In Review: Star Trek: Discovery – Context is for Kings

Michael's shuttle is intercepted by Captain Gabriel Lorca of the mysterious U.S.S. Discovery, who orders her to join a dangerous recovery mission. 

Synopsis: Michael’s shuttle is intercepted by Captain Gabriel Lorca of the mysterious U.S.S. Discovery, who orders her to join a dangerous recovery mission.

Review: Set six months after her court-martial from Starfleet. This episode sees Michael Burnham introduced to the crew of the Discovery, which is a science vessel that seems to be up to some rather dubious science.

Michael is thrown in feet first and it is very apparent that she has a lot of work to do to win the trust of the Discovery crew, but she seemingly already has the faith of Captain Lorca who seems to be channeling his inner Captain Nemo. We also get introduced to Discovery’s chief of Commander Landry (Rekha Sharma) who is immediately dislikable, which is probably kind of the point. That said, Paul Stamets who is played by Anthony Rapp also projects a fair amount of hostility toward Burnham. 

The only character that seems to be trying to give Burnham some rope is Discovery’s first Office Saru who served with her during the Battle of the Binary stars, but even he has limits when compared to Cadet Tilly (Mary Wiseman) who comes across as too much of an excitable puppy and is probably going to be the shows comic relief, which would be much needed given its darker tone. 

Michael’s first mission on Discovery sees her having to go with a boarding party to the Discovery’s sister ship, which seems to have been torn apart by some beast, which has even taken on several Klingon’s who appear to have boarded the ship at some stage. I was a little taken back by the Captain allowing a Cadet to go on what was seemingly such a vital mission to recover science logs and other things to boot.

The episode left us with some burning questions. Most notably being what is Lorca up to. He says he is trying to make some sort of jump drive out of the biological materials he and Stamets have been playing with, but could it be some sort of biological weapon or worse?

Jason Issacs seems to be playing Lorca as dark and mysterious and not too far removed from how you’d expect to be introduced to Captain Nemo. It’s very obvious that there is some conflict between Lorca and Stamets on how they should be proceeding with the science, which makes me wonder whose side Michael will likely take as she learns more about what Discovery’s mandate is.

Overall a pretty solid third episode, which leaves us with more questions than answers.

One big question that I am pondering is whether or not Burnham might end up mutinying again. Given that Lorca is obviously unstable and not fit for command.

Star Trek: Discovery - Context is for Kings
  • 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:
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