star trek discovery The Butcher’s Knife Cares Not for the Lamb’s Cry Review bridge

In this week’s episode of Star Trek: Discoveryaptly-titled “The Butcher’s Knife Cares Not for the Lamb’s Cry,” the unofficial theme was definitely “Who’s got it worse?” Because there were plenty of losers in this episode. The most definite loser — aside from the poor folks who died in the space mines—was the poor mega-tardigrade.

This week, the crew had to find a way to save crucial Starfleet mines — and the families who work them — from Klingon fire. Many had died already, thanks to Stamets not knowing how to set a proper course with his new instantaneous warp technology. Actual navigation was the other issue — with such new bio-based tech, how could one successfully chart a course to a far-off planet? Enter the tardigrade, the monster from last episode. It turns out that it’s not a killing machine after all; it’s actually a docile creature that can interact with the spores that fuel the warp technology. But the animal’s navigation skills come at a cost — they basically have to torture it to get their warp to work. Why?! Leave the poor animal alone! Was this possibly one of the darkest moments in Star Trek TV history? Because I don’t remember even tribbles being tortured.

Now let’s go over exactly who else got the short end of the stick this week in our The Butcher’s Knife Cares Not for the Lamb’s Cry review.

The Miners

These poor miners really should have more Starfleet or Federation protection since the materials they mine are so crucial to Starfleet’s energy resources. Since these mines are the lynchpin in the entire Starfleet operation, you’d think someone would have had the forethought to realize that these will also be one of the first places an enemy would attack. It seems like Starfleet left these miners as sitting ducks. This is a bad look, Starfleet.

star trek discovery The Butcher’s Knife Cares Not for the Lamb’s Cry Review stamets

Stamets

Stamets is someone who is slowly earning my compassion. It’s clear he has a lot on his plate — he’s working with a demanding captain who clearly hates him (the feeling’s mutual on Stamets’ end), he’s on a ship that doesn’t seem to have a lot of camaraderie between the crew, and on top of that, he’s not doing the one thing he signed up for when he became a Starfleet officer, which is to study and peacefully explore. The cherry on top is that he got reamed out by Lorca in front of his significant other Dr. Hugh Culber (Wilson Cruz). I understand there’s military rank system that works in Starfleet, but it seemed like a missed opportunity to not have Culber say something in defense of his man, even if it did get him in trouble. It would have been a good moment for the show to firmly establish to the audience that they are, in fact, an item, instead of just reading about it in interviews.

Stamets seems to be the only one stating what has become a big talking point between Star Trek fans – this series is primarily focused on war. I have written about this every week so far because I keep wrestling with this myself, despite my love for this series. It’s a little uncomfortable to see literally everyone on the Discovery have animosity towards each other. There is hardly anyone on this ship that Michael — or anyone else — can call a friend. The friendships are part of what defines Star Trek as an enduring series. Most of the previous captains don’t like working in chaos and respect is the baseline for colleague interactions. Lorca, however, seems like a captain who loves chaos — he’s using the war as an excuse for sideways leadership. Even in war, the captain should inspire calm and trust. Lorca inspires neither — he just wants stuff done when he barks for it.

I know we’re in the middle of a war in Discovery, but it’d be nice to see someone try to advance the qualities of Starfleet. Lorca really shows why Georgiou’s leadership should be sorely missed.

star trek discovery The Butcher’s Knife Cares Not for the Lamb’s Cry Review landry

Landry

It’s easy to understand why Landry was a loser this episode, and she partially did it to herself. One of the demands Lorca had for Michael and Landry was to figure out how to weaponize the tardigrade’s talons or whatnot, since the animal received no damage from Klingon weapons. At first glance, it seems like it’s Landry’s impatience and distrust of Michael that leads to her violent death at the hands (or paws?) of the tardigrade. But Landry’s death could also partially be blamed on Lorca’s desperation disguised as hardnosed, micromanaging leadership that led Landy to feel rushed. Wanting to get Lorca off her back, she took matters into her own hands and attempted to kill the tardigrade to weaponize it. However, we saw what happened — she got mauled. It’s not like Michael didn’t warn her…

star trek discovery The Butcher’s Knife Cares Not for the Lamb’s Cry Review klingons

Voq 

We haven’t seen the Klingons in a while, and I’m not even sure if I felt like seeing them anymore, to be honest. But it is nice to get more of their storyline. I could have been saved the information about them eating poor Georgiou, because she doesn’t deserve that kind of end. But the fact that they did eat her showcased how desperate Voq (Javid Iqbal) and his followers are. He’s still claiming his position as T’Kuvma’s successor, but he’s leading his people to famine on a ghost ship. Plus, his stubbornness about scavenging the Shenzhou for power has put his followers at even greater risk. It’s only because of L’Rell (Mary Chieffo), his right-hand (and possible love interest) that he even gets the Shenzhou’s remaining power core.

However, a rival Klingon, Kol (Kenneth Mitchell) has bought Voq’s followers with food, and L’Rell has left him, leaving Voq all alone on the Shenzhou. Thankfully, all’s not lost for Voq, since L’Rell has come back — the deception as all to keep Voq alive so she could transport him to the matriarchs of her clan. With them, Voq can learn everything he needs to know about leadership. But he’ll have to give up everything.

star trek discovery The Butcher’s Knife Cares Not for the Lamb’s Cry Review michael

Michael

Michael is still the ultimate existential loser in this show. She’s lost everything and almost everyone she’s ever cared about and brought a war on top of it. Technically, this all happened because people didn’t listen to her initial advice about advancing on the Klingons first.

Everything is made even worse by receiving her beloved captain’s last will and testament. Georgiou’s glowing words to Michael are in contrast to what has actually happened, and only serve as more salt to rub in the wound. But Michael does get a cool telescope out of the deal — Georgiou’s family heirloom.

I sure wish Georgiou was still the captain we were following.

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