Matt and Sean talk about a good, old-fashioned monster story. Star Trek Strange New Worlds is going full-on Aliens on this one. Does it work?
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Welcome everybody to Trek in Time, where we’re watching every episode of Star Trek in chronological Stardate order. We’re also taking a look at what the world was like at the time of original broadcast. We’ve already made it, believe it or not, through Enterprise, through half of Discovery. Spoiler alert, Discovery does some timey wimey stuff, so we then ended up in Strange New Worlds, and we’re almost .
Done with season one. And who are we? Well, I’m Sean Ferrell. I’m a published writer. I have written some novels. I’ve written some stuff for kids. And I’m also joined here by my brother, Matt. He’s the guru and inquisitor behind the YouTube channel Undecided with Matt Ferrell, which takes a look at emerging tech and its impact on our lives.
Matt, how are you today? I’m
doing really well, and I, I’ve, I mentioned this in the last podcast we recorded, but I’ve got the, uh, Apple Vision Pro, which might be of interest to some of our audience. Um, and if you’re interested, keep eyes on my YouTube channel Undecided, because I’ll be putting out a video with my thoughts and feelings about that tech and the future of it.
Um, it’s kind of crazy, Sean.
I’m looking forward to, uh, spoiler, I’m going to be helping him in some fashion with this video that he’s talking about. So, uh, I only know that I will be helping. I do not know how. I also know that I do not have those goggles and I typically live at the other end of the tech adoption spectrum as Matt.
Matt is out there like, ooo it’s a doohickey. And I wait for him to get tired of the doohickey.
I was gonna say, in your defense, you’re not a Luddite, you’re just not an early adopter.
No, that’s exactly it. Yes. I, I love the tech. I love the ideas of the tech and I’m always curious about the applications of the tech, but it’s just not something that is within easy reach of, of my daily life.
And so we end up with this strange merry go round of, of Matt saying to me, I’m. Replacing this thing I bought last year with a newer version. Do you want the old one? So my house is sort of a hodgepodge of garage sale items that Matt has handed down to me. Before we get into our conversation about this most recent episode, which is All Those Who Wander, Matt, do you want to share some comments you found on our previous episodes?
Sure. Um, there was a lot of good episodes this past, a lot of good comments this past week. Uh, one from Dan Sims, uh, from episode 129, the Elysian Kingdom, which was
the last episode we talked about, uh,
definitely with Sean on this episode. I found it a little boring too, both on the first watch and this second time.
So after a few minutes, I moved it up to 1. 25 speed to get through it faster. For me too, I think the obvious no stakes was a big part of it. Edit, sad trombone send off for his daughter indeed. I couldn’t agree more. So another one in Sean’s camp on the feeling of this episode and put it out there. Most comments were on the Sean side of this episode.
Most people thought it was boring, kind of pointless, kind of dragged. Uh, didn’t like it too much. Um, so, but, uh, there was one from, uh, Demisauce. It’s a very long comment. I’m not going to read it all because it’s too long, but I highly recommend that people go to the YouTube channel and read this comment because it’s really good.
Uh, but in short kind of like Defended against some of your criticism, Sean, like, you know, why you, you suggested maybe the daughter could have been the evil queen. And then he saw us went into this whole thing about like, why that would make no sense. Right. Um, but at the one paragraph I want to call out is, but in regards to the actual story, I was very confused and even bored during the first three quarters of this episode after the initial tease of her impending passage.
But that scene where Babs, Olusanmokun. was standing there after he gave her away and you can see all the grief and the torture in his face as he’s left there wracked with guilt and relief. Grade A acting such a fantastic scene perfectly portrayed his choice to say goodbye to her in in death or give her a chance to live But give her up completely that one scene saved this episode for me changed it from boring to okay Good even the actors were having an absolute blast So the reason I wanted to call that out is that’s precisely my feeling about the episode.
I think part of the reason I Give it kind of a semi passing grade, I thought it was okay, was because I had fun watching the cast have fun. You could tell the cast was having a blast making this episode. And I think because of that, I kind of went along for the ride and was a little more forgiving of it for all of its flaws.
Um, so I think, uh, Demisauce did a better job explaining that point of view than I did. So thank you, demisauce.
And then the last comment I want to bring up is from an episode that is a recent comment, but from an older episode from episode 123 Scooteroo wrote, I really enjoyed this episode of Strange New Worlds, but man, did I really resonate with Matt on buying the media you love in order to show support and to have them in case they disappear.
Like what happened to Prodigy for a short bit there? I went back through my collection and have picked up all the Blu ray and 4K versions of all the Trek I could because of the way things are going on Paramount Plus and it’s pretty sad. I too went all digital years ago and don’t regret it, but I’ve definitely become a hoarder of both digital and physical media as of late.
