Star Trek Discovery is really coming into its own and setting itself as another great addition to the Star Trek family. Episode four “The Butcher’s Knife Cares Not for the Lamb’s Cry” continues to establish characters as well as bring in some traditional “Trekkie” elements. 

The episode opens with Michael Burnham checking out her new uniform. Her roommate Cadet Tilly comes in with a package for her, which turns out to be from Captain Georgiou’s will. Tilly as a character is still growing on me. I know she’s meant to be endearing, but so far her scenes don’t feel natural but rather forced cuteness.

Burnham is given a new role by Captain Lorca. To study the monster from the previous episode, now named Ripper, and to weaponise it. It did, after all, manage to kill a lot of Klingons without getting hurt. Commander Landry is assigned to keep an eye on her and make sure she stays focused on the task.

Burnham, in true Star Trek fashion, is more interested in learning about the new alien species than to figure out how to weaponize it.

Klingon Game of Thrones

Meanwhile, on the Klingon ship, things are not going well. The albino Klingon Voq has taken over as the leader and tries to repair his damaged ship. The entire ship is starving, and in one exchange it’s mentioned that they ate the remains of Captain Georgiou.

When Commander Kol visits his ship, he is encouraged to salvage a dilithium-processing unit from the USS Shenzhou which will let their ship travel again. He and his second in command go to the wreckage, retrieve the unit, come back and find that Kol has taken over their ship after winning over the crew’s loyalty with food.

Voq is then left to die in the USS Shenzhou. His second comes back and says there’s a way for him to take back his ship, but first, he must sacrifice everything.

The new development and subplot with the Klingons are interesting. It gives our antagonists more fleshed out characters, and we can even feel sympathetic towards Voq. Political backstabbing is always fun too.

The moral dilemma

Captain Lorca receives a distress call from a mining colony that is under attack by Klingons. They are too far away for anyone within the Federation to come save them. That is unless the USS Discovery can make their spore teleportation technology work.

Despite pressure from the Captain, head of the spore project Officer Stamets is unable to make the technology work. Frustrated because of the time pressure, he argues against the Captain over his work. Captain Lorca then plays the distress call out to the entire ship, and everyone can hear the cries of children and others.

Some believe this is a dark move, and it further plays on Captain Lorca’s bad guy image. Meanwhile, the security officer is killed by the alien after trying to tranquillize it and stun it out of containment. Burnham realises the alien is not aggressive but

Burnham realises the alien is not aggressive but only attacks in self-defence. She tests this theory out by baiting First Officer Saru to see the alien, a manipulation ploy that highlights their strained relationship.

It’s  Burnham who figures out the new alien “Ripper” is crucial to the spore technology. The technology used by the USS Glenn attaches itself to ripper, causing the alien a large amount of distress. However, it works and the USS Discovery is able to make instantaneous space jumps. dd

You can see that Burnham is conflicted by the use of Ripper in the technology as it raises ethical issues. The crew do seem to have a better opinion of her now that she’s helped save the lives of those in the colony.