Star Trek: Strange New Worlds

"Spock Amok"

2.5 stars

Air date: 6/2/2022
Written by Henry Alonso Myers & Robin Wasserman
Directed by Rachel Leiterman

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

"Spock Amok" is a low-stakes laid-back comedy that very nearly works because it just allows us to spend time in the company of characters who are shaping up to be very likable, and it doesn't try to be too wacky. It doesn't quite get to the finish line because, well, in trying so hard not to be wacky, despite its fairly wacky premise, it just sort of meanders its way through the hour while basically admitting it has no real ambitions.

This is fine, mostly because the cast gels well enough that they overcome the lack of compelling material. This is essentially a shore-leave episode with some minor inconsequential "Enterprise hosts some negotiations" plotting bolted on to give some of the characters something to do. From a character standpoint, it retreads one of the most examined issues in all of Star Trek — Spock's troubled identity as a half-human half-Vulcan. (It opens with his dream sequence where a human Spock and a Vulcan Spock battle each other in the ring with lirpas, complete with TOS music.)

T'Pring (Gia Sandhu) comes aboard the ship to visit Spock, and the two have the lowest of low-key fights as they channel Vulcan passive aggression over the issue of Spock's inability to take time off work and prioritize their relationship. Their calm monotone finds a sort of humor in the Vulcan absurdity of it all (I was reminded of Lower Decks' "wej Duj," where supposedly distasteful Vulcan emotionalism was indistinguishable from any other state). They ultimately end up trying to share some intimacy through a Vulcan telepathic ritual, which has the unintended consequence of their minds becoming stuck in each other's bodies. (This is the wacky premise I earlier alluded to.) Now T'Pring must do Spock's job and take his place at the negotiating table, and Spock must do T'Pring's job in an attempt to bring in a Vulcan criminal for possible philosophical rehabilitation.

Usually with a body-swapping comedy, the joke is that the actors play the part as if they are the other character, which inevitably involves them taking on the other actor's acting style (see Voyager's "Body and Soul" for the best Trek example). But the joke here is that Spock and T'Pring sound so identical in their Vulcan-ness that you can't really tell a difference in the performances at all. (Spock as T'Pring: "Now that you know, you can likely tell the very clear differences in our mannerisms." Pike: "Yeah, totally.") There's humor to find in the deadpan tenacity of it all, mild as it may be.

Meanwhile, while Ortegas and Chapel and M'Benga go on shore leave, Una and La'an stay aboard the ship to continue their duties. Much to her chagrin, Una learns that her nickname among the junior officers is "where fun goes to die," so she and La'an team up in an attempt to embark on some "fun" aboard the ship. This manifests itself in each of them trying to be the first to call "bad cop" when interrogating some young cadets who have broken the rules, and then learning about something called "Enterprise Bingo." They engage in "hijinks" including a game where they try to phaser each other on the lowest setting. As fun goes, they're not especially succeeding.

Meanwhile, Ortegas and Chapel discuss Chapel's not-so-budding non-relationship with Lt. Dever, who she is bored with and doesn't want to take to the next level. Chapel is more interested in being there as a friend to Spock. In the most riveting development, M'Benga goes fly fishing while wearing a hat everyone hates, and we don't even find out if he caught the big fish.

If you haven't noticed, plot isn't really the idea here, but we do have some rocky diplomacy with some cantankerous aliens who exhibit strange and temperamental behavior at the negotiating table. This is not helped by the fact they ask for Spock (by name) to discuss the matter of allowing the Federation safe passage through their territory at a time when Spock is actually T'Pring. But this does allow T'Pring to see what Spock does for his job and how he is perceived by his captain and shipmates. Similarly, Spock gets to learn some things about T'Pring.

We get some more of Pike's Pondering Glare, which has become an Anson Mount specialty, where his eyes get really serious as he thinks carefully about what is happening around him. But what I haven't talked about much is my appraisal of Ethan Peck as Mr. Spock himself. It's never easy stepping into the role of an iconic character — in this case one that has been significantly occupied by not one but two different actors before him. Peck is actually very good as Spock, and he gets a full showcase here and has to play the role as both drama and comedy; with this character, those things occupy virtually the same space. His relationship with T'Pring develops a bit, as they gain some additional mutual understanding. But given that we know T'Pring will ultimately leave Spock, it remains to be seen at what point Spock will no longer hold her interest.

"Spock Amok" is probably the least of the SNW episodes so far, and "amok" is not the right word for any of the mild-mannered things that happen here. But it's still perfectly fine, and it shows that this cast can get a lot done purely on likability even if there's not a whole lot of meat to chew on.

Previous episode: Memento Mori
Next episode: Lift Us Where Suffering Cannot Reach

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◄ Season Index

132 comments on this post

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Daniel
Thu, Jun 2, 2022, 3:12am (UTC -5)
The PADD chime!!!
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Jeffrey's Tube
Thu, Jun 2, 2022, 3:50am (UTC -5)
This is my favorite of all the episodes released so far.

"Enterprise bingo" was an awesome idea, as was each of the activities on the list. Given the massive hole in the Enterprise's saucer from the torpedo explosion in Discovery's "Such Sweet Sorrow Pt II" that plate can't be where it was, but I'll let it go. The visual is worth it.

Yeomen finally got mentioned! I think I'm like the only one who cares, but it was bugging the hell out of me.

T'Pring's character development is interesting. Her profession is interesting. There's a lot to unpack there for implications about what it means for Federation society and how it handles criminality. You can also already see why her and Spock aren't going to work out and the streak of petulant behavior that will lead her to make the choice she makes in Amok Time in the dramatic manner she makes it, but there's enough tying them together that the relationship doesn't feel pro forma.

They legitimately pulled off a body switch episode without any groan worthy moments or cliche. It had thematic purpose and wasn't only about plot. Nice one.

Pike continues to be the best. The revision of the green wraparound tunic is awesome. The way he handles the aliens feels like classic Star Trek to me. Picard would never. Kirk might.

Were there any scenes on the bridge this week? It's a dumb metric, but to me it's a sign of the show's confidence when they feel they don't need a scene on the bridge.

I really want Chapel's episode now. We don't know what's coming next anymore, right?

. . .

I'm sure I'll now have to endure tons of complaints about the lax discipline on Pike's Enterprise and those two Ensigns should have been dressed down while standing at attention and blah blah blah. Who cares. Starfleet isn't the military. At least it isn't supposed to be an exact analogue for the military. I am enjoying this more relaxed portrayal.

. . .

I was just completely happy for all of the 40-something minutes this was playing on my screen. Just completely happy. It was wonderful. Yes please. More please.
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Daniel
Thu, Jun 2, 2022, 4:08am (UTC -5)
I really have to hand it to the episodic music composer Nami Melumad--she's been hitting it out of the park consistently.
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The Chronek
Thu, Jun 2, 2022, 6:02am (UTC -5)
I LOVE THIS SHOW SO MUCH.

It feels like a Trek throwback in all the best possible ways. The ensemble acting that was key to the greatness of TNG and DS9. The exploration of what it means to be human. The A/B/C plots within the same episode. EPISODIC FORMAT!!!! I love episodic format. I love that this show makes connections to other episodes and to other parts of Trek lore so seemingly effortlessly.

I enjoy Discovery and Picard, but those series show weakness in the whole season-long serial format in certain episodes. There were good moments in Picard's second season, but the serial format certainly seemed to drag it out. It's difficult to make something succeed as a stand-alone hour or so of TV and within the context of a much larger story.

As for Spock Amok, I liked the overall theme of empathy, and how it was presented with a light touch. Certainly the Spock-T'Pring situation was presented as a chance for each of them to see each other's lives from the other's point of view. We also saw that in the Federation's negotiations with the alien species over a strategically important territory. We even saw that with Una and La'an playing Enterprise Bingo, trying to understand their crew.

I like how T'Pring is presented as a sympathetic character. Taking only TOS's Amok Time into consideration, she is presented in that episode unfavorably. Seeing her relationship with Spock here, and seeing how his duties, and his discomfort with his heritage have kept him away from T'Pring does wonders for making me understand her more. Sometimes, good people just aren't compatible with each other.

Pike is awesome. Anson Mount's portrayal of Pike is awesome. I'd totally don a red shirt for him and go on a landing party.

If SNW keeps up this quality, I think it'll be my favorite Trek series since DS9. More please.
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Tim C
Thu, Jun 2, 2022, 6:28am (UTC -5)
SNW continues its winning streak. This is now five good episodes *in a row*, a feat which I don't believe any of the other NuTrek shows have pulled off. And I think it's too easy to just say it's because we've gone back to the one-and-done episodic format. SNW is pulling this off because they are actually taking the time to make use of and explore their broad ensemble of characters, and the strong actors who are playing them.

There's nothing about a serial format that prevents this approach; Game Of Thrones also managed to pull off this trick, even in the much-maligned later seasons where the script was dictating the master plot more than the characters within it.

No, I think the answer is actually just that SNW has better writers. (Which amazes me considering that Akiva Goldsman is a hack.)

Anyway. To the episode itself: I quite enjoyed it, and got a few genuine laughs out of it too. If I had to single out an MVP, it's obviously Ethan Peck, who (as he did in Disco S2) is very, *very* successfully connecting the dots between the younger, more emotional Spock of "The Cage" and the older, wiser, more buttoned-down version of TOS. If I had to name one good thing that has come out of NuTrek's choice to start with a TOS prequel, it's definitely this filling-in of a beloved character's history and not fucking it up, but actually enhancing it.

It's also doing a good job of portraying why Chapel would fall for him - and why she'd hold on to it for so long without acting upon it. Jess Bush did a good job in this episode of showing us how this version of the character could eventually become the more restrained Majel Barret portrayal.

The A/B/C plots themselves? Serviceable at best, and I liked the concept of "Enterprise bingo" more than the execution, I think. But I'll take hanging out with characters like these - who feel like real people - any day of the week over the undercooked ciphers of Disco or Picard.

Also: replaying the "Amok Time" fight music and giving us the green captain's tunic hit my nostalgia centres in just the right way.

Keep it up, SNW!
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James Smith
Thu, Jun 2, 2022, 6:33am (UTC -5)
The Good:
Anson Mount. Love the speech he gives to 'Spock' (actually T'Pring), a pity that T'Pring will have forgotten it/rejected it by "Amok Time".
Spock's nightmare sequence at the beginning. A rare look into his almost-schizophrenia regarding his human half, something that wouldn't truly be resolved until TMP...or maybe even the talk with his father after the trial in the 4th film.
Nice to see April again.
Also nice to see one of those TOS background ideas popping up again - the Federation and the Klingon Empire in competition with each other over bringing other races to their side. Aside from a caveat that I'm sticking in with The Kurtzman.
I like how Gia Sandhu as T'Pring pronounced 'Spock' when speaking in Vulcan exactly the way the Kolinahr high master pronounced it in TMP.
Both Gia and Ethan Peck did solid jobs playing the other's character.
Rather fond of how the R'ongovian captain, having stormed into the briefing room, immediately shifted attitudes once he was talking to a jovial fellow captain in Pike. A fun conceit, that continues to be played with later when they'll only speak to Spock...because it turns out that they practice a kind of "radical empathy" and take on aspects of whoever they're facing to better negotiate with them. Which is why they were so rude to the Tellarites before Pike and Spock entered the negotiations. Pike figures this out, plays the hunch hard and wins.
I liked that the Vulcan concept of "v'tosh ka'tur" (Vulcans without logic) got namechecked.
The VFX of the R'angovian solar sail vessel. Simply gorgeous.

