132: Star Trek Strange New Worlds Season 2, episode 1 “The Broken Circle”


Matt and Sean talk about holding the best, and worst, inside. Star Trek Strange New Worlds explores the darker, post-war side of things like we haven’t seen before. Does it work out?

YouTube version of the podcast: https://www.youtube.com/trekintime

Audio version of the podcast: https://www.trekintime.show

Get in touch: https://trekintime.show/contact

Follow us on X: @byseanferrell @mattferrell or @undecidedmf

★ Support this podcast ★

In this episode of Trek in Time, we’re going to talk about holding the best and worst of you inside. That’s right. We’re talking about Star Trek Strange New Worlds Season Two, Episode One, The Broken Circle. Welcome everybody to Trek in Time, where we’re watching every episode of Star Trek in chronological order by stardate.

We’re also taking a look at the way the world was at the time of original broadcast. And as I mentioned just a moment before, we’re talking about season two of Strange New Worlds, which means we’re talking about, well, basically last year. So we’re not going too far back in the way back machine. We’re just going a little bit.

And who are we? Well, I’m Sean Ferrell. I’m a writer. I write some sci fi. I write some stuff for kids. And with me is my brother, Matt. He’s that Matt of Undecided with Matt Ferrell, which takes a look at emerging tech and its impact on our lives. Matt, how are you doing today?

I’m doing great. And do you realize, Sean, we’re only like, was it 10 or 11 episodes away from

the original series?

I know. I am so close. I am looking forward to it.

This all started with the, wouldn’t it be fun to take a look back at Star Trek and take a look at the world at the time of original broadcast. That’s where this channel originated. And in my mind, it was like, it’ll be fascinating to take a look like this episode dropped on this date and this is what was going on in 1969.

And then we’ve been talking so much about last year, basically the last couple of years. It’s really been like, yeah, I remember way back when, when there was, well, yeah, the war in Ukraine and. Yeah, that’s still going on and investigations into the previous administration. That’s still going on. Oh well. But that’ll all change in about 10 episodes.

So if you want to learn more about the 60s, come back then. As we always like to do before we get into our current discussion, we’d like to visit the mailbag and see what you guys have said about our previous episodes. So Matt, what have you found for us this week? There’s a couple this week

and one of them is a long one, so hold on your hat, but I thought this was a really good comment.

That could, I’m curious what your thoughts on this are. Um, from episode 131, Equality of Mercy, which was the finale of season one of Strange New Worlds, Value of Nothing wrote, this episode is terrible. The message is you must accept your fate. Hence, there’s no free will in order to use the time crystal the future had to come true.

That’s a terrible message. In any case, this episode is just a single story of the future of all the futures that Old Pike saw. Thus this single episode itself is not really important. What this episode should have been was something like Voyager’s Year of Hell, where the Captain of Time’s ship tries over and over again to improve the timeline and fails.

After all, Pike now knows how to save the peace with the Romulans and save the children. When Pike returns to his present, all he has to do is send a peace delegation to the Romulans, maybe offer to move a settlement or two. Number two, this episode is about Pike failing, as Matt says, where Kirk succeeded.

To me, that’s just a terrible message, BOT was about racism and the idea we should try to understand our enemies. This episode is all about failure and the lack of free will. Point number three, this episode says you shouldn’t negotiate first, like Discovery Season 1, Episode 1. That’s also a terrible message.

And point number four, there’s no reason for Kirk to be in this episode. And I thought this was fascinating because there was elements of this. I was like, I get where you’re going for. And then there were points where I was like, I just totally disagree. I’m curious. What are your thoughts on that feedback?

I get this perspective. I get this perspective. Uh, the thing for me. That made this work was I, when we reviewed that episode, I started off by saying they were having their cake and eating it too. And I think that is the unspoken element of that episode that doesn’t appear directly on the screen. Nobody is walking around saying we’re having our cake and eating it too.

And what I mean by that is, how do you incorporate kirk, and known Trek lore into the story to make Pike’s sacrifice. They weren’t trying to make it a lack of free will. They were trying to make his sacrifice be an act of free will. He has to go into what we know the character has happened to him willingly.

Otherwise, for us as a viewer, it is tragic. We know where Pike ends up. To see him get there with a kind of blindness or weakness and lack of acceptance would be to put him in a Greek tragic perspective. of this has been laid around my neck and I do not accept it. He becomes more of a heroic figure by taking it on.

