps out of the bed, and says, “you sleep with a phaser in your bed, and you say nothing’s wrong?”

He tries to placate her, but she’s having none of it as she begins to get dressed, all the while angrily stating that there are clearly warning signs she’s ignored, as well as that Lorca’s not the same person she knew. He tries to say that of course he is, but she continues, and accuses of him of lying on his psych evaluations.
Lorca asks if she just came to evaluate him herself. She answers that she’s seen him change over the past few months, which has upset her greatly. She then asks him if the whole affair of the night before was to distract her so she’d back off. He tells her it wasn’t.
At any rate, Cornwell knows that things can’t be what they were before, and tells Lorca that she can’t leave the Discovery under his command.
Now it’s Lorca’s turn to not take something well, as he pleads with Cornwell not to take his ship away, and promises her that he’ll get some help. She tells him that she can’t be sure that this isn’t another lie, and turns on her heel and leaves.
The captain, however, doesn’t have much time to ponder this turn of events as Saru calls on the intercom to let him know that Burnham’s team has come back, with the badly wounded ambassador. Lorca responds that he’ll be on his way to sickbay.
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The scene shifts to just outside of sickbay, where Lorca and Burnham are watching Culber and Sarek conversing. Burnham says that he’ll be fine, but unable to complete the mission he was sent for in his current condition. Which is unfortunate, because the window for talks with the Klingons is going to close soon.
Lorca tells her that Admiral Cornwell would be able to get to the talks in time, and says that she’d most likely agree if there was the slightest chance it would result in peace between the Klingons and the Federation. He then praises Burnham for a mission well done.
Burnham looks at her foster father and responds, “As much as it would displease my Vulcan mentor, I’m feeling a lot of emotions right now. I’m not sure pride is one of them.” She goes on to thank Lorca, as he didn’t have to do this for her mentor.
Lorca says he didn’t do it for him, but rather for her. He then offers her a position on the bridge, as the ship’s science specialist. Burnham accepts; Lorca says, “Good,” then turns to leave.
He stops for a moment when Burnham says she would be grateful to serve under a captain like him, then smiles wryly and continues on his way.
She then goes into sickbay to talk to Sarek, who (in his own Vulcan way) expresses dismay that he won’t be able to proceed with his negotiations. Burnham then asks him if he remembers what happened during his rescue. He responds that he was unconscious, either not remembering his conversations with Burnham in his mind, or pretending not to.
Burnham senses some bullshit there, and says that he does know what happened and that they should actually talk about it; after all, isn’t that what families are supposed to do? Sarek, being the prick that he is, responds that they technically aren’t related.
Burnham channels the audience for a moment and tells him that he can do better than that, but adding that she won’t push him. She turns to leave, but gives one last parting shot: “We’ll have this conversation one day…father.”
We then transition to Cornwell and her entourage in the shuttle bay, making preparations to head the negotiations. She stops when she sees Lorca in the shuttle bay, and moves towards him.
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Cornwell tells Lorca that she isn’t interested in ruining his career, but tells him that they’ll have a conversation about how he’s going to step down as captain, and that if he’s able to get some psychiatric help, they can see about him getting his command back. He responds, “May fortune favor the bold, Admiral,” before wishing her good luck. He watches her enter the shuttle, then turns to leave the shuttle bay.
The scene then cuts to Burnham walking down a corridor, where she encounters a running Tilly. The cadet stops, and explains that she’s working on shaving off her time. Burnham tells TIilly that she gave her bad advice earlier, and that she should find her own way to becoming captain.
Tilly cheerfully responds that she has, and continues on her run.
Burnham then sees Tyler in the mess hall, then goes to sit at his table. Tyler asks how her “Vulcan dad” is doing, and Burnham responds, “Stubborn and impenetrable, as always.” She explains that he claims not to remember what had happened between them earlier. Tyler responds that it’s a good thing he was there as a witness, then.
She smiles at that, but it quickly fades as she explains that she’d always known she probably couldn’t live up to Sarek’s expectations for her, but that she realizes that she’ll likely not get what she needs from him either.
Tyler tells her that “it’s tough,” but Burnham tells him it’s okay, and that “part of me feels unburdened.” Tyler says, “Still, I’m sorry for that other part of you.”
Burnham thanks him for his sympathy, laughing a bit before saying that instead of her emotions and logic being at war, her emotions are fighting each other: “I think about him, and I want to cry. But I have to smile And I feel angry, but I want to love. And I’m hurt, but there’s hope. What is this?”
Tyler tells her that’s just all part of being human, and Burnham smiles and introduces herself, sticking out her hand. Tyler says they’ve already met, but Burnham responds, “Have we?” They then shake hands.
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We then see a space station, which a caption tells us is in the Cancri IV system, and is presumably the meeting place for the negotiation. We cut to the interior, where Cornwell and her group are approached by the Klingon delegation, which are a man and a woman. Cornwell extends greetings on behalf of the Federation, before explaining that she’s there as a replacement for Sarek and thanking the elders of Cancri IV for hosting the negotiation. She then states she hopes that this will be a step towards peace.
The male Klingon says, “We are certain it will be.”
Then the Klingons’ guards kill the hosts and the Federation group, leaving Cornwell alive.
The female Klingon, who is named Dennas, then calls for General Kol in Klingon, who appears in the room in hologram form. The general congratulates Dennas for having taken care of the situation quite handily, adding that while he was hoping for the Vulcan ambassador, a Starfleet admiral makes a better prize. He then tells her that her house will be welcome in the Empire, and that he’ll allow her ships to use cloaking devices.
He then turns to Cornwell and says, in English now, “I look forward to meeting you, Admiral,” before cutting the transmission.
Back on the Discovery, Saru is talking to Lorca outside the latter’s quarters, and reporting Cornwell’s abduction. He begins to ask if they should begin preparations for a rescue, but Lorca tells him that they’ll wait for orders from Starfleet first this time. Saru expresses confusion at this uncharacteristic response, and Lora explains that if they go after her there’s a chance they could fall into another trap, and the ship is too valuable to lose. Saru accepts this, and says that he’ll notify Starfleet command at once before leaving.
The captain returns to his quarters and looks out of a window. The camera then pans down to show he had a phaser tucked into the waistband of his pants the whole time.
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So, yeah. We’ve confirmed a couple of things here. The first, of course, being that Sarek is kind of a terrible father, but we already knew that. Plus there’s the fact that Captain Lorca is pretty messed up in the head. (As an aside, I’ve not been actively avoiding spoilers in my day-to-day, so I do know what Lorca’s actual issue is, but will get into it when it comes up in these posts.)
Also, can I just say that the last interaction between Tyler and Burnham is adorable? Because it just made me smile a bit when I watched it.

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