I wanted to call this out because like literally Sean, over the past two weeks, I have been going on a 4K Blu ray binge. And DVD, even DVD buying
I’ve bought all of Star Trek, like I literally now own all of Star Trek except for the only series I didn’t buy was Discovery because I like Discovery, but I don’t feel the urge to own it.
But it’s like, I bought Deep Space Nine. They only have one DVD. I bought, uh, all of Strange New Worlds, all of Picard. I bought like everything like, and it’s not that much money. That’s the thing is like you can go into Amazon and they’re like deep discounts on this stuff. So it’s not that expensive to buy it.
Downside is space. Yeah.
Digital is kind of awesome because you don’t take up shelf space and oh, my shelves are getting pretty full already. Um, so that’s the one downside, but I feel much better having this stuff because especially with Paramount Plus. It’s on the chopping block. If people don’t understand this, it’s going to get sold.
And there’s no, there’s no telling what’s going to happen to all of these digital shows that we have every episode of Star Trek at our fingertips right now, that might suddenly evaporate a year from now. We might only have half of the shows available to us. And that kind of scares me. So that’s why I’ve been.
Doing what Scooter Roo’s doing right now, too.
Yeah, it’s a, it’s not a dire warning, but it is well taken. It’s, we have a era now where people recently on Sony devices, uh, PlayStations in particular, there was some sort of license that expired from a film company and digital shows that people had purchased were just.
Blackhold. They were just gone. No refund, no accessibility. It’s just gone. And that is a side of the digital era that nobody really anticipated as we shifted into like, Oh, it’s a space saver and it’s always available and blah, blah, blah. Well, it’s always available if the company that you’ve purchased it from continues to make it available.
The licensing agreements have very fine print, which is. Things can change and we will take it away. And when that happens, there’s no place to go to. You can’t fight that. I mean, there’s
technically you don’t own it. Like when you look at the terms, you’re basically leasing the rights to stream. Yeah, that’s it.
Like when I buy the DVD, I own the, I own it. It’s mine. Nobody’s going to come into my house and take it away from me. So it’s like, there’s a, there’s a big difference there. It’s, it’s
leasing versus ownership. Yeah, thank you everybody for the comments, and now that noise you hear in the background, that’s the read alert, which can mean only one thing.
It’s time for Matt to buckle up and try and tackle the Wikipedia description. Matt, I haven’t looked at this one, but I have.
Sometimes you clean them up for me. No, not this one. This one’s not cleaned up? Yeah. Okay. All right. The Enterprise is en route to a space station, Deep Space K7. when it receives another priority assignment to investigate the missing USS Peregrine.
While the Enterprise continues to K7, Pike leads an away team to an ice planet where they find the grounded Peregrine. Hemmer and Uhura restore the ship’s systems while Pike learns that it was carrying three refugees. One was infected with gorn eggs which hatched. The hatchlings burst from his body and attacked the crew.
Pike’s team finds the other two refugees who are the only survivors. One of them, Buckley, is also infected with Gorn eggs and the hatchlings burst out they . Okay, that’s some great writing right there. Yes, it
is one of them. .
They attack the team, but they also fight each other until only the strongest hatchling is left.
The team form a plan to kill the Hatch ling using cold temperatures from the ship’s environment controls, but not before Hemmer is infected. He encourages Uhura to remain in Starfleet before throwing himself in the ship. , this is written. So he, this is awful. So whoever wrote this should be ashamed.
So he will die in the cold. I gotta read this. This is so bad. Okay. Oh my god, he encourages Uhura to remain in Starfleet before throwing himself from the ship so he will die in the cold along with the Gorn inside him. After the crew mourn Hemmer, Noonien-Singh takes a leave of absence to help the last refugee find her family.
I had a really hard time getting through that, especially that one scene.
Yeah, that sentence, that is fantastic. Wow. It’s like, he encourages Uhura to remain in Starfleet before throwing himself in the ship. Makes it sound like he’s yelling, Stay in Starfleet! Yeah!
Wow. Which would have been a very different tone to the show.
So this is episode number nine, directed by Christopher J. Byrne, written by Davey Perez and originally broadcast on June 30th, 2022. This is. Without it being a bottle episode, it’s very bottle ish. It is the people we know, except for a couple of additional crew members who have the aura of redshirt about them from the very moment that we see them on screen.
We see these people just briefly, they say one line and you think, oh, that doesn’t bode well for this actor. They’re going to get killed. But our usual cast, Anson Mount, Ethan Peck, Christina Chong, Melissa Navia. Rebecca Romijn, Jess Bush, Celia Rose Gooding, and Babs Olusanmokun, and of course, Bruce Horak as Hemmer.
