Star Trek: Discovery 1×4 Review: The Butcher’s Knife Cares Not for the Lamb’s Cry

The Butcher's Knife

‘The Butcher’s Knife Cares Not for the Lamb’s Cry’ may have won over some of the Star Trek fans resistant to the series, though criticism is still prevalent regarding many aspects of the show over all.

First of all, ‘The Butcher’s Knife Cares Not for the Lamb’s Cry’ is an incredibly long title so I’ll just be referring to it as ‘Butcher’s Knife’ going forward. Yikes.  This episode seems to have won over a lot of fans who were resistant to the series (examples: 1, 2, 3, 4).  The design of the Klingons still seems to be irking a lot of people, but as we get to know these character, fans are starting to have the deep conversations I have been expecting from the fandom.  There’s a lot of moral questions and questionable motives among the characters and it’s really interesting to dive into.

This week we see Burnham being assigned to study the creature taken from the Glenn.  As expected of a person raised by Vulcans, she approaches it very logically.  But we also see her heart as she pays close attention to what the creature (adorably named “Ripper”) is feeling at any given moment.  Understanding the creature’s feelings turns out to be a key in how to utilize it to their advantage.  The creature itself seems to be a living GPS that they can use to transport themselves around the galaxy.  Of course this is a very morally questionable thing to do.  Using an alien creature for their own purposes is pretty damn corrupt and goes to show that Lorca might not exactly be a “good” guy after all.  I don’t for a moment think he’s a villain, but if I were to place Burnham as Chaotic Good, he’d be mostly Chaotic Neutral (perhaps I could be persuaded to place him in True Neutral). It’s an incredibly interesting trait to give a Captain.

‘The Butcher’s Knife’ also put more emphasis on Stamets, whom I’m extremely excited to get to know.  Not only will he be the first visibly queer main character in a Star Trek franchise (though some would argue that Sulu earned that title with the last reboot film), but he’s played by Anthony Rapp of Rent fame.  So far the character’s partner hasn’t been introduced (though I do think he and the Doctor had a wee bit of chemistry… so maybe?) but it’s only a matter of time.  Continuing with my alignment chart commentary, I feel like he may be the most Lawful character we have so far, though he can clearly be persuaded into Neutral territory by Lorca.  Or perhaps he just seems Lawful when surrounded by this incredibly Chaotic crew.  We still don’t know him that well, though, so I’m hoping we get an episode or two in the near future that tells us more about who he is as a person.

The Klingons, meanwhile, have a lot going on. But honestly they seem like the weakest part of the new show.  And no, I’m not one of those True Fans who is upset with their appearance. They actually look pretty cool in my opinion.  The font of their subtitles makes it a bit annoying to read and I keep missing bits of dialogue.  And I’m a pretty fast reader, too, so this is kind of an issue.  Up until L’Rell’s sentimental speech about her family this week, I didn’t really care about any of them either.  I understand they’re the antagonists, but I still have to give a damn about the antagonists for their actions to have any impact.  Right now they could all die except L’Rell and I wouldn’t even care.

Four episodes in and the show seems to have found its groove. I hope it continues with this momentum and more critics are won over by it.  I want the show to have a long and happy life.

Author: Angel Wilson

Angel is the admin of The Geekiary and a geek culture commentator. They earned a BA in Film & Digital Media from UC Santa Cruz. They have contributed to various podcasts and webcasts including An Englishman in San Diego, Free to Be Radio, and Genre TV for All. They’ve also written for Friends of Comic Con and is a 2019 Hugo Award winner for contributing fanfic on AO3. They identify as queer.

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