Was Burnham right?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Discovery' started by Tenacity, Oct 3, 2017.

  1. cgervasi

    cgervasi Commander Red Shirt

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    The Klingon honor culture appears to work by people showing they're willing to fight at all time, but as long as everyone shows respect and maintains the attitude that they all major tough guys capable of epic battle, everything is fine. Sarek's point should have been taken to mean avoid saying "we come in peace". Instead you say it's a good day to die. You say everyone on your ship is eager to die in an epic battle worth of song. They say the same thing. Then they work out if they have an actual dispute. If not, they just respect each other as tough guys. I think that's what Sarek was saying.

    Burnham was itching for a fight and interpreted it that way. Maybe that's reasonable since the Klingons violated their territory. Maybe the Klingons would see anything other than shooting at them, even warning shots, as a sign of weakness. My thought is Burnham had conferenced Georgiou in to talk to Sarek, Georgiou might have found a way to project strength other than firing without warning.

    On top of this, as Xerxes said, T'Kumva isn't a normal Klingon. He was looking for a fight for political reasons. If the Federation had responded with strength, maybe he would have lost support. It's hard to say. It wouldn't have affected T'Kumva because his motivations were political.

    I do not see why the characters treat Burnham as if she started the war. Others have pointed out her mutiny had no effect on the outcome. Maybe in this time of war, people want a facile answer of "who started it," and mutineer is that answer. I think the audience is meant to sympathize with her, "Yes, you did something wrong, but you're not responsible for every tragedy related to it." It's like she's someone wrongly convicted on the felony murder rule. A bunch of people died while she was committing a crime. If things associated with her crimes caused the deaths, then she's responsible. But she's like a character who feels desperate and tries unsuccessfully to rob a store. She's quickly arrested. Someone dies in an unrelated car accident in the parking lot, and everyone blames her for it.
     
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  2. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    But she did kill T'Kumva when the idea was to capture him to try and avert a fullscale war.
     
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  3. Longinus

    Longinus Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yeah, that I have really hard time forgiving. Even after her mutiny Georgiou trusted her enough to risk her own life on this dangerous scheme. And it was a good scheme too, it was probably the only way to circumvent this no-win scenario T'Kuvma had created. But in the end Burnham fucked up again and basically let her captain to die for nothing.
     
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  4. GeekUSACarl

    GeekUSACarl The Last Starfighter Fleet Captain

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    I think Tacoma was going to do what he was going to do regardless, which makes Michael's choice and the dilemma over it, a bit.... silly. Kinda poor writing.
     
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  5. cgervasi

    cgervasi Commander Red Shirt

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    MacLeod is right. I don't blame her for Georgiou dying. That can happen on a highly risky mission invading an enemy ship. But at the moment she decides to shoot T'Kumva, she really is doing the wrong thing. She said she knew killing him would make him a martyr. She could have fled. She could have committed suicide.

    I'm probably slower than most viewers, but I just got the whole point! In the heat of battle when you're life is at risk and you just saw your close friend die, it's hard to predict what you'd do. Maybe she thought she could save Georgiou by shooting T'Kumva. Maybe she was scared T'Kumva would kill her next, pulling out a weapon in a expert martial arts fashion and killing her before she knew what hit her. She probably doesn't know for sure what went through her mind in that second. But she and astute observers wonder if it was this: "I don't want to take him prisoner and stop a war. I want to kill him for killing Georgiou as Klingons killed my parents. I want that to make him a martyr and start a massive war that makes my comrades feel some of the pain I hide under my Vulcan training. I'll get a massive army of people feeling my pain and responding by killing Klingons on a massive scale."

    She says "I'm not who you think I am." She says she believes in the principles of the UFP. But deep down she wonders, why did I pull that trigger?
     
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  6. GeekUSACarl

    GeekUSACarl The Last Starfighter Fleet Captain

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    I think that many of us are way overthinking this solely based on my assessment of the writing

    the writing here is a bit cookie cutter, and not very inventive. I think the writers intent was that she was acting out of anger and revenge when she killed Tacoma. I mean, all our speculation is a good conversation and if this were a real life scenario we were talking about it'd be one thing but I don't think the writer's were being that clever here.
     
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  7. SpocksOddSocks

    SpocksOddSocks Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    She wasn't responsible for the war, I'm certain of that, and I'm hoping that the reason for all the blame will become clear.

    However, I think she was wrong to take the decision into her own hands. She was right to suggest attack, but as first officer on that ship, she should have known how her bridge crew would have reacted, especially Saru, and seen that her attempted mutiny (and I would say it is only an attempted mutiny) as being pointless.