And on June 30th, 2022, what was the world like? Well, Matt, you were back to streaming Wait For You, featuring Drake and Thames. It was back at the number one spot yet again. It’s the song that just wouldn’t die, and I think that I know why, don’t I, Matt? That’s right, Matt was the one downloading it all the time.
And at the movies, people were lining up to see a new biopic about Elvis, which made 31 million for the top spot. Elvis is the 2022 biographical drama film, not to be confused with a biological drama film, co produced and directed by Baz Luhrmann, and it starred, uh, Austin Butler as Elvis and Tom Hanks as Colonel Tom Parker.
And on television, other streaming programs, we’ve been talking about up to this point, Stranger Things, Ozark, Wednesday, Cobra Kai, Bridgerton, Virgin River, Dahmer, and Love is Blind. And at the number nine spot, with 12. 9 billion minutes viewed, Inventing Anna, Inventing Anna is an American drama miniseries created by Shonda Rhimes, inspired by the story of Anna Sorokin and the article in the New York Times titled How Anna Delvey Tricked New York’s Party People by Jessica Pressler.
And it was a story of basically an assumed identity. This woman manufactured an identity for herself. As a rich Manhattanite, and ended up scamming other rich Manhattanites as a result of it. And in the news, from the New York Times, there was an article about NATO emerging into the early 2020s, more muscular than before, as the West was forced to confront Russia and China.
Particular of, uh, interest was the war in Ukraine, which really demonstrated to NATO that it was time to start shoring up its strength. And another article behind the scenes, McKinsey, the firm that is known for consulting in somewhat questionable terrain, it turned out had guided companies at the center of the opioid crisis.
And in states get banning abortion, there was a growing rift over enforcement. We’ve seen that continuing to this day as states that took an opportunity of the fall of Roe v. Wade to pass very strict anti abortion laws. But doctors and law enforcement agencies in some of those states are refusing to apply those new laws.
So this episode As the, well, I was going to say as the synopsis said, but the synopsis didn’t really do a very good job.
Yeah. Before we dive into it, can I just bring up one thing? This is a complete tangent, a hard tangent, but I brought up the Apple Vision Pro at the beginning. I
episode on the Apple Vision Pro.
Oh God. Sitting on the moon.
Oh God. It looked like I was sitting on the moon. And it was, I felt the most Star Trek y of all Star Trek, watching Star Trek. And then 10 minutes in the episode, my wife is in the kitchen doing stuff. I’m in the living room. She’s right there. And then I had to pause the video and started laughing uncontrollably because I thought how ridiculous this must look because I’m just sitting on a section of the couch you never sit on to watch TV.
I’m just, I’m just sitting there. Perfectly still, little smile on my face, enjoying the show, feels like I’m watching a movie. It feels like the screen is 20 feet wide, it’s massive, it’s really engrossing. And yet, from her perspective, it just looks like I am comatose staring at a wall. It was a very funny moment.
And she took a picture, she did take a picture of me and shared it with her brother. And the two of them were texting laughing about me. So I will try to share that and put it into the show notes because it is very funny.
It is very funny. I don’t know if there’s a way for you to embed these into the, uh, into the video, but there are two videos I’ve seen recently of people enjoying the apple goggles.
One was a gentleman who got pulled over from By police for wearing it while driving a Tesla, which he was letting do the auto driving. So he was sitting with the goggles on and was slowly gesturing with something that was interacting it, uh, and then got pulled over by police. And the other video is somebody on a New York City subway was recorded wearing one, sitting on the subway, very calmly reaching out and touching buttons that don’t exist on a very crowded train with other people sitting around watching as.
So we already have early adopters who are very willing to take these into the public. So it’ll be interesting to see them popping up more and more. I was going to say, as the episode synopsis. Covered it. We start off with the Enterprise being forced to choose between two competing missions, but there’s something missing in the synopsis that I wanted to talk about.
It is the opening scenes in which we see first the acknowledgement of the end of Uhura’s role as cadet aboard the ship. It is An interesting moment for the character and for us as fans who know the show, somebody who is watching Strange New Worlds and has never seen Star Trek before is going to have very different strings being pulled in.
Everybody’s saying, Uhura, you’re really good at this, maybe you should stay, and her inner turmoil about what she should do. Then there are those of us who grew up watching the original Trek, and we’re sitting there like, oh yeah, she stays. This is, it’s a done deal. She’s a major component of the future, the future program.
And there’s, you know, like, we, we understand that, that position differently. There are also some other characters who are acknowledged, there’s a promotion given, there’s another cadet who’s finished her time on the Enterprise, and then we end up in a basically housekeeping scene of people helping the captain clean up while talking.
about the difficulty of two missions that both have priority one status and how do you balance that? What did you think, first of all, about the send off moment, the kind of will she won’t she stay moment around Uhura and The recognition of the other characters, making it feel like the Enterprise is found family, but it’s also not permanent.
