Star Trek: Strange New Worlds

“Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow”

2 stars.

Air date: 6/29/2023
Written by David Reed
Directed by Amanda Row

Review Text

There are good things lurking within "Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow," but they're buried within an episode that's completely off-kilter in its sluggish execution of an overused Star Trek staple. This story benefits from a few good ideas, but it suffers from a slew of very tired ones and off-the-shelf parts. And for an episode that should have an open, world-building feel, it comes across as weirdly small and claustrophobic, and with a complete lack of urgency.

It's lonely being La'an Noonien-Singh. As security chief, she intervenes in daily headaches that don't make her especially popular, leaving her feeling isolated and angry. She has an inner-torment from being a descendant of scourge-of-the-Earth Khan Noonien Singh — a torment that she hasn't resolved. But today, a mysterious dying man appears in a flash of light in the corridor and tells her there was an attack in the past that must be stopped. He gives her a device and tells her to "Get to the bridge" before dying of a gunshot wound and then vanishing in a ripple of light. La'an arrives on the bridge, where the captain is James T. Kirk (Paul Wesley). He has no idea who La'an is, and there's no record of her existence at all.

After examining the available facts, La'an concludes she has moved into an alternate timeline. Kirk is captain of the Enterprise, but there is no Federation. (Earth is fighting a costly war with the Romulans and the Vulcans are not allies.) When La'an pushes a button on the mysterious device, she and Kirk are instantly transported to 21st-century Toronto. Neither of them knows what they're supposed to do once here (except to heed the vague instruction to prevent an unspecified attack, of which they don't know the time or location). The entire first act grinds to a halt as we spin our wheels while Kirk and La'an secure clothing (by stealing it from a store) and money (which Kirk acquires by street gambling at chess, which seems unlikely to achieve such yields), and buy hot dogs from a street vendor. These scenes lack wit and just kind of burn screen time.

The two spend the night in separate rooms, and La'an ventures into Kirk's room while he's sleeping, before retreating, as if she had hoped to do or say more. This would perhaps work better if there were some sort of chemistry between La'an and Kirk, but it's conceptual at best, and seems mostly to stem from La'an's comfort from the fact Kirk doesn't know who she is as a descendant of Khan — since Khan was not a significant figure in Earth's history in his timeline. Paul Wesley still seems like he never should've been cast as Kirk, though I sure as hell don't know who should've. He's fine as a generic character, but he does nothing here to convince me that he will ever work as Kirk. He is more Pine than Shatner, which is very much getting us into the copy of a copy discussion.

On the other hand, Christina Chong's performance throughout is very good, revealing La'an's painful torment, and slowly breaking down the walls to reveal her vulnerabilities. This happens while the plot finally begins to unfold. A newly completed major bridge over Lake Ontario is bombed, and La'an and Kirk attempt to investigate the cause. La'an believes the explosion was caused by advanced non-human technology (based on charring on the bridge remains). In trying to follow the evidence, we end up with Kirk stealing a car and getting into a car chase with the cops. Sigh. This is boring and obligatory, and how does Kirk even know how to drive since he has never been on Earth? (He's from Iowa ... the USS Iowa.) As Kirk and La'an are about to be arrested, they're rescued by Sera (Adelaide Kane), who is a "social media journalist" or somesuch, who was also at the site of the bridge bombing. In a totally unbelievable scene, she cons/bullies the cops into releasing Kirk and La'an by recording them on her cell phone and threatening to expose their ... lawful arrest? Okay.

Sera is a nutty conspiracy theorist who also believes the bridge explosion was the work of ALIENS. She has a photo of an alien ship in her "personal research" files which Kirk recognizes as Romulan. Apparently, there's a cold fusion reactor somewhere in the city that's powering the facility where the conspirators are hiding the alien evidence. La'an hopes to build a tricorder to find it, so they drive to Vermont, where she knows Pelia is living among humans in this century. Amusingly, Pelia is of little help because she isn't even an engineer at this point in time — but she does conveniently have a wristwatch with a material that can serve as the pointer they need.

This leads our heroes to the facility where it's revealed that Sera is actually a Romulan temporal agent trying to alter the timeline. The facility is actually where the genetically-engineered Khan is being raised as a child, and Sera's plan is to kill Khan to alter the timeline for the benefit of the Romulan Empire. (In Kirk's timeline, which is far worse for humanity than La'an's timeline, Khan's absence appears to have proved Sera successful.) Sera shoots and kills Kirk in the ensuing struggle, leaving La'an to protect Khan for the benefit of the timeline.

Clearly, the inspiration here is "The City on the Edge of Forever," in which history must be preserved by taking counterintuitive actions and making personal sacrifices — in this case allowing a future despot to grow up to be himself and cause untold destruction in order for the long game of history to work out for the best. For La'an this is two time-travel dilemmas for the price of one — the "kill child Hitler" scenario crossed with the "grandfather paradox." By allowing Khan to survive, she preserves her own personal future as well as the Federation's — but must allow Khan's destruction of the 21st century to unfold as it always did. (Or almost always. The episode acknowledges Trek history alongside our own time passing the fictional timeline when Sera mentions that the Eugenics Wars were "supposed to happen in 1992," but apparently didn't because of other timeline shenanigans.)

When La'an returns to her timeline after preserving history, she's contacted by a Federation temporal agent from the future who assures her she did the right thing — and who also tells her not to discuss the matter with anyone. It's a strange burden. She contacts Kirk, who is a lieutenant J.G. in this timeline and doesn't even know her. It's a gutting experience for La'an.

In writing this review and recounting all that happens, it seems strange that this wasn't a better episode. As a plot, it probably works better on paper than on the screen. Somehow, the execution here fails, and what should be emotional and urgent comes across as clinical and detached. The plot beats feel perfunctory and the humor is lifeless. The romance is unpersuasive. The stuff that works best involves La'an and her tough choices at the end, and some smaller moments of temporal/existential logic, like Kirk questioning the wisdom of changing a timeline that would erase everything about his own life. But there have been so many time travel stories across Trek. We've been here, and done this so many times, in better and more fun ways than this.

Previous episode: Ad Astra Per Aspera
Next episode: Among the Lotus Eaters

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209 comments on this post

    I really enjoyed it, but then I love timey wimey stuff.

    Would Pelia remember the earlier encounter with La'an?

    Paul Wesley did a LOT better as Kirk this time. I also saw a difference in him as Lt. Kirk when La'an returned. Can't put my finger on what it was. But the 21st-century Kirk seemed more mature. Still kissing women, though.

    Loved Pelia's 21st-century room stuffed with everything. And her early comment, "That one's a fake, so tell the Louvre to stop calling me!"

    The revolving door scene was copied, right? But where did I first see it? One of the movies?

    The closing scene (after the time cop left) was beautifully acted and directed.

    I understand Wesley called this episode "playful," and I think that's a good description. Good character work for La'an.

    Wouldn't it have been cool if the temporal agent was Daniels?

    I swear I was watching a Hallmark movie at times while watching this. Probably the weakest episode of the series to date.

    Why WHY ROMULANS? Why not cool WONDROUS NEW ALIENS and some new cool TIME ANOMALY not this piddling stuff..that's just how I feel sorry..

    Not terrible.

    The good: 1) good character work, 2) a twist on elements from City on the Edge of Forever (Kirk has to die) + Future’s End (the Sarah Silverman character is the villain), 3) Kirk’s a good driver in this timeline, 4) Carol Kane got to play Miracle Max, 5) attempt at a canonical explanation for why the Eugenics Wars didn’t take place in the 1990s (although not really since the later date would have been in the Space Seed history tapes and First Contact etc. unless you head canon more timey-wimey shenanigans that reset it).

    The bad: 1) another alt timeline episode and alt Kirk so close to the S1 finale? and 2) ripoff of the Enterprise episode Carpenter Street and the Xindi scheme, which it at least acknowledges.

    The truly messed up: the argument that humanity needs its genocidal monsters to make progress.

    @Kevin

    "The truly messed up: the argument that humanity needs its genocidal monsters to make progress."

    I didn't get this message at all. The message I got was that Khan was a crucial figure in the history that led to the founding of the Federation as we the viewers no it, and the eventual flourishing of humanity and hundreds of other species. Saving him as a child is not an endorsement of him, nor a statement about humanity needing genocidal madmen. Rather it is a moral test for L'an (should she murder an innocent and at that time defenseless child?) and it is a consequentialist calculation of utility. The suffering of billions in the Eugenics Wars weighed against the flourishing many many billions/trillions of others. It is a decisions that leaves her torn up emotionally and in a way she can never discuss with others. A fascinating character development.

    I was quite moved by the closing 20 minutes. It was a terrific performance.

    @artymiss

    "Would Pelia remember the earlier encounter with La'an?"

    Nothing suggests the Lanthanites share the El-Aurian or Q capacity to recognize and/or manipulate various timelines. Maybe because none of them have encountered the Nexus? They are functionally immortal, but not omniscient or especially temporally aware. So the question then is how long and how detailed their memories are. By comparison, I am 48 and at my age I remember virtually none of my life when I was 5-10 years old. Extrapolating from this, if I was 4800, I remember nothing of being 500-1000 years old. Of the last 5 years, I also remember few details, only the ones important to my self narrative. I could easily see Pelia not recalling a brief, seemingly random, interaction 300 years earlier if it meant very little to her.

    So much fun!

    As soon as it started, I thought “noooooo, not alternate universes and time travel”.

    But so much fun!

    And seriously, are Canadian cops really such saps - LOL?

    @AP
    I thought it interesting that Pelia eventually does become an engineer when La'an went to visit her thinking she was an engineer in the past too. Perhaps the visit made Pelia think about becoming an engineer.

    @Queen
    I agree about Paul Wesley. I wasn't very keen on his previous appearance as Kirk but I liked him a lot in this episode.

    I thought that Pelia pretty clearly recognized the clothes La’an was wearing when she came onto the bridge.

    Why?

    Why have the main character of Discovery be Spock’s adopted sister? Why introduce a character in Strange New Worlds who’s a descendant of Star Trek’s greatest villain? I get that these are prequels to TOS. But it feels like the writers are going out of their way to connect the new shows to what’s come before.

    Science fiction is great for asking what ifs. What if your ancestor was Hitler and you had the chance to kill him before he became a mass murderer? It’s an interesting question that this episode waits until the very end to ask. It’s also too similar to the question raised by last season’s finale, A Quality of Mercy. Would you change the timeline to save lives? There was no good reason to tell this story and certainly no good reason to throw James Kirk into the mix. Clearly, the writers want to build a connection between La’an and Kirk. Unfortunately, the actors have no chemistry.

    This is also the third episode in a row where Pike has little to do. I didn’t hate this episode, but it’s easily one of the worst of the series.

    Oh and can we stop talking about Khan? This character has been hanging over Star Trek for 40 years. It’s time to move on.

    Not sure how I feel about the retcon explanation for the Eugenics wars not happening in the nineties, I guess it’s fine but not sure why the writers feel there needs to be an explanation for that, I highly doubt the fans or general audience are expecting that approach, doesn’t seem very sustainable to have to modify the timeline to explain why the Star Trek universe past isn’t exactly like ours.

    As far as the episode as a whole, this was one of the first SNW eps that felt very Voyager/Enterprise-esque as far as phoned-in action and plot contrivances that feel super stale. On the whole I enjoyed it but the fact that the climax is a punch out and fight over a gun after the villain pulls a Sela and explains the whole plan to La’An had me rolling my eyes.

    Time travel episodes always confuse me. I also never really understood temporal mechanics at the academy. Despite that, I love the canonical connections.

    The acting was stellar and further proves Chong is one of the strongest actors of the series. Wesley as Kirk excelled as well. I wish there might have been more ensemble but these bottle episodes are fun as well. It reminded me of the Enterprise episode shuttlepod one with Trip and Malcolm. In the Vermont scene I was trying to figure out if they were in Carbon Creek 🤣

    A little disappointed the conspiracy girl was Romulan but that’s a minor detail. They missed a chance for a “strange new” alien. Unlike the hate this decision will get on this forum, I choose to be ok with the writers telling the story they want to tell!

    La’an is the strongest character on the show. Her acting is phenomenal. Pelia too is excellent. The kiss was well done. The La’an Kirk connection will be interesting to explore. Can’t wait!

    They’re clearly doing work repairing some canon and they pull it off. The temporal war was a bit of a mistake forced onto enterprise by UPN and I appreciate the work here to bring it full
    Circle.

    I have a glimmer of hope now that some way this show could do the impossible. There must be a way if they get enough seasons to incorporate the founding of the federation, the season 5 of enterprise we never got. I think this cast could pull it off.

    BRING BACK COMBS

    3 stars. Not the best episode of the series but unique and well acted. I look forward to watching again and catching more.

    @Dogface

    "There was no good reason to tell this story and certainly no good reason to throw James Kirk into the mix. Clearly, the writers want to build a connection between La’an and Kirk. Unfortunately, the actors have no chemistry."

    1. The writers wanted to tell the story. That's all the reason they need. Did we require Van Gohh to have a good reason to paint "Starry Night"? Did we require Bach to have a good reason to write his 5th Symphony? Art owes you NOTHING, get over it.

    2. If you think they had no chemistry, I totally disagree. They were a great double act. It was very compelling.

    I really enjoyed this episode.

    … And the “New Guy” did a much better job portraying Kirk this time around!
    (Wouldn’t mind eating a hot dog with him!)

    A really fun and well-acted ep!

    That was excellent fun. Though not entirely fun. It had dark moments.

    Easy 3.5 for me.

    Anson Mount's kid was born in December 2021 and season 2 was filmed in the first half of 2022. If they decided to film in order then that would explain why these first few episodes were written to have so little Pike.

    I would say this was an average episode. But part of what pulls it down, for me at least, is Paul Wesley's charisma-free performance. I'm glad that we aren't getting a performance that apes Shatner, but couldn't we meet in the middle?

    @John They have said that's exactly why his role in the season premiere was so limited, he was on whatever passes for paternity leave for actors.

    Christina Chong absolutely killed it, especially in that final scene. Imagine finding someone you can connect to for the first time in your life, and immediately lose them. It even makes someone who is usually very unemotional crack.

    Also, Pelia is such a delightful character. Great addition to the show.

    Other than that I’m not really sold on the episode. It’s over an hour long and it did feel (too) slow and meandering at times. And I feel as if it just existed to shove in Kirk once again (and once again in an alternate timeline scenario to stick to the Trek canon) and explain the postponement of the Eugenics Wars by some Temporal Cold War shenenigans.

    Final nitpick: how can Spock exist in the alternate timeline if humans and Vulcans are enemies?

    Others wrote about how it was interesting that La'an had to choose to keep baby tyrant Khan alive for the greater good (of the future paradise Earth). And I agree that it's an interesting conundrum – but that was given so little space in the episode that it fell entirely flat for me. La'an found out early on that Kirk didn't know Noonien-Singh but that plot point was dropped for 30 minutes and only brought up again in the final minutes. In that aspect it reminded my of "The Elysian Kingdom" last season where nothing happens for 45 minutes and the interesting stuff comes out of the left field at the very end of the episode.

    Maybe I'm being too harsh (I'll rewatch the episode in a couple of days together with a friend) but for now I'd say this was one of the weaker episodes of the series.

    Despite my love for time travel stories in general, IMHO Star Trek suffers from an overuse of the trope--I suppose the writers recognized this awhile back and realized they HAD to come up with the concept of the Dept of Temporal Investigations otherwise this rather advanced society would seem rather reckless.

    And they really overuse traveling to our present time (we JUST went there in Picard S2!)--HOWEVER in this case, the time travel thankfully took a back seat to the wonderful character development we saw. I really enjoyed watching the La'an & Kirk in their scenes together & the guy that played Kirk seemed much more at ease in the role than he did the first time around.

    Star Trek: Strange New Worlds
    season 2 episode 3

    Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow

    Mal’s review before Jammer’s

    “Discretion is his middle name.”

    - La’an, when in fact she knows his middle name is Tiberius


    3 1/2 stars


    There are a few episodes in the Star Trek canon that truly live up to their Shakespearian title, and I am happy to say that "Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow” does that in spades.

