Shuttle Pod At The Disco 3: “The Butcher’s Knife Cares Not For The Lamb’s Cry”

A full contingent hops aboard the Shuttle Pod this week for a look back at the newest episode of Star Trek: Discovery, “The Butcher’s Knife Cares Not For The Lamb’s Cry.”

Star Trek: Discovery Season 1, Episode 4 – Debuted Sunday October 8th

Written by Jessie Alexander and Aron Eli Coleite
Directed by Olatunde Osunsanmi

At The Disco 3: “The Butcher’s Knife Cares Not For The Lamb’s Cry”

The fourth installment of Star Trek: Discovery feels like our first “real” episode of the show, with episodes 1 and 2 acting as prologue and episode 3 being our de facto pilot. In “The Butcher’s Knife” (I think I’m allowed this abbreviation for Trek’s second longest episode title), we finally get to sink our teeth into the plot of season 1. We learn more about the mysterious spore drive, get to know our characters a tiny bit better, and perhaps most importantly we meet an instant fan favorite: Ripper the tardigrade.

Listen in to hear our thoughts on the latest installment of the Star Trek franchise!

This doesn’t seem like fun for Ripper

Ripper — a glorified Guild Navigator?

Brian was quick to point out the similarities between Ripper, and his “use” aboard the Discovery as a creature needed to map and navigate the universe from within a glass chamber, and the guild navigators from the film Dune. Editor’s note: if you haven’t seen Dune, it’s a sci-fi flick worth your time, and even if you hate it, you will be rewarded with perhaps Patrick Stewart’s best performance ever, alongside his furry companion.

Chilean Soccer Team from 1977, wears Discovery uniforms?

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Really a shame that the full crew wasn’t available to discuss the third show, which was considerably better on just about every level. Dissecting this one will feel more like an autopsy, though it did have its moments.

I’ve heard, as usual with every new incarnation of TREK, how more advanced this is than TOS, etc, etc, etc. I wonder what a show made in 2017 would look like on screen using the same cardboard wall displays and candy button controls that were used on TOS. I too complained at how Enterprise used more advanced “looking” effects than TOS, though it was set 110 years earlier. I think we all need to let this argument go. NO new TREK show will ever match TOS as far as effects, visuals, etc as it was made 50 YEARS AGO! I may have missed why the uniforms though? We know what Starfleet uniforms looked like 10 years prior to TOS..

Some will never be able to let it go, Kaptain.

I read this site all the time and I wanna shout out to how much I love all you guys! I never post here but I feel compelled to. Jared, (forgive me if I spell your name differently) and all of you podcasters, I just can’t understand how you claim to be such a long term fan but your opinions on Discovery seem to me so off. So far this show is the closest thing I’ve ever seen to TOS. I’m loving it, I’m loving the more premium television style and the cowboy diplomacy. I understand you’re not embracing the darker tone of the war, but I still see this as giving our current world hope. I feel like you all need to smoke a bowl or just have a glass of wine and relax and have an embracing attitude when watching! Love you guys though!! Looking forward to your next podcast!

Bonesclcw – As Shuttle Pod’s biggest(?) Disco fanatic (apologist?), I will just say that I would love to smoke a bowl and watch Disco with you.

New podcast idea… Starfleet HIGH Command.

Heh. They don’t DT you scientist types?


And you absolutely MUST do it with most of the hosts in Denver.

It was quickly said on the episode what the function of the spinning disc’s was, I’d have to re-watch to get it exact, but it has something to do with discharging any over charge of the spore drive. Great episode again!

Oh, one minor nitpick, and correct me if I didn’t quite understand the point. Jared stated that aside form the starfleet deltas, this looks nothing like Trek – huh? If this was it’s own show, with a different show all its own with a different title but all the same ascetic, wouldn’t you be pitching a fit that it was totally Star Trek?

Hi Doug – nice catch! I guess we all missed that one?

Also, yeah I’m happy with Disco being Trek. I think it takes some people longer to warm up. I wonder if there is a correlation between years as a hardcore fan and time it takes to warm up to “new” trek. Of course some people will never like it, and I think that’s OK too!

I think Jared is feeling that so much of the look has changed (undeniable) that it could exist as it’s own series, if you removed it from the Trek timeline. Hopefully I’m not putting the wrong words in Jared’s mouth here.

There are no right and wrong opinions on these questions, of course, but I don’t see how you can not look at that bridge or engineering set, or the general configuration of the Discovery and its shuttles, and not see TOS.

Now, if he means that it doesn’t fit within the tech of the Trek timeline, that would be correct. But that’s a different issue. (And neither, really, did Enterprise).

And that’s why I don’t like Prequels. Still feels post TNG for me.

Great Pod for me tonight especially the talk about Ripper, I was like feeling sick after the episode, where’s Dr McCoy when you need him! “God Dame Jim you can’t do this”. So you guys addressed the issue.

