On the latest episode of Star Trek: Discovery, Michael’s story continues as she boards the Discovery and meets Captain Gabriel Lorca.
Last time on Star Trek: Discovery, Michael lost Captain Georgiou in a fight against the Klingons, and was sentenced to life in prison for her actions.
“Context is for Kings” begins six months after Michael’s sentencing. Michael and three other inmates are on a transport shuttle. The others realize who she is, and one blames her for a cousin's death on the Europa. The shuttle is piloted by only one guar. When a species of alien bugs that eat electricity attack the ship, she goes outside to take care of the infestation. The pilot fails and floats away and the shuttle's autopilot also fails. The three inmates try to get free, but are interrupted by the U.S.S. Discovery and promptly beamed aboard.
Michael and the other inmates are escorted off the shuttle and introduced to Chief of Security, Commander Landry. She makes a comment about Michael being the first Starfleet mutineer. As the group is walked through the ship, the inmates see most crew are wearing silver, which means they are science officers. They also see a man with a black Starfleet badge.
Everyone stares at Michael in the cafeteria. She sits by the other inmates. The inmates threaten her and then attack, but Michael uses a Vulcan martial arts called suus mahna and overpowers them before Commander Landry commands her to stop.
When Commander Landry takes Michael to see the captain, she sees Saru on the bridge. Captain Lorca’s room is dark and he lets Michael know he has a recent injury to his eyes and must adjust the lights slowly. The captain has a tribble on his desk, along with a bowl of fortune cookies, which he offers to Michael. She declines. He says he looked over her file again when he realized she was on the shuttle. She asks why she is on Discovery and mentions her shuttle changed course in their journey. He insinuates letting her stay a prisoner is a waste and says she will be helping the crew out with a problem. She says no, while he says she has no choice.
Landry takes Michael to her new room, where she must stay when she is not working. Michael is laying on her bed when her new roommate, cadet Sylvia Tilly, arrives. She chats nervously to Michael and says Michael is laying in her bed. Tilly is allergic to polyester and snores, which is why she thought she would not have a roommate. She is unaware who Michael is, and is closed off when she finds out. A black alert rings out and Tilly will not tell Michael what it means. Michael sees a weird liquid substance in the air for a moment, but Tilly still refuses to answer her questions.
The next day, Michael gets ready and is greeted by Saru, who is now First Officer. The two talk as the walk down the corridor. Saru says he wishes he could have done more in their battle, and she agrees. He offers her blueberries, which she says taste different than the ones in prison. He tells her Discovery can handle hundreds of science experiments, but does not answer when she asks if it is a scientific ship. When Saru drops her off at her new job in engineering, she stops him to try and say sorry. He believe her remorse, but he is afraid. Saru says if she causes trouble, he will protect Captain Lorca better she protected Captain Georgiou.
Michael needs to find a station in engineering, but Tilly stammers out that they have assigned seats. Michael looks around but Lieutenant Paul Stamets interrupts. He questions her and gives her a task to see what she can do, so she goes back to stand by Tilly. Michael stays and works until she and Stamets are the only two left. Stamets talks to an old friend who is working on the project on the U.S.S. Glenn, until Michael comes over with her work. She shows him a line that is incorrect and asks what he is working on, but Stamets says he will not tell a mutineer about the project. Michael later breaks into the sealed off engineering room to look at the project.
Later, Captain Lorca and Saru address the engineering crew. He tells them the entire crew of the U.S.S. Glenn is dead after an accident. The captain tells Stamets he will go with the Commander to the Glenn and make sure their project is safely brought aboard Discovery. He makes Stamets take Michael along, despite his protests. Lorca asks Saru for an assessment of Michael’s abilities. Saru praises her intelligence, despite the mutiny.
On the shuttle, Tilly sits with Michael and apologizes for her behavior. She wants people to like her and is afraid of what being associated with Michael will do to her reputation. Michael understands, despite Tilly getting tongue tied.
When they reach the ship, Michael asks questions and Stamets gives in and explains their project deals with “physics as biology.” He blames Michael for what happened to his friend because they were dragged into the war effort. He says she is stuck now because Lorca wants her around.
When they board the Glenn, the small team comes across the first dead, mutilated body. Michael hears something behind her, but sees nothing. The crew continues to see mangled bodies around the ship and a then a Klingon weapon on the floor. They then see Klingon bodies everywhere. The group hears the noise again and a Klingon appears and shushes them, then a creature appears and kills the Klingon. They run to engineering, and the creature kills a Discovery security crew member before he can get inside.
The group works on getting what they need before the creature can break into the room. Landry works on opening up another door for them to escape. Stamets gives Michael a phaser when she asks. Michael distracts the creature and it runs after her while the others get away. She climbs in a vent and recites Alice in Wonderland as the creature follows. She tells the crew where she is and drops into the shuttle just in time.
On the Discovery, Michael heads to see the captain, stopping to talk to Saru. The two share a touching goodbye, as Michael believes she will be leaving shortly with the other inmates. The captain has other ideas, asking her to join the crew. Michael declines. She questions Lorca, saying she believes he is building a weapon that violates the Geneva Conventions of 1928 and 2155. She tells him despite what happened, she lives and dies by the rules of the Federation. He smiles and says he knows her, and then transports them to engineering.
The captain tells Michael about their project. The spores can help them travel to places, and he shows her how it works. He tells Michael this can win the war, but it can also help them in the future for scientific discovery. He says understands her actions and believes she did the right thing. “Universal law is for lackeys. Context is for kings,” Captain Lorca tells Michael. The captain chose to bring her aboard because he believes she can help them win the war. She then accepts the fortune cookie he offers.
Michael returns to her room, surprising Tilly, who says she is happy Michael is staying. Tilly says she wants to be a captain someday and insinuates she wants Michael to help her become ready for the position. Michael starts unpacking her belongings, including Alice in Wonderland. She tells Tilly her foster mother Amanda read it to her and her son (presumably Spock) and it taught her logic cannot teach you everything.
The episode ends with Landry and the captain destroying the Glenn. The two talk about their new guest, which is revealed to be the creature from the Glenn.
I really enjoyed this episode and am looking forward to the rest of the season. The overall story was good and the new crew were fun. I already liked Michael, but this episode made me like her more. The captain's and Michael’s interactions will be interesting to watch. I liked Tilly, and am happy Michael found a friend. Stamet is intriguing, and I want to know more about Landry. Overall this is my favorite of the three episodes so far.
New episodes of Star Trek: Discovery can be watched on CBS All Access starting at 8:30 p.m. on Sundays.
Check out a scene from this episode of Michael and Stamets meeting for the first time below.