    With a title taken from the same scene in MacBeth as the TOS episode "All Our Yesterdays”, this time-travel caper is as fun as Voyager’s romp with Sarah Silverman in Future’s End, and infinitely better than the temporal cold war in Enterprise. There'll be some folks who want to compare it to Seven of Nine’s adventures in Voyager’s “Relativity”, but the tone and pure fun of it is much more like The Voyage Home.

    Which is a very long way of saying I had so much fun watching this!

    The writers have done a masterful job of crafting a very straightforward mission given how convoluted time-travel can get. La’an is a security officer, and this type of mission is exactly what suits her personality. Here’s a story that would not work for Nurse Chapel or Ensign Uhura. It says something about the show that they have here a solid character, and they know what to do with her.

    The show had me hooked from the very first twist. You see, a time cop (er, Temporal Security Officer) sends La’an to the bridge, where we immediately see something is off, cause Kirk is in charge, and Spock is captain on his own ship. So obviously I thought the whole episode will be about getting Kirk and Spock to trust each other and work together to overcome the Romulans, and get La’an back to her time. But no! Some klutz (La’an) zaaps them Back to the Present (TM).

    I haven’t been the biggest fan of this new Kirk. At first he panics - he is after all, not a Starfleet officer. But soon we see the charm and charisma his character had back in TOS. He’s fun and funny and dare I say it, sexy. Who says this isn’t the best of all timelines!

    The episode is hilarious on lots of levels. There is a great injoke with Kirk guessing this must be New York City. When in fact its Toronto - hilarious, because so often shows shoot their New York City scenes in Toronto - it is way cheaper and looks roughly the same. Not quite as funny when I have to explain it, so let That Be the Last Joke I explain this review.

    Back in the Present (TM), we go through the usual Voyage Home hijinks about getting money, and City on the Edge of Forever hijinks about stealing clothes. But I have to say, I love how they did it here. Both Kirk and La’an were allowed to pay to their strengths. Kirk plays chess (not just a pretty boy!). La’an misdirects the security guard.

    I like that La’an displays a consistent reluctance to steal things. She may have Malcom’s accent, but La’an has an almost Odo-like dedication to rules.

    The key exchange that clinched the episode for me is when La’an says everything seems nice. And Kirk says, yeah, how terrible that must be for you. Kirk really loves how wonderful Earth feels. Remember this is a time period they share in both their timelines. But in Kirk’s branch, the planet is a shithole in his day. No sunsets. No Sam Kirk. I think Sam’s death was little more incentive than we needed for the script, but I suppose the writers wanted to make sure that we would be convinced that Kirk would be convinced to jettison his timeline.

    The two get what seems to be a very nice hotel room (not sure how?). They don’t quite hook up, but close enough. We know where this is going. Boom. As Ivanova once said on Babylon 5: there is always a Boom.

    And thus we are thrown into the jeopardy for the hour. Aliens be blowing up shit yo.

    We meet a quirky indie-reporter who is chasing alien sightings. Which leads to one of my favorite lines from Kirk this episode: “Please. She meant to say please." Until the twist at the end, this indie-reporter reminded me of the Mulder and Scully aliens in the Babylon 5 spin-off called Crusade.

    Oh, and the very cool car ad for Dodge. Almost forgot that. I have to say I enjoyed it way more than I thought I would. Probably the music. Reminded me of a different far younger Kirk in a different alternative timeline in the 2009 Star Trek movie driving the car off a cliff. Kirk must have a thing for red sports cars in any timeline :)

    Our indie-reporter pulls some serious NGO energy to intimidate the ridiculous Canadian cops. There must be some Canadians around here. Question - are your cops really so idiotic?

    Our semi-platonic duo take a detour down to Vermont. There is an obvious TNG’s Time’s Arrow flavor here, but again, I love the writer’s pivot away from what we expect. What we don’t find is a Guinan-like figure ready to help. What we have instead is the always delightful Carol Kane. I miss Hemmer, but Pelia has been a great addition to the cast.

    Only here Pelia is not an engineer - not yet - not even close. Her arc reminds me of Rok’s arc in Star Trek: Prodigy’s “Time Amok”. Like Rok, Pelia lives in geologic time-scales. So given a couple hundred years to kill, why not learn something new? Maybe engineering? Make a honest living. Not that any of this stuff is stolen! LOL

    And here the episode, and the mission, enters its last leg. If there is anything that brings this episode down from 4 stars to 3 1/2 stars, its the last leg of the adventure. The kiss was a great climax, so I suppose what comes after was bound to be something of a let down. But dragging the Noonian-Sung family into it seemed a little gratuitous and a bit ST-Picardy Season 2 to me (although it makes total sense - that’s why La’an was chosen). But then evil romulan future agent brings her fucked up Narisa energy (also from ST-Picard), and gives a Bond-villain like exposition dump that really pulled me out of the glorious hour. Oh well.

    Did I like the “he’s dead Jim” scene? Yes. And not because of Jim himself. But because of what it did to La’an.

    So, if you had a time machine, would you go back and shoot baby Hitler? If you’re his grand daughter, probably not. Especially if you just had the sexy Jim Kirk die in your arms. Enough dying for one day.

    As @AP says, the last 20 minutes of this episode are a tour-de-force for La’an. And Jim’s death is the trigger for that. Compare this to Kirk’s death in Generations? I can’t say it really did anything to Picard there. But this death is going to stick with La’an for a while.

    When the episode ends, and she breaks down crying, I believed it. Here’s a woman that has been through something harrowing. How will it effect her? We hope that in a slightly more serialized show like SNW, we’ll see some of that growth going forward.

    The episode ends focused on Pelia's watch (just like Time's Arrow!). Will La'an make friends with Sam? With Pelia? With Jim?

    Only time will tell.

    First thought straight off the bat is that Paul Wesley felt like a better fit for Kirk this time around, as @The Queen mentioned. I still don't think the writing for him is capturing his vibe properly from TOS, but hopefully that will evolve with time. He's still no Shatner!

    Otherwise, this was a pretty good character study of La'an, and the knife in her heart at the end was brutal. Going right back to "Memento Mori", she has been insistent that she doesn't want outside help or therapy to work through her personal issues, and now that it's a *requirement* she doesn't talk about something really fucked-up, it breaks something in her. Excellent work from Christina Chong, who is always a highlight in an extremely strong cast overall.

    I wonder what the implication of the final shot of the watch is. Is it just a painful memento for her, or is it an implication that there are further time-travel plots to come?

    Others have said they didn't see the need to reference the original canon of the Eugenics Wars happening in the 90s. I don't think you needed that either, but I also don't mind it being in there. Timeline meddling has been a plot element in every single Trek show to date (and a number of movies!), and I think I like the idea that things get shuffled around because of it.

    The most ridiculous part of the plot to me was early on. How often do you see people betting on street chess like it's high-stakes poker in a swanky casino? 😂 Oh well, I'll allow it on the grounds of moving the otherwise-enjoyable story along. 3 stars.

    “1. The writers wanted to tell the story. That's all the reason they need. Did we require Van Gohh to have a good reason to paint "Starry Night"? Did we require Bach to have a good reason to write his 5th Symphony? Art owes you NOTHING, get over it.”

    @AP

    Except that artists usually have inspiration. The writer wants to explore and idea or develop a character. This episode accomplished none of that. Did it explore the issue of timelines in a way that we haven’t seen already? No. Did it add more layers to the character of La’an? Not really. We already knew who were ancestor was. We already knew it was a legacy she wasn’t proud of. So what did this episode add to your understanding of the character? All we learned is that she was willing to preserve the timeline, even it meant allowing Khan to live and ruin a lot of lives. But we already saw this idea explored 3 episodes prior with Pike. So what was the point of this episode, other to present the same dilemma to another character?

    This was a missed opportunity. What if La’an had met Khan at the start of the episode, bonded with him, grew to care about him, and suddenly learned who he really was? Then the episode would’ve been about her coming to grips with her heritage instead of being yet another time travel story where the crew has to fix what was broken.

    I loved this episode. It got me all teary-eyed.

    [1] Christina Chong is an amazing actress and the writers told a fantastic La'an character story. The final shot with La'an in the background and the watch in the foreground was beautiful.
    [2] It was nice to learn more about Khan's story.
    [3] I loved the revisit to the Temporal Wars.

    My reaction to some of the comments I've read:
    [4] I'm pretty vocal about the need for world-building on other forums, but I didn't mind that the antagonists here are the Romulans or that it pulls from the existing Khan mythos.
    [5] I expect Pelia to know about these events. If La'an does talk to anyone about this, Pelia should be in the clear as far as the Department of Temporal Investigations is concerned.
    [6]I don't understand the disapproval of Paul Wesley's portrayal of Kirk in this or the previous episode he was in.

    Other thoughts:
    [7] What kind of effect does seeing a person vanish into thin air have on little Khan?
    [8] I would have liked to see some temporal starfleet uniforms as we saw in VOY.
    [9] It was fun to see the Romulan go unhinged as she wrestled with having been stuck in the past for 3 decades. I couldn't help but feel like she should have acted with more maturity or season.
    [10] Seeing the "you're bluffing; try me" argument fail was nice. It's such a dangerous argument to make with things like a gun.

    @UESPA_sputnik

    "Final nitpick: how can Spock exist in the alternate timeline if humans and Vulcans are enemies?"

    Why wouldn't he exist in the alternate timeline? He was shown as in command of a Vulcan vessel under attack from Romulans asking for help from Kirk (which was refused). He thought the Captain of the earth ship might help because the Romulans are mutual enemies. There was no sense Kirk and Spock knew each other (which served to show how different this timeline is). I don't really understand your nitpick!

    @artymiss

    Spock is a Vulcan-human hybrid. In a timeline where Vulcans and humans are enemies it's unlikely (although admittedly not impossible) for his parents to have a child.

    I like the acting here.
    There could have been so much more that happens here.
    This is a more character work than anything.
    We delve further into La'an's solitude and heritage.
    Excellent acting from Chong here, and better from Paul.
    I could definitely feel her sadness and relief that everything was ok in the end (as in "back to the usual")
    I don't think Pelia remembers anything. It is an alternate timeline, I think...

    @Chris W - personally, my issue with Paul Wesley is difficult to put into words. It's not that I want him to just copy what Shatner did. Chris Pine showed that you can have a different take on the character and be successful. It's just... a feeling, really.

    I think the best way I can put it is that he has a magnetism to him in TOS. It gives you the sense that no matter the scenario you drop him into, he's going to be the one driving and shaping the events and people around him through sheer stubbornness. Watching him recover that mojo he thought he'd lost was one of the best things about TWOK!

    Paul Wesley just didn't have the X factor in "A Quality Of Mercy", I felt. He got closer to it here, but for the story's sake La'an has to be the one driving events and that felt a little off

    @UESPA_sputnik

    Ah yes, I see, point taken, although presumably then the Spock in this timeline is 100% Vulcan. "It's Spock Jim but not as we know him!"

    Very special and profoundly touching at times, even though filming 85 percent of your time travel show in present day Toronto feels like NuTrek's take on ye olde Bottle Show approach.

    It's a nice character piece for La'an, but it is a bit of a pity it barely included any of the regulars in a meaningful way.

    In a season that only has 10 episodes and will also contain a musical episode (urgh) and the bound to be wacky Lower Decks crossover there's so little time to see the ensemble at work.

    Yes I agree Christina Chong did a great job , especially in that final scene , and I general on the show. She is one of my favorite actors and characters on the show. I just wish the episode had been better.

    I know it was just meant to be lighthearted, but I bumped on the idea that Starfleet soundproofing would be so bad a non-amplified musical instrument would bother neighbors.

    Wow, she got some poor innocent lady arrested? That was better than just running?

    This actor still doesn't really seem like Kirk to me, but he's totally fine as just some other captain so that's how I try to think of him.

    I thought they were just going to ignore the difficulty of getting across the border between Canada and the US, so I was pleased that they threw in a line of dialogue about bribing a border guard.

    I liked the romance that developed and really felt for La'an at the end.

    3 stars.

    That was one cute Romulan! I'd let her alter MY timeline, if you know what I mean!

    Okay, show of hands: who all here had "Canadian" in mind as to what Khan's nationality was? Eh? Eh? Heh.

    I like that the episode was set in Toronto without any attempt to disguise it. And I liked the meta joke about it.

    I think the weakest part of this episode was walking around a city waiting for a watch to glow in order to detect a cold fusion reactor. Big city. Little time. Small range on a watch. Did I miss something, or was this plan absurd?

    I like how, although this episode was from the perspective of La'an and not Kirk, you could easily imagine this episode from Kirk's perspective. It's the kind of adventure that was constantly happening to him, isn't it? Pulled off into a grand adventure of a mission he needs to cowboy around to complete with no support or backup but a super hot mysterious female companion he charms. Ha!

    Of course, then he dies at the end. But my interpretation while watching the episode was, that WAS his plan. He knew he wouldn't exist anymore once the timeline was reset, and he knew firing the gun would make the alarms go off, and he knew the alarms going off was what needed to happen. So his "bluff" was actually his plan for the Romulan to shoot and kill him and give La'an the opening she needed. He knew his death was inconsequential--he was dead anyway.

    I think this episode is quite a lot different from A Quality of Mercy thematically, but I understand people who find it too similar too soon to that episode.

    Pelia makes it clear she does not remember faces all that well. She probably does not recognize La'an as her mysterious visitor from centuries before although she probably remembers that visitor because she became interested in Engineering after. She may, however, remember the watch she gave her as a solution and recognize it in the present, giving La'an someone she can talk to about what happened. That may be why the episode ended focused on the watch, to make sure we would remember it.

    However, I kind of hope the show does not go this route. It's much more powerful for La'an to have to carry it alone and never speak of it to anyone. What a heavy burden. Even Pike doesn't have to do that with the knowledge of his fate. But it's what the job asks of you, sometimes.

    Christina Chong is so damn good.

    When La'an wept at the end of the episode, I thought the show had really earned it. It felt appropriate. In the privacy of her quarters, with the danger past. La'an acted like a professional and had her emotional release from the extreme stress of what she experienced like any human would, but appropriately. Compare that to Discovery, where Burnham is weeping all the time on the bridge because "its okay to be in touch with your emotions and request emotional support" and, well. Discovery's writers could learn a lot from this episode. And how to show characters being tested, and being reacting with emotional vulnerablity, while still being mature adults.

    Sure, Picard would have just put down his cup of Earl Grey without taking a sip and gone to look out his ready room window forlornly, or picked up his flute and started to play while lost in his thoughts. You can argue that's how an evolved future human, enlightened Starfleet officer should react. They're more emotionally grounded and self-aware in how to manage their mental health and respond to such events. But me, I think that's just Jean-Luc Picard.

    LOL, @MadBaggins.

    People are misusing the term "bottle episode". I suppose if it gets misused enough, the meaning will change (I accept descriptivism in linguistics), but I prefer the original usage, meaning a small number of characters in a confined space. There were too many extras and locations in this one to be a bottle episode IMO. Wouldn't "side quest" be more apropos?

    @Kevin: "The truly messed up: the argument that humanity needs its genocidal monsters to make progress."

    Isn't this just the other side of the coin of the sweet, kind, idealist played by Joan Collins needing to die to prevent the Nazis from winning?

    Why would Pelia recognize anything? Wasn't the timeline reset? I'm with @Eric Jensen on this.

    @Dogface: "Clearly, the writers want to build a connection between La’an and Kirk. Unfortunately, the actors have no chemistry."

    HARD disagree. I thought their abundant chemistry was the best aspect of the episode.

    @UESPA_Sputnik: "Final nitpick: how can Spock exist in the alternate timeline if humans and Vulcans are enemies?"

    Great question. But (and I know this is an area where Jammer and I agree) in my view changing the timeline that much (or, honestly, changing it at all, even if just by going into the middle of an empty field and breathing for one second before returning) should mean NONE of the characters we know should exist in the alternate timeline. But that's not the way time travel stories are written, so we just have to suspend our disbelief to have any chance of enjoying such stories.

    "I really enjoyed watching the La'an & Kirk in their scenes together & the guy that played Kirk seemed much more at ease in the role than he did the first time around."

    I enjoyed them together too, as noted above, and he did seem at ease. He just doesn't seem like Kirk. I have enjoyed other actors in that role: Chris Pine, even the guy from "Star Trek Continues"; so it's not that I can't accept anyone who isn't Shatner. And I feel like they are doing okay WRITING Kirk. This guy just doesn't seem like him, so I just think of him as "generic Starfleet captain" and it's all good.

