Recap/Review: ‘Star Trek: Strange New Worlds’ Tests Spock’s Identity In “The Serene Squall”

“The Serene Squall”

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Season 1, Episode 7 – Debuted Thursday, June 16, 2022
Written by: Beau DeMayo & Sarah Tarkoff
Directed by Sydney Freeland

Strange New Worlds brings back another classic storyline in order to do some fascinating character exploration.

Jesse James Keitel as Dr. Aspen, Anson Mount as Pike, Ethan Peck as Spock

 

WARNING: Spoilers below!

RECAP

“This sector is the quadrant’s version of the Wild West.”

The Enterprise is on a humanitarian mission on the frontier of Federation space. A kindly Dr. Aspen convinced Starfleet to send Captain Pike in search of three lost colony ships and warns him about the dangers of a dangerous pirate ship named the Serene Squall (episode title!) that has been harassing colonists in the sector. After finding the debris from two colony ships, the crew assumes the third has been taken by the pirates with the goal of using the colonists as their booty and selling them into slavery. Pike is not having it—and isn’t going to wait for Starfleet to give him the OK to leave Federation space to save them. A distress call leads them to an asteroid field, which turns out to be a trap made of lasers that will impede any move they make–as delicately noted by Ortegas–resulting in “kaboom.” Spock sorts out the solution of how to destroy the asteroid powering the net, although he struggles with Pike’s insistence to go with his “gut” to decide between two equally possible choices.

Dr. Aspen seeks Spock out to offer counsel; they have taken a keen interest in him since coming on board and show a deep understanding of Vulcan culture. Spock was already out of sorts, starting off the episode with an awkward remote sex chat with T’Pring that sent him to his buddy Christine Chapel for more advice, this time on how to deal with his girlfriend’s strange new interest in human sexuality. Aspen urges Spock to find a new balance between his halves, but he isn’t ready for that, asking “If I am not Human or Vulcan, what am I?” Before this profound question of identity can be addressed, the third colony ship is found. Pike leads an armed landing party to free the hostages but finds an empty cargo hold. It’s a trap! While Pike and team are captured, other pirates board the Enterprise with firefights and Number One quickly locks out the ship’s controls. Spock embraces his Vulcan side to take out a few bad guys before escaping the bridge with Dr. Aspen.

Ethan Peck as Spock and Jesse James Keitel as Dr. Aspen

“We’re starting a mutiny!”

Pike meets the pirates, led by Remy, who informs him the supposed colony ship is actually the Serene Squall itself, now home to Number One and the rest of the caged Enterprise crew. After some small talk and complimenting his handsomeness, Remy starts torturing Pike for the command codes, but even with a bloody lip and his signature coif mangled, Chris holds his ground, suggesting he instead cook the pirates a decent meal. That’s one ballsy Boy Scout. Using a bit of clever social engineering, Pike manipulates Remy into a plan to sell the crew to the Klingons—which sounds bad but it’s all part of his plan to drive a wedge between Remy and his pirate crew.

On the Enterprise, Spock and Aspen sneak through the Enterprise, and separately, Nurse Chapel does the same, showing off her bedside manner by taking out some pirates with a hypospray. Dr. Aspen recommends they leave the ship, revealing a personal connection by telling Spock the pirates killed their Vulcan husband, which is why they left Starfleet for humanitarian work. Spock isn’t leaving, and instead arms them as they head to engineering to find Christine trying to get past that lockout to send a distress call. Spock uses his codes to take control of the ship, but it turns out to be another trap: Dr. Aspen is actually the dread pirate Captain Angel. On the bridge, Angel gets comfortable in the captain’s chair and informs Spock that their whole colonist sob story plan to capture the ship was actually all about him, and it isn’t just because they think he’s cute.

Anson Mount as Pike, Lawrence Libor as Weapons Pirate, and Michael Hough as Remy

“The logical move is to surrender.”

Captain Angel’s true motivation is revealed in a call to T’Pring, who happens to work at a Vulcan rehabilitation center (don’t call it a prison, it’s nice). They want an exchange of loves: Spock for a Vulcan named Xaverius. Angel knows T’Pring’s bond with Spock will get her to agree, and they’re proven right as T’Pring shows up at the agreed exchange spot, but now it’s time for Spock to spring a trap of his own. He apologizes to T’Pring for giving in to his human desires, and his pal Christine catches on and “reveals” they’ve been having an affair. They sell it with a very convincing kiss, and even if jaded Angel isn’t buying, it’s enough for T’Pring to sever the marriage bond and therefore any obligation. That’s right, Angel got Spockblocked. Before they can take out the Vulcan ship, the Serene Squall shows up and starts firing on the Enterprise, locking out the pirates once again. The mutiny plan worked and Pike is now in command of the pirate ship. Angel knows how to read a room and transports away to their secret hidden shuttle, leaving the rest of the pirates at the mercy of Starfleet.

With Captain Pike and his hair back in place, Spock faces T’Pring, who says she saw right through the “gambit” with Chapel, dismissing any notion that he could really have feelings for her. Apparently, denial is also not a river on Vulcan. Inspired by his human passion roleplaying, T’Pring suggests a “rebonding”… wink, wink. Christine later tells Spock she knows the score: He is with T’Pring, and therefore as an honorable man, she is firmly in the friend zone.  But she is curious about Xaverius, noting that Spock had indicated he knew him. He reveals that it is an assumed name for another son of Sarek, one who has rejected logic, someone he was told to avoid “at all costs.” That’s right. Say it with me… Sybok!

Ethan Peck as Spock and Jesse James Keitel as Captain Angel

ANALYSIS

Finding an identity

Another solid Strange New Worlds episode provides an interesting spin on the old ship-gets-taken-over scenario, with added focus on developing the character of Spock. Strong themes of things not appearing to be what they seem and identity tie it together, but some abrupt tonal changes hold the episode back.

Ethan Peck carried much of the weight of the episode, with guest star Jesse James Keitel’s inspired casting to help explore Spock’s big issue of finding the right balance between his Human and Vulcan halves. This is an issue he won’t resolve fully until the TOS movie era when he rejects the Kolinahr, a ritual he is still very much looking forward to here. We can also see how his relationship with T’Pring wraps into him seeing himself as Vulcan, dashing any hope for exploring the clear connection he has with Chapel. Keitel showed range as both the syrupy Dr. Aspen and the ruthless Captain Angel, both of whom had the same message for Spock to reject trying to fit himself into boxes so he can find his own identity. Spock has always been a character who appealed to those who feel like outsiders, including many in the LGBTQ+ community, and so Keitel (as a nonbinary trans actress playing a nonbinary character) delivering this message to Spock was particularly on point.

Jesse James Keitel as Dr. Aspen as Ethan Peck as Spock

Shortcuts to the long game

The big twist—Angel’s reveal as the pirate captain—was unnecessarily given away early on when Remy revealed the colony ship was actually the Serene Squall, indicating that Aspen was at least working with the pirates. Captain Pike’s little story of fomenting mutiny on the Serene Squall was a lot of fun, allowing Anson Mount and other members of the cast to play some broad humor, and the snappy chemistry between Pike and Ortegas continues to be one of the highlights of the series; Melissa Navia has great timing, too. Having Pike beat the pirates with his wits was classic Star Trek; however, the almost sitcom-y tone of this subplot didn’t fit well with the main story.  Pike’s hilarious cliché pirate talk at the end almost made it all worth it, but this comedic tone undercut the stakes of the episode, with apparently no casualties after supposedly ruthless pirates took the Enterprise and the crew fought to reclaim their ship. There’s also is a lot of handwaving needed to buy how easy it was for Angel to lure the exact ship they needed into this trap, with either some elaborate offscreen detailing or an unforgivable lack of due diligence back at Starfleet.

Some of the plot shortcuts are due to the episodic nature of the series and the need to begin and wrap up a story efficiently, but we can see the where Strange New Worlds is also effective with serialization when it comes to the characters. The show has been playing the long game here, setting up many elements that paid off like elements of the Spock/T’Pring relationship, Spock’s growing chemistry with Chapel, and even the setup of T’Pring as a rehabilitation officer to loop her into a story that will bring in Sybok. That also appears to be leading somewhere, although no actor was yet credited as Spock’s half-brother initially introduced in Star Trek V. It’s still a good bet the series will return to him, and there is plenty of room in canon to explore this unusual, yet potentially fascinating Vulcan. And speaking of long games, the episode also subtly introduced the character of Stonn as a rehabilitation colleague of T’Pring’s, setting up that she eventually will choose him over Spock in “Amok Time.” This episode also showed how even though Jess Bush’s Chapel is very much different from the demure Chapel of TOS, there’s some strong connective tissue to the TOS character. Underneath the bravado of SNW’s Chapel, there’s tremendous vulnerability as she accepts her fate to be friend-zoned by the man she’s falling for, smitten by his integrity as well as his confidence… and that passionate kiss.

Jess Bush as Nurse Chapel

Final thoughts

A fun pirate story mixed together with a thoughtful exploration of Spock’s identity adds up to yet another win for Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.

Lawerence Libor as Weapons Pirate

Random bits

  • This is the second Strange New Worlds writing credit for both co-producer Sarah Tarkoff and supervising producer Beau DeMayo.
  • This is the first Star Trek credit for director Sydney Freeland.
  • Stardate 1997.9.
  • Once again, Bruce Horak’s Hemmer does not appear.
  • Angel (as Dr. Aspen) called Pike “Starfleet’s Boy Scout,” and Number One said it was in his file. In Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan David Marcus calls Captain Kirk an “overgrown Boy Scout.” Captain Archer of the NX-01 was a Boy Scout and an Eagle Scout.
  • Using remote codes to take over a Starfleet ship is a move that Kirk will use on Khan Noonien-Singh when he takes over the USS Reliant in Star Trek II.
  • The laser trap used by the pirates resembled the web-like tractor field used by Tholians first seen in TOS’ “The Tholian Web.”
  • Pike’s “Alpha Braga IV” plan to foment mutiny with the pirates could be named for longtime Star Trek writer/producer Brannon Braga.
  • Sybok was described as a V’tosh ka’tur, or a Vulcan without logic, first referenced in the Enterprise episode “Fusion.”
  • The location of the Ankeshtan K’Til Vuclan Criminal Rehabilitation Center was on the 3rd moon of Omicron Lyrae, which is a reference to a recurring location in the X universe of videogames.
  • Dr. Aspen was a counselor on Starbase 12, which has been mentioned in multiple Trek series starting with TOS’ “Space Seed.”
  • Remy’s plan to sell the Enterprise crew to the Klingons was to start at Qu’Vat Colony, which was a Klingon outpost in the 22nd century seen in Star Trek: Enterprise.
  • Like a good pirate ship, the Serene Squall had a functional ship’s wheel.
  • On the Serene Squall, Remy sat at (presumably Captain Angel’s) desk, which had what looked like a Vulcan Kal-toh game.
  • Did anyone go back to look for the real stranded Dr. Aspen? Hope so!

Michael Hough as Remy

More to come

Every Friday, the TrekMovie.com All Access Star Trek Podcast covers the latest news in the Star Trek Universe and discusses the latest episode. The podcast is available on Apple PodcastsSpotifyPocket CastsStitcher and is part of the TrekMovie Podcast Network.

New episodes of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds debut on Thursdays exclusively on Paramount+ in the U.S., Latin America, Australia and the Nordics. The series airs on Bell Media’s CTV Sci-Fi Channel and streams on Crave in Canada. In New Zealand, it is available on TVNZ, and in India on Voot SelectStrange New Worlds will arrive via Paramount+ in select countries in Europe when the service launches later this year, starting with the UK and Ireland in June.


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It’s like I’m 10 again. Thanks, SNW!

I love this because it’s true.

Amen to that!

It is a damn good time to be a Trekkie. Wowowowow.

Painfully bad! Excruciating. Laughable.

Oh, so you were ten during the first season of Enterprise. Wild time, Scott Bakula, 9/11, those Don Rumsfeld riddles…

Today, Strange New Worlds dives into a very common Trek trope, weirdly weak aliens somehow implausibly capturing the Starfleet Flagship for nefarious purposes! We’ve seen this many times, perhaps most memorably in the TNG episode Rascals. SNW hasn’t been afraid to make extensive use of Trek tropes in its freshman season, but in this episode for the first time it’s not amazing. 
Don’t get me wrong, even though I liked this episode the least, it’s a quite good and perfectly serviceable story with good character development. Let’s go through this episode piece by piece:

The episode opens up with T’Pring hilariously telling Spock she’s reading smutty human books with the intention of exploring Spock’s uh… human side of his sexuality. Watching Spock choke on his drink when he hears this was hilarious. Spock then immediately goes to Nurse Chapel for help, who offers some good relationship advice, although it’s very obvious she has feelings for him. 

