Star Trek: Discovery: “The Butcher’s Knife Cares Not For The Lamb’s Cry”

Discovery isn’t treading water, bear in mind, but many fans remain uncertain whether it will make the grade.

The latest episode features some familiar SF concepts, personality clashes among both humans and Klingons, and a glimpse of the show’s potential.

Titles: “The Butcher’s Knife Cares Not for the Lamb’s Cry”

Directed by
Written by

Cast
Sonequa Martin-Green as Michael Burnham
Jason Isaacs as Captain Gabriel Lorca
Doug Jones as Saru
Rekha Sharma as Commander Ellen Landry
Mary Wiseman as Cadet Sylvia Tilly
Emily Coutts as Keyla Detmer
Wilson Cruz as Dr. Hugh Culber
Clare McConnell as Dennas
Kenneth Mitchell as Kol
Maulik Pancholy as Dr. Nambue
Anthony Rapp as Lt. Paul Stamets
Damon Runyan as Ujilli
Clare McConnell as Dennas
Dennis Andres as Engineer Rance
Sam Vartholomeos as Ensign Connor
Jayne Brook as Cornwell
Mary Chieffo as L’Rell
Javid Iqbal as Voq
Sara Mitich as Airiam
Oyin Oladejo as Joann Owosekun
Christopher Russell as Milton Richter
Jordana Blake as Betarian Girl
Michelle Yeoh as Philippa Georgiou

Premise:

With the fate of a colony hanging in the balance, not-Scotty struggles with making the bio-drive work. Meanwhile, Burnham and Landry try to understand and weaponized the creature in the hold.

High Points:

Once again, the show combines its war and Klingon plotting with actual speculative elements and the alien, while obviously based on a Terran life-form, looks decidedly unlike anything previous crews have encountered.

The pilot showed us that lead characters can die. That trend doesn’t stop with the pilot.

Low Points:

For a leading science vessel run by top military types, dubious thinking pervades the Discovery. They question how they’re going to do the calculations for a long jump without even exploring whether several short jumps might work. When examining the tardigrade, Lorca and Landry overrule rational, obvious suggestions made by Burnham, in a manner that recalls the farmer who kills the goose that lays golden eggs.

The Scores:

Originality: 2/6 Readers of SF will recognize much in the nature of the alien and the dilemma facing Burnham, and anyone else who realizes they’re enslaving a species for their own ends. We have faint echoes along the way of Trek‘s own “Devil in the Dark” and Frank Herbert’s Guild Navigators.

Effects: 5/6 This show brings out a lot of effects and, if the tardigrade CGI looks a little too much like CGI, its nice to see a non-humanoid alien playing a key role.

Acting: 4/6

Production: 6/6

Story: 5/6 Despite some forced developments, the plot proves compelling.

Emotional Response: 5/6

Overall: 5/6 Unlike Next Generation, this series gradually introduces its crew. We meet the Doctor and see more of the engineer this week.

In total, “The Butcher’s Knife Cares Not For The Lamb’s Cry” receives 32/42

5 replies on “Star Trek: Discovery: “The Butcher’s Knife Cares Not For The Lamb’s Cry””

  1. I enjoyed this episode, but it took me a moment to figure out that the tardigrade wasn’t an actual tardigrade who was high on Pym Particles, but an alien species that very strongly resembles a Terran tardigrade.

    Also, did anyone else figure out that “Supercomputer” as soon as they mentioned it? That was painfully obvious, right?

    • zocalo says:

      Yeah, the penny dropped with me with that supercomputer line too, at which point the basic purpose of the salvaged device became fairly obvious too. Loaded Gun much?

      At least we now have a plausible reason developing as to why this technology isn’t present in any of the later series. I was really starting to wonder if they’d brought a show originally set much later in the timeline forwards without really considering the effects that would have, or just done a Disney and blown a large part of the existing material away as non-Canon. There are still some apparent continuity issues, but perhaps they have a plan for those too?

      • I figure the “We’re the only ship in the fleet with this” was their way of telling us that the ship isn’t going to survive long enough to figure into any future canon.

  2. Jethro says:

    They mentioned that they were already able to do short jumps without the what’sit. And by that point they didn’t have time to do tests – which is something the captain seems quite fine with overriding, really… I think that’s fairly consistent with his character.

    I know other people thought the “supercomputer” thing was obvious, but I was hoping/expecting that they have to go salvage that fro the old ship. You know, same one the Klingons were salvaging.

    The show definitely has potential, and I think the people writing/producing it ARE putting effort into it. And I’m enjoying it so far.

    • zocalo says:

      Not sure if that would work. The drive was from the Discovery’s sister ship, the Glenn, while the Klingons were scavenging the wreck of the Shenzhou (and the other wrecks and debris left from from the initial battle of the series). Then again, I’m actually surprised that Starfleet left anything to salvage – they clearly went back for the telescope, yet didn’t think to recover or destroy any tech that might prove useful to the Klingons while they were there. Not the best plotting there…

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