And then the other side of it showing the found family, literally living a family moment in the form of Spock, go wash the dishes. Oh, of course. And he’s over there cleaning a pot without hesitation. So how did you feel about those two sides of this?
I loved it. Um, it’s catnip to me. It’s like, it’s one of those, like the movie Titanic, you know, the ship’s going to sink.
Wait, spoilers. Why would you go see Titanic? Right. So it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s along those lines of like, we know she stays, but what’s interesting is why does she stay? We don’t know the why. So it’s like,
it’s because Hemmers tells her to stay before throwing himself off the ship.
Well, that’s, that’s, I mean, we don’t want to be jumping to the end of the show like this, but like that whole storyline I thought was Uh, very emotional, resonated with me really, really well.
We can get into that later.
But I love
the way they set this up for her of, as a fan of the show and that character. It’s I love that they’re fleshing her character out, they’re giving her depth, they’re constant people saying like, oh, so you are good at about it. You are good at everything. Like people keep saying things about her.
Like she’s like the cream of the. top. She’s at the top of everybody. Like she’s fantastic. So why is it that she’s so reluctant to stay? Why is it that she’s so lost? And that to me is fascinating. It’s fun to watch a character evolve into the person that we know she will become. It’s the journey. It’s, it’s just because, you know, the destination doesn’t mean it’s not any
Yeah, I think, I think the nice balance that they reach with her storyline in this episode in particular is something that is very human and very easy to connect to for a lot of people, which is, am I moving toward things because I want those things or am I moving toward them because I’m running away from a different thing?
Is some pain or tragedy or difficult step in my past defining who I am today and should I let it or am I actively building who I am today because I want it? And that is a sometimes unclear line. In our lives of what is shaping me more, my passions and my goals or my hurt and my pain. And I think that is on display here.
And I think that there are a lot of very nice moments in this episode around her. Uh, for me, one of the most. Powerful moments is the silent moment of her standing at the end on the bridge, looking at the station where we know she will end up. It has a kind of resonance to it that is really kind of beautiful and remarkable.
And As I watched it, I found myself thinking, of course Uhura should have this moment. We do it all the time with Kirk and Spock, and, like, we have these moments where it was just like, oh, the hearkening back to the power of this character. Giving it to Uhura in this moment I thought was absolutely beautiful.
It was a, it was a terrific moment for me. But to go back to the beginning of the episode, now your thoughts about, like, the housekeeping. Like, they’re having difficult conversations. We have two priority one messages, two missions that are both critical, and they lay out the gravity of both. There’s a missing ship, who knows what happened to it.
On the other hand, if we don’t get these things to the space station, they will become useless and people will die. So balancing those two things and coming up with the, well, we’re going to have to split the crew. We’re going to have to take a couple of shuttlecraft and we’re going to have to let you guys take the equipment to the space station.
All being done while they’re cleaning pots and plates and doing all the housekeeping and it has a very family feel. Did that resonate with you in the same way? It
did. Again, this is not like Star Trek we’ve ever seen before. It’s a very dis it’s a stark difference between how Pike runs his ship and engages with his crew versus Kirk versus Picard versus every other captain that’s out there.
It’s interesting to see how they’ve shaped him up as he’s your pal, he’s your friend, he’s your family. And the fact that the entire like core crew is that extended family. It, it, once again, it helps to amplify the Uhura storyline, the whole explaining why she’s staying here because this is her adopted family that she’s got.
So I, for me, I thought this was a very subtle, tasteful way to weave that in beyond just having characters talk. Like you said, it’s like, hey, do the dishes. He’s doing the dishes. It’s like, just the action of that helps to really set the tone for where Uhura is going to end up and why she ends up where she
We also have some moments around, uh, Spock in this one where we end up with an opportunity for him to question how his retaining as much of his Vulcan side as possible. at all times. How is that serving him? And there are questions that are laid out for him pretty early in the episode around, are you shutting too much out?
Are you letting yourself feel enough and finding that balance for yourself? And we See that initially just in some, some brief back and forth between the characters sort of casually presented and Then we get the away team that goes to the ice planet We get a nice moment with Hemmer saying like, ah, it reminds me of Andoria Which was a nice callback For those of us who enjoyed Enterprise and we see Andoria in Enterprise and understand that the Andorian society lives largely underground in ice caves.
So this kind of environment as he steps into it, it’s just like refreshed. I thought it was really nice. Um, but they get to A classic, uh, Star Trek use of, like, let’s take the model for the ship we have and then distress it and make it look like a different ship. And we’ll just, like, have somebody casually say, like, it’s built out of the same parts as the Constellation class so that we see an identical ship.