Next up, we have a Dr. Aspen telling Pike and the crew over dinner about colonial ships in trouble, and Pike immediately has the Enterprise leave Federation space to rescue them. From the start it’s incredibly obvious that Dr. Aspen is up to no good, which makes Pike’s actions less believable. Enterprise wanders into a Tholian-style trap, which Spock unravels. Dr. Aspen clearly is taken with Spock. Chapel, T’Pring, Aspen, everyone’s into Spock!

Dr. Aspen, or Captain Angel, makes her incredibly predictable double-cross and captures the ship and crew. The crew is imprisoned on the Serene Squall, and what Pike does is exactly why he’s one of the greatest captains of the franchise. He offers to make the pirate crew a proper meal, exposes the interim pirate captain’s plan to sell them to the Klingons, and wins over the pirate crew by simply showing he cares about their well-being. 

Meanwhile on the Enterprise, Angel tries to blackmail T’Pring into handing over her mysterious lover in exchange for Spock. To stop this, Spock proclaims that he and Chapel are having an affair, giving T’Pring a reason to “end” their relationship on the spot and defeat Angel’s plan. Pike comes in to save the day, Angel escapes, and Spock is in a tough position. T’Pring and Chapel both say Spock is too Vulcan to love anyone but T’Pring, and both are in love with him. 

Even though this was a very predictable and not thrilling episode, it’s still good. First episode of the season that’s not great. But if this is the worst SNW has to offer, then this is the best Trek show in decades. Also, seeing Pike do a pirate impression at the end was worth everything and then some. That was hilarious. How is Pike so incredibly charming??? And Spock too tbh. 

7/10

I’m a little embarrassed to admit I did not pick up on Angel’s double cross. When it happened to me it came out of left field. Essentially one eyebrow raised.

The writing of Pike trying to start a mutiny was a little too obvious and the acting as unusually over the top, continuing to remind the audience of what they are doing. That could have been a lot more subtle. But Secret Hideout had a hard time with subtlety.

Yep I didn’t see it coming either. I thought that might have been the twist they were setting up before the episode started. But once I watched it, it never dawned on me that she would be the villain. But I loved it!

Same! 🤔

My husband expected it all along, but luckily he kept that to himself, because I was surprised when Aspen/Angel turned on Spock and Chapel.

That was a huge step down from last Weeks outing. Not terrible but nothing special either. And using the “Tholian” Web in the preview was a bit clickbait…y in my opinion.

The guest actress was okay but got too much and too little screentime at the same time. Her immediate connection with Spock just comes out of nowhere and should have been developed more and after the “twist” her overacting and scenery chewing is wayyyy too over the top. But that might actually be more the directors fault.

And then there’s SNWs general problem with the episodes being somewhat empty in calories. What is this even supposed to be about? At the start it felt like they were using Spocks Human and Vulcan sides as a Trans-Metaphor. Not the most original idea but not a bad one either. But it went absolutely nowhere and didn’t really make sense in universe either since the character of the scientist/pirate wasn’t trans, only the actor.

In lots of Documentaries about TNG you hear the story that Roddenberry had the habit of asking authors what the story is actually about and refusing to use the script until he got an answer that makes sense to him. For all his failings, that’s something that’s sorely missing from this show. Even though it doesn’t make it a bad show.

Also: I don’t know where the Sybock thing is going but I don’t really want to know. Make up your own characters and stories god damn it! 🙄

I was with the episode until the Big Twist. After that, it just seemed like a series of cliched villain lines and other bits of ham, and it never quite recovered for me. The Sybok reveal didn’t help. Are we supposed to be excited about seeing him?

Yeah, that was so weird. The stuff between Spock and the “counsellor” really worked. I was actually interested to see, where they’re taking this. Turns out: nowhere.

Ir reminds me a little of the first discovery Season, where they had this really interesting PTSD Storyline with Ash. But instead of it going somewhere, they did a twist, that he’s actually a Klingon. Same with the Captain being an evil Mirror Universe Space Nazi, which killed every interesting aspect about his character.

There should really be a giant sign in the Writers Room for all these Star Trek shows, that just says: “No Twists! And People can be interesting without trauma in their past! Oh and for the love of god, no more Space Tentacles, Alex!” 😁

Yes, I’ve grown to dislike the surprise villain twist. It’s old and tiresome. Like something out of a dime novel from 1880.

Dr. Aspen was far more interesting than Angel. Her scenes with Spock seemed like they were building to something interesting. Maybe the non-binary discussion was less-than-subtle but it wasn’t terrible. Then, like you said, it went nowhere.

Yes, it looked like the writers were on work-experience at Discovery’s writing room.

You know you could just not take cheap shots at Discovery? It’s become a tired trope at this point. The way people will go out of their way to trash a show they don’t like is as bizarre as it was disturbing.

It’s really getting out of hand, and it’s frankly just plain juvenile and rude.

It’s a show by the same producers falling into the terrrible habits of one of their other shows. How exactly is it unfair to compare the two?

Not sure it was a twist….I just completely forgot about Sybok.

We already knew Sybok was someone who rejected Vulcan logic and the implications were there in this episode (ie Spock saying about not being sure as to what he is).

It all came together although again, not everyone can be pleased.

It was presented, formally, as a twist by withholding the reveal of the true identity of the prisoner until the end and then giving his appearance a very dramatic introductory shot.

Not Sybok, the twist of Aspen being a villain. Like I said, that was the twist, then it became a series of cliched villainy. Then we got the Sybok reveal.

Sorry if I didn’t make that clear in my earlier comment, I was typing fast.

Ah ok, sorry. Aspen was a very predictible twist without question. I think most of us called it a quarter way through the episode!

I’ll give them this much… Just this little bit they revealed makes a semblance of sense given what we know of Sybok from TFF. I actually expected them to bring in Sybok and make him… Well… Something else.

But we don’t really know what they are going to do with him yet. This is episode 7 so there isn’t much time if they are.

Well, there’s always next season to bring back Sybok again. Personally, I’d rather not have to deal again with Sybok, if it means more time with his over-the-top mustache-twirling spouse, Captain Angel! Hope they do something more interesting with the final three episodes.

Being in a TOS movie, Sybok is inarguably canon, yet I’ve seen many people throughout the years half-humorously refer to the events in Final Frontier as apocryphal — wishful thinking, I guess! But today’s episode firmly shoves Sybok back into canon territory; can’t ignore it now…

Because no one has ever argued that the secret hideout shows aren’t canon ;-)

“Canon and canon, what is canon?”

>;>}

I think it was an interesting character mirroring Spock’s human/vulcan side with the actor, which could be seen as both binary (Vulcan and Human or non-binary (neither Vulcan nor Human, simply Spock).
The twist was odd but made the episode “spicy”. So Angel was basically Hans Gruber from Die Hard?!? When Chapel fled through the Jeffries Tube I really had the impression this would gonna be “Starship Mine” which again is the TNG version of Die hard.
An odd, but funny episode. SWN turns out to be funnier as the new season of The Orville!
I suppose season 1 is testing various styles to see what fans like and don’t like.

Yeah, that is the weird thing to me. The Actress is trans and might see herself as non-binary (I honestly don’t know) but the character isn’t. So her “insights” from a character standpoint were weird. Especially since I don’t think most current trans issues would still be a thing in Roddenberrys vision of the future.

But I could have forgiven that, if they just went anywhere with it. As it stands its that one set up scene and a short villain speech at the end. There’s no real point.

But yeah. Maybe they’re trying out stuff. As a first Season of a Trek show there sure have been worse (though I do not know if that would hold true, if you just took the ten best episodes from each Post TOS shows First Season 🤔)

The character is non-binary in-universe, using they/them pronouns. As far as “trans issues,” there weren’t any within the show. No one batted an eye at using the pronouns, because Dr. Aspen already disclosed them to the people who would need to know.

Regarding the one scene in which a character did have an issue declaring pronouns, Adira’s NB status was new to them, and they were a teenager. It will always be difficult for someone to come to terms with their identity, even if that identity is cishet, for no other reason than because puberty is difficult for everyone.

Did I miss something? The character was never addressed as “them” by anyone 🤨

Christine literally refers to Aspen using the “they” pronoun in her the scene with her and Spock in the corridor.

That is something I didn’t notice because English is not my native language and I sometimes miss details That also went totally down in the german dub when mentioned in Discovery. I was clueless when I followed the discussion about that.

Was sagen sie denn in der deutschen Discovery Version? :-D

Pike said “their” or “them” right at the very end, but that was it as far as I recall. I’m not sure if we meant to infer it from either familiarity or what could possibly be construed as androgynous clothing. In the run up to this ep, there were posts on here and elsewhere about there being a non-binary actor/character, but I didn’t know if it would just be like “hey, cool, representation” or if it would be used for some kind of message. I much prefer subtlety over the heavy-handedness of DIS, but maybe it was *too* subtle here. The whole metaphor didn’t quite land.

There was a “they” from Chapel at the beginning and one from Pike at the end.

Of course, the person she were referring to at the beginning turned out *not* to be the same one he was referring to at the end. So…how did that work? Is she a member of some species who are all “they”? Did she pause in the hijacking at some point and say, “Angel, the pirate taking over your ship, pronouns they/them/their”? Please.

Back in the 60’s, liberated women wore miniskirts, so the producers of TOS thought it completely sensible that female officers on a starship three centuries hence would do so. We look back on those passing fashions and chuckle. If we’re very lucky, we’ll look back on this in the not-too-distant future and…well, miniskirts is one thing. Chuckling over some things won’t be possible.

I hope I am not giving too many spoilers, but I disagree.
That was straight up in-your-face identity politics. It was almost cringeworthy. The moment the character turned up in the rubber catsuit, you know she was the baddie. The fact the actor is trans is just a sledgehammer, and all the marketing on her being non-binary is just ridiculous. It really is the problem with modern storytelling; the lack of nuance. She even has some really divisive dialogue over identity. I’m sorry, I can’t quote, because that is not an episode I wish to see again, it will only make me nervous of what is to come. Every season has those really bad eps you wish you hadn’t seen, this is one of those.

Now, can someone clarify who exactly the big green scot was, please, and the black human woman who as Pike says, I believe, the brains of the operation? I don’t understand, it was all so muddled.

Marketing has nothing to do with the story. This obsession some fans have with how the show is marketed is just bizarre. If you don’t like the marketing department touting the diversity of a show, then just ignore that and watch the show. It’s not like the show itself has ads saying as much in-universe.

This whole rants reeks of transphobia and it’s incredibly offensive.

Agreed. Just pathetic.

Nice outrage. It was just a matter of time before someone had to use the word ‘transphobia’.

It applies here.

That the very existence of a non-binary character is political to the person reeks of fear.

Angel/Aspen existing and being comfortable with that is the “propaganda” this sad little poster is referring to.

And yes, it is an apt simile since the character settled with they, between IDs, non-binary. Just as Spock is struggling with two IDs human/Vulcan.

Fun fact: a biracial fan wrote Nimoy back in the day about connecting with Spock’s specifically because of him being both Vulcan and human and Nimoy’s response was supportive.

That’s pretty mich my problem wirth it. Using Spocks struggle with his identity to say something about gender identity and in the proces exploring gender identity in the Trek-Future isn’t a bad idea. But they did nothing with it. It’s one short scene, that doesn’t even make sense in-universe and that’s it.

The Orville tried a similar thing in it’s first season. And while you can argue, that that episode also didn’t achive it’s goal, it was at least about the thing they were trying to say something about.

To me that’s where most of the criticism percieved as x-phobic or x-ist comes from. It’s not that “woke” topics don’t merit great stories (there’s plenty of examples) it’s just that nowadays they’re just soooo badly written. (which doesn’t mean, that some people are just A-holes … that’s how it is)

Anyone who was bi-racial or raised by parents of different faiths could relate to Spock back in the 1960’s and in the decades that followed. The character continues to have an impact on people today.

It was total justified. Also nice of you to openly show yourself as a bigot with your comment, Chris. Dismissing flagrant uses of transphobia is transphobic- so congratulations on showing yourself up.

You don’t know me, I could be anything, so stick your judgement.

I don’t think the marketing was an issue. For certain communities, it’s a big deal, and of course a marketing team is going to make noise about it. However, within the story, I just don’t think it worked because the character’s non-binary status didn’t feature in the plot, so the comparison with Spock’s own situation wasn’t there to be made. Maybe the writers were worried after some fans’ responses to DIS’ handling of non-binary.

As for the big green bloke, I assumed he was Angel’s second in command, who was posing as the captain as part of the ruse. The woman was just a member of the crew. She was singled out by Pike because she was visibly unhappy with what the green (Orion?) guy was doing (maybe he wasn’t quite following Angel’s plan to the letter and letting power go to his head).