And this episode gave us the opportunity to see him talk to Kirk. And like I said last week, the idea that in the original series, we will see Kirk say, I never had the opportunity to meet him, but we know. That Pike had the opportunity to meet Kirk and likes him and respects him. That, I think, is what this episode is about.

It is about the various levels of relationships between the characters. And I would point out that when Pike’s older version of himself comes back, he says he has tried multiple different paths. He says he has gone that route of everything I try, it all fails. And it leads to a calamity that destroys the Federation.

So it’s, he doesn’t say it

all fails. But he says, basically he’s saying there’s always trade offs. And that’s part of the reason why I didn’t agree with some of the points that were brought up in this comment. Because I, from my point of view, I saw it as it’s all about free will. He has absolute free will to do whatever he wants.

He’s choosing to sacrifice himself because if he does X, Y, or Z, Spock dies over here or they end up in a war with the Romulans over here and millions die. It’s like, there’s all these trade offs. So he can either be selfish, save himself, and trade his fate If you want to call it fate

to somebody else, so it’s kind of

a, I thought it was a beautiful kind of like you said in the beginning where it’s like, it’s not this tragic, he’s stuck on this path against his will.

He’s making the choice to sacrifice himself to have the least. The least amount of damage done. Yeah. He’s doing this to protect Spock. He’s doing this to protect Starfleet and millions of lives. He’s doing this choice of his own volition. He doesn’t have to. And that’s the thing that I thought was interesting that, uh, Uh, Value of Nothing, you took that as a lack of free will, and Sean and I are both taking it the exact opposite.

Yeah. That’s one of the reasons I wanted to read this comic, because I thought it was fascinating to see the different point of view on the same exact thing. We all watched the same episode, but we took very different things

away from it. And I would also say, to Value of Nothing, I completely understand your perspective, because what you are describing, all of your points are on the screen.

That like you didn’t invent anything to dislike the, these, these elements of the story. This is the story as presented. And I can understand it is a, this is why a show like Star Trek is discussed in some philosophy classes at college and stuff like this is the kind of show it is. It revolves around the idea of, is this free will or not?

And we could debate that, and neither of us would necessarily end up convincing the other. But the fact that it makes you think in these ways puts Star Trek consistently in kind of a class of its own. It is a philosophical sci fi, as opposed to, let’s just watch these robots blow up, and not give any consideration to what it might mean, or if it’s true, or if it’s f Or if it’s ethical or moral, this show revolves around that.

So what you’re touching on and what we’re discussing is effectively the same nugget, which is these are issues for us to wrestle with. What does it mean? What does it mean to be free?

The other comment I want to bring up is direct relation to todays episode where you asked What’s the, uh, the episode title mean? Wrong answers only. We have one from PaleGhost69. A broken circle is what happened when a perfect circle went on a hiatus.

Oh, yeah. There you go. Once again, PaleGhost, jumping in with Big brain thinking. Thank you so much, everybody, for your comments and that noise you hear in the background.

That, of course, is the read alert, which can mean only one thing. It is time to buckle up, raise our editorial deflector fields, and get ready for Matt to read the Wikipedia description. Good luck. Matt.

Let me stumble my way through this one. While undergoing upgrades under the supervision of long lived engineer Pelia, the starship USS Enterprise receives a distress call from security chief La’an Noonien-Singh on the mining planet Cajitar IV with First Officer Una No.

1 Chin Riley. Why is No.

1 in there? It’s not a nickname. But, you know,

she’s arrested and Captain Christopher Pike recruiting her defense counsel, Vulcan science officer Spock disobeys Admiral Robert April and steals the Enterprise. Spock and the crew find La’an on Cajitar 4, kind of already established that, and she explains that a cabal of ex Star fleet and Klingon soldiers are plotting to restart the recently ended Klingon Federation war.

Dr. Joseph M’Benga and Nurse Christine Chappell are captured and taken to a ship that has been cobbled together from Starfleet technology. The Cabal plans to use it to fire on a Klingon ship and frame Starfleet. M’Benga and Chappell fight their way off the false flag ship just as Spock orders its destruction, saving the arriving Klingons.

Spock bonds with the Klingon captain over drinks impressing Pelia. April reprimands Spock, but is privately grateful that the war with the Klingons was avoided considering the impending threat of the Gorn.

