Thursday, April 30, 2020

Star Trek: Discovery - Context Is for Kings

Set six-months after the Battle of the Binary Stars, "Context Is for Kings" offers a secondary pilot for the show as the court-martialed Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) finds herself aboard the U.S.S. Discovery when her prison shuttle encounters trouble during transport. Rightly skeptical of the situation that puts her back on a Starship, nevertheless Burnham goes to work helping the ships crew on a top-secret mission. Pulling in a couple of recognizable faces from the show's first episode, the rest of the core cast is introduced here including Captain Gabriel Lorca (Jason Isaacs), Mary Wiseman as Burnhams bunkmate, and Anthony Rapp as astromycologist Paul Stamets.

With Burnham's notorious past explained in the two-part opener, "Context Is for Kings" allows for the disgraced officer to find new purpose on a Starfleet vessel (not dissimilar to the career path of Tom Paris). Burnham guesses early on that there's more to the science vessel than simple exploration. Initially declining the captain's offer, Burnham chooses to stay as she lured by the promise of making up for her past mistakes. However, it appears her initial read on Lorca may have been more correct than she knows (seriously, if the writers had allowed Isaacs a mustache in this role he would be twirling it in the episode's final scene). Featuring questionable ethics, and a lengthy horror sequence, the show does continue to carve out its own niche in the Star Trek universe with big questions still to be answered about both the ship's true mission and Lorca's true motivations and what each are hiding.

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