    @Tim C: "I wonder what the implication of the final shot of the watch is. Is it just a painful memento for her, or is it an implication that there are further time-travel plots to come?"

    I wondered the same.

    I would have liked to see a little hint of menace from Khan after La'an popped off back to the future. Something simple like . . . he grabs a pencil, tosses it into the air, and catches it point-down on the tip of his nose, perfectly balanced. You know. Something to remind the viewer what he is rather than what he appears to be. What he can do. And how quickly he gets over the assassin who just showed up for him who was murdered in front of him and returns to being unperturbed.

    . . .

    So is La'an genetically engineered, or what? She was able to open the facility lock. I still don't understand. Khan was genetically engineered from conception, right? So it would have been passed on. It can't be "out" of her DNA . . .

    Does anyone have an answer?

    You can put me on team "Paul Wesley is not a great Kirk" too by the way. He's written well, but Wesley just doesn't have the . . . charisma. Magnetism, someone else said. Yeah. that's the word. Shatner and Pine play Kirk with the old school leading man heroic bravado. If you're in a room with Kirk, you're supposed to know it. He doesn't blend in. Wesley doesn't make his Kirk . . . "loud" enough. He doesn't make him stand out enough. I guess that's hard because nowadays we tend to consider people who act like that to be jerks, or secret villains, or . . . well, I'll stop there. It can still be done earnestly though. Done right. Wesley just can't do it.

    @Jeffrey's Tube: You may be onto something there, that a properly assayed, suave and swashbuckling Kirk is anathema to the nuTrek sensibility.

    @SlackerInc, @Jeffery's Tube - nah, I think NuTrek has given us some very traditional, swashbuckling space heroes in the mold of OG Trek. Anson Mount as Pike, for starters - dude just radiates charisma, which of course did Wesley-as-Kirk no favours in "A Quality Of Mercy".

    Rios was great in Picard, and the way that show imprisoned him in a pointless subplot and then killed him off off-screen is an absolute crime. David Ajala as Book also has that X-factor, I think.

    I honestly just think Wesley is miscast. He's fine, but I think you need better than 'fine' for Kirk. You need someone who makes you think "I would watch a spin-off show starring him" - like what happened with Anson Mount when he started in Disco.

    "The longest bridge in the world.. Takes you from Toronto to... St Catherines? Who approved this build?"

    @Catface meowmers, I dunno, you could avoid have to go through Hamilton, seems pretty good to me

    That was pretty awful. Not "Picard S2" awful, but bottom of SNW's rankings, certainly.

    Not even worth deconstructing.

    Shatner acts calm, cool headed, in control, offen takes his time before talking; things happen around him, but he is usually not shaken by any of them.

    Wesley is reactive, seems scared, emotional, panicked.

    For example, let's look at the beginning scene where La'An is trying to explain to him what happened. I think Shatner's Kirk would've listen to her seriously, calmly, assess what was going on and decide what to do. Wesley's Kirk was, for some reason, trying to dismiss her and prove her wrong from the get-go.

    But it may be not entirely his fault.
    I don't think modern TV offers the type of screentime that is needed to protrait a classic Kirk. And Wesley's lines, and the other's lines around him, are not Kirk-like either. For example, he asks if La'An's device could be used to send her back and she SHOUTS at him, with such disdaim, "No, I TOLD YOU". Well, if she really already "told him", then he is being dumb for asking (so, you see, Wesley simply can not be cool with such material being imposed on him); and if she didn't made it clear, Kirk would not allow this kind of tone of hers.

    Then he says "you are asking me to take a lot on faith". Well, that wouldn't be a problem for Shatner's Kirk. He is not naive, and would not be doing things just because she says so, but he would also not be dissmissive, and antagonizing her "by default".

    And it goes like that for the entire episode.

    So I think there's a lot of things going wrong with SNW's Kirk, that includes the actor, but go way beyond him.

    Oh, and he looks to much like Jim Carey haha.

    I really like Chong as an actress. Very talented. Not keen on her usual stuck-up, tough-girl, grumpy character but when Chong has something different or interesting to work, her acting chops really shine through.

    "OMG I have to get back to my ship! What have you done???"

    Wesley's delivery on this was just pure panick. His voice even shrills while sayng "ship" hahahaha. I don't think TOS writers would've even put an "oh my god" on the script; Shatner would say "I have to get back to my ship" as a pure fact, maybe with preocupation and care for his crew, but never like a desperate boy; And the "what have you done"? haha, c'mom, this isn't even a "kirk thing", I don't think anyone who is a Captain would turn on their personal as a first reaction to problems this way.

    and just a small thing: I'd tought by the 23rd century we would have some thermal regulation technology built in our cool-looking-while-comfy clothes... But I guess they're really exploring space in regular cottom shirts, eh?

    I don't know who is this David Reed, but this kinds of things make clear they didn't bother for sci-fi writing for this show...

    Lelia should be able to remember La’an (subject to any failures of memory as discussed) since the timeline is reset after the point in time where they met so the encounter between them would not be reset. Everything that happened to Kirk and La’an on the trip back to the past remains in the restored timeline.

    I would also add that although Spock would be unlikely to exist in the alternate timeline, it is possible the Earth and Vulcan have diplomatic relations (or did at one time), so his parents could have met through that (as they did in the prime timeline). Without that, Spock would not look the same as his dna would be different.

    Finally, where did people get the idea Earth and Vulcan are enemies in the alternate timeline. They are clearly not Allies, but the interaction between Kirk and Spock does not suggest to me hostility between the parties beyond the Vulcan transgression of invading sovereign territory to ask for assistance, which seems to resolve without incident.

    As someone born and raised in Toronto, I loved this episode!

    Irrespective of that, I found the majority of the episode to be a lot of fun, and found it to be a great rendition of a Star Trek staple, time travel.

    As mentioned elsewhere, my one nitpick would be with regard to how quickly La'an and Kirk were able to travel to Vermont and back, via four buses no less. If anyone might ever wonder or question how La'an could come to have feelings for Kirk as quickly as she did, they need only consider the two full days or so the two would have spent together cooped up in a bus. As Seinfeld will tell you, a weekend trip to Vermont can take a relationship to the next level... or cause it to come crashing down (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvELDRKeyKc). :p

    @F

    You get so ridiculously worked up for no reason. That wasn’t the Kirk we know, it was an alternate timeline; a fact that cannot be ignored.

    And in the context of this episode, Wesley was great.

    @ Tim C

    "nah, I think NuTrek has given us some very traditional, swashbuckling space heroes in the mold of OG Trek. Anson Mount as Pike, for starters - dude just radiates charisma, which of course did Wesley-as-Kirk no favours in "A Quality Of Mercy"."

    I agree Pike radiates charisma, but I wouldn't say it's swashbuckling Kirk-type charisma.


    "Rios was great in Picard, and the way that show imprisoned him in a pointless subplot and then killed him off off-screen is an absolute crime. David Ajala as Book also has that X-factor, I think."

    Rios never really came to life as a character for me. It was the writing plus maybe the demands of highly serialized plots. Book is a really good point. David Ajala is incredibly gifted and the character has the magnetic and swashbuckling qualities. Maybe I overlooked Book because he's never in a "command" position like Kirk so he does not leverage those qualities in the same "leading man" way.


    "I honestly just think Wesley is miscast. He's fine, but I think you need better than 'fine' for Kirk. You need someone who makes you think "I would watch a spin-off show starring him" - like what happened with Anson Mount when he started in Disco."

    True.

    We should mention, Wesley hasn't exactly played the "real" Kirk yet other than on a viewscreen briefly. The "A Quality of Mercy" Kirk was an alternate Kirk informed by different life experiences and we should expect him to be a little different. The Kirk from this episode was informed by radically different life experiences and we might expect him to be considerably different. However, I fully believe the intentions of the writers is for this Kirk to be written and played as "our" Krik, so that's kind of a moot point.


    @ F

    "and just a small thing: I'd tought by the 23rd century we would have some thermal regulation technology built in our cool-looking-while-comfy clothes... But I guess they're really exploring space in regular cottom shirts, eh?"

    "Spock's Brain" makes it clear the TOS uniforms do have thermal regulation technology. That episode was filmed on a soundstage though. Practically speaking, you can't have your actors running all over Toronto in January without a jacket.

    Some things we should just let go, imo.

    Just before this episode, I saw somewhere - wish I could remember where - an article that mentioned or maybe just speculated that the producers of this show have in mind a "growth" arc for Kirk. So that now, some years away from when he takes over the Enterprise, he's not yet the seasoned, unflappable captain we remember from TOS. I was impressed with that idea, and looked at this episode with that in mind.

    The Kirk we remember is calm, commanding, somewhat philosophical, as well as his more lovable qualities of charm, good humor, and optimism. There's always a twinkle in his eye. He's well balanced and seldom gets really angry, even though he's a great fighter. He trusts himself completely. He comes across as a "manly man" of action but is also highly intelligent and resourceful.

    The SNW Kirk is still a lieutenant and is only 2 years past the Tycho IV disaster for which he blamed himself. He's still in his 20's, a bit scrawny, and seems jumpy - anything but balanced. I gather from Memory Alpha that he's on the Farragut at this time. He needs seasoning. He comes across as more arrogant and pushy rather than confident.

    One thing I really liked about this episode was that the United Earth Kirk, who was already an experienced captain, seemed much more like the TOS Kirk. He did have some jumpy moments, but those could be due to the fact that he'd been at war for a long time. At the end, when we see the SNW Lt. Kirk, he again seems to be little more than a scrawny kid. I think the point is being made that the SNW Kirk is in fact NOT the TOS Kirk - not yet. It's Paul Wesley's job to show how he gets there.

    Personally, I'd find Wesley more relatable as Kirk if he would bleach his hair and put on a few pounds. He needs to lose the haunted look in his face. If he physically looked a bit more like the Shatner Kirk, I think Wesley has the acting chops to pull off the growth arc. But that's not to say that I want SNW to be about Kirk's Lost Years. I want to see much more of Pike & Co. Kirk should show up once or twice a season.

    @Jeffrey's Tube
    Well observed. Indeed, a very practical demand. But it was so easy to frame it better, like simply "let's put some jackets to blend better with the locals", or "to be more discreet during our investigations". It is a small thing, but it is symptomatic of a lack of tought in general on the scripts...

    @Pike's Hair
    I don't know how you are reading my messages, but I'm not "ridiculously worked up for no reason". People are not at ease regarding Paul Wesley's Kirk for some reason, I just posted my toughts on why that may be. Of course we can say "he happens to be Kirk but is otherwise a completely random and different guy", I guess, but if that's the case, what's the point even in bringing "Kirk" to the screen? I think we all like the idea that alternate versions of someone, different they may be, all share the ESSENCE of that character, and the thing is Wesley is not seeming to be able to capture that essence on Kirk.

    It was.....ok. Not really much to talk about for me on this one. Just the standard 21st century time travel episode we see too much of. It would be nice for once if they time traveled to a different era, perhaps very early Federation pre 2200 to see what that era was like.

    Still not sold on the actor for Kirk but he was better than the previous showing.

    Late to the party this week. Couldn't watch early in the AM like morning, and it was a busy day, so I just finished it. I was pleasantly surprised, given I really wasn't looking forward to either a time travel adventure or a return of James T. Kirk.

    I can't help but compare this episode to Season 2 of Picard because it used so many of the same elements. In both cases, a character has to travel back in time to the present (more or less) to fix something that would otherwise turn their own period into a dystopian nightmare. In both cases, the thing they need to stop is the killing of their own ancestor! In both cases, there's a love interest who looks like someone from their own timeline, a Romulan agent, and a near-immortal member of an alien race slumming it on Earth. There was even a car-chase!

    Yet, it all works so, so much better here, probably because they realize this is an episode's worth of story, not a whole season. Wesley's Kirk and Chong's La'an have great chemistry, and Chong continues to prove herself one of the heavy hitters among the regular cast with some weighty material here. Pulling off a "romance of a week" is something very hard - something most Trek attempts fail at, but it works here, in part because the kiss itself isn't really the point, it's that La'an finally felt herself opening up to someone, only to have it wrenched away. Plus the message of the episode was not as pat as Season 2 of Picard. It may not fit on a cereal box, but sometimes we do need bad things to happen for good things to occur, and sometimes innocent little boys grow up into monsters.

    Did I think it was perfect? Absolutely not. I thought the final scene with the Romulan agent from the future didn't quite work - there was too much telling and not enough showing. I also felt the direction was frankly mediocre here. The setting of most of the episode was mundane, but the characters we followed were fish out of water, and I feel like it would have worked better in places to have shots that really got across the alienness of the experience for them rather than the banality of walking down city streets and eating hot dogs.

    That said, it exceeded my expectations for a story structure that had been done to death before by Trek, executing a fundamentally uncreative idea quite well by rooting itself in excellent character chemistry.

    Three stars.

    Three stars. I enjoyed the Star Trek IV location shooting feel (nice to dispense with sets) of the journey back in time, the unusual choice of pairing two characters from different timelines on the same mission, and the echoes of Tomorrow is Yesterday and Assignment Earth.

    I also liked the in-joke of Kirk thinking Toronto was NYC; given that Toronto often subs for US cities in modern movies/shows because it’s cheaper: I’m amused the episode just went with Toronto being Toronto. Finally, the Romulans are always a welcome presence, even though their apparent physical familiarity to Starfleet in this series and other recent prequel shows doesn’t track completely with their reveal dialogue in Balance of Terror.

    That said, none of the time travel stuff makes much sense. The forced dialogue between Noonien Singh and Kirk about their respective universes (how do they both know “the academy” without a Starfleet in his?) is more distracting than revelatory. There’s no real inner conflict here to persuade us that Kirk’s really a good guy committed to doing the right thing; it might have been nice to treat his loyalties with more uncertainty rather than his being Kirk sufficing. That’s lazy storytelling; he should earn Singh’s trust. And we don’t know this smarmy new Kirk actor well enough (this is just his second story on SNW) to take him at face value ala Shatner. His romance with Singh is cute but a bit pointless, setting up some cheap shock value when he’s shot.

    The plot also makes no effort to set up time travel rules and follow them; we literally just get a guy collapsing and handing over a time travel device. Why does the magic box let Singh survive the timeline while nobody else does? Why does she not care about the Prime Directive on the past? Why does the ship look exactly the same in a timeline without the Federation to build it? How is alternate Kirk still his usual self after growing up in space? Why does this plight of the changed timeline feel movie of the week, without any sense that real things are at stake? Why does the time travel device not work when Kirk hits the button again after that go back in time? Just too many loose ends here for me to really enjoy the show; the plot leaves a lot of unconnected threads.

    Granted, the constant outdoor location shooting and setup held my attention. My head just hurt trying to make sense of it all. And the new Kirk looks and sounds too much like a young Jim Carrey for me to take him seriously. I miss Shatner, maybe even Pine.

    I don’t know what to say about the Khan stuff. It’s a nice emotional beat when she meets him as a scared boy, but it’s just there. I do like that the episode ended with a little wrap up scene that explained some stuff, but not that the temporal investigator didn’t say what century she came from or give more explanation before taking the device back. It’s a bit of a cheat.

    All that aside, this is a lovely character episode for Singh and the actress plays it well. So I think it works on that level, even when it talks too much and reveals too little. I liked it more than most shows on this series.

    I like how this episode BUILDS the romantic tension between the characters.

    Not many romance stories made for a -1 hour time slot can pull that off. It was...well, nice. It was nice. I know that seems like a backhanded compliment sometimes, "Oh that guy we met at the party last night was so nice" or whatever, but it really was pleasant. Star Trek has not really ever even been this good at building a strong romance store. "Lessons" comes to mind.

    Also, I liked how cold and stuffy the Temporal Investigations lady is. This dark comedic twist in the middle of a dire scene was played extremely well.

    This is by far a much stronger showing than Season 1, so far. It's got me intrigued, and they're leaning less heavily on the memberberry crap that drove Picard/Disco/The Kelvin Films.