The Bad:
I was right that the ship would be all back together again by this week even though it had taken enough damage to reduce it to scrap last time out. Still, not a first for Trek so I'll let it slide this time. Does beg a question though - even ignoring the fairly wild changes made to the design for STD/SNW just how much of this ship is actually the Enterprise as it was built in 2245? A huge chunk got taken out of the primary hull in STD's season 2 finale, then last week the ship was left with more hull breaches than actual hull and both nacelles looking distinctly second-hand. At some point Trigger's Broom/Ship of Theseus comes into play! It's even mentioned at the end that there's a hull plate on the primary hull that is the oldest unreplaced bit of the outer shell of the ship - which, of course, is right in a spot that was annihilated by the torpedo in the STD S2 finale, so isn't even that old.
I really am pretty sure that "Amok Time" strongly implied that Spock and T'Pring hadn't seen each other since childhood. I don't think it ever outright stated it though, which has given them the 'out' to show them together in this show. Still, doesn't sit brilliantly with me.
I'm all for having different story strands in the same episode, but this one felt a bit overly crammed. You've got the negotiations with the R'angovians, Chapel's commitment fears (amusingly, in-continuity she'll go from this to being engaged to Roger Korby in less than two years), Spock and T'Pring relationship issues, Spock and T'Pring body swapping (an unwelcome return to Brannon Braga-style plots, thought we'd seen the last of that with ENT), La'an and Number One doing whatever the hell they were doing, shore leave...

The Kurtzman:
La'an Noonien-Singh 🙄
During April's briefing he notes that the R'ongovians are now in talks with the Klingons - fine, all well and good - and also the Romulans aren't far behind. *record scratch* Hol' up. The *Romulans???* The race that retreated back behind the Neutral Zone following the Earth-Romulan War almost a century previously and won't actually be seen again in-continuity for another seven years? The Romulans who the Federation knew almost nothing about until that later encounter? FFS showrunners and writers, all you had to do was not mention them...and you couldn't even manage that.
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Karl Zimmerman
Thu, Jun 2, 2022, 7:44am (UTC -5)
This was a very well done take on the "lighthearted romp" trope in Trek. Like most Trek comedies though (at least for me) I didn't find the episode really laugh-out-loud funny, even when it was being cute or witty (I think I chortled under my breath once). It was absolutely the tonal shift that this episodic show needed to make after the very high-stakes, heavy drama of the previous week however, and it showed off the versatility of the writing team in spades.

As was the case in all of the previous episodes, this one focuses on a character (Spock naturally...it's right there in the title) allowing them to have a coherent character arc across the "A plot" of the episode. Essentially we see Spock learn to be a better partner by opening up to his faience - though we have to get through some body swap hijinks first to get there. I like that they gave T'Pring some characterization here besides "demanding, cold-hearted bitch" which is what we got from her in Amok Time (and what the pilot hinted at). We shouldn't see the seeds for the unraveling of their relationship happen so quickly after all, since it is years until we will reach the endpoint in TOS. This has to be the best portrayal of a Vulcan relationship I have seen to date, as both actors really nail the essence of being a Vulcan isn't lacking emotion, but barely suppressing expression of it.

But this episode isn't just about Spock and T'Pring of course. As with last week, it does feel like more of an ensemble than anything. Una and La'an get a true B plot being hived off on antics in a nearly empty ship. There's not really a character arc here, but it's nice to see the two most buttoned-down members of the cast (other than Spock) get a chance to let their hair down a bit (figuratively anyway). Pike gets put in the backseat, but it was nice to have some stakes to the episode with the diplomatic sideplot, which was very TNG-esque (reminded me of all the crazy alien ambassadors) and a "Pike speech" at the end. Some of the cast was mostly or entirely absent here though. No Hemmer at all, and Uhura literally just sat in a room during diplomatic negotiations (I don't think she had a line here). M'Benga just...got to go fishing, and Ortegas basically served as Chapel's wingman.

But yeah, more on Chapel, because she was quite clearly the secondary character here - someone who even got something of an arc. This was very much appreciated, because heretofore she was probably the least developed of the main cast (goes back to Ortegas again now). She arguably also had a character arc here as well, insofar as at the beginning of the episode she was a happily (?) uncommitted woman who didn't want anything serious, and by the end we see the beginnings of her infatuation with Spock through the development of a real friendship and some intimacy between the two of them. I am left wondering how Korby is going to factor into all of this eventually, but the series has plenty of time to explore this later on.

I feel like the quality curve of the series is steady in the B+/A- range for me. Every episode is good, has lots of enjoyable elements, and no flaws in basic storytelling, characterization, or execution. But it always is just slightly short of greatness - at least for me - which may be down to how everything is in some respect a reprisal of something we've seen already. Still, I'm plenty entertained, and anxious for next week.
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modulum
Thu, Jun 2, 2022, 7:57am (UTC -5)
It's been sort of amusing watching Orville and SNW slowly converge on each other until they become nearly the same genre and tone of show.
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Richard James
Thu, Jun 2, 2022, 9:27am (UTC -5)
well this is certainly good stuff. Even if it is a more lighthearted and comedic tone than the other episodes - it just works. I think its because the body swap conceit comes from a logical place, excuse the Vulcan pun. It wasn't just a gimmick but it was born out of trying to understand each other. The comedy emerges naturally from the scenario and from character not a throwaway one liner or something like that.

Just a shame that we're only a few comments in and people have already started mentioning problems with 'canon' or continuity rather than just enjoy the episode. I mean the best way to preserve Canon would just be to not make any new Star Trek period. But that wouldn't be very much fun would it?
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James Smith
Thu, Jun 2, 2022, 10:25am (UTC -5)
@Richard James - yeah, well. Canon and continuity are part of the price of entry to write in the Trek universe. If you don't want to worry about that then write in a later bit of the timeline.
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Andre Rhine-Davis
Thu, Jun 2, 2022, 10:46am (UTC -5)
I know rather little about TOS, but as soon as they mentioned the Romulans, I was like "I'm pretty sure the Federation isn't supposed to know about the Romulans yet. Jammer's commenters are going to be pissed about this!". :P

Some people on this forum frequently comment on how the crew in Star Trek should act like competent disciplined professionals, and how often in NuTrek they fail to do so. I often find myself not really bothered by these complaints, I'm very comfortable with the idea of a casual workplace, but the "Enterprise Bingo" in this episode took things too far in my opinion. I find it difficult to believe that professional Starfleet officers would *break rules and break orders* to sneak out of the airlock or play around with phasers to perform these dares or whatever they are. I can believe that ensigns would make a list of fun things to do while on Enterprise. I can believe they'd joke around when they were able to. Like the thing where they both shout a different place to go in the turbolift. That's harmless fun. I can totally see them doing harmless fun, especially off-duty. What I *don't* see them doing is sneaking onto the ship's hull to *vandalise* part of the ship. Or getting access to deadly weapons without permission and using them in an immature irresponsible way. I don't care if you turned them down to the lowest setting, whatever happened to basic gun safety? Phasers are not toys, you're Starfleet officers, not children, come on. And surely going out onto the hull or requesting a phaser requires you to log what you're doing and why you're doing it. Didn't Una and La'an first notice that there was an unauthorised use of one of the airlocks or something? You can't just... not follow procedure by sneaking out of an airlock and not letting anyone know what you're doing, that's so irresponsible. Basically, I struggle to see ensigns doing these "dares". And I definitely definitely don't see Una and La'an doing them. So that whole part of the episode felt super weird to me.
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C.T Phipps
Thu, Jun 2, 2022, 11:32am (UTC -5)
They know the Romulans exist as the Neutral Zone exists.
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Jaxon
Thu, Jun 2, 2022, 11:57am (UTC -5)
"more restrained Majel Barret portrayal."

with the hindsight of Lwaxana, it's strange to see these words stringed together...
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Mal01
Thu, Jun 2, 2022, 12:22pm (UTC -5)
From a review above: “Streak of five good episodes in a row, a streak no other nuTrek show has pulled off.”

Besides pointing out how continually juvenile it comes across for anyone using “NuTrek”, I’d point out that this is literally a feat only DS9 has ever pulled off, and that’s being a bit generous, because the first 6 eps of season 6 has one dud (the Alexander ep) and the final stretch of season 7 has the iffy Dukat/Wynn subplot.

Your nostalgia glasses and predisposition for dunking on anything new Trek is made quite blatant when you try to imply that TOS or even TNG ever had five good eps in a row.
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Norvo
Thu, Jun 2, 2022, 12:33pm (UTC -5)
Typically, Star Trek shore leave episodes are hit or miss, this one definitely hit it out of the park. I never knew we needed to see doctor M'Benga in a funny fisherman's hat, but it certainly added to the episode.

The Freaky Friday plot could have been a tedious comedy of errors, but after only half a scene everyone was on board like the professionals they are. Most of the crew got to understand themselves and each other a little better and captain Pike gets his moment to shine without eclipsing those under his command (take notes, Discovery!)

Strange New Worlds is like Pike's updated green command tunic that debuted in this episode: it looks and feels more modern without losing the charm and the feel of the original.

Well done, Enterprise.
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nacho Picard
Thu, Jun 2, 2022, 12:43pm (UTC -5)
My least favorite episode so far, but not a terrible outing. Mostly, it's just an inconsequential one.

I suppose my only real problem with it is that it's a pedestrian 6/10 or 7/10 sort of episode in the season that only has ten episodes. TNG and DS9 had episodes that took their foot off the gas, let their hair down, and had some fun (DS9 had annual episodes starring the Ferengis that did exactly that), and while those too weren't at the top of the rankings for the season, they also didn't have to be. Those silly episodes were just 1/26th of the season. Here it's 1/10th.

I will say I appreciated how the A and B plots worked through the same theme: Empathy. Spock and T'Pring need it towards each other and the Federation needed to learn it toward the Zebraliens they needed to join the UFP.

I was less enamored with the C plot featuring Enterprise Bingo, though I do like the idea and hope we see something like it again in Lower Decks.

I find myself mesmerized by Jess Bush's Christine Chapel. She has a magnetic and electric personality despite mostly delivering understated performances. She's an enigma. I like her.

Overall, it wasn't much of an episode and, if we had 25 of these in a season, that wouldn't be a big deal. It would still get the grade I'm giving it, and I might even give it an extra half-point for actually pulling off a contrived "body swap" plotline in a way that didn't make me want to shut my TV off.

Plus an extra half-point for Spock's immediate concern that this would devolve into unwanted "hijinks."

7/10
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Ilsat
Thu, Jun 2, 2022, 12:54pm (UTC -5)
Mal01 - holding to your standard of good (not great) episodes, TNG has several examples. You may not agree with all of them, but under any sane metric your statement is wrong.

