Star Trek: Discovery 1x08 "Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum" has a bizarre scene that I can't make sense of. L’Rell tells Admiral Cornwell that she wishes to defect, and they make their way through the hallways to the ship. Then this happens:

[Some Klingons spot them in the halls and confront them]

L'Rell: You're not what I expected.

Admiral Cornwell: Neither are you. [Grabs L'Rell's knife]

The two then fight, with L'Rell apparently killing Cornwell, then telling the other Klingons that she was going after the escaped prisoner.

I don't understand what the meaning of these words were. What did L'Rell mean when she said "You're not what I expected". That sounds like the words one would say when they realize they've been betrayed, but that's obviously not what either of them did, since neither summoned the Klingons.

What is the meaning behind the words in this scene?

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    I am under the impression that Cornwell was a more effective warrior than L'Rell expected, and the L'Rell was more clever than Cornwell expected. – Politank-Z Jan 15 '18 at 22:56

Cornwell was tougher than L'Rell expected a human to be. L'Rell appeared to be more thoughtful than Cornwell expected of a Klingon.

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    What leads you to this conclusion? Was there something earlier in their dialogue that led you to this? – Thunderforge Jan 16 '18 at 16:01
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    Cornwall hadn't given in to torture, which was something Klingons (who tended to view humans as "soft") would be impressed by, while L'Rell's conversation about defecting because of her disaffection wasn't something Cornwell would have expected from a Klingon, who by that point in the war, if they weren't already, would generally be considered brutish and bloodthirsty. – Keith Morrison Apr 3 '18 at 22:16

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