    This ep lives or dies by it's storytelling, and while the usual sci-fi timey-wimey contrivances apply, this is at its heart a story about La'An, and it rings, it kind of resonates with her character in a sort of ... Ugh... I'm sorry I'm writing this but "harmonic resonance" which I'm sure isn't really a thing, but I heard it on Star Trek once ok

    I am confused by the people who think the timeline was reset. Everything from their trip back is part of the current timeline and everything that was reset was off screen. It doesn't really make sense that the temporal agent from the opening is dead, since the fight where he died never happened and he no longer had the device that stopped him from being affected by different timelines. But I think to make any time travel plot work, you have to accept a lot of contrivance and role with it. Personally, I liked the nod to the shifting timeline and the idea that certain events have a kind of inertia. That provides a nice explanation for why we still have the same basic cast in different timelines and parallel universes, without going too far. Like with the Klingon ridges, the balance of Enterprise's excessive earnestness and DS9's light touch has been good on SNW.
    I thought this episode was mostly well done, although I agree that NuKirk doesn't have the weightiness he needs (Shatner has more gravitas as comic relief on Boston Legal). The watch thing was stupid (how sensitive is this supposed to be?) But I assume it is a Chekov's gun which will return later. It is hard to review a character development episode when we won't see the payoff until later, but I will provisionally say 3.5/5.

    This is a poor SNW episode. The series is certainly not living up to its title. Maybe it should be changed to "Same Old Stuff Only Worse". The whole premise of going back in time to prevent some event from altering the timeline has been overused. It's like PIC S2 (the worst season of live-action Trek) boiled into 1 episode -- we even got a car-chase scene like with 7/Raffi FFS. The only redeeming quality is La'an is the star of the show and she's easily the best character on SNW. (Also, no stupid one-liners from Ortegas.)

    There's so much wrong with this episode. Paul Wesley just can't play Kirk. It's borderline blasphemy for me. Also, no urgency to this episode - slow, ponderous pacing with ultimately a very simple plot. This should be a 1-hour episode -- don't waste an extra 20 mins. of my time. The Romulan agent was just so unlike what a Romulan should be like. There's literally nothing of substance that is original here.

    When La'an busts onto Kirk's bridge, why would he give her a private meeting after abruptly questioning her? That made no sense for Kirk to do.

    And initially it seemed like the Romulan woman was way stronger than La'an -- but of course La'an ends up winning the fight and guns her down. Then she leaves the gun in young Khan's room before returning back to the future. Just sloppy all around.

    As for the Romulan plot of slowing human progress, trying to kill Khan, prevent the Federation from forming -- this is all really nonsense. It's just BS and not worth thinking about. This is all about La'an to have a character examination and maybe feel that augments have a purpose, that her ancestor Khan (as diabolical as he is) served a useful purpose? Is that what this episode was about? I suppose La'an, who has trouble with people, finds Kirk special... Not good enough for a character examination.

    1.5 stars for "Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow" -- Obviously this is a collage of different Trek episodes / movies, but I just expect better. SNW S2 is off to a worse start through it's first 3 episodes than PIC S2. I think it's proving difficult to come up with original stories given canon restrictions. But La'an is a good character, played by a really good (and cute) actress -- so that much kept my interest.

    @Tim C - Regarding Paul Wesley's lack of magnetism: I wonder if that's on purpose. In both of those scenarios, he's not meant to be "THE" Jim Kirk, y'know? "THE" Jim Kirk is 'our' Kirk that is Captain of the Federation starship Enterprise. Not some Earth Ship Enterprise and not the USS Farragut. :-)

    Regarding Pelia - why would she forget things in the corrected timeline? She took action to help prevent the upcoming incident that would change the timeline. So she would remember, right?

    Now, here's a thought: could Paul Wesley's bloodless, bland Kirk be an unseen result of the temporal wars?

    Kirk has to be at least as much of a nexus point as Khan. So, maybe the Federation's enemies have tried to make sure he was never born. They succeeded and yet, because time is stubborn, a Kirk somehow pops up anyway. It's just a somewhat different James T. Kirk.

    I liked it. Time travel episodes are spotty at best for me, but this worked.

    Only nitpick: A fusion reactor wouldn’t give off tritium. Tritium is the fuel. The byproduct would be helium, and given the relative scarcity of tritium, you’d try to not let any unburned tritium escape. Especially in quantities that a watch could detect out on the street. It’s several thousand dollars per gram.

    Also, no need for a divers watch, although it is cool. Green glowing exit signs use the same technology, and glow because they have trace amounts of tritium in them.

    I really did like it, just got taken out of it a bit for that part because I know a lot about that topic.

    @ Trek fan

    "Finally, the Romulans are always a welcome presence, even though their apparent physical familiarity to Starfleet in this series and other recent prequel shows doesn’t track completely with their reveal dialogue in Balance of Terror."

    They actually haven't broken this rule. The Romulan agent mentions she has been surgically altered to look human, but she never says how much. She makes a comment to Kirk about "not being used to the ears," but that wouldn't mean anything specific to La'an. I agree that La'an maybe should have had a "holy shit I'm looking at a real live Romulan standing in front of me!" moment, but there wasn't exactly time. And Alt-Kirk presumably already knows what Romulans look like since in his timeline Earth was at war with them.

    They even made sure to have the dying Romulan agent disintegrate herself so that La'an couldn't get a good look at it and realize it bled green.

    However, Pike knows what Romulans look like because he remembers everything that happened in A Quality of Mercy . . . I guess he's keeping that to himself. Which I believe of him as a character. He seems to do that sort of thing a lot.


    "That said, none of the time travel stuff makes much sense. The forced dialogue between Noonien Singh and Kirk about their respective universes (how do they both know “the academy” without a Starfleet in his?) is more distracting than revelatory."

    They both have "an academy" for officers and presumably some of the curriculum would be the same, no?


    "There’s no real inner conflict here to persuade us that Kirk’s really a good guy committed to doing the right thing; it might have been nice to treat his loyalties with more uncertainty rather than his being Kirk sufficing. That’s lazy storytelling; he should earn Singh’s trust. And we don’t know this smarmy new Kirk actor well enough (this is just his second story on SNW) to take him at face value ala Shatner. His romance with Singh is cute but a bit pointless, setting up some cheap shock value when he’s shot."

    The dying Federation time agent told La'an to "go to the captain." In for a penny, in for a pound. She followed the other instructions (she didn't have much choice), so I buy that she would trust Kirk more easily than the circumstances might otherwise warrant.


    "The plot also makes no effort to set up time travel rules and follow them; we literally just get a guy collapsing and handing over a time travel device. Why does the magic box let Singh survive the timeline while nobody else does?"

    It's a weapon of the Temporal Cold War (three words I hate by the way, but, it's indelibly part of Star Trek now). If you accept that a "Temporal Cold War" can be fought at all--and we must, thank you Enterprise writers--then technology that allows actors in the war to be protected from timeline changes so that they have the opportunity to fight back against them is required.


    "Why does she not care about the Prime Directive on the past?"

    She does. Why do you think she doesn't? She doesn't even want to steal from a store because of it.


    "Why does the ship look exactly the same in a timeline without the Federation to build it?"

    It might look the same due to parallel design principles, but I doubt it was the same under the hood. Presumably the structure and interfaces are the same but the technology on it is less advanced because it isn't the result of many societies working together to create.


    "How is alternate Kirk still his usual self after growing up in space?"

    Was he? Nature vs nurture? I don't think this is a debate we'll be able to adequately settle. I agree that he was meant to be essentially the same by the writers, so I guess they have their stance on nature vs. nurture marked out.


    "Why does this plight of the changed timeline feel movie of the week, without any sense that real things are at stake?"

    Was that any different in 90s Trek? You always knew the characters in the opening credits were going to be fine by the end of episode barring a contract dispute. You always knew things were going to be resolved, more or less. The joy was in the how, not the what, of that. More of a classic television storytelling than we're used to these days, but no less enjoyable for that, in my opinion.


    "Why does the time travel device not work when Kirk hits the button again after that go back in time?"

    It locked until the crisis that La'an had sent was averted. The button was red, and turned green once it was okay for La'an to leave. Presumably the dying Temporal agent had a chance to program it before dying and handing it over. It had to bring her to the event in question also, after all, and she didn't know how to make it do that. And when you think about it, a Temporal agent from the future wouldn't hand over tech like that to someone from an earlier era without the precaution of locking it like so, no matter what, right? Temporal Prime Directive, plus who knows what sort of WORSE damage she might unknowingly cause through bumbling unintentionally!


    I just think a lot of these things actually were thought about and covered by the episode. There are holes (there always are), I just don't think they're the ones you picked. Heh.

    @Jeffrey's Tube

    Pelia is a collector, is fascinated by objects so I agree she's likely to remember the watch. There was definitely too much made of this watch for it never to be seen again!

    Oh, Pelia remembers. The timeline was the same up until the murder of Khan so that stays intact. She is a keeper of her own secrets so is smart enough not to say anything.

    I assume because they kept showing the watch that there will be a conversation between the two at some point.

    I don't mind them trying to make canon how the original 1990s openly known eugenics wars are now secret wars in the 21st century to try to fit and still make Trek "our future". They basically are saying that timeline violations have sometimes been successful and so now he is born decades later. That is a bit of a hole because why couldn't they go stop those ones again. Clunky, but I give them credit for giving it a go. I think Trek in general should have made this a different universe all together and not "our exact future" to at least not have to face dates and times mentioned in the series.

    I wonder if any new Trek they make in 2060 will start to change the date of first contact to keep it in line with "our world" :)

    Hm... I wanted to give this one a chance, to try to appreciate it on its own terms but it didn't quite pass muster for me. As an hour of television one could certainly do worse, but as a Star Trek episode it was all pretty milquetoast.

    The time spent in Toronto was just plain low key fun, and the two leads are given plenty of time to let their interactions and chemistry (or lack thereof) flow naturally. But again, that's appreciating it as generic television. You know it's Nu-Trek since when it comes to time travel, they always gotta go back to present-day Earth even when the show is literally called Strange New Worlds. But there's nothing like an alt-rock tune accentuating the thrills of a car chase to remind us that we're still watching Star Trek.

    And Wesley would have been mostly fine if he were cast as just an ordinary Everyman... perhaps as the new kid in town in some cheap indie direct-to-video romcom. Unfortunately here, he's Diet Kirk and he's in the spotlight for most of the hour.

    Also, bang up job on the Romulan disguised as a modern human. I'm sure the actress worked hard on adding all those layers to her role when it would have been all too easy to simply cast Jane from Accounting. At least the costume and make-up departments got the night off. As did the rest of the cast.

    Speaking of which, where are all the other people? Even if we choose to treat the duo-act as an opportunity rather than as a demotion of the usual ensemble talent, the world itself just feels so empty and hollow. An example what really made me feel this was how this really important top secret facility is all but deserted and even after they set off the security alarms they have all the time in the world to converse and loiter around for pregnant dramatic pauses since apparently no one is coming until the very end when it's time to go anyway.

    Lastly, I don't see how La'an talking about her time-travel experiences from the past in the present would jeopardize everything she just did and is therefore strictly forbidden. What's done is done and she can't go back to that defunct timeline anyway. I feel like the writers just sleptwalk through all the usual time travel cliches without logically thinking them through to figure out if they were really necessary. I guess *someone* had to pat her on the back and tell her how great she did because we as the audience might have fallen asleep at points and may not have been too sure if the outcome was truly bad or good.

    P.S.
    Why is she bawling her eyes out at the end like never before? Is it because she had to *gasp* kill an crazed Romulan? Or could it be because she doesn't get to romance the great Captain James T. Kirk afterall? Felt totally unearned either way.

    P.P.S
    You heard it right here. Carol Kane called Starfleet's economic system "socialism", so that finally settles that.



    "Let me end him and you'll never have to hear the name Khan ever again. You could be free of him." ...oh please don't tease us so... we all know that the showrunners would never truly kill their golden goose.

    And since I noticed a few people ask this....no, the cops in Canada are not that stupid or careless. An important piece of context that might have eluded some people is that a major terrorist attack just occurred with many injured, and the cop chooses not to make the arrest when someone radios him that they could really use more personnel at the site of this major disaster. If it had not been for that, I too would wonder why reckless driving + no licence would be let off with a warning.

    @Tim C: You really don't see how Pike has been _________ compared to his portrayal in the original TOS pilot? I put a blank in there because there are several different words or phrases you could insert.

    Positive: "modernized", "updated", "given more depth and complexity", "made warmer/more caring/more sensitive".

    Neutral: "altered".

    Neutral to negative: "feminized", "had his rough edges sanded down".

    Negative: "emasculated", "nerfed".

    I doubt the nuTrek writing team would really deny a positive version of this, at least if they were one-on-one being honest over a couple of IPA's. They would say you just can't, or shouldn't, make a show in 2023 with a straight white guy as the hero who has that Sixties chauvinist vibe about him. My counter is that I can understand why they might not want to create a new character of that sort, but I'd like those established characters to maintain their original personality profile.

    @RedD: "Not keen on her usual stuck-up, tough-girl, grumpy character but when Chong has something different or interesting to work, her acting chops really shine through."

    Agreed on both counts.

    @TheQueen: "He's still in his 20's"

    Paul Wesley is 40.

    @Bryan: "Unfortunately here, he's Diet Kirk"

    ::spit take::

    “There was no sense Kirk and Spock knew each other (which served to show how different this timeline is)”

    The Kirk that existed in this timeline was nothing like the Kirk in the prime timeline. He was a totally different person with totally different life experiences. It seems he grew up in a crueler, more desolate world. Never seeing sunsets. When the timeline is restored, he doesn’t exist anymore in anyone’s memory . His existence completely wiped away. Only one person remembers who he was, La'an. When she calls prime Kirk , she obviously knows that. In reality. she saw this Kirk die in more than just one way. The realization is just devastating to her.

    @SlackerInc: oh sure, Mount's Pike is definitely a different beast from Hunter's. Roddenberry's original take on the character was a much more curt, world-weary man. But notably, even back in the 60's, the network judged that version of Pike wasn't the right lead for the show, and Roddenberry came up with his version of Horatio Hornblower in Kirk instead. So I think making Pike a more audience-friendly character would have been inevitable, no matter what era you chose to write him in.

    And back to the point, although he definitely has a different style to Kirk, as "A Quality Of Mercy" aptly demonstrated, I still am drawn to Mount whenever he's on screen. He definitely has that air of natural leadership you need for the role, and he also uses charm to disarm his opponents in much the same way.

    @Tim C

    "I still am drawn to Mount whenever he's on screen. He definitely has that air of natural leadership you need for the role, and he also uses charm to disarm his opponents in much the same way."

    Intentionally or not, as played by Anson Mount, Pike is the Steve Rogers of Starfleet. A natural leader, who embodies all the is best, most noble, most inspiring, and most endearing about his culture. A guy you'd follow into the mouth of Hell, but for completely DIFFERENT reasons than you would follow Kirk (a ballsy tactical genius) or Sisko (a ruthless warrior). Think about it, Starfleet's highest award is the Pike Medal. He's supposed to exemplify the best of the best in the fleet. The crazy thing is that like Chris Evans, something about Mount's personal charisma makes the viewer truly believe in his character. I was always afraid you could never do Cap (a notoriously preachy guy with a long history of cringe inducing episode in print) unironocally in film, until I saw CA: The First Avenger and Evans won me over. Mount has done the same with his iteration of Pike.

    For a much better, far more articulate and imaginative explanation than what is offered here of how the Eugenics Wars really did happen in the 1990s and how the canon established in Space Seed really does hold up even though our timeline doesn’t resemble the Star Trek universe timeline, see the paperback trilogy entitled “The Eugenics Wars: The Rise and Fall of Khan Noonien Singh” by Greg Cox, published by Pocketbooks. I know Star Trek novels and comics aren’t considered canon, but some of the better written ones should be.

    I'll give this one * * *.

    It drags a bit in places and this version of Kirk doesn't yet convince me, but Chong is great. I really loved the ending.

    Boring, silly, unconvincing. Christina Cheong was excellent as La'an though.

    Least exciting car chase on television ever.

    Next. Please.

