Recap/Review: ‘Star Trek: Strange New Worlds’ Tempts Fate In Season Finale “A Quality of Mercy”

“A Quality of Mercy”

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Season 1, Episode 10 – Debuted Thursday, July 7, 2022
Written by: Henry Alonso Myers & Akiva Goldsman
Directed by Chris Fisher

Strange New Worlds ends its first season strongly with an action-packed episode steeped in franchise lore but phaser-focused on the fate of Captain Pike.

Anson Mount as Pike and Melanie Scrofano as Captain Batel


WARNING: Spoilers below!


“This is end of the world stuff.”

The Enterprise is at the Neutral Zone to deliver needed supplies to a lonely outpost that hasn’t seen a Romulan in 100 years; in fact, no one has actually seen what Romulans look like, even though there’s already been a whole war. Chris Pike and his captain-with-benefits gal pal have a nice morning-after meal–heavily seasoned with foreshadowing phrases like “man out of time”–before he meets with the Outpost 4 commander. Things turn dark for Chris when he’s introduced to the commander’s eager young son Maat Al Salah, a name he knows from his ill-fated future. One beep for Oh, s–t! Pike is so freaked out by meeting one of the two cadets he won’t save in that accident he gets up and heads straight to his quarters, telling Una “I have to do something, don’t I?” But as soon as he starts writing a warning letter to little Maat, he gets an unexpected visitor… Admiral Pike… you know, from the future! His message is simple: Captain Pike can change his fate and save himself and the cadets, but it will have “unforeseen consequences” (although losing that fantastic hair isn’t one of them).

The admiral brought along one of those Klingon time crystals to show his younger self just how much he’s about to screw things up. The future begins awkwardly as he finds himself still captain of the Enterprise, but presiding over a wedding for people he doesn’t recognize, so the red alert klaxon is actually a relief. Outposts are under attack! This is starting to seem familiar to those of us who have seen the historical records. On the bridge, now a bit darker, Uhura is a lieutenant, Spock is first officer, and Ortegas has a new bad attitude. Pike orders the ship to Outpost 4 before meeting with Spock to spill all the time travel beans. It’s now seven years later, he successfully saved himself and the doomed cadets, and Spock sorts they are headed to a crucial moment another Enterprise captain must have handled differently, so Pike needs to be himself to “discover the terrible future” he created. No good deed… am I right? Still out of range, they witness Outpost 4’s destruction from a weapon of “enormous power.” With more outposts taken out by a seemingly invisible enemy, Pike is relieved to get assistance from the just-arriving USS Farragut, under the command of… wait for it… Captain James T. Kirk… OMG!

Anson Mount as Admiral and Captain Pike

“I am taking a risk.”

Spock has determined that the enemy ship has a cloaking device and it’s heading back towards the Neutral Zone, making it pretty clear they are indeed Romulans. Ortegas really wants to shoot at them, but Pike is concerned about sparking another war. Kirk suggests they both shadow the enemy while awaiting authorization from Starfleet. Uhura then taps into a message from the Romulans’ bridge, revealing for the first time that they look a whole lot like Vulcans. Dun dun dun!!! Kirk beams over to talk about what Erica indelicately calls the “pointy-eared elephant in the room” and everyone–including Spock–agrees they should attack… everyone except Pike, concerned about war and the enemy’s strategic advantage. Again, it’s Kirk with the plan: Use a comet to expose the Romulan, allowing both ships to lock on. Pike insists they neutralize and not destroy, and he is also wondering if Captain Kirk is the key to this time-twisting adventure. Unfortunately, the Romulan commander didn’t cooperate with Kirk’s plan, instead doubling back to get behind Farragut and fire a crippling shot with his plasma weapon. Before they finish the job, Enterprise draws their fire with some lucky blind shots but takes some of their own damage. Now this is some hot ship-on-ship action.

With the Romulan turning again for home, Enterprise picks up Farragut survivors including La’an–now both a Commander and a hugger–and an irate Captain Kirk, who blames Pike’s trepidation for his lost ship. Pike hits back to blame Kirk’s own risk-taking, but tensions ease as Kirk focuses on the wily Romulan commander, vowing not to underestimate him again. Spock works out the damaged Romulans can’t make it home, but Enterprise has no weapons to take them out so Pike decides it’s time to do things his way, hailing the Romulans with a speech about avoiding more pointless death and proposing a cease-fire… and the Romulan commander agrees. This “mercy” is the last straw for Ortegas, who gets dressed down after an outburst. As Pike continues to worry these actions are leading to that dark future, Kirk arrives to make it clear he would have taken a different path. But the younger man has moved on and wants to give Pike a backup plan, which requires the borrowing of a shuttle. Over on the Romulan ship, the commander is having his own heated debate with a second in command who is also itching for a fight. When Pike calls and challenges him to see seeking peace as a sign of strength, not weakness, it seems to be working; the Commander is tired of endless war… until a bazillion Romulan ships show up, all of whom seem pretty ready for more of that endless war.

Celia Rose Gooding as Uhura, Anson Mount as Pike, Melissa Navia as Ortegas, and Rong Fu as Mitchell

“Sometimes you cannot avoid a fight.”

Turns out that Sub-Commander decided to call in reinforcements, sickened by “negotiation”… ick. The Praetor herself is there and demands Pike’s surrender, also suggesting he should kneel. Chris declines to do either, but he is definitely in a jam—until a bazillion Federation ships show up with Jim Kirk. Sure, they are unarmed robotic mining ships, but the Romulans don’t know that, so now Chris has some cards for a bluff. Pike accuses the Romulans of the outposts attacks and shows video proof, so the Praetor decides on a “culling.” In one last chat with the Bird of Prey Commander, Chris sees what’s going down and even offers to help, but the proud Romulan performs his last duty, decloaking as his own fleet blows him out of the sky. Then all hell breaks loose with the Enterprise getting relentlessly pummeled by the armada until Kirk uses the robot ships to shield her just long enough to barely warp away. Pike sees the battle’s devastation to his crew in sickbay, hit hardest by a barely alive Spock, who was torn apart in an exploding Jeffries Tube, a shaken Chapel unsure if he will make it. Back in his quarters, Admiral Pike returns, aware Captain Pike now sees he has traded his fate for Spock’s. This is only the beginning of a war that the Admiral is still fighting, and it isn’t going well. Before Chris tries to go back and get clever with time, the admiral makes it clear all paths lead to the same place: Spock’s death.

After one last nice captain-to-captain chat over drinks with Kirk, Pike time crystals back to 2259 and deletes that letter to young Maat, accepting his fate. That’s one beep for sad. But maybe not. Now back home in his original time, Pike seems happy as he tours his ship as it should be: pristine and brightly lit and full of very alive crew, especially Mr. Spock. Pike is so happy to see the Vulcan—which from Spock’s perspective was just moments after meeting young Maat—that Spock senses there is something timey-wimey going on. He isn’t sure for what, but he feels grateful to Captain Pike, calling him Chris. Aww. What a nice way to end the season. Oh, and Captain Gal Pal is on her way over, so things are really looking up… except she has also asked Una to meet her in the transporter room, and don’t forget, Pike did learn that Number One was in jail in that future timeline, exposed as a genetically modified Illyrian. So yeah, this isn’t a space booty call; Captain Batel is all business as she informs them she is there to take Commander Chin-Riley into custody. Pike is literally ready to fight, but his Number One tells him to stop as she knew this day was coming. Pike vows “this isn’t over” as he watches Una get beamed away. It’s a cliffhanger after all.

Romijn as Una


Pike’s Terror

After an exceptional first season, Strange New Worlds delivered a thrilling finale that grabs your attention at the start and never lets go. Since the previous episode tied up a few character arcs, this one can dig deep into Pike’s arc for the season, bookending how he started shaken by knowledge of his fate. Series star Anson Mount surpasses high expectations as he plays multiple versions of himself ranging from playful moments to taut action to devastating heartbreak. And thankfully, the issue carried over from his time in season two of Discovery is resolved, and this trial by fire has tempered the character along with bringing a new peace with his fate, allowing him to run through the rest of the series without constantly questioning if he should even be in space in the first place.

Creating that “what if?” scenario was clever, if not inevitable, to resolve this quandary for Pike, who sees how he would perform as captain of the Enterprise during the events of the original Star Trek episode “Balance of Terror.” This was a fascinating choice, bringing massive stakes to the show which has mostly avoided the apocalyptic. While much of the attention and comparisons will focus on that classic TOS episode, at its heart “A Quality of Mercy” is more akin–and favorably compared–to other episodes exploring fate such as TNG’s “Yesterday’s Enterprise” or even Voyager’s “Endgame.” But this “what if” exploration would have worked better if “A Quality of Mercy,” didn’t tie itself so closely with “Balance.” Once the premise was established earlier on, Strange New Worlds could have trusted itself and its own characters to allow Pike’s scenario to diverge more and more, with fewer direct moments lifted from the original, especially as the outstanding attention to detail on production design, music, and visual effects was already doing so much work to evoke the classic scenario. The costumes were a particular delight, from Lt. Uhura’s uniform dress to Admiral Pike’s amazing updated monster maroon.

Anson Mount as Admiral Pike

Even with the focus on Pike, some other characters got some interesting development in this finale, especially Spock. Ethan Peck stepped up, adding a bit more to his evolution, effectively playing the fully realized TOS version of Spock. It was a cunning choice for the writers to bring future Spock into Pike’s confidence, giving Peck even more to play with, but the cleverest bit was the moment at the end when Spock realizes that he “owes a debt” to Captain Pike, a debt he will pay in full in the episode “The Menagerie.” There was an elegance to how Pike’s fate was tied to Spock’s, making the consequences of his actions personal, and so with all the concern over starting a war, it felt unnecessary for Admiral Pike to add on the layer of Spock’s future importance, especially as he came back to stop Pike from messing with time. Giving him more knowledge of the future seemed counter-productive and mostly turns Spock into a bit of a messianic figure.