And I think here we’re given that opportunity to have it be an identical ship for symbolic reasons. It is intended to be. Like, a ghostly version of the Enterprise. We’re supposed to look at this through the character’s eyes of saying, this environment, which is normally home, has suddenly become terrifying.
And we’re given those moments of, right off the bat, people are in danger. We’re told very quickly, I had a problem with the setup of the monster side of the story. I like When Star Trek does monster stories, I like it when they set us up in that creepy environment where there’s noises in the dark and we see the crew trying to figure out what to do and how to do it while still maintaining their Starfleet training.
Finding people who need help, helping them, and working together well as a team. So this episode building itself toward a aliens like motif of there are these creatures in the dark. We know what they are, but we don’t know where they’re going to come from. And they’re going to hurt us. They even go so far as to at one point say the baby Gorn are impacted by the species of the thing that they are put in initially.
So they may grow at different rates and at different speeds. And there’s this, again, that’s very alien esque. Every time that they made an alien movie, they would redesign the monsters along the lines of what it had come out of. So that’s, that’s a play here too. I was going to bring.
I was going to bring that up of the basic plot of this episode is just a straight up ripoff of Aliens and Alien 3.
Yeah. Aliens with a little girl. They call me Newt. So you got that. And the second part, which was Alien 3, where you have all these guys in the prison that are trying to corral the alien to a specific location where they can kill it. So it’s, it’s those two movies. This is, that’s all of this is. Yeah. And I thought.
I don’t know what you thought, but I thought that worked exceedingly well in this episode. I thought it was very, even though it was a ripoff of those two movies, I did not mind because it was, they pulled it together in a very kind of fun, unique way for Star Trek. And I’m with you. It’s like, I enjoy when Star Trek goes into the horror kind of genre.
Enterprise did it a lot. Um, there’s a lot of fun here seeing these characters in danger and of course you have people with red shirts on, like literally and
figuratively, but it’s more of a red shirt in this one where it’s like, like, Oh, we get the sad moment of like the, the woman who’s helping out.
Nurse Chapel. And the creature pops out of, what’s his name, Buckley and right into her neck. And that’s just like, she’s just screaming and dead before she hits the floor. Um, and with the other gentleman who had just received his promotion, of course, the moment you’re just like, like, congratulations, Lieutenant, we’ve never seen you before.
Like, oh, he’s a dead man. Uh, my difficulty was the setup of the first, like, It wasn’t really the first act. It was when they first get to the ship. There is about 10 minutes or so of not very logical decision making on the part of everybody in the crew in a way that just made me say, okay, that you just kind of have to put that away because they’re trying to get to the meat of it, which is everybody’s going to be in danger in different ways.
And they’re going to have to collectively gather information to figure out what they’re going to do. I did not like the fact that they get into this ship, they immediately separate into four different groups. They go all over the ship to do all sorts of things. And I was just like, no, that doesn’t make any sense.
There’s this whole thing around, can you get to the bridge and reactivate the bridge? And I was like, why? Why would that be priority in that moment? You don’t even know what happened. There were things about it that just spoke of, uh, fast forward to get to the meat of the episode. And I understood that’s what was going on, but it was a little distracting at that first moment.
It was a little, um, it made me a little uneasy in those first five or 10 minutes aboard the ship to say, like, is this? The kind of sloppiness going to be evident throughout, but once they get to the popping of the, the baby gorn out of the individuals who’ve been infected, um, it felt like, okay, that, that was where they wanted to get to.
They wanted to get to the monster. So it felt like it kind of like found its, its footing. And then the, the gist of the monster. Stuff itself, the people screaming as they’re being pulled into the dark. I did wonder, I couldn’t help but wonder how little baby Gorn are going to be strong enough to actually pull a full grown human screaming into the dark, but it is what it is.
Um, I also really liked the aspects of what they’re saying about how the Gorn operate. from a very self predatory position until you achieve an alpha status. It raises questions about how could a functioning society evolve out of this? How could, how could a working group of people come out of this? I didn’t have a problem
with that because they, they kind of explained that when La’an says at this stage of their life, they’re extremely aggressive.
So it’s what I took from that was when they’re this young, this is when they’re like eating themselves and fighting for dominance. And as they get older, that weakens and then they become part of a greater whole. So that’s kind of what I was interpreting by what she said at that point. So that didn’t bother me.
I didn’t bother. I didn’t say it bothered me. I just said, I found it interesting. It’s like this whole push of how aggressive they are and how dangerous they are. It sets up a very, again, to go back to, if you weren’t Originally introduced to Star Trek through the original series, it would present the Gorn as a really terrifying, like, aspect of the Star Trek universe.
A society that has grown out of creatures that when they’re first born are willing to eat each other must be incredibly, intensely dangerous. It, it’s kind of an interesting balancing act knowing what is going to come of the Gorn in the original series, like, like slow moving. You know, lizard guy in a costume.
