Play-by-Play – ‘The Butcher’s Knife Cares Not for the Lamb’s Cry’ Star Trek Discovery s01xe04

Episode 4 of Star Trek Discovery is out. Time to say things!

  • Recap. I think I like Michael’s hair in the first two episodes.


  • Lightning, crystals! Ahhh! Oh, it’s just the replicator.


  • Definite regret from Michael as she’s looking at herself in the mirror. At least I think it’s regret. She’s certainly misses having her rank and station in Starfleet, and I’m not sure if Discovery is really going to be any consolation on that front.


  • Damn Michael, Tilly’s just trying to be friendly.



“What’s in the box?!”



  • Oh snap, it’s Georgiou’s “Last will and testament.” But Michael’s not ready to accept, which appears to be a knee jerk reaction stemming from guilt would be my guess since she shoved the box under a couch. Also, not roommates with Tilly, or did they both move to new quarters?


  • Hey, more Saru!


  • And now Saru’s pitching a fit cause Michael’s still here and he wasn’t aware of it. Lorca definitely likes to keep things to himself, eh?


  • Looks like we stepped into a wargames exercise? Gotta be, the ship’s not shaking enough.


  • So Landry choked and the whole crew gets chewed out. I’m aright with Landry getting a tongue lashin- OMG WHAT KIND OF ALIEN IS THAT?!?!


  • So the ‘Spore-Hub Drive’ will allow you to materialize anywhere in the known universe? I’m becoming more and more convinced that we’re wading in Section 31 stuff here. Or Discovery is destroyed. I’ll be disappointed if we pull a Voyager and get stuck somewhere, or there’s some new entity in Starfleet or the Federation that’s just as secret, or more secret, than Section 31.


  • Lorca feels the need to show off his man cave to Michael. Complete with Gorn skeleton. Admittedly, I’d like to have a Gorn skeleton…


  • Jump scare! Did we get you? No…?


  • On a more serious note, can we know what the monster thing is now from the previous episode that’s just hanging out in your man cave now Lorca?


  • Michael, why do you look so surprised when Lorca asks you to weaponize the monster? Like, did you really not see that coming?


  • Watching the opening credits, all I can think about is how big Discovery is. Thanks to my Discord community, I now know it’s something called a Crossfield-class. Specifications are slim to come by at the time of writing this, and the only resource I feel I can trust is Memory Alpha, which says the Crossfield-class is over 9 decks tall. I’m guessing that came from some sort of dialogue that I missed? I can feel my mind starting to spiral once again into the abyss of figuring out the scale of this thing, as it’s genuinely a bother for someone like me that’s super into ship specifications for the Star Trek universe.


  • Back to pretend-Klingons, and their really goofy looking ships.


  • Wait, you’ve been drifting out here for 6 months, and no other Klingons have come to help you? For that matter, why are Starfleet wrecks still out there? Surely they would’ve come to collect their stuff by now. Unless you guys are behind the frontlines, and Starfleet can’t get to them. Which again begs the question, why are you still out here after 6 months…?


  • Dang, they ate Georgiou? I’m not super familiar with Klingon traditions. Drinking the blood of your enemies I’m sure is mentioned somewhere along the lines, but wasn’t that just supposed to be a figure of speech? Or maybe they’re running out of supplies since they’ve been drifting for 6 months. Does your subspace radio not work anymore?


  • “What good is purity if it only leads to death?” She’s got a point dude. Drifting out in space when there’s a perfectly good set of spare parts out there is pretty dumb.


  • New Klingon makeup still bothers the shit out of me.


  • Time for some Burnham-Landry bonding time.


  • I was just thinking the thing looks like a tardigrade from the scan display. Thank you, Cosmos.


  • “How did it get on the Glenn?”  YES, HOW DID IT GET ON THE GLENN?!?!


  • It was a stowaway, gotcha. So, something about it’s biology kept it from being all twisted up when the Glenn made it’s catastrophic jump?


  • Lorca likes standing desks.


  • I haven’t called it out yet, but I really feel I need to. This whole holographic projection communication system was experimental in Deep Space Nine, over one-hundred years from now. Writers, stop it. You’re hurting me.


  • Distress call from a colony world that supplies 40% of the Federation’s dilithium, and Admiral hologram says Discovery is the only one that can respond quick enough. Dilithium is important, kinda helps power starships and stuff. But we’re tapping what is probably the only Federation Starship that’s currently involved in some really top-secret propulsion research, cause the nearest ship is eighty-four hours away? So, you’re telling me that Starfleet didn’t fortify or put starships on patrol duty around a planet that provides two-fifths of Starfleet’s dilithium? No wonder the Federation is on the back foot.


  • Lorca and Stamets are arguing about whether to make a long jump or not. Why not just make a bunch of small jumps? Still gonna get to the colony really fast. What’s the cooldown on the drive? Do we know?


  • And a Klingon beams aboard the ship that’s been drifting for 6 months. Can his ship not help you get underway?


