‘Star Trek: Discovery’ recap: ‘Choose Your Pain’

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On the latest episode of Star Trek: Discovery, the crew of the Discovery must band together to save Captain Lorca after he is captured by Klingons.

Last time on Star Trek: Discovery, the crew saved a group of miners from a Klingon attack by using Ripper as a power source for the spore drive.

“Chose Your Pain” begins with a dream. Michael dreams of being Ripper and being hooked up to the machinery that enables Discovery to use the spore drive. In the dream, she feels pain and screams. After she wakes up, she tells Dr. Culber her concerns about Ripper’s well-being. He says Ripper may not feel like humans do, but he will run tests.

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Photo Cr: Jan Thijs/CBS © 2017 CBS Interactive. All Rights Reserved.

Lorca attends a Starfleet strategy meeting and is asked by Admiral Cornwell for more tardigrades, like Ripper. She tells him to do less missions, so as not to tax Ripper. The Admiral believes the Klingons might have information about the Discovery, so she wants them to be careful.

In the cafeteria, Michael and Tilly eat lunch together. Tilly gently pushes Michael to tell her what is wrong and Michael does. Tilly then says Michael has the time to figure out exactly what to do about her thoughts and feelings.

Lorca and the Admiral speak later. He uses some kind of device on his eyes. When she asks why he does not get it fixed, he reminds her of his dislike of doctors. She shares her concerns about Lorca adding Michael to his crew. He says he can do as he likes on his own ship.

As Lorca leaves to go back to Discovery, the shuttle is captured by the Klingons. He and the pilot grab their guns and attempt to fight. The pilot is killed and Lorca is captured.

The Discovery crew learns of Lorca’s capture from Admiral Cornwell. She sends all their information to Saru as he is now acting captain. She tells them Lorca was probably taken to get intel on the spore drive. Saru is giving the bridge crew various jobs to do when Michael arrives. She shares her concerns about Ripper with Saru, who dismisses them since she has no proof.

After Michael leaves, Saru asks the computer for characteristics found in the best Starfleet captains. He explains there is something (Michael) which makes him question his judgement. The computer recommends getting rid of element, which he says is not an option.

Meanwhile in captivity, Lorca wakes up to Harvey Mudd hovering over his body.. He learns they are on a Klingon prison ship. Mudd tells him a story of getting a loan to buy a moon for someone he admired. He was chased by creditors and then captured.

The Klingons come in and ask Mudd to “chose your pain,” and he points at another man in the room. The Klingons then attack that man and knock him out. Mudd tells him the Klingons make them chose between yourself and a cellmate when it comes to who will be taken and tortured. Lorca notes Mudd seems fine, and he replies he is a survivor, like Lorca.

Photo Cr: Michael Gibson/CBS © 2017 CBS Interactive. All Rights Reserved.

Later Lorca meets another prisoner. He introduces himself as Lieutenant Ash Tyler and he says he was captured during the Battle at the Binary Stars. Lorca says that was seven months ago, so he is either strong or a liar. Tyler says it is because the Klingon captain finds him interesting. A tiny alien creature sneaks across the floor, stealing food. It is Mudd’s pet, Stuart. Mudd tries to instigate a fight with the two men, blaming Starfleet for all his troubles and for the war.

The Klingons come again and this time, they take Lorca. L’Rell is revealed to be the captain of the ship. She tortures Lorca with light in his sensitive eyes after he refuses to give her any information about Discovery and their jump drive.

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Photo Cr: Michael Gibson/CBS © 2017 CBS Interactive. All Rights Reserved.

Back on Discovery, Culber and Michael go to talk to Stamets about Ripper. Culber says the scans tell him damage is being done to Ripper every time they go to black alert. Culber leaves, and Stamets and Michael argue. They team up with Tilly and work on the problem. Using software, like a virtual Ripper, only allows them to make small jumps. Stamets says it needs a living being to work correctly.

RELATED: ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ recap: ‘The Knife Cares Not for the Lamb’s Cry’

Saru asks the bridge crew for updates and Rhys gives them three possible routes for the Klingon ships, all which go through the Mempa Sector. Saru tells them to get ready to jump, but Lieutenant Owosekun tells him the spore drive is offline.