    Loved this episode. What a fun ride and classic Trek (every series has to have a "present day" and "alternate timeline" episode).
    1. I really enjoyed Wesley's Kirk. At first I didn't care for him but this episode showed he has the Kirk Factor.
    2. Loved Jim and La'an as an item and hope that happens in the future with main timeline Kirk (probably not though because of TOS cannon)
    3. I laughed when Kirk thought Toronto was NY. Understandable since this Kirk never visited Earth.
    4. Loved Kirk's driving and chess hustling. ♔♘♗
    5. Kirk sacrificing himself was heroic and touching.
    6. I’m really starting to like Pelia and found her solution of using an old diving watch in place of a tricorder genius. She's such a delightful eccentric but I still can't get over Hemmer's death. Welp.
    7. Christina Chong was a strong actor as usual but killed it in the final scene.
    It wasn't just that she lost her love with but also the tough choice she had to make to allow her genocidal ancestor to live because if the Eugenics Wars didn’t happen, the Federation wouldn’t have formed.
    Echoes of the TOS episode “City on the Edge of Forever” where Kirk had to allow the woman he fell in love with to die in a car accident or her anti-war movement would allow the Nazis to win.
    Another “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few” - although billions weren’t “few” but at least the earth was habitable and not alone in the Universe in the aftermath.
    4 stars.

    @Jeffrey's Tube
    'I would have liked to see a little hint of menace from Khan after La'an popped off back to the future. Something simple like . . . he grabs a pencil, tosses it into the air, and catches it point-down on the tip of his nose, perfectly balanced. You know.'

    I was watching the episode on my mobile in the sun, but I believe La'an left the (loaded) pistol in Khan's (a child's!) room/cell. Watching it I thought it was such an obvious blunder that I felt the writers must have done it in purpose.

    "OMG there was already a car chase scene in Picard. And the 2009 Star Trek movie."

    So what??


    There are tons of episodes across the franchise with holodeck malfunctions, mirrorverses, setting the ship to auto-destruct to outsmart alien takeover, human alien hybrids struggling with their identity, alien viruses, nebulas that do crazy shit, God-like aliens, destroying computers with paradoxes and space-time continuum stuff.

    But a car chase that's already been done before? How dare they!

    smh

    Pike in The Cage was feeling burned out and disillusioned. He had just lost his yeoman (implied to be a very close friend) on Rigel on the mission immediately before. He was having a crisis of faith and purpose in his mission, maybe in his competence, and also just generally grieving. He is not in his usual good spirits, and it isn't a stretch to say he was depressed. See the conversation in his quarters with Dr. Boyce. At the end of The Cage, he feels reinvigorated and re-inspired with his mission and his good spirits are implied to have returned.

    All this is to say, I have no problem believing his personality in SNW and Discovery is his "usual" personality and The Cage was an outlier, when he was in a mood. People do act like that. It does happen, to all of us, from time to time. It "fits" just fine for me and I don't feel a disconnect.

    (None of this was intended by the writers, of course. They wouldn't have cared whether or not it fit when they sought to create this version of the Pike character. They only would have cared what was best for the show. So it's just a happy accident.)

    Wow. That was depressingly bad. I wasn't expecting much, but I sure as hell wasn't expecting that. Never seen such a lackadaisical time travel episode.



    @F
    Thu, Jun 29, 2023, 6:14pm (UTC -5)
    "Shatner acts calm, cool headed, in control, offen takes his time before talking; things happen around him, but he is usually not shaken by any of them. Wesley is reactive, seems scared, emotional, panicked. For example, let's look at the beginning scene where La'An is trying to explain to him what happened. I think Shatner's Kirk would've listen to her seriously, calmly, assess what was going on and decide what to do. Wesley's Kirk was, for some reason, trying to dismiss her and prove her wrong from the get-go."



    Discount Chris Pine (I refuse to learn his name) is hardly Kirk. The real Kirk (Shatner) would've been offended that an intruder was on his ship and he had no idea how she got there. Even if he wasn't particularly threatened by her, since she was cute, he still would've called security. He took the security of "his" ship seriously.

    Here everybody just stares at this strange woman with dumbfounded expressions on their faces. They don't order any scans. They never call security. And they let her alone with the Captain, whom she promptly kidnaps. The complete lack of a serious reaction to some unknown person walking onto the Enterprise bridge was absurd.

    Wow, what a great episode. There where funny twists, good acting, a better Kirk, a love story.

    Was all perfect? No, I like when the ensemble works together and it take place in space. The earth part was just to much earth.

    This time I can easily forgive it because I liked the story and hearing Chong speaking english does not make it worse.

    Not really understanding the sudden favour shown to the new portrayal of Kirk by some here. It remains one of the most baffling miscasting decisions in Trek history and for such a core Trek character it's frankly bizarre.

    I won't deny that the actor is affable, but James T Kirk he is absolutely not. He does not resemble Kirk in any way, shape or form - not in his appearance, mannerisms, voice and certainly not in terms of charisma, even allowing for this to be an earlier version of Kirk. The actor's fine, so why not just have him portray a new character - say, Lt. Jack Rubicon Church or whatever?

    @Chris L.
    Thu, Jun 29, 2023, 11:49pm (UTC -5)
    "I liked it. Time travel episodes are spotty at best for me, but this worked. Only nitpick: A fusion reactor wouldn’t give off tritium. Tritium is the fuel. The byproduct would be helium, and given the relative scarcity of tritium, you’d try to not let any unburned tritium escape. Especially in quantities that a watch could detect out on the street. It’s several thousand dollars per gram."




    1) During the Cold Fusion debacle of the early 90s, tritium was said to be one of the reaction products. Researchers claimed to have found tritium in their devices that previously wasn't there. Skeptics blamed it on prior undetected contamination.

    2) Tritium is one of the products bred in some kinds of fusion reactions, using a lithium breeding blanket. In fact that's the plan for certain reactor designs. https://euro-fusion.org/glossary/tritium-breeding/#:~:text=Glossary%20Term%3A%20Tritium%20breeding&text=Since%20tritium%20is%20practically%20non,tritium%20and%20one%20helium%20nucleus.

    3) The scene was poorly executed, so this point was glossed over when she said, "The reactive material will be exposed to the air, and if there's tritium present...." They weren't implying that tritium was emanating from the Cold Fusion reactor. Noon states that tritium gives off a small amount of radiation (she never specifies, but she's correct) as it decays. She's not talking about the tritium flying around as it decays. She's talking about the beta radiation emitted when a tritium atom decays. Those watches work by reacting to that beta radiation, not tritium radiation.

    4) I don't think they'd be sensitive enough to detect beta radiation at a distance, because as charged particles it should be largely blocked by whatever containment vessel is able to achieve fusion. I supposed some leakage is possible, but It's literally carrying away usable energy from the reactor , squatting all over your reactor efficiency. However, if there were sufficient quantities present in the reactor WHICH is so poorly shielded and inefficient as to allow enough beta radiation to escape then yeah that might work. But not without a lot of health problems from passersby. Bootleg Chris Pine and Singh would've found the reactor by reading about the trial of the century as the people responsible for this craptastic reactor design got life in prison.

    I'm ambivalent on this one. There's some good and bad, which is at least consistent for these first few eps.

    The good
    - La'an is a strong and complex character the likes of which we haven't seen in a wholly original Trek character in a long while. She's highly professional and introverted, but still carries the weight of a lot of emotional undercurrents. I hope we get more episodes focused on her.

    - Despite its logical story flaws, the episode is directed really well and breezes by. It's a lot of fun for most of it, reminding me style-wise like the first JJ movie (not necessarily a bad thing). Other than the lame mustache twirling fist fight scene towards the end, it works beat for beat. I liked another poster said (Rahul?) it was as if they condensed Picard season 2 into 1 episode and actually made it competently. So true.

    The bad
    - Please stop with Khan. I beg them. If anyone who works for Trek is reading this, I beg you to put up a sign in the office in big bold letters 100pt typeface: NO MORE KHAN!!!!!!
    (To be honest though, if 10 year old Khan picked up that gun and shot somebody in cold blood, I would say hell yes, please give us more Khan.)

    - The terrible Romulan lady villain here rivals the terrible Republican lady villain from the 1st season of Picard. What's with them and cartoonishly bad lady Romulan villains? Are they not allowed to have realistic nuance?

    - At first I was excited by La'an's proposition of bringing another Kirk to the present and having 2 Kirks (kinda like the 2 Rikers). It would have been a smart way to have Kirk as a character without having to attempt to mimic Shatner's version, which is obviously in the back of literally everyone in the audience's minds. It also would have the double effect of slightly changing their present, so the writers could play around with the narrative and not have to biblically adhere to canon. If there's another Kirk around, that's certainly a butterfly effect that's not necessarily catastrophic. But then they just go and kill him off.

    Akiva Goldsman's explanation for what they did change in the timeline is also nonsensical. He said they merely wanted to have an in-universe explanation for why the the Eugenics War hadn't happened by the 2020s, when it was supposed to have happened in the 90s so we as the audience could still have some aspiration for our own future. Huh? Who actually cares about that? Did we need a whole episode made to explain this away? Are they going to propose an episode to explain every contradiction that's occurred across all 900 episodes and 13 movies? It's so condescending. This is not a show for babies. Can someone explain why Goldsman is even still involved here? Can't they just leave sole showrunning to Henry Alonso Myers, who by all accounts knows what he's doing? How did Goldsman even worm his way into the Trek universe anyhow? Isn't he supposed to be a hackish film writer? I want answers!

    As to the disagreement here about whether Pelia remembers La'an, I think she would at least have the capacity to remember due to the fact that the timeline shifted AFTER she met with her and Kirk. And who would forget what was likely the only time someone has ever found her who knew her secret? She's not likely to bury that one. The only thing she may have forgotten was the face of who it was. But La'an showing up on the bridge in the same clothes and same hair style probably clicked. We'll see.

    “Here everybody just stares at this strange woman with dumbfounded expressions on their faces. They don't order any scans. They never call security. And they let her alone with the Captain, whom she promptly kidnaps. The complete lack of a serious reaction to some unknown person walking onto the Enterprise bridge was absurd.“

    Yeah okay pal. The fact that she had a uniform on that matched theirs exactly except for comm badge surely a reason for them to all freak out and throw her in the brig. That would be SUCH a Trek response. I can’t believe the writers didn’t hire you!

    @Maq what did you mean hearing Chong speaking English does not make it worse..her character always speaks English and always in a British accent so not sure what you meant by that?

    @Maq

    I am most familiar with D+T hot fusion, where you fuse a deuterium atom with a tritium atom to get He-4, and a high energy neutron. The only way you get tritium out of that reaction is if that high energy neutron goes out and hits something else and causes that something else to decay into tritium. It would be caused by a secondary nuclear reaction. You can design for exactly that with Li-6 so that you can breed some of your own tritium in situ, which is nice. That’s what happened at the castle bravo nuclear test, and the extent of the effect was unanticipated at the time. But in any case, you aren’t venting it to atmosphere in a reactor unless by mistake. You want to harvest that and contain it to use it for more fuel.

    The glow comes from the beta decay striking the phosphor and causing a photon to escape. So you wouldn’t necessarily need the tritium to be exposed to atmosphere, except for the fact that beta particles aren’t terribly hard to contain, and a few walls of a building ought to do it. And if you don’t have good containment of a chain fusion reaction, you won’t need a diving watch to find it….

    Anyways, I think we agree, it just really jarred me for some reason. You don’t go looking around for a fusion reactor with phosphor anymore than you would detect a traditional nuclear reactor with a Geiger counter. Proper containment should make it indistinguishable from background.

    I’ll add that although beta particles can be stopped relatively easily, they do then release gamma radiation, which is much harder the shield against. So La’an would have had better luck looking for gamma rays, not beta particles directly.

    Physics rant over.

    @Leif

    While of course @Maq can explain himself, I took it to mean that he likes Chong's English accent.

    Where I live (Scandinavia) people would also make the same distinction as @Maq did, even though such wording might give an unintended negative impression to native English speakers.

    @Quincy

    Sorry, just realized I put the wrong handle on my response; I was responding to you.

    @Chris L.

    Yeah. We pretty much agree. I defer to your explanation. Nuclear physics is not my expertise. I just read a lot. And I followed the cold fusion incident closely when it happened. However, I wasn't suggesting that tritium breeding was a part of the primary reaction. That's why I mentioned the lithium.

    But let me ask you, aren't the neutrons for the lithium blanket carrying away a large part of the reactor output? Don't you have to find some way to capture that energy? Or do you just eat that lost energy?

    Part of the problem with any analysis is that we're talking about a cold fusion reactor, not a hot fusion reactor. Clearly that doesn't exist. Can't really analyze that in terms of what we expect from tokamaks, polywells, and stellarators.

    Thermal scan from satellites probably would find the reactor just fine because the original so-called cold fusion experiments weren't cold. If this reactor is putting out enough power to blow up a city, it would definitely be visible from thermal imaging.

    While I have you here, what do you think about some of the private ventures for commercial fusion such as Helion? Or Astral Systems, which has plans to tap into the bustling medical radioisotopes market? They plan to make isotopes on site where needed. Tritium was just one of the products they're planning to market. Lutetium 177 was another, which has just been approved for 23 different cancers.

    Helion
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yNP8by6V3RA

    Astral Systems
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UtfUeip4vyA

    @Quincy-

    You eat some of it. The 14 MeV neutron hits the Li-6 and causes it to fission, so you spend that energy, yes. But you just created a fission, which releases more He-4, a tritium atom, and a ~4 MeV neutron. So you lost 10 MeV, but you gained another tritium atom which you can now use to generate a new 14 MeV neutron, so it is a net win if you can sustain it.

    One eV is approximately 11600 degrees Kelvin, so anything with MeVs of energy is pretty energetic.

    I don’t know what to make of most of the commercial players. I know Helion is trying for deuterium-deuterium fusion, which produces far less energetic neutrons, but you also don’t have to source any tritium and it could run on heavy water. So, much cheaper fuel. I think a lot of these companies have a better chance of making money by supplying medically or commercially useful isotopes and selling them. D-D fusion produces tritium, which is incredibly valuable, so even if they don’t produce something viable for harnessing energy at a net gain, they may be able to make an impact on those markets. I think they are far more likely to do that then solve the world’s energy problems.

    I didn't even realize during the episode that they were attempting to fix the canon in terms of events previously said to happen in the Nineties (like the Eugenics Wars) and so on. Which I guess then makes this actually a different timeline than TOS?

    Personally, I don't find this at all necessary. It's just interesting that probably due to the historical accident of the way the dates looked and sounded at the time, Roddenberry and his writers placed so many events so relatively near in time to the then-present (late Sixties). I guess if anything, I would prefer that they just George Lucas the audio and add 100 years to every date reference, instead of going for this tortured explanation.

    Boy, I thought I was going to hate this one. The awkward beginning had a strange pace, but the plot got more and more promising. Good character development. Maybe it should have been a two-part story to let the plot breathe more naturally..

    And interestingly the apparent plot holes didn't bother me. The alternate Spock and such. You simply might think of the fractured timeline as, maybe, an organism healing itself somehow, filling the gaps the best it can. Like the mirror universe. By the way, someone has theoretically proposed that time travelling wouldn't change much the future. Apparently they did the math and so. Whatever. Nice episode as far as Trek goes.

    I think unless it is a terrible violation of continuity we just need to let that stuff go. They have had something like 700 + episodes from all series and its impossible even with the best writing to get it all in line. SNW has been doing its best to keep as much in line as they can and I respect them for that.

    All of this is alternate timeline anyways because they just said that the Temporal Wars changed not only when the Eugenics wars happened but when Khan was born .So, if one must have it all make sense in the head, chalk discrepancies up to that.

    What I want is a good enjoyable series that does it's best to honor the history of the franchise. I think SNW has strived for this more than any Trek series in the NuTrek era.

    PS - I also absolutely love their format of dedicating episodes to specific characters. TNG, DS9 and Voyageur all did that but that was sent to the garbage heap when the "Everything is about Burnham" show came along. I am happy they have gone back to that.

    I liked La'an and Pelia. Paul Wesley's Kirk still doesn't feel like Kirk, even though we've mostly only seen 2 versions of him from alternate universes.

    The main thing that didn't work for me in this episode is it felt like Picard season 2 all over again. Bleh. Too bad because there was some great stuff in this, especially La'an's character arc.

    The problem with Paul Wesley’s portrayal of Jim Kirk is he looks like Jim Carrey. So every time he makes that clenchy face, or we get a side shot, we’re expecting Ace Ventura or Cable Guy to turn to the camera, break the 4th Wall and let off a “reaallllllllly..”

    @Janeway’s Labrat

    It's compounded by the fact that Carrey has done ST skits as Kirk in the past. It's hard not to see when you're an old fart like me.

