Commander Michael Burnham defies Captain Saru’s orders to get one step closer to solving the Burn.


Star Trek: Discovery Season Three Episode Six ” Scavengers,” directed by Doug Aarniokoski, follows Michael and Mirror Verse Phillipa Georgiou on their mission to rescue Book and find a black box that could house the secrets of what caused the Burn. Admiral Vance orders the U.S.S. Discovery to stay on alert in case the Emerald Chain, a wing of the Orion-Andorian syndicate, attacks a Federation starship or planet. The Discovery’s spore drive allows the starship to act as a rapid responder. Book sends his starship and cat Grudge to signal to Michael that he is heading to a salvage yard planet to find one of the black boxes from the Burn. Saru instructs Michael to stand down since they are on high alert. Michael defies orders bringing Mirror Verse Georgiou along for the ride. The two rogue Starfleet officers fly in Book’s starship to the salvage planet for an unsanctioned retrieval mission. Good thing, too, since the Orion-Andorian syndicate has enslaved Book.

Georgiou may be suffering from some form of PTSD. Kovich did not mind control or brainwash Georgiou; she has been having flashbacks for weeks. Terrans are known to be calm and have a limited range of emotions, but maybe her experience in the Prime Universe has changed her. During Georgiou’s mission with Michael, she has flashbacks and freezes for a minute or two. The flashbacks are a series of images of the Terran Empire, blood, and Georgiou trying to save somebody’s life. In the flashback, she appears emotionally invested in the person whose dying. I think the figure is Klingon or some other type of alien. Her investment in an alien is unusual since Terrans think they are superior to any other type of lifeform. Michael tries to talk to Georgiou about the flashbacks, but she brushes her off.

The former Terran Empresses freezes during a critical time on the rescue mission. When the two officers fight with an Orion boss named Tolor and his goons, Georgiou faints and cannot press the controller to drop the deadly perimeter fence around the compound, allowing Book and the other slaves to escape. Thankfully she jolts out of her spell and saves the day. Michael forces her to talk, but Georgiou has no idea what is happening to her. Phillipa doesn’t trust anybody, especially Michael, since her counterpart in the Mirror Verse betrayed her. She can’t be emotionally vulnerable because, in the Terran Empire, weakness means death. If Georgiou can drop her guard, then she can heal. She cares about Michael, who’s the perfect person, to help her figure out what is happening to her.

Michael betraying Captain Saru stops the U.S.S. Discovery from entirely re-connecting with Starfleet. At the start of ” Scavengers,” the bridge crew receives some technological perks from the new Starfleet. Tilly, Keyla, and the rest of the team receive comm badges that act as communicators, personal transporters, and tricorders. Their new consoles are made up of programmable matter with an intuitive interface. Captain Saru is part of high-level briefings with the admiralty, but Michael jeopardizes all of their newly gained trust. First off, by flying off to the salvage plant without permission.  Michael leaves the U.S.S. Discovery without its first officer when the starship is on high alert.

Michael broke Saru’s trust by rebelling against his direct orders to stand down. She put the new Captain in a difficult position. Saru is forced to report her to Admiral Vance. He needs to prove his dedication and loyalty to Starfleet. Thankfully the black box contains essential data about the Burn. Michael’s risk is deemed worth it by Admiral Vance. She is not thrown into the brig or out of Starfleet.  Saru can longer hang on to the old Michael that he thought was like family. Neither one of them is the same. Saru has lost faith in Michael, so she is demoted back to Chief of the Science Division. She is no longer his Number One. One day Michael will be Captain, but she has gone backward in her career trajectory.

Michael signifies Federation ideals but continues to rebel against Starfleet rules. Michael’s long braided hair shows her new individuality. She no longer has a short, almost militaristic hairstyle that shows that she is locked step with Starfleet. Her new love interest, the courier Book operates outside the Federation. Book has a cat on board his starship and goes on any mission he wants without needing permission. She fits more into this courier world right now, which is proven because she now bends the rules farther than she ever did before. She feels split between her new life with Book and her dedication to Starfleet. She still cares about the Federation. Michael rebels against Saru because she firmly believes that only when Starfleet understands the cause of the Burn can they become whole again. Even during Michael and Georgiou’s retrieval mission in the Salvage yard, she stands up for Starfleet’s philosophy. She rescues Book and the rest of the enslaved people who are being worked to death by Tolor. She dismantles an Orion-Andorian syndicate stronghold that operates through violence, intimidation, and greed. Michael may have used phaser power to free the slaves, but in the end, she is working toward creating a world full of compassion and togetherness.

Next week, the U.S.S. Discovery will meet up with Vulcans. I don’t know if Vulcan is still part of the Federation, but Michael can form a new connection with them. After all, she has familial bonds with Sarek and Spock. She has the best parts of humanity and Vulcan in her.