Deja Q
A Matter of Perspective
Yesterday's Enterprise
The Offspring
Sins of the Father

Reunion
Future Imperfect
Final Mission
The Loss Data's Day

Redemption (Part 1)
Redemption (Part 2)
Darmok
Ensign Ro
Silicon Avatar

Power Play
Ethics
The Outcast
Cause and Effect
The First Duty

I, Borg
The Next Phase
The Inner Light
Time's Arrow (Part 1)
Time's Arrow (Part 2)

Rightful Heir
Second Chances
Timescape
Descent (Part 1)
Descent (Part 2)
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karatasiospa
Thu, Jun 2, 2022, 1:27pm (UTC -5)
this waw a liitle between arena and much more balance of terror. Executed well and allthough, until now the writers try to mimic tow, they are doin it well! i hope at some point we will see something more original
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Tim C
Thu, Jun 2, 2022, 3:16pm (UTC -5)
@Mal01 - believe me, I am *not* a misty-eyed nostalgic for either of Trek's earlier TV reigns. There were flaws abound, especially in the latter years of the Berman era. I just made the comparison to SNW's modern peers to reinforce the point of how much better I think the writing is than its sister shows.

I can think of two streaks where I was genuinely enjoying Disco and Picard without reservation - Disco's S1 MU episodes, and the opening chapters of PIC. But I find it very difficult to recall individual episodes from those arcs.
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Eric Jensen
Thu, Jun 2, 2022, 4:34pm (UTC -5)
Again, very good. Good episodes on a roll
I liked it.
Keep it up
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Jammer
Thu, Jun 2, 2022, 5:12pm (UTC -5)
Review now posted.
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TheRealTrent
Thu, Jun 2, 2022, 5:38pm (UTC -5)
Mal01 said: "I’d point out that this is literally a feat only DS9 has ever pulled off,"

TOS has a streak of ten excellent episodes from "What are Little Girls Made Of" to "Galileo Seven", and a streak of nine excellent episodes from "Arena" to "Errand of Mercy", and five from "Man Trap" to "Enemy Within".
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Yanks
Thu, Jun 2, 2022, 6:14pm (UTC -5)
Levity!! Lightness! Some comedy! We get an episode where there is no life-threatening peril!! ... and it didn't suck!

Some diplomacy! Pike reading the situation and nailing it!

My least favorite character (La'an) comes up a notch.

Una is awesome!

Love M'Benga's hat...

Enterprise bingo! haha!

Shades of Chapel learning she has a thing for Spock... I REALLY am enjoying Jess Bush more each week.

A solar sail ship!! Beautiful! Make me think of Sisko and Jake.

Spock and T'Pring play well off each other. T'Pring needs to eat a burger with her plomeek soup... man that gal is skinny! :-)

Nothing Earth-shattering here, just an enjoyable watch. I've already watched it twice.

One knock... they are seriously lacking some military bearing here. I have no problem with Pike calling ADM April Bob in private but in the presence of other crewmen and certainly the alien delegation - that's a big no-no. There are many other instances of this with the crew conversing with senior officers throughout the series so I don't think it's going away anytime soon.

The entire crew was a joy to watch this week.

5 for 5!!

2.5.... scratch that... 3 stars from me.
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Marc
Thu, Jun 2, 2022, 6:35pm (UTC -5)
If "fairly pointless but generally charming and fun" is the floor they're setting for SNW here, I am so in.
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Skylar
Thu, Jun 2, 2022, 6:42pm (UTC -5)
Decent, but not the best of the series so far. You know what brings me out of the moment with Spock and T'Pring? The very human kissing/make-out scenes. I prefer the more alien passion between Spock/The Commander in The Enterprise Incident and later between Saavik/Young Spock in The Search for Spock. This, along with the other worn cliches, make this episode the least interesting to me of this opening sepisode set.

But kudos for production and design. The scene on the Enterprise hull was as breathtaking for me as it was for them.

I'm hopeful Strange New Worlds will soon chart strange new storiesnas well.
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skyelord
Thu, Jun 2, 2022, 6:54pm (UTC -5)
Weakest of the series so far for me (ok maybe tied with the pilot but that's a pilot).

Pike and Spock were great as usual. Number 1 can act, La'an is still pretty wooden. Chapel has something to do other than make a snarky/amusing line and she was actually pretty decent. Otegas was only mildly obnoxious but still very "2022". The Doctor was good with what little he had and the Hemmer was err somewhere? Maybe I wasn't listening.

The "B" plot with La'an and Una had me rather bored but main (I guess?) plot of Spock the bodyswap was ok enough.

This was definitely the first episode I found my mind wandering in. It just didn't really capture my attention enough.

So far compared to TNG/DS9/VOY these would still just be middle-of-the-road episodes that you probably just about wouldn't skip in a rewatch. This one would be ok to leave on in the background but I'd definitely skip it if I was watching it own it's own.

5 episodes left and I really hope it can really knock at least one of those out of the park just to show it can reach those heights. I mean if it can't... oh well.. I guess it's kinda diverting enough.

2 stars from me.
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C.T Phipps
Thu, Jun 2, 2022, 7:48pm (UTC -5)
I love this episode because it highlighted the civilian personalities of so many characters. I feel like "Enterprise Bingo" and Chapel's extremely bad read on relationships were better than the main plot, though. I feel like Spock switching with Chapel would have been a lot more fun for the hijinks we didn't get to see.

Speaking of Chapel, it shouldn’t be something worth commenting on, I do really appreciate the handling of Nurse Chapel and sexuality in this episode that still doesn’t get enough attention in the 21st century. Specifically, that she is someone who can and does pursue completely physical relationships that she doesn’t to complicate with romance. She’s also causally revealed to be bi.

Too often women who are sexually active and not interested in relationships are shown to be damaged even when protagonists like Dex from Stumptown or just waiting for the right guy. Here, it seems to be shown with the same light touch a male character would be upon finding out their relationship is too clingy.
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Ensign Deathbound
Thu, Jun 2, 2022, 8:36pm (UTC -5)
Not a single Looney Tunes/Daffy Duck reference?
Besides the title, I mean?
I am quite miserable.

What am I saying? The whole episode was Looney Tunes.

Ahem. Seriously tho.

I'm going to let go of canon with this one. It feels too over the top, too weird. Clearly, Spock and T'Pring have an ongoing relationship according to SNW, which contrasts with the vibes we get from "Amok Time" (Spock, looking at a childhood picture of T'Pring, as though he saw her last many years ago?). File it under "Spock had an unknown sister he never spoke about" and other things you have to let go... I suppose?

Then again (shrug), remember the times when the arrowhead insignia was Enterprise-specific, and not yet the Starfleet emblem? Or that time Data went all goofy during "The Naked Now?" (double shrug)

I'm liking the Nurse Chapel/Spock interactions. Again, somewhat different than what we got in TOS, but I suspect things will get a lot more interesting (intense?) between the two as the show goes on. Jess Bush does a fine job, and I find there is solid chemistry and tension between her and Peck. The makings of a romantic triangle? How appropriately Vulcan.

Loved the heavy TOS touches: the soundtrack during Kal-if-fee, and Pike's green wraparound uniform.

Mount continues to slam it out of the ballpark as Pike. Loved both his intervention on behalf of "Spock" as well as the diplomatic resolution, and how he played his hunch -- not simply assuming the R'ongovian would mimic the mindset of whomever they sit across, but mirroring empathy right back at them. It paid off.

Last thoughts:

-Where can I order some of those Starfleet insignia pillows online?
-Not sure what the lengthiest teaser in the history of Trek clocks in as, but this might be a record. We had almost fifteen minutes -- basically the teaser *and* first act -- before the main credits rolled.
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Quincy
Thu, Jun 2, 2022, 8:39pm (UTC -5)
I don't care what anybody says. I'd hoped for something good like the first couple of episodes, but this one was pure hot garbage. Everybody was out of character. The actor that plays Spock, I was hoping he would grow into the role, but he seems to be getting worse. Beyond a handful of actors, almost nobody plays Vulcans correctly. That's to be expected. But you shouldn't be getting worse the more you play it. And if you're going to do a body switch episode, you have to do it with actors and actresses that can actually act. Say what you want about Voyager, but Jeri Ryan nailed this. These people didn't.

T'Pring was totally not the calculating, opportunistic, ruthlessly logical bitch from TOS. I feared from the pilot that they intended to rehabilitate her character, but no need to fear and every reason to be horrified that, not only didn't they rehabilitate her, they just bastardized her and turned her into a human woman with some overly stiff lingo and pointy ears. Vulcan women aren't supposed to be human women with funny ears and green blood. It's atrocious.

And what else? Nurse Chapel, one of the sweetest and most endearing human beings in the Trek verse in TOS, is now firmly entrenched in Thot Girl Summer Hookup culture. This because no-strings twerking on top of the nearest Polish sausage = female EMPOWERMENT! Jesus Christ on a crucifix.

And true to form, the Trek comfort carcass crowd (thank you for coining that term, Booming, you probably dislike how I'm using it, but that's Too. Damned. Bad. It's so apropos.) consider this complete and utter bastardization of treasured characters to be the best thing since sliced hog's head cheese.

Once again, Jesus Christ on a crucifix.

I couldn't manage to care less about any of the other things that went on this episode. They were just mind sores. Well, at least The Orville was decent. Let's hope SNW bounces back next week.
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SlackerInc
Thu, Jun 2, 2022, 8:42pm (UTC -5)
What a fun episode! 3.5 stars. I think this might be the best of the series so far, especially if we set aside the pilot in its own category. Lots of hijinks. ;-)

(Looks like Jammer disagrees, but I haven't had a chance to read his reasoning yet as I'm running late for a tennis game. I actually am surprised to see his review up this quickly--thought I'd just throw in my two cents real quick and run.)
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Mal
Thu, Jun 2, 2022, 8:46pm (UTC -5)
I’m with @Jeffrey's Tube on this one: "I was just completely happy for all of the 40-something minutes this was playing on my screen. ... It was wonderful."

Which makes it a bit odd that I agree with @Jammer that this was a 2 1/2 star outing - the lowest of the first five, but still very enjoyable.

Chapel continues to impress, and I’m really glad she got more to do here. The actress has a great energy.

And as @Tim C notes, Pike’s green shirt is a treat!

Seems like The Orville starts again today. As @modulum says, "It's been sort of amusing watching Orville and SNW slowly converge on each other until they become nearly the same genre and tone of show.”

That to me is a good thing :)
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Derek
Thu, Jun 2, 2022, 8:52pm (UTC -5)
This ruled. 3.5 probably. It was just FUN to watch. "What noxious paste are you putting on our foreheads?"

The only thing missing was maybe a few three second shots of Hemmer just like sitting by himself in engineering satisfied that no one is messing with his stuff during all of this.

No Hijinx!
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Shannon
Thu, Jun 2, 2022, 9:59pm (UTC -5)
Star Trek doing comedy has always been hit or miss across all the series, more often missing because the writers went way over the top. However, this was definitely a hit that I thoroughly enjoyed. Yeah, the body swapping things was a bit much, but it was downplayed enough that I was fine with it (that scene in Spock's quarters between Pike, T'Pring, and him was hilarious!). Overall I found myself laughing quite a bit. Una and La'an were cracking me up, and those two actors have found a really great rapport with one another that comes across quite naturally. I am absolutely loving Jess Bush as Nurse Chapel. She brings an energy to this cast that is infectious, and I was thrilled to see more of her in this episode.
We are already see the underpinnings of her developing feelings toward Spock, but it's very subtle, which was the right choice by the writers... Anyway, as Jammer pointed out, not much meat here to pick, as this was just a fun, relaxing episode that the actors pulled off with a lot of charm. I give it 3 stars.
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Puppylaurah
Thu, Jun 2, 2022, 10:14pm (UTC -5)
My favorite episode so far. I loved that it was just about getting to know the characters. Pike looked extra cool in his green uniform.
I enjoyed the “enterprise Bingo” scenes. Anyway I’m really loving this series.
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Rahul
Thu, Jun 2, 2022, 10:16pm (UTC -5)
I enjoyed this episode. What's becoming very clear to me is that there are some characters I like a great deal and a few that I really don't. I give the writers plaudits for throwing in this humorous piece in the 5th episode where we've had a chance to get to know the characters and overall this is a decent episode with the positives outweighing the negatives.