    @Leif and @Bok R'Mor

    Well there are diffrrent English, Scottish, Austrailian, NZ, Indian ... variants of english as wel as American, Canadian, South African ... and lets not forgett the Windrush people. I am not an expert of English, and now I speak about England. I have worked wit some and spoke with more. Some just are normal and my friend from Bath I even could have mistaken for an American with an "neutral" accent. I very much liked Penolepe Keith in "To manor born" being very much aware of the class marke in her ariculation.

    I just melt when I hear Cristina Chong speak. This is not beacuese she is an atracive woman. I melt when I hear her speak, I also melt when I hear Klaus Maria Brandauer speak. I could travel around the world just to hear them read names an adresses from a telephone book.

    If I would melt more for Ms Chong it is beacause I am an "old man" with best used before date passed.

    PS If Ernst Hugo still would be around he could read from a telephone book as well. although preferbly sitting on a save distant.

    Loved this. Loved the nod to “A Piece to the Action”. Loved the personal story,

    Yeah, a tad contrived, blah blah blah. It’s just a wonderful story working with the established characters.

    Also loved the retconning of the eugenics wars, which actually opens up new possibilities.

    Also: this was a sound and justified reason to cry. Take that, Discovery.

    Whatever else you can say about this episode, I was *thrilled* to see La’an and Kirk wandering around Yonge-Dundas Square (“Appears to be New York City”) and then shoplifting from the Roots in the Eaton Centre. And then having the essential Toronto hot dogs.

    I really enjoyed this episode. I didn’t mind the pacing, the slow build. The character work between La’aan and Kirk worked and Wesley is growing on me as Kirk. I didn’t mind him in “A Quality of Mercy” since that was a different timeline but I saw hints of the real Kirk even here as an alternate Kirk. Time will tell once we see Wesley as the real Kirk.

    But I enjoyed it and the fact that Toronto was actually Toronto. The Terminator 3-esque delaying of the Eugenics War and WWIII works as well. I enjoyed it!

    And I agree with HarryH, a legit reason for tears and emotion. DID NOT see that coming! It wasn’t overworked, it wasn’t overdone or overacted or directed. It wasn’t cloying. It was deserved. DISCO works too hard to hit those emotional beats which makes it really difficult to swallow ever since Season 2 when they decided that was what they were going to go for. But here SNW hit it just right with very little effort.

    @Chris L.
    Fri, Jun 30, 2023, 9:31pm (UTC -5)


    One of the things that struck me about Helion's approach was that they claimed that they should be able extract energy straight out the reactor without having a middleman such as turbine. The fusing plasma is supposed to push back against the containment field generating electricity. Some of the other channels commenting on their approach, though were a lot less enthusiastic about it than the link I posted.

    Yeah, commercial ventures need to find ways to make the quest for fusion profitable much sooner than a full fledged implementation. I think that's the only way we make it to a working economic breakeven fusion reactor in our lifetime. A competitive race in manufacturing isotopes could really help the whole field gain some serious private sector momentum. I'll definitely be keeping my eye on this field.

    I've had a little more time to consider and think about the episode and read the comments here, so a few more points.

    While I am firmly in the camp that tends to excoriate the writers and producers and NuTrek in general, I do concede that SNW at least tries to engage with previous Trek in a respectful, hat-tipping way where it can (I note that Kathryn 'wej Duj' Lyn is now one of the dozens of producers, so maybe she's a good influence). Unfortunately, try as they might, this isn't uniformly successful.

    Nonetheless, I've thought a great deal about this episode in particular because I could finally clearly see what the writers were earnestly trying to do: they were trying to reproduce what made every single 'back to the present or thereabouts' time travel episode in TOS, TNG, DS9, VOY and ENT work. As other commenters have pointed out, there are abundant well-meant nods to everything from 'City on the Edge of Forever' and 'The Voyager Home' to 'Time's Arrow', 'Past Tense', 'Future's End', 'Carpenter Street' and 'Carbon Creek' among others here. And in that respect this episode functions well - at least much, much better than the awful time travel episodes in PIC S2.

    Now, we can call this derivative and unoriginal or we can call it an homage. It can even be both - SNW is of course heavily restricted by its premise. That's perhaps a futile discussion, and for me the real question is whether this episode actually works overall. Was the audience entertained? Was the audience interested? Was the audience moved? Did thr episode tell a good story?

    And, again, it's a frustrating yes and no. I actually think the set-up of having a traditionally Trek back to the present episode works reasonably well. There are some clever superficial touches like the NY/Toronto and the bribing the border guards reference and some complete misses like the revolving door gag in particular. But overall the side quest, which is obviously very beholden to the tropes laid down in previous Trek time travel episodes more than actually necessary for the episode to unfold, does not work. It's slow, padded out, largely boring. The episode could have been much shortser and punchier.

    I have a real issue with Pelia at this point in the series, and the detour to Vermont so the episode can happen is poor plotting that shows that when you strip away the homage there's little real substance* in this episode. What is my problem with Pelia? Simple: if she's meant to be comic relief, she isn't funny; if she's meant to be quirky, she's just irritating; if she's meant to be wise, she's no Guinan. They might as well have cast Bobcat Goldthwaite in the role, as the only reason I can see to have Pelia is for sold funny voice 'zaniness' - and perhaps to relieve Ortegas of the quip quota each episode.

    *La'an is the substance here, of course, and I really do think that Chong's performance is outstanding in this episode. As others have pointed put, Cheong - like Mount, Romijn, Bush and Olusanmokun, and like Hemmer before he was unceremoniously dropped from the entire show - is perfect casting and a truly great actress. SNW's strength is definitely the casting of its core characters, and Pike and La'an are undoubtedly the standouts, although the bar is quite high overall.

    NuKirk: Peck has succeeded in portraying 'a kind of Spock' in a way that Wesley hasn't succeeded in portraying 'a kind of Kirk', and given the excellent casting else where here, Wesley's Kirk simply jars.

    I also felt that the chemistry between La'an and Kirk wasn't great, and I didn't find it at all plausible that La'an would fall so head over heels in love with him. But I was so interested in Chong's portrayal of La'an's side of what was going on that I could suspend my disbelief - and the final scene was nothing short of brilliant. Chong's La'an is a believable, nuanced character. The writers and producers deserve praise here.

    So there you have it. A lengthy reflection of the good, the bad and the meh. SNW definitely has heart but I wish it would have a head as well.

    Does anyone else think that : a) Paul Wesley is a younger Bruce Campbell lookalike, and that b) He was basically channeling Bruce Campbell in this episode (tho only moderately successfully)

    @gambler

    Wesley definitely looks and acts more like Bruce Campbell than he does William Shatner.

    I was waiting for ….. “ Alright you Primitive Screwheads, listen up! … I’m Captain James T Kirk”

    AP

    "I was quite moved by the closing 20 minutes. It was a terrific performance."

    Me too. I'm continually more and more impressed by Christina Chong's acting chops.

    Enjoyable episode. These two complement each other quite well.

    As this started out I wasn't too enamored, but I ended up glad "they went there".

    Good character piece for La'an.

    Spock didn't look like a blithering idiot.

    Is Captain Pike going to be in this second season?

    Will Pelia remember her encounter with La'an? We'll see.

    3 stars from me.

    @Bryan
    "You heard it right here. Carol Kane called Starfleet's economic system "socialism", so that finally settles that."

    What she said sounded ambiguous to me. She said:
    "Once you have lived through every natural disaster and economic calamity in human history without becoming a pack rat, then you can judge me. I still have a bunker in Vermont where I used to live in case this whole "no money, socialist utopia" thing turns out to be a fad"

    I'm not a native english speaker, but I think we could read the phrase in two ways:
    1) [I still have a bunker in Vermont where I used to live] [in case this whole "no money, socialist utopia" thing turns out to be a fad]"

    In this case, she still have the bunker, in wich she used to live. And she still have this bunker in case this present socialist utopia - the Federation - turns out to be a fad.

    2) [I still have a bunker in Vermont] [where I used to live in case this whole "no money, socialist utopia" thing turns out to be a fad]"

    In this case, she is saying she still has the bunker, a bunker in wich she used to live in case the socialist utopia at THAT time didn't hold — so in this case, she would be refering to USSR as to "socialist utopia".

    And we can actually have a 3rd option, in wich she is meaning both: she has the bunker where she lived trough the USRR, and hints that she still has it for the same reason, in case the Federation socialism turns to be a fad as well.


    More than the socialism discussion, as a non-native English speaker, I'm interested in if the 2nd option is possible — interestingly, I went to check, and in Brazilian Portuguese the 2nd option is in fact how it were translated...

    @Quincy
    "Even if he wasn't particularly threatened by her, since she was cute"

    Haha, yes, on point.

    "he still would've called security."

    I don't know. I can't remember lots of times in TOS when Kirk actually called security because of people invading the bridge (hell, he even altough for plot reasons, but still, gave Khan entire access to the Enterprise schematics haha). Calling security usually happens only for writing reasons: just to have some red shirts to be killed as a show of the enemy's mercyless. Usually they prefer to portrait Kirk handling physical things himself, and to me this ended up as character trait for him.

    "They don't order any scans. They never call security."

    Yeah, that's the thing... In a TOS episode, they could've made the "assessment of how to deal with the stranger on the bridge" maybe a 1/4 episode discussion, we could've see the alternate versions of the crew contributing, and so on. And I think it would be cool to watch. Just picture the weight of knowing the United Earth Fleet Enterprise you are in is in an alternate timeline that shouldn't (?) exist, and having to decide to go back and undo it. But nowadays we don't have time for those down-to-earth matters, because everything everytime has to be about saving the entire timeline of the universe or trillions of people will die (which obviously will not happen), so let's settle for a convenient button pressing accident and move on to fight scenes and crying over someone you've fell in love solely on the fact that he doesn't had prejudice over your surname.

    @F
    "and crying over someone you've fell in love solely on the fact that he doesn't had prejudice over your surname."

    La'an spent several days in Toronto plus two bus-trips lasting two days with Kirk. Its established canon that Kirk has this effect on women. Only remarkable thing here is that it took him so long to get to her.

    It's also a pretty common dramatic device for a man and a woman to fall in love through a set of intense shared experiences (e.g. It Happened One Night, Three Days of the Condor, Out of Sight, and about a million others). It's actually not that far fetched, I don't think. The kind of vivid romantic love that has yet to face the test of everyday banality.

    I have to admit, early on in this one hour episode, I was a bit frustrated, because as I said in my comments last week, I want this show to live up to its name and get out in the universe to explore "strange new worlds". But the acting is what really drew me into this story, as I was pleased to see Paul Wesley got some good coaching over the hiatus and is now living up to the Kirk bad-ass attitude, and I loved seeing a very different side of La'an, who is rapidly becoming my favorite character on this series. The ending was quite emotional and brought tears to my eyes, and the chemistry between Kirk and La'an was definitely what drove this story... I still want them to get out there in the universe, but as a standalone story, this was a good one. Solid 3 stars!

    Strange how there’s rarely a general consensus on any trek episodes. I thought this was great and quite possibly the best thing Nu Trek has produced. Not perfect of course, the scene where they get pulled over in a stolen car for commiting driving related felonies with no identities and then get let go because someone says kirk is a lawyer is ridiculous. And then not explaining how they cross the border into America with no problems. But overall this was a fantastic episode and furthers my hope that we are finally getting a show worthy of carrying the Trek torch

    @Cody B
    'And then not explaining how they cross the border into America with no problems.'

    To be fair, the writers did actually address this, unexpectedly enough. It was stated La'an and NuKirk bribed a border guard.

    A small thing, perhaps, but the presence of long-discontinued Ford Crown Vics as the primary police vehicle in Canada's future really breaks the spell.

    Like having modern/future police carrying .38 Specials, instead of the high-capacity semi-auto pistols they've sported for years.

    I was really unsure of it at first watch, so I decided to give this ep a new chance, and it felt a lot better on a second watch.

    Somethings felt forced at first, like the photographer girl appearing magically where convenient, but once you know she is a alien agent, we can assume she having such powers, I guess...? The same goes for other aspects. Like the classic "guy dying who passes on something but doesn't speak it clearly", except in this case he did said something usefull: go to the bridge — but undestandably La'An tought about the ship's bridge instead of the exploded bridge. I guess we can count it as an honest mistake, and Kirk ending up involved as a result of that. Also La'An being selected to the mission felt only "convenient", but in fact makes sense, in a mission to protect a mass murderer, a descendant of him would have at least one good incentive to do it, so the dying agent's call makes sense, I suppose.

    I guess the episode would've improved a lot if they revealed, or at least hinted, to us that the girl was evil, like just after they met she taking pictures. Then we would be tense anticipating her betrayal, instead of thinking the hole thing to be cheap storytelling.

    @F
    'go to the bridge — but undestandably La'An tought about the ship's bridge instead of the exploded bridge.'

    At the end of the episode, I actually felt this to be rather inventive linguistic misdirection by the writers, and really liked it.

    At the same time, however, the detonated traffic bridge was just another NuTrek trope: the spectacular explosion that is central to the plot, but is later revealed to have been a red herring.

    @bok r’mor

    Oh I didn’t catch that. Kind of lazy writing but I suppose it’s good enough. I know they have time constraints and sometimes gaps in logic have to be glossed over. I don’t want to criticize this episode too much bc overall I think it was very good and I cautiously want to take it as snw getting better and becoming the best trek series since enterprise.

    It's true that they do have a line about them bribing a border guard. Apparently they do this twice. In the immediate aftermath of a terrorist attack. I can only hope border security would do better than this!

    Could've avoided this simply by putting Pelia's hideaway in New Brunswick or something.

    @F re your question about "Once you have lived through every natural disaster and economic calamity in human history without becoming a pack rat, then you can judge me. I still have a bunker in Vermont where I used to live in case this whole "no money, socialist utopia" thing turns out to be a fad"

    You said that as a nonnative English speaker this confused you. As a native English speaker, I clearly understood it as what you labeled option 1. Part of the problem is your punctuation. It should read, "I still have a bunker in Vermont, where I used to live, in case . . . (etc.)" "This no money socialist utopia" is the Federation.

    Wow, I'm shocked at the low score. This was a 3.5 star episode for me. The character work elevated it above many other time travel episodes, with the handful of clumsy contrivances being the only thing holding it back from a full 4 star episode. Paul Wesley's Kirk won me over this week after I was not at all convinced last season. He and La'an had great chemistry.

    As someone who lived in Toronto for many years, I loved identifying all of the locations, including Kirk's arrest by police on Melinda Street in front of Commerce Court square (beside my old office).

    I got a big kick out of the Noonien Singh Institute being inside the MaRS Discovery District (the idea of that IRL government boondoggle being the site of a human genetic engineering and a cold fusion reactor - LOL).

    But I have to point out a few things that would never work IRL. One, you could never have a car chase in downtown Toronto because there is gridlock at all times there is daylight. Two, not surprisingly the route of the car chase makes no sense. Three, there is no bridge. Four, nobody plays chess for money. Five, that condo they were renting would be at least $800.00 CDN per night.

    @Jammer
    'In writing this review and recounting all that happens, it seems strange that this wasn't a better episode. As a plot, it probably works better on paper than on the screen. Somehow, the execution here fails, and what should be emotional and urgent comes across as clinical and detached.'

    Completely agree. It's mystifying.

    @Peter Howie
    'But I have to point out a few things that would never work IRL. One, you could never have a car chase in downtown Toronto because there is gridlock at all times there is daylight. Two, not surprisingly the route of the car chase makes no sense. Three, there is no bridge. Four, nobody plays chess for money. Five, that condo they were renting would be at least $800.00 CDN per night.'

    This is all symptomatic of how this episode resorts to typical NuTrek convenient writing ex machina when it's not swiping/doing homage to Trek lore. And symptomatic of how this episode, when you strip away the lore holding it together, isn't very thought through.

    So let me get this straight: Khan is being genetically engineered and raised in the same lab where there's a cold fusion reactor? And all of this is being done by some unknown aliens for unknown reasons and Sera is trying to undermine their efforts? And behind this door we can blow up the fusion reactor and behind this door we can kill Khan? Totally lazy writing/plot development. Talk about total plot convenience. It's like the nu trek writers aren't even trying to make it make sense. I really love this show so far and I hate to be negative, but I am so afraid the nu Trek virus will infect this show too. Please let's not.