1960s television, you can forgive it a little
Yeah, I do forgive it, and it’s one of my favorite episodes. It will always remain that, but it is, it’s an interesting balancing act between like where we know it’s going to look like in the future, and I couldn’t help on my own create some headcanon of like, Oh, in that episode, maybe that Gorn was just really, really old or maybe he was injured.
So it’s like coming up with little things like that because I like this depiction of the Gorn so much. Oh, um,
yeah, there is one thing I would want to bring up for the act. The initial setup that I didn’t like, which was they call me Newt, the little girl. I did not. I did not understand her character motivations or what she was doing.
Um, the fact that she clearly knew that guy was like infected and didn’t tell anybody. And then when he’s starting to like spew the things out and they’re starting to hatch, she knew what was about to happen and didn’t say anything to anybody. It made no sense. It made no sense. I understand that this girl is traumatized and she probably has this deep seated instinct just to survive.
And every person that she knows has been killed and this is happening to them. So I can understand why she would recoil and hide and go off by herself, but why would she say to the nurse, uh, uh, like to say something, make a guttural sound, look alarmed. So the nurse turns around and sees her and goes, what’s going on?
And then they pop out. It’s like, it didn’t make any sense as to why the girl was almost coming across as. She’s working with the Gorn. Yeah. She’s deliberately hiding this information so that more people can die. It was a really kind of bizarre character. piece for her. I didn’t understand why they
were doing what they did.
I couldn’t help but wonder in that moment, I had the same response. Um, and again, at this point I was like, okay, they’re just fast forwarding some of this stuff. I couldn’t help but wonder if the original script of this was too long and they simply tighten stuff up because the role of the girl didn’t seem all that critical from most angles.
Like, if they had, if you had this story and it was just Buckley, it was just an alien, they can’t communicate with it. And he’s defensive and reluctant to trust them. But then once he understands, okay, you’re not going to hurt me, you’re here to help. He’s then in the sick bay and he starts to exhibit the illness.
And like, if you remove the girl from the story entirely, it doesn’t change anything that happens. Not a thing. I disagree with that. I just, no, I
disagree with that. It’s, she’s there for La’an.
Because there are some, that’s what I was gonna say, development moments. That’s the only, the only reason for her existence is to have La’an have that connection and yes, end up where they end up.
But for the heart of the episode, the a story of this, oh, it’s, yeah, it’s meaningless if you took her out of it, it doesn’t change any of that. And that to me makes me wonder was stuff removed that was intended to build more of a connection with her having some kind of. emotional PTSD, she’s shutting down, she’s not able to communicate.
If she was even maybe semi catatonic, it would have helped more, but she needed to be mobile, so she couldn’t be catatonic. So it was like they had all these things going on that felt like they weren’t serving the show’s storytelling all that well, but they were so fast, it felt like they didn’t stand in the way of the episode.
It felt like, again, a little bit of a fast forward button occasionally to like, we just need to get to this moment and to get to the heart of it, which is of course the final hunt. You end up in the final hunt with a number of things. You end up with Hemmer having a conversation with Uhura around, I know you’re pursuing stuff and you’re worried about your path, but I think you may, have instincts that you should be listening to that you haven’t been.
And the flip side of that is Spock, maybe you need to let yourself feel more instead of keeping everything closed off because it’s keeping you at a distance from actually helping in an emotional way. It’s like there’s these, this moment where Lieutenant is injured and dies and then The, uh, Jim Kirk’s brother, Sam, Sam calls Spock out on, like, how can you just, like, put that away?
Like, you’re not a part of the crew if you’re able to put it away like that. These two moments both revolve around the impact of a major change for these characters. With Spock, it is him in a moment of, I felt like he reaches the moment of, I have to unleash my rage for logical reasons. which I really liked.
He’s looking at this moment of, I need to be able to incite this thing to fight me in order to do what we need to do to destroy it. So, he wills himself to open himself up to his rage. And on the other hand, we have Hemmer Come talking to Uhura, Hemmer has already been spit up on by one of the Gorn. Uh, another element of this that I found interesting and a little bit like, hmm, really, is that what they’re saying?
This is a very adolescent Gorn, but apparently it’s able to lay eggs. So that lays out the idea of a species that is replicating at. Exponential rates where you would end up with something that had been born days earlier is able to plant its eggs in something else. Hemmer is infected with Gorn eggs and he becomes aware of it, that this thing is in his body and he is effectively saying goodbye to Uhura.
And part of the plan of we funnel these, this, these creatures together. One of them will become the dominant one by killing the other one. We’ll only have one left and then that one we need to funnel into an area where we can actually freeze it with Some chemicals that we have in the ship, and once that’s done, we’ll be able to get out of here.