  • Now we’re talking about the cloaking device that T’Kuvma’s ship has, which is quite an elephant. Only his ship has it, which begs the question where he got it? Must’ve been some sort of deal with the Romulans. That’s what I remember anyway. In any case, this new guy should help you get your ship going. You’ve been drifting for far too long.


  • Getting tired of the J.J. Abrams inspired camera angles.


  • Why is the saucer spinning? Should it be doing that?


  • Hey, the drive kinda worked. Though we didn’t get tot he same spot.


  • So monster-bear is tied to the Spore-Drive in some manner.


  • Damn, Landry’s more militant than Lorca. Just strengthens my hope for her to die before the end of the series.


  • Stamets pitches a fit because he’s not a soldier. Starfleet isn’t a pure military force, correct. But, Starfleet is expected to carry out military duties for the Federation. Do you even Starfleet, Stamets?


  • Voice recording seems to indicate the colony is already lost? Or is Lorca just exacting psychological revenge on Stamets?


  • Landry, this is a really dumb idea.


  • Props for accurate sickbay sound.


  • Hooray, Landry is dead! Can we now get a Tactical/Security Chief that isn’t like Landry?


  • Could we stop talking in Klingon? I understand you want to be authentic, but we already burned that bridge by changing their look. There’s no one else around, I think we can just assume they’re speaking Klingon.


  • Klingon sexual tension.


  • Saru’s got a solid record so far of calling Michael on her shit. Still intact.


  • Michael’s got a new friend in monster-bear.


  • Are we just calling it tardigrade now? You said it was like a tardigrade, not actually a tardigrade.


  • I will say there’s some good Trek-Science stuff going on here though. That’s the kind of stuff I want more of.


  • Klingon buffet time!


  • New Klingon takes over the ship through the power of food. The faith of these followers of T’Kuvma certainly wasn’t that strong. Starvation is a powerful motivator for sure, but this just makes me think that there has not been any real test of faith for these guys.


  • Yeah, this colony was just left to it’s own devices. All I can see is a shield protecting the colony itself. But it’s okay, we’ve got Discovery-ex-machina.


  • Let’s see how she does in a fight.


  • Yes, let’s run out of our safety bunker to where all the fiery debris is coming down. Great plan colonists!


  • There’s certainly another piece of the puzzle here as to why the Spore-Drive isn’t being used in later series, it requires putting the “tardigrade” into a chamber and jamming equipment into it to make it function. Starfleet and the Federation are probably not aware of it yet, and they may just look the other way in the name of winning the war. Maybe we’ll see more of the moral ramifications of this later. Michael’s certainly bummed, as am I.


  • Voq, understandably upset.


  • Her double-bottom lip is really distracting me.


  • Finally. We get to see what’s in the box.


  • Is it gonna be Georgiou’s telescope?


  • Clearly Georgiou wrote this before Michael decided to mutiny.


  • Yep, it’s the telescope.



Final thoughts: Starfleet knows where Michael is, since she received the telescope as a part of Georgiou’s Will, and Lorca isn’t operating with total autonomy if that’s the case. I kinda thought this would be some kind of Section 31 black operation where no one would know what really would be going on, but if we’re able to ship telescopes around to the Discovery, then Discovery is still operating with some Starfleet Command supervision. Should be interesting to see how the Spore-Drive thing unfolds with that in mind as well, since it requires putting an animal in pain to make it work.

I’m still not totally sold on the Spore-Drive yet. The tardigrade thing, which I’m surprised we just started calling it that (must be a call to Cosmos), has all the star charts in it’s head, somehow. It doesn’t strike me as an interstellar creature, but whatever. It’s a necessary component to make the drive work for jumping long distances. Considering the effort that’s going into using this as a weapon of war, a war that’s gone on for 6 months and will be going on longer, I’m finding it hard to believe that Starfleet would just abandon research and development on this thing. That leads me to think of a few possible outcomes.

1 – Starfleet can’t develop the drive and scraps the research once the war is over.

Maybe? Again, the drive requires sticking an overgrown tardigrade with needles to make it work. Starfleet and the Federation would frown on that were they in a place to care about it I suppose. We’re kinda in Dominion War levels of Starfleet Security Operations from what I can gather here. Though we already know that the Federation and the Klingons will come to a ceasefire eventually, so perhaps this drive isn’t as influential to the war effort as we think it’ll be.


2 – Discovery is destroyed, and all research is lost.

I’m kinda hoping for his myself, and not just because some parts of the show irk me. Rather because it’d be a fitting end. Discovery goes down in a blaze of glory, saving the Federation, taking it’s Spore-Drive with it so that it can’t clog up the rest of the Star Trek universe with more inconsistencies. Lorca also strikes me as the kind of guy that would go on a suicide mission if the outcome was advantageous. Though not Landry levels of stupid.


3 – It’s just Section 31, deal with it.