This is episode number one of season two, directed by Chris Fisher, written by Henry Alonzo Myers and Akiva Goldsman.

Akiva Goldsman, once again, is the creator of this program. So seeing his hands on the script means important plot points, important character moments. Pay attention. Main cast, as always, Anson Mount, Ethan Peck, Christina Chong, Melissa Navia, Rebecca Romijn, Jess Bush, Celia Rose Gooding, and Babs Olusanmokun

and of course, we also have the introduction of a new character played by Carol Kane, Engineer Pelia. This episode dropped on June 15th, 2023. And what was the world like on that date? Well, Matt, you want to quickly tell me what this number one song was? That’s right. It was Last Night by Morgan Whelan. You, along with 32 million other people, streamed that song to dance along to alone in your bedroom.

And the movies? The Flash was the number one film. The controversial release of a film that had a star who was getting headlines for all the wrong reasons earned 55 million. with a alternate reality, alternate, not alternate reality, a parallel universe storyline, which included the resurgence of Michael Keaton as Batman, along with Ben Affleck,

Tim Burton.

It’s a rough episode so far, Matt. And in streaming, we try to compare apples to apples. So we’re talking about a streaming show. We’re comparing it to other streaming shows. This is an interesting list of most watch programs because last year, the 2022 list of streaming programs revolved mainly around Netflix.

There seemed to be a shift in what people streamed across the networks and the streaming apps and Nielsen analysis determined that Americans streamed 21 million years worth of content. What? In the year 2023. What’s fascinating about this. I’m sorry.

You just broke my brain.

Yeah. You want to talk about parallel realities?

Think about that. 21 million years worth of content streamed within one year. And on top of that. The resurgence of programs that just exist as a library of old content is similar to the fact that Friends remains a top viewed program to this day, despite the fact that it’s been off the air for decades.

So, when we look at the top ten acquired streaming programs Number one, the program Suits, which is an American legal drama that was originally on the USA Network. It originally broadcast in 2011 and it ended in 2019. But when it moved to Netflix and Peacock in 2023, it’s 141 episodes garnered 57 billion minutes viewed in 2023, making it the number one stream program of the year.

That’s because of the Royal Family. It is because of the Royal Family. It is also because something about that show captured attention to the point where audiences that didn’t know about it, and there’s, and I was talking with my partner about this, and I have a theory. USA programming has the advantage over other older shows.

It has a kind of approach to storytelling, which is reminiscent of a pre 2000 drama. Think of an L. A. law, that kind of model of programming. But being produced later as it was, it is in digital format. And it is formatted to fit properly on current television screens. So when you have the desire for, I want a TV show that’s easy to digest.

I want something that follows a kind of not going to get too dark, not going to get into the golden era of High level drama television that we currently live in. I want something that has a lot of episodes. I want something I can put on the background. I want something that’s kind of like bubblegum that I can go through quickly, but I also don’t want it to look like garbage.

USA programming kind of fits that zone perfectly. So a show like Suits, it’s not a knock, really. It’s just like they do what they’re doing really well. They’re doing it in a way that technologically is current, but they’re also doing it in a way that’s like. You don’t want to be, you miss an episode, you have no idea what’s going on, or you walk out of the room for five minutes because you’re getting a cup of tea and you come back and you don’t know what happened.

You want something that you can have on while you’re doing other things, washing the dishes or something like that. And these shows just kind of like fit that model in an interesting way and had viewership when they were broadcast that was probably a narrower band. of the audience simply because they were first cable only, but also maybe appealing mostly to people who were of a generation that was a little bit older than the largest part of the audience that the streamers and networks were going after.

And now we’ve reached a point where that kind of show has maybe a lot of escapist appeal. And a show like Suits. suddenly bubbles to the top to the point where I did not see it, but apparently the two guys from Suits appeared at the Emmys presentation and poked fun at the fact that their show is now more popular than it was when it was actually on the air.

So, hats off to those guys. And in the news on this day, there were articles about the Fed leaving rates steady but forecasting for more moves. This is in response to the inflation that the US has been undergoing. There was also an article about the judge in the Trump documents case not having a lot of experience in criminal trial.

