“Context Is for Kings” is the third episode of the TV show “Star Trek: Discovery” and follows “Battle at the Binary Stars“.
Note. This article contains several spoilers about “Context Is for Kings”.
As I easily predicted, Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) doesn’t remain in jail very long. After 6 months she gets transferred with other prisoners but the shuttle she travels in is intercepted by the starship USS Discovery. There, Captain Gabriel Lorca (Jason Isaacs) assigns Burnham to the engineering section where she discovers that there’s a top secret project under development.
The story was written by Bryan Fuller, Gretchen J. Berg and Aaron Harberts and developed into the final screenplay by Gretchen J. Berg, Aaron Harberts and Craig Sweeny. It could be said that this is a second pilot episode that represents for Michael Burnham a new start.
I found “Context Is for Kings” a rather standard episode in the sense that for the most part the plot elements are quite obvious. Some known faces are back such as Saru, transferred to the USS Discovery, and some new characters are introduced, with cadet Sylvia Tilly (Mary Wiseman) looking like a comic relief who lightens up an otherwise very tense atmosphere.
The surprise is in the secret research carried out on the USS Discovery, which concerns midi-chlorians 😀 or at least the concept seems inspired to them. Some explanations are given during the episode but some details are also shown indicating that there’s still a lot to be revealed.
The plot with horror – science fiction movie elements allows Michael Burnham to show that she can still be useful despite suffering from guilt. From this point of view it was all too predictable but at least it’s useful to introduce the new characters and above all the elements of the story that will be developed in the coming episodes.
Much has changed during the 6 months after the events of “A Vulcan Hello”, so overall “Context Is for Kings” seemed not only useful but also intriguing enough. I wish the plot contained less cliches but at least contains some substance. From this start we will see if the screenwriters will at last boldly go where no one has gone before.