    Also, in Future's End it seemed like it wasn't that big of a deal that the Trek timeline didn't match the real life timeline. Maybe the nu trek writers should put their world building efforts into coherent plot developments.

    I legitimately don’t get how one could watch this and come away with the idea that Wesley and Chong didn’t have chemistry. The objectively had it in spades, so much so that all behind the scenes footage of them on set has them giggling so much that you’d think they were dating in real life. Gotta disagree here Jammer with the 2 star rating on that basis. This was one of SNW’s top five episodes, though I do think the plotting of getting from place to place was “Game of Thrones season 7+8” levels of overly convenient.

    What really puts this episode into the “very good” category however is what this does for La as a character. She’s clearly at this point the best and most interestingly developed character on the show next to Pike, and I don’t think there is a case otherwise for anyone else on the crew.

    And honestly giving Broken Circle a higher rating than this is pretty ridiculous no matter the ratings.

    @Pike's Hair
    'The objectively had it in spades, so much so that all behind the scenes footage of them on set has them giggling so much that you’d think they were dating in real life.'

    By definition the behind the scenes footage didn't make it into the finished and why should we ever judge the published content of an episode by behind the scenes footage, which most of us will never see? This is simply special pleading.

    Some believed after watching the actual episode that they had great chemistry, some believed they had no chemistry. It's just a difference of perception and opinion, for any number of reasons.

    @Bok R’Mor

    Yeah, and there’s such a thing as an objectively bad opinion. The idea that the actors had no chemistry qualifies.

    The ending was hard for La'an but I think there was a bittersweet element to it also. She's partly decompressing from a strange situation but I thought the call to "our" Kirk at the end had some hopeful tones to it. Maybe they will meet up and become friends in our timeline. There's really no reason why it couldn't.
    Overall, this episode was smart in some ways, lame in others. The scenes with cool accent engineer lady's really dragged. What is this? Antiques Roadshow? The chemistry between La'aan and Kirk carried the entire episode and that's cool I think. SNW is showing a range that I'm appreciating but it needs to think a little harder about some of the choices it makes.

    “ By definition the behind the scenes footage didn't make it into the finished and why should we ever judge the published content of an episode by behind the scenes footage, which most of us will never see? This is simply special pleading.”

    By definition, if actors don’t have chemistry off screen they most likely don’t on. You’re projecting and using fallacy for your point.

    One of my biggest Trek pet peeves are episode set in contemporary times. I generally hate them with a few exceptions. It's why I despised Picard season 2 since the entire damned season was set in our time. It's lazy and cheap, full of preachy nonsense about how awful humans are today. Unless the story is exceptionally good, such as City on the Edge of Forever, I find such episodes a waste of time. Fortunately for this episode, even though it wasn't very good and I agree with 2 stars, it had a splendid performance from Christina Chong as its saving grace.

    @F: I think your being a non-native speaker held you back in this case. The grammar doesn't work. If Pelia had meant the second interpretation, she would have said

    "I still have a bunker in Vermont where I used to live in case that whole 'no money, socialist utopia' thing turned out to be a fad". The use of "this" and "turns" clearly indicate that she is speaking in present tense about a "no money, socialist utopia".

    @Walding: "Its established canon that Kirk has this effect on women. Only remarkable thing here is that it took him so long to get to her."

    Great point!

    @Pike's Hair: "I legitimately don’t get how one could watch this and come away with the idea that Wesley and Chong didn’t have chemistry."

    I agree, that was the most surprising thing about Jammer's review (most of his other critiques were fair enough but didn't bother me as much as they did him).

    "And honestly giving Broken Circle a higher rating than this is pretty ridiculous no matter the ratings."

    I definitely liked this one better, but I don't see it as starkly as you do. My ratings of the three episodes of this season thus far: 2.5/3/3.

    @F: Oh, and one more thing occurred to me. The USSR DID have money (rubles). I don't know of any nation-state that has ever not used money (there may have been a few small communes that operated this way, but then you are REALLY reaching).

    @SlackerInc

    “I definitely liked this one better, but I don't see it as starkly as you do. My ratings of the three episodes of this season thus far: 2.5/3/3.“

    Rationing my ratings to yours we have essentially equal difference between our feelings between each of the episodes. And I don’t mean to say anyone can’t have enjoyed Broken Circle, but I do think it was clearly lacking in themes and meaning while the last two have had it in spades by comparison. Isn’t that what we all like most about Trek besides it’s lore and characters? The messages and point to every great story the franchise has given us?

    Speaking of which, I feel there were a lot of complaints about Ad Astra being “too on the nose” I felt here it was actually quite subdued in comparison. (Not in a negative/positive way or anything, just an observation)

    Sparta did not have money, it allegedly had some messed up iron coins but this hasn't been proven so far. Spartan citizens were forbidden from owning gold or silver coins.
    Furthermore, until currency was invented (around 5000 years ago) all states were barter economies. The old Kingdom of Egypt for example had no currency and many other ancient countries had none as well.

    It was a poorly written retread of "The City on the Edge of Forever". Most of the plot was nonsensical, two strangers plopped back in time somehow tracking down how to save the galaxy from cold fusion, or something like that. At least in the “The City…” they cooked up an explanation that the Guardian had a reason for placing people at a certain place and a certain time. But in this episode, they pushed a magic button, ended up in Toronto in the past, visited a blown-up bridge to find mystery alien stuff, travelled to and from Vermont (and somehow figured all that out), Yada Yada Yada. Fortunately Wesley could play street chess and earn lots and lots of money, fast.

    If you turn off your brain and go with the flow, it might be OK. But it was also supposed to be a rom-com, and the two actors didn’t have the material or script to develop any sort of connection in 20 minutes or so. The hotel scene was cringey.

    Much of SNW has been great to date, and for those who have grown up on TOS, a real blast from the past. But this episode had the feeling, like a lot of the other new Star Trek shows, that it was written by middle-school age authors.

    The episode had a great payoff moment that was totally blown: dealing with the question of what should you do if you met the equivalent of Hitler as a child. If they didn’t have the chops to write it, they shouldn’t have tried.

    Production values were great per the modern day streaming budgets. Wesley actually did a good job in this episode. The trick is to not expect him to be some version of William Shatner.

    My main takeaway from Jammer's review is that this episode will only work for you if you feel and can enjoy the chemistry between Chong and Wesley. With it, it's a pleasant hour that doesn't drag with an unexpectedly sad ending. Without it, there's not enough creativity or pace in the plot to completely hold your attention, and I think that's a fair criticism.

    That said, I think these two are one of Trek's romantic pairings that have genuine spark, and it's especially noticeable in a franchise that has so often expected us to believe in whirlwind romances between two actors who clearly aren't that into each other. ("Unforgettable" springs to mind immediately.)

    It's probably the reason I found Wesley a little better this time around.

    I din't like this one. While I lived in Toronto and got a kick out of seeing it play itself instead of NYC (the episode also had a nice joke about it), it felt so lazy. Present time Toronto. Where the show is filmed. At least when they did urban locations in prior Trek shows they were not ashamed to use sets, which give an other wordly feeling. But just runnign around in Toronto feels (and looks) really mundane.
    The plot was boring and I agree that Kirk feels more like Chris Pine here than actual Kirk. Go watch Star Trek Continues to see Kirk done right, and that's a fan production.
    However I really liked the final scene with Christina Chong, as she breaks down crying. Too bad the episode doesn't really earn this bravura performance.
    Oh, and people in TO wouldn't bat an eye if they saw two people walking around in strange unoforms. Real world or not real world? Let's say in this universe there's a show called Star Adventures. There you go.

    It's funny how the show creators seems to insist Star Trek must now take place in our own world.
    It can't, Mr Goldsman. Because our world has the Star Trek fictional TV show in it, and the Star Trek world, doesn't. So it's okay if the Eugenics Wars took place in the 90's. It's not our world. Instead it's a world we should strive for.

    Completely disagree with the review and a lot of the takes here. This was a perfectly solid time travel episode, and accomplishes in 60 minutes what it took an entire season to do in Picard. Christina Chong was _great_ and Paul Wesley's characterization of Kirk is finally starting to resemble something Kirk-like. I think there's a bias against stuff that isn't directly and constantly pew pew pew lasers and robots, maybe.

    @RedD

    You don’t like Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, TOS’s The City on the Edge of Forever, TNG’s First Contact film or the episode The Big Goodbye (or any Dixon Hill episodes), or DS9’s Far Beyond the Stars or Enterprise’s Carbon Creek? Contemporary episodes have always been among THE very best of Trek and I think this episode has its place among them.

    I feel like this was two different episodes tugging against each other: whimsical ‘The Voyage Home’ style high jinx and then the more serious “kill baby Hitler’ plot. I felt if they’d doubled down on the kill baby Hitler plot and really explored that from the start it would have been a better episode - especially as the best parts came from this and La’an dealing with all her stuff. I still liked this though.

    I think this episode… kind of just sat there. The mere incantation of phrases such as “time travel” and “Khan” and “Temporal Investigations” doesn’t do much unless the scenes in which the phrases appear have some dramatic shaping. The two “set in the past” episodes this one most reminded me of are Picard’s “Watcher” and Enterprise’s “Carpenter Street”. “Watcher” also sat there and had a would-be car chase. Tomorrow cubed was too just-competently-executed-enough to avoid its placement in incomprehensible Carpenter Street territory. But, one should expect more than to simply not be bored and confused beyond belief. Events unfold in Tomorrow cubed with such blahness that I half-believe the director was suppressing the energy level so the show did not appear “corny.” (Even COTEOF had that dreadful scene of the bum phasering himself). Whatever they were going for here, it didn’t work

    @Jammer

    Completely agree with your review, though I was surprised you didn’t mention the similarities to A Quality of Mercy. In both episodes, a character is shown an alternate timeline where humans are at war with the Romulans. The character can restore the timeline, but doing so would cost lives. It just amazes me that the writers would create such a similar setup only three episodes later. Did nobody in the writers room say “doesn’t this sound familiar?”

    Jammer, I think this is a better episode than your review. I think maybe you just weren't in the mood for it at this time. It wasn't what you wanted from the show at the moment. And that's fine. But don't be surprised if you find you like it better on a rewatch some years from now, either. :)

    @Jeffrey's Tube

    It's possible. This was more meh than bad. But I can only write what I feel at the moment, otherwise it would be dishonest.

    I am glad Jammer writes his own feeling and opinion on any episode and no later takebacks or major adjustments. The great thing about his reviews is that he takes me on a journey how he experienced an episode. Agree or disagree, I appreciate his writing skills and honesty about his engagement. It makes me think about how I perceived that episode, same for the majority of the users here, this is what makes it a special place, that is not all about engagement return and going with the flow.

    Long time follower of the site, but this is my first comment. Love the discussion that is taking place.

    I'm with the camp that the chemistry between La'an and Kirk seemed... meh and somewhat forced. However, I think I can explain La'an's attraction (but not entirely sure why Kirk is attracted).

    In the ep, La'an indicates that Kirk not knowing about her heritage was a huge relief. Given that earlier in the ep, La'an indicates that she feels alone, being able to connect with someone without the baggage of her family history must been a different feeling. I think this could partially explain her strong emotional connection to Kirk, and her subsequent reaction to his death. To emphasize this point, imagine the Osama Bin Laden had a daugther who went to school in the US. I think we can all imagine that someone with that type of family baggage having difficulty making connections.

    Some nitpicks and questions that other's haven't yet commented on:
    -Given that Sera was a romulan agent, why the heck would she show a photograph of a romulan bird of prey to Kirk (even if she didn't know it was him to begin with?)
    -If Khan was being held at the "Noonien Singh" institute; does that mean that Khan is related to the Singh's that build the institute and is someone's child? I didn't quite understand the connection between La'an and the instiute and why she was able to gain access with her palm print unless she was related to the individuals that built that facility (and I guess these are the same individuals conducting genetic experiments on... their relatives? random children?)...

    @Jammer @Jeffrey’s Tube

    Roger Ebert concluded his review of the 1994 movie Love Affair (Warren Beatty, Katharine Hepburn, Annette Bening) (soap operatic remake of An Affair to Remember, which was about a woman who becomes paralyzed after an accident as her lover waits for her at the top of the Empire State Building) with this observation: “Maybe you have to be in the right mood to enjoy movies like this. Or maybe they put you in the mood.”

    To suggest someone “was not in the right mood” when reviewing something suggests there IS a right mood, and eliminates the possibility of an experience that transcends its genre, thereby sweeping one up and working its magic on one’s mood.

    I remember when I was 13, watching the first of the “Naked Gun” movies. I remember being distinctly red-hot angry about some trivial thing or another and refusing (being aware that I was in fact refusing) to laugh at some very funny scenes. At some point during the movie I began to laugh hysterically at the jokes, even the (relatively speaking) more adult ones. I like to think this about-face was because my mind’s ability to appreciate a puerile joke suddenly sharpened as the movie progressed. I doubt that was why I started laughing.

    The references to “A Quality of Mercy” as a piece that this episode is “similar to” (and this, this episode must be rated similarly, whatever), is off the mark. That episode was dramatically involving. Sure, one could feel the gears turning as the episode labored to recreate some of Balance of Terror’s beats. “Tomorrow,” though, just meandered. The sense of urgency *on paper* was near nil. The would-be centerpiece moral paradox - kill Khan as a child? - just slithered on and off the screen. It did not register. Want to hear this kind of argument done right? Check out TNG’s”A Matter of Time” - the scene where Picard literally invokes Khan’s name in a verbal
    volley with Rasmussen about the perils and pluses of knowing a “future we were not meant to learn.” That scene crackled. In “Tomorrow,” no scene was compelling enough to make me really want to watch the next scene. No surprises, no memorable dialog, forgettable music, stock guest characters, and a plot whose goings-on were officially entered into the book of “Star Trek Cliche Heaven” long, long ago. The episode isn’t a slow burn. More of a slow cook.

    @Jammer

    I don’t think any of us that liked this episode quite a bit take it personally and it’s always interesting seeing through other perspectives. Since you write in depth reviews you have to dissect episodes under a microscope while I know I personally rate episodes on a much more general “how entertained was I and how well did it hold my attention”type rating. Your review did open my eyes to a few things that make me judge this episode a little more but personally I still think it was one of the better episodes that’s come from this paramount+ era. To each his own. Keep up the good work!

    I just remembered that I visited Toronto in 2012 and the hotdogs were great 👍 despite being a little spicy 🥵 Maybe that is why she refused them.. lol

    @F
    Sun, Jul 2, 2023, 10:38am (UTC -5)

    "I don't know. I can't remember lots of times in TOS when Kirk actually called security because of people invading the bridge (hell, he even altough for plot reasons, but still, gave Khan entire access to the Enterprise schematics haha). Calling security usually happens only for writing reasons: just to have some red shirts to be killed as a show of the enemy's mercyless. Usually they prefer to portrait Kirk handling physical things himself, and to me this ended up as character trait for him.

    Yeah, that's the thing... In a TOS episode, they could've made the "assessment of how to deal with the stranger on the bridge" maybe a 1/4 episode discussion, we could've see the alternate versions of the crew contributing, and so on. And I think it would be cool to watch. Just picture the weight of knowing the United Earth Fleet Enterprise you are in is in an alternate timeline that shouldn't (?) exist, and having to decide to go back and undo it. But nowadays we don't have time for those down-to-earth matters, because everything everytime has to be about saving the entire timeline of the universe or trillions of people will die (which obviously will not happen), so let's settle for a convenient button pressing accident and move on to fight scenes and crying over someone you've fell in love solely on the fact that he doesn't had prejudice over your surname.""




    There have been very few instances, if any, where Kirk was made aware of an intruder without some other confounding circumstance. And I don't recall off hand which ones those would be. For instance, in "That Which Survives" he witnesses an intruder teleport into the transporter room. However, he also witnesses that same intruder attack the transporter personnel. He can't move during transport, however, he urgently attempts to contact the Enterprise upon arrival at the planet surface and is clearly alarmed. We can't say how he would've reacted if he hadn't seen her attack anyone, but only witnessed her arrival. That's a confounding factor. However, unless this was a comedic Mr. Mudd episode or some such, I really can't see him behaving lackadaisically the way Discount Chris Pine did.


    I agree we have much less time nowadays as compared to the TOS era. Seasons used to be twenty-something episodes. Now you're lucky if you get ten. Still though they should've been able to explore more depth and better execution in these stand alone episodes. However, that appears to be beyond many writers. It's a sign of the times, I suppose.

    I will never understand why (and for so long now) some fans and TREK creators have such a problem with the fact that the fictional Eugenics Wars took place in a fictional 1990s. The Khan novels went out of their way to make the Eugenics Wars more of a behind the scenes event. This episode. Other examples and comments that I've read that, sadly, I can't cite because I don't remember when and where I read them. All I know is I have never seen any other fictional sci-fi event for any other franchise get treated like this. Yes, we lived through the 90s and there really wasn't a Eugenics War or Wars. It's fiction. It's all fiction. Why can't we just have that in the TREK timeline we had the Wars in the 90s? Why do we have to mess around with it all just because it didn't happen in real life? This probably shouldn't bug me like it does, but I just don't understand this school of thought. I welcome any and all replies to help me understand. I really do want to.

    @ Caloceptri

    I take your point, but subjectively speaking my mood and mindset affect my enjoyment of media. I have enjoyed things much more on a second viewing on many occasions; conversely, I have not enjoyed things as much on a second viewing sometimes as well. If it's true for me I am sure it is true for others.


    @ Jeff Bedard

    Because the writers want to preserve the ability for their Star Trek characters to visit "our world" and "our time" as it actually is. They find this a valuable tool for moral storytelling and for examining and critiquing modern society. I agree with them. This is valuable to preserve. (It doesn't mean their every attempt at using this storytelling device works, but I agree it is important they have it available to them in their toolkit, so to speak.)

    A world in which a quarter of the world's population was enslaved under genetic supermen in the 1990s precipitating a genocide could not, in any way, shape, or form, resemble our world as it is now. Society would not have recovered and bounced back into a form that imitates how things actually are.

    . . .

    It is exceedingly clear the Eugenics Wars and WWIII are the same thing now. Zephram Cochrane did his first contact flight in 2063. Expect the Eugenics Wars/WWIII to get pushed back all the way to like, 2060 before the writers give up on this.

    Oh I read those Eugenics Wars novels too. It has probably been 25 years since I read them and I was very young at the time (mid teens or earlier) and even then I knew they were silly fan navel gazing and incompatible with the way the real world works. Great fun though. I remember enjoying them a lot.

    Okay I read some Memory Alpha articles and looks like the writers can't push it back any further than 2053. So the Eugenics Wars/WWIII will start in 2053 at the latest.

    Makes Boykhan from this episode around the right age, especially because they never said exactly what year it was, did they? Obviously close to now, but it could have been like, 2031.

    If they had quietly forgotten the Eugenics Wars, and let them just sit as a moment of backstory that people can notice and go "haha, that didn't happen did it?", that would've been fine. But if they keep raising them and in fact expanding their importance, as they are, finding a way to clarify their role int he timeline seems to make sense to me.

    Incidentally, I find it quite funny that if "Space Seed" hadn't used those specific dates in the '90s, there would never have been any problem with treating the Eugenics Wars as an alternate name for WWIII (which it seems to be even in that episode -- Spock mentions that "The mid01990s was the era of your last so-called World War."

    I liked it well enough. The time travel stories are never my favorites, but this one moved right along and was entertaining. Of course it didn't make any sense, but they never do.

    Toronto was an interesting setting for me, since I live in the States and have never been up there. I always go to Quebec City, which would have made an even better Canadian setting.--in the old part of the city. Very historic and evocative. Je me souviens.

    I've been pondering for a while on Paul Wesley as Kirk. I think we just have to realize that no one is ever going to be William Shatner's Kirk except William Shatner. I'm keeping an open mind and waiting to see how Wesley shapes the character. I really don't mind him, and I think it's unfair to make cracks about his resemblance to Jim Carrey or Bruce Hamilton, or to say he lacks Kirk's essence. Give the guy a chance: two episodes are not enough to judge him by. I thought he and La'an bonded well together and that sparks definitely flew. (If you really want to see "no chemistry," take a look at Miles and Keiko O'Brien.
    ) It would be interesting if La'an and the Kirk in her timeline (the one born in Iowa) get together and form a relationship.

    I would have liked one tiny action from the child Khan to show he had some edge or a touch of badness. Maybe one of his crayon drawings could have been done all in black and red showing evil monsters or something. He was a little too bland.

    Christina Cheong is doing a great job, as all seem to agree. In Season One I thought she was channeling Cara Gee/Camina Drummer from The Expanse, but I think now that it was just coincidence that she looked and acted somewhat similar.

    The rest of the ensemble cast is excellent, with the possible exception of Melissa Navia as Ortegas. She doesn't seem to add anything as far as I can see. And so far I have not been sold on Carol Kane, who, like Melissa Navia, plays an irritating character. And they should not have killed off the blind engineer with the antennae. Still, I'm keeping an open mind. We probably have several seasons left to go--at least, I hope so. A lot can grow, change, and develop.

    My favorite episode by far is Children of the Comet, which combines all the positives that make us love Trek so much, and avoids most or all of the pitfalls that can drag an episode down. I think I've watched it four times. It's magical, at least to me.

    Anyway, I think Jammer was too harsh on this Tomorrow Tomorrow episode, but he and I do not always agree. I would give it 3 stars.

    @Jeff Bedard

    I echo JT's assertion that it was done for the sake of direct commentary on the real world. But we differ in how valuable this tool has really been, especially in the Nu-Trek era which never squanders an opportunity to nag, admonish or adulate the viewer personally, when often in previous eras a little allegory and nuance went a long way due to the strength of the writing. And I dare say that when it comes to didactic storytelling, it is not only more enjoyable, but the lessons are also better received and heeded when the all too easy finger-wagging is traded for that sort of nuance and complexity. It gives the viewer something to chew on, basically forcing them to consider and actually *think* things through rather than turning them right off from the start and having them close their ears to the more blunt messaging because they've probably heard it all before. And likely in ways more thought-out than the sort of pat soundbites that must be squeezed into a 45 minute science fiction show ostensibly intending to entertain and inspire.

    So count me in for not giving a damn what decade the Eugenics Wars is supposed to take place in.

    I can see where Jams is coming from here.

    Yeah, this is all trodden trails, there's no doubt about it. It's like a direct line to "Time's Arrow" "City On The Edge Of Forever," "Space Seed," "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home," "Star Trek: Picard Season 2," and I can go on, you know.

    Trek is supposed to be voyaging to Strange New Worlds and it seems stuck in the Strange Old Worlds that Star Trek is accustomed to being in. Now, the word "Accustomed" is not a word I intend lightly, here. Star Trek has a culture. It has customs. It has traditions. It has it's goofy awkward teenage years in the late 70s and early 80s. Star Trek is a heavily-loaded bit of storytelling at this point, and doing *anything* completely original requires Star Trek to not abandon that load of stories, but trace what it was saying to its audience at that time, and then turn around, and speak to me, that same way.

    For all of NuTrek's attempts -- which are often enjoyable TV, I gotta say! Some of these episodes of Disco, Picard and SNW have been awfully good -- NuTrek doesn't know what it's trying to say; this is the strength that TOS had, compared with other shows of its ilk (it owes a lot to naval epics, and also police procedurals, which Roddenberry cut his teeth on). It was Science Fiction that wasn't entirely ridiculous. It had a story, the characters were fleshed out, it tried to have a sort of internal consistency about the way things were in its universe.

    That was relatively unheard of in 60s TV, and I think what Star Trek needs is a good old fashioned shot in the arm of seriousness. Can they do an episode without any sarcastic quips?

    Spock: "I am often perplexed by your habit of questioning me on things you've already made up your mind about."
    Kirk: "Gives me emotional security."

    This ^ is two people messing with each other at work. It's low-key, they're not trying to make a scene. Just cuz you're being dramatic doesn't mean you need to be melodramatic; in fact, drama is better if you're not.

    @Lynos: "It's funny how the show creators seems to insist Star Trek must now take place in our own world.
    It can't, Mr Goldsman. Because our world has the Star Trek fictional TV show in it, and the Star Trek world, doesn't. So it's okay if the Eugenics Wars took place in the 90's. It's not our world."

    Ha, this is actually such a great, deceptively simple, point.

    @Snitch: "I am glad Jammer writes his own feeling and opinion on any episode and no later takebacks or major adjustments."

    I absolutely agree that he should be honest about his own opinion, regardless of what anyone else thinks. But I don't see why that should preclude the possibility of "later takebacks or major adjustments" if he changes his mind about an episode (for the better or worse).

    FWIW, although technically my three-star rating lies exactly halfway between Jammer's two stars and the four stars, "best of the series" raves some others are giving, I do think the latter are "crazier", or maybe I should just say harder to understand. As I see it, there are clear flaws to the episode that make it absolutely impossible to award it four stars, and so it really just comes down to how much to dock it, and how much else enjoyable there was in the episode to compensate for those flaws.

    @Much Odo About Nothing: Hard disagree about the actors' chemistry being "meh". But I do think the questions you pose are valid ones.

    @Jeff Bedard: "Why can't we just have that in the TREK timeline we had the Wars in the 90s? Why do we have to mess around with it all just because it didn't happen in real life?"

    I agree, and I hope science fiction TV writers have learned that they need to just place any alt-history event hundreds of years in the future, or just not give a date.

    @lizzzi: J'adore la Ville de Québec!

    First episode of the season I have enjoyed. I quite enjoy Christina Chong, but I didn't think she did that spectacular of a job here. And although I had trouble seeing Paul Wesley as Kirk, I can accept that he's playing Kirk. He doesn't have enough testosterone to measure up to classic James T. Kirk, though. But I don't think he is trying to be intentionally out of character or insincere. (I continue to agree that this is a huge casting mistake; I'm just surprised that everyone was happy to overlook the 35 year old man playing a 20 year old on Picard 3, a character with a spurious backstory.)

    Christina Chong is a great actress, although the character she's playing is underwritten and still unfocused. I don't think she powers through this material, I don't think there's much to power through. We all sense that she's got it, and she made a hell of an impression in the first season. Also, it would be great if Captain Pike would report for duty, although I would be fine at this point if he got replaced by La'an.

    It was logical in the awesome ENT episode Carbon Creek that Vulcans would be superior at billiards. I don't see how Kirk being from the future gives him that much of an edge as a chess player (or, for that matter, Scotty being a fast typist in STIV).

    Pelia had one of the best lines in ALL of Star Trek "in case this whole no money socialist Utopia thing turns out to be a fad."

    Overall absolutely enjoyed it. Watched it twice without falling asleep. I'm not really a fan of all the crying scenes. I have been told that Discovery is mostly a lot of crying. I hope they will get away from the idea that crying equals drama. La'an doesn't seem like the type to sit around crying, but then again neither does Spock. I'm just going to appreciate it until I'm incapable of appreciating it.

    Pelia calling the Federation "socialist" doesn't mean it's literally socialism. I interpreted it as her being hyperbolic and sarcastic, especialkly since she's immortal and I'm sure she knows about and may have lived in many different societies in many different worlds over her lifetime.

    The economy of the Federation is a fantasy and it's good that they've never actually defined what it is because whatever they came up with would never make any sense.

    @JeffreysTube thanks for the long explanations. I actually hate the fact we have to discuss all that stuff just to evaluate/appreciate an hourlong TV episode.

    That’s why this one was a very low 3 stars for me: It’s well acted (Lt. Singh is pitch perfect, the romance is cute if manipulated, the scared little Khan makes this one memorable) and fun, but has too much dialogue and too little coherent plot. It just doesn’t tell a story very well. The excess talking without revealing anything and constant straining to harmonize everything with decades of Star Trek lore makes it clear to me that the Trek universe has become too bloated for its own good. It’s also a reason to stop these endless prequel shows; these constant retcons and fan service bits have become overwhelming. It’s enough to acknowledge occasionally that the franchise has a history as 90s Trek for; we don’t need arcane, in-universe historical references weekly.

    The excess fan service on new Trek shows (except for the cheeky Lower Decks, at its best) feels more like marketing than genuine. It also shows why all of these prequels (ENT, DISC, SNW) need to be cancelled immediately. They’re trading on nostalgia to ruin classic Trek.

    And btw, I think 3/5ths of 1990s Trek is disposable movie of the week stuff — they just ran out of ideas churning out around 30 episodes a season for seven seasons. So much of 90s Trek feels like daytime soap boredom; it doesn’t have the epic “adventure on the frontiers” feel that TOS had in a more concentrated dose. I grew up with TNG and loved it when it did truly original material like the Borg and Inner Light, but those moments were rare in later dull seasons and I was more drawn to TOS. Only DS9 with its story arcs had a fairly high ratio of quality to drek; I only got to see that one on streaming in 2016.

    Now we have these new Trek shows in 10 episode increments. I only like Picard (despite it’s similar-to-TNG high ratio of filler to awesome), Lower Decks, and Prodigy—they try to do new things and move the story forward, not back. I wish Disco and SNW never existed, although I watch them for the moments I enjoy.

    This episode provided a perfect opportunity for Kirk to say to a cop, "My friend is obviously Chinese."

    @Tim Kaiser: "Pelia calling the Federation 'socialist' doesn't mean it's literally socialism."

    I would say it pretty obviously qualifies, by any reasonable definition. Now, there is a spectrum, or maybe I should say different flavors of "socialism". The Federation obviously doesn't match some of the more negative flavors, where there is little freedom of choice and an oppressive surveillance state. But by our contemporary standards, I don't see how you can dispute that in economic terms, it is socialist. Jean-Luc said "We’ve overcome hunger and greed, and we’re no longer interested in the accumulation of things." Sure sounds like socialism to me.

    One interesting wrinkle here is that Manu Saadia, the author of the book Trekonomics, posits that money disappeared from the Federation between the 23rd and 24th centuries, due to the invention of the replicator.

    Not a very good episode, but I continue to salute the series for giving time and agency to several characters, rather than making it the Pike show. We already have the Picard show and (shudder) the Michael Burnham show. I will put up a lot not to have to deal with constant single-character melodrama.

    There are good things lurking within "Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow," but they're buried within an episode that's completely off-kilter in its sluggish execution of an overused Star Trek staple.

    you could literally say the same thing about last week

    @Trek Fan...

    You're clearly not. Try another franchise. Listen to yourself. You dislike SNW, a s Disco, and Picard, and Lower Decks, and the vast majority of TNG, and you don't even MENTION VOY or ENT. You say you enjoyed the Dominion War Arc on DS9, and you liked TOS. Okay. That's less than 10% of the Franchise. It's like calling your self Law & Order fan and then saying you liked the first 3 seasons of the first series, and few episodes of Criminal Intent, and disliked everything else. Ugh.... the entitlement.

    I actually enjoyed this episode. At first I was inclined to not like Paul Wesley as Kirk, but after a while I thought he did a good job and actually made Kirk more likable and relatable.

    I can allow a Star Trek series at least one "complete RESET button" episode every season or so. And that's what this is, an episode that by the end of it never happened (at least for everyone but La'an).

    I'm absolutely loving watching a Star Trek series where the entire season isn't about a singular baddie that's slowly revealed and defeated\resolved in the last episode of the season.

    This is enjoyable Star Trek for me!

    I'm a bit late to the discussion, but I'll add my chorus to the folks who liked Christina Chong's performance, but found the episode overall to be a stale retread of far more compelling time travel episodes. It isn't terrible, but it's just...bland.

    It also marks the second episode in two seasons where James T Kirk plays a major role but comes off as an impostor. Chris Pine emanated Kirk vibes; this guy just doesn't.

    For one thing, Kirk is supposed to be in his mid-20s in this episode, but Paul Wesley is 40 and it shows (not knocking the guy; I'm 39 and it also shows).

    Wesley also doesn't seem to have any real grasp on who Kirk is, and just comes off as a generic Starfleet bro. He also has ZERO chemistry, romantic or otherwise, with La'an.

    As such, he serves as nothing more than an irritating distraction, undermining the strong work Chong does despite a meh script.

    More and more, I wonder if this episode came about because there wasn't enough budget to do the whole season in space, so they did a cheap one in Toronto. They also managed to film an even slower, more pathetic "car chase" than the one with Seven and Raffi!

    These days, if Trek is going to do a time travel episode, it's gotta bring its A-game. All this meandering episode did was remind me of better episodes...*including* DS9's Little Green Men, by the way!

