Synopsis: With tensions and stakes high as Starfleet continues in their efforts to end the war with Klingons, Burnham begins to settle into her new position aboard the U.S.S. Discovery.
Review: The fourth episode of Star Trek: Discovery gives us a bit more insight into the various crewmembers of the Discovery, but we also see a second Federation Casualty, but do we care? In the episode, we see Security Officer Landry pretty much engineer her own demise when she dismisses Burnham’s warning. But as the viewer, I didn’t feel particularly invested in Landry’s military character who we only got to see as a military officer. There was no depth to Landry’s character beyond the fact that she was military and in that regard, she was Lorca’s right hand. Her death is not completely in vain because it did much to service the plot and move the story forward, but that fact that we were not really invested in Landry from any connective emotional standpoint was a disappointment.
In the episode, Captain Lorca orders Michael Burnham to find a way to us the creature, which they nicknamed the ripper as a weapon in order to help him fight the Klingon’s. It’s a mission that becomes more pressing when the Captain is ordered to save a mining colony from Klingon attack.
Burnham eventually figures out that the creature is not hostile and learns that it is able to interact with the spores that the Discovery is using for its new means of propulsion. She is able to figure out what the other ship did in order to use the creature but is wracked with guilt when she learns that the machine, which she connects the creature to causes it a great deal of pain.
There is a great scene with Michael and Paul Stamets when she passes on her scientific discovery to him. He is impressed and shows it. It’s probably the most human scene we have seen Stamets have to date and made him a more relatable character to the somewhat tetchy scientist that we met last week.
We also get more of the Klingons this week as we see Voq the Albino Torchbearer deposed by Kol. There seems to be a little bit of a Klingon love story intermixed with the very obvious ‘Make America Great Again’ allegory, which feels a little too on the nose for comfort. Unfortunately, I was having to pause my Netflix again because the chunkier bits of Klingon dialogue was going by a little too fast for me to be able to read.
Overall it was a mixed episode for me. The exploitation of the creature by Starfleet felt like the inverse of what we have seen with the creatures from Deneb 5 when Picard and his crew saved a pair of creatures that were being exploited by a colony. That alone would make an interesting call back in the novels in that its a very un Starfleet sort of thing to do, but war is hell and morals can become foggy when the stakes are this high.
We see more of the Captain as a strategist this week and the lengths that he will go to in order to win. The training simulation was a nice touch and calls back very nicely to the opening scene from ‘Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan’ with the battle simulation.
- Incidental Music9.2