Star Trek: Discovery Recap: The War Gets Real In The Butcher’s Knife Cares Not For The Lamb’s Cry

Star Trek

Returning 2020

Michael Burnham may have fallen a long way from her rank as First Officer on the USS Shenzhou, but she’s also climbed out of the deep life-sentence-in-space-prison hole she was in and, once again, she’s wearing a Starfleet uniform (without a rank, though). Assigned to work among Captain Lorca’s collection of intergalactic weaponry, Burnham’s been tasked with getting to know the giant tardigrade monster that Lorca and Landry beamed over from the USS Glenn (so that Lorca can use its metal-shredding claws and impenetrable hide to kill Klingons one day).

Burnham, however, finds out that the creature isn’t at all what they thought it was (a vicious killer with an appetite for blood) it’s actually a peace-loving vegetarian whose diet consists mainly of the kind of magic mushrooms the Discovery has been using to perfect their insta-travel tech. And it’s far more valuable than any weapon, it’s the key to precisely mapping the stars and successfully navigating to a specific place—like the mining colony on Corvan 2, the Federation’s main source of dilithium crystals.

A surprise Klingon attack has left the entire Federation vulnerable and it’s up to the Discovery to save the colony—only that requires use of the new displacement-activated spore-run drive. You know, the thing that left the crew of the Glenn looking like soft-serve ice cream?

Thanks to Burnham (and no thanks to Landry, who provoked the gentle creature and ended up dead because of it), Stamets figures out how the creature connects to the tech they found on the Glenn and the Discovery makes its first successful leap, driving the Klingon attack ships away from Corvan 2 just as the colony’s shields fail.

But that’s just one battle. Under Kol, who easily won over Voq’s followers with an all-you-can-eat wing night, the Klingons are uniting to launch more attacks against the Federation. For his efforts to unify the houses, Voq gets a one-way trip to the derelict Shenzhou where it’s expected he’ll rot and die. L’Rell has other plans for him though (also: a serious Klingon krush). She’s arranged for him to visit the matriarchs of House Mokai, for some lessons in kicking Kol’s ass, we’d guess.

The episode closes with Burnham finally working up enough courage to open the last will and testament of her former Captain, Phillipa Georgiou. Inside, she finds something that reminds her what the Federation was all about before the war began: exploration, discovery, and peace. Our guess is that she’ll make it her personal mission to get back to that place—not that it will be an easy one.

5 questions we have about this week’s episode

1. The tardigrade definitely suffers each time it’s used to navigate the spore-run drive. Burnham’s going to do something about that, right?

2. Does anyone else think it’s hilarious that the Discovery basically runs on magic mushrooms cultivated in the ship’s own grow-op?

3. What can the matriarchs teach Voq and what’s it going to cost him to learn those lessons?

4. How many mining colonies does Burnham have to save before people stop referring to her as The Mutineer?

5. This was another episode where we saw Stamets clash big time with Lorca. Whose side will he come down on when he realizes that his new tech comes at the cost of torturing a living creature?