Star Trek: Discovery (2017–…): Season 1, Episode 3 - Context is for Kings - full transcript

Burnham finds herself aboard the U.S.S. Discovery, where she quickly realizes things are not as they seem, including the mysterious Captain Gabriel Lorca.

Previously on Star Trek: Discovery:

Contact Starfleet Command.
Tell them we have engaged the Klingons.

How did the Vulcans achieve
diplomatic relations with the Klingons?

Starfleet doesn't fire first.

We have to.

Stand down, Commander Burnham.
That's an order.

I'm sorry.

- This is mutiny.
- Move, Saru. Tactical.

- Locked on.
- Fire.

- Belay that order.
- Please.

I'm trying to save all of you.

Warp signatures detected.

- Is it Starfleet?
- No. Those ships are Klingon.


T'Kuvma has anointed himself
the next Klingon messiah.

If you kill him, you make him a martyr.

But if you take him as a prisoner of war,

you give the Federation leverage
to sue for peace.

For the charge of mutiny,

it is our ruling that the defendant
be stripped of rank

and hereby sentenced
to imprisonment for life.


You hear why
we're getting transferred to Tellun?

Dilithium pocket went piezoelectric.

Ripped apart the bottom of the mine.

Bam, 50 cons...


So, lucky us. We get to be miners
for the war effort now.

I hear half the screws on Tellun
are scumbag Andorians.

Andorians are cold
in all the wrong places.

The three I killed were cold everywhere.

That kind of talk got your shiny
little panties in a bunch, Starfleet?

What are you in for?
Staying out past curfew?

You don't know who that is?

- That's Michael Burnham.
- The mutineer?

In the flesh.

My cousin was on the Europa
when it went down.

She and 8000 others are dead
because of you.

Eight thousand,
one hundred and eighty-six.

Proximity alert. Scanning.

Starbase 18,
we got some bugs in the works out here.

Put on an EV suit and play exterminator.


Hey, where you going?

Um, hey, what's going on?
Shouldn't somebody be flying this thing?

That's species GS54.

An organism that feeds on electricity.

It's feeding on the shuttle's
power systems.

Bay doors open.

Unless the pilot can get rid
of the infestation fast enough,

they'll drain us of all of our power.

And we'll drift
until our oxygen runs out...

or we freeze to death.

Whichever comes first.

Um... Could you come back?

- Hello?
- Relax.

The pilot's taking care of it.

Warning, safety tether disconnected.

Warning, autopilot malfunction.

- We're all gonna die.
- Okay.

Damn it!

Ensign Chiefowitz,
report to medical bay.

Ensign Chiefowitz,
report to the medical bay.

Not a scratch on the floor.

This puppy just rolled off
the assembly line.

What's a brand-new starship doing
so far from the front lines?

This is the U.S.S. Discovery.

My name's Commander Landry.
I'm chief of security here.

I see we're unloading all kinds
of garbage today.

Even Starfleet's first mutineer.

On me.

Lieutenant Collins, report to the bridge.

Lieutenant Collins, report to the bridge.

Ensign Magnus, report to engineering.

What's with the silver shirts?

It's a science vessel.

You ever seen a black badge before?

Somehow this doesn't feel very scientific.

Mouths shut, eyes ahead.

All right. Starfleet says
we have to feed the animals.

Who's hungry?

- Told you that was her.
- It can't be.


How about we make it 8,187?

Captain wants to see you.

Come on.

Put them in the brig.

Vulcan martial arts, huh?

Suus Mahna.

Vulcans should stick to logic.

No matter how deep in space you are,

I always feel like you can see home.
Don't you think?

Maybe it's just me.

Forgive the lighting, or lack thereof.

Recent battle injury.

There's nothing they can do
if I wanna keep my own eyes, and I do.

I have to suffer light change slowly.

I like to think it makes me mysterious.


Captain Gabriel Lorca.
Welcome to Discovery.

Here. Don't be shy.

It was a family business, a century ago.

That was before the future came,
and hunger need and want disappeared.

Of course,
they're making a comeback now.

Thanks to you.

Michael Burnham,
the Michael Burnham, on my ship.

When I saw your name
on the shuttle manifest, I...

re-read your file.

Pulled up your
court-martial transcripts and...

you're something.

Captain, what am I doing on this ship?

I guess you might have to ask
that storm out there.

