Where to stream it? Paramount+
Starring: Anson Mount, Rebecca Romjin, Ethan Peck, Jess Bush, Christina Chong, Celia Rose Gooding, Melissa Navia, Babs Olusanmokun, Carol Kane, Paul Wesley
Written by: Henry Alonso Myers & Akiva Goldsman
Directed by: Chris Fisher
The second season of Strange New Worlds absolutely kicked off with a bang. Some of the best Star Trek content in years really continues in this action packed, well-told episode. With plenty of setup for this season and some thrilling moments, it really is a great start to a promising season.
This episode picks up with a docked Enterprise as Captain Pike takes a leave of absence so Spock takes control. When another ship goes missing, Spock and the crew commandeer the Enterprise to investigate the disturbance as a devious plot against Starfleet begins to surface.
The politics of the Starfleet vs. Klingon storyline are front and center here, and take up most of the beginning of this 52-minute episode. And it’s done well. Star Trek, when it tries to get into the weeds of its universe building, can feel very “academic” and not very entertaining. But the way this conflict is set up is very well done, and when it all comes to a head during a very dramatic action sequence at the end of the episode, it’s brilliant.
And this episode is fully anchored by an extremely strong performance by Ethan Peck as Spock. The way he fully grasps the nuances of the character while still being his own iteration is great to see. Christina Chong also gives a wonderful supporting performance where her character goes through a variety of revelations herself.
Where the absolute stand out is, though, is a guest starring appearance by the legendary Carol Kane. It’s a small, but very memorable role as she not only provides important narrative purpose for her character but also some terrific comedic relief scattered throughout her couple of scenes. Obviously I don’t want to spoil too much, but be on the lookout for her character’s appearance.
There’s also some well-made production design throughout this episode. The scenes aboard the Enterprise feel lifelike. In a world where sci-fi CGI has been very hit or miss (mostly miss) on streaming they’ve really put some work into making sure the CG looks good. And as is usual for Star Trek, some great work on makeup for the alien creatures in the episode as well.
There are a few pacing issues. For a 52 minute episode, it does feel like it drags on a bit. There are a few scenes that are a little long and several supporting characters that just kind of feel like they’re there to be there.
Overall, this is a wonderful start to the season and leaves me more excited to see where the rest of the show goes from here.
Final Score: 8/10