The coolest new thing in the ep for me was the Mirror image of Burnham looking at herself in the new uniform.

Back to The POD: Some colourful metaphors tonight, might need a bleeper by the end of the series!

Brian, dude, you sound more miserable than last time. Man, if you hate it that much, you can quit the cast and stop watching. You’re crushing my disco groove. That, and it might lead to you committing suicide, we don’t want that!


I was under the weather while recording. Fall cold that’s really killing me. Perhaps that colors your perception.

If it has more to do with my opinions – well, sorry I’m not seeing the show the way you are, but I call ’em as I see ’em. I think the show is getting better slowly, and I hope it continues to do so, but I’m not going to give it a pass on things I don’t like.

I’m with you Brian. I was so motivated to love this show. But I am disappointed in its non- Trek dark tone. It isn’t easy to be ready to love something one has been waiting for -new Trek- and then sit with the ensuing disappointed feelings. Nor is it pleasant to have people do personal attacks here because they happen to have a different opinion (which, as Kayla points out, is fine!).
In my view, fans have a responsibility to express their feelings, positive or negative, about the show so the creators of the show can know what fans think of it, and hopefully can be responsive to that. You guys at the podcast are privileged to have a louder voice, potentially, to those making the show. I am glad you are speaking up about how many feel this isn’t Star Trek. It’s the only way to make a difference in improving the show.
I just want to add I think it was a very intelligent, perceptive discussion by all on the podcast. You guys are great.

Great to have you back this week Brian.

I agree about the uniforms. They look like Buck Rogers got shrunk in the wash. Nice details but, dang, do they ever look uncomfortable.

Better than Enterprise, would have liked the red version on the side colour

Loved the synthesiser which made the uniform for Michael

Enterprise uniforms were really just glorified NASA coveralls. More functional.

All good discussions.

So Ripper who killed lord knows how many humans and Klingons gets sympathy pretty quickly as soon as there’s some puppy whimpering. Interesting. I’d like to hear people’s thoughts on vivisection. Landry, a “bad person,” gets zero sympathy in fact. I actually disliked the Landry character from the get go, then I disliked what happened to her even more because it was just all a setup. My immediate feeling was it was good that she died because she was stupid and aggressive and too loyal to Lorca. Then I had guilt for feeling that way. I don’t like feeling good about anyone dying, even if I’m “supposed to.”

It’s pretty obvious the next episode will further the dilemma of Burnham having to push Ripper into more Spore Drive slave work. It will have to be resolved fairly quickly because I doubt fans are going to want to watch that dilemma for half a season. Either Ripper gets too weak to perform, he messes up a jump somehow, or Burnham sets him free like the little puppy he is. They will have to get the drive up and running some other way, maybe even with help from Ripper. Not forcing him.

One thing I found interesting about Landry: How did she ever make it in Starfleet? Her attitude and behavior simply didn’t seem becoming of a Starfleet officer. I would’ve thought that someone as careless and prejudiced as she was wouldn’t have made it past basic training.

I think the idea was she was a pretty bad seed that Lorca thought could be useful. She was very loyal and would take a bullit for him if it came to that. No chance of mutiny from that character. For all we know Lorca fished her out of jail just like with Burnham.

Too bad she didn’t get a chance to reveal herself other than a silly red shirt death.

I think her death was a way of the producers to show that no one is safe in this show. Like Georgiou, just because a recognizable actor is in the show doesn’t guarantee their survival.

Curious to see if Burnham ends up mitunying again by the end of the season (in defense of ripper). This time though, she might get the crew on her side (even Saru), and of course, her position would be more justifiable the second go round (and more excusable by the judges with the burned out light bulbs). :)

I think it’s pretty much a lock that Burnham will end up being captain. In her very first scene in the pilot they’re talking about her first command–HINT HINT!

And Lorca could end up in prison.

To me, that possibility is doubtful.

Best line IMO: “If the Captain had consulted me, I would have told him we had no openings for a mutineer”. (Paraphrased)

I listened to 5 minutes and had to stop. Down is up and up is down. The producers have been very clear that they are reflecting our times. Does mr trump feel very presidential to you? Does captain Lorca feel like a great starfleet Captain? He is currently seeming like a person who will torture based on a whim. Remind you of anyone? Star Trek has always been a statement of the present. It makes me sad that you don’t see that and complain that you don’t see andorians or tellerites. Seems to me you are missing the message. Again -,you annoyed me 5 minutes in so I may have missed wisdom.

Anyone have a link re: Discovery’s uniforms being similar to the ’70s sport team?

Sorry we forgot to drop it in the article, I just added it.

I guess its just my years of watching subbed anime that the klingon scenes didn’t bother me. I was able to read and catch the scenes fine.

I love your podcast guys, but you guys are hitting to hard in the show.
it’s 3 episodes in.
All my Trek shows don’t have to be the same tone.
I watched BSG from start to finish.
Discovery is NOT BSG.
In BSG, they didn’t even have a planet to live on until the end of the show.
Humanity was in a much lower place.