And that has proved to be a recurring theme of that case. There are also articles about how President Trump’s aides and lawyers could now be witnesses. That has played out to this point as several cases are coming to a conclusion and others are just about to start up. And also An article about the U. S.

paying billions to Russia’s nuclear agency, how and why, and it all revolved around the U. S. need for nuclear materials and effectively buying it from Russia. So looking now at this episode, I’m curious, Matt, about the tone of this episode. There was a bit of a shift from some previous episodes and there was something that I felt like was the Star Warsification on display when they get to the mining colony and you see what that environment looks like and the adventure that plays out from that.

And I’m curious, did you feel like that was kind of a tone shift from what is normally seen as Trek? And did you find it? fitting for the story that was being told? I thought it

was fitting. Um, the tone shift, I don’t know. The tone shift wasn’t, didn’t catch my attention too much because I don’t know. It felt, I think it’s because it did feel like it fit for the episode for the story that was being told for this time in Star Trek history that we’re currently in.

It felt like it It kind of worked for me. It didn’t jump out. I mean, did it jump out for you?

It jumped out for me, but in a really positive way because this episode had a couple of things in it that I thought, Oh, here’s a, here’s a trope. Here’s a, here’s a known trope that they’re going to touch on. And I felt there were a couple of moments where I’ve had just a quick flash of apprehension of like, Oh no, is this where they’re going with this?

And then they did it so well. That I ended up saying, like, I’m glad they did it. Like, they really earned those trophy moments. One is the engineer showing up and saying, like, oh, somebody’s done something that’s making it look like there’s a warp core breach and wink wink it. I know you’re faking it. Like, I didn’t quite like that as it started, but then two minutes into it, I was like, Oh my God, I love this.

And the other aspect was the very Star Wars y feel of getting to the mining planet, seeing rabble gathered around drinking holes and a drinking game, which felt very Indiana Jones. and The environment of like, we’re all kind of out here together. So we’re from various places that have been in combat with each other and we’re not supposed to get along, but we actually all kind of do kind of a Tatooine sort of feel.

And when it was first presented, I was like, Oh, really? This is what the, like, this doesn’t feel Trek ish, but I ended up feeling like it was the most Trek ish of this kind of environment that they’ve done. We saw a little bit of this in Enterprise. where Archer would go undercover and go to a place where he had to like figure out how to get the secret plans that a mob boss had a hold of and it would have this kind of feel but it always still felt more like a set piece more like a okay this is just a brief moment of like they’ve created this They’ve changed a set that might be the engineering room and decorated it to look like a bar.

But this was a big open air environment. This was a big setting of lots of people in the shot and it created a different tone than we’ve seen before. And I also flashback to some of the more awkward attempts at this kind of thing on like Next Generation, where it always looked like Riker would. Go undercover and show up looking like a guy in a business suit and be like, I am also alien and how can I find those plans I need?

And it was always like, all right, that’s Jonathan. It’s not working. Uh, but here it really felt like it worked and I really liked Noonien Singh’s setting. For her in, she has managed to figure out how not only to find the family of the girl that she had rescued in the, at the close of the last season, but she has discovered a dilemma and has reached out to the team that she knows can help her figure it out.

So tone shifts and. The inclusion, not only in the tone from the Star Wars kind of edge that I felt like was on display, but also the humor in this episode. Big breath of fresh air from the previous one. Did you find that the humor in this one worked for you?

I would say all the humor, except for the engineer.

Uh, Pelia. I’ve seen this entire season, Sean. I’m really curious to see what you think by the end of the season. Pelia never resonated with me from the mo from the I remember when I watched this episode the first time, I was like, Oh, man, that’s like a hitting a wrong key while you’re playing a song on the piano.

Um, and then by the end of the season, I still had that feeling. I I I’ve never gelled with her character ever. And so the humor that comes out of her It’s a little bit like a nails on a chalkboard for me. So I didn’t like that, but the other humor that kind of comes out from some of the other sequences and characters I thought was great.

Um, but yeah, I’m just not a fan.

Interesting. I liked her. I liked her. Um, but there were a couple of moments where it felt like, oh, they are trying to fast forward a Guinan Perspective into, into the character too. They are not earning the Guinan aspect of it where Guinan showed up on next generation. And I remember the very first time they visited 10 forward and you saw Guinan.

My response was, why are they acting like she’s been here the entire time? And then after the second or third time they go talk to Guinan, you forget that she hasn’t been there the entire time. And yes, the drip, drip, drip of reveal of Guinan is incredibly old Guidan’s relationship with Picard is unique. She has an experience of time that is different from other people’s and her revelations around.

