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In Star Trek Discovery episode 4, one of the crew members deliberately lets out the (seemingly) murderous and invincible tardigrade. Unsurprisingly, this doesn't end well. Why would she do that when she must have known that a phaser would not stop it and that it would kill her and most likely her crew mate too?

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    Isn't it episode 4 where the tardigrade is let out? – Harabeck Jan 31 at 15:24
  • @Harabeck It's possible :) – fomin Jan 31 at 15:25
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    Have you watched the episode? Saru has an involuntary threat response, which is not activated around the tardigrade, which Burnham notices, and concludes that the creature is not inherently violent, only kiling when threatened. She also concludes that when it isn't being treated violently, it will be better able to perform the navigational function as a biological supercomputer in the mycelial network. This is all stated in the episode (4th episode fwiw) – NKCampbell Jan 31 at 15:32
  • @NKCampbell Isn't that all after the crew member releases the tardigrade and gets killed? I can't remember her name but she gets all agitated, arms herself with a phaser and then demands it is release. What is her motivation for thinking this is a good idea? – fomin Jan 31 at 15:51
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If you're talking about the crew member who, uh, meets an unfortunate end, she says precisely what her motivation is: she wants to please her captain and get the creature's claws so they can develop them into weapons. Yes, she's operating on incomplete/incorrect information, and Burnham tries to tell her so, but she's not in a mood to listen, especially not to The Mutineer.

As far as why let the creature out, rather than letting the crew member in, (1) I'm not sure that would've been any safer, and (2) it's possible that the resources available in the enclosure, starting with lighting, were not sufficient, or were not perceived to be sufficient, to the intended purpose of the operation.

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  • At the time the crew member does this (does she have a name?), doesn't she already know how invincible the tardigrade is? – fomin Jan 31 at 16:23
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    @fomin, yes, she does: that's the whole point. She thinks the creature has invincible claws, and she wants to cut said claws off. Yes, it's dangerous, but she's being fueled by bravado, not good sense. (I'm sure she has a name, but I'm terrible with remembering names.) – Martha Jan 31 at 16:27
  • @fomin and the conversation about this is literally the same scene in my comment. Burnham is saying that the dead crewmember was acting violently and harmfully toward the creature, so it naturally defended itself. – NKCampbell Jan 31 at 17:17

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