I received no warning
that I'd be transferred

to another prison facility,
which is customary.

Then my shuttle changed course

- halfway through the journey.
- Maybe the universe hates waste.


Question is, what am I gonna do with you?

If I put you in the brig...

someone's gonna die.

And I don't have the time
for that kind of distraction.

You have training
in high-level quantum physics, don't you?

My engineers tell me it's gonna take
three days

to clear the lightning bugs
out of the prisoner shuttle.

I have something on deck that requires
every trained mind available.

You're gonna help us out.


Excuse me?

No, thank you.

Respectfully, I owe a debt for my crime...

and it'd be best...

I'd prefer to serve my time
without getting involved.

Think I care what your preferences are?
Until your vessel's repaired,

you'll be assigned to quarters
and put to work.

I'm not a chauffeur.
There's no free rides on my ship.

You were once a Starfleet officer.

I will use you or anything else I can
to achieve my mission.

And what mission is that, sir?

To win the war, of course.

To send everyone home.

Safe and happy.


You're on day shift. Escort at 0800 hours.

When not working,
you're confined to quarters.

Working on what?


This is so neat. They...

Uh, they told me,
because of my special needs,

that I couldn't have a roommate,
which was kind of a letdown,

because a roommate is like
an automatic built-in friend and...

But then they told me
I was gonna have a roommate,

and so now I guess that's you, and...


Um, hi, I'm... I'm Cadet Sylvia Tilly.

I talk when I'm nervous. Um...

My instructors advised me
to work on that.

Why are you nervous?

I'm trying to decide if I should tell you
that you took my bed.


I know, they look the same.
But, um, I'm allergic to polyester,

and viscoelastic polyurethane foam.
It results in chronic snoring.

This is why I wasn't supposed
to have a roommate.

No problem.

What's your name?


I never met a female
named Michael before.

Do you think that suits you?

I'll call you Mickey.
I think that's more approachable.

No, you won't.

Oh, yeah. No, I won't.

The only other female Michael
I ever heard of

was Michael Burnham, the mutineer.

You're not her, are you?

Are you?

Black alert. Black alert.

What's going on?

You weren't briefed?

- No.
- Well, then I can't tell you. I'm sorry.

Tilly, what the hell is going on
on this ship?

Matter synthesis complete.

Attention, all personnel.

Battle drills on Deck 9 have been canceled
until further notice.


First Officer Saru.

With me, please.

You're famous. They all want a peek.

Congratulations on your promotion.

Mm. Thank you. The powers that be
were impressed by my actions

at the Battle of the Binary Stars, but...

upon my own reflection of that day,

my only wish is that I could've done more.

I understand.


The ones in prison don't taste the same.

I suppose that is a function
of the environment you eat them in

instead of a food synthesizer issue.

I suppose so.

So many people with so many places to go.

On Discovery,
our facilities can accommodate

300 discreet scientific missions.

A Starfleet record.

So, this is a science vessel.


Oh. You've been assigned to engineering.

Lieutenant Stamets will task you
with specific duties.


First Officer Saru.

I saw a recording of the speech you gave
at the captain's funeral.

It was beautiful.

I never thought I'd get a chance
to say this to you.

I think about what happened every day.

All the time. And I owe you...

I'm trying to say...

"I'm sorry"?


I believe you feel regret.


in my mind... you are dangerous.

Captain Lorca is a man who...

does not fear the things
normal people fear.

But I do.

And you are someone to fear,
Michael Burnham.

I just wanna get back on that shuttle,

- I won't make any trouble for you here.
- Well, that is certain.

But if you try...

know that I intend to do a better job
protecting my captain...

than you did yours.

I'm looking for Lieutenant Stamets.

He's in there.

Add it to the list.

That area's off-limits.

No entry without a breath print.

Starfleet doesn't keep
engineering labs classified.

This is Discovery.

I recommend you find a station.

Sorry, these stations...
Uh, we have assigned seats.

Who are you?

I'm Michael Burnham.

I was assigned.

Who gave you an assignment?

I'm the only one who gives assignments
around here.

So you're the one Lorca sent?

- Yes.
- The mutineer?

- Yes.
- I was told to expect a Vulcan.

There may be a misunderstanding.

- On my part?
- Yes.

- No.
- You're making this very complicated.