Do you remember the first time we met? You actually don’t because it hasn’t happened yet. Those kinds of things were. Critical to her character, but they were very slowly wound out over years. And this was a little obvious. Oh, here’s Carol Kane. And she’s saying this thing at the end about like, I’m bored.

And I really like, you don’t know what it’s like. Like, oh, they’re trying to, they’re trying to fast forward it. Like I’m incredibly old. I’m nearly immortal. I know stuff you, you’ll never experience, but I’ve got a unique perspective and I’m going to join your crew and I’ll, and I’ll share all this stuff with you.

And it felt a little bit like, okay, it’s obvious. I see what they’re doing, but I actually really like Carol Kane in this role. I like the character idea. Uh, I like the idea of a replacement for Hemmer. As somebody who is so knowing as to see all the red alerts that are going off in the ship at the beginning and walk in and say, yeah, it kind of looks like a meltdown, but it’s not actually a meltdown.

She sees through it so quickly. I really appreciated that. So to pull into the Spock in charge, I think it’s an interesting moment to give us something that I hadn’t considered. The idea that Spock at this point is not the first officer. So he has never been solo in charge of the ship in quite this way.

And Pike giving him the reins at a time when he thinks the worst that’s going to happen is he’s going to have to negotiate shore leave. For various members of the crew, they’re having all this work done. The ship is not going anywhere. He’s going to be fine. And then it turns into a classic moment of Spock, very deadpan saying to the skeleton crew aboard, we have to steal the Enterprise.

This is a trope right out of the movies. Kirk deciding we got to steal the Enterprise. To go do what we got to do, uh, in Star Trek V. This is like lifted right out of the original crew. How did you feel about Spock’s role in this episode as being in charge, how he manages it, and what they do with it in getting us to the point where he’s demonstrating his competence as a leader?


I’m going to sound like a broken record, Sean. I, give me all the Spock, give me all the Spock. I love this character. I love this portrayal. I love what they did with him in this episode. I thought it was really nice to see him still struggling with his. Unlocking his emotions. So he’s, he’s barely holding together for this entire episode.

And it was fun to see that in this character that we know so well, seeing him struggle, but seeing him be the Spock we kind of know in the sense of he can take charge when he needs to take charge. He is a leader and he has a good head in his shoulders. He makes good decisions. He’s thinking out the side of the box.

Partially because he’s slightly unhinged at this moment. Um, he makes decisions he might not have made if he was a little more in control, which I thought that was kind of fun to see him making these kind of like. very emotionally driven decisions. Yeah. Where it’s like, if this was Spock 20 years from now, he would not be doing that probably.

Um, or he’d be doing it in a very different way. So I thought that was a lot of fun. Um, I don’t want to go, I don’t know if this is too off topic, but I have two points of view on. The whole him stealing the ship and that whole stealing stuff and how the Admirals and Starfleet doesn’t seem to respond.

Good. It’s

just like they just Yeah. That’s a classic thing that we visited. Go ahead and talk about it. They grab

the ship and they go and all the plot unfolds and hijinks ensue and we have a fun time watching this episode. But then if you think a little too hard, you’re like, whoa, how come there were no real ramifications from this?

Yeah. They stole a freaking starship. They’d be out of there in a heartbeat. What is going on here? And there’s this kind of really kind of weak explanation at the very end with the Admiral going, you better not do that again. Um, and that was kind of like, okay, that was a little, uh, no, that’s just. No, this would have never, no, no.

Um, he would have been demoted, he would have been kicked out, there would have been like so much ramifications from this. There’s a mark in your permanent record, there’s nothing like that. Um, yeah. On the Blu ray, because I’ve talked about this before, I have the Blu ray, there’s an extended scene that was cut, and I don’t know why they cut it, because it should have been in there.

It was a conversation between two admirals, right when the, when the Enterprise Rockets off, they steal it. This scene takes place after that, of these two admirals talking about why did you let him go. And Admiral April is like, we need to see how this plays out. Like, they have this whole debate between these two admirals.

One admiral is saying, we gotta go after them. The hammer, basically he’s, basically he’s saying the hammer has to come down on these guys. Yeah. And April is saying, giving the explanation as to why he’s letting this happen. Yeah. Why he’s letting it play out and why it’s important to let it play out. Yeah.