For starters I loved the updated take on the scenes from "Amok Time" -- very high integrity including Gerald Fried's iconic Vulcan fight music. There's some depth to the episode that gets established here with the theme of Spock's inner human/Vulcan conflict. I'm still not sure I'm down with the intimate scenes between Spock and T'Pring -- perhaps that should be left off-screen and for our imaginations.

Clearly the highlight of the episode was the "Turnabout Intruder" bit with Spock and T'Pring and when Pike comes calling. Some good quality humor there; however when Spock/T'Pring go on their missions, the humor didn't carry through.

The other highlight was Una and La'an. These are 2 of the better characters, particularly La'an for me. She's my favorite and I think she's very cute. That they go on this Enterprise Bingo thing is fun, although it makes me wonder how unprofessional the junior crew members are. Isn't it supposed to be super-hard to get into Star Fleet, let alone serving on the flagship vessel??

Now for the bad part -- just cannot stand Chapel and Ortegas. These characters belong on some other show. The actresses were not the right choices for the characters and the writing is inappropriate as well. I think Majel Barrett is rolling in her grave.

I like the Pike character but I fear he's becoming like the one who can do no wrong like Burnham -- only he can see the right solution. He interjects when Spock is negotiating and then understands how to read the negotiating aliens and their "radical empathy" is a Trekkian one about seeing things their way etc. The Trekkian takeaway is fine, and the Pike character is really good but I just thought it was a bit much that he'd once again save the day. But it was that kind of episode.

2.5 stars for "Spock Amok" -- some good and entertaining ideas here in a light-hearted episode that has plenty of feel-good to it but I can't call this an excellent episode. If they cut out the Chapel/Ortegas parts and just focused on Spock/T'Pring and Una/La'an as subplots, it might have been better. There's a bit of depth as well. Didn't like the ending music but nevertheless, SNW continues to please me and I would watch this one again. At least the writers tried some different things here.
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Mouseman
Thu, Jun 2, 2022, 10:38pm (UTC -5)
2.5 stars? Ptttffffff…. Vulcan Freaky Friday for the win.
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mosley
Thu, Jun 2, 2022, 10:46pm (UTC -5)
as this show clearly intends to visit one classic trek trope after another (which is not a criticism, quite the contrary after all the failed attempts to reinvent the wheel we have witnessed the past few years), its clear that an episode like this also "has to exist", and im fine with that. i just find the timing a bit odd. its a bit early for a change of tone episode when the tone has been barely established. i do believe this would have worked a lot better later in the series, once we have come to know these characters, and there are actual routines and expectations to then break. with those barely existing yet, this comes across as a bit...odd.

on the one hand. on the other hand, i continue to be impressed by this ensemble. two out of the five episodes, i did not care too much for the plot, yet was still entertained simply due to the excellent ensemble and all around likeable characters. lots of small attention to detail. love the uhura side eye, can we quickly have that as a trademark for her? in general, i am super impressed by her. cant quite put my finger on it, but somehow shes always on the edge of stealing scenes even if she doesnt have much dialogue (going as low as, well, a couple of side eye moments :-D ). it is clear to me at this point that already now i relate to her more than michael burnam could ever hope for with another 4 entire seasons.

overall, this makes me very confident. an ensemble that is able to shine regardless of how weak or strong the plot of the week is, thats a feeling i last had with BSG. its such a valuable thing.

oh, and a nod is also in order to how they now manage to make the trek universe feel big again. gone is the constant vibe of the giant trek universe being reduced to feeling like "up to 4 people in a room plus a greenscreen". i am sure the large ensemble (and the plots actually treating them as such) plays a big role, but the production design also has improved immensely. cannot imagine that theyre doing as much location shoots as whats on screen would have one believe. are they now using a mandalorian type set for the "exterior" stuff maybe?
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Marc
Thu, Jun 2, 2022, 11:31pm (UTC -5)
3*, imo. The show is 5/5 on 3* and up episodes for me. It’s hard to believe NuTrek can be this consistently good. I don’t know if even DS9 at its height was this consistent.

This is more of a lighthearted episode, but it’s once again a showcase of the true ensemble cast. Mbenga and his fly fishing, La’an and #1 trying to have a little fun, Pike being his usual awesome self, Spock/T’Pring, Nurse Chapel and Ortegas. They all have relevant things to contribute to the episode. Uhura was the only one left doing little of note, but she’s had plenty of moments to shine this far. The whole cast is simply excellent.

The writers had something to say as despite the lighter tone. As someone struggling with dating a woman partway through completing her residency (due to the absurd volume of time that consumes), this episode resonated with me. Pike’s interruption of the negotiations to praise Spock, which I think was also about him speaking directly to T’Pring to help her understand what Starfleet is to Spock, was another excellent moment.

I’ve felt Discovery and Picard lacked “heart”. I cannot say the same about SNW. It feels like a love letter to the fans, by a fan, and with good writers/directors/actors/budget. I’m not concerned if the plot lines occasionally mimic episodes from shows past; I think there’s more than enough here to make every episode stand on its own merits.
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ned the hyena
Fri, Jun 3, 2022, 12:06am (UTC -5)
Yes, not much meat to chew on, just Spock's sad uneaten Vulcan casseroles so lonely for noms. This nothing more than good feels but maybe that's okay. They can't save galaxy everyday!

I like fake dream battle even though it not make much sense. They even brought back classic fight tune!

Maybe I remember wrong but T'Pring seem like much more fun in the first episode. Now she always have a stick up her butt. At least we can see why Spock and her not settle down in the end.

Feeling like maybe it best to save the hijinks for hyenas because humans gonna get hurt playing crazy games with dangerous technology. Does it not set a bad example if Number One officer does it too?

Can you imagine if Riker and Worf frolic around ship playing ENTERPRISE BINGO: "hey Worf lets see how many tribbles we can beam into a photon torpedo before it go boom." Nooo, because they not children or animals.

Also don't understand resolution to all the problems. Maybe I can forgive Nurse Chapel for leading guys on cuz that's what hot women do and she pretty hot, but how does punching out criminal not go against everything T'Pring stands for? Why she not care more that "she" totally failed her mission and he had to be taken in by force?

Maybe Pike think he so smart for figuring how aliens of the week think, but how did he also win the day? Did the aliens already decide to join Federation but was just messing with them all along for shits and giggles? How else can you explain them deciding to join after Pike gave them all the reasons why not to join?

Does anyone have crush on Spock? It too bad he already taken. There so few available men that maybe it soon be a problem.

Unless...

Jeff Goldblum says "life finds a way" and maybe that will happen here too. If Una gets any more powerful, she grow a psuedopeen. Camina is Chief of Security but she so small and ineffective as a omega male hyena. But opposites attract so perhaps they make a good match. Maybe Ortega and Uhura lesbians in the making since they both so tiny they see eye to eye and already great pals. But now here comes Chapel to shake things up since she may have the hots for Ortega. Oh no I better stop yapping cuz I got too excited but how do you all think SNW will pair up its females?


Whoop! Whoop! Whoop!

(3 whoops out of 4 whoops)
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Jimmy
Fri, Jun 3, 2022, 1:01am (UTC -5)
* out of ****, and barely at that.

Last year, I wrote a piece on the Mandalorian phenomenon - when a fandom so starved for content can be served maggots and call it caviar. Case in point, “Spock Amok”. With apologies, if you believe this is the best episode so far, you are operating in a judgment space that it utterly foreign to me. That doesn’t make it bad or good, just different, and unrecognizably so.

Absolute, utter dreck from start to finish, and I nearly turned it off twice.
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SlackerInc
Fri, Jun 3, 2022, 1:14am (UTC -5)
It's amazing what styling can do for a person's appearance. Up to now I had seen Nurse Chapel as a perfectly pleasant looking "girl next door" type, obviously not ugly but bordering on plain. But when she had her hair up for that date, she looked smoking hot! I couldn't believe it.

@Yanks: "T'Pring needs to eat a burger with her plomeek soup... man that gal is skinny! :-)"

Yeah, it strained credulity that she could just deck that wanted criminal, who was a huge dude, and knock him out cold.

@Jammer: "But this does allow T'Pring to see what Spock does for his job and how he is perceived by his captain and shipmates."

I don't know about the captain part. He was aware of her being "in there" when he talked Spock up like that.
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dave
Fri, Jun 3, 2022, 2:05am (UTC -5)
In the opening scene I said out loud that i hope they play that music!

they did!

that made the rest of the episode fun. Was a good start

Hey, this was kind of a filler, but we got character development on most everyone. Something sorely lacking in the other 2 trek series (other than arguably Disc S4).

Over all a fun episode. I may have gone 3 stars too but when compared to the other episodes I think 2.5 is fair in relation.

Again, it is REALLY nice to have a series, regardless of the nitpicks we can always find, that is trying to be STAR TREK.
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dave
Fri, Jun 3, 2022, 2:07am (UTC -5)
I keep having to pinch myself because it is still hard to accept that the same overlords that spit out Picard and much of Discovery have come up with this one and let it do it's thing. I hope they don't mess it up at some point, this is just nice COMFORT FOOD and I love it.

Trek has hundreds of hours of back catalog, I am not going to nit pick every continuity error as even the most diligent will blow it from time to time. The fact they are making great efforts to get most of it right ,is very satisfying for me.
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Jan
Fri, Jun 3, 2022, 3:27am (UTC -5)
Favorite of the season for me. Most actors excel (Chapel is my personal revelation), the Vulcan subtle humor is right down my alley, there's no need to invoke nonsensical physics...

When this was heralded as the "comedy" episode I wondered what that mean in practice. I'm glad to see it was comedic ("Aren't these guys suddenly very Vulcan-y?") but well-blended with the rest of the series tone, and not a wacky one-off. I could see a B or C plot in this style in the rest of episodes.

A slice of life that works better than the serious episodes at giving you the idea that these are real people.
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TheProfessor
Fri, Jun 3, 2022, 5:53am (UTC -5)
With the exception of Spocks storyline,

Absolute Rubbish.

Here's hoping Nurse Chapel goes the way of Tasha Yar and dies. Of course she won't, canon and all that, but my god what a terrible character and awful acting performance.

Pike needs to show more range. His inner strength, confidence and ability to inspire others were great in a cameo role in DISC, but leading a show we need to see more nuance.

I still cant understand a word the Doctor says.

Also - Ponn Farr? Spock seems to be getting it on every 7 minutes, never mind every seven years.
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C.T Phipps
Fri, Jun 3, 2022, 6:28am (UTC -5)
[[Also - Ponn Farr? Spock seems to be getting it on every 7 minutes, never mind every seven years. ]]

I feel like people keep forgetting Spock was getting it on in TOS with that girl in the cave, that girl on Cloud City, that girl when he was pollinated, and seducing the Romulan captain. I feel like people have collective amnesia too because Spock actually gets more romance than Kirk.

DC Fontana also had Spock have sex outside of Pon Farr in her novels and if that's not the word of God (Gene), it's the word of Saint Peter.
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Ilsat
Fri, Jun 3, 2022, 8:13am (UTC -5)
Jimmy - "Last year, I wrote a piece on the Mandalorian phenomenon - when a fandom so starved for content can be served maggots and call it caviar."