We haven’t seen the ‘black badges’ again this episode like we did last time. And Lorca was straight up announcing to all the bridge crew during the drill about how awesome the Spore-Drive is, so this thing isn’t that classified, at least aboard the ship. Starfleet admiralty also knows about it, as Lorca and Admiral hologram were having a conversation about whether Discovery could get to the colony in time. This episode has me questioning whether or not Section 31 is actually involved or not, and if they are, is it just some peripheral security sort of involvement? There’s a theory out there that Section 31 will steal the Spore-Drive and use it for themselves. Would certainly explain how Sloan ducked into Bashir’s quarters like he did.


I’m still kinda waiting for this show to make it “about Michael.” This episode, while still having some focus on Michael’s character development, kinda played out more like an episode of Star Trek. We saw a variety of crew doing their jobs. Michael certainly had the lion’s share of science-ing for this episode, getting the “tardigrade” thing figured out for the Spore-Drive, but I didn’t feel like it was about Michael still. There was little character development for her.

To clarify, I’d much prefer that the show be an ensemble like previous Star Trek shows have been. If the teaser for the next episode is anything to go by, it seems like we’re getting that. Gotta scratch my head though at why we were being billed with Burnham being the main character when, bit by bit, we’re getting more of the other characters.

We’ll see what comes next week with Lorca hanging out with Mudd.

Klingons got a little bit of time on the screen this episode. It’s very to the point stuff. Ship’s broke, let’s get new parts from the Starfleet wreck. Hey, new Klingon face. New Klingon face takes over ship with cloaking device cause it’s a powerful weapon, and we’ve left Voq with the lady Klingon (don’t remember her name) on the wreck of the Shenzhou.

I’m not all that clear on where this storyline is going. Lady Klingon tells Voq that he needs to win the war in order for things to good for him. True, Klingons like winning wars and stuff. Not sure how that’s going to happen since they’ve been left on the wreck of the Shenzhou. Y’know, the ship that couldn’t go anywhere cause it was too badly damaged. Or are we going to have another 6 month period of fixing the ship, eating stuff they find around the ship? I’m going to be disappointed if they get the ship running in just an episode or two. Since y’know, the ship was abandoned cause it was too heavily damaged to get flying.



Time for some After Trek bonus.

  • It wasn’t that epic of a battle. Was like a few Klingon fighters…


  • Make no mistake, the tardigrade was still weaponized.


  • I don’t think Lorca sees similarities. I think he sees opportunities.


  • Manipulation isn’t what came to mind for Lorca. Giving out orders in the tone of “You’re doing this now, or gtfo.”, is more like Lorca.


  • Sounds like the Klingons ate Georgiou because they were running out of supplies. Not because of some Klingon “eat your enemies” tradition I’m not aware of.


  • Kol, that’s the name of the Klingon that takes over Voq’s ship.


  • Are the Klingons united? I’m not getting that feeling. They’re fighting the Federation together, but united? Eh…


  • Let’s talk about Klingon sexual tension some more.


  • T’Kuvma’s plan consisted of telling a bunch of Klingons to get together at his location and start shooting at Starfleet ships. There wasn’t anything to the plan beyond that. Why was this a good plan? Does he have some sort of information about Starfleet’s capabilities that we’re not aware of?


  • I’m glad the actors are comfortable in the uniforms. They still look terrible.


  • Flak vests are pretty cool though.


  • They shouldn’t look like superheroes, they should look like Starfleet officers!


  • “I didn’t choose any of these morons around me.” I’m sure that goes double for Landry.


  • Props to Isaacs for being able to name the alien species that Doug Jones plays.


  • Lorca, unlike any captain we’ve seen in the franchise? What about Decker? Maxwell? Shit, Archer? I don’t know what about Lorca make him that different from anyone else we’ve seen in the franchise. He’s a captain with a job to do, and frankly I didn’t see anyone else acting differently when the tough decisions needed to be made. What is different about the show though is that we’re tracking a very tight arc over, what, thirteen episodes? I don’t know what the season run is going to be off the top of my head. I like Lorca, but he’s not that unique guys.


  • Please, let’s call bullshit on Lorca’s battle injury with obvious fixes.


  • Feel like Doug is alluding to Saru betraying Lorca at some point with this conversation.


  • I’d be shocked if Michael became first officer. Perhaps a pardon after things are done (assuming Discovery isn’t destroyed), but another Starfleet commission?


  • Tin-head on the bridge is an augmented alien? Okay then.


  • “She likes to follow orders.” Landry likes to shoot things too. That was about the extent of Landry, there’s not much else to her.


  • I’m not sad Landry is dead. Her only character quality was her job performance, and that was a very mixed bag.


  • Jason Isaacs seems like a cool guy. I’d hang out with him.


  • Abandoned Klingon ship joins the Federation? Who made that prediction?


  • I don’t really have a prediction. The show’s moving in a different direction to not really be about Michael anymore, instead becoming more about the war. That’s fine by me, just kinda think there’s been a bait and switch with the marketing of this show to reel in particular social demographics for rating bumps as well as positive press, but that’s a conspiratorial hat that I’ll take off for the time being until I see more of the show.


Still waiting for someone to explain why they derped the Klingon makeup so hard. See you next week for the play-by-play.

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