A potentially controversial choice was made with future Ortegas, transforming the exuberant fun character into a tense vet with a hint of prejudice, but someone had to play out the show’s version of the original Stiles character and better to give it to one of the regulars. And Melissa Navia made it work. As for why Ortegas is so angry, we can only assume that over the seven years, she went through some stuff—like, really bad stuff. And while it all tied together with her storyline, having Rebecca Romijn’s Number One disappear for the bulk of another episode is getting old. The writers just don’t seem to know what to do with her.

Ethan Peck as Spock

Strange original

A big surprise in this episode was the early introduction of Paul Wesley as James T. Kirk, already known to be part of season 2. The whole setup relied on Pike and Kirk to come at this scenario from different but equally valid perspectives, with only fate passing judgment that it was Kirk’s approach making him the right man for that particular moment in history. And to that extent, this Kirk fit the bill, with Wesley able to go head-to-head with Mount as a believable Starfleet captain. But while this Kirk served the story adequately, Wesley wasn’t able to pull off the kind of charm and panache described by Sam Kirk, affably played by Dan Jeannotte, who is growing on me. It is a daunting task to step into the giant shoes of William Shatner, and unlike Chris Pine, Wesley doesn’t have a whole alternate lifetime to explain away the differences, both broad and subtle. Also, constantly returning to beat-for-beat moments from “Balance of Terror” didn’t help here due to the obvious comparisons; the character and episode would have benefited from showing more of how Kirk would have dealt with the evolving situation. But this is just one episode and a deeply serious one, so hopefully, we see a more nuanced James T. Kirk in season 2, although one still has to wonder if the show really needs it. This episode might have benefited if alt-future Kirk was killed in the battle with the Romulans as one more kick to Pike that messing with fate isn’t a good idea.

And while we are on the subject of bringing back classic characters, this finale made an interesting choice in the form of a sort of cameo from Montgomery “Scotty” Scott, in the form of a disembodied hand helping Spock out and talking about not being a miracle worker. Perhaps this brought some levity to an episode short on laughs due to the grim stakes, but it felt a bit silly. And given that Hemmer was just killed off in the previous episode, it felt even more out of place.

Paul Wesley as Captain James T. Kirk

Final thoughts

Even with a few shortcomings, “A Quality of Mercy” was a spectacular season finale, and perhaps the best so far of the new era of live-action Star Trek shows. This new series has been a delight, delivering on the promise of episodic shows with a lighter tone and strong character development. Almost all the episodes have been winners, each is worthy of a rewatch, and best of all, you can just dip in and out to any without having to binge the whole thing. It’s sad to see the show go on hiatus so soon as these ten weeks have flown by, but with season 2 production already complete, hopefully it won’t be too long until we pick things up with Captain Pike and the crew of the USS Enterprise on their continuing adventures.  While the deep dive into Trek lore in this episode had some highlights, it also revealed some of the pitfalls of relying so much on the past. So for season 2, let’s hope for more strange and especially more new worlds to explore.

Celia Rose Gooding as Uhura

Random bits

  • The episode was written by Strange New Worlds executive producers and co-showrunners Akiva Goldsman and Henry Alonso Myers. It was the fourth series writing credit for Myers and the third for Goldsman.
  • The episode was directed by producing director Chris Fisher, his first for the series.
  • Paul Wesley is listed in the main credits as a special guest star, which was a spoiler to anyone who knew he had already been announced as appearing as James T. Kirk in season 2.
  • Scotty was actually credited as “Engineer,” with British actor Matthew Wolf providing his voice. It’s unknown who played the hand.
  • The episode title “A Quality of Mercy” is based on the opening line of a speech from Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice.
  • There was a Twilight Zone episode “A Quality of Mercy” which starred Leonard Nimoy as a character named Hansen.
  • In “Balance of Terror,” Outpost 4’s commander was Hansen, apparently the same person now fully named Hansen Al-Salah.
  • Alt-future Spock refers to Pike’s original timeline as the “Prime Future.”
  • Stardate 1457.5 (later 1709.2 matching “Balance of Terror”)
  • The map of the area around the Neutral Zone matched the style of the one seen in “Balance of Terror,” but included a lot more details, including the Algeron system, which will be where the Treaty of Algeron between the Federation and the Romulans will be made in the early 24th century.
  • The map also included the double-headed bird of prey emblem for the Romulan Star Empire, which wasn’t introduced until the TNG season one finale “The Neutral Zone.” A different emblem was used on TOS in the “The Enterprise Incident.”
  • Pike’s first pony was named Sir Neighs-a-Lot, which he admits is silly.
  • Pasta Mama is a real recipe for leftover pasta, or any pasta.
  • Captain Batel commands the USS Cayuga, which appears to be another Constitution-class ship.
  • Although it was previously established in canon that Kirk served on the USS Farragut, this was the ship’s first appearance in canon, and it had a similar design to the movie-era Miranda-class.
  • The USS Farragut was able to reach Warp 9, which is beyond the maximum warp of the Enterprise (Warp 8) and other 23rd-century ships.
  • Kirk used “Attack Pattern Tiberius 4,” named for his own middle name.
  • The Romulan commander mentioned the Reman Campaign. The Remans were a subject race of the Romulans, introduced in Star Trek: Nemesis, although some were seen in the 22nd century in Star Trek: Enterprise.
  • When discussing his family history, James T. Kirk mentioned his father George served on the USS Kelvin, which was introduced in the 2009 Star Trek movie. When time-traveling Romulans attacked and destroyed the Kelvin, it began the “Kelvin Universe” timeline featured in the three J.J. Abrams-produced Star Trek films (with a fourth reportedly on the way in 2023).
  • Among the special skills listed in James T. Kirk’s file was “hand-to-hand training,” a nod to his famed “Kirk Fu” fighting style.
  • The song playing when Pike tours the Enterprise at the end was “Makin’ Memories“ by Melissa Caper
  • The Starfleet code of conduct against genetic modification was numbered 587.63. In the alternate future, she was sentenced to the Starfleet penal colony on Salius VI.

Ali Hassan as Commander Hansen Al-Salah

More to come

Every Friday, the 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 Select. In the UK new episodes arrive on Wednesdays on Paramount+ but run five weeks behind the USA. The series will arrive via Paramount+ in select countries in Europe when the service launches later this year.

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So that was an enjoyable episode i found it to be a mixture of TNG Yesterdays Enterprise, All Good Things, VOY Endgame and an episode from Andromeda S3 called The Unconquerable Man.

This episode would be my 2nd favorite of the season with the very first episode being my favorite.

I loved seeing Wynonna Earp…i mean Captain Batel again i would love to see her have her own show.

We all knew that Pike wouldn’t stop the accident because of TOS and i didn’t like how that if Pike stopped his fate from happening that yet another dark future happens that type of storytelling is getting a bit tiring but i suppose it is needed to have Pike finally accept his fate.

I loved seeing future Pike in the TWOK uniform and seeing the events of balance of Terror in modern form makes me want a full TOS reboot with Paul Wesley as Kirk and loved the Discovery reference again I’m glad that the writers aren’t afraid to reference S1-S2 of Discovery.

After seeing S1 of SNW i find the show to be a really good but it has lots of room for improvement which i hope the writers made for S2 and beyond.

Compared to the recent seasons of Picard and Discovery i find SNW S1 to be better than Picard S2 but not as enjoyable/interesting as Discovery S4 which has become one of my favorite seasons/shows of all Trek.

I’m looking forward to seeing S2 after that cliffhanger.

I wonder that Yesterdays Enterprise wasn’t mention in earlier discussions before the episode aired.
That was my first thought after reading the synopsis.

I totally agree with you on Picard S2 and Discovery S4. I waited until both series seasons had completed so I could binge watch them. I made the mistake of watching Discovery first, which I absolutely LOVED. I was so disappointed with Picard after watching Discovery first. In comparison, it just seemed… flat and formulaic? Whereas Discovery is truly taking us on a new discovery of the ST Universe

Even though I didn’t love Discovery season 4, that was the crazy thing about it, it probably was the most Star Trek-y story we seen in years. I love the entire concept behind it, but it really really dragged for me. If they did the season with half the episodes, it may have been one of my favorites of all time and why I’m so frustrated with that show. I truly want to like it more but every season just never quite there for me.

I won’t even talk about Picard season 2, one of the worst seasons of Star Trek ever. It managed to be worse than season 1 so that’s saying something.

Damn, you’re nitpicky with this one man. Too nitpicky for my taste. I think you’re wrong about the: “The writers just don’t seem to know what to do with her.” It might’ve looked like that in the beginning but like I commented before: it’s more likely a contract thing. I strongly believe Rebecca didn’t want to (or couldn’t) commit to more than a 50% job.

I think this was one of the best Trek episodes EVER. Everything worked from start to end: it was exciting and emotional at times. Spock’s evolution was masterfully done by Peck. I never really saw Balance so I’m not bothered by the fact it tied-in “too much”.

The only thing that bothered me just a bit is, honestly, the casting of Kirk. He just doesn’t feel like Kirk. Not for the lack of Shatnerisms (would’ve been silly if he became a copy), but the fact the character doesn’t behave/feel like Kirk.