You think nu-Trek is "starved for content"?? Wouldn't it be more accurate to say that nu-Trek has a great deal of content. However, most of this content is the culinary equivalent of eating maggots. So that when something better comes along we sometimes overcompensate -- we exalt it (caviar) rather than just acknowledging it for what it is (escargot). But it's still superior to the maggots.

Under your standard, if this episode is maggots then previous nu-Trek is whatever gets stuck between Jammer's toes at 2am when he's cutting his Proustian jib.
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Token
Fri, Jun 3, 2022, 8:19am (UTC -5)
Now Vulcans are just humans who talk funny.

I'm with Jammer on this one. The Freaky Friday plot was enjoyable, and Pike's diplomatic solution was clever enough, even if it does the modern trek thing of reducing all social conflict down to a narcissistic desire to be seen/heard/understood. The side show with Una and La'an was a dud, though. It had its moments but their relationship just isn't that interesting, no matter how many times the show tells us it is.

2.5
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Galadriel
Fri, Jun 3, 2022, 9:18am (UTC -5)
@ C.T Phipps “Spock actually gets more romance than Kirk”

Now that’s a overstament. Kirk kissed the Android Girl Andrea into mad­ness, ro­man­ced Karidian’s daugh­ter, had some­thing for Mea 3, fell for Edith Keeler, was quite enter­tained with Marlena Moreau, tried it with Sylvia, shared some kisses with Shahna, was some­what en­chan­ted by Nona, power-flirts Kelinda into sub­mis­sion, enjoys the pre­sence of Drusilla, im­preg­na­tes Mira­manee, fails on Miranda Jones, has all the more success with Deela the silver-clad quick girl, hardly resists the Dol­man, has some sexy times with that green Orion chick Marta, is de­sired by Odona for the wrong rea­sons, breaks Rayna’s heart and has some iffy SM inter­action with Vanna on Cloud City. Not to speak of his various exes, ranging from the un­named blonde lab tech­ni­cian to Lester and Carol Marcus.

Did I forget someone important? Oh, he nearly raped Rand, but that was certainly not him.
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MidshipmanNorris
Fri, Jun 3, 2022, 9:36am (UTC -5)
I get it, giving this episode 2.5. It is kind of a weird, mishmashy non-plot full of both old and new television cliches.

However, at least, and I can’t stress this enough, no threats to the fabric of existence are happening, nobody is in tears on the verge of mental breakdown, one character doesn’t just solve everything for everyone, and (big shocker) even if less happens than in an average episode of Seinfeld (the “show about nothing”), this cast carries it off with style.

I believe that they are the people that they’re portraying. When I’m watchinng SNW, I suspend my disbelief and I’m immersed in it.

THAT’S what I’ve been craving. It feels like a show for people who like Star Trek, and even if it’s just a rando day where basically nothing ship-obliterating is happening, it’s still enjoyable.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Star Trek as God intended. As the reviewer for Vanity noted about TWOK, this is “wonderful, dumb fun.”
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Alienatbar
Fri, Jun 3, 2022, 10:39am (UTC -5)
I’m glad other people are enjoying what they’re watching but this isn’t hitting the mark for me. Dull and predictable. They’re just ticking boxes. As much as I don’t mind Pike he is becoming a Burnham as he can’t do anything wrong. Flaws are interesting too people.
Had to laugh at Spock v Spock. You know he gets all the knights free cable!
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Sigh2000
Fri, Jun 3, 2022, 11:26am (UTC -5)
@Galadriel
"Did I forget someone important?"
Possibly Helen Noel (psychology advisor) from "Dagger of the Mind."
One of his fails methinks. :)
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Alienatbar
Fri, Jun 3, 2022, 11:27am (UTC -5)
@TheProfessor
Here's hoping Nurse Chapel… but my god what a terrible character and awful acting performance.

From Australia’s Top Model and acted on Home and Away, a cheesy Australian soap with actors/actresses of the same standard. I don’t believe she is awful, very close, but I think we’ll soon see why she was hired in the coming episodes.

I think that also erked me this episode. This show has a super model quota where you’re acting chops comes second. Give me a Julia Garner, Ruth from Ozark, any day of the week. That girl got fucking talent Marty.
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karatasiospa
Fri, Jun 3, 2022, 11:36am (UTC -5)
well i like charachter development but in a more serious and adventurous way this was boring 2 stars from me
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Token
Fri, Jun 3, 2022, 11:37am (UTC -5)
Here's my ranking of the series so far:

2
5
4
3
1

Ep. 1 - Ok on first viewing, bad in retrospect. Pike refusing the call was lame. The conflict on the alien planet is completely glossed over. The resolution is trite, and the moral of the story is bizarre ("Helpless captives get slaughtered by their captors because they don't think they can die" - wtf?)

Ep. 2 - Good. Falls short of greatness because the writers are too in love with their plot contrivance.

Ep. 3 - This should have been the penultimate episode, with Una's secret being hinted at over the course of the season. Instead the writers decided to speedrun three tragic backstories in 20 minutes (Una, La'an, M'Benga). The B plot on planet wasn't good either. Spock and Pike stand around waiting to deliver exposition in little glass canisters. Bad.

Ep. 4 - I give this episode 5 years before it appears on a list of "Most Overrated Star Trek Episodes." This was a shallow imitation of Balance of Terror that can't grasp what made that episode truly great (it wasn't the space combat). Lots of bad dialogue and annoying tropes. How many times have modern trek writers had a character hallucinate a dead person? It has to be dozens at this point.

Ep. 5 - See Jammer's review.
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C.T Phipps
Fri, Jun 3, 2022, 11:59am (UTC -5)
[[Here's hoping Nurse Chapel… but my god what a terrible character and awful acting performance. ]]

Go back to the Mirror Universe.
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nacho Picard
Fri, Jun 3, 2022, 12:14pm (UTC -5)
Jammer's thoughts line up perfectly with my own, and his score does as well.
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Karl Zimmerman
Fri, Jun 3, 2022, 12:14pm (UTC -5)
In general Strange New Worlds is feeling like someone is trying to do a DS9 speedrun.
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Jaxon
Fri, Jun 3, 2022, 1:10pm (UTC -5)
I agree with AlienAtBar...as we get further and further from the bad taste left in the mouth by Picard, this show benefits less and less by sheer comparison and now looks like the middling affair that it is.
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Ilsat
Fri, Jun 3, 2022, 1:59pm (UTC -5)
Did everyone know Ethan Peck is the grandson of Gregory Peck?
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RedD
Fri, Jun 3, 2022, 3:17pm (UTC -5)
An enjoyable, light-hearted episode which previous Trek series occasionally did very well. Good to see a more fun episode, something we never see in the dark and dreary worlds of Picard and Discovery.
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karatasiospa
Fri, Jun 3, 2022, 6:05pm (UTC -5)
well this is my first disappointment from this show. I am all for character development but not in this lame way. an intense and adventurous episode it could do the job much more nicely
2 stars from me
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Barristan
Fri, Jun 3, 2022, 9:32pm (UTC -5)
This show is 5 for 5 with me. I thought the episode was great.

Wry Vulcan comedy, more character development for everyone, and even an effective needle drop at the end (pretty rare for Trek)!

I particularly appreciated the "twist" that the aliens' empathic behaviour was just negotiation tactics rather than sci-fi abilities. A nice diplomatic resolution by Pike, that depended purely on understanding and reasoning rather than any technobabble or sci-fi convolutions!

The spirit of Trek is soaring high with this show as far as I'm concerned. Very impressed by how much care and effort is clearly being put into each episode so far.

Another interesting detail: Spike's (possibly unconscious) lie when describing his dream to Chapel. He said he had to fight his against his human half, but he clearly WAS his human self in his dream, and his Vulcan half was the exterior opponent he was fighting against. Does Spock subconsciously identify more as human than Vulcan?
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Kyle
Fri, Jun 3, 2022, 10:23pm (UTC -5)
Did anyone else get the sense of "please don't throw us in the briar patch" when it came to Kyle?

Like "he's so mean" really means "he's a lot of fun?"
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Alienatbar
Fri, Jun 3, 2022, 11:24pm (UTC -5)
Here’s where the writing or poor story/character resolution still tells me we’re dealing with the same issues from those other two shows (actually if you meld them together we get ‘Discard’. Has that been noted). M’Benga.
M’Benga has a daughter he stores in the pattern buffer of the medical transporter as I understand it. He has her there because he is awaiting for a breakthrough to cure her. He gave a long speech about it (if you could understand it). He is a doctor. Instead of continuing that arc where he takes the opportunity during his shore leave to consult with other medical practitioners on possible progress with a cure… he goes fucking fishing… in a silly hat! There is an opportunity to really progress this character and it is not taken. There is a chance to offer some real resonation with viewers who share the issue of a sick child yet it is not taken. This is his daughter but fuck it we’ll write that he goes fishing and make a stupid joke about fishing hats.
That’s where this show lacks jeopardy or any real sense of consequence. Seven crew members died last week, and Kyle had one of them save his life yet there is no discussion on this. Just another throw away event which makes the ending of Mori even more hollow.
You just can’t blame the co-writer here who is known for writing, oh Lordy, young adult novels but, again, we need to go to the team who is responsible for the overall season arc.
I may as well mention the force field used to walk on the hull of the ship. Did it have it’s own gravity? Was the pen one of those astronaut write anywhere units? Why do we need fancy suits if force fields will do in space? How much oxygen does a force field carry? Is there a scientist in the room?
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Bryan
Fri, Jun 3, 2022, 11:54pm (UTC -5)
@Alien

Yes, it's still all very Nu-Trek, but some of these criticisms are a little unfair. It's pretty standard for episodic Star Trek to leave major plot implications hanging and never pick them up again, or do so many episodes later with a few silly interludes like this one in-between. I don't really have a problem with that.

And I too noticed that walking like that on the ship obviates the need for spacesuits which even Nu-Trek has respected up until this point. It's also impractical to erect huge force fields in space and pressurize them. And even if they did that, they would need to be wearing magnetic boots, or else they would just float off and bump into the force field. But I didn't really care enough about such things to nitpick because it's mainly just a semi-serious comedy relief episode. It's not as they did this to solve the central problem of the episode. The characters are just fooling around and how they went about doing it has no real bearing on the story.
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Lodged Montecito
Sat, Jun 4, 2022, 12:17am (UTC -5)
@alienatbar

“M’Benga has a daughter he stores in the pattern buffer of the medical transporter as I understand it. He has her there because he is awaiting for a breakthrough to cure her. He gave a long speech about it (if you could understand it). He is a doctor. Instead of continuing that arc where he takes the opportunity during his shore leave to consult with other medical practitioners on possible progress with a cure… he goes fucking fishing… in a silly hat!”