So they are letting this go on. And so that one scene, it was like, oh my God, that puts so much more weight behind the ending when they’re just like, please don’t do that again. Yeah. It’s because. They let it happen. They could have stopped it, but they didn’t. April actually let it happen. And so it’s, I don’t know why they cut it because it would have strengthened that whole aspect of this so much more and it would have made it a little more believable.

It would have made it a little less like. Uh, there’s bend the rules cause it’s the, you know, Spock and crew. I

agree. A scene like that really does sound like it would lend a lot to it and pull away from the, Oh, you wacky kids with your party. Like it’s, it, it, it is an ending that we’ve had that in Star Trek for forever.

Unfortunately, the, you break the rules and then at the end you get the like, Oh, by the way, Starfleet loves us. Um, And that’s fully on display here, uh, to go back to like pulling it back into Spock. himself. One of the things that I loved about this episode was him and Dr M’Benga and having the two of them reflecting one another in this while M’Benga is overtly helping Spock and saying there’s an aspect of this That you’re struggling with your emotional release.

You don’t know what to do or how to do it. Music is a way to do that. And Spock quickly buys in. You can see it like you can almost hear it instantly. Like I will do anything I need to in order to make this work. And music does have a logical, mathematic aspect to it that I can key into. And he gives him the classic Spock harp.

I really. And I loved that while also being stymied by, why does M’Benga have that in his office? It’s like,

I got this thing, yeah, in my head, I was like, he

has it made. Like he has it, like he uses a, he acquires

it for Spock and he’s been

gifting it to him. Yes. Like he goes in and he’s like, I’ve got this thing for you.

And here it is. Uh, but then you get some very nice scenes of Spock playing with this thing, which. I’m looking for, I got nostalgic as I was watching him sit down and play it for the first time. I got nostalgic for a future episode of the original series when he’s playing it in the cafeteria and Uhura is singing along.

And I suddenly got like very moved by the fact like, Oh, here’s this. So there’s this thing being given to them and years from now, he and Uhura, who are still serving together, create a duet that they perform together. So it’s little things like that that really hit me where my Star Trek lives. Uh, but the beauty of Spock saying the walls have come down and I don’t know how to put them back up and I don’t know what to do with all this stuff that’s now rushing out of me and M’Benga saying there are things you can do to help yourself.

and then the storyline reveals a level of PTSD. In M’Benga and Chapel that is so surprising and hat tip to the way they side, they kind of sidle into it in a way that to me didn’t feel laid on at all. And I was so surprised by that because there’s a certain way of giving backstory that feels like, Oh, for this episode, they needed him to know how to play the harmonica.

So suddenly he’s got a harmonica and we’ll never see it again. But this so subtly and deftly handles M’Benga quickly in a moment of stress. And a moment of what if the war restarts and the way his eyes kind of flash and he’s just like you realize he’s carrying something buckets of something and he and Chapel together doing the super soldier serum storyline effectively where they clean house in a way that reveals they must have been involved in something in the past, some kind of research to allow Starfleet to go toe to toe with the Klingons.

In a losing battle where Starfleet at the end of Discovery is clearly in a position of we are losing this war and we will look at any options, including this. And this is not something we’ve seen before. It’s not something we’ve heard of before. And when they reveal it, it suddenly made so much sense. I was watching this and it was like, when Chappell says, do you ever not carry this with you?

And he’s like, no, like, like, oh, this is a guy who’s walking into every situation thinking, if I need to go on a rampage, I know how to do it. And that entire sequence, again, something that should it have worked in Star Trek? Should it have fit into Star Trek? And I found myself sitting there like, This is fantastic.

This is great. Well, and it felt very Star Trek when, when

I complained about Pelia feeling like she’s slapped in there and it, it’s like a bad note. This does not, as you pointed out, but part of the reason it doesn’t is we know that he and Chapel. We’re involved in the war. We, we knew that in the first season.

Yeah. We know that they have a long history together. We know that he has some issues with Klingons in the past, but it was never explored, but it was there. So now we’re seeing it and it doesn’t feel out of place because it’s, it’s building on something hints that were already dropped last season. And now we’re starting to see it front and center.

And the other reason I don’t think tonally it’s out of the Star Trek lore is because It’s We’ve seen the history, like, think about the movie First Contact. It’s like we’re going back to when we first, humans first met the Vulcans, and the chaotic war that humanity came out of. It’s like our history of war and doing things.