Too bad season 2 has already been shot and no one of the crew was able to get feedback before proceeding with the next season.

Maybe the reason he doesn’t feel like Kirk is because in a lot of ways he isn’t. Kirk as seen in TOS was a product of his interactions with Spock and McCoy. Without having those two close friends in his life he becomes a different person. The younger Lt Kirk we meet in season 2 might be closer to the Kirk we are familiar with.

 strongly believe Rebecca didn’t want to (or couldn’t) commit to more than a 50% job.

That’s what I’ve always thought. It’s not an uncommon thing for actors to demand reduced schedules. Tom Selleck only works a few days a month on Blue Bloods, for instance. In this case, I can see it being a COVID thing, where she only wanted to spend a limited amount of time on location in Toronto.

If she wasn’t available for the most time, maybe the should have had Jess Bush play the role of Una. Why not have one actress for 2 roles at the same time ;-) Put a black wig on her.
And by the way, I was disappointed that the romulan commander wasn’t played by James Frain.

I was thinking the same thing! A bit of stunt casting to be sure and would have taken those who picked up on it out of the episode a bit but wouldn’t that have been fun?

I think it would have taken us out as well… but it’s funny..when I noticed what they were doing I EXPECTED them to use James Frain, lol. I was surprised when they didn’t.

Wouldn’t you need Roderick McNeil in there, too? Getting reduced two steps in rank?

That was my thought too, that James Frain should have been the Romulan Commander. It’s a one off anyway.

It would have been a great nod to Mark Lenard. I was thinking the same. I did appreciate the TOS music.

Yes, indeed. They put so much emphasis at the right spots (music, lightning, acting) to reacreate that key scene… they could have gone further… no brainer…
I remember reading a novel which recalled that scene and having Kirk (or someone else) thought that the romulan commander looked strangely similar to Sarek…

Frain as the Romulan would have been hilarious, but perhaps also too jarring for some.

Wesley is also 39, and not a particularly young looking 39, either.

Yes, I agree. He has more wrinkles on his forehead than Pike!

Trekyards is going to have a field day with this Kirk.

I agree. I feel like the casting of Kirk could have been better. He never really felt like Kirk. But then, Shatner is one of a kind. It’s a tough gig and I don’t get too hung up on it.

That said my main complaint was they held onto the Kirk cliché of his personality. Of all people one would think his brother would be the one person to not go there. But there it is.

Thought only production was done on season 2 and filming was to start later this year. Also in regards to Rebecca Romijn, it might have due to Covid. The first season was filmed during restrictions and before the vaccine (According to the Ready Room )

I agree, perfectly adequate actor to play an unnamed new to the cast Captain, but not for Kirk. Maybe in Season Two he’ll prove his appropriateness.

For me first seasons on Star Trek can be a bit hit and miss as they find their feet, but this was brilliant and I have enjoyed every episode. I will be watching these all again while waiting, impatiently, for season 2!

Absolutely agree. Well done, cast & crew of SNW. Keep up the good work!!


I think it was my second favorite episode of the season. I don’t know why but I really loved Spock Amok! Just a fun filled weird trippy story of great hijinks (do people see why I love LDS so much ;)).

But this one was obviously great too. And it’s one of the few episodes where I theorized 90% of it was going to happen actually came true! It includes so many fun easter eggs and concepts like time travel, alternate timelines and two of the same Captains in a room together (a TOS favorite trope lol). But it pulled off a solid story of Pike trying to alter his future and gave us an alternate version of Balance of Terror. I watched that episode right before this one and it paid off. So many moments intertwined between the two episodes. It’s not on the level of Trials and Tribbulations of course but it’s probably only the second episode to harkens back to another so directly.

I really liked watching Pike trying to figure out what was going on when he traveled into the future and seeing how different his crew was. It was interesting he told Spock right away of his ordeal. That’s usually a no-no in the Temporal Prime Directive but can’t exactly blame the guy. Oh and yes ROMULANS!!!!!!! Probably my favorite bad guys after the Cardassians. Always happy to see them and of course it goes back to their very first appearance. I liked seeing how Pike handled the situation and yeah, not great lol. But to be fair, these are Romulans. We understand they are NEVER to be trusted. The head guy tried to honor their cease fire but there is alwaaaaays one…

And yes, the biggest surprise (which many of us assumed was coming) was James T. Kirk!!!!! I loved watching how different their command styles was here and clearly Kirk had the better idea. Now I’ll be honest even though this is a mostly positive review but like said in the review Paul Wesley just didn’t really do it for me. I never heard or seen this actor before until he was announced so I had zero expectations. I didn’t think he needed to Shatner it up but he needed a bigger presence IMO. I think he’s going to be a bit divisive. Not Burnham divisive lol, but probably not nearly as positive like when Mount showed up as Pike. But I’ll wait until next season and hopefully he’ll grow on me more.

Oh but I loved the ending. To tie Pike’s fate to Spock’s was perfect! I think that really sold it AND it showed why Spock was so eager to help Pike in Menagerie because he knew he sacrificed himself so Spock can have the future he was meant to have…which is so nuts when you think about it lol. This guy saved Earth from the tyrannical V’ger and whale probe, help create peace with the Klingons, gave his life for the Enterprise (he came back though ;)), reunited Vulcans and Romulans, MET PICARD and DATA!!!!!! and of course help set up another movie franchise in a different universe! Guy is busy lol! It was a really fitting way to make Pike see why he couldn’t change his future.

And finally the ending where Starfleet discovered Una was a mutant was great! She couldn’t disguise herself forever although she used to be much better at it!

This is already long enough so I’ll just wrap it up by saying I didn’t really want SNW at the beginning. Never against it, just prefer to do something new or go forward. But once the show got announced I was 100% behind it and this has been a great season. Last time I enjoyed a first season like this in live action was Voyager’s first season back in 1995. And after being SO disappointed with Discovery and Picard, this show is just a breath of fresh air! Just comfort food Trek that really knows how to hit the tropes like classic Trek did with a sense of adventure, science and fun every week. If I have any criticism (beside the canon issues) I like to see the ship actually explore beyond Federation space. It’s called SNW but yet we only went to one new one in the opening episode. But few complaints. It’s been a fun season and can’t wait for season two!!!

Now back to the 24th century with our Lower Deckers!!!!

Hahaha thanks Tiger2. All I read was the 1st sentence and that was all I needed.
Can’t wait until 9pm tonight. Ok back to work!
Oh quick question – how long was the finale? More than 45 mins?

LOL glad you enjoyed the first line. It’s the most important one anyway! ;)

The episode is exactly 63 minutes long, so it’s a long one! I was riveted from start to finish. A little slow in one or two scenes but yeah so much going on throughout the episode.

Anyway get back to work and can’t wait to read your thoughts later! :)

Thanks to all RE the length of the episode. I see the Bell Fibe cable provider messed up tonight’s digital tv schedule so anyone trying to PVR the episode in Ontario is going to miss about 25 minutes of the finale. I will post a warning message to make sure people in Ontario set their PBRs accordingly.

Wow that sucked! I hope everyone got to see it in full eventually.

I always set BellFibe with the +30 minutes option on anything I really care about, especially when a show is brought in from a streamer.

Wastes PVR space on average, but it’s a good safety net.

I’m still jealous you get to watching without streaming. For example, Dr. Who has been known to be 70-75 minutes or so. The DVR records it all.

For the record, my DVR will record things on its own when they are scheduled to go longer. The worst that has happened is on rare occasions the final minute of something might get cut off. Once I know what show that happens on I will tag on an extra couple of minutes just in case.

1h2m long

More than 45 mins?

Yes. At long last it seems to have dawned on the writers that streaming doesn’t mean you have to truncate everything down to 45 minutes.

Una is a Member of the X-MEN!


This guy saved Earth from the tyrannical V’ger and whale probe

At the risk of veering off-topic: V’ger was in no way “tyrannical,” and while we know little of the whale probe’s origins, nothing suggested it was, either.

This is precisely why people like those two films: no mustache-twirling villains.

It was a JOKE, lighten up lol.

Haha I posted my major observations and review below and I finally got around to reading your complete post. Too hilarious we both referenced The Menagerie and to quote an old radio show – now we know, the rest of the story! I really liked that scene with Pike and Spock!

Too bad we have to wait for 2023 to find out how Pike saves his Number One!

Yeah I just read your review as well and commented. We’re in agreement to mostly everything….except one!

Yeah it kind of sucks we have to wait so long. Sometimes I really miss the old days when a show was off the air for like four months and it was back! I’m really excited for season 2 now. And the great thing since it’s already been shot we’ll at least get some news on it sooner and maybe on Star Trek day in a few months.

Next to Trials And Tribbelations, there also is “Flashback” (VOY S03E02) as this-kind-of-episode

Yes Flashback as well although I was thinking of episodes specifically but why it didn’t come to me. Good catch! I ALWAYS hated the ending of Flashback but up until that point it’s so much fun to watch too.

I haven’t watched the episode yet, but from the recent episodes and the previews I’ve seen over the last 24hrs, it now seems like SNW is becoming a soft-reboot of TOS


Nope…not a reboot. SNW is just telling the story of Pike. Remember…Pike was the 2nd captain of The Enterprise. You know the rest. The way I look at it…what if CBS had gone with the original pilot “The Cage” ? If that had been been a hit…Jeffrey Hunter probably would have continued in the role…and we would never have gotten Captain Kirk. McCoy and some of the rest.

Also wouldn’t have gotten the movies or spin offs since Hunter died in 1969. Though I guess he wouldn’t have died if he was still filming Star Trek at the time instead of the film he got hurt on.

