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“Star Trek: Strange New Worlds” Season 2, Episode 5 Review

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Where to stream It? Paramount+

Directed by: Jordan Canning

Written By: Kathryn Lyn and Henry Alonso Myers

Starring: Anson Mount, Ethan Peck, Jess Bush, Rebecca Romijn, Christina Chong, Celia Rose Gooding

As we reach the halfway point of the season, the Enterprise crew finds themselves slowing down a bit to enjoy a little bit of R & R. But as they usually do, things begin to go awry and the crew finds themselves in an uncharted situation. 

“Charades” opens with a mission to study a missing ancient alien race. But when an accident occurs that leaves Spock and Christine Chapel injured, they awaken to find the nurse perfectly fine but Spock with an…unusual change, leaving him fully human. 

At face level, this episode could be another case of filler that just kind of chugs along. But there’s a couple of interesting things that keep the momentum going throughout its run time. Most of all this is an episode that isn’t afraid to show the humorous side of the Star Trek universe. 

Ethan Peck once again shines as Spock, and it’s clear that he has an absolute blast going through the emotions of just finding his humanity and being allowed to let his feelings roam free. He’s so fun to watch in this episode, even if it is a deviation from the normally restrained Vulcan we’re used to seeing. 

For the most part, the added humor works well. Yes, there are a few “on the nose” jokes that don’t quite land, but when it hits there are some of the funniest moments Strange New Worlds has been able to conjure up. And most of them come from the interactions the human Spock has with his unsuspecting crew mates. 

Although it’s not a total laugh fest, the episode does do a pretty good job at balancing the humorous moments with Chapel’s race to find a cure for Spock’s condition before it’s too late. And that plotline treads along at a very good pace as well. For being one of the longer episodes we’ve seen this season, it doesn’t drag. Every minute was engaging and didn’t feel like it crammed too much. 

There’s another story involving Spock reuniting with his fiancee T’Pring and her parents that offers the same “meet the disapproving parents” kind of plot we’ve seen a dozen times before, but this also works when it’s not drowned in cliches. Not the strongest thing on display all season, but not the worst part either. It’s just there and offers some good laughs. 

Since the episode already is doing quite a bit, also trying to further the romantic interests between Spock and Chapel, as well as creating a kind of awkward love triangle with T’Pring’s presence, just feels odd and out of place. It was clearly a dangling thread that needed to be resolved at one point, but as this was already dealing with a lot, maybe they should have waited for a future episode. 

Overall, while not the strongest we’ve had so far, unlike episodes 1 and 3, “Charades” does its job at showing a lighter side of the Strange New Worlds cast and allows for some fun and imaginative escapades aboard the ship. Being a more comedic episode, it definitely works as a nice palate cleanser as we begin the back half of the season next week. 

Final Score:

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
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Chad Shreeves
Chad Shreeves
Chad Shreeves is a writer based in Overland Park, KS. He is a fan of all things in the entertainment industry including movies, music, TV, Gaming, theme parks, and Broadway. He is also a screenwriter with two different projects going through the competition circuit. He can be found on Twitter @chad_shreeves and on TikTok @everythingentertainment.
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