Because the ends justify the means is part of the history. It’s already in Star Trek. We just don’t see it a lot because most of the shows are post that or in the kind of semi utopian ideal. This is where like with Discovery and this bit with the serum. We’re getting to see it firsthand. We’re seeing some of the vestiges of that checkered past, which I find fascinating.

It’s really kind of cool at this point in history of Star Trek to see that explored. And I’m not going to give anything away, Sean, but one of the comments, I think it was from last week on the show mentioned, I understand why they got rid of the daughter in the storyline because M’Benga has some heavy stuff coming up.

This is what it was referencing. And I will say this is a theme in this entire season. Yeah, I expect it would be. More of this is coming. Um, and it’s, it’s really fleshed out, I think, in a nice way. And I’m really curious to see what you’re going to think about it as it goes forward. But I love the hints.

Like, it was, what the hell, what the hell is that green vial? It’s like, we’ve never seen this before. It’s like, yeah, I always carry it with me. It’s like, oh, oh dear. Oh, this seems heavy. Seeing what it actually does. I had the same reaction the first time I saw it. that you’re having right now. It was like, Oh, Oh, Oh, hell yes.

Sign me up. What is this about? It was like, I really enjoyed how they’re unfolding it and letting us kind of discover what this history of chapel and M’Benga is. And M’Benga, I’m, I’m, uh, I’m blanking on the actor’s name, uh, Babs Olusanmokun yeah. Yeah. He is such a good actor. He’s my favorite character on the show.

He’s one of my favorite characters. He’s the heart. And like everything. He’s the heart of the show. Yeah. Yes. Like when Spock says we’re stealing the ship and it cuts to all the different characters Unspoken. Nobody says we’re in. It just, you can tell everybody’s like bought in just by them, their facial expressions, but it ends with a shot on him.

He’s the last one they show. And just the multi layered reaction on his face. It’s just. You can tell he’s in. He’s kind of like, way to go Spock. He’s got this kind of like a, you can tell he’s kind of like, you go Spock, and then at the same time, I’m also in, and then there’s also this like little bit of a dread that kind of comes across his expression, and

it’s what unfolds here.

Because they’re going to a Klingon mining planet at this point. Correct. Yes. It’s just

the acting that he does in this is

top notch. Yeah, I agree completely. Uh, to touch on something really quickly, I really like the M’Benga Chapel Spock triumvirate kind of like braided storyline between the three of them.

Spock revealing his romantic feelings for Chapel, M’Benga picking up on that, uh, Chapel being in a perspective of like, I got to get out of here because this is breaking my heart. So she’s potentially trying to leave the ship and all of that. Uh, twists together in a way, as I was thinking about it just now, it really creates a nice balance for the future in which, why does Spock have the cantankerous relationship with McCoy that he does?

And it occurred to me, in the scene where he is sitting and being so accepted by M’Benga, it seems like Spock may hold a grudge against a doctor who seems to judge him for his Vulcan ness. Whereas M’Benga is constantly accepting him for who he is. M’Benga from a certain perspective is a more holistic doctor and a better holistic doctor than McCoy.

McCoy kind of wears his emotions on his sleeve in a way that’s Abrasive. And that’s supposed to be the charm of the character that you know that underneath it he loves Spock. But on the surface, it’s just like, well, now I got to recalibrate this machine to get your stupid Vulcan physiology in there. And here M’Benga is the one who gives him the instrument, who leads him on a path of like, how do you manage this, which is so hard.

And there’s a level of trust here that seems to be in a. Uh, counterpoint to the outward abrasive relationship that Vulcan, that Spock has with McCoy, and I think it’s a nice balancing act there. Um, to move on to the plot of the plot, the let’s restart the war. I had no issues with this. It felt like it was the C plot, if anything, while being very action oriented and driving a lot of the great visuals at the end of pursuing this cobbled together ship through the asteroid field, having to destroy it just before it strikes against the Klingon ship.

All of that I found, uh, really enjoyable. It’s a lot of popcorn fun, but it is not where the heart of the episode lives. The heart of the episode lives in the quiet moments for me, but I will say. I enjoyed the plot of the plot, the idea of a cabal of profiteers coming together from two sides of the war and saying like, we both enjoyed it more when it was a bad situation.

