“Context is for Kings”, says Captain Lorca.
And I think I’ve worked-out a few things.
Here are some brief thoughts I’ve had about Star Trek: Discovery‘s most recent episode…
We’re finally introduced to the USS Discovery (NCC-1031) and its crew (as advertised as the series’ main setting and cast in the first place), except that Burnham is still the singular protagonist, with others being there only when required.
Commander Saru’s presence creates a complex dynamic, as the only crew member to have witnessed Burnham’s actions on the USS Shenzhou (NCC-1227) first hand, but also someone who is capable of logically evaluating Burnham’s abilities sans moral implications.
On the other hand, maybe Captain Lorca was also present at the Battle at the Binary Stars?
Such bright light is what could’ve damaged his retinas.
This episode functions as a second introduction to the series, as a mirror of Star Trek: The Original Series’ multiple pilots.
However, this is, in a way, the pilot proper, with The Vulcan Hello and Battle at the Binary Stars working as a two-part prologue.
And as a result of that prologue, we understand the significance of Burnham’s presence on the Discovery, instead of beginning there and being asked to go with it.
A new mystery is established here, three episodes in.
New plots continue to be introduced, which drives the series forward.
This ship is being steered with intent.
It’s laser-focused, hence the demotion of the other crew members to supporting cast.
Burnham’s development seems to be the continuing theme through all episodes now, and the passage of six months is reflected not only in Sonequa Martin-Green’s characterisation, but in the change of hairstyle.
Aesthetic continuity is important, especially for a franchise taking place during several time periods.
So why are the uniform designs not accurate to this one?
Are the USS Discovery (NCC-1031) and the USS Shenzhou (NCC-1227) both run by Section 31?
That would explain it.
If so, is this the beginning of the Genesis project?
That kind of super-weapon is something that Section 31 would develop.
After all, Nicholas Meyer is one of the writers and production consultants.
If that’s not the case, perhaps this is actually set in the Mirror Universe, thus solving all continuity problems – like the presence of the Spore Drive so early in history.
This story could end with the transformation of the United Federation of Planets into the Terran Empire.
If so, it makes sense for Captain Lorca to be a warmonger who wants to use the Spore Drive as warfare; Commander Saru doesn’t trust him, after all.
This would set him up as a T’Kuvma figure.
In the Prime Timeline, Burnham never sparked the Battle at the Binary Stars, never disabled Captain Lorca and never set him on the warpath.
And her adoptive brother doesn’t for some reason have a Beard of Evil.