I don’t think the episode was quite as bad as you say. It certainly had some good moments in it, even if it wasn’t perfect. Though yes, Angel was clearly the baddie from the beginning. The identity politics bit was only part of it – is that what you’re basing your view of the whole episode on?

To be sure, it didn’t work for you. Just because you didn’t get it, doesn’t mean it wasn’t there to get.

Stop gaslighting people! Just because someone doesn’t like a plot-element or thinks it was badly executed, does not mean, he doesn’t “get it” …

I totally got it, but that was mostly due to having the advance knowledge of the casting of the actor and the marketing around them. My point is that within the context of the episode, in-universe, there was nothing in the story to suggest that this character was non-binary, to suggest that these words had any specific meaning and weighting. I can only recall one reference to the character’s pronouns at the very end of the episode. We didn’t have any moments with the character where they related their own experiences to Spock’s. The context was completely missing. The character wasn’t obviously non-binary presenting (I’m not even sure what non-binary presenting would look like and I don’t think we should be so proscriptive anyway). It would have been possible to watch that episode assuming that the character was a woman, possibly with the knowledge that the actor is non-binary (because after all, it is acting, I have no issues with a non-binary person playing a binary person), or possibly without. In that case, if an audience member is watching what they presume to be a woman character giving this speech, is the intended meaning not then totally lost? I just think this could have been handled better.

Just to be clear: I want as much representation on Star Trek as possible. Represent all of humanity. Every part of the spectrum/rainbow/diverse tapestry that makes up our species and society. I just want it to be better executed.

Identity politics, the politics of being. Some people are for some people “being,” while other people are against some people “being.” What a juvenile conflict and it’s offensive to think that bigotry has to be offered a seat at the table of discussion.

Well said, Mudd.

Exactly! When one person’s mere right to openly exist the same as everyone else is someone’s else flagrant “identity politics”, then the latter should begin asking themselves some important questions. You’d think that mindset would come a bit more naturally to Trekkies, but there’ll always be fans who miss the point I guess. But anyway, you’re right on target with what you said.

Shame on you!

Jesus, that’s a lot to unpack at once there. Can you try saying one problematic thing at a time?

I didn’t know she was trans so I guess that was all lost on me, huh?

As for the rest…Huh?

It was actually Michael Piller who asked what the story was actually about, and how did it relate to and change one or more of the characters. Roddenberry just rejected scripts if they didn’t follow that day’s arbitrary rules that he had decided was and wasn’t Star Trek and then re-wrote them to insert his ego into the franchise. It’s telling that none of his re-writes are ever in an article with the title: “Great TNG Episodes”.

Oh well … there goes one of the few positive things I had to say about Roddenberry 😅

Anyways … RIP Michael Piller. You’re missed.

Piller is definitely missed!

No, you were right. Piller credited Roddenberry for teaching him that.

You’re mistaken. Piller himself said it was Roddenberry who taught him the “what’s it about?” way to approach a story.

I’m not sure if they’ll let me post a link here, just look up “michael piller roddenberry” on Youtube. The first video is him talking about this.

In lots of Documentaries about TNG you hear the story that Roddenberry had the habit of asking authors what the story is actually about and refusing to use the script until he got an answer that makes sense to him

And yet when he had that level of control in S1 and S2, we got some of the blandest, piss-poor quality Trek eps in the history of the franchise.

Be careful what you wish for. :-)

Believe me. Im the last person to praise Roddenberry for anything. But a show is always a creative process and if there’s some weird limitations you have to work around, it can be incredibly enriching.

I don’t know how it is on P+ but at least in the early days of Netflix originals they gave the creatives an incredible amount of freedom. Which led to some really good shows but also bloated Episodes and really slow moving plots that were barely enough to fill two episodes let alone a season of a show. Sometimes the Network Execs aren’t a bad thing. And other times they want a new boyband playing in the mess hall of every other Enterprise Episode 😅

Good points!

The quality of early TNG aside, it’s still good advice for writers.

Did anybody notice during the bridge scene when they were trapped in the asteroid field, that Captain Pike was looking the wrong way when the Enterprise fired it’s phasers and destroyed the asteroid.

I did not! Nice catch!

So this weeks episode was really good i enjoyed it alot.

The best thing i liked about this episode was Dr.Aspen/Captain Angel i loved the character and yes i know the character was actually the baddie but i still loved the character.
I’m happy that SNW brought in a trans character. Discovery has done the LGBTQIA+ community justice and it’s great seeing SNW getting into it too and i hope we get more characters from the LGBTQIA+ community in the future and i really hope in S2 the writers add a trans character to the man cast.

I liked seeing Sybok at the end even if it was mostly the back of his head lol.
Though i hope we see more back story to the character in later episodes and i would love more flashbacks to Spock’s childhood with Micheal Burnham too as we need more of their story.

Overall a really good episode and so far this season of SNW has been good though it wouldn’t be in my top 10 of best seasons of Trek.

She wasn’t a trans character, was she? Was that states anywhere in the episode? 🤔

I think we could speculate about that, but since it isn’t stated, it is exactly how Star Trek Universe should be: it isn’t a thing.

The character uses they/them pronouns. I think Angel is non-binary, but not necessarily trans.

Regardless of all that, a very attractive individual and a very good actor.

That was my question from some of these posts. Was she a trans character? I thought she was some new alien. Either way, does it matter? Knowing that doesn’t change the episode or her role one teeny tiny bit.

I don’t think the character herself is trans, just the actor.

But I thought she was a new alien too. Is she suppose to be human?

She/They is a trans acress portraying a non-binary character.
What we old folks back in the day would call androgenous (i.e. Bowie, Prince).
Instead of just dressing the part they are between the genders.

Seven episodes into the season and not a weak episode yet. That hasn’t happened since TOS. SNW is knocking it out of the park.

Was not a fan of TOS but this has been superb!

Easily the best first season of a Trek show since TOS.

Incredible that there are only 3 episodes left! I wanna have a full season with 24 episodes!

I don’t think ANYBODY does 24 episodes anymore.

Law and Order still does it baby! That show will outlive Star Trek and much of the planet once the ice caps melt.

16 – 24 episodes is still a thing on broadcast and cable but Paramount+ can’t afford to churn out three 24 episode live action Star Trek series. You’re basically looking at a budget for the total number of live-action Star Trek episodes combined to be produced each year and what you’re getting is essentially a single season’s worth of shows spread over three series.

It didn’t even happen in TOS lol. I can’t think of watching seven episodes straight without any stinkers in its first season. I always hated Charlie X and Mudd’s Women. And don’t get me started on Miri. One of the creepiest episodes I will never watch again after rewatching it first season.

I will say the difference between TOS and SNW first season is that a lot of TOS has a very horror/dour vibe at times. I mean I can’t imagine an episode where Pike kills his best friend who turns into a demigod lol.

I always hated Charlie X and Mudd’s Women. And don’t get me started on Miri. One of the creepiest episodes I will never watch again after rewatching it first season.

LOL, agreed, although Charlie X I disliked mainly because I wanted to step in and give that super annoying kid a can of whoop-ass.

You rattled off three of the worst episodes from the first season! It didn’t start of great. The bulk of the first season stinkers were aired up front. But when you look at the production order the good ones and worse ones are fairly even…

Yeah I know. I’m only saying it wasn’t a perfect first season in the way SNW is turning out for me so far. But of course SNW will only have a third of the episodes TOS did in its first season. So I try not to compare the new shows like the old ones because the old ones have so many more.

The vast majority of the first season episodes had strong horror elements, just as the third season was mostly ghost stories.

Oh how can you hate Charlie X? Those uncomfortable father-son scenes between Kirk and Charlie were great. And the look on Janice’s face when Charlie swats her on the butt is classic!

Progressive: casting a trans person to play a nonbinary character.
Not progressive: falling into the 100-year old “queer villain” writers trope

Also, for the second straight week, they give the antagonist the last word, which formally suggests that’s the writers point, and for the second straight week, the writers are saying “Everybody thinks the good stuff in Star Trek is good, but what if… it’s actually bad?” Captain Angel’s line (paraphrasing) “Your human side versus your Vulcan side was always a false choice” is bizarre and doesn’t feel like an idea fully considered, merely thrown out there as a way of rebelling against the ideas from the sixties.

Anyway, I know we’re not allowed to take issue with the show breaking, bending, discarding, or insulting canon, so at the end of the day, whatever to this point about the “false choice” concept offered at the end.

But, this was the first week of the show where I learned that we must also not take issue with breaking, bending, discarding, or insulting science or even the internal logic of the storytelling. We are told that the Enterprise is too far away from Fed space to have live communication, and yet we see Angel talking to T’Pring. And then a ship from inside Federation space warps into the system in no time at all. I understand that Star Trek is not and has never been science fiction (it has always been science fantasy), but I guess I didn’t realize how much I need to turn my brain off to even make sense of this show half the time.

Finally, this show is so desperate to be cool. “Pro tip,” EDM blasting from the cool guest star’s quarters, and I don’t have a third thing off the top of my head to complete this thought, but it’s very sweaty. Very “here’s what a middle aged dude thinks the kids think is cool.” Because they very much want to make Star Trek cool for the first time ever. (They will not succeed — Star Trek at its best is far, far away from what’s considered present day cool. That has always been the case.)

But as dumb as this one was, it was still not as bad as that Gorn episode. I liked all the Aspen/Angel-Spock stuff. I just don’t agree they should’ve had the last word.

My main problem with that EDM blasting scene was that we haven’t managed to soundproof a room 200 years in the Future 😁

Hah, I thought of that, too, but it bothered me far less than the purpose of that entire (pointless) beat: to show that Aspen is “hella cool yo.”

Make that over 350 years on the future. After all, everyone on Voyager deck 9, section 8 knew when Tom and B’Elanna were having intimate relations!

Just can’t please everyone….

You’re right on with that. 100%. And I confess I’m hard to please where Star Trek is concerned. I’m definitely biased by a few of the older shows (TOS, TNG, DS9), which featured some of the best television writing of their eras. And I’d like to feel like my subscription dollars aren’t going towards product that feels like “Baby’s First TV Show” half the time.

Well put, kudos.

“Everybody thinks the good stuff in Star Trek is good, but what if… it’s actually bad?” From the description this episode doesn’t sound like my cup of tea at all, but in principle, I have no problems with that at all. DS9 in fact did it all the time, and went to much darker places in terms of calling into question just how utopian the Trek future was than anything SNW has even attempted.

Yeah, and then DS9 dramatized the conflict, usually as a problem our heroes had to solve, either because they stumbled across it or their prior actions led them to a certain point of conflict. They just didn’t leave it to some gotcha! last line type of situation. We ought to be predisposed to take what the antagonist says with a grain of salt. If Spock had done something to the effect of take Angel’s thought to heart, then that should’ve been dramatized in the closing scene with T’Pring. Instead we get makeup sex and all is well.

I don’t have a problem with challenging Trek’s ideology, either, but this SH crew only ever seems to be able to offer surface-level criticism and hacky drama as the tools for said challenge. I’m annoyed by the bad drama and the writers room’s churlishness towards aspects of the IP they’re paid to manage.

But we know where things eventually end up between Spock and T’Pring. Episodes like this are part of the journey to that outcome. In the short term all might be well between the two of them but that’s not going to last.

That’s an interesting point because it raises the question, “Who is this show for?” because the answer tells us a great deal about what we should or shouldn’t know.

Long-time Star Trek viewers know what happens in the Spock-T’Pring relationship AND they know that Spock’s long-time biological conflict lasts all the way until he mind melds with V’Ger.

Are Strange New Worlds viewers expected to have done the reading or is this new show made for everyone but especially new viewers? In either case, it shouldn’t let the writers off the hook for crafting good drama.

Even in shows with serialized character arcs, the good ones have a catharsis or payoff in an episode ostensibly about a character’s particular journey. In this case, the episode is pretty jumbled in terms of Spock’s storyline so that Angel’s ending note doesn’t really bring it into focus. T’Pring brings up human sexuality, Chapel says Vulcans are always honest. Then Spock lies to save the ship (human side!) and has sex with T’Pring in the Vulcan way (haha reversal of human sexuality!) So, he’s kinda already proved Angel’s point through action, but the writers were insistent on making the point that YOU THE VIEWER does not have to be what somebody tells you to be. Just be who you are.

Which, again, is didactic and not dramatic. And it’s coming from a liar, so why should this person get the closing thought?

