We open on an electrically-blasted region of some twisted hellscape... wait, it's just an extreme close-up of a uniform synthesizer. Even getting DRESSED on Discovery is a nightmare!
If the episode has a theme, it's settling in. Mr. Saru is forced to admit that saying nice things about Michael and giving her blueberries along with the stink eye was slightly hypocritical last episode in that he didn't think she was going to be sticking around. She makes his threat ganglia wiggle in fear but in these desperate times we have to be friends with monsters. Captain Gabriel Lorca for example.
Apart from his dissection chamber and gung-ho security chief Landry who gets herself torn to shreds by literally poking the space bear, Lorca also motivates his scientists with the screams of the dying from the Klingon attack on Corvan 2. What a guy!
What's Lorca trying to motivate? Dr. Hugh Culber's BF Paul “I always wanted to converse with my mushrooms" Stamets is trying to finalize his life's work to allow a starship to bounce on spores like plumber Mario from one world to the next in an instant. Yes, really.
Only Michael Burnham, who's barely heard of spore drive technology, can recognize that the macroscopic tardigrade-like creature they found on the Glenn was less Shardik with a touch of Freddy Kruger and more Super Computer with a touch of Dune's Guild Navigator.
The upshot of which is we get our first shot of the USS Discovery twisting inside out like a Go-Bot!
So what are the "Klingons" up to, apart from winning the war for galactic supremacy? Well, starving. Torchbearer Voq has seemingly been trying to get his highly advanced Ship of The Dead to budge a single kellicam for SIX MONTHS, during which time they've eaten Captain Georgiou's corpse, if we can give them the benefit of the doubt, because they are hungry rather than for shock value for some unseen audience. Interstellar conquerors, everyone!
L’Rell flirts with Voq but then seems to sell her loyalty to Kol for a hamhock. Apparently, though, she has a better scheme in mind when told to kill Voq the son of none...
So, hooray for humans- the last handful of folks on Corvan 2 are saved and all it takes is imprisoning & tormenting the dancing bear.
“Keep your eyes & heart open always.” says Captain Georgiou's last will and testament. If this story were set in Trek's future, we might look back on the way Captain Janeway was appalled by Captain Ransom's very similar use of tossing living, thinking creatures into his engine to make it go faster. Fortunately, that ain't happened yet and nobody's learning nothing.