[DSC] Season 1, Episode 4: The Butcher’s Knife Cares Not for the Lamb’s Cry
There’s continued clunkiness mixed with some solid moments in The Butcher’s Knife. The rescue mission driving the second half of the episode feels artificially jammed into the episode to up the stakes, but I like how Burnham is working and trying to do the right thing knowing she’s inside the weird morally questionable pressure cooker of Lorca’s Discovery. Meanwhile, the Klingon side of the story kicks off with an indication that there will be some kind of spiritual quest for Voq, which I think I’m looking forward to?
Burnham gets a package that contains something from Georgiou’s will.
Saru’s not that happy that Burnham is sticking around. They say the word “ganglia” a lot.
Lorca has the team ruining drills. They do a good job of building up that Discovery’s purpose is to be alone in very dangerous territory.
He assigns Burnham to figure out what makes the monster so durable and deadly, and how to weaponize it.
We reconnect with the Klingons and apparently Voq is still chillin at the binary stars?? Is he too embarrassed to ask for some help?
L’Rell super casually mentions that Voq ate Georgiou?? She’s like “Hey we should take some crystals from the Shenzhou, just like how you ate Georgiou.” I know Georgiou is a fictional character, but it seems weirdly disrespectful to offhandedly include this gruesome detail just to reiterate that the Klingons are violent and ritualistic.
Landry is sent to keep Burnham on task.
We meet the new admiral. They get word that the blockade defending an important Starfleet dilithium mining site has been defeated. Only Discovery can make it there in time!
Lorca says he’s totally on top of it.
But Stamets says nah
Kol pays Voq a visit, and it seems like they really hit it off this time. Kol is gonna help him out.
House of Kor 👀
Discovery gets ready to make the jump using the spore drive, which also makes the rings of the ship start spinning. I guess part of black alert is making sure you aren’t walking through the hallway threshold between the spinny part of the ship and the non-spinny part.
After everyone is ready, Lorca says “go,” which is repeated later in the episode. I guess “engage” was already taken. This is all fine, but what I *really* like the most is imagining the lengthy discussion in the writer’s room on what word he would say here.
They goofed up!
Stamets bonks his head lol
Which causes us to be introduced to the doctor. I like his uniform.
Lorca and Stamets go back to the war-ship vs science-ship debate, but Lorca actually comes across looking compassionate towards the people they’re trying to save, which adds a bit of nuance to his characterization. Of course, he also is a pretty big jerk to Stamets in the process, so he doesn’t look that great.
He plays the last distress call from the mining outpost. Hey, the helm people kind of have exo-squad hair styles goin on!
The distress call seems to motivate Landry. She grabs a gun and wants to cut off a claw from the monster to study it. It’s like, such. a dumb. idea.
Wow, they really went full Tasha Yar.
L’Rell and Voq seem to get along.
Throughout the episode Burnham has been less interested in the monsters claws, and more interested in it as a species, and why it was on the Glenn. She suspects that nothing in its biology would suggest it as a predator, and as her final test she calls in Saru to see if his ganglia respond.
Burnham makes her first friend in the show! No, not you Tilly, this monster. It’s cool that they echo the theme from The Devil in the Dark.
Burnham comes to Stamets with her theory that the monster was on the ship to interact with the spores. I liked how these two threads came together.
And from that they figure out that it actually played a key role in the spore drive on the Glenn, which Stamets’ buddy apparently never told him about? It’s cool to see Stamets, for the first time, switch off from his annoyed, rude, scientist-working-for-a-war mode, and show some wonder and happiness at the discovery.
When Voq and L’Rell get back to the ship, they find that Kol has taken over.
And he calls Voq ugly!
Discovery gets the spore drive working and saves the 8 people at the mining outpost!
Then everyone nods approvingly at each other.
But the monster is sad :(
Voq and L’Rell are stranded on the Shenzhou, but L’Rell is a bit of a schemer, and somehow got a raider. Her plan is to take Voq to her other house (Mokai), where the matriarchs can expose him to “things [he] never knew possible” and also that he’ll have to sacrifice everything. Voq seems wise at times, but he’s pretty underwhelming as a main villain so far. Hopefully he learns something cool. L’Rell seems interesting at least.
Tilly convinces Burnham that she’s strong enough to face Georgiou’s message.
Georgiou leaves Burnham her telescope? Wait, I wanna know the backstory on this. Did someone yoink Georgiou’s telescope while abandoning the ship? Did they send someone back to salvage just the telescope? And in the midst of Voq’s ship?