It depends on how you mean that. I think SNW is very much like TOS, updated for modern sensibilities (no sexism! more ethnic representation!) and with modern production values. It has the dash, the flair, and the sheer FUN of TOS.

But it’s mostly telling new stories, and we have a new captain with a different style, a difference highlighted in the current episode. And according to this week’s Ready Room, Season 2 will give us stranger new worlds and wilder stuff.

THIS is the show I’ve been wanting since 1969!!!

Happy Birthday, Akiva Goldsman!

“And given that Hemmer was just killed off in the previous episode, it felt even more out of place.”

Um, you do realize that the episode takes place SEVEN YEARS in the future. So, Scotty being an engineer on the Enterprise, is totally okay.

It’s also an alternate time line which explains why no Sulu either.

Not to mention Stiles. McCoy and Rand.

I recently realized that Pike now knows about Romulans. I would guess he will take this information to the grave so as not to disturb the time line.

Yeah that comment on the reviewer’s part was nonsensical.

I think the off-screen-voice way that they handled Scotty was perfect, very clever! If major repairs needed to be done on the ship, you’d absolutely 100% expect the chief engineer to be there, along with Spock, so not “out-of-place” at all.

Ghost of Star Trek future story was a nice idea, to round out their first season and while it has its weak points it’s still a pretty good finish to a pretty good season. But they just couldn’t help themselves and had to have a (thankfully short) fleet battle at the end.

All in all there isn’t really that much to say. It was nice to see an updated version of the monster maroons, which looked amazing. It is a nice touch, that most other Starfleet ships we saw this season were constitution class ships or at least looked like them. Makes it feel a bit more TOS, where they only had that one model 😁 — also: bringing back the emo light tied it nicely into the Balance of Terror Episode.

I don’t know if this is a real criticism but, I haven’t seen Balance of Terror for years, so I was a little lost as to what should have happened in the “real” timeline. But I don’t know, how they could have done it different. A flashback at the start would have been weird, too.

As far as the acting goes, It’s commendable that they tried to have Peck play a more mature and stoic Spock. But he really didn’t pull it off. He just felt stiff and forced in a way Nimoy never did. Same goes for Kirk, who didn’t much feel like Shatner or Kirk or even resembled them.

Which brings me to the writing. I don’t feel, they actually needed a Kirk in this episode. It would have worked better, had it been just Pike making the “wrong” decision. Kirk would be there in spirit as the viewer knows, they it should be him in the chair. Having them both actually there seemed fanservice-y without adding to the actual story.

This also keeps with the trope that certain characters in Trek are just special. Which was a problem with Enterprise but got really tiring in Secret Hideout Trek. Stories like this would work a lot better on a personal level, showing the people affected by someone dying, that wasn’t supposed to. Giving it instead this galactic component cheapens a lot of the stories. Yes Spock was instrumental in the reunification efforts. But who’s to say, there wouldn’t have been someone else to step up. Make it a choice by the people. A movement. Not a thing that only happened because there was this one really special person. That’s Star Wars writing, and really really lazy. Trek has been guilty of it too in the past, but generally the Stories never we’re about how special the people are.

And why did they do the exact same ending as Lower Decks Second Season again? That was weird 🤨 … especially since the season as a way better ending, if you just leave that part out.

PS: so is that other captain supposed to be Pikes Girlfriend? If so he totally cheated on her in Episode 6 🤨

I loved seeing a pretty faithful recreation of those, but the rank strap was off. It’s angled to fit the angle of the overlap flap and looks poorly tailored as a result. otherwise, it looked pretty good.

I actually had the exact same thought, when I watched it 😁

but the rank strap was off

Oh, for crying out loud.

Relax Lorna, I was praising the choice of using this uniform and at how faithfully it was done overall, I just thought that part was so poorly done, it was distracting.. not because it wasn’t faithful.. but because it looked bad.

“PS: so is that other captain supposed to be Pikes Girlfriend? If so he totally cheated on her in Episode 6”

I think their relationship is similar to Archer and Hernandez’s relationship on Enterprise. Just keep it light and simple and get together whenever they can. And when they are not, they do their own thing.

Yeah, makes sense for the life they’re living, I guess.

Maybe they have a don’t ask don’t tell agreement.

It was nice to see an updated version of the monster maroons, which looked amazing. 

Perhaps it’s because the scene was so darkly lit, but other than the rank strap being a bit too long, I’m struggling to see what was “updated.”

OK, scrutinzing the photo a bit, it looks like the flap slopes downward, whereas in the films it was straight. Hence the long rank strap. The belt may differ slightly, too.

I think this episode sums up the different command styles between Kirk and Pike in the best way possible!

Pike’s command style in a crisis: “Let’s give the Romulans time to fix their engines and maybe I can beam over there and cook them a great meal as a way to build trust and friendship between our two peoples!”

Kirk’s command style in a crisis: “Let’s burn these muthafuckers alive!”


The irony is that Pike’s plan might have worked if the Romulan sub-commander had not gone behind his superior’s back and called in the fleet.

It actually felt a bit like City on the Edge of Forever in that Pike’s desire for peace was the right choice but just at the wrong time.

Oh yeah I agree. Of course I would prefer Pike’s way of doing things but the #1 rule of dealing with Romulans is never trust the Romulans lol. There is always, ALWAYS one who will stab you in the back the second they can. That was really his only mistake.

But yeah Pike is closer to Picard’s style of leadership where they both try diplomacy as much as possible until that is no longer an option. And Picard doesn’t cook for his enemies, so Pike goes that EXTRA step! ;)

Kirk is more like Sisko, they will also try for peace first of course….but their patience is on burrowed time and then it’s time for the pimp hand! ;)

There is no defense to the Kirk Fu flying dropkick! :)

Perhaps that is why Kirk & Sisko are my two favorite Captains.

I don’t think that is Kirk’s immediate reaction. I think that he goes with his gut more often than others might in spite of what logic might dictate. I think had he felt giving the Romulans a chance by talking to them he would have. In BoT while the Commander was obviously tired of war and would have preferred not poking the bear in the end he followed his orders. Kirk’s instinct told him he absolutely could not let the return and Spock’s analysis of them only cemented that. Hence, “Let’s burn these muthafuckers alive!” I remind you that Kirk also, once he got the upper hand, refused to kill the Gorn. He even reached out to Kruge even after he killed his son.

It’s not suppose to be taken that literally. Just having some fun. ;)

And in “By Any Other Name,” Kirk tries to talk Rojan into making friends while he’s engaged in a fistfight with him! Kirk would rather be friends; it’s just that he knows space is dangerous, and not everyone can be reasoned with.

You nailed the command styles perfectly but the portrayal of Kirk left him stuffier than the Kirk we saw from Shatner & Pine. Their Kirk has a swagger and confidence about him whereas Westley’s Kirk is kind of stuffy. Pike likes to talk his way out of trouble like Picard. He has a dark side to him like Picard & Sisko. He cooks like Sisko. He gets chummy with his crew like Kirk and has a way with the ladies like Kirk. Yet, the character has felt fresh thanks to Anson Mount’s performance and the sense of humor written into the character. This Kirk lacks the roguish charm of Shatner and Pine.

Yeah I agree I am not fond of this new Kirk at all and said in my OP he just lacks real presence. Hopefully that will change when he shows up next season but reading this board and others it’s obvious a lot of people feel the same way. It’s odd because up until now they had solid casting. Even if the characters aren’t a direct portrayal of former performances like M’Benga, Chapel and definitely Pike they found their own interesting personalities to make the characters spark or even MORE interesting than previous portrayals. I can’t believe this is the actor out of all the people they auditioned felt the most ‘Kirk’ to them? This one practically feels tone deaf in every way.

Makes me wonder about the entire group they auditioned if Wesley was the best of the lot…

The actor who played nine year old Maat is actually 27 or 28 years old!

what the what?!

Are you sure this doesn’t refer to the cadet-aged Maat?

My one issue, and it’s not even a criticism, more a preference, is with how Sam described his brother to Pike. Kirk wasn’t exactly a cowboy in this early stage of his career. He was courageous and inventive, but he really embraced the structure Starfleet provides. He was not all about bending the rules. Watch “Balance of Terror” and you see Kirk is so rigorous- dispatching log updates back to Starfleet every 15 minutes, requesting permission to cross into the neutral zone, and beating back the emotions of his crew in order to avoid setting off a war. By comparison, Pike is actually biased (towards non-engagement) and hesitant in this scenario. Kirk was a methodical strategist, and all of this is why Starfleet made him the youngest commander of a Starship (and of its flagship in the prime timeline). That is not a “deck of wild cards,” but rather a brilliant, hardworking person- “the right stuff.”

Now, since we are not in the prime timeline, it’s OK that they depict Kirk in a different manner. But my sense is that the writers are working off of longstanding misconceptions of this character, such as was done in the JJ Abrams movies, etc. I was hopeful that we would see a more sober take on this exceptional leader, but I’m along for the ride without any significant reservations (just this tiny one).

Despite Sam’s description, I found Wesley’s Kirk to have all the right attributes, especially compared to Pine’s party boy mentality from the first two Kelvin movies (and even parts of Beyond). Even in this episode he definitely operates within the rules and comes up with clever ideas and solutions.