    I also think Georgiou was right not to fire first (as a representative of the UFP) - but she should have offered a proper ultimatum.
     
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  8. Mirror_Barclay

    Mirror_Barclay Commander Red Shirt

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    She was wrong in both her course of action and her attempt to overrule her captain.

    No course of action would have averted war, but Georgiou was right to await reinforcements before taking further risks. I think Burnham was wrong her, but her advice was reasonable.

    Trying to take the decision into her own hands and assaulting her captain was not reasonable, and the show has really not sold me on why she acted as she did.
     
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  9. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Commodore Commodore

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    I think she totally knew capturing T'Kuvma would have let him go down in Klingon history as a failure and a coward.

    And that killing him would martyr him.

    And she did it anyway because he murdered her friend and many other Starfleet officers.
     
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  10. cgervasi

    cgervasi Commander Red Shirt

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    And maybe because she was personally angry at the entire country/race for the attack the killed her parents. It started a war. People hate her for her. She hates herself for it.
     
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  11. cgervasi

    cgervasi Commander Red Shirt

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    I think she has a grudge against the Klingon people for killing her parents. That's why she attempted to initiate a mutiny and attack the Klingons without permission. That's part of why she killed T'Kuvma after explicitly stating doing so would unite the Klingons and lead to a horrible war. I think she'll do some soul-searching and realize she was partly motivated by reason but partly by rage. Maybe she'll do something to end it and find atonement.
     
  12. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Commodore Commodore

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    I like even she can't genuinely determine her entire motivations.
     
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  13. Refuge

    Refuge Vice Admiral Admiral

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    In a way it's interesting in that she has Vulcan training but is so not cool headed. Way too many emotional and behavioural issues and baggage.
     
  14. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Commodore Commodore

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    I think that's Georgiou's fault as she was very Vulcan when she went into Starfleet and she basically deprogrammed her after Sarek said, "You being fake Vulcan is embarrassing us both."

    I remind you, Sarek disowned Spock for joining Starfleet and he sends his OTHER child to join it.

    That's....a major emotional blow.
     
  15. Prax

    Prax Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    She was Sooo wrong. Perhaps a "Vulcan Hello" has worked to chase off a Klingon vessel preying on a Vulcan freighter of something, but just imagine:

    Let's say the crew obeys Burnham and starts firing on this ancient Klingon ship/artifact. Of course, right as they are doing that, that huge Klingon fleet would have dropped out of warp and seen this. What would've happened? They would have blasted the Shinzou to kingdom come, then the Feds show up immediately after. Then Burnham would have actually started a war.

    I think she was right about capturing T'kuvma alive. If that had happened, he would have been disgraced in the eyes of every Klingon, including his followers, and his grievance with the federation would be a lost cause.

    So when Burnham had the opportunity to capture him, and complete the plan that her captain had just died for, she flips that off that stun setting and bam! Tkuvma dead.

    I guess that's why she was held responsible for starting the war, because she made a martyr out of Tkuvma. Oops.
     
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  16. dinzy

    dinzy Commander Red Shirt

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    Most agree that it would have not made a difference. So why the hell does everyone hate her? I could see all Starfleet hating her for violating chain of command, but why would the prisoners hate her for starting a war? It makes no sense.

    Are the writers trying to say that the party line in the federation is that Burnham started an avoidable war by locking phasers on a Klingon ship?
     
  17. Zod

    Zod Captain Captain

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    If she had been able to destroy that ship before the leader made that speech? Sure! He had to persuade the other houses.

    I still don't like it. She's a starfleet officer. Her captain made a choice. You don't get to pick and choose which orders you would like to follow. So she would be wrong in my eyes even if she were right of you follow me. Any other choice and military disciple breaks down.
     
  18. Prax

    Prax Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Who knows what people think she did:shrug:
    How about that Orwellian Tribunal she faced during her Court Martial.
    That's officer level thinking there. Aren't you up for a promotion?
     
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  19. Noname Given

    Noname Given Admiral Admiral

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    She had an extreme emotional reaction to seeing her Captain killed. If anything it shows she's Human and not Vulcan no matter how many years she spent being raised in their society. It's also a decision she immediately regretted - and it lead to the way she commented about herself at the sentencing, etc.
    ^^^
    That type of thing I can understand.
     
  20. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Commodore Commodore

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    Burnham thought she knew better. She committed the mutiny with the best intentions. Maybe a touch of Vulcan arrogance.
    I'm surprised sjhe hasn't defied orders before with her attitude. Maybe its because it was the Klingons.
    I don't think it would have made a difference if they had shot first. Maybe it would have made the Federation feel guilty and more like negotiating with the Klingons. Who knows?