I think he meant the cure (or information about one) was hopefully out there somewhere on some strange new world, not back at home in the Sol System’s Starbase-1. Plus, if he had gone consulting medical practitioners, then we never would have gotten that gorgeous fly fishing shot!
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Token
Sat, Jun 4, 2022, 12:33am (UTC -5)
Why is M'Benga keeping his daughter in the emergency medical transporter of a Starfleet fighting ship that has already seen combat three times, instead of anywhere else?
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Alienatbar
Sat, Jun 4, 2022, 1:44am (UTC -5)
@Token
Have you seen the annual fee for Dropbox? :)
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Scott Fairbanks
Sat, Jun 4, 2022, 3:08am (UTC -5)
Oh wow! No. This might be my favorite of the show so far. Pure bliss and pure fun.
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SlackerInc
Sat, Jun 4, 2022, 9:26am (UTC -5)
@Alienatbar: That's so funny, because although I agree that Julia Garner is a very good actor, I also find her extremely attractive, more so than the actor playing Nurse Chapel (despite her looking good in the bar scene). Did you see Garner on THE AMERICANS? Talk about a thirst trap!
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Troy G
Sat, Jun 4, 2022, 10:15am (UTC -5)
Nearly 15 minutes before the opening credits?
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Troy G
Sat, Jun 4, 2022, 10:22am (UTC -5)
Also, Rebecca Romijn is older than Anson Mount? Both look so good
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C.T Phipps
Sat, Jun 4, 2022, 12:07pm (UTC -5)
I'm not sure what Julie Garner has anything to do with Nurse Chapel over. It's a weird interjection.
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Lynos
Sat, Jun 4, 2022, 1:35pm (UTC -5)
Another great episode, lighthearted and comedic, but smartly written and wonderfully performed. The running theme is empathy, as our characters learn to get into other people's skins (in Spock's case, literally) and experience things from their point of view. You can poke holes here if you really want, and the episode won me over. It had good laughs, good character development, and towards the end, even a sense of wonder. Great stuff.
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Dreubarik
Sat, Jun 4, 2022, 3:11pm (UTC -5)
You know what, I kind of enjoyed this. I was left with the same impression as @modulum: NuTrek and The Orville seem to be converging, as SNW embraces more humor and The Orville moves away from being a spoof. I guess this is broadly a good thing since I quite enjoy The Orville while I'm watching it. Unfortunately I don't love The Orville nor does it leave a lasting impression on me because I feel it's a show about paying homage to Star Trek rather than creating its own, compelling, standalone universe and themes. I think I mentioned this in another thread, but I feel liking The Orville and not liking SNW or vice versa is quite an inconsistent position to hold.

That being said, I will admit that SNW has one big advantage over The Orville: Even if the latter turned truly good, I'd never be truly invested in the universe it's created, because it's basically a bland, bad copy of the Star Trek universe with some ridiculous elements that can never truly be completely overcome. By contrast, if SNW turned truly good in the second or third season, my long-term investment in the Star Trek franchise would make me value it much more. So here's to hoping.
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ERguy
Sat, Jun 4, 2022, 3:28pm (UTC -5)
Wait a minute! Does Hemmer not get shore leave?

Why are they short changing Hemmer?!

Alien discrimination in the federation.
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Species 10-Forward
Sat, Jun 4, 2022, 6:21pm (UTC -5)
Aw, seems like the reactions are more split but I rather enjoyed this episode. Although I was bracing myself for the "hijinks," I was pleasantly surprised by the leisurely execution of the episode's theme, learning through shifts in perspective.

Almost paradoxically, SNW's episodic structure allows for more freeform divergences than any of the serialized NuTrek so far. You'd think that with a contained hour, you'd have to stay laser-focused on the plot of the week, but looking back on TNG/DS9 era, there were often B and C stories that were basically "getting to spend time with x characters in a low-stakes situation." They get to be themselves rather than (or in addition to) their crew function.

I felt it was a sign of confidence on the part of the show that we would enjoy hanging out with these characters for an hour, and I did. I agree with Jammer that the Spock-too-human path is well-trod, and the T'Pring/Spock sexy time was my least liked part of the pilot, yet this episode redeemed their relationship for me to the point where I now want to keep up with the couple.

Number One might be the only problem characterization - I'm getting a Dax-like feeling already where there's not really a consistent bead for Una, yet Romijn like Farrell seems game to sell what she's given. I also have to agree with comments that M'Benga is difficult to understand; it seems like he's mumbling a lot. Rand is growing on me; Ortegas is getting by; La'an is awesome; and Pike keeps the train moving.

Most of the episodes have been in three-star territory for me, which is a ginormous improvement from PIC and DIS. My confidence in and appreciation for this show is growing each week.
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Jeffrey's Tube
Sat, Jun 4, 2022, 6:21pm (UTC -5)
They were wearing mag boots while walking on the hull. Or at least some kind of special boots. There's a shot where it shows they have them on their feet. They do not, however, walk clunkily, nor do we hear magboot sounds. I, personally, am willing to believe that magboot technology has evolved enough to be "smart" by the 23rd century that it would let people walk relatively normally (and silently) with them on, even if that's an inconsistent portrayal with mag boots in Star Trek in the past.

I can't explain why their hair wasn't flying all over the place, though.

You know what? Enterprise was docked during this whole sequence. Let's chalk it up to that. Let's say the Starbase has some kind of tractor / gravity field it uses to hold docked ships in place. Number One and La'an modified the field to approximate one G gravity in the direction of the hull.

The point of doing it without spacesuits was to approximate some amount of real risk in the game.

. . .

Do people really have trouble understanding M'Benga? He's clear as day to me. I do frequently watch TV from all over the world though. When I first started watching international television though I do remember having trouble with, like, a thick Irish accent. Or what the chav girl on Misfits was saying. All I can say, though, is my ear for that very quickly adapted. I'm sure, if you're having trouble, yours soon will too.
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Ilsat
Sat, Jun 4, 2022, 6:29pm (UTC -5)
2.5 stars for this episode. Jammer has it right.
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Bryan
Sat, Jun 4, 2022, 7:04pm (UTC -5)
@JT

I dunno, whatever kind of boots they're wearing look a lot like the standard issue leather boots they always wear. If the showrunners intended to signal to the audience that they're aware that people need to be wearing mag boots for that, they didn't succeed in my view since I looked carefully for that on my first viewing and wasn't convinced. What also makes this odd is that the cadets who were going to do the exact same thing were gearing up in their spacesuits so it's strange that a different course was taken came to Una and La'an.

Maybe you could say that Una doesn't need to be as covert about it as a cadet would and due to he rank, she can arrange for the fancy force fields and such, but then you have to ask yourself: isn't it even worse that a commanding officer is making such an overt display of acting against regulations especially after they just punished the cadets for doing exactly that?
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Jeffrey's Tube
Sat, Jun 4, 2022, 7:22pm (UTC -5)
Maybe they're just little booties to stop their feet from freezing against the cold outer hull? I don't know. The science on this is really dodgy any way you slice it.

I doubt what Una and La'an did would ever come to the attention of the junior officers, nor that they would have done it if there was a chance it would.
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Jeffrey's Tube
Sat, Jun 4, 2022, 7:24pm (UTC -5)
(Maybe they were wearing the lifesupport belts from TAS under their uniforms. Ha!)
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Alienatbar
Sat, Jun 4, 2022, 7:49pm (UTC -5)
@Ilsat
I did not know that but knew he’d be somewhere down the pecking order.

@Lodged
Have you ever lost your keys? Often back in the first place you looked. Mostly. Imagine if he had arrived back to ship and the repair crews had purged the buffers? He’d be reading bedtime stories to the bass he just caught. (Bass? I don’t know. I hate fishing). That fishing shot was probably some senior staff members indulgence.

@Slacker
I have not seen the Americans but will place it on the list. She is attractive and a great actor/actress and was hopefully hired for her talent rather than to suit show aesthetics.

@ERguy
You would assume Hemmer was involved with the repairs on the Enterprise so no shore leave for him. I’m sure Scotty was the same during maintenance (in the movies) and probably why he was a grumpy wee Scotsman. You would think though that the one character who has shown comedic flair, Hemmer, perhaps would have been involved in the comedy relief episode? And I use that term very loosely.
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Alienatbar
Sat, Jun 4, 2022, 8:02pm (UTC -5)
@Jeffreys @Bryan

‘Maybe they're just little booties to stop their feet from freezing against the cold outer hull? I don't know. The science on this is really dodgy any way you slice it.

I doubt what Una and La'an did would ever come to the attention of the junior officers, nor that they would have done it if there was a chance it would’

If you mean the actual act, didn’t they sign the hull? I couldn’t make out the writing (boom tsh). I also hear the best booties for cold hull walking are, well, you take two tribbles, some magnets and some glue…..
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Jeffrey's Tube
Sat, Jun 4, 2022, 8:51pm (UTC -5)
@Alien

I meant that they went out without suits on.

Also, while I'm not much interested in discussing the attractiveness of actresses, The Americans is a seriously great show. One of the best of the last decade without question. Highly recommended.
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Trek fan
Sat, Jun 4, 2022, 8:53pm (UTC -5)
This is dumb, lazy, meandering material. Lowest possible two stars for me.

The Spock and T’Pring body switching is a very unpleasant reminder of Turnabout Intruder, minus the pleasure of Shatner’a hammy overacting. That was borderline painful; this time the concept is so blandly unfunny that my attention simply wandered.

Note to SNW: You really don’t have to crib EVERYTHING from TOS. Please leave one or two things unruined for those of us who eagerly await your cancellation. I don’t want to see the Squire of Gothos rebooted next week! But maybe this is the limitation of a prequel-cum-remake that has few places it can go dramatically without altering the characters into an alternate timeline.
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Alienatbar
Sat, Jun 4, 2022, 9:52pm (UTC -5)
@Jeffreys
What you walk past is what you accept is prominent in my line of work so yes, reckless behaviour. Seeing a lot of that here.
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Ilsat
Sat, Jun 4, 2022, 10:46pm (UTC -5)
So, Trek Fan is it 2.001 rounded down or 1.999 rounded up? You sound torn.
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Shannon
Sun, Jun 5, 2022, 12:18am (UTC -5)
The criticism some of you are leveling at Jess Bush is quite harsh. I absolutely love her character, and I think Jess is doing a great job acting... If you're looking for a pure remake of TOS, I would remind you that half of the shows they made were absolute rubbish (Season 3, with exception of 5 episodes, was awful). I have no problem with the showrunners modernizing this show. They don't need to treat TOS canon like gospel, just so long as they pay tribute to it in a respectful way.
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Lynos
Sun, Jun 5, 2022, 12:42am (UTC -5)
Species 10-Forward said:

"Almost paradoxically, SNW's episodic structure allows for more freeform divergences than any of the serialized NuTrek so far. You'd think that with a contained hour, you'd have to stay laser-focused on the plot of the week, but looking back on TNG/DS9 era, there were often B and C stories that were basically "getting to spend time with x characters in a low-stakes situation." They get to be themselves rather than (or in addition to) their crew function."

It's very simple. When you do episodic storytelling, you're less of a slave to the plot. As you said, you have more room to experiment with different characters, genres and tones. One of the often-heard complaints about serialized shows is that "nothing happened in this episode", "filler episode",, "the plot didn't advance". I find the mostly episodic structure of SNW truly refreshing, there are no filler episodes because there isn't any plot quota that needs to be filled. It's great. And I don't think the writers of any of the new Trek shows can handle serialized storytelling in any satisfactory manner, both Discovery and Picared drfopped the ball too many times in that regard.
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Lynos
Sun, Jun 5, 2022, 12:48am (UTC -5)
And regarding not understanding M'Benge, whenever I hear people complain about this kind of stuff I have only one word: subtitles.

