The Uncomfortable Ethical Box Gets Smaller in ‘Star Trek: Discovery’s “The Butcher’s Knife Cares Not for the Lamb’s Cry”

The USS Discovery receives a distress call from a Federation mining colony under attack by the Klingons and must rush to get its super-magical spore-powered warp drive working so that they can ride to the rescue as Burnham tries to better understand the creature captured on the USS Glenn. Meanwhile, Voq, stranded in the ship cemetery for six months, has to make a salvage trip to the adrift USS Shenzou and deal with growing dissent in his warrior’s ranks.

Certainly, every strength that Star Trek: Discovery has was center stage for this episode. Everything that sets it apart and makes it unique, from the militaristic and shady performance by Jason Issacs as Captain Lorca to the distinctly humanized Klingons who are, the new look not withstanding, some of the best Klingons ever characterized whose name is not Worf. Everything happening on this show is just so interesting and surprising.

Sure, there are flaws… the death of whats-her-face from Battlestar Galactica was the result of some of the worst decision making I’ve seen since Ensign Skippy decided to join Kirk, Spock, and McCoy on a landing party to the planet of Bloodlust VII, but the ethical quandary of using a living creature as part of a propulsion system is a great one even if it’s one we’ve seen before.

What I really enjoyed about this episode is how the seemingly unnecessarily chronicled events in the first two episodes are still casting a shadow on Burnham and the Discovery. Micheal is a woman who is haunted and, from the creepy return to the derelict Shenzou to Captain Georgeau’s last will and testament, she is a woman who cannot escape her past no matter how many spore-jumps she does.

I also enjoy how, even the Discovery herself is still revealing her secrets slowly and methodically and we finally got an answer to the question of why the ship has got those weird spokes in the saucer. Well, it was cool… It led to a cool space battle even though I think that Lorca used a bit too much bravado. I mean, he said he wanted to send the Klingons a message, but how do you send a message when you blow them all up?

Still, it was another strong episode that deepened the mystery of the Discovery, answered a few questions, and put Michael Burnham in a smaller ethical box than she was when she started. Star Trek: Discovery is shaping up to be a fine program, spinning spokes and all.

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