I was raised on Vulcan,
and attended the Vulcan Science Academy.

My Uncle Everett plays
in a Beatles cover band,

it hardly makes him John Lennon.

I'm not sure I'm following.

Well, if Lorca thinks
you're such an asset...

reconcile these two suites of code.

Go. Somewhere else, please.

It's not like we have assigned seats.

- What was Discovery's interval?
- Last night? Speirein 12.

Why so conservative?
Is Lorca holding you back?

No, he's always pushing us for more.

I'm sure that our rate of progress
is his life's biggest disappointment.

By the way,
12 is a perfectly robust number, Straal.

- Where's the Glenn?
- Speirein 240.

I hate you. How?

A recent breakthrough.

I hate you. How?

All I can say is
there are unexpected benefits

to not growing your own. Right now,
we have to finish getting ready.

Tonight we're going for Speirein 900.

That's not possible.

Don't be like that.
You're one of my oldest friends.

We've been working on this for 12 years.
When we succeed,

both our names are going
on the Zee-Magnees Prize.

I'm not jealous, oddly. I'm worried.

That displacement is too massive.

It's not safe.

It is now. I worked out the kinks.


I despise lurkers.

I'm struggling with these equations.

Initially thought I was dealing
with quantum astrophysics.

But as I got deeper in,
biochemistry came into play.

Maybe even a form of gene expression.

It'd be helpful to know
what I'm working on.

Why would I tell a prisoner
of the Federation,

who is essentially a temp,
the details of my top secret research?

It's your call.

But either way, this line here...

it's a mistake.

You can go, lurker.

Submit breath scan for entry.

Lieutenant Paul Stamets.

Submit breath scan for entry.

Cadet Sylvia Tilly.

Incoming transmission.

Designee: Lorca, Gabriel. Classified.
Above Top Secret.

During the last hour,
while performing black alert maneuvers,

there was an incident on our sister ship,
the U.S.S. Glenn.

The entire crew was lost.

What happened? Was it a bloom failure?

We're sending a boarding party
to find out.

Lieutenant Stamets,
you'll accompany Commander Landry

and ensure that everything related
to the project returns to this ship.

Why not just transport what we need
from the Glenn to us?

The room holding the equipment
is shielded.

- Shielded? That's curious.
- Indeed.

Let's not indulge that curiosity.
It went down by Klingon territory.

- Let's get in and get out.
- Really?

- We're running drills near Klingon space.
- We are at war, Lieutenant.

I'd appreciate a day
without having to remind you of that.

Well, Captain,
I will need to take a team with me.

You know, for the cumbersome,
annoying science part.

Pick a team. Do it quickly.

Take Burnham with you.

Sir, it's one thing
to make her a data cruncher in my lab,

but to integrate her into this project
at such a deep level...

I understand that you lost a friend today,
but this is not a democracy.

You understand?

- Yes, sir.
- Number One, you served with Burnham

aboard the Shenzhou.
What is your assessment of her abilities?

Her mutiny aside...

she is...

the smartest Starfleet officer
I have ever known.


And he knows you.

Can't believe he picked me.

I mean, I'm the best theoretical engineer
on the ship.

It's why I was fast-tracked
at the Academy.

But this is my very first boarding party.

Kind of hard to believe, right?

Not really.

So, um...

I need to apologize to you.

Yesterday I didn't want you
to take the station next to me

because, um... it's really important
that I make a good impression here,

and I was afraid that...

if I was seen with you,
that would get in the way of it.

I understand.

- It's okay.
- No, it's not okay.

It's... I have this character flaw,

I care too much
about what other people think about me.

But you don't care if,
like, everybody hates you.

No, that came out wrong. Um...

- I... I think that you could help me.
- You're a nice kid, Tilly.

But I'm not staying long enough
to make friends.

We're dropping out of warp.

Approaching the Glenn.

Disco 1,
confirm visual acquisition.

You see the etchings on the hull?

That's evidence
of catastrophic basidiosac rupture.


That's an unfamiliar term.

You're out of your depth here,
non-Vulcan number cruncher.

Seen and not heard, please.

"Basidia" refers
to spore-producing structures.

The numbers I've been analyzing have
been consistent with organic structures.

You mentioned the term "bloom."
That refers to biological...

Are you trying to show everyone
how smart you are?

I'm trying to get up to speed,
so that I can help with this mission.