I just rewatched the Spock-T’Pring makeup scene and it’s all T’Pring talking *at Spock* including that whopper of a line about how she knows he could never have feelings for Chapel. That’s sort of high school-level melodrama that discards their own setup: she wants to have makeup sex, she talked about human sexuality in the beginning, here’s a chance for Spock to tie in Angel’s remarks by, like, stopping her with a line like, “I am interested in rebonding with you, T’Pring. However, you must know… and perhaps in time understand, that I am also interested in… making love to you.” Again, I’m just pitching slop off the top of my head, but that last scene was so limp (just like last week’s sad gaze out a window) that it just didn’t payoff a moment that had been setup.

(sorry for long answers, everybody. will try to do better.)

<i>They just didn’t leave it to some gotcha! last line type of situation. </i>

This was a veritable deus ex machina if I every saw one. Pike got an entire crew to mutiny by cooking dinner. He announced his plan within earshot of the Orion guy.

Star Trek Continues, on its low budget and amateur actors, got an Orion slaver (played by Lou Ferrigno) right, unlike this one.

“The Serene Squall” was a cool ship name, though, I’ll give them that.

I think the episode is being over-analyzed a bit (hard to believe for these parts, I know). You could read all sorts of stuff into what Aspen/Angel was saying or you could just chalk it up to their playing mind games to stay one step ahead of their adversary. When viewing it, I just went along with the main story and focused on it as a somewhat lightweight adventure with an antagonist who nudges Spock into maybe beginning to view his place in the universe in a slightly different light. I may try to mine more from it on a future viewing but for now I found the Sybok connection at the end and the very strong suggestion that we’ll be seeing more of him more interesting.

True representation comes from saturation, thereby ensuring that no one person of a particular identity bears the burden of representing that identity. Remember when Una asked “What if I wasn’t one of the good ones?” This is what that’s about. Representation means the whole range of human experiences within an identity are shown. It means every identity should get to have villains. It means debunking the model minority myth as the dogma of assimilation.

Regarding Angel’s point to Spock, they’re right. Spock needn’t choose between the two options within a binary. Spock needn’t fit into a box.

And the reason Pike didn’t answer the question last week is because no system is completely foolproof. He knew Alora was wrong in spirit, but couldn’t definitively say she was technically wrong, because the UFP has trillions of citizens. It’s impossible to know whether or not every single one managed not to fall through the cracks. The episode wasn’t saying Alora was right. It was saying that Pike was unwilling to lie by saying he could honestly guarantee no one was in poverty within the Federation.

There’s a difference between contacting UFP space from the edge of the frontier and contacting a nearby rehabilitation facility. Range matters.

And I’m saying all that is fine conceptually and in a discussion like this, but it wasn’t earned dramatically — what we see and hear. Last week, Alara gets the last word when she didn’t have to. It’s not whether she’s right or wrong, it’s that the show decides to leave it there. Pike just sadboy gazes out a window. That’s the perfect opportunity for him to spell out the conflict you suggest in your comment to some other character. UNA: Chris, what the hell happened down there? We’re cool with killing kids now? PIKE: “She’s not right, but she’s not wrong, either. I saw an injustice and I couldn’t do anything about it.”

Instead, Sad Pikey Boy. ::FART::

This week, to Aspen/Angel’s point: that is fine conceptually and in a writers’ room discussion, but it’s all very one sided. Spock has agency, they’re just choosing to ignore it. He hasn’t undergone Kohlinar. He seems to lean on his human half to pull off the affair ruse. And as much as I enjoyed the Spock-Aspen scenes, they were more didactic than dramatic, and again, coming from the antagonist of the piece, can be more easily dismissed if they’re not more imperative to the drama. That last scene with T’Pring really sort of undermines the dramatic import of whatever point they (both the character and the writers) were trying to make.

Yeah, the “no one person of a particular identity bears the burden of representing that identity” is a decent point conceptually and in a discussion like this, it’s just that in reality, it only ever seems to be used to justify a trope that burdens particular identities with a particular type of representation.

You’re quite right that every identity should have villains and to insist otherwise is actually phony progressivism. Ignore the harangue artiste who keep trying to dominate the comments section.

As a queer person, I found Keitel’s casting as the villain superb simply because their villainy wasn’t tied to her being trans. I find it more regressive than not to have queer people just as neutral or savior roles. Queer people can be evil without having anything to do with the fact that they are, in fact, queer or trans. And the actor was having a blast with the role.

That seems like a distinction without a difference. Whether they’re queer because they’re evil or they’re evil because they’re queer is irrelevant, at least as I recall the trope, which is just that it has always been a shortcut (for the hackiest of hacks) to showing how someone is “the bad guy” by making them queer in some way.

I think the performance was pretty great and I enjoyed the scenes (even after the heel turn I was still okay with the acting even if the writing fell down after that), but at the end of the day, felt weird to me that a progressive show touted the casting but then had the role be a liar whose game was literally switching identity. Too clever by half. A disservice to the actor and the story.

Does it need to be a matter of “X because Y”? Can it not be “X and Y”? I fully appreciate the need for diverse representation in media and I celebrate it. It’s something that Star Trek has been doing, with varying levels of success, for decades. Is it not limiting to say that we cannot have a queer villain? Or can we have a queer villain, but do they have to have a whole range of other attributes that at least make them more complex? This won’t be the last we see of Angel, I imagine, so I assume we’ll learn more about them, and maybe they’ll develop the character to be more sympathetic or at least we could understand their motives? Or maybe they even have a redemption?

Then maybe it would’ve been more fair of me to have simply said instead, “Wow, what a cool actor and great performance. It’s a little bit of a bummer that the writers then did a heel turn on the character and made a rare (in Trek history anyway) gender non-conforming character (as per their own publicity) into the 100-year old ‘queer villain’ trope. Hopefully, their next LGBTQIA+ character is a protagonist or has really interesting motivations that rise above mustache twirling antagonism. They could start by giving Ortegas (who may be a lesbian? Unclear!) more to do than the one-liners (as good as a decent percentage of them are).”

No it’s actually regressive to insist there shouldn’t be queer villains, which you’re doing and then also claiming you’re not doing with endless word salad. Rather on-point that you type out “FART” in your comments, with ramblings such as “Pikey Pikey sadboy” that have zero significance to anyone but yourself. Carry on.

As a queer person, I found Keitel’s casting as the villain superb simply because their villainy wasn’t tied to her being trans. I find it more regressive than not to have queer people just as neutral or savior roles. Queer people can be evil without having anything to do with the fact that they are, in fact, queer or trans. And the actor was having a blast with the role.

Exactly. Viewers need to start leaving their old preconceptions at the door before they watch these eps that have a diversity component. I am getting so sick and tired of all of these comments that are claiming these elements are artificial or not handled right. COMPLETE BS!

K. I think he is articulating himself rather well, and the trope he’s concerned about is very real and one LGBT artists have both enjoyed playing and watching for decades but also something we’ve been wary of. That speaks again to my consistent point of expecting fleshed out characterizations so no one can ever easily be dismissed as a “diversity hire.”

In this case I don’t really have an issue with how Keitel was used, she’s one of the very few trans artists the shows have featured, but is not the first. Having Angel revealed as a double-crossing villain doesn’t alarm my representation bells, as a result. I’m a little tired of double-crossing villains in general, that I will say.

Nope, it was superb. Perhaps you are too hung-up on what you think you should be seeing? They let the story run, and it so happens that was a side character thing. I have zero issues in that regard.

And it was cool as well. The character is cool. What’s the problem with that?

We are told that the Enterprise is too far away from Fed space to have live communication, and yet we see Angel talking to T’Pring. And then a ship from inside Federation space warps into the system in no time at all.

Ha! You’re absolutely right, and I had totally missed that! Good catch! But you know, to be honest, Trek episodes were always full of holes and inconsistencies like that, which upon original broadcast my Trekker friends and I would dissect and rag about in our post-show post-mortems. Remember the Nitpicker’s Guide to Star Trek books, published some years ago? But it’s part of the fun to spot errors, it just adds to general camaraderie among fandom… doesn’t detract from my enjoyment at all.

Yeah I didn’t think about that either until now but it is a common thing.

But man this is pretty bad though lol. They made it clear it would take two days just to get a response in Federation space. I even smiled at that part because you don’t really here that type of thing expressed or done in these new shows like the classic shows. So that was a thumbs up…until now lol.

Because they made such a big deal about it but apparently the writers forgot they wrote that when thirty minutes later they are talking to T’Pring as quickly as we are talking to each other. Why even mention it if you’re going to totally ignore it?

My head canon is that Captain Angel and their ship has already laid down their own sub space buoys as a relay network.

This would have been a necessary part of the plan, and their crew would have had the codes to use them to reach T’Pring.

What’s less fathomable is how T’Pring’s small warp capable ship could have arrived so quickly.

I can live with that too. The getting there fast. That DID enter my head. But again, that sort of thing generally doesn’t bother me. And there is an old rule that time does not exist on screen.

I did not catch it either but it is a good call. However I wouldn’t allow such a thing to ruin my enjoyment of something. It’s a small conceit to make the story work. I can deal with that. It’s the huge universe wide things that bug me.

I’m sure every Trek show has inconsistencies, especially episode-to-episode. The issue here is that the inconsistency (Enterprise being too far away and magic travel time) is in the same episode.

Took me right out of the episode. They could have just left out the line about being too far away for live communication to rectify the rest. That they didn’t shows a lack in either a solid continuity person or technical consultant that would have caught such a discrepancy in the script.

Finally, this show is so desperate to be cool. “Pro tip,” EDM blasting from the cool guest star’s quarters […] Because they very much want to make Star Trek cool for the first time ever

We already had that with Beastie Boys in the Kelvin movies.
It was funny in the movies but overall I’m not into that. It might appear ” modern and cool” but can get dated very quickly and might be ridiculous when watched in the future.
Remember Space-hippies in TOS? That has aged poorly and very quickly and is somewhat embarassing to watch. In German there exists the term “fremdschämen” for that.
Why not have some klingon opera or so?

I wanted to like this episode, and did for most of it, but then it lost me in the last twenty minutes or so. Surprise villains, yeah, not a fan of that twist. Particularly when they strut around and mock the good guys. Really cliched stuff.

And Sybok? Good grief.

I’ll give it a 3 out of 10, for the beauty shots of the Enterprise and Chapel sneaking around and being awesome. That was fun, while it lasted.

Sybok! It’s about damn time.

I’VE BEEN WAITING FOR THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

YEP!!!!!

I never thought Sybok’s name would be uttered since it hasn’t been in 33 years lol. To have him back is pretty surreal but I always liked Sybok even if TFF is really bad. Yes the mistake was making him Spock’s brother but what is done is done now.

I wasn’t a huge fan when they brought Sybok into the fold in that film. But it is what it is. I wish it wasn’t done but the fact that it was done has never caused me to hate on TFF. It’s not a very good movie but it still has its moments.

I gasped and cpthered my mouth in SHOCK when Sybok was was shown! It gave me goosebumps!!

I’m surprised nobody hasn’t mentioned Stonn yet!

Oh, yes, it was Stonn, wasn’t it…

Great episode. Great connections to canon. Very glad we finally reference Sybok.

Absolutely. A great, enjoyable ep. Loved the dynamic between Spock/Chapel, and Spock/TPring, and the exchanges between Pike and the various officers on the planet. The Ston and Sybok references were an outright sit-up-in-your seat jolt!

Keep up the good work, SNW cast and crew!

Except for Chapel knowing everything about T’Pring yes, this was an unusually decent attempt to comply with canon,

I’ve wanted to see Sybok revisited since the 2009 movie. I thought it would be a great story in the Kelvinverse to see Sybok lead a revolution on New Vulcan.

Now, with this Prime Universe timeline, I think it’s still a great opportunity to add to the mythology. I trust this team to do a great job.

But what can they add with Sybok, I’m wondering. He’s already a zealot. He’s looking for God, hasn’t found Him yet, can’t find Him yet in the timeline. What else is there?

Doing it their way, which is newer and, therefore, automatically better

But maybe he’s not a zealot yet. There could be any number of events included in this show which lead him on that path and involve Spock. Could we also see James Frain back as Sarek? I would assume the reason Sybok is under a false name is to spare Sarek’s reputation.

Is the juice worth the squeeze, though? Does anybody really care about Sybok and does that character have something interesting to add to Spock’s journey that’s not already there with T’Pring, Chapel, and the Enterprise’s weekly adventures, or do the writers just want to plumb the depths of Spock lore because they love Spock and want to do their own Spock show?

Sure there can be plenty. Unlike Burnham, he is actually his freaking brother for starters. And we can see how the two went such different paths in terms of displaying emotions. Why did the half human one decide to eradicate his emotions completely while the full Vulcan expressed them?