So let’s restart it. I like that idea. And it hints at, um, unease within the Federation. and unease within the Klingon empire and unease within the whole region that this kind of shenanigan could take place. I also like that this is the first moment that we see Klingons who remind us of the Klingons we’re so familiar with without it being jarring.

We get the drinking game which Noonien-Singh is going up against a Klingon that she drinks under the table. And for all intents and purposes, he could be visiting Worf’s family. It’s like he looks like a Klingon that we would know. It doesn’t feel like we are looking at an attempt to transition the Klingons into looking like something more alien or walking back from that.

The last few times we’ve seen Klingons in Discovery, it was clearly a walking back of the alien ness of them, but they still had certain traits that were like, wow, that’s a lot of prosthetic. You’re really hiding your actor. You’re making it really hard for them. This was a Klingon. It was as he’s sitting there and growling, I was just.

This is a Klingon. This is what they should look like. And finally, there’s the hint of future dilemmas that are coming when, in the very final scene, this goes back to what Matt and I were talking about a little bit earlier. April kind of like taps the back of Spock’s hand and says, Don’t do that again.

And sends them off to play and then there is the thank goodness we don’t have a war on two fronts moment and a shot of a battle plan screen in which it is hinted that there is belief that a Gorn invasion is in the offing. So. Setting up a darker tone for what’s to come while being a lighter episode with some good action, both on the ground in the form of super soldier serum in space in the form of the cobbled together ship trying to attack a Klingon bird of prey, which again, Harkens back to the original series.

That’s the Bird of Prey that we remember. It is not one of the ships from Discovery, which looks like, is that Notre Dame flying in space? This is a ship that looks like a Klingon ship. So a lot of elements here, a lot of different places. We haven’t even touched on M’Benga and Chapel ejecting themselves into space.

Oh yeah. Great sequence, all of that. This episode felt big. It felt cinematic and it felt big and it was a, I thought from start to finish, a really great triumph. I felt like this was a great kickoff for a second season. It got me very excited. It

felt like a, um, summer blockbuster to me, where it was, I would not say that this was on the A tier level of Star Trek, where it’s dealing with ethical dilemmas in like a really Star Trek y way.

It was not that level, but it was definitely on the level of, man, I’m having a fun ride watching this episode. It’s keeping me engaged, has enough action, it has enough, um, dilemmas and character building that is keeping me invested. Um, and you can tell that this is setting up the season. So it’s like, this is just the setup.

This is just the, where we’re going to spring off from here. It’s the springboard. And I thought it was a really great way to kind of launch off the season.

I agree. So next time, Matt and I are going to talk about episode number two, which is Ad Astra per Aspera. So please jump into the comments and as usual, leave your thoughts about what that might be about.

Wrong answers only considering it is in Latin. He said, he thinks, uh, I think the doors are wide open. So good luck on wrapping that up before we move on to the end of the episode, Matt. Is there anything you would share with our listeners or viewers about what you have coming up on your main channel?

Well, for all the

people that think I’m full of hot air, I thought, let’s do a video about uh, blimps. Um, yeah, uh, there’s a airship video. I did one a couple of years ago that was pretty popular and people really enjoyed it. So this is kind of revisiting that topic. Where is it now? Are they going to become the future of transportation?

Kind of a, uh, view, um, kind of like, you know, you’re in an alternate universe, like in Fringe where you look up at the sky at the Empire State Building and there’s blimps flying around it. Um, are we going to have that future at some point? Uh, so it was a fun video. Check

it out. Oh, the humanity. As for me, if you want to find out more about my books, you can go to seanferrell.

com. You can also just go to your local bookstore, your Amazon page, or your local library. My books are available everywhere. If you’d like to support the show, please consider reviewing us on Apple, Google, Spotify, wherever it was you found this, go back there, leave a review. Don’t forget to subscribe and please do share it with your friends.

All of those are great ways to support the channel. And if you want to support us directly, you can go to trekintime. show, click on the become a supporter button. It allows you to throw some coins at our heads. You become a supporter and you immediately become an Ensign, which means you will be subscribed to our spinoff show Out of Time, in which we talk about things not confined to this setting.

So we might talk about other sci fi, sometimes movies, TV shows, things we’re reading, whatever is crossing our path. Thank you so much, everybody, for your support and your time. Thank you for watching or listening, and we’ll talk to you next time.

← Older
Newer →

Leave a Reply