In what is our problem based,
biology or physics?

Are you really so naive
as to see them as different?


At the quantum level,
there is no difference

between biology and physics.

No difference at all.

And you talk about spores.

What are they?
They are the progenitors of panspermia.

They are the building blocks of energy
across the universe.

Physics and biology? No.

Physics as biology.

- All right.
- I became an astromycologist

because of awe.

Awe at the miracle of life.

I met Straal,
and we formed a partnership.

We would get to the veins and muscles
that hold our galaxies together.

We would find truth.

And we were happy in our lab,
then your war started,

and Starfleet co-opted our research.

They split us up,
put us in charge of different teams,

so we could work twice as fast.

Not for truth, or to further
Starfleet's mission statement

of diplomacy and exploration, but for war.

And now my friend
and his colleagues are dead

because of our research.

And I have to live with that,
but if you think I'm okay

handing my life's work over
to that warmonger Lorca, you're wrong.

Lieutenant Stamets, I sincerely have
no idea what research you're involved in.

Long-range sensors are clear...

I never even intended to be here.

Well, if Lorca wants you to be here,

I'm afraid your intentions
are less than moot.

Activating shuttle bay
containment-field override.

- Pilot, stay with the ship.
- Affirmative.

Kowski, let's move out.

All the power relays
and redundancies must be shot.

Is that normal?

Nothing’s normal
after an accident like this.

I never anticipated injuries like this.

Cadet, scan to determine if
the helical trauma to the body

is related to the spiral markings
on the ship's hull.

There's correlation.

Engineering is this way.



Could this mean
they know about the device?

If they do, it's all over.

Why aren't their bodies braided up?

They didn't die in the initial accident.

Probably boarded after spying a crippled
Federation ship with no life signs.

They beamed on to steal our tech.

What could do this
to a dozen fully armed Klingons?

Over here.

This hull is double-reinforced.
What could tear through this metal?

You in the shadows, show yourself.


Is he shushing you?


To Engineering!

Set phasers to kill!

In here.

Kowski, no!

What was that thing?

Burnham, download the ship's logs.

Tilly, pull all telemetry
and check the spore-containment status.

Oh, God.

I'm sorry, my friend.

Log data's corrupted.

Sir, there's some kind of
navigational hack over here.

- Get what you're getting.
- This is coming with us. Help me get it.

- Jammed.
- Nah.

- There's some kind of device in the cube.
- We'll take it with us.

Can we go now, please?

Not gonna burn through this in time.

What are you doing?

One Federation ship is pretty much
like another, I hope.

- I need a phaser.
- Mutineers don't get phasers.

- Won't kill it.
- I'm trying to piss it off.


Shit, that worked.

We're through. Move, move, move.

"The rabbit-hole went on like a tunnel
for some way,"

then dipped suddenly down,
so suddenly that Alice had not a moment

to think about stopping herself,

"but instead found herself falling
down a very deep well."

Burnham, we're in
the shuttle. What is your location?

Jefferies tube. Elevate the shuttle
200 feet, rear quarter,

above the shield-replacement units.
Open the top hatch.

"She was now only ten inches high.
Her face and body brightened up."

She was now the right size

"to go through the little door
into that lovely garden."


Permission to enter the bridge,
Commander Saru.

- Captain requested my presence.
- Permission granted.

Commander Airiam, you have the Conn.

The other prisoners are being transferred
to the shuttle now.

- It's scheduled to leave within the hour.
- I'll be on it, sir.

It has not gone unnoticed
that during your time on this ship

you conducted yourself
in a respectable manner.

And from what I understand,
you were invaluable

to the boarding party,
which I was pleased to hear,

since I was the one
who recommended your involvement.

I appreciate your faith in me.

You were always a good officer...

until you weren't.

If only you hadn't...

You are a valuable asset.

It is a loss for Starfleet.

Thank you.

Well, there she is.


Michael Burnham,

I would like to extend
an official invitation to you

to join the Discovery
and be a member of our crew.

- I've been court-martialed and convicted...
- Don't worry about Starfleet.

They gave me discretion
to fight this war however I saw fit.

I'm afraid I can't take you up
on your offer.

You hell-bent on self-persecution?

That's not it.

Not all of it, anyway.

Why wouldn't you stay?

Let me answer with a question:

Why do you want me to stay?

