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Discovery Episode #5 Primer

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Spoiler Alert! (If you haven't seen episode #4 of Star Trek: Discovery, “The Butcher’s Knife Cares Not for the Lamb’s Cry”)

Last Time on Discovery…

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The aggressive, deadly Tardigrade, now aboard the U.S.S. Discovery is now the object of Captain Lorca’s borderline obsession, as he sees in it a way to defeat the enemy.

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Commander Landry soon learned the hard way just how powerful and lethal the “Ripper” really is and what “makes it so good at killing Klingons.”

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Discovery is no longer a science vessel,” Lorca warned. “It’s a warship.” He demands that Stamets and Burnham find a way to weaponize the Ripper.

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The battle is on, with the U.S.S. Discovery and her crew on red alert as they engage a pair of Klingon Birds-of-Prey in a firefight. Or is it? It’s actually only an exercise, a simulation, and one that’s not gone well. “We’ll do better next time, sir,” Landry promises, prompting Lorca to reply, “It would be hard to do worse.”

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The Klingon intrigue continues apace, with Voq starved but still the Torchbearer and still determined to make T’Kuvma proud. Kol arrives, initially kneeling to Voq and noting that the Klingons need Voq back in the fight, as his ship possesses the cloaking technology that can crush Starfleet. Voq, however, needs a dilithium process. Meanwhile, L’Rell stands front and center amidst the intrigue. Whose side is she really on? We also learned that Voq and L’Rell ate Captain Georgiou, with Voq having smiled as he picked the meat from her smooth skull.

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Not surprisingly, there’s still plenty of tension between Lt. Saru and Michael Burnham. Saru still doesn’t trust Burnham, and why should he? And she proves him right yet again when she makes small talk with Saru in attempt to gauge his fear level in the presence of the Ripper. Take note in the photo of Burnham’s uniform. As the ship’s computer noted: “Rank… none.”

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Lt. Stamets hates what’s going on around him. A man of science, he’s forced to work for a man of war (Lorca) and with a mutineer (Burnham). Yet, successfully determining how the Discovery can make a long jump without losing navigational stability – and using the Ripper to do so – might save countless lives, starting with the souls on Corvan II. The Ripper is his so-called supercomputer. In other Stamets-related developments, we met Dr. Hugh Culber, who has been revealed to be his partner.

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The Ripper is indeed the answer to saving the day, and those on Corvan II, but at what price to Lorca’s soul, Landry’s life, Stamets’ scientific integrity (and his nose), and to Burnham’s sense of right and wrong? And what of the Tardigrade, which shrieks and shudders in pain with each torturous trip to the reaction cube?

Next on Discovery…

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In the new episode called "Choose Your Pain," Lorca unexpectedly finds himself in the company of a prisoner of war, Starfleet Lieutenant Ash Tyler (Shazad Latif), and a notorious intergalactic criminal, Harry Mudd (Rainn Wilson).

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Meanwhile, Burnham voices her concerns about the repercussions of the spore drive.

This picture of Lorca must be from a scene set before what we see in the “Choose Your Pain” trailer, which depicts him being tortured in a style that suggests A Clockwork Orange meets TNG's “Chain of Command.”

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Not surprisingly, Lt. Saru and Burnham are still at odds.

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Wilson Cruz makes his second appearance as Dr. Culber.

Worth Noting…

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Lifelong Star Trek fan Rainn Wilson makes his Discovery debut as Harry Mudd. “He's mischievous and deadly at the same time,” Wilson told StarTrek.com a few months ago. “And that's a fun balance to watch.”

“Choose Your Pain” marks the first Discovery episode directed by Lee Rose. A stage actor turned screenwriter turned director, she counts among her many previous credits Weeds, The Glades, True Blood, Lost Girl, Haven Zoo, Grimm, Riverdale and Dynasty.

Star Trek: Discovery streams Sunday nights on CBS All Access in the U.S. and Space Channel in Canada. The series streams on Mondays on Netflix in the rest of the world.

Star Trek Discovery CBS All Access

Star Trek Discovery Space Channel CraveTV

Star Trek Discovery Netflix

 

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CurtisEt likes this

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This sounds like another promising ep. In a way, the Ripper's tortuous reaction at being weaponized waxes philosophical in a similar manner as to what TOS did with many eps, most notably The Devil in the Dark from its' inaugural season. Last week did not disappoint. I can't wait to see this new installment tonight.

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In many ways these episodes are tough to watch, less entertainment and more drama. It reminds me of the different nature between the two Battlestar Gallatica series. I soon stopped watching the Edward James Olmos version.

But I really enjoyed Burnham's action to save the tardigrade, and Stamets' risky move, more or less experimenting on himself. The plot thickens. What has really happened to him? Is he really okay, and just in awe, or is something wrong?

I have to keep watching just to see Lorca's response to the tardigrade situation, and what is going to happen to Stamets.

 

I have a colleague who is a physicist who currently isn't watching The Orville or Star Trek Discovery. But he keeps reading commentary to warn me about what's coming next. He asked me about the comments on this website, and I had to confess that I hadn't been here for years, and that there was very little conversation here. But I am also watching the Orville also.

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