Science, war, darkness, humor, nerds….”Context is For Kings” was pure Star Trek from beginning to end and even threw some Alice in Wonderland into the plot to give it the extra bit of icing on a very well done cake.
We pick up the story six months after the Battle at Binary Stars and see Burnham resigned to her fate as a prisoner for the rest of her life. It is interesting that in the latter part of the premier and all through this episode she is considered the enemy, the mutineer. While she may have disobeyed her captain, I seem to recall the Klingons starting the war by firing first, so this should be interesting to see how it all shakes out for her.
Before you can say beam me up, Burnham finds herself on the Discovery and quickly realizes that this is more than simply a science vessel. Uniforms with black insignias, well-armed crew members and lots of secrecy will do that and hey, Burnham is no fool. Her first meeting with Captain Lorca does nothing to dismiss her curiosity and misgivings about what exactly is going on here.
After sneaking into a restricted part of the engineering bay, Burnham begins to think that Discovery is creating a biological weapon. When they investigate another ‘science’ vessel that has gone dark and adrift and they find people turned inside out and a vicious monster on the loose, she is pretty damn sure she is right. However, things are never as they seem, or shouldn’t be if you want some viewer interest, and Lorca informs Burnham of what is really going on with the spores and asks her to join them in the war against the Klingons.
It was great to finally meet the other members of what will be the crew of the Discovery and they didn’t disappoint. Science Officer Paul Stamets is wonderful in the way he protects the ‘research’, not seeming to like anyone either, and keeps Burham at arm’s length. The sexuality of the character is touched on but done is such a matter of fact matter it doesn’t take away from the story. Cadet Tilly is wonderful, nervous, sweet, eager to learn and desperate for new friends. There is definitely more to her than meets the eye.
However, Jason Isaacs as Captain Gabriel Lorca was the most intriguing character of the bunch. You want to trust this man, the way he stands tall, goes after what he wants and defies some Starfleet regulations in the way that other great captains in Starfleet have done in the past. Whether or not he maneuvered Burnham into the Discovery’s path for his own personal reasons notwithstanding, there is something dark, edgy and dangerous about the man that will prove both entertaining and terrifying, especially for the crew, as the season moves along.
Last week’s two-episode premiere gave us lots to look at, digest and mull over as it filled the small screen with backstory overload. With that out of the way, this week’s “Context is For Kings” brought us some soon to be familiar faces, including the starship Discovery herself and gave us a look at what we might expect going forward. If this episode is any indication we are in very good hands, indeed.
Four and a half stars out of five
- Crew of Discovery looks interesting and fun
- Great mix of science and war
- Dark underbelly gives the show a nice edge
- How long will the hate on for Burnham continue?