I watch everything with subtitles. Everything. I'm used to reading them and they don't bother me. No more figuring out what he said or she said, or how you spell this name or that name. It's really the greatest thing since sliced bread. Use it.
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Maq
Sun, Jun 5, 2022, 3:42am (UTC -5)
What I liked most was the One - La’an plot.

Although the actual age of the actor does not necessarily match the character (Ensign Tilly being 32 at the beginning of the series?) it seems to be more realistic in SNW. Pike and One being just below 50. Ensign Uhura 20. Perhaps La’an and Ortega being in their end 30s being slightly older than their characters. ) La’an is 31.

One seems to land in some sort of crisis when she realise that she is considered to be boring and dull. La’an seems to realise that she is going the same way.

When they catch the two young crew members that seems to be very young, they take a step back and decides to have fun. They start with scaring the shit out of the youngsters give them a lesson they never will forget but perhaps reprise themselves with a smile 15 years later.

La’an and One tries to go further, probably realising that they are not the same as they used to bee. To me, they got a lesson from the two young crew members whose acting by the way was superb.

After the last episode I wished something “new”. This was a very fine attempt.
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Dreubarik
Sun, Jun 5, 2022, 6:10am (UTC -5)
@Shannon I agree, I have zero interest in revisiting the boring Nurse Chapel character of TOS. Of course, my personal decision would have been to just create a new one, but they just can't let it go.
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AMA
Sun, Jun 5, 2022, 9:20am (UTC -5)
A sneaky great episode: the humour worked for the most part (the 'good cop, bad cop' scenes were not particularly good, but I laughed plenty at other times); there were some further insights into and development of characters; and the alien story provided an opportunity to reinforce a worthy value, empathy.

Unlike some other commenters, I am really enjoying Jess Bush's portrayal of Chapel. I do wonder how Dr. Roger Korby will come to 'win her over,' or how she might wrestle with her feelings for Spock when that comes, but that's a soap opera I wouldn't mind seeing.

And I will echo the sentiments @MidshipmanNorris: it's nice to have a series where we can spend time with likeable characters, not have the universe perpetually on the edge of extinction, and be told (something akin to) a morality tale. This series is not taking itself too seriously, which I appreciate.

I think what will be interesting moving forward is if the series can deliver a sincere, thoughtful examination of an issue or phenomenon, as past iterations of the franchise have. In the meantime, I'm happy to be 'along for the ride.'
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Frank A. Booze
Sun, Jun 5, 2022, 11:46am (UTC -5)
Bit of a “lighter” episode, but I still really enjoyed it. This is rare, two tv shows on right now that I am thoroughly enjoying. Strange New Worlds and Kenobi.
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Del_Duio
Sun, Jun 5, 2022, 1:39pm (UTC -5)
Five winners in a row!

Every character is awesome. What a galactic jump of quality between SNW and Picard / Discovery.

Amazing.
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Bok R'Mor
Sun, Jun 5, 2022, 1:51pm (UTC -5)
A charming lightweight episode that highlights how good the casting on SNW is. Enterprise bingo with La'an and Number One was particularly well done, and Spock and T'Pring were portrayed much better than I expected, as was Chapel. I actually found the diplomacy sub-plot to be quite interesting, and visually this episode was top notch.

Loved Mbenga's fly-fishing.
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Nick
Sun, Jun 5, 2022, 2:27pm (UTC -5)
This was a great episode, SNW is showing off its range. It can do a lighter episode with humor in a way Picard and Discovery can only dream of.
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theBgt
Sun, Jun 5, 2022, 6:37pm (UTC -5)
I found it a tad boring and not very funny.
I can't really care about Spock and his future wife, maybe cause we know what will happen in the future. Anyway changing bodies wasn't amusing probably cause Vulcans are not funny.
Enterprise Bingo was the best plot, although La-an resemblance to Expanse's Drammer is distracting. I hope they will change her style next season.
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Jason R.
Sun, Jun 5, 2022, 6:41pm (UTC -5)
"And regarding not understanding M'Benge, whenever I hear people complain about this kind of stuff I have only one word: subtitles.

I watch everything with subtitles. Everything. I'm used to reading them and they don't bother me. No more figuring out what he said or she said, or how you spell this name or that name. It's really the greatest thing since sliced bread. Use it."

Agreed on subtitles. They are an absolute must.

But sometimes I am busy doing something else and can't stare at the screen and just want to listen to what is happening. 99% of how time I don't give a shit about the effects and just want to be able to follow the story while I chop vegetables or fries eggs.

But then maybe this is me but does anyone else have trouble understanding dialogue in movies? Even going back to the DVD days I found many movies it was difficult to make out what anyone was saying.

Even now it is an issue still - if I jack up the volume to the maximum until the music and effects are rattling my walls - Everything BUT dialogue gets louder. I never understood why they couldn't make it the opposite, make the dialogue loud and all the superfluous crap quiet.
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Peter G.
Sun, Jun 5, 2022, 7:33pm (UTC -5)
@ Jason R.

"But then maybe this is me but does anyone else have trouble understanding dialogue in movies? Even going back to the DVD days I found many movies it was difficult to make out what anyone was saying."

In theory this is two separate issues. One, which I think is what you're talking about, is IMO the sound mixing on DVD's specifically (and now Blu-Ray) isn't that good, where they don't do a great job of mediating sound levels. Not only is dialogue lower than FX and ambient, but it's not consistent scene to scene. So *even in dialogue only scenes* I am always fiddling with my sound remote so the levels are acceptable. I don't watch anything without my sound receiver remote on hand. My best guess about this is that they are using values that track ok in the cinema where extra decibels on FX will bounce around in the space, whereas at home it hammers you. I can't be sure about that thought since I don't work with anyone who's in cinema-to-Blu-Ray sound mixing. I think I might try to find out at some point though...

The second issue is with one's sound system, where dialogue is center-speaker heavy and if the relative levels of the speakers in your home are different from the levels they used in testing then the ratios will be off. I personally don't have a home surround system but in theory I understand that raising the center speaker level relative to the others should help dialogue clarity. But there are also the other balance settings to fiddle with. I didn't mess with them too much after setting up my receiver initially, but one thing I've noticed for instance in my vehicle is that when listening to vocal music (e.g. rock music) is that many sound balance settings will make the vocals faded or indistinct, whereas one or two of them make the vocals much clearer. This is largely a treble/bass issue in the car but in my home system I've also found that many audio settings mute vocals to an extent. So maybe fiddle with those too, in addition to checking the center speaker level.

Best I can offer right now, hope it's worth something.
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Rahul
Sun, Jun 5, 2022, 8:41pm (UTC -5)
@Lynos

If subtitles work for you, great.

For me, when I watch TV, I want to watch and listen -- that's where my focus should be. It shouldn't be on reading stuff and making sure I read it fast enough to get it all etc. If I did that, it would take away from noticing the actors, any sound effects, music etc.

It's extremely, extremely rare that I watch something in English and have some minor difficulty making out what was said. M'Benga just happens to be one such case for me.
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Gorn
Sun, Jun 5, 2022, 10:13pm (UTC -5)
Echoing previous comments, I also watch everything with subtitles and have to constantly adjust tv volume between action and dialogue scenes. Hopefully the death of movie theaters will finally force a rebalancing of audio levels.

Another reason I always use subtitle is the “Whisper-fication” of all modern dialog, which began with the Lord of the Rings movies, and is especially heinous in sci-fi/fantasy genre stuff.

The Expanse is an instructive example. Unless they’re shouting, characters sound like their vocal chords are tied into bow
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modulum
Sun, Jun 5, 2022, 10:33pm (UTC -5)
Fun episode, but...I don't think this really counts as a comedy. I think that aspect of the episode was oversold by a lot; there are a lot of incongruous situations, but there aren't any...real attempts at jokes. Which threw me for a loop a bit.

What this episode more feels like to me is one of the slow-paced comedown episodes on TNG and Enterprise - think "Data's Day" or "Home" or "Two Days and Two Nights." It's very uneventful, sort of plotless, gives a lot of room to breathe to the point of being a filler episode by definition. It's really just about getting to spend more time with the characters, and it works pretty well at that.
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Jeffrey's Tube
Sun, Jun 5, 2022, 10:44pm (UTC -5)
@Jason R

They have speakers that only boost dialogue now. Sony for-sure makes one. I bought one for my dad.

I hate subtitles and I have no issue with audio, but I'll be old one day too I guess. But not today.
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zanki
Mon, Jun 6, 2022, 7:35am (UTC -5)
It's no '' In The Cards'' but it succeeded at being light hearted , the Chapelle scenes were pretty much the bathroom breaks of the episode.

My only real critic is regarding the space walk on the hull of the Enterprise with Una and La'an . Some will point out it's not Starfleet regulation to attempt such action (then why have the capability of creating a force field bubble outside) . It feels as if it overrides some plot points from previous Treks ( one that immediately comes to mind is the space walk in First Contact).

Not saying it's as bad as 3D imaging like in Disco season 1-2, but somewhat overlapping technologically.
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SlackerInc
Mon, Jun 6, 2022, 8:07am (UTC -5)
Did something change about the way this website works? I used to be able to highlight text and copy it on my iPhone, but now when I try it acts like everything is an image. My workaround is to screenshot it because you can pull text out of an image on iPhone, but that's a little wonky.

@Lynos: "I watch everything with subtitles. Everything. I'm used to reading them and they don't bother me
No more figuring out what he said or she said, or how you spell this name or that name. It's really the greatest thing since sliced bread. Use it."

Hard pass. My wife also uses subtitles constantly but I hate it. I read them before the words are said and then it just sounds like the actors are reciting lines (which of course they are, but the whole point of suspension of disbelief is to not have that feeling). They also are ugly and mar the cinematography.

I do use them in a very limited way. If someone says something I don't understand I can press the Siri button on my Apple TV remote and say "what did s/he say?" It will then rewind about 10 seconds, turn on the subtitles for that same span of time, then automatically turn them off again.

@Jason R: "I never understood why they couldn't make it the opposite, make the dialogue loud and all the superfluous crap quiet."

I'm going to sound like an Apple marketer lol, but this is also a feature on the Apple TV set top box. It's called "reduce loud sounds" and it flattens the dynamic range so that dialogue becomes dominant. Not really my cup of tea, but I will use it sometimes if it's late at night so as not to disturb anyone.
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Jason R.
Mon, Jun 6, 2022, 11:44am (UTC -5)
"I hate subtitles and I have no issue with audio, but I'll be old one day too I guess. But not today."

I was complaining about this in my 20s :(
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Yanks
Mon, Jun 6, 2022, 12:41pm (UTC -5)
@SlackerInc

"It's amazing what styling can do for a person's appearance. Up to now I had seen Nurse Chapel as a perfectly pleasant looking "girl next door" type, obviously not ugly but bordering on plain. But when she had her hair up for that date, she looked smoking hot! I couldn't believe it."

I was initially disappointed with the character because she is speaking with an American accent. (she's an Auzie, I guess they couldn't have two with the accent (La'an)) but agree - there is a hotness to her! I think her acting is also showing! The little conversation she had with "I'm Mexican here me roar" gal at the end had such nuance. I like her more each episode.

""@Yanks: "T'Pring needs to eat a burger with her plomeek soup... man that gal is skinny! :-)"

"Yeah, it strained credulity that she could just deck that wanted criminal, who was a huge dude, and knock him out cold.""

HAHA.... I believe that was more for comedy than realism.
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Jeffrey's Tube
Mon, Jun 6, 2022, 4:04pm (UTC -5)
Vulcans are stronger than humans, though not correspondingly less resistant to being knocked unconscious.