Yes, you’re right, Kirk in action was mostly on point, and I liked how Spock was the only person agreeing with Kirk’s plan to hunt down the vessel. What was missing was depth to Kirk’s strategy- in “Balance of Terror,” Kirk struggles with his tactics, and Bones gives the classic advice “… don’t destroy the one named Kirk.” It felt like Kirk was in the Matt Decker “outsider Starfleet commander” mode at times. But those are nuances, and it really is plausible that this alternative timeline brought out a different kind of Kirk. And Pike ultimately saw Kirk was right, but maybe that was more about Spock being a mangled pile of flesh in Sickbay than an actual realization on Kirk’s strategy.

To be fair, the story is about Pike wrestling thru the choice he must make to either save himself or allow events to unfold. Alternate timeline biographies aside, given what Pike is going thru I think it might have been too much to have Kirk also exhibit those same feelings of doubt and second guessing himself. It probably would have also been kind of unfair on the actor to drop him into the role and immediately expect him to be able to give such a layered performance.

That is a fair point. The show was not about Kirk. It was about Pike. The side trip to examining Kirk’s self doubt was not needed here. It was already examined in BoT.

Absolutely agree this was Pike’s story. I just felt that Kirk and Pike could have acknowledged mutual uncertainty without losing anything in the process. In fact, that sort of honesty and humility would further engender Pike’s trust with Kirk, which would be a nice lead-in to Pike reading Kirk’s service record in that last scene before Spock enters the ready room.

This is technically is the prime timeline, just altered. But in my mind, this has to be a new continuity to begin with.

It is, by definition, a different timeline.

If it’s a different timeline, why does older Pike have to come back to fix anything? Jut let it coexist as a different / new timeline and no need for Pike to fix the letter.

You think that Kirk doesn’t break the rules? He cheated on the Kobayashi Maru.
Carol Marcus – “Jim Kirk was many things, but he was never a boy scout”
Kirk is a genius, that is true, top of his class.

Some of Sam’s other description is probably based upon some brotherly jealousy – Kirk advanced swiftly in comparison (faster than anyone before him) – Kirk is a genius, where Sam is not at that level. Kirk probably got away with more as a second son than the first son did.

You think that Kirk doesn’t break the rules? He cheated on the Kobayashi Maru.

There was, apparently, no rule against reprogramming the computer. He thought outside of the box, but he didn’t cheat.

Exactly right, Kirk “cheated” at a fixed game, which is fair in its own right. Kirk would later confront alien robots/AI that did similarly against subjugated peoples, and that’s a classic hero’s tale (man vs. machine).

I’m not liking this wimpy version of Kirk. Where’s the swagger?

With respect to Nick Meyer, a genius storyteller, his interpretation of Kirk in TWOK is the birth of “brash Kirk.” It fit the story he was trying to tell, but Kirk in TOS, and in particular “Balance of Terror” was cautious, thoughtful, and he immediately pushed back at Stiles’ reactionary sentiments. Now, TWOK’s take on Kirk is an indelible part of the larger story, and SNW has to account for it, but it shouldn’t be at the expense of a tremendous volume of storytelling that shows there’s more to Kirk than his brother stated. I do like the notion of a brother’s competitive bias, that helps contextualize that scene with Pike, and ultimately the story tells us that Kirk was strategically correct. But what it failed to acknowledge is Kirk’s equally introspective decision-making process to Pike’s. If anything, Kirk was more objective than Pike in approaching the problem at hand.

It was a fair evolution of that character though, at that point in his life. The writers of both the Kelvin films (which arguably has more leeway because it’s a different universe) and this series seem to have an idea of Kirk that isn’t really accurate for the time in the character’s life.

The problem is that the writers are having Sam explain to the audience how they see Kirk, because they think they have to dumb it down for non-fans. There can be some differences in this Kirk, as his life experiences have been different for the past 7 years or so… but I’m pretty sure they’re trying to present us with a Kirk that is exactly what they think the character is, and it’s not fully accurate. I think Chris Pine’s Kirk was closer in tone than Wesley’s.

Kirk wasn’t exactly a cowboy in this early stage of his career. He was courageous and inventive, but he really embraced the structure Starfleet provides. He was not all about bending the rules.

Bingo. This is what NuTrek in all its iterations utterly misses.

That was his older brother’s opinion. Older brothers often believe that their siblings never really grow up. :-) I’m not sure we can take what the character said as indicative of what the writers think.

To the showrunners of SNW,

Congratulations on an awesome 1st season! It wasn’t a perfect season, but it definitely
was enjoyable. Looking forward to season 2 and beyond.

Well said. Best First Season since DS9.

Percentage wise, stronger than any other season of Trek. I think for 10 straight episodes, the only comparison is the last 10 episodes of DS9.

Very good episode; easily the best of season one for me and probably one of the best hours of Trek since the TOS days. Even though it was pretty easy to see where things would go, the pacing was taut and suspenseful, something that was lacking in prior entries, and there’s enough substance to it to merit a rewatch (another SNW first for me).

The acting was quite good all around. Mount is solid as usual, moreso as he has to essentially play two versions of his character. Likewise Peck is very good in displaying the subtle differences between the SNW and TOS era Spocks. Ortegas’ constant anger was a bit strange but as the review points out somebody had to get the antagonistic Stiles role. I liked Paul Wesley as Kirk; I’m unfamiliar with his work so he was a blank slate to me. While he didn’t look like Shatner or really evoke any of his physical mannerisms I’m grateful that he was played as a thoughtful and intelligent officer and not the clueless party animal we often got in the Kelvin movies. He and Mount showed good chemistry; I’m all for breaking canon and having them interact more in the future.

While the episode was entertaining it also does make me wonder where a potential nuTOS series would go. It seems pointless and unimaginative to me to just cherry pick episodes and do remakes with subtle variations and better sets and effects; it all comes down to the story and if it was told well enough the first time there’s little point to retell it again, even it you can make it all look prettier. Likewise, trying to weave new stories into the existing narrative that happen between the classic episodes would also seem to be problematic and could get confusing.

Still, I hope any nuTOS is a long ways off; there are still plenty of stories to tell with this current cast and crew and I hope they can plot their own adventures without having to rely too much on established events. That kind of thing is fun once in a while but can quickly become a crutch that just hampers the show in the long run.

Overall, I liked this episode, but I got a few comments and questions

  • I found Kirk’s characterization off, but that could be an due to the alternate timeline and different choices. I wait to see what comes in S2
  • Was future Pike actually there, or just in Present Pike’s head? He left the crystal so I assume physical, but doesn’t that indicate the Monks have time travel abilities, outside visions from the crystals and speeding up time.
  • Kirks armada bluff. The Romulans could have scanned the ships and determined they weren’t armed, but that could one of the reason the situation escalated.

Did like the updated/alternate Monster Maroons.

The story of SNW’s freshman season has been Pike grappling with his fate. This season finale brings Pike to finally accept his fate in an action-packed, thoughtful, focused, character driven story using the oldest Trek trope in the book: time travel. In all, while I had a few minor misgivings, it was a fantastic episode to cap off a fantastic season! Let’s break it down piece by piece:

The episode begins with Enterprise delivering resupplies to an outpost on the Neutral Zone, and Pike meets the outpost commander’s son, who is one of the cadets destined to die in the accident that disables Pike. Disturbed, Pike leaves the meeting, only to meet something even more disturbing: the Ghost of Pike’s Future. It’s worth mentioning that Anson Mount is a tour de force here. Just incredible acting. 

Future Pike warns Present Pike that escaping his fate will have horrible consequences for the galaxy. A time crystal lets Pike experience why in a variation on Balance of Terror. I will say that I have deep reservations about SNW embracing TOS so fully in this episode, because I want it to be a show about Pike’s Enterprise, not TOS 2.0. I had even deeper reservations about having Jim Kirk in this episode, but I was relieved that this wasn’t the walking shallow, womanizing, rash stereotype of Kirk that was in the Kelvin movies, but a calm, thoughtful, brilliant, daring Kirk that honors TOS. I’m not sold on the actor, but the writers clearly understood the real Kirk.

Pike makes different choices than Kirk did, choices that are well thought out and just as right as Kirk’s, but it all goes to sh!t. Kirk’s ship, the Farragut, gets destroyed, and both the Romulan ship and Enterprise are seriously damaged. Instead of pressing the attack like Kirk, Pike gets the Romulan commander to agree to a ceasefire in the hopes of peace. Pike lets Kirk leave on a shuttlecraft so he can create a backup plan. The Romulan commander is serious about peace, but is effectively betrayed by his underling, who calls for Romulan reinforcements. The Romulan Praetor arrives, and orders the Romulan commander’s ship be destroyed, ending any hope of peace. Kirk returns with mining drones as “reinforcements” to bluff with (brilliant and VERY Kirk!), but it fails, the Romulans declare war, Enterprise is forced to retreat, and Spock is condemned to Pike’s fate. 

Returned to his own time, Pike deletes his letter and greets Spock and the rest of the bridge crew with relief and a sense of renewed meaning. Spock picks up on Pike’s temporal experience, and tells Pike how grateful he feels. We then get a cliffhanger as Una gets arrested for her genetic modification. She’s been criminally underutilized this season, so let’s hope we see more of her next. 

While I worry about SNW indulging in TOS, once you get past that this is a wonderful episode that will be ranked high on the list of time travel episodes. SNW has had the best first season of any Trek with only one bad episode, and the future of Pike’s Enterprise is bright. Bravo to everyone involved in making this incredible show. 