And Tiberius Mudd, maybe I’m confused on some on your thoughts with this show because aren’t you the one that said it’s good that they reboot the show and direct it towards new viewers? That they shouldn’t follow old canon too much because new viewers won’t care? And if they are rebooting the show then obviously they wouldn’t be. And yet you complain about them not following canon lol.

Maybe I have you confused with someone else but it’s really confusing if you are the same poster. I thought this is the stuff you were expecting?

You might have me confused with somebody else. I’m glad they’re rebooting TOS because I think that would give them a chance to do their own thing with familiar characters. I try to curb any thoughts related to canon “violations,” but I definitely slip up. In the case of Sybok, if this is a reboot, then why bother with him? It’s weird to keep it in there if you’re really trying to do something new with the character. I mean, I guess I’ll just have to wait and see, but like I said, I’m not sure what plundering existing Spock lore IN ADDITION TO creating new lore (T’Pring, Christine) nets them in the end besides options for their short attention spans.

I’ve been more vocal when they’ve done stuff like mock or diss Star Trek concepts without doing anything interesting with their own thoughts about why those concepts suck, like last week’s Alara bit about how killing kids is fine because the Federation sucks and this week’s binaries are dumb, so the lying slaver pirate has a point. In neither case do our heroes do anything with those big ideas. They just take the hit and we’re left to be like, “Oh yeah, that liar has a point!” To me, if they’re going to deconstruct the format, it had better be both done well and for a good reason, and not just 21st century sophomoric deconstructionism for modernity’s sake. It’s annoying that because people can’t have their own ideas they have to tear down others.

Does Alara’s “winning argument” change anything about Pike? We don’t know, because the show doesn’t tell us, and if it’s episodic, that’s just a mistake on their part to make that clear…

Are we going to have to rely on a “previously on Star Trek: Strange New Worlds” to remind us of Angel’s binaries are dumb speech to Spock to setup the emotional dilemma Spock faces in that episode, buttressed by him saying in a line of dialogue, “If you will recall when the Enterprise crew was taken hostage by the pirate Captain Angel, they remarked that my predicament was a false choice. Now that I have had time to consider it, I believe they were right, and this is what I’m going to do with this realization”? That’s dumb. If it actually means anything besides being graffiti on a core Trek concept (the nature of the Spock character), then they ought to deal with that in the episode. It doesn’t have to be the only time he deals with Angel’s challenge, but from a dramatic structure perspective, it’s what the story demanded.

There also comes a point where this is just zombie Star Trek, where they’re pumping the IP and the same section of the IP’s history for the most cynical, boring, and lazy purposes. If they’re going to sit there and say, “The core of the Spock character that the world has known about for 60 years is stupid and wrong,” then I’d hope they’d make him interesting for some other reason. His evil half brother is not a promising start.

ETA: And here I was saying I was going to try to keep my responses shorter. Sorry. Thanks for engaging with my comment(s), though.

Well to get this out of the way, you ask why they include Sybok if it’s a reboot…well that’s because its not a reboot! As I always said the show is designed to appeal to hardcore Trek fans first (although using the word ‘Sybok’ and ‘appeals’ certainly is questionable lol). But Sybok has always been the 800 pound elephant in the room.

Even if you don’t want to use him again, it’s odd he was just wiped from canon completely. So it’s nice he’s at least acknowledged IMO. I know a lot of people hate him but as I always say canon is canon. Once they make something part of the story it’s now officially there. You can certainly ignore it or even retcon it (which oddly how a lot of canon happens including Sybok himself lol) but you can’t pretend like it never existed either. But sure they could’ve just continued ignoring it…they been doing a great job of that for 30 years now. ;)

And while I agree with your points about Captain’s Angel speech to Spock, I don’t see that as a big deal. Spock’s entire journey is dealing with his two halves. She given him something else to think about but this is something he’s been wrestling with already. We don’t need to be reminded who gave him another path to consider.

But you’re talking to someone who NEVER cared about revisiting Spock, his ‘human side’ and all of that. When it was announced he was coming to Discovery and this would be a big part of his arc, I rolled my eyes…hard. We done this stuff, for 25 years already. I don’t really care why Spock smiled in an unaired pilot. What does that matter now??? The character already died in an alternate universe 100 years in the future, I don’t care.

Buuuuuuut, now that they have decided to go this path, I have to say it’s interesting. And I ALSO think that is because unlike Spock of old, we never really got to see him interact with other Vulcans much. They show up in an episode and that was it. But now we are seeing Spock in a new light because they are bringing in people like T’Pring and Chapel (yes in TOS but again, very limited). So it would be interesting to see the differences with him and Sybok. Isn’t this why you make a prequel? So I’m OK with that. Few years ago ALL of this would’ve been eye rolling to me lol.

And don’t feel bad at writing diatribes. We’ve allll been there, certainly me! Where else can you rant about completely unimportant stuff that 99% of the world doesn’t know or care one iota about except the internet lol.

Yeah, I’m with you on not really caring about how we get from “Cage” Spock to “The Corbomite Maneuver” Spock, and throwing in all these prior canon elements to try to track that change seems sweaty. I mean, look, it’s not because “this is how I would do it,” but if you’re really trying to explain Spock’s behavior in “The Cage,” then isn’t the most likely explanation that Spock was more human and emotional before Kirk became captain and some incident or series of incidents finally compelled him in that time prior to the Kirk 5-year mission to dig into Vulcan practices/his Vulcan beliefs some more?

That would at least justify the Chapel connection and, if you’re keeping the T’Pring part of it, then it would motivate his interactions to be more along the lines of them being polar opposites and yet both finding each other attractive (if not an unstable romance) because opposites attract. That might be what they believe they are doing, it’s just not how it’s coming off (to me). T’Pring talks about wanting to honor his human side or whatever, but we don’t really see Spock being human. He’s pretty straightforwardly Vulcan (again, at least to me he his).

And in terms of bringing in Sybok, I just don’t think they’re going to make that character interesting and worth the inclusion. He reads as a character more interesting on paper than in practice. But I guess we’ll see, right?

At this point I’m leaning to probably not. But it feels like the best time to use him in the Kurtzman-Verse was in Star Trek Discovery season 2.

Up to now they were solid 8’s and 9’s out of 10. This one was a 7. It was very good up until the reveal. After that it became a bit silly. Also I thought the maniacal Angel was a bit too over the top. Shame, because they were going for another 8 in the first half.

Over the top? Maybe. But it was fun.

Agree. I liked the counselor character. Then Captain Angel was so campy TOS would have said “let’s tone that down.”

That was really bad.

It is actually a pity after a really great season so far they come out with this…Eveything was bad in the ep; the set up, the bad writing and dialogue, the obvious plot points, the in-your-face identity politics (talk about sledgehammering in identity with a transgender actor?) The acting was pretty shoddy, too. I was honestly waiting for Anson or Ethan to wink at the camera, just to let us know this was some sort of 80s throwback spoof. That they were somehow playing with the audience and having a bash at all the is-this-canon-? folk with the jeffries tube, the tholianesque trap, Sybok, etc, but alas no.

However, I’m glad they have got this off their chest. With a bit of luck the remaining episodes will keep up the quality we’ve had up to now.

I thought I might actually scroll though all of the comments without seeing some nonsense and possibly homophobic comment about casting a trans actor. But alas, as I got to the bottom of the webpage, here we are.

“the in-your-face identity politics (talk about sledgehammering in identity with a transgender actor?)” Hmmm, so is it “in your face identity politics” when we see decades after decades of cisgendered, straight, male and white actors? Or is that just “normal” and not “in your face”? It amazes me that some people are so obtuse to the obvious hypocrisy of their trite unformed thoughts that are easily dismantled as just being boring, anachronistic and slow thinking. Ya basic. ;)

I wonder how this in a fictional universe with IDIC and various species can even be a thing.

I suppose viewers in the 60s complained about identity politics too, when they saw Uhura on the bridge, while they had no problems with a green painted actor.

I thought the identity politics stuff was *too* subtle. If it had not been a non-binary actor giving that speech, could it not have been interpreted differently? Simply as you don’t have to fit into a rigid mould/conform to expectations? My issue was that we knew nothing about this character and it was not even that clear in the episode that they were non-binary, beyond the casting (which shouldn’t necessarily be an indicator). Really, from the audience’s perspective, there wasn’t anything in the script up til that point that would have imbued that speech with any specific meaning. We knew nothing about Dr Anson.

Well… then don’t watch the teaser for Episode 8. I think it’s fun to have a self-deprecating, fun, even campy episode, but that should wait for the series to get it’s serious legs and credibility very well established. When you only have 10 episodes in a season, there’s only so much room for comedy in a show that is not being billed as Silly Trek. The cast is incredible and the characters they are creating are incredible too – but it’s the Where No One Has Gone Before stuff that makes this whole thing work.

Sybok!!!!!!!!!!!!! :) This show delivers.

Stonn is biding his time.
Sybok is plotting his time.
Solid episode…

Agreed. And what I find interesting is that they took EVERY Vulcan associated with Spock at some point and now they are all part of this show and will have their own development.

Yeah Sarek is different of course but canon makes that difficult. Of course I suspect an episode where he and Spock are stuck in a shuttle craft for an hour to work out their problems. ;)

It’s him. It’s Sybok. After all these years, we’ve finally caught up to him.

Now share your PAIN.

He shares his PAIN with Horta. 😉

Don’t forget to gain strength from the sharing!

I haven’t forgotten brother.

Also, hit like and subscribe, and don’t forget to click the bell to get updated as soon as there’s new pain to endure.

I liked Keitel’s performance pretty well right up until the heel turn, at which point I thought it became weak to the point of near-amateurishness. This was a pretty bad episode, to be honest. And yet, I got excited by Sybok showing up at the end. I can’t quite make sense of that reaction, but hey, so be it.

I had the same reaction to the episode as you Bryant.

I must say not in a million years did I think they would do Sybok. I think it’s quite cool and surprising. Let’s see we’re it goes(somewhere exciting hopefully)

We’ll see! I’m doing my best to just look at all of this as a TOS reboot and not worry about canon anymore. If I didn’t, all this jazz with T’Pring would be driving me nuts.

I wish I could just turn off the huge mistakes. The Gorn stuff still bugs the crap out of and at this point I see as an albatross on this series. I wish they would just drop the Gorn, essentially admitting it was a mistake and never ever mention them again.

Trust me, I get it. That was me with Discovery in its first three seasons, so I definitely get it.

And if I still access that part of my brain and apply it to SNW, it makes me ask: why could they not just call the species something other than “Gorn”? It’s what baseball folk call an unforced error. Just…why?

So far, though, my brain (for whatever reason [possibly sheer desperation]) is letting me just roll right past all of this stuff with this show. We’ll see if it can make it once James T. pops up.

I’m with you. She was great. I think the greatest tonal conflict in the SH shows has been between their desire to be campy and their desire to be taken seriously as artists.

Yep, and rarely has it been more pronounced than it was here.

Dude having Sybok back is the biggest ‘Whhaaaaaaaat??’ reaction I had since we learned Seven of Nine was in Picard. Just in the sense I never expected it (I assumed we could see Seven again at least). But Sybok? No, never!

But his appearance brought a smile to my face the way Riker and Troi showing up in Lower Decks, Admiral Janeway on Prodigy and the Guardian of Forever in Discovery. Just those key moments you NEVER saw coming until they did! :)

Once you bring Sybok back man, there are no limits anymore. You been hearing me say eventually everyone will come back at some point. I think I just been proven right! ;D

May be! Next thing you know, we’ll be getting a Lazarus prequel. (Please nooooo…..!)

I have seen quite a few commenters bemoaning how “hammy” the episode was. To that I say… have you seen, oh I don’t know, the entire rest of Star Trek lol.

And to the people groaning about the heavy-handed “identity politics”… you sound both out of touch and selectively not remembering all the other heavy-handed times Star Trek has tackled such things.

The trans/nonbinary character is never even mentioned as such during the duration of the episode and instead just a soundboard for Spock’s persistent quarrel with his two “halves.” How that is “sledgehammering” anything is far beyond me. You just sound like outdated curmudgeons who don’t like having the mold broken in ways you’ve yet to catch up with.

This week’s episode seemed a little weak to me – the humor seemed forced (as did some of the messaging), the villains not terribly threatening, the plot a bit flat. Most everyone seemed to be reacting very cavalier, what with the ship being taken over and even those captive. I was never the least bit concerned anyone was in real danger. However, the money shots of the E maneuvering through the asteroid field were a treat to watch, and watching these characters interact continues to be enjoyable, due to the high quality of acting and chemistry. I think Peck is doing a great job as a Vulcan, and this version of Spock is quite the ‘Ladies Man’ indeed. And as for Sybok, I could have gone through the rest of my life without hearing his name again, but either way it doesn’t matter to me much if they bring him in. Ok episode, but I just felt there were no…real stakes at hand. Maybe part of that has to do with the ‘prequel curse.’ Anyway, it was a fun 48 minutes. These are becoming very comfortable watches for me. SNW episodes are enjoyable to watch and they go down very easy, thus far. Kind of like…light beer.