Stamets, Tilly, and Michael are going through a list of beings, trying to see what else can be used to power the spore drive when Saru interrupts. Stamets explains what they are doing, and Saru says he told Michael to stand down. Michael explains so far the only being that will work other than Ripper is a human. Saru is furious with Michael for not listening to him and Michael tries to tell him she is not the enemy. Saru tells her she is a predator and that her behavior is what got Captain Georgiou killed. He demands she go to her quarters and stay.

Meanwhile, Lorca discovers Mudd’s pet Stuart is a spy and has been transmitting to the Klingons. Lorca throws Stuart, and Tyler tells Mudd they will send him to be tortured next. Mudd then tells Tyler about Lorca’s past, that he was the only man to survive his ship being attacked by Klingons. Lorca says he blew up his own ship to save his crew from being tortured and killed by the Klingons.

Back on the bridge, Saru puts the ship on black alert and Ripper is used once more to make the jump. Tilly and Stamets look at Ripper with sympathy and rush to it when it colapses after the jump. Culber and Stamets go to tell Saru that Ripper has basically shut down and Saru tells them to rehydrate it and get it working again. Saru then turns away to talk to the bridge crew, but Culber tries to explain the creature might not survive and may be sentient. Saru tells Stamets to be ready to wake the creature, despite Culber’s protests.

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Photo Cr: Jan Thijs/CBS © 2017 CBS Interactive. All Rights Reserved.

When the Klingons come again to have them “chose their pain,” Tyler asks to be chosen by Lorca. The Klingons begin attacking Tyler, but then he and Lorca overpower the guards. Mudd tries to leave with them, but Lorca hits him and leaves him in the cell. Tyler and Lorca go through the corridors, shooting at Klingons with their stolen guns. Tyler is hurt and tells Lorca to go on without him, and he agrees to find a way out. When Tyler is left alone, L’Rell comes and asks if he thought he could get away. The two fight and Lorca returns and shoots L’Rell. Lorca finds the docking bay and he and Tyler try to escape the Klingons. Tyler asks about Lorca’s eye injury, and he says it is his way of remembering his old crew.

On the Discovery, the crew spots the Klingon raiders and Saru deducts that one of them is Lorca. He hails them, giving away Discovery’s position. Lorca responds, telling them he has two to beam aboard. When Tyler and Lorca are safety on board, Saru asks Stamets if Ripper is awake, and Stamets says engineering is ready. Discovery jumps and escapes Klingon attack.

Saru congratulations Stamets and hears silence. Lieutenant Owosekun says Stamets vital signs are low and Saru rushes to engineering. He and the others find Stamets in the chamber. He injected himself with the tardigrade DNA and used himself to power the spore drive. Stamets wakes and asks if they made it, laughing hysterically after Saru responds yes.

Michael is still sitting in her quarters when Saru arrives. He tells her Lorca is fine and starts to tell her about Ripper, but she knows already because of Tilly. She asks if Saru is afraid of her, and he responds no, but he feels angry. He also is jealous that she was first officer to Captain Georgiou. Michael compliments him and tells him Georgiou would be proud of him, then she offers him Georgiou’s telescope. He takes it and then he asks for her help with Ripper.

Michael and Tilly go to free Ripper. Michael pours in the spores and they eject Ripper. In space Ripper wakes and uses the spores to transport itself somewhere else. In another part of the ship, Saru cancels the program that he had set up to see if he can be a good captain.

Meanwhile, Culber and Stamets get ready for bed, brushing their teeth. Culber continues to scan Stamets and says he worries about his partner. Stamets talks about the network of fungus he was able to see and how wonderful it was to witness. Culber tells him not to risk himself like that again, because he cares. He asks once more if Stamets is okay, and then leaves for bed. Stamets stays in the bathroom another moment, staring in the mirror. He turns to leave, but in the mirror, his image remains.

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Photo Cr: Jan Thijs/CBS © 2017 CBS Interactive. All Rights Reserved.

I liked this episode overall. L’Rell being interested in Tyler is a bit weird, so I wonder if he is a spy. I think the end with Stamets is a Discovery introduction for mirror universe, which would be great.

Star Trek: Discovery airs Sunday nights at 8:30 p.m. on CBS All Access.

Check out the preview for the next episode below.

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