Ratings of each episode (out of 10):
1) 8.5
2) 9
3) 8
4) 8.5
5) 9.8
6) 9.8
7) 5.5
8) 10
9) 4.5
10) 9

Season Average: 8.26

Hmm… I am not sure they needed to bring back Kirk. The actor sadly seemed just flat and doesn’t have any of Shatner’s or Mount’s charisma. I know they are massive shoes to fill, but Chris Pine managed to capture just enough Shatnerisms to make you believe he is Kirk. Overall, a good episode, but Kirk just wasn’t charming old Kirk.

Yes. Zero charisma in fact. No alien woman would desire him.

Agree on all points.

I find it very hard to believe a bunch of Trek ‘experts’ sat in a room and decided “THIS, this guy is our new James T. Kirk,” above all others who must’ve auditioned.

Pine did a better job of capturing Shatner’s mannerisms, but he was also forced to often play the character as a bit of a party boy and clueless buffoon at times. Wesley lacks charisma but also plays the character as an intelligent and efficient officer.

Regardless, the focus on the story was Pike; Kirk was really there as a counterpoint to show that sometimes you have no choice but to fight and given how the script was structured there really wasn’t much room to explore the character beyond that.

Paul Wesley reminded me more of Jim Carrey than Jim Kirk. Just an observation. He was fine as a Starfleet Captain but I couldn’t picture him as James T. Kirk. I felt the same about the new Superman, but no longer so maybe with time, his version would grow on me.

Haven’t seen the episode yet, but maybe Kirk was still in his “stack of books on legs” phase…


That could be, plus he’s had different experiences if he’s Captain of the Farragut vs. the Enterprise at this point.

Actually I did not mind using Kirk in this context. I just think they might have done a better job in casting. And yes, I prefer Pine’s Kirk to Wesley’s.

Didn’t know who the actor was…never seen him in anything, but I think his performance was good. Not going to compare him to Shatner or Pine. Yes….he was a bit flat, but overall…not bad.

The Episode 10 alternate Kirk is different intentionally.

This is was a great episode to prepare for it I watched Balance of Terror last night. It was nice to refresh my memory of the episode again one of the all-time best episodes of Star Trek. It was fun to see the differences in the two episodes. Also was interesting was that both Kirk and Spock seemed to see eye to eye on the plan to appear as a reflection to the Romulan ship and also on the plan to attack the Romulan ship when coming out of the Comet. It was fun to see Admiral Pike show up in TWOK uniform and give him a way to see what the consequences of not following his path. It was a nice to hear Scotty’s voice and one arm in helping Spock work in the Jefferies tube. The ending was a good way to leave it at a cliff hanger when Una is taken away as a prisoner. Cannot wait for season 2 this season went by so quick and I enjoyed every episode.

I thought this was a phenomenal season finale! Well written and paced with an outstanding story. They did a masterful job exploring this very important character issue, why can’t Pike avoid his fate once he knows it. Very poignant and moving. The Romulans looked AWESOME! They really look like they walked off the set of Berman-era Star Trek (as opposed to the Picard Romulans). Not just that, they got their characterization pitch perfect. I loved how they used this alternate future to play in the TOS world, such a clever story! And once again, the episode looked and sounded phenomenal with an incredible score. The show is really taking advantage of its rich heritage in virtually every aspect of production and upgrading it all in the best way possible.

But….there is the issue of Kirk. Paul really doesn’t evoke Kirk at all for me, not even a little. Not only that, the character has no charisma or charm and stands in stark contrast to Pike who really shines as the obviously better leader. I saw what they were trying to do here with the contrasting leadership styles, and it’s obvious that season 2 will have Kirk as 2nd in command, but it’s a bridge too far and they haven’t convinced me that this will work. This story did too much telling instead of showing. So despite loving this season finale, none of the Kirk stuff is working for me. I don’t fault Paul, he has an impossible job. If he wasn’t playing Kirk, I think he would be fine, but Kirk had such a youthful swagger about him that this version absolutely doesn’t have.

And as many have mentioned, Number 1’s scarcity this season is a problem for the final scene in this episode. She is barely part of the story in the finale so this stunt feels off-balance. She’s such a great actor and character, it’s frustrating to see so little of her.

That is one thing I wish they didn’t do. Give the Romulans the Berman era foreheads. Wasn’t a fan of when TNG did it and not a fan now.

That said, it’s a very minor thing that doesn’t detract from the episode.

At least they didn’t go the route Discovery took with the Klingons.


Is there a difference between Berman and Picard Romulans? I might have to go back and look.

I just don’t want to see Disco Klingons unless we see TOS, TNG and Disco Klingons together.

I had also hoped for more with Una and wondering what season 2 will bring.

What Picard did, was show Romulan of all types. Some have forehead ridges, some don’t… and some are in between. I thought that was a great way to handle that disparity.

Agreed. I think Picard did a great thing acknowledging why some Romulans had flat foreheads and others had ridges. So nothing felt off seeing the TNG Romulans in this episode and I was never a big fan of those.

Yes they did. And that was a good idea. One I wish they did with the Klingons way back on Star Trek Discovery. and actually thought they would…

I could not take to Paul Wesley as Kirk, largely because he looked like a young Jack Lord (Steve McGarrett) than William Shatner Now that would be a strange alternative timeline…

Oh – and Scotty’s Scots accent is atrocious.

Jack Lord was, of course, approached to play Kirk before Shatner. Lord demanded too high a share of the residuals.

You also get a sense of what his Kirk would have been like from DR NO. Lord didn’t return in GOLDFINGER again because of compensation issues, and we never really saw a serious Felix Leiter until Dalton’s films, if not Daniel Craig’s.

I must say, re-living one of my Top 5 favorite TOS episodes (in a way), done in such visually-brilliant fashion, was quite a surprise. The sounds, music callbacks…quite a mind-bending trip, indeed. Love the echoes from TNG, as well. Balance of Terror and Yesterday’s Enterprise are truly two of my top Trek episodes of all time. What a treat. The well-used time travel trope worked well here, and I’m a sucker for a good time-travel story. Fan service, you betcha, but I’m a sucker for that too. And I can’t speak highly enough of Anson Mount’s performance here, and for the whole season, at that.

Have to agree with Anthony, though. This actor Wesley doesn’t channel Shatner’s Kirk even a little bit – I mean, even Pine built in some shadows of TOS Kirk in his work in the films, imo. I mean, the timbre of his voice isn’t even close. Perhaps this will change in S2, perhaps not. It really doesn’t matter (to me) at this point, because (again, to me) this is an alternate timeline. Kirk, no Kirk, doesn’t matter to me. TOS reboot, doesn’t matter to me either, anymore.

Look, I’m 56 years old this year, and TOS is hands-down “my” Trek. But in the personal setting-aside of canon, I’ve been free to really enjoy SNW for what it is, without being worried about continuity. I promised myself I would embrace this show if it told good stories, and in my view, S1, very much including this episode, was worthy of that promise. Nice work to the cast and crew. And while my opinion of Secret Hideout isn’t all that stellar, I look forward to SNW S2.

“I’m a sucker for a good time-travel story”

Dude me too!!! I’m always excited every time I hear a story will be based around time travel.This was kind of what I expected with Picard season 2 in fact. I mean go inside part of a event that’s big to Star Trek like the Bell Riots, WW 3 or even the Eugenics Wars. Something that connects to a bigger picture and sadly nothing like that. Just soooo bad of a season. Anyway now every show in NuTrek has done at least one time travel story so far minus LDS…but it’s coming!!

Anyway, the time travel angle was really a big selling point to me and thought they did it well. I didn’t even think about Yesterday’s Enterprise as an influence, I was so focused on Balance of Terror, but you’re right and that’s still one of my top 10 episodes of all time. I think SNW is honoring TOS well even despite my canon issues, like you ultimately it’s the story that matters.

But man I think a lot of people are let down by the new Kirk, me included. He’s just so flat and no charisma. I don’t mind he doesn’t sound like Shatner. Neither did Chris Pine, at least at the beginning. But you still have to bring that personality and like so many I just don’t think he did. SNW has been pretty good in terms of casting but this is the first one that is completely off IMO.

But maybe season 2 will be different.

We’re pretty much in the same place regarding Trek as a whole. But I found this episode offensive. Much like I felt about the Guardian in Discovery. From the writers not being able to leave certain things alone, to the fan service, and to the portrayal to one of the top 3 characters in all of Trek. I’ve liked SNW because it feels more like Trek… but the reality is it’s still trying to imitate the greatest Trek has to offer, not better it.

Perhaps this will change in S2

Agreed that it will be intriguing to see whether Wesley’s portrayal in this episode was a deliberate choice.

According to an interview he did with Variety it was and there will be differences in how he portrays the character in season 2 of SNW. I linked to the article in another post below.

It’s weird to me when people in the comments and on social media have to keep pointing out “it wasn’t a perfect season.” Like of course it wasn’t perfect but when we compare them to seasons 1 of past Trek this thing is a shiny gold nugget. It’s always the case in the past that Trek shows get better once they hit season 3, sometimes late into season 2 but when you compare this to those especially after only 10 episodes – it was really a treat. TOS is probably the only other season 1 that gets it mostly right in the first season while others ended up feeling stiff or awkward with the exception of a few stand-out episodes. It’s easily my favorite first season of any Trek series in the franchise, I can happily say that.

Loved this episode and this whole season. I’m curious, and not in a trolling manner at all; what else would others liked to have seen included, or amended etc, to make them feel more happier with the season?
i agree with the Kirk comments above, an impossible job, but not many echos of a Kirk persona, even if the personality was not what we would be accustomed to.

What does everyone think about James T. Kirk? I think he was horribly miscast but time might prove me wrong.


Absolutely. Did not work for me at all.