This ep was okay. I’m surprised T’Pring was able to catch-up with the Enterprise again. It leaves me feeling that the Enterprise is sticking very close to Federation space, yet we are also lead to believe that the subspace signal to Fed hq will take 2 days for a response to be received.
Is Pike really exploring the final frontier, or just the Federation backyard?
I feel like we are seeing a bit too much of Chapel – I’m fine with her as a secondary.

I agree with a lot of your points, but the whole Federation space thing just never made a lot of sense even in TOS. One week they are exploring a totally new area of space, the next week they are on a Federation colony passing out blankets or something. It never really made any real sense how you claim to be in deep space no one ever traveled before but two-thirds of the stories actually happened in places other Starfleet ships have been to previously and a lot of their missions is really helping out Federation outposts. I guess you can argue they are suppose to be in the fringes of Federation territory, which I can buy. But it’s still in the Federation. Enterprise really felt that way because A. there was no Federation obviously and B. 80% of their missions actually involved new places, especially seasons 1-3. It started sticking closer to home in season 4.

But that’s why I don’t get hung up on the ‘final frontier’ bit because it’s never been truly a thing in TOS or TNG the way fans claim it is. Yes a lot of space is still very uncharted even in the 24th century but they don’t spend much time actually in uncharted space either.

And then of course the issue with SNW is the Enterprise is the flagship of Starfleet. To me, it suggests that would be the ship to stick around in Federation space because it’s its main representative of Starfleet, especially for diplomatic issues as we saw in Spock Amok.

Space often doesn’t make sense in so many Sci-Fi shows. Space isn’t 2D and there is no side which is up and down in space. And yet spaceships often manage to meet horizontally and on the “right side”. If they change direction, it is always forwards, backwards, sidewards, but never a 90 degree turned up or down.
Maybe the federation territory is extended more in 2 dimensions and has lot of uncharted territory in the 3rd dimension.

Nice that the episode focused on Spock’s identity issues. Hopefully we’ll see Dr. Aspen/ Captain Angel again.

They were not kidding when they said T’ Pring will recur this season.

Kind of seems like SNW’s “Iron Chef” episode. Group 1, give us the setup with Spock and Aspen. I found this part was well done. Group 2, give us the action in this episode. I loved the phaser firefight on the bridge and the scenes with Chapel, using her hypospray as a weapon. Group 3, you set up the twist in this episode, which came across like a burnt grilled cheese sandwich. Group 4, give PIke and Una something to do. I know I keep saying this, but Season 1 was filmed during Covid restrictions. Cast and crew (especially) were put into separate pods. This presented huge challenges, logistically. This episode probably looked great on paper. It just didn’t come together as well as they’d hoped. As a Canadian, excuse me for using a hockey comparison. This episode had some great chances to score a goal or two. They just hit the goalpost and missed the net on a few too many shots. I try not to make it too hard to enjoy these episodes. I’ve been around since the ’70’s, when Trek found its legs in syndication. We made do with repeats and books until TMP came out. While some posters here found Trek during TNG, DS9 and VOY, where there was Trek on TV for 18 years straight? I remember the droughts, too. It was 10 years of false starts, okay, here’s a Saturday morning cartoon. Then Paramount couldn’t decide what to do with Trek. It’s a TV show, a mini-series, a movie and back again. I remember the last drought from 2005 until 2017, when DSC came out. TOS to TMP was a decade. ENT to DSC was a 12 year wait. While I’ve enjoyed the Trek films, I’ve always felt that Trek’s best home was on TV. When DSC season two ended? We, the fans, clamored for this Pike series. I’m over the moon that we got it. I’ve honestly enjoyed every episode, so far. Some, more than others. We’ve got 3 episodes remaining for the season. I’m looking forward to them.

I really liked this episode but I definitely agree with a lot of your points. I really laughed over the mutiny stuff. It was ridiculous but in the spirit of the show. Understand why others don’t though. I really liked Captain Angel though, she really worked for me. And Sybok seems very divided for people.

And agree with your last statement, TV is really where Star Trek belongs because that’s where it can be it’s most purest.

I’ll definitely watch the next Star Trek film when it comes out but for me I don’t really care if another one happens as much now that we have so much of it on TV and probably much better done as well. SNW versus the Kelvin movies is not even a contest which one just does a better job of being Star Trek IMO.

I’m wondering what was in that hypospray…. Was it poisonous? An anesthetic? They never said,

The episode was fine. If there is a problem it was the Chapel knows all about T’Pring stuff. But otherwise I like the episode.

So the Remy guy was Orion? I didn’t recognize him as such. But that’s not a big deal, I think.

But the episode obviously will be noted for…. Sybok. Funny. The obvious time to use him was season 2 of Star Trek Discovery. Now they bring him in here. But unfortunately at this point with all the other call backs Secret Hideout has done the Sybok reveal just didn’t have have the power or surprise it could have. For the record, there was another inconsistency… It’s awfully nit picky and wouldn’t bother me if all the inconsistencies were as minor as this one but here it is… In TFF Spock said Sarek was married before. In this episode they made it an illicit affair. Whatever….

Actually that bit can still make sense. In fact I bet they are going to have Sybok say, “My father married her…. later.” or “I caused an annulment.”

Marcia, Marcia, Marcia…

SYYYYYYYYYYYBOOOOOOOOOOK!!!!!

I got so excited when Spock said his name. I never saw that coming. Finally after 33 years, the guy is no longer regulated to Starbase 80 and part of Star Trek again. I can’t wait. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised over people’s mixed reaction to bringing him back but I actually wanted him back for a long time now.

As for the rest: The planned mutiny thing was super silly but I liked it. Captain Pike cooking dinner for his prisoners, this guy is boyscout to the end. Taking over the Enterprise. Remy the coolest Scottish Orion ever. The Spock-T’Pring-Chapel love triangle we all saw coming from warp 5 and finally Captain Angel. Man I love her and can’t wait to see her again. And dude. SYBOK!!!!!

I’m loving this show! Yes it’s a bit goofy at times but this is why I Lower Decks as well. It’s just nice to have fun Star Trek again and it doesn’t have to take itself sooooo seriously. That’s what the Lifetime show Discovery is for.

I have to say, I think this episode will be a classic! I think I’d have to give it a lot of thought to go back years before finding better Trek. I think this is what they were talking about the fans being excited about! SNW is the new Trek! There’s a lot that happened in this episode to unpack. I’ll have to rewatch and digest it all. I also feel like a kid again…but with the ability to appreciate so much more of what this episode brings.

I agree. It was just a lot of fun to me and a lot of great twists and turns.

And you’re talking to someone who didn’t even want a Pike show at the beginning. I wasn’t against it or anything, I just didn’t care if we didn’t get one either. But what they have done so far with this show is amazing to me. I am loving it in a way I didn’t suspect I would. It’s not my favorite show or anything but it’s only been 7 episodes lol.

But I can say it’s now my favorite show over TOS! Because it’s TOS in the modern day and done better in terms of acting and obviously production. I still love TOS of course but it’s been falling as a show for me over the years already because it has aged the worst for me.

Regarding Spock and Chapel’s ruse on the Enterprise bridge, I thought Vulcan’s don’t lie…But they do exaggerate. And how!

If Enterprise proved anything, Vulcans lie but they like perpetuating the idea that they don’t. It’s a myth like Canadians being all polite – I am one and can tell you that it’s not true.

Canadian, not Vulcan ;)

Americans who have believe stereotypes about Canadians can watch Letterkenny and Shorsey on Hulu to get a sense of how profane we can be.

But it’s still true that we say sorry, there are even federal and provincial acts to protect us from legal liability in saying sorry.

It would be interesting to understand how Vulcan legal protections would differ based on an assumption of adherence to logic, and the appropriateness of lying for the greater good.

Spock lies up a storm in “The Enterprise Incident.” Vulcans SAY they don’t lie, but it’s not true.

I suspect that they can’t lie IN A MIND MELD, and somehow people generalized from that to saying that they can’t lie in general.

He also lied when he and McCoy said they didn’t have time to watch Kirk’s farewell message in The Tholian Web.

Yes!

Technically it was McCoy who actually said they didn’t see it. Spock merely implied. A technicality like when Quinto-Spock said “I’m Vulcan, sir. We embrace technicalities.”

You could definitely see them planting the seeds for T’Pring losing interest in pursuing actual marriage with Spock. Loved the shout out Qu’Vat colony and hope we see Augment Klingons eventually. Shouldn’t Shankar been named checked, not Braga, due to Gambit? Thought the Sybok connection was unnecessary…Everyone not knowing about Sybok was supposed to be proof Spock could keep a secret, hence why we never knew about Michael. Yet, with him blabbing to Nurse Chapel, I suspect Sybok will be a recurring threat like the Gorn before they should be.

I’m sorry I still don’t buy the Burnham thing. Sybok was an illegitimate child that they were even embarrassed (is that an emotion, ok closest non-emotional word then) to acknowledge his existence. He was never actually part of Spock’s life growing up and never lived together. They basically tried to pretend like he never existed in the first place.

That wasn’t close to the issue with Michael. And as I said multiple times the first two seasons, it’s pretty ridiculous no one wouldn’t know Spock had a sister when she was the only human to live on Vulcan at the time, is the daughter of Vulcan’s Earth ambassador and works in Starfleet with Spock.

And your last point is funny. Spock TOLD Chapel about Sybok lol. Not to mention he also told her Sarek was his father in that same exchange. He’s known her a few months at best at this point. He also told Pike about Burnham back in Disocovery, so he DIDN’T keep secret he had a sister. He told everyone about T’Pring! This Spock blabbers on about everyone who is related to him.

Which goes exactly against your point. Spock is an open book on this show. So it makes less sense, not more.

But man, it’s amazing we are talking about Sybok again in the present tense lol! I never thought this day would come. It was great when we started talking about the TNG era characters in the present tense again once Picard became a show after not for basically 17 years.

Oh I absolutely agree but that was a common justification for why we didn’t know about Michael. Then they did this ridiculous thing at the end of Season 2, was that Simpsons-esque solution to ‘line up with canon’…”Michael was the best sister ever…Discovery and the spore drive were great too…now let’s never speak of them…on penalty of death!”

Yes, instead of being the best secret keeper of them all, all his back story is the worst kept secret.

I really enjoy this show overall but they can’t help themselves…while Season 4 enterprise did a little bit better of playing within the confines of canon.

True, but that was mostly what FANS said as a way to justify Burnham. No one in the production itself or a writer ever suggested that’s why no one knew why Spock didn’t have a sister. And as you said, we saw their answer to that which is just eye rolling even now. They already made it a thing, trying to backtrack it in the most ridiculous way possible didn’t help it but they did create a reason I guess. And as far as reasons goes, it’s a reason! Again, I know people really like Discovery but these are the types of things why many still have issues with it.

As far as canon, both DIS and SNW really haven’t done it any favors. And if you don’t care, that’s obviously fine. But for fans that do, none of this makes a lot of sense when you line it up with TOS. Again people can certainly tell themselves it really lines up with canon if you just look at it from a certain angle, but no one knew who T’Pring was in TOS. It’s ludicrous to even try and pretend like they did. But here she has become such a big part of the show so quickly she’s just Spock’s girlfriend now who even knows his friends and colleagues too. And this was 5+ years before TOS.

True, it was mostly fan head canon explanations for why he had a sister…don’t get me started about their treatment of Section 31 or the Mirror Universe.

Yeah, I mean I love the Gorn and wanted to see more of them too for example…but it makes no sense pre-TOS. The only way I thought they could pull it off is if they pulled a “Silent Enemy” where the crew never knew the identity of their attackers..let alone have a crew member that knows who they are and has a personal history with them…oh and she is related to Khan.

Nods to canon can be great but it seems like they are going out of their way to break canon with promises of lining up with it in some convoluted way later.they could have let the audience in on it without the crew knowing…or change them to another species like rogue Xindi Reptilians ..maybe even mistaken for Gorn or something.

Speaking of Xindi, is it too early for them to have a Xindi Aquatic in Cetacean Ops? ;)…if so, they should do it on Lower Decks lol

Regarding your Gorn comments…. I agree. The only way they could do it is if they truly were like mythical stories where no one has ever seen one or even knew what they were called. It’s the one and only one way it might work. But even then if they interact with the Federation too much it still seems likely to me the UFP would investigate and actively try to find them and learn about them. So even that would be problematic to me. However, if that is how they used the Gorn at least they would get points for TRYING to stay within canon.