Christina Chong is English.
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Alienatbar
Tue, Jun 7, 2022, 4:13am (UTC -5)
It’s ok you can spell it Aussie. I’ve been to Nawlins but never to Bawsten.
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Yanks
Tue, Jun 7, 2022, 7:30am (UTC -5)
@Jeffrey's Tube

"Vulcans are stronger than humans, though not correspondingly less resistant to being knocked unconscious.

Christina Chong is English."

Man, that accent sure sounds Australian to me.


@Alienatbar

Tue, Jun 7, 2022, 4:13am (UTC -5)

"It’s ok you can spell it Aussie. I’ve been to Nawlins but never to Bawsten."

HAHA
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Ilsat
Tue, Jun 7, 2022, 8:16am (UTC -5)
It's funny - as high-minded as many of you can be, the "hotness" of some characters is apparently a notable factor in whether you like them. I know, I know, It's more complicated than that. Character matters, acting chops, blah, blah, blah.

Bottom line - a woman puts her hair up, puts on something provocative, and suddenly she's a person of interest. Well congrats ensign johnsons, you got your wish.
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Timour
Tue, Jun 7, 2022, 12:28pm (UTC -5)
I've been a long-time lurker on this page and typically agree whole-heartedly with the reviews, regrettably so in the case of Discovery and Picard, most of which I deem to be pretty bad. But I enjoyed this episode so much that I am moved to come out of the shadows and contribute!

I was expecting to hate it, especially when I saw the title which seems lazy and the fact that it is a comedy. I already find the attempts at comedy in Discovery and Picard to be irksome at best, cringe-worthy at worst. I was delighted to find that the comedy not only works here, it is for the first time rooted in science fiction conceits. I should admit that the humour actually works in most Strange New Worlds episodes because it is tonally less out-of-step with the entire show, as opposed to Discovery and Picard which take themselves altogether too seriously and bolt on quips to lighten the tone (unsuccessfully). But this was the first time that I felt it was successfully tied to science-fiction concepts: the body swap (admittedly not very original, but still an effective way to convey the theme of walking a mile in someone else's shoes) and, more impressively, the resolution to the Rongovian negotiations. This was less overt comedy but I found the Rongovians' contrarian nature, and Pike's adoption of it, quite amusing, much in the same way that I enjoyed seeing Archer insult the Tellarites in Enterprise as a way of advancing the talks.

But, more important than the humour, I felt that this was the first time an episode of Strange New Worlds (or really any Nu Trek) was resolved using a genuine science-fiction idea. Talking to the sphere in music a few episodes back struck me as neat but kind of pointless. It had no thematic weight beyond "music is nice". Why would an automatic weapon care about music? On the other hand, the Rongovians desire for empathy is a believably valid cultural approach. Naturally, they take it to an extreme, but that's what science fiction should be: take an idea that exists in our world and use the fantastical worlds that scifi provides to amplify it to the n-th degree to make a point. Many negotiations do break down because one side cannot see things from the point of view of the other. Empathy is vital. Perhaps not as vital as the Rongovians think, but we could all use a little more of it. For me, this was the first time that Strange New Worlds evoked a truly Trekkian theme in its PLOT, rather than just in its speeches. As a bonus, Pike's realisation and his execution of it was spot-on (Anson Mount is really perfect in this role). This episode is also an excellent example of integrated writing: the theme of empathy echoes across all of its subplots, from T'Pring and Spock needing to better understand each other, to Una and La'an wanting to understand why people like to have fun. For me, this is a 3.5-star episode and a really pleasant surprise.
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C.T Phipps
Wed, Jun 8, 2022, 12:25am (UTC -5)
I like the fact the aliens weren't testing the Federation's arguments, which were preprepared and designed to favor themselves.

They were testing if the Federation was LISTENING.

Which is much more important because it establishes whether the other party is receptive to actual communication and negotiation ahead of time.
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Bryan
Wed, Jun 8, 2022, 2:52am (UTC -5)
I believe that while listening is NECESSARY for a proper alliance, it is not SUFFICIENT. And those aliens were fools for behaving as if listening was all that mattered. It was a good idea for Aliens of the Week, just pretty shoddy execution that only showed how paper-thin the concept was.
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Alienatbar
Wed, Jun 8, 2022, 4:44am (UTC -5)
@Timour
There’s no one more welcome here than long time lurkers… unless it says that on your drivers license?

I watched the sneak peek for this weeks geek treat and I have to say it didn’t change the way I currently feel about the show. This will be ep 6 and from the looks (just the minutes worth, yes I know) it doesn’t seem to be pushing the season along. I say this after watching 3 episodes of The Boys and Stranger Things where episodes are beautifully strung together.

The question is, where does everyone expect this to end up as we are halfway through? I believe there is a special character set to appear but how are they going to really kick this forward. More Gorn? Pike’s dilemma? More Bingo?
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Femke
Wed, Jun 8, 2022, 5:39am (UTC -5)
Another long time lurker.
I love love love this show. Every character is wonderful, and I'm sorry but on the basis of the first five episodes this series is superior to any other episodic series before. I refuse to draw comparisons to Discovery and Picard, and Deep Space 9 because they are not episodic and it's oranges and apples to compare SNW to those (maybe, possible most of the first 2 seasons of DS9).
I've enjoyed the first five hours of Pike, Number 1 and crew much more than any string of five hours of TNG, VOY or ENT (and a complete pass on TOS, glad it started it all in the past, but that's where it should stay, in the past).
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Ilsat
Wed, Jun 8, 2022, 7:00am (UTC -5)
Alienatbar, it's episodic television. Why does need to "end up" anywhere?
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Alienatbar
Wed, Jun 8, 2022, 7:20am (UTC -5)
It doesn’t but your not telling me it’s abandoned all purpose for weekly hi-jinks? Either way I’d prefer some thread.
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Ilsat
Wed, Jun 8, 2022, 9:21am (UTC -5)
It's purpose is to tell episodic television. I'll agree that if it abandons its central theme of actually exploring odd, nascent planetoids then there's a problem. Do you see that happening?
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Jimmy
Thu, Jun 9, 2022, 2:55am (UTC -5)
If Strange New Worlds lasts for more than a season, this episode may be the point where the “momentum fandom” was created.

The term isn’t ideal, but refers to a fan who evaluates a show not on its content, but on their social feeling of belonging to a group that likes the show. It functions similar to air induction in combustion engines, where the social energy of the fandom fuels its evaluation, creating a death spiral of any definition of quality. These are fans who LOVE LOVE LOVE everything and think this and that is SUPER DUPER.

“Long time lurker here, but this show is better than any science fictional story conceived in human history, there I said it.”

“when so and so did so and so, oh MY GOD, I can’t wait to see what they do!”

“I hated Disco and Picard, but let me tell you, this I LOVE. And I love it because we love it, and you love it because we love it, and ANY fecal matter these writers throw on the screen we WILL LOVE, WON’T WE FOLKS? High fives and jazz hands! Did I say that out loud?”

Mandalorian redux.
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Alienatbar
Thu, Jun 9, 2022, 4:29am (UTC -5)
@Ilsat
I’m no Nosferatu but after 4 episodes they were back in space dock. This ep (airing elsewhere) has Pike exploring other ‘planetoids’ by the looks. I’m indifferent. I’m waiting for an episode to stand up and go ‘cop this ya fucker’. Pardon my Auzy.

@Jimmy
Really Jimmy? A combustion engine? That’s so 2000. Don’t they frak for combust? :)
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Alienatbar
Thu, Jun 9, 2022, 4:33am (UTC -5)
And yes, I am neither vampire nor reputed seer.
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Alienatbar
Thu, Jun 9, 2022, 4:35am (UTC -5)
Passive lurker on weekends.
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SlackerInc
Fri, Jun 10, 2022, 8:51am (UTC -5)
@Ilsat: You sound shocked--shocked!--that there's gambling in this establishment. Did you really not think the attractiveness of actors is a major factor in Hollywood? Did you think it was just a coincidence that they tend to be significantly more attractive than the average person?

@Timour: I really like your take and I would urge you to come out of lurking mode more often! Very nice contribution to the discussion. (@Femke, you are welcome too; Timour just went above and beyond what I generally see even from my favorite longtime posters.)
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Mitty
Mon, Jun 13, 2022, 5:17am (UTC -5)
This was just such a joy. Sure don't look too closely, but who cares, it just made me feel so damn good, and I just love every single one of these characters so much. I want to get a T-Shirt made that says "SIGN THE SCORCH". Rebecca Romijn is simply awesome, Anson Mount is awesome, Ethan Peck is awesome... you get the picture. Simply wonderful, I need to watch It again.
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Ilsat
Mon, Jun 13, 2022, 11:06am (UTC -5)
SlackerInc - lol, yes I'm well aware of Hollywood's proclivities. But Hollywood is pretty clear re its intentions. Hot asses = hot bodies in seats = hot toddies for execs rolling in their "hot?" dough. There's usually dough involved, that much I know. Oh, and some "hot sessions" with up-and-coming stars to boot. Yeah baby, it's a bacchanalian soiree with a dash of Weinstein sauce. As Jim Carrey would say,
"Y-y-ummmmmiee!"

Whereas, here, I enjoy the schizophrenic movements of thought and pangs. Daunting paragraphs fraught with high-minded words and literary thought-grenades, set to detonate with characteristic precision. Some would echo Jeffrey Jones and claim there are too many words here. But, really, there are just as many as are necessary. Yet, within this frenzy of minds dwells the occasional, serotonic imp. Waiting to burst through. And when this happens, Nurse Chapel gets her just due. And thank God for that, Slacker.
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Emod
Sat, Jun 18, 2022, 5:05pm (UTC -5)
Spock Amok stands among the very best episodes of Trek by my book, or at least among the best of those set in the “present” time and universe (so discounting Mirror Universe, Guardian of Forever, The Inner Light, Far Beyond the Stars, etc.). The main body swapping comedy plot hits all the right notes, which is rare enough for Trek, yet the various B-plots also give the ensemble cast — and an alien species — a much-needed opportunity to shine.

It’s a pity the next two episodes (I’m writing this shortly after Serene Squall) don’t live up to Spock Amok, but they can’t all be winners.
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S. in Pa.
Sat, Jun 18, 2022, 9:17pm (UTC -5)
In retrospect, I've got to say that I got a very Boimler-like vibe from the sheer duty-bound "where fun goes to die" nerdiness of Una and La'an. And "Enterprise bingo" is exactly the sort of thing Boimler & Mariner would have done, isn't it? (That's meant as a compliment. Until SNW came along, LD was the only NuTrek series that I consistently enjoyed.)

I thought this whole episode was a delight. Almost too much fan service, but for me, every bit of it was well done and effective. And of all the TOS episodes that they could have used as the basis for a comedy, I don't think anyone would have guessed that "Amok Time" would be the one they'd choose -- that was gutsy, and they pulled it off.
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Willy Lovington
Mon, Jun 20, 2022, 4:59pm (UTC -5)
I must say this was an enjoyable romp, but it may have been the sherry pancakes I was consuming while watching that made it a merrier experience. In spite of the lack of James Terrance Kirk content. Do you think there'll be a cameo any time soon? I must say, I would like to see a scene with the two handsome lads of Pike and Kirk on shoreleave. Perhaps more than friendship might emerge? It is the 23rd century, after all.

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