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Star Trek Journal > Discovery (DSC) > Context Is for Kings

Posted by: LCARS 24 Oct 2 2017, 10:17 AM
Six months after her sentencing, Burnham is on an unexpected prison transfer when an emergency forces her shuttle to be rescued by the U.S.S. Discovery. After spending several days on the ship, Burnham is ordered by its captain, the mysterious Gabriel Lorca, to assist with a scientific assignment. Burnham overhears Lieutenant Paul Stamets, an astromycologist who is leading the assignment, discuss an upcoming experiment with a colleague serving on another starship; Lorca is soon informed of an incident on the Discovery's sister ship the U.S.S. Glenn that has killed the entire crew. Stamets leads a boarding party to investigate and finds the dead crew hideously twisted and malformed, as well as a group of Klingons killed by an unknown creature. Lorca later asks Burnham to work for him, despite her sentence, explaining that he organized the circumstances that led her to him so she could help develop a new way to fly that could win the war she started by killing T'Kuvma. He also secretly has the creature transported aboard the Discovery.


Posted by: dancer Oct 2 2017, 08:14 PM
So it's taking a while for the star of the series to get settled into the captain's chair, even though things move pretty fast and are often less than clear.

Posted by: Tuvix Oct 3 2017, 01:07 PM
I'm going to play devil's advocate here, I had a few problems with this episode. In the opening scene the shuttle Michael is being transported in loses its pilot, and Michael tells the passengers that they could all die, but doesn't seem to give a damn! Later when they are rescued by Discovery, the chief of security refers to Michael and the other passengers of the shuttle as trash (not very Starfleet). Michael assaults one of the other passengers of the shuttle but is not taken to the brig, but to meet Lorca. Lorca trusts her to work with Stamets on their experimental warp drive (yeah, why not, given her background! LOL.) She's referred to as Starfleet's first mutineer. It seems several of the Discovery crew dislike Lorca-he doesn't inspire respect or loyalty, not a good sign of leadership! We meet Michael's roommate Tilly, who seems to suffer from anxiety issues and might be a pathological liar. Later, Discovery's sister ship, The Glenn is discovered adrift, Samets is ordered by Lorca to organize an away team which includes Burnham and apparently Burnham gets to invite Tilly? Weird. They shuttle over, not transport. Aboard they discover a dead crew, dead Klingons, and a Klingon targ? Why couldn't their lifesigns scan tell them about this creature? If they had transported they could have avoided the targ (we actually don't know if it is a targ). Why aren't they wearing E-vac suits when they don't know what killed the crew of The Glenn? They escape the creature, get back to their shuttle, and Michael is recognized as a hero for luring the creature away. This scene reminds me a little of the scene in ST'09 where Kirk on Delta Vega is being pursued by a red creature and escapes into a cave where the creature gets stuck-are they taking more inspiration from Abrams' Star Trek (2009) in this episode? Later Lorca meets with Burnham to ask her to stay on Discovery, he site to site transports with her (we never saw this done in the 23rd century) to the science station where she had been working earlier. Lorca places her into some transparent container, floods her with spores and transports her all over the galaxy? What? She agrees to stay aboard the Discovery after Lorca explains that he arranged to have her brought to him so she could help him win the war with the Klingons with his experimental warp drive. So apparently, she only agrees to stay because she wants revenge on the Klingons? So Lorca has no problem hijacking a prisoner sentenced to life by the Federation council? I'm sorry this has to be one of the worst written Star Trek episodes I've seen.

Posted by: LCARS 24 Oct 4 2017, 07:09 AM
My take on the way Michael was acting on the shuttle that she was so guilt-ridden she felt she deserved to die. When Lorca offered her a place on his crew, she seemed to prefer prison because she felt she deserved it. She seemed deeply focused on guilt, being responsible for the deaths of 8,016 members of Starfleet. That should be expected of someone with Vulcan upbringing.

And Lorca seems to be up to something that Starfleet wouldnít allow if they knew about it, maybe worse than Captain Ransomís use of creatures to enhance his warp drive.

There are things to complain about so far, but Iím trying to stay optimistic about it. Previous Trek series were weak at first but became quite good after a few seasons.

The kind of classy Trek I prefer would probably draw a very small audience these days.

Posted by: Tuvix Oct 4 2017, 01:01 PM

I'm going to stick with the show for the first half (8 episodes) of the season, those episodes should drop weekly til early November, then there will be a break and they'll return with another 7 episodes next year completing the season. If I don't like the first 8 I'll end my subscription to CBS.

About Burnham and the show; I thought she was resigned to whatever happens to her, unwilling to take any action to save her life, which perhaps she didn't think was worth saving.

I don't know who Captain Ransom is, please explain.

About Lorca, some people on YouTube are theorizing the Discovery is part of Section 31, hence, the scientific experiments, Starfleet allowing Lorca to do whatever he wants, etc.

Posted by: LCARS 24 Oct 4 2017, 09:06 PM
QUOTE (Tuvix @ Oct 4 2017, 10:01 PM)
I don't know who Captain Ransom is, please explain.

Captain Rudolph Ransom commanded the U.S.S. Equinox, a Nova-class science vessel in pretty much the same predicament as Voyager, trying to make it home from the Delta Quadrant, but by unethical means, which involved using an alien species as fuel for an enhanced warp drive. VOY: Equinox

And there is the theory that this is going to turn out to be about Section 31, not that the Discovery's registry number is supposed to be a hint or anything.

Posted by: LCARS 24 Oct 6 2017, 08:07 PM
At this point Rotten Tomatoes has Discovery at 87% critical approval and 60% liked by audiences, and The Orville at 20% critical approval and 90% liked by audiences. That seems somehow skewed.

Even though The Orville uses different terms for Trek things (warp drive -> quantum drive, Federation -> Union), in some ways it's more recognizable as Trek than Discovery, other than being overloaded with silly humor. At least the stories are more like those done repeatedly in Trek past, and it has more or less look and feel of Trek's 24th century. Still, it's a spoof.

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