Considering this was the actor’s first time in such an iconic role, I think he did decently. I was expecting much worse. This Kirk shared many of the qualities of TOS Kirk and not Kelvin Kirk, so I was pleased by that.

id say while I wasn’t wowed by the actor, he did a passable job and better than I expected, so I’m willing to wait and see before judging just yet.

He is lacking some of the charisma that Kirk is known for. If the actor could amp that up a bit, then I think he could be fine in the role.

I suspect if he had it he would. And if he did then it’s possible the director wanted him to dial it back if he tried. Having not seen anything with this actor before I personally don’t know.

It’s important to remember that Kirk was a supporting character here and not the star. His purpose in the story was really to be a counterpoint to Pike and to show that sometimes, however unpleasant, the use of force is the only solution to a problem. The script didn’t really give him much opportunity to show anything beyond that. I don’t think the actor is as conventionally handsome as Shatner or Pine but the jury is still out on whether he has the charisma for the role and a lot will depend on whether he shows chemistry with his co-stars. I thought he and Mount had good chemistry in their scenes together and I did like that he was presented as an intelligent and capable officer and not the often clueless party boy of the JJ Abrams movies. From this brief introduction I think he can do a good job as Kirk, but obviously time will tell.

Thus far, a terrible miscast as far as I’m concerned.

Liked the story and visuals..
He looks older that Kirk TOS.
Paul seemed to accidently channel James Cawley from New Voyages more that Shatner.
Would be good for new kirk to workout a bit and add on some physical weight and some kirkism’s to the part – not that a captain has to be that way, but the TOS Kirk was and Paul doesn’t seem like the physical action ready type, or maybe the uniform wasn’t fitting right and was too baggy in the shirt. Could be he didn’t have time to prepare though and maybe will address that in season 2.

I think he portrayed confidence but needs to charm it up!

He reminded me much more of Stiles from “Balance of Terror” than Kirk, actually.

I agree: miscast. Not that he’s a bad actor, and not that I’m looking for a Shatner impression, but I think his performance & appearance could have had a stronger suggestion of the Kirk character we’re familiar with, in the same way that Peck’s Spock clearly suggests the Spock character without overtly doing a Nimoy impression. Missed opportunity…

He looked more like Steve McGarrett

No charisma whatsoever. Overly serious. Doesn’t he look like Jeffrey Hunter ?

So, who voiced… the guy in the engineering section talking to Spock toward the end?

I believe there is a good episode in here, but there is just too much working against it. The tropes now rule storytelling.. but not sci-fi tropes… Star Trek Tropes. So much so, that they had to make a whole episode of TOS by reimagining it as a SNW episode. It’s maddening that they can’t just ‘Boldly Go’. The best of this season is when they actually visit Strange New Worlds and encounter new life. But they just can’t stay away from playing with what is already established, and it’s hurting a show that has earned so much goodwill for its format. And don’t get me started on Kirk. The fact that they had to have a discussion detailing the writers understanding of how they see him (some accurate, some not) is asinine. They treat the audience as stupid. I’m so over that. But the actor playing him isn’t right. he’s not a bad actor, and he’s right not to resort to caricature of Shatner, but he’s not the guy. Sorry, not sorry. It seems like they need to get Akiva Goldsman off of this show. Put him back on Disco. This was not clever.. it’s lazy.

Even though I generally loved the season and this episode I do agree the show needs to focus more on actual exploration to new places and not just re-do narratives from the old shows. I was a little disappointed we didn’t get many episodes that was just exploring new areas of space. They played it a little too safe in that regard. But I can’t complain too much because this is the most exploring any of the live action shows in NuTrek has ever done lol. But yes I want to see more new aliens and planets. I don’t expect it to be Voyager and running into new aliens every other episode but at least more than two at the same time.

I absolutely agree there should be more exploration and less depending on 60-year old characters and plots. It just seems bereft of imagination and gives me little faith in the writer’s room. Also agreed, please relegate Goldsman to the show I do Not watch, which is DSC. Not a fan of his. While a part of me loves call-backs to the Gorn and Balance of Terror, because I’ve loved those elements for literally 50 years, more originality would serve this show well. Instead we’re heading towards ‘nuTOS,’ a term someone else here coined above, which in my opinion, will never be as good as the original. I did enjoy this episode, so much that I’ll probably watch it again this weekend, but….prequels. Ugh.

It’s not that Akiva is a bad writer, per se… he’s done some justifiably good writing… but he’s wrong for Trek, and he calls himself a fan. But he just wants to play in the sandbox that’s already there, not expand it.

Did he OK the use of the Gorn? If so I would question how well he really knows Trek.

2nd thought… This episode is like Star Trek Into Darkness. There is a good story within it, but it’s too proud of itself for it’s use of Trek Lore… which is bent so much tobe able to use pre-existing characters, situations / episodes, that’s why I’m so offended by it.

I get it. In Secret Hideout the 4 best episodes they made have harkened back to Trek past. They’ve done a lot of that but only 4 was the episode good enough to overcome the criticism of fan service. In that sense, they seem to have a very difficult time doing something really good on their own that doesn’t harken back to what has come before. Which is a legit criticism of SH.

This episode. WOW. Wonderful, amazing, incredible. Had someone told my Trek-obsessed childhood-self that I would get Star Trek like this when I was 48, I would have been blown away. So thoughtful and reverent of the details of the original material and adds so much. Strange New Worlds is an amazing show. BRAVO!

Chris Fisher directed one of the best episodes of Star Trek Ever. Actually, this is the real Star Trek, core 100% trek I haven’t seen since Enterprise. Please, for the love of humanity, continue in this path, this was PERFECT, I really hope they edit this episode as a single blu ray, with an extended or directors version or something. Chris Fisher, if you read this, THANK YOU! Thank you for bringing back Star Trek!

Agree. I think it’s why so many people are responding to this show. It really does feel like classic Trek again in every way that matters. I think I will be watching this show as much as I do the other Berman era shows.

Credit where credit is due. The blind dog just found a bone. This episode was easily the best. It didn’t break canon and it offered a compelling wrap up to the ill advised “Pike knows his fate” story line.

But even with this winner of an episode it really doesn’t save the season. They set things up they never returned to. Made some ill advised creative decisions. And needlessly disconnected themselves from things that happened on TOS, their future.

But what this winning finale did leave us with is that it does restore the idea that this show STILL has potential and that with the right people running it could very well be a decent show. The hope is the creators saw this before they started production of season 2.

“Even with a few shortcomings”

This episode did not have “shortcomings.” Most of what the reviewer pointed out was just nitpicking. This was an expertly told story, possibly the best Star Trek adventure since Discovery launched the new group of shows, and the latest Kirk is awesome.

Great episode! With the history of the characters, I about cried when Chapel was revealed looking over injured Spock.

Lower Decks and Strange New Worlds just going end their seasons with the same cliffhanger, eh?

And the next Lower Decks episode solves the cliffhanger of SNW. 😉

Lower Decks and Picard ended their first seasons with the same ending, so why not! ;D

I forgot what happened on Lower Decks about a minute after I watched it.

This was phenomenal!!!!!!!! I stayed up until 3 a.m. U.S. east coast time just to watch it so that I wouldn’t run into any spoilers. This is what I always imagined a Star Trek team-up to be like when I was a kid back in the ’90s. Instead, back then, I got Generations and a bunch of disappointment 😞. Paul Wesley did a magnificent job as Captain Kirk. He actually mimicked some of William Shatner’s mannerisms which was fantastic to see and a nice way to pay homage to the man who started it all. Everybody on here was right about the Romulans being involved and I was wrong, I admit that. But the way they were used was ingenious! They payed homage to “Balance Of Terror” and they did a fantastic job! It was a reenactment of that famous episode and that famous battle. It’s like those Civil War reenactments where people reenact famous battles from the Civil War. I don’t see anything wrong with this episode or “divisive” about it. In fact, the whole season has been a 10 for 10 and this is coming from one of the old-school Trekkies who’s been one since he was 12 and this month I turn 43. And I loved how Captain Pike had to make peace with his fate because, if he attempted to change it, then Fate would just go after someone he really cares about, like Spock. His fate, his destiny, is inevitable and that’s what the writers are saying with this story. They also did a really nice nod to The Menagerie at the end there where Spock realizes what Captain Pike has given up to ensure Spock’s future and Spock realizing that Captain Pike is sacrificing his future for Spock’s is the exact reason why Spock went to such great lengths to bring him back to Talos IV and that’s why he couldn’t tell Captain Kirk anything about it. Seeing the Romulans was pure joy 😊. I love that Bird Of Prey 💖!!!! I have a replica of it that plays the actual dialogue from “Balance Of Terror” sitting on top of my Mom’s urn. I put it there so that it could help guide her into Heaven after she passed away last December and last night when I saw that ship pop up on SNW, I had to look over and make sure that it was still there 😄. The actor who played the Romulan Commander did a great job 👍. I’m sure that Mark Lenard was looking down from Heaven and he was very happy with what he saw. But I did notice that there was no Centurion and I wonder why that was. He was the voice of reason on the Bird Of Prey in “Balance Of Terror”. So I wonder why he wasn’t there. It was really cool seeing them sneak Scotty in. I wish they revealed him since we all know he’s coming this year but maybe they didn’t want to take anything away from the gravity of Hemmer’s death? We’ll see him soon enough 🙂. I loved seeing Dr.M’Benga play Dr.McCoy’s part, being the voice of reason on the Enterprise. Dr.M’Benga wasn’t trying to replace Dr.McCoy either. He’s another character who’s just not here yet. It was simply fantastic to see Captain Kirk again 🙂!!! It was so cool seeing Captain Pike and Captain Kirk rub off on one another, each one gaining experience from the other. And we know now how Captain Kirk is going to be getting to the Enterprise next year – Captain Pike is going to ask Starfleet to temporarily reassign Commander Kirk to the Enterprise since Una was taken into custody. Now it makes sense how he gets to the Enterprise and falls in love with her and meets Uhura and Spock all before TOS and it doesn’t break canon because Starfleet officers are always taking different assignments, unless they’re the Captains and then the only way they get reassigned is if their ship gets destroyed and sometimes not even then (yeah, I’m looking at you , Picard 😄😃!). So I am highly looking forward to seeing Commander Kirk next year on SNW and what stories they tell with him now. These writers are fabulous so I know they will do great with him. Plus, this is a chapter in Captain Kirk’s history and legacy that has never been explored before and that makes it even more exciting for me because Captain Kirk is my all-time favorite Captain period 🙂!!!! Captain Pike is now quickly becoming my second favorite. It is so cool that a new generation of Trekkies will have their version of Captain Kirk and Captain Pike to grow up with and watch their stories unfold, similar to how it was for me… Read more »

