[DSC] Season 1, Episode 5: Choose Your Pain
Some dumb dialogue and weird moments persist, but this is probably the strongest Discovery episode so far. We get to see Lorca in a situation where we can more fully root for him, which was a nice switch up. The tardigrade part of the story gets resolved well, and a little sooner than I would have expected. Burnham and Saru’s relationship continues to be a strong point, and its great to see Saru in the captain’s chair. Plus, we’re left with a weird cliffhanger, and I’m excited to see Discovery get a little weirder.
Burnham is having nightmares about the tardigrade suffering.
She asks Doctor Culber to run tests to see what kind of abuse they’re committing against the tardigrade. They handle this subject pretty well overall, actually. The usual “it’s wrong to harm it/we have to protect ourselves” conflict isn’t dwelled upon like I expected it might be. That argument is treated as something the crew already understands, which was refreshing.
Lorca holds a meeting to tell the admirals how great of a job he’s doing. They tell him to lay low because the Klingons are onto him.
But he gets captured by Klingons on his way back to Discovery! You didn’t lay low enough, Lorca!
Which means we get to see how Saru handles being a captain. Burnham warns Saru that they need to find another way to jump besides using the tardigrade.
He asks the computer to help him figure out what the most decorated captains would do in his situation. I guess there aren’t any cool captains we don’t already know about. Also, this scene was kinda weird and didn’t quite pay off.
Lorca finds himself in a cell with Harry Mudd!
There’s also a guy that doesn’t feel well.
One of the Klingons’ way of pitting prisoners against each other is that they will let them choose which one of them gets the beating. Pretty silly, but it works well enough here.
Ash Tyler, one of the prisoners, is revealed a bit later. He says he was just put out of the rotation so he can recover. Lorca has a hard time believing that a starfleet officer could survive 7 months in prison, and Tyler reveals that the Klingon leader has taken a liking to him :-[
Mudd has a little pet.
They explain the spore drive a little bit more. They think that they can transfer the tardigrade’s DNA to a more willing subject, and the spore drive will still work. They do something a show probably shouldn’t do, which is talk about how exciting of a thing it is they’re doing, like the characters are trying to directly convince the audience something cool is happening.
Tilly has a real potty mouth!!!
L’Rell is the leader of the ship. She speaks English because she says she was raised by spies.
Lorca notices that she uses some of the exact phrases that he used in his cell.
They know a lot about Lorca, including that they can torture him just by shining light in his eyes. That must save a lot of hassle for them.
When Saru denied Burnham’s request to find a work-around to using the tardigrade, she went straight to Stamets. Saru doesn’t like this.
When Lorca returns to the cell, he finds a device in Mudd’s pet, suspecting that Mudd relayed information to the Klingons.
Sensing that Mudd may be the target for the next beating, Mudd tries to turn Tyler against Lorca by revealing what happened on Lorca’s last ship. Lorca was the lone survivor of his ship, and HE was the one that destroyed his crew, to save them from the torture that faced them with the Klingons.
They think they figure out where Lorca is, and Saru orders a jump into Klingon space.
The tardigrade shrinks up!
Culber says that if they try to jump again it could kill the tardigrade and he won’t help do that. Despite this, Stamets says he’ll be ready when they need to jump again.
The next time the Klingons come in the cell, Tyler and Lorca fight em!
And they leave Mudd! We will definitely never see him again!
Tyler is found by L’Rell during their escape. Tyler seems to take out genuine anger on her, beating her pretty badly.
L’Rell gets a cool scare from Lorca which means she can now finally be a legit villain.
Lorca and Tyler steal a ship and get out of there.
Saru recognizes the patterns of the ships as predators and prey, and figures out that it must be Lorca on the run. Enough already with the corny predator/prey stuff with Saru, y’all.
After they get Lorca and make a jump, it’s revealed that Stamets injected himself with the tardigrade DNA.
But he’s still ok/terrifying
Then Saru and Burnham become best friends. She even gives him Georgiou’s telescope.
They set the tardigrade free!
They officially reveal that Stamets and Culber are a couple, something I think most everyone already got word of.
But when Stamets walks away from the mirror, his reflection sticks around to grin. I’m pretty sure that doesn’t happen with me, so something fishy is going on. Does this have to do with the rumors of the mirror universe playing a role in Discovery??