I'm not here by accident.

I think you brought me here.

I think you've been testing me.

And why would I do that?

You're developing some kind
of experimental technology.

Some kind
of spore-based biological weapon.


The kind of weapon
that is explicitly forbidden

by the Geneva Protocols of 1928
and 2155.

And you need someone to help you.

Enter: me.

A mutineer...

who intended to wage unsanctioned war
on the Klingons.

A trained officer
who's been banished from Starfleet.

And someone
who would presumably do anything

to get out
of their life sentence in prison,

including illicit weapons tests.

Like whatever went wrong on the Glenn.

Enter: you... indeed.

I'm not who you think I am.

Before I was a mutineer,
I was a first officer in Starfleet.

I'll never bear that rank
or any other again.

But it is who I am,
and who I will always be.

It is by the principles of the
United Federation of Planets that I live.

And by them I will most certainly die.

I know who you are, Michael Burnham.
I know exactly who you are.

I know you love being right.

But I suspect that you hate being wrong
even more,

so, let me stop you going down a path
you'll regret.

Computer, two for site-to-site transport.

Captain's Ready Room
to Engineering Test Bay Alpha.

- Confirmed.
- Energize.

If you'll be so kind.

Mycelium spores. Harmless.

Harvested from the fungal species
prototaxites stellaviatori,

which we grow in our cultivation bay.

But you know that, because you broke in.

We're not creating a new way to kill.
We are creating a new way...

to fly.

An organic propulsion system.

The Glenn was traveling on these
when disaster struck.

You yourself have jumped across
a mycelial network.

Nothing bad happened. Ship's walls
got a little damp, that's all.

Black alert.

Discovery's leaps have measured
only in the hundreds of kilometers.

A sad statistic which is the source
of some tension between myself

and Lieutenant Stamets.
But our more advanced sister ship,

before she crashed,
was traveling back and forth

from the Beta Quadrant,
90 light-years away, in 1.3 seconds.

How do you travel on spores?

Imagine a microscopic web
that spans the entire cosmos.

An intergalactic ecosystem.

An infinite number of roads,
leading everywhere.

"The veins and muscles
that hold our galaxies together."

Now, if the Discovery can be anywhere,
and gone in an instant...

that's how you beat the Klingons.
That's how you win the war.

And we must win the war.

But that's just the beginning.

Imagine the possibilities.

Wanna see where they're going?
Where they've been?

Or where they could take us?

Hold tight.

Blink, you're in Ilari.

Blink, the moons of Andoria.

Blink, you missed Romulus.

All those planets,
all those places, all those species,

seen and yet to be seen.

And you're home
like it never happened.

I did choose you.

But not for the reasons you think.

Your assumption that the Klingons
were waiting in ambush

at the Binary Stars was predictive.

You chose to do the right thing,
over and above what was sanctioned,

even at great cost to yourself.

And that is the kind of thinking
that wins wars.

The kind of thinking I need next to me.

Universal law is for lackeys.


is for kings.

Now, what's it to be, Michael?

What's in your future?

What do you wish for? Atonement?


Maybe... the assurance that the captain
you lost didn't die in vain?

You helped start a war.

Don't you wanna help me end it?

Shuttle for prison colony
cleared for warp.

- I thought you were on a prison shuttle.
- I'm still here.

Hope you don't mind.

I'm glad.

Here's a thing most people
don't know about me...

I'm gonna be a captain someday.

The thing is, is that there are
still some things I need to learn.

And I know that you were one
of the most highly regarded

first officers in Starfleet.

And I have read everything there is
on Georgiou...


Captain Georgiou.

- Of course, I'm sorry. I didn't mean...
- It's okay.

Wow, is that a book?

When I was a kid,
after my parents were killed...

my foster mother on Vulcan
used to read it to me and her son.

She and I were the only humans
in the house.

That's how I learned that the real world
doesn't always adhere to logic.

Sometimes down is up.

Sometimes up is down.

Sometimes, when you're lost, you're found.

What was her name?


And the U.S.S. Glenn is no more.

Sad to see a ship like that go.

Mm. Just a ship.

So, is our new guest settled in?

Aye, sir. Snug as a bug in a rug.

Then I think we will spend
some time together this evening.

Thank you for beaming it aboard.

Anything, anytime, Captain.


Here, kitty, kitty.