They do all of that in fine fashion, and then Hemmer has his moment of, I know what is happening to me, I know there is no solution here, so I have to end this in terms that keep you all safe. He says at one point to Spock, I, he repeats. Without saying it in so many words, he kind of gently reminds the audience, yes, I’m a pacifist.
I’m not going to kill anything. So he says to Spock, I am going to do whatever I have to, to save the rest of the people on this crew, however. So he is willing to help. He will not directly kill the creature that is left to the others on the ship. And then he Makes his speech to Uhura and then makes his goodbyes and steps out through a force field and The synopsis does a really strange job of saying it he steps outside where the cold will kill the creatures He throws himself from an elevated pad.
Yeah, he is shown in very stark relief falling in a beautiful image You see the little body of Hemmer falling, and he is going to fall a good distance. He is not going to die as a result of the cold. He’s going to die as a result of landing hard on a surface that looks like it might be dozens of meters below him.
So It is a very dramatic turn of events for both those characters. Spock releasing his rage turns into difficulty aboard the Enterprise during the funeral service where he reveals to Nurse Chapel, I’m not able to turn this off. And she’s trying to console him. And there’s very clearly a moment of, uh, romantic passion on probably both their parts.
She clearly is evidence Evidencing it. He turns and walks away and it plants a great seed for future storytelling around that. It’s very obvious. I will go ahead and jump in with what you want to say. I,
I was going to say, I wanted to talk about the Hemmer stuff for a second. I was going to
return to that.
Yeah. Where in the, in the previous
episode, We kind of both hammered on the pat, trite, syrupy, sweet, sudden turn of events for the daughter. Blink of an eye, oh, she can be saved. She just goes into this nebula cloud and becomes bodiless. And it was just like, it came out of nowhere, like out of left field.
And it felt like it short changed that storyline. I thought the Hemmer stuff was so deftly handled, so organic, so natural, it didn’t feel like it came out of left field to me. They’d done a great job building the relationship up between Uhura and Hemmer. The entire season. Mm-Hmm. And like them getting like he’s this gruff guy that you think doesn’t get along with anybody, but he’s clearly gotten affection for Uhura and taking her under his wing constantly giving her fatherly advice in different episodes.
The two of them working together in the engineering bay, Uhura earlier in this episode even makes the joke of team. Team. Hemhura. Yeah. , like she’s nicknamed themselves Hemhura I thought that was cute. Hysterical. And just, it’s just a one drop. Drop of one single line and it has a lot of weight to it.
So when this all happens to him and he’s going to sacrifice himself, do a, he’s doing a Wrath of Khans, you know, Spock in the like engineering room, he’s doing that exact scene. I thought it was deftly handled and it was, I don’t know about you, it was a gut punch. I remember the first time I saw this episode, uh, my wife and I were just completely caught off guard and both of us were getting really.
Really weepy, uh, sitting on the couch watching this. Cause it was like, oh my God, like it was a character that we were both growing to really like. It’s like, oh my God, he’s, he’s seriously, he’s dying. Oh my God. It’s like, this is dramatic. And watching all of the other characters reactions to what he was doing, seeing the captain’s face, seeing Uhura’s face, seeing La’an’s face, everybody reacting to what he was about to do.
Just like, Pluckin all the heartstrings and watching it a second time, I got weepy again, Sean. I knew what was happening, I knew what was coming, and it hit me again, just like it did the first time. I get weepy every time I watch Wrath of Khan at the end. So it’s like, to me, they did a phenomenal job. With how they kill a character off in this episode and last episode, it was like the polar opposite.
It was just, this is how not to do it, and this is how to do it. I don’t know how you felt about
it. I, I agree with what you just said, and I would also say it did feel It was very unexpected. And you said it didn’t, it didn’t feel like it came out of left field. Um, I kind of did feel like it came out of left field cause I wasn’t anticipating that that was what was going to happen.
no, that’s the wrong way to put it. Like it’s, it’s kind of like what I was saying last episode. Like there was no, there was like. It felt like what they did to the daughter was almost like they got to the end of the episode and was like, well, well, let’s just, let’s just save her. Okay. Let’s just save her.
It didn’t feel like it was thought out or planned out where this one, if you go back and rewatch it, there are hints. There are things that kind of hint that this is where it’s going. As soon as you get sprayed on, there’s like this. Vibe of something ain’t right that does happen. It’s very subtle, but it’s there.
So it’s like there were hints of it happening. That’s why I meant by it. It wasn’t just out of left field. It wasn’t like, Oh, we need to give Uhura uh, her motivation. Let’s just kill Hemmer it didn’t feel like that to me. It felt organic the way they built it up over episodes with the connection between the two of them.
Yeah. And then this was the payoff of that relationship.
