Strange New Worlds is plugging along and this week’s episode focuses on Spock.
The Enterprise is exploring a moon near Vulcan, Kerkhov, which was home to an ancient and advanced civilization. Pike allows the crew to have some downtime. Spock spends time in many ways, including preparing for his engagement dinner. Nurse Christine Chapel and he are somewhat avoiding each other because of romantic tension, and she is preparing for an interview with the Vulcan Science Academy. Both are sent, however, on a shuttle to investigate an anomaly at the moon. The anomaly causes the shuttle to start to crash, and when Spock awakes he is turned into a human! It turns out the Kerkhovians are still around at the other end of the anomaly tunnel, and they found the shuttle crashed into the gate and “remediated” the shuttle and Spock. But, because he’s half human and Chapel is fully human they figured that Spock needed to be fully human as well. The aliens are not much for conversation and the crew can’t contact them again.
Spock gets used to being human while Christine tries to find a cure. Pike has helped delay the engagement dinner because of his condition and T’Pring’s mother not being keen on the wedding in the first place. But, that is until Spock’s mother comes aboard and has arranged the dinner to be on the ship. She is in on the new condition of Spock and the crew helps in him learning to lie to appear Vulcan. As the dinner takes place, Chapel can only cure Spock by going to the Kerkhovians. She, Uhura, and Ortegas are able to be in the presence of the Kerkhovians, and the two urge Chapel to be honest about her relationship with Spock because the aliens are reluctant to help if he’s just a friend. Meanwhile, Spock is highly criticized by T’Pring’s mother and Spock doesn’t want T’Pring to be alarmed by his new condition because she’s already overwhelmed by her own mother. Spock is able to be convincing, even after being interrupted by Chapel to receive the cure. After he becomes Vulcan with the exception of appearance, he admits to all that he was able to still be Vulcan in custom though he was human, which contradicts his future mother-in-law’s racist remarks. In the end, T’Pring is upset that Spock didn’t tell her anyway, and she decides they need time apart. Chapel later visits him in his quarters and he admits his feelings for her and the episode ends with them kissing.
With that recap, it is time to dive into our thoughts on the episode!
Mr. Daps: “The music for Star Trek: Strange New World seems to be inspired by Star Trek: The Original Series. While it is its own themes, it definitely seems to pull from the music of the past. This week had some fun moments musically but probably wasn’t the most memorable score that has been heard for this series. It was fine but not my favorite.”
Murray: “The soundtrack score is always a great bit of fun. It wasn’t something that stood out in the midst of all scores for an episode, but it fit well. It also had some whimsical melodies for a light-hearted episode.”
Mr. Daps: “I would say this week’s design was fine. It again wasn’t my favorite but there wasn’t anything majorly wrong with it. I thought some of it was creative but it also felt a bit digital at times. I would place it in the middle of the quality spectrum that I’ve come to expect from Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.”
Murray: “I liked the design of the Kerkhovians and their dimension. It made for a unique alien species. There didn’t need to be much explanation for their appearance, and there wasn’t. It made for a great first contact. My one complaint for the episode was the shuttle and the gate. It was too fast moving and almost cartoony for Star Trek. But, it did fit the episode overall since it was a more fun one.”
Mr. Daps: “This week’s episode was enjoyable but I also felt like it was kind of revisiting ground that has been traveled on before. It’s nice to get to know the characters more. I am finding myself increasingly interested how this series will lead up to Star Trek: The Original series and the stories and characters that are known there. This week hinted at some things that come in Spock’s future that I’m very intrigued about. This definitely was a positive addition to the story. However, this could also create some problems with continuity in the future as well so it could go either way.”
Murray: “I enjoyed this story a lot and was very engaged. They continue to do great Spock episodes that explore this character that we’ve known for a long time. The crux of the episode was not too new. There has been a lot of Trek episodes where a main character is transformed and they only have a certain amount of time before it’s permanent. However, the tension of the personal life of Spock made this a fresh story to enjoy.”
Hit or Miss?
Mr. Daps: “I’m going to give this one a hit but it definitely was not a home run. The episode was enjoyable to watch but I also felt like it was a bit predictable. There were also some choices that were made that seemed like they were almost too obvious. However, I liked the character development, I enjoyed the story, and it kept me curious. I think as we learn more about this version of the crew of the Enterprise my estimation of this episode could go up or down… particularly when the continuity question gets more answers. That being said, at this point this was a decent episode that I enjoyed but it wasn’t my favorite.”
Murray: “I had a bit of a problem with the continuity of the episode. Knowing what happens with Spock and T’Pring in the Original Series, it does make some sense. However, there were only hints of Chapel and his relationship in that series. Still, this was a hit episode for me. I think it showcased how this series is light-hearted and can still bring in serious issues. It shows the maturity of the characters, and especially for it being a second season…well maybe 2.5 if you count Pike, Number One, and Spock being on Discovery. Overall, it makes for an already classic Trek episode, and I was quite pleased with that.”