The Tardigrade storyline isn’t over yet.
Lets how it plays out.

Lets SEE how it plays out.

Loving The Klingons.

As for looking at the Klingons or reading the subtitles,
So far, I have managed to do both.

I think they have it spot on to be honest

The uniforms give me an Enterprise vibe.

They probably thought that the menagerie would have more impact if there were familiar skeletons on the wall and some species are more recognizable to general audiences than others.

Saru has a lot of unresolved anger toward Burnham about the mutiny.
And it looks like they are leaning into it in the next episode as well.

I recently discovered your podcast. Thank you! I have loved it so far. It’s my favorite of the Star Trek-related podcasts I subscribe to.

I *finally* had a chance to view “The Butcher’s Knife Cares Not For The Lamb’s Cry” and listen to the associated podcast and I wanted to offer two items that occurred to me while listening:

1. I’m thinking that Lorca is very much in the mindset of “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” He has a war to fight and everything–and anything–came become used as a weapon. This, of course, leads to his demand to Landry that she find a way to weaponize the Ripper. No other use for it would occur to him.

2. You all discussed the lack of an ethical discussion regarding the use of the Ripper. I believe that Lorca, being the manipulative person he is, foresaw that this might happen and short-circuited it by playing the distress from the mining colony (one of the many reasons he did this) ship-wide.

3. As hateful as Landry was, and despite her stupidity in releasing the Ripper, I did feel a twinge at her death, feeling that she didn’t really deserve that violent a death.

Thanks for another insightful episode! One question regarding Ripper: I heard several times the panel refer to him as a “sentient being.” Has it been established that Ripper is sentient? As far as what’s been shown so far it could be that it is operating solely on instinct. My hope is that part of the continuing story arc will be the discovery that Ripper is a sentient being, and that this will cause further conflict with Lorca.

Nothing has been established about Ripper really. He’s been given a name, he made whining puppy noises in the cage, then was unable to eat his dog food at the end. Sentience is probable but not necessary but my guess is they must try to start communicating with him. That’s the next logical step, moral dilemmas aside.

Thanks for the clarification, ken-trek! I agree that very little about the creature has been established. I think its treatment will be one of the plot threads we’ll follow throughout the rest of the season.

To answer the girl in the cheesy scene who asks: “Who saved us?” It was Ripper.

So we are getting an Ends justify the Means story, which I like. But the episode is just kind of a mess for me, jumping all over the place. Far too fast paced. The core of the story gets lost. We end up feeling more for Ripper than for the mining colonists who are about to face certain death. So that’s the trade off. A few hundred/thousand humans and a creature that may or may not be sentient and may or may not be suffering. If Brian Drew were faced with this dilemma in clearer terms (not so muddied as the episode played out) I’m pretty sure he’d choose to try to save the humans even if Ripper potentially would be harmed.

I feel like “Poor Ripper!” could become a new Star Trek meme. You know, like “Chief O’Brien at Work” – only in this case it’s ripper trying to do ANYTHING and then getting f’d over by the Discovery’s crew in all possible manners.
Yup, got a webcomic idea in my head there. Too bad I suck at both drawing and punchlines.

Ad “emoting under heavy make-up”: Same thoughts about Mary Chieffo doing the best job in that regard so far, but I think her make-up might also be a little less obstructive than that of her male “Klingon” co-stars. I always had the feeling that with L’Rell you could see more of an actual face underneath the mask. It’s specifically the nose and mouth that look much more “human” (whereas male Klingons like Voq or T’Kuvma have those extremely broad, ridged noses – with a ridge sticking out almost an inch at the base of the nose – and also very thick lower lips) and her eyebrow ridges that come down like epicanthic folds also don’t cover her eyes that much.
But I also had the feeling that they did in fact refine the makeup between the pilot two-parter and “The Butcher’s Knife…”; specifically if you compare Voq‘s look in the first episodes and ep. 4: Firstly the texture of his skin seems to have changed (so that he looks less like a “white chocolate Klingon” as, I believe, Kayla called him). And then you could also hardly see the actor’s eyes in the original configuration and, but it appears they have toned down the epicanthic folds/eyebrow ridges a bit between episodes. Voq still looks like he has absolutely no peripheral vision, nevertheless.

Why has Starfleet not blown up the Shenzhou in 6 months? Why has neither Starfleet nor any other Klingons come to retrieve the tech from the sarcophagus ship *in Federation space for six months*? Where the heck did the tardigrade come from?

I have to admit that I was shocked when you guys were discussing the possible solution for the subtitled Klingon language. You used the ‘Hunt For Red October’ as an example of a camera technique to infer that the characters were still speaking Russian even though the audience was hearing English.

Here’s the scene

The shocking part is that you didn’t mention another movie that used a similar technique to great effect. Perhaps you’ve seen it?

Red October did it far better than TUC, imo.

I hear you. I like them both.