Yeah. What’s interesting too is, and this hadn’t occurred to me until you were just saying it, like the kind of mentor relationship, the kind of fatherly advice he was giving to her. She is now in exactly the moment she was in why she went to Starfleet in the first place.
Her parents died and she was running from pain. And now she has another fatherly figure who’s died, but he’s in Starfleet and he’s right there on that ship does she run from the pain this time. It sets up a really cool parallel in that. That’s very well thought out. The other thing that stood out to me is I was very moved by Hemmers saying goodbye to the various members of the crew and saying goodbye to, as he puts it, my friend Spock.
And when he says that, I immediately flash back to Enterprise and every moment between the Andorians and the Vulcans and how much they hate each other. So here we have this time later, the relationship between the two of them being not just colleagues, but friends. And Hemmer with a character like Spock, it takes a special person to ref to see in Spock a friend because Spock is difficult to know.
So the fact that he says that to Spock, I think stood out for me as a, as a key emotional touchstone for that, for that moment. Yeah. There,
there was, yeah, to, to go back to Wrath of Khan, there’s that one scene where you have Kirk in the, you know, when they’re about to eject Spock’s body out into space. Of all the souls.
He gets all choked up, goes, he was the most human, and he does that really overacting bit, but it still hits you like a gut punch. Yeah. That exact same moment, again, was in this episode with Uhura, when she’s talking about Hemmer and says, his purpose was to fix what is broken. And like, when she said that, it was like, Oh, God, really, really well delivered.
I thought, I thought that was kind of a similar moment, just better acting to go with it.
I also wanted to touch on La’an’s storyline. In her, she has PTSD flare ups in this. She reveals in this that she’s been in therapy. She was trying to figure out how too, work better through her anger and her pain, and she gets into the face of, the little girl in this episode basically saying you’ve killed people by your lack of action, she has to be pulled back from that argument and then eventually comes around, to like, I realise that part of my working through this is going to be to help somebody Who’s in similar circumstances get through it.
She has to help this little girl and she’s going to take a leave of absence, but she does have what I thought was a very well rendered symbolic, uh, coming out of the ashes when she is the one who acts as the final lure in getting the Gorn adolescent into the engineering. room hides the creature is frozen and then she comes out and in a very symbolic moment grabs a heavy object and smashes the frozen little sculpture looking ice sculpture of the Gorn and breaks it into pieces to destroy it and kill it which is then followed by Hemmer’s entire sequence, which looked visually stunning, like the shots that they decided to do of the storm in the background, the light coming from a setting sun, and his little body coming off of the back of a ship, they constructed a lot of sequences in this that were visually stunning while being not eye candy to distract you from a lack of story.
It was a very strong story. I even really liked It all had purpose. It all had purpose. And I, and I really liked the, again, the symbolism of the Enterprise, then towing the Peregrine from that ice planet. And they look the same, but the Peregrine has had the snot knocked out of it. One of its nacelles is at the wrong angle, the front, the front dish.
On the front of the ship is at a weird angle. It’s clearly been severely damaged by a hard landing on the planet’s surface. And it’s a symbol of like, here’s the Enterprise. On the outside, this is what it looks like. But on the inside, it is battered. The crew is aching and hurting from the losses that they’ve had.
And it sets up for some interesting transitions now where Matt’s talked about on a rewatch, he feels like this, that, and the other. These are the first watches for me. I haven’t seen these episodes. I’ve watched up through, I think it was episode six. So these later ones in this season are brand new to me.
So I find myself really wondering, like, how do you replace Hemmer? Where do you go with Uhura? What is the turning point for her to decide she’s going to stay? Uh, and what is Spock’s path as he is now wandering around the ship, basically punching bulkheads and damaging things because his internal rage is out of control.
So I’m looking forward to getting to those, those points in the story as we move forward to the next and final episode of season one, which is a quality of mercy. Before we sign off, Matt, did you have anything else you wanted to talk about?
Uh, just to keep tabs on Undecided, like I mentioned, I’m going to be talking about the Apple Vision Pro, how it’s going to impact our lives.
Is it something worth getting? Short answer is don’t buy it, but it’s very, very, very, um, compelling. There’s a lot of things in there that I think a lot of people are overlooking. So I would say just keep a
eye out for that, as for me, if you’re interested in finding out more about my work, you can check out my website, sean ferrell.com.
You can also just look for my books at whatever bookstore or public library you use to get your reading material. My most recent is the Sinister Secrets of Singe, which is a middle grade adventure, and the sequel to that. We’ll be coming out in June of 2024 and that’s called The Sinister Secrets of the Fabulous Nothings.
I hope you’ll be interested in checking those out. If you’d like to support the show, please do consider leaving a review wherever it was you found this show and leave a review. Don’t forget to subscribe and please do share it with your friends. Those are three easy ways to help support trekintime. show.
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