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