FOR CANADIAN BELL FIBE VIEWERS who are planning to PVR tonight’s SNW finale – the Bell schedule is faulty (like Nomad). They have SNW lasting only 60 mins with commercials The episode is actually 63 minutes WITHOUT commercials. So the show should last until about 10:30 p.m. ET, not 10 pm.

Make sure to set your PVRs accordingly or you may end up missing the last 25-30 mins of the show!

Great episode to close out the season. I’ve not scrolled through the comments yet, but some are going to loathe this…

Once again, a BRILLIANT episode and I am SOOOOOOO sad that I have to wait at least a year for series 2.

A pure delight! Great modern take on the maroon and Uhura uniforms, intense story and, although VERY minor, it was GREAT voice acting by Matt Wolf for Scotty. I thought it was a James Doohan voice over!!

Someone just tryed a deepfake with William Shatner :D (Spoiler)

yeah would be great to see a real deepfake video of this linke the “Into Darkness Deepfake” Trailer. But thanks

This was a great study of Pike and Kirk’s command styles. It also shows why Kirk is best suited for these war scenarios. Pike in comparison is suggested by others that he’s more of Picard in him.

Though Pike meeting his future Admiral self is a throwback to Voyager, the Admiral Pike came from the Early Voyages comics.

Lots of nits being picked but it’s not a Trek conversation without nitpicking :-) Overall, SNW came out of the gate better than any Trek series since TOS. While the 10 episodes went by very, very fast it does eliminate the filler we saw way too much of in VOY and ENT. While there is plenty of room for development, unlike DISCO, the creative team has a handle on what SNW is supposed to be. It feels like Trek which is something DISCO has struggled to do consistently. Obviously, the standalone crisis of the week episodes play to the strengths of Trek. Serialization only really worked on DS9.

I’m good with TOS character appearances. But please, please, no more. Let’s spend more time with this crew, this Enterprise and their exploration. I’m good with seeing the Klingons and other familiar aliens but let’s tell some new stories and meet some we may have heard mention of but not seen. Really fun and enjoyable first season.

It was an enjoyable finale. Poor Una. I hope Pike can get her out of the slammer. I was really hoping that the finale would have included Angel and the Gorn, but this was decent.

I’m not sure how good this episode was as Paul Wesley’s Kirk took me out of the entire story. Horrible, horrible miscasting. Bizarre. Why bother recasting this iconic role if there is absolutely zero resemblance, physically or aesthetically, to the character we’re all so familiar with? Pine got it as Kirk, Peck gets it as Spock, and both manage to create something uniquely their own within that familiar framework that gives them room to create something fresh and new.

It’s not Wesley’s fault. He should never have been considered IMO. As someone who watched TVD I know his limitations as an actor. It’s the producers and casting agents. I have no idea what they were thinking with this one. I hear Kirk plays a more prominent role in season two, and honestly I will struggle to keep watching if that’s the case.

well put.

Loved this episode. Struggled with Kirk. At times I saw it. But most of the time, I was left searching.

Fan-F32king-tastic episode!


While I understand the “Yesterday’s Enterprise” comparison I think this episode bears more resemblance o another great TNG episode, “Tapestry.”

This episode was a strong finish to a really good season of Star Trek.

Seeing Spock reference a debt to Pike, and the implication that that plays into his motivation for helping Pike in “The Menagerie” was unexpected but well crafted.

This episode also crafted the most emotional moment I’ve seen in this new era of Trek; Spock in sickbay, grievously wounded. What a gut punch.

Season 2 can’t get here fast enough.

Kirk was horribly miscast…he looked like Darren from Bewitched and had 0 charm or commanding presence. Having said that, I guess he served his purpose…an engaging episode, it’s wonderful life meets Yesterday’s Enterprise. Interesting capper to the season…though I’m not the least bit interested in Una’s sub-plot. Sounds like an unnecessary distraction for season 2. This episode also illustrates why we don’t need to waste a lot of time with the supporting cast. Let them support…and let the star shine. There are only 10 hours a season…don’t waste your biggest asset, Anson Mount.

Darren from Bewitched! Ha! That gave me a genuine chuckle, so true. And I agree – this is Anson Mount’s show. As far as I’m concerned, everyone else is just circling around him.

So the timeline is messed with and the Federation is locked in a war it’s loosing. How original.

Anson Mount killed it in this episode. He’s also makes an awesome Admiral. That last scene with Spock said everything about why Talos happened.IMO the best episode of the season.

Spock’s personal loyalty to Pike should be about more than just saving his life — geez, the KSM troika do that all the time, or offer up their own life in exchange for others, just as a matter of business as usual. I think, going by this synop (haven’t seen the eps yet), that this is one of those trying-to-link stuff tricks that isn’t necessary and actually hurts things.

1. This episode reminded me of two earlier Trek outings: ENT “Judgment” (in which Archer telegraphs the events of Star Trek VI: TUC) and STID, which of course telegraphs TWOK. I love “Judgment,” because while it tips its hat to TUC, it never parodies it. Equally, I loathe STID for more reasons that I care to reiterate here.

This outing was somewhere in between. It could have used with less verbatim regurgitation of Mark Lenard’s lines from “Balance of Terror.” But I like the way it looked at how Pike might have handled the same scenario that confronts another Star Trek captain. And I appreciate how it honored “Balance of Terror” as opposed to missing the point (the way SNW did with “Arena”).

2. I’ve long thought that when, in “Unification II,” Spock told Picard that the latter reminded him of another captain of the Enterprise that Spock once knew, he was referring to Pike more than Kirk. This episode clinches that interpretation: Picard would have approved of Pike’s handling of the crisis. We don’t know whether Pike eventually tells Spock of the alternate future shown in “A Quality of Mercy,” but if he ever mind melds with Spock again, Spock will know.

This also explains not only why Spock was willing to risk so much to reach out to the Romulans in “Unification.” He at some point learned what the stakes were. I had always thought that his onscreen explanation (basically, “I feel guilty that Kirk spent a few days in Rura Penthe, hence cowboy diplomacy”) rang untrue.

3. I realize “A Quality of Mercy” was written before the Ukraine conflict, it was eerie how the conference room debate over how to handle the Romulans parallels the real-life debate over how to respond to the Russian invasion of that country, and it did so without parodying or caricaturing either side.

4. Then there was Kirk. Here, I’m afraid the episode fell flat. It felt like Paul Wesley was channeling Pine’s Kirk, not Shatner’s. There was just some je-ne-said-quoi charisma he lacked. I also think they veered a bit too far in portraying Kirk as cracking out the phasers at the drop of a hat (although admittedly, he did that in the aforementioned “Arena”). This was really the same captain who spared Kruge, or put aside his differences in “Day of the Dove,” or spared the Horta?

The TOS E does go to warp 9 at least once in a normal (unmodified, not taken over or controlled by aliens) situation during the original series. I think it is either ENTERPRISE INCIDENT or more likely THE DEADLY YEARS (against Roms each time.)

It seemed like Wesely was channeling James Cawley more than anybody to be honest.

Whoever he was challeneling, he needs to change the channel, stat!

Thanks for that. I knew Enterprise hit warp 9 on its own before, just couldn’t recall the episodes.

For those who weren’t fans of Paul Wesley’s take on Kirk, here’s an interview from Variety where he talks about how he approached the character in the season finale and goes a bit into how the character will be different in season 2:

Thanks for sharing that!

I can’t decide how I feel about Wesley’s performance. I *think* that if I had never heard of James T, Kirk before, I’d think he had done a good job. But I had a hard time connecting what he was doing to Shatner’s Kirk (or to Pine’s), and it threw me for a loop. That said, that isn’t entirely a bad thing; I don’t WANT to be thinking about Shatner, whose take on the character was and is perfect. So if it turns out that Wesley is kind of just doing his own thing, I can maybe get onboard with that.

Good episode, either way.

This is, for me, the key to taking over an iconic role. You don’t devolve into caricature / impersonating. Wesley didn’t do that, so that’s good. But you have to imbibe the performance and writing with the essentials. Kirk has to be charismatic. Wesley was not. The writing didn’t quite get Kirk right either, but it’s not bad. The performance, the writing.. none of it quite gets there. We’ll see if that improves. Of course season 2’s performance will be different, he’s younger. But like the Kelvin firms, the writers don’t really don’t get who Kirk is, as a character. That’s a little more forgivable in the Kelvinverse, because is it’s a different universe.