Star Trek: Strange New Worlds continues to be a bold and creative entry in the franchise among the stars. The second season took risks (Hello, “Subspace Rhapsody”!) that works beautifully for the tone and tenor of the show. Akiva Goldsman and Henry Alonso Myers, the co-showrunners, succeed in making us all fall in love with a “new” crew, and it’s a testament to their skill, as well as the skill of all the other talented writers, actors, and creatives behind the show.
Strange New Worlds hits that perfect combination of being fun and offering the kind of science fiction writing that has inspired generations of Trek fans for decades. The second season was packed with adventure, humor, and heart. It was everything fans love about Star Trek, from engaging characters and intelligent storylines to stunning visuals and plenty of action. The second finale, “Hegemony,” cements its place amongst Trek’s rich tapestry with an orbital space drama that explores colonialism, morality, love, and more. Written by Henry Alonso Myers and directed by Maja Vrvilo, the episode is worth your time.
And although Star Trek: Strange New Worlds season 2 may have ended, the season finale still has a telepathic meld on us. Days later, we’re still pondering the fate of Captain Pike, the Enterprise, and his terrible choice. (Sound familiar?) We’re going to look at the biggest things that happened and what they mean for the future of our merry little crew.
[Warning: There are intense Star Trek: Strange New Worlds spoilers ahead!]
The Gorn – the most cold-blooded aliens in the Alpha Quadrant
The Gorn of Strange New Worlds are quite scary, and a far cry from the aliens from The Original Series. We’ve learned more about them, and judging from “Hegemony,” we’re going to find out even more. The finale episode of season 2 has our beloved crew encountering the murderous reptiles in the worst way. Captain Marie Batel (Melanie Scrofano) can attest to that. If the colony attack and neighboring starship attacks weren’t enough, the Gorn directly threaten the Enterprise. Having the Gorn be the main antagonists and underlying threat to the Federation is an interesting space for Strange New Worlds to explore.
Great Scott! – Montgomery Scott, that is
There are some survivors after the Gorn’s brutality on the planet and against the Cayuga. One of those survivors is pretty important when it comes to the original Star Trek lore: Montgomery Scott.
Recall last season in “All Those Who Wander,” where Enterprise engineer Hemmer (Bruce Horak) sacrificed himself to save his crew and friends. It was a shocking moment and again underscored the danger and lasting trauma the Gorn would inflict on Starfleet. Even more interesting was the replacement voice teased in the season 1 finale, “A Quality of Mercy.”
In that first finale, Spock is having a conversation with someone over the communications system. The voice Spock is chatting with has a distinctly Scottish lilt. Since the canon isn’t totally clear when the engineer first comes aboard the Enterprise, we speculated (incorrectly!) that the Scottish voice tease foreshadowed Scott’s appearance in season 2. If you’ve watched this season, then you know there was no payoff on that delightful voice until this season’s finale.
The finale did give us a payoff for what we thought were the teasing hints of Scotty, and we finally meet the legendary engineer. Montgomery Scott, lieutenant junior grade, has laid a trap for the Gorn in a deserted town. Using a life sign as bait, he ensnares not the Gorn, but M’Benga, La’an, and Sam Kirk (Dan Jeannotte.) And thus, the legendary Chief Engineer was introduced to the ship that built his career, the USS Enterprise.
Scotty is on Parnassus Beta after his escaped shuttle crashed there. His ship, the solar research vessel USS Stardiver was attacked by the Gorn. There’s a fun moment later in the episode between Scotty and his former professor, turned Chief Engineer Pelia (Carol Kane).
Martin Quinn’s portrayal of a young Montgomery Scott is a masterful balancing act, and it’s such good casting. He honors the character’s classic portrayal by James Doohan in the original Star Trek series, along with Simon Pegg’s Kelvin Scotty, while also bringing his own unique spin to the role. Quinn captures Scotty’s wit, charm, and ingenuity while adding depth and complexity to make the character feel fresh and new.
Rebuilding the original enterprise crew
With Scotty’s introduction, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention that Strange New Worlds is getting very close to seeing all of the major players from the original series on the show. James Kirk (Paul Wesley) is featured heavily this season, but he’s not the only TOS Enterprise crewman. There’s Spock, of course, and Nurse Chapel too.
There’s been online chatter about rebooting the crew in a television/streaming space, especially since the Chris Pine/Zachary Quinto/Karl Urban/Zoe Saldana/Simon Pegg/John Cho Star Trek 4 seems stuck in development hell. If this is the case, we wonder if season 3 of Strange New Worlds could introduce us to a new Leonard McCoy, Hikaru Sulu, or Pavel Chekov. This author is a writer and not a fortune teller, so we’ll have to wait and see if this exciting possibility comes to pass.
Captain Pike’s mental health and impossible choices
One of the running underlying themes through this and last season has been that of Captain Pike’s mental health. He’s seen the future and knows his fate, which, to put it plainly, wears on him. According to the future revealed by the Klingon Time Crystal, Pike successfully saved the Starfleet cadets, but the accident left him injured. But he had no choice.
The cliffhanger at the end of this episode is, in many ways, a classic Trek “To Be Continued” (which makes the likely year+ between seasons even more stressful!). Pike is again put in a situation with an impossible choice. The Enterprise is in danger, and Admiral April (Adrian Holmes) orders Pike to withdraw without his crew members, who have been beamed to what will surely be their demise on the Gorn ships.
It’s a safe bet that we’re going to see his decision and all of the fallout associated with that next season.
Looking forward to Strange New Worlds season 3
Strange New Worlds fans were thrilled in March 2023 when Paramount+ announced that the series had been renewed for a third season. Production was scheduled to begin in Toronto over the summer. It’s been put on hold due to the ongoing labor dispute between the AMPTP and Hollywood unions. This means that we’ll have to wait a little longer than expected for new episodes to beam to our screens. (And this author really hopes that the studios decide to compensate the writers and actors fairly for their work.)
The team behind Star Trek: Strange New Worlds
It’s no secret that we think Strange New Worlds is a must-watch for any fan of the franchise. The show follows Captain Christopher Pike and the crew of the USS Enterprise as they explore new worlds and encounter new challenges. The cast’s effortless working charisma makes it a pleasure to watch.
Anson Mount is full of captainly cowboy swagger and gives a star-making turn as Pike. Ethan Peck steps into big logical shoes and perfectly captures the essence of Spock. Rebecca Romijn brings a welcome dose of sass to the role of Number One. And the other cast shines especially bright this season, too, with Jess Bush as Nurse Christine Chapel, Christina Chong as La’An Noonien-Singh, Celia Rose Gooding as Nyota Uhura, Melissa Navia as Erica Ortegas and Babs Olusanmokun as Joseph M’Benga.
Have you checked out Strange New Worlds season 2 yet?
You can catch up with season 2 of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds on Paramount+. Are you unsure if it’s worth popping in to check on Pike, Spock, and all of the crew? Read our review linked below to see why we think season 2 is worth checking out!
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