I keep going back to Manny Coto who desperately wanted to use the Gorn on ENT but knew he couldn’t and his “out” was the MU.

I love the Gorn and really wanted to see them on TNG and now Picard had an opportunity to use them. But only post TOS set shows can use them without screwing up Arena.

Yeah, I fall on the “don’t care” side of things. There were so many holes in TOS continuity, it would have been impossible to have a prequel without adjusting some part of canon – that I guess is why some don’t like the prequel idea so much to begin with.

Take Spock and his parents. The fact that Kirk and Bones had no idea that one of the Federation’s greatest ambassadors, Sarek, was Spock’s father seems rather implausible. To try and continue with that storyline would have been, well…. illogical.

I guess, we could say that Kirk and Bones did not know Spock until after he embraced his more Vulcan side, and that is why they did not really know much about him – but would that info not be in his service record?

The fact he did have a deep friend/relationship with Pike pre-Kirk and Bones, that we see developing in SNW does however explain Spock’s admirable willingness to throw away his career in an effort to get Pike to Talos IV in the Menagerie.

Yeah I agree with pretty much all of this. I have always said, especially in early Discovery, if fans really like a show, then the canon issues will actually be less of an issue because the stories and characters will just take precedent. That didn’t really happen for a lot of fans with Discovery but it does seem to be happening SNW. Now, I always have to make clear Discovery canon issues went far beyond did Spock and Sarek ever talk in a room together before TOS. People had an issue on how the entire show based the look and feel of Star Trek as a whole and it just added to its other problems.

With SNW, the canon issues are just how you look at it. For some, it’s really really minor. Others its bigger of course. For me for example, I don’t care about the Gorn thing at all. But for others its a HUGE deal lol. And that’s where the divide is mostly.

For me, I said in the first episode this show is going to break canon in all kind of ways and yeah it is now. But am I enjoying it any less, nope, I’m actually enjoying it more than I thought in spite of the canon issues.

But I don’t ignore that fact either. I do think there are some fans that think the writers are taking this fine delicate line with it and trying to balance it as much as they can. I don’t see that at all. T’Pring presence makes that very clear. In the first episode, I saw many posts saying it was OK for him and Spock to meet at this point, which I agreed with that part. But then others were suggesting T’Pring would never meet anyone on the Enterprise because that would open a can of worms. And that happened in her second appearance lol. And obviously the more we see of her, it will only get worse because naturally that relationship will get more complex and entangled with other stories. You can’t unring that bell now.

The way I see them taking to canon is the opposite, they only care about the broad strokes. Again using T’Pring, they know her and Spock won’t be together in the end and they obviously have to keep to that. But until then, they are just going to do whatever they want with the characters. That’s obvious. And that’s OK as long as it’s interesting.

Same with Spock and Nurse Chapel. Basically we know they never will have a relationship on TOS. But that won’t stop them from playing around with it and they probably will even have sex on this show. They already kissed lol. So they will probably never be officially a couple but it still won’t stop them from being together. Spock will just decide it won’t work when Chapel suddenly gets super boring and submissive. ;)

Or maybe the Korby thing will change that? Again not really canon since Spock never met Korby in TOS but on this show it will just matter that she ultimately falls for him even if he and Spock are best buds here.

But as you said, TOS was a different time. They never developed any of the characters beyond the main stars. They will throw in an important character to Spock or Kirk in one episode and we would never see or hear from them again. That was just how TV worked backed then.

Now they have the chance to bring them all back and give them real back stories and arcs. I can’t blame them for doing that and it probably would get tiring to remember what this character said in episode 37 and keeping it all in line. Personally I wish they just called it a reboot and did what they want but ironically they want it to matter to TOS and the bigger mythology so it’s a weird bind.

“Or maybe the Korby thing will change that? Again not really canon since Spock never met Korby in TOS but on this show it will just matter that she ultimately falls for him even if he and Spock are best buds here.

Plot twist: The nurse Chapel we saw earlier / will see later in TOS is an android just like Korby and doesn’t have all her memories :-P
Problem solved. That might explain why nurse Chapelbot is so different later.

It’s really weird. They may really want it to matter and connect to TOS but it seems like they only do it in the small ways. The design on the front of the space suits for example. But they just chuck the really big things like what aliens are known and unknown at that time and change up characters to be what they want them to be. So how can you WANT to line up with TOS when you do all those things to sever that connection? I just don’t understand and I REALLY don’t understand why Paramount or Secret Hideout think “reboot” would kill the show.

But Enterprise managed to do it without screwing with canon on any kind of super major level. Their biggest mistake was possibly “minefield” showing them the Romulan cloak. But they never ever returned to it. So chalk that up as a mistake and they didn’t double down on it. Unlike SNW who make huge mistakes and make them a major part of their show. So I disagree that prequels can’t be done without adjusting the canon. It was done already well.

I also had little issue with who Spock’s father was. He would never volunteer it unless it became relevant plus there was that feud going on. And it’s unlikely family political connections would be spelled out in his Star Fleet records.

We didn’t need to see him working with Pike on SNW to accept that he had a deep connection with his former commander, either. It’s nice to get it but it’s not needed at all to make The Menagerie work.

Sybok, really? They went to the worst TOS movie for inspiration?!

This wasn’t a terrible episode, but it wasn’t inspiring, the way some of the earlier ones have been, nor did it show us much about the new crew members. It didn’t do much of anything expect provide a little bit of fun and re-introduce a character I hoped we would NEVER see again. Overall, it seemed kinda formulaic, which wasn’t what I was expecting, given how wonderful most of the earlier episodes had been.

I sort of enjoyed it, but I think I’ll be re-watching “Children of the Comet” this week. :-)

I agree. 10 episodes ain’t that many. I wish they had spent this one on fleshing out Hemmer or Ortegas rather than a tired old pirate story.

And I couldn’t care less about Sybok, either. He’s already in prison, so he’s already some kind of dangerous zealot. So, what are he and Angel going to become, the Joker and Harley Quinn who menace our heroes every few episodes? I sure hope not.

I like Vulcans the way they are. They don’t need to give us a flagrantly emotional Vulcan to make them interesting; I find Vulcans plenty interesting when they’re being their lovably repressed selves. :-)

I don’t mind once in awhile seeing a breakaway cult from the mainstream. That’s just basic human, or Vulcan, nature — to disagree. But yes, I agree with you, the main interest in Vulcans how they’re different from us.

To be honest, pretty much every episode of SNW has felt pretty formulaic, but I have no issues with it as long as they still feel fresh and different which they also have.

And we’re definitely seeing Sybok again. You don’t present a character in such a fashion after not hearing his name for 30 years other than to tell people we’re going deep with this character. It may not be this season though but he will obviously show up again since the whole Captain Angel story line is setting up a new enemy in general.

No, it’s clear that they’re laying the groundwork for us to see Sybok again. I’m just protesting that decision. :-)

I like Vulcans the way they are. They don’t need to give us a flagrantly emotional Vulcan to make them interesting; I find Vulcans plenty interesting when they’re being their lovably repressed selves. :-) I hate it in general when they try to make Vulcans more human, like by giving them prejudices, since prejudice is wildly illogical. And I want to see Spock and T’Pring being appropriately Vulcan by stroking fingers and saying “Live long and prosper,” not acting like humans in kissing and saying “Good-bye.”

Do we have to make everybody just like us? Can’t Star Trek allow its aliens to be alien? *grumble* *whine* *sigh*

Fair enough! I understand your point.

How about they merge the Sybok story with the Kirk story in season 2? I can totally seem them doing that.

Looking at how they done things so far, my guess is Kirk appearance will just throw canon completely to the wind by that point. My guess by episode 5, Kirk, La’an, Spock and T’Pring will go out on a double date lol.

I don’t see them caring much about the Sybok issue either.

Sybok, really? They went to the worst TOS movie for inspiration?!

Would you rather prefer Krall, Shinzon, Ru’Afo?

Hey, don’t keep Nero and Khan 2.0 out in the cold!

Trek movies really do have some of the worst one note villains lol.

No! That’s why I said “worst TOS movie.” :-)

Well…. Picard went to the worst TOS movie for a quick gag, so….

Courageous episode. Making Sybok official history. I don’t mind them taking risks. This was a good episode.

Sybok was already official. He didn’t need to appear on this show to make that so.

I loved the episode. It was fun. Alex and Akiva need to admit that SNW is a soft reboot of the original series and the early days of the Prime Universe. They are redefining the original series. I’m cool with that. Chapel kept a lot of Spock’s secrets. How does Uhura fit into these canon conundrums?

Gene Roddenberry referred to the events of ST V as “apocryphal” I’m cool with revisiting Sybok and fleshing out his character. The Clone Wars redeemed Jar Jar Binks. Star Trek can redeem Sybok.I adore SNW .

“Alex and Akiva need to admit that SNW is a soft reboot of the original series and the early days of the Prime Universe.”

Agreed, Jack, and I’d be fine with that as well. It’s pretty clear that’s what’s happening anyway.

Not a “soft” reboot. A COMPLETE reboot is what it is. I, too, wish they would admit it. I might enjoy the show more.

So, help me understand; Captain Angel is the real pirate captain, not Remy. Is not the entire pirate crew aware of that? If they are aware, why would they lend any credence to Remy’s plan to negotiate with the Klingons? The crew would know that he didn’t have the authority, so why would they mutiny against the fake captain?

That was also a little confusing. The only thing I can think of is that they were hired goons she got to help her than anything because she had no problems leaving them at the drop of a hat.

After last week’s rather somber morality tale, we got a more lighthearted space pirate story, one I rather enjoyed.

No major comments, but to say I am sure both Sybok and Captain Angel will be back sometime in the future and I look forward to seeing more of that story.

Another comment, it was good to see Spock’s superior strength on full display in that bridge fight scene including his ability to literally ragdoll one of the pirates – good fun and I hope Ethan Peck enjoyed those stunts.

Btw, to parrot someone’s comments from a few weeks back, it is hard not to cheer for Spock and T’Pring – even though we know they are destined to fail.

Last comment – that’s seven good to very good episodes without laying an egg. I am impressed! Sadly, only three episodes left in S1!

I think this show is working so well is A. they, once again, listened to fans and B. make the stories light and fun. Star Trek can be very serious affair obviously but when we have stuff like PIC and DIS filling up the time with depressing and downbeat shit (I completely forgot Book lost his entire planet in fourth season until running into a Youtube clip about it today). So it’s nice to have a show that wants to do things fans have missed like exploration, science and team work but keep things more on the humorous side. That’s why Lower Decks became such a hit with fans. No, not with everyone obviously but the people who just want fun characters and stories. And I don’t think the humor is the problem, just how far they take it mostly. But if it played closer to what SNW is doing, it would be an even bigger hit IMO.

Captain Angel is the perfect example. She’s a ‘villain’ but a pretty light one in terms of how villains go. She is a level above Harry Mudd basically but like ten levels below Khan or Gul Dukat lol. She’s not a joke in the way the Plakleds are on LDS, but not to be taken too seriously either. Can’t wait to see her again.

That 7 episodes went by fast.

Unlike…
Unlike those of some other series were nothing happened in 10 episodes until the very end.

Now bring on 24 episodes in S2!

I wouldn’t want 24 episodes. For one thing it would stretch the budget (and it already seems a bit cheaper than either Disco or Picard). And (Picard season two being an exception), it’s a lot easier to have consistently high quality with fewer episodes.

The bulk of the money seems to be spent on production. So if the show was better (in that it adhered to major canon issues correctly or was officially a reboot) I would be totally fine with dipping the budget down to get more episodes in a season. The sets and effects are nice but I’d rather have people know about about Trek and hold on to the lore than have lots of money spent on pretty SPFX.

Bit of a mixed bag, but still fun. Actors are still having a ball, Peck and Mount in particular are so watchable, but I’m warming to Jess Bush as well, and Chapel was a character I questioned the need for including at the outset. I liked Dr. Aspen, wasn’t quite so keen on Captain Angel. The campy villain aspect of the character seemed to test Jesse James Keitel’s instincts a bit too hard whereas the sensitive insightful but cagey counselor was working rather well. But I should have seen the double-cross (yes, it’s an overused device) coming around when I started thinking Dr. Aspen seemed a little too helpless.

Mutiny sub-plot was a little too broad, but cutting to the commandeered bridge and then the mutiny still being in progress was a nice touch.

Sybok… as much as I’m not really thrilled at the prospect of getting to know more about one of the worst movie villain’s past, his divisiveness does make him fodder for redemption in the right hands. But I don’t know how epic his next appearance can be if we’re to believe Kirk and McCoy are still in the dark about him decades later.

Being the villain of the worst movie doesn’t make him the worst villain.

But I don’t know how epic his next appearance can be if we’re to believe Kirk and McCoy are still in the dark about him decades later.

Maybe his experience with Sybok will become painful that he will decide not to talk about it.
That could be seen as one way to surpress emotions. Therefore it might be logic not to talk about that.
Just like he doesn’t mention to Kirk and McCoy that Sarek is his father due to their broken relationship. (And because he wants to stand on his own as Spock and not as the son of Vulcan’s most famous ambassador).

All plausible. The curse of being a prequel show shoved into a tight timeline is the need to connect so many little dots to make things fit well-enough.

As for Sybok, for the record I said “worst movie villain’s”, not that he was the villain in the worst movie, that’s not relevant. I still rate him with Ru’afo, Nero and Krall as the worst of the movie villains. Just never did a thing for me. But I’m still willing to see where they go with this, there’s absolutely potential.

Is the whole point of this episode that the Enterprise was captured by pirates who wanted to trade the Enterprise for… Sybok? Because the chief pirate Angel is Sybok’s lover?

That’s my main question. Am I wrong?

And if so, how does this episode not blow up “canon” entirely on own? Because Pike was so confident and lighthearted that no one bothered to remember that… the Enterprise was captured to free Spock’s brother who is interred by his fiancé?

My enjoyment of the episode contradicts my feelings about how I think it fits cannon though I am 100% sure future audience will love this even more.

Because I think we are going to see a lot more Sybok.

Also: how does this not result in Sybok just “knowing” that T’Pring is not just interested in Spock and using that information for his own benefit?

Yep, correct. Angel and Sybok are a couple. Man, those two are probably more warped than Depp and Heard…but can’t wait for the craziness though!

But I am confused. How does Sybok’s appearance break canon? I assume it’s something said in TFF of course, but please don’t make me watch it!

You know, I don’t think I ever thought no matter how nuts the Star Trek universe can be that it would ever bring T’Pring and Sybok in the same story lol. It’s all pretty surreal for TOS fans. Two people I never thought we would see beyond what we got in Amok Time and TFF. And now here they both are, decades later, and part of a huge story arc involving Spock. And the fact Sybok looks to be a villain in the show is just nuts.

But at least they bring back already existing characters from TOS instead of inventing some relatives which were never mentioned before.

That’s true although coughLa’ancough!!!!!

So there are still some old (bad) tricks being pulled on this show too!

Maybe her right name got lost in translation and she is La’an Noonien SOONG. ;-)
I just watched DataLore yesterday and noticed that connection which was brought in very early in TNG, but never resolved…although… now that I mention it, it was hinted in the finale of Picard.

I just want to say for the record I am sure there is going to be some kind of T’Pring threesome with Sybok and Angel and Stonn’s middle name is going to be “Stop!”

Isn’t T’Pring already gonna be involved with Spock and Chapel? :-P

Well, she name dropped Maggie Nelson, so she definitely is hip. No one is talking about that! (maybe on the podcast?!)

Sybok was called a different name and Spock only told Chapel about Sybok. Thus far, no one else knows. This was actually one of the better ways they have dealt with a canon issue. And again, frustrating because when they try it seems they can do it. So in a way this just makes the other things they did even bigger transgressions.

I don’t get the critics slamming SNW “as the best new Trek series” for bringing back Sybok as villain “from the worst Star Trek movie”.
Indeed Sybok could have been portraied way better in ST V (we know Sean Connery was supposed to play his role”) but there is sooooo much potential. You can use that bit of canon of TOS/TOS-movies and connect it with ENT for example.
And when it comes to bad written villains, Krull Krall for example was worse.

Just catching up on Discovery. What a pile of crap! Saru is the only interesting character. Give me SNW any day.

Regardless of all the tips of the hat to TOS’s hamminess in this latest episode of SNW, I loved the character work with Spock and Chapel. SO MUCH BETTER than Disco!

With great suffering (discovery), comes great reward (SNW)

Oh how I wish that were the case….

Truly amazing episode loved the inclusion of sybok snow has exceeded my expectations

I had to look up the transcript of Final Frontier to see if Sybok was, indeed, born “out of wedlock.” I thought he hadn’t been, or that the marriage had been annulled. Turns out the original is unclear, but it’s implied Sarek was married to her. Hence, not “out of wedlock.”

I think all Spock said Sybok’s mother was a Vulcan princess, and that’s it.

Pretty sure he said he was married to her. But I last say that movie about a year ago….

OK… help an old Trekker out here. Did I miss something?

So it would take 2 days for Enterprise to get a response back from Starfleet about going outside of Federation territory but they were able to get a direct line to T’Pring with no problem?

And T’Pring can just show up in a Vulcan ship in what, no time at all?

If I missed something here please let me know because these two issues just blew me out of the epsidoe.

I believe the rehab center is not on Vulcan but in the Omicron Braga system that may be a lot closer to their location…

It was just a bad, ‘jump the shark’ episode scripted by a poor writer. So don’t worry yourself about the particulars; hopefully SNW will be back on track next week.

Its called bad writing.

For me this is another great episode, although I had read some reviews before I saw it so the twist was spoiled for me. I saw many complain about the acting, but despite a few overplayed “notes” here and there, I loved the scenery chewing performance. I especially loved Angel’s bemusement at being outsmarted, it was perfectly played. Hell, I would love to see Angel again! This was a fantastic Spock episode, well written and thought provoking. They’ve done such an impeccable job building these characters and their relationships and it’s paying off in every episode. I love that we are seeing character arcs rather than plot arcs, it’s far less mechanical and more human. And this show is so damn fun with sharp banter that builds from scene to scene. Great stuff, love it all and I watch in amazement that this show is nailing it episode after episode. There is just so many “Calories” in this show, every scene has something new, interesting, funny, beautiful, to add to this universe and its characters. This contrasts sharply to the mostly empty Season 4 of Discovery, there is just a massive difference in how these shows are made.

This show hasn’t had a bad episode yet, although this was pretty run of the mill. Random thoughts:

  • Is it just me, or is Uhura becoming less and less important with every episode? She’s not even in this one.
  • For the first time this season La’an doesn’t have a major role.
  • No Hemmer (again).
  • I’m starting to think we’re seeing too much of T’Pring. The relationship stuff is really good, but it kind of strains credulity that she can just show up on the Enterprise whenever she wants.

It’s a rather big cast, tied for the biggest to date if Hemmer is considered a main character. I give them a little leeway there. We’re certainly due for an Ortegas episode, though, she’s not even owned a subplot yet.

I agree with Ortegas, though. Part of the problem is that she flies the ship, but that’s about it – she doesn’t deal with life or death stuff like the M’Benga or Chapel, she hasn’t developed any sort of personal relationship with one of the other characters and she’s not in a leadership position on the ship.

What really saved this episode was Jesse James Keitel’s performance as Dr. Aspen. Honestly, they are they best villain so far this season. I hope they come back for the season finale and future episodes. Sybok’s introduction in the end was pretty cool too, but I could have done without Pike and the crew trying to take over the pirate’s ship.

I thought she was OK until she started channeling Evil-Georgeau. She should have really just been the same person after the betrayal. There was no need to go over the top like that.

It’s incredible to see such a solid first season. Every episode is better than the last IMHO! Trek is alive and well!!!

This episode was a fun one with the space pirates even though I cringed hard when Pike started speaking like one on the bridge. I also laughed when Una said that it says Pike is a boy scout in his file. I’m also a little disappointed to know that Spock and T’Pring’s relationship is doomed, because I am really enjoying watching their relationship unfold. The Sybok reveal at the end was a surprise, but I hope he isn’t seen again in the series.

A couple random thoughts about the series…

The musical score for the series is outstanding. It really adds something to the episodes.

What happened to the DOT-7s? Does Enterprise not use them anymore?

I’m sorry but this doesn’t work for me. There’s supposed to be a crew of about 200 aboard the Enterprise during Pike’s time but all we ever see is M’Benga and the bridge crew. It’s ridiculous to think a handful of pirates could seize the ship.

Oh, that was painfully bad! Well, SNW is 6 for 7 so far; Not a bad percentage!

Aaaargh, matey.. What an atrocious, cliched episode. Easily the worst-of-series so far (and after “Amok Spock,” that’s saying something.)

Primitives with a ship’s complement of a couple dozen taking over the flagship? Check.

Every pirate cliche in the book? Check. (At least Una had the good sense to say, “please stop.”)

Bizarre love triangle between Spock and the oh-so-effervescent Nurse Chapel? Check. (At least they finally got the Vulcan two-finger erotic pose right.)

Sitcommy attempt to get the pirate crew to mutiny? Even Jack Sparrow himself didn’t try that.

Why, oh why, do they feel the need to show T’Pring in just about every damn episode of this series? The actress who plays her is a dead ringer for Arlene Martel *and* nails the part, but the character isn’t so wonderful that she needs to show up more often than the *chief engineer* of the ship.

The ship takeover was resolved far too easily. Any halfway decent privateer would be keeping a much sharper eye out for disloyalty among the mercenary crew than Dr. Aspen did. Compare her to the pirates in “The Gambit,” for instance — the TNG episode was a much, much more layered portrayal. The comparison between the two reveals that this episode is a textbook case of why episodic television isn’t always better; the two-part format of “Gambit” allowed for some real character development.

The only saving grace of the episode was Dr. Aspen — and by that I mean Dr. Aspen, not Angel. Her counseling of Spock was on point. Dr. Aspen was actually an intriguing character. (Unlike Adira, Dr. Aspen was also an example of a trans character *doing her job* instead of waxing eloquent about her trans status, which should be the point of a diverse cast.) As with Captain Lorca, they ruined that intriguing character with the Big Plot Twist.

Finally, Sybok. I like the idea of him showing up. It was wholly out of character for him to ally himself with a bunch of slave traders, though. His raison d’etre was to free minds, which is presumably inconsistent with enslaving bodies. Admittedly, he may not have known who he was dealing with.

The actress who plays her is a dead ringer for Arlene Martel *and* nails the part, but the character isn’t so wonderful that she needs to show up more often than the *chief engineer* of the ship.”

I agree.
1) The actress playing T’Pring really does a great job. I truly enjoy what she brings to the table. T’Pring is like Lilith (from Cheers/Fraiser), but more tolerable. While T’Pring is not played for comedy, the actress is skillfully able to deliver irony and comic timing as needed. She is fun to watch.
2) As much as I enjoy T’Pring and as much as I want to see more of her on SNW (despite the reality of her required exit based on canon), we really do need to see more Hemmer. And more of Una.

Oh: I totally agree about Dr. Aspen. I was so loving the therapy/analysis that Spok was getting. Loved it. It really felt like she was invested in digging into his grey matter to help him get to “I am a child of both worlds… able to be at peace in either, and able to compose a greater whole from the two…” That part of the story was going to wonderful places for me, until it stopped going there. The twist robbed me of a good thing in my opinion. To some degree, I fell out of the episode when the doctor – who telegraphed her twist very early – turned into a caricature villain. In truth, I somewhat fell out of the episode with “Let’s cook for our captors.”

But if ever there was a good need to have a ship’s counselor, it would be to help Spock overcome his internal conflicts (innate to his birth; trying ever so hard to be the pure-logic based Vulcan in a ship full of human emotional temptations; and those lingering issues from Big Sister Michael). It would be great in a season to spread out 2 or 3 scenes of about 5 minutes each given to counseling sessions that explore Spock’s inner Vulcan and Human to help him master the “Strange New World” that is his genetic heritage and how he learns to manage and embrace it.

Anyway, I must say, to me this entire season of SNW has been a Trekking delight. Not everything has been perfect but I have also found nothing to keep my lip poked out. Rather, I have found a lot to make me say wow, and a lot of that wow is directed to the character development. Way to go! Nice start!

Good sign for the series. Awful episode, like a bad Enterprise outing meets Disco, yet I was somewhat entertained on the ample strengths of Peck ‘n’ Bush. A solid cast goes a long ways in getting thru the crap episodes. One note- if you’re going to dress a random Canadian building to be a spaceship’s cargo hold, do try to cover up the brick walls and windows.

The real good sign for the series is that this episode isn’t relevant for the next one (Only the background story around Spock, T’Pring and Sybok).
That’s a huge difference compared to DSC and PIC.
A supposed bad episode doesn’t ruin the whole series.
I’m sure the producers are experimenting different styles to see what viewers like and what not.
And beside that we had real cringe-worthy episodes in the first two seasons of TNT/DS9/VOY which were waaaaay worse than this episode.

I enjoyed the episode, but honestly I laughed the whole way through. Especially during the kiss. It struck me as very funny. I even liked Ortega’s wisecracks this time.