I’ve had a few conversations about this, and woke up thinking about it (again) so I decided I should write it down.
Katrina is not acting like an admiral or a psychiatrist in the confrontation with Lorca in his quarters. She’s acting like someone who was being strangled at phaser point five seconds ago. Strangled at phaser point by her lover. However they define (or don’t define) their relationship over the years, it’s been a sense of security and stability, comfort and familiarity. They’re them and now something’s off. It’s why she’s so worried in the first place and it’s why she has such a strong reaction to the aborted attack. He makes her feel safe so it is all the more terrifying that he’s the one scaring her. He’s panicking in that scene, but so is she.
And because of all this she’s in no position to remove him from command, and frankly, I see no evidence Starfleet would listen to her. She tells Gabriel she’s not blinded by his success in battle like the rest of them. What can she say to sway them from that? Option one, she says she evaluated him and he’s compromised. They point out the slew of psych evals he’s already passed. Maybe they order another one, which he would pass. Option two, she says she evaluated him and he’s compromised, and dangerous: he sleeps with a phaser under his pillow. They want to know how she knows this. If she lies, all Lorca has to do is tell the truth. She’s caught in a breach of regulations (sleeping with an inferior) and/or ethics (sleeping with a patient) and her recommendation looks like a cover up. If she tells the truth (and this is also option three) they say, you are compromised, Admiral. Ironically, the whole situation is more likely to ruin her career than his.
Neither of them is seeing clearly and both are reacting to fear.
saturnofthemoon replied: I thought of this as well. Also, isn’t it a bit suspicious that a man who dated a therapist knew how to pass his psych evals with flying colors?
Yes, it is, and even if any ‘help’ she gave him was inadvertent due to their longstanding relationship, she probably feels some responsibility. It’s another reason she shows up to speak with him in person and crosses all sorts of boundaries to do it: guilt that he’s not getting the help he needs, that she’s the only one who knows, and it’s partly her fault.
scififootball replied: Interesting argument that I hadn’t considered. But I get the impression that Lorca feels shame at being called out by Cornwell, so would probably go along with what she wants out of respect for his friend/lover, rather than risk harming her career.
I absolutely agree he feels shame and I mostly agree he wouldn’t want to harm her career (he definitely doesn’t want to harm her, career or self, but he’s in a bad place and may do so reacting to the pressure), but I can see him threatening to – which from his perspective is what she’s doing, so he’d even feel justified. And then they’d be in a stalemate for a while, with neither quite trusting the other but also having to, which I am ALL the way here for.
@pixiedane “Katrina is not acting like an admiral or a psychiatrist in the confrontation with Lorca in his quarters. She’s acting like someone who was being strangled at phaser point five seconds ago. Strangled at phaser point by her lover.”
(Part of me also think that her reaction makes it sound like her concern in his case is not with post-traumatic stress, or at least not anymore, after she realizes he lied on his psych evaluations. When she says his behaviour is pathological, she references two things: him lying, and him manipulating. This, coupled with the fact that she already expressed concern at his impulsive decisions and disregard for hierarchy, to me, hints at the fact that she sees psychopathic traits in his behaviour and that has got her on edge.
P.s. The one thing that negates this theory for me is how she goes to him, all in good hope, before embarking on the shuttle. She probably wouldn’t do that if she really thought the issue ran this deep, I guess. But then again I am swayed by him nonchalantly refusing to launch a rescue mission and being basically detached from empathy?)
This is not a very in-depth theory of mine, just a ramble as I was also just thinking about what she could possibly be thinking in that second that makes her panic like that and call him a “broken man”. But I think you are right, there is a lot of anger at herself in this as well (for not being able to get through to him, for not having gotten him the help he needs earlier, and probably also for sleeping with him in this case – as that completely compromised her credibility on this issue right now).
“He makes her feel safe so it is all the more terrifying that he’s the one scaring her. He’s panicking in that scene, but so is she.“
Agreed as well. When she says “I hate that I can’t tell if this is really you”, you can really see that she is struggling but can’t see through all the lies. That sounds like a completely horrifying concept – especially considering that what an extremely intimate situation they were in there, to then realise that something is completely, majorly amiss.
@scififootball “Interesting argument that I hadn’t considered. But I get the impression that Lorca feels shame at being called out by Cornwell, so would probably go along with what she wants out of respect for his friend/lover, rather than risk harming her career.”
He is shown to have a sense of complete… distrust and detachment from her. Already in the previous episode when he asks whether she is uncomfortable with the power he holds in Discovery and she stressed that she is his friend he sort of seems to just brush it off. Here again, even though she is continuously shown as trying to help him, he assumes ulterior motives. I think this is also completely connected to her freaking out, by the way, because all of a sudden he treats her as if their entire history didn’t matter, as if she would do something to hurt him. She is there, trying to help him, get him to talk about his emotions so that he processes the trauma, and he treats her like an enemy. Don’t know what Lorca’s deal is, but this is… big.
ETA: So basically, while he is shown as his fight-or-flight modus being stuck, what I am confused by is that he is shown as being completely detached from emotions… except for when Cornwell threatens to take his ship away. And even though I’ve read quite a bit on PTSD, I cannot assess whether all of his reactions can be explained by it. Halp?
#i am clearly way too far gone with this ship
I mostly just want to boost this beautiful wall of meta text but fwiw I read it as PTSD with a comorbid diagnosis of depression.