In Review: Star Trek: Discovery – Choose Your Pain

Lorcar is captured and has an encounter with the notorious Harry Mudd

Synopsis: While on a mission, Lorca unexpectedly finds himself in the company of prisoner of war Starfleet Lieutenant Ash Tyler and notorious intergalactic criminal Harry Mudd.

Review: This has been the episode that many have been waiting for and it delivers in so many ways, but also feels its most un-trek by virtue of the fact that two Federation Officers drop the F-Bomb. The expletive is dropped during a moment of scientific discovery, but it felt very, very out of step with Star Trek. Hopefully, it will be a one-off.

The story kicks off with the Fleet Admiral telling Captain Lorca to stop using the Spore Drive so much, which is just as well because the creature, which the crew has named Ripper is beginning to struggle in its new role as ships spore drive navigator and Burnham has concerns. Her concerns are placed at the bottom of the ships priorities when Lorca is abducted by Klingon’s and it is up to acting Captain Saru to figure out a rescue plan.

While in captivity Lorca meets Harry Mudd who seems to be doing the Klingon’s dirty work. Mudd expresses a lot of disdain for The Federation and is not afraid to speak his mind. Things really get interesting when we meet Lieutenant Ash Tyler who quickly forms a friendship with Lorca. But all three of them have to contend with the cruel machinations of the Klingon Commander.

Rainn Wilson puts in a fantastic performance as Harry Mudd. He manages to give the character more edge and a fairly decent back story. I particularly enjoyed his monologue on how the actions of The Federation impact those who are on the ground floor. 

The storyline concerning Ripper was really well executed and enjoyable. Though once again it put Michael Burnham in the position where she was disobeying orders but doing so for the right reasons. We get two very powerful scenes between Burnham and Saru and an eventual resolution of their conflict with each other.

I also enjoyed seeing Stamets with his partner on the show. The Doctor is very much the more balanced of the two and a likable character that I hope we see a little more of as the show progresses.

Overall a pretty good episode, but the F-Bomb scene between Tilly and Stamets felt very out of phase with Star Trek. I know they are going for edgier, but there is no reason why they can’t do edgier without the F-Bombs.


Star Trek: Discovery - Choose Your Pain
  • Story
  • Acting
  • CGI
  • Incidental Music

Ian Cullen is the founder of and has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy from birth. In the past few years he has written for 'Star Trek' Magazine as well as interviewed numerous comics writers, television producers and actors for the SFP-NOW podcast at: When he is not writing for Ian enjoys playing his guitar, studying music, watching movies and reading his comics. Ian is both the founder and owner of You can contact ian at:
2 Comments on this post.
  • Jimmy
    16 October 2017 at 8:53 pm -

    I was actually fine with the f-bomb as long as it doesn’t turn into too much. No one seemed to mind when Dr. McCoy would utter few here and there in the film franchise (“You green-blooded son of b***h!”). It’s silly to think swear words would disappear in the future, even a somewhat Utopian future. People like to swear.

  • Me
    18 October 2017 at 6:47 am -

    The F-bomb was really a non-issue, rather the whole spore drive mechanism is ridiculous, and while the Harry Mudd character was a good one to point out the woes of the little people in wars, his personality was anything but Harry Mudd (other than a bit of conniving). I guess they were right: no one *can* replace Roger Carmel.

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