Discovery: s 01 ep 3 “Context is for Kings”

This show is bonkers.

We join Convict Burnham, six months after her life sentencing, aboard a shuttle, being unexpectedly transferred to another prison. There is a problem outside of the ship and the pilot has to suit up and go outside the shuttle (MID-WARP?) to fix the problem. Everyone is freaked out but is reassured by the notion that as long as the pilot is out there, they’re safe.

BARELY A BEAT PASSES before the pilot falls of the ship and is seen floating away, doomed to a horrific death.

Just what is this looney tunes banana pants way to execute a scene? It’s classic comedy, but meant to be deadly serious. Hilarious, terrible, wonderful moment.

And now they have to be rescued by the Discovery and the mysterious Captain Lorca. Burnham is put to work by the driven captain and starts to suspect there is something strange on this ship, breaking into a secret lab by using spit and an air bottle. Weird, but ok.

Saru is aboard and is second-in-command and they have a great scene together about Burnham’s betrayal. It’s nice character work between the two and it, honestly, was the highlight of the episode.

Eventually, Burnham and several others wind up exploring the derelict sister ship of the Discovery, the Glenn, which brings us to the next INSANE moment of the show.

The crew of the Glenn are all dead; strewn about, bodies bloodied, twisted and deformed in pools on the ground. I was, frankly, shocked by the gore on a Star Trek show. But ok, this isn’t typical star trek and they’re demonstrating how dangerous these new frontiers can be. It’s not something I’m looking for from star trek, but as long as there isn’t a ton of gore every episode, then it’s fine.

But the scene isn’t done! They discover bodies of klingons, as well! Oh no dangerous klingon are aboard! And then they discover one, which is IMMEDIATELY EATEN BY A MONSTER!

What in the world is even happening.

They escape the monster, scuttle the Glenn, and Burnham is brought into the crew of Discovery by the (apparently extremely powerful and influential) captain. He also reveals to her that they are working on a new means of travel via organic spores.

And Burnham understands that LORCA arranged her “escape” from prison. Which means that he directly killed that shuttle pilot, right? So our protagonist, Burnham, should know straight-up 100% that Lorca is evil. As should we, the audience, even before the strange reveal at the end that Lorca beamed over the monster from the Glenn.

Which, by the way, is never explained. Was the monster a science experiment? Was it brought by the klingons? Did it slip aboard during whatever went wrong that killed the crew? I guess it must not be important.

So either I missed a whole bunch of context in the episode or they are playing very fast and loose with the plot here. I hope that things tighten up going forward. I’m enjoying the ride so far, but I’m frustrated by the lingering questions and leaps in character logic.

As for episode 3: th- th- th- that’s all, folks! On to the next Road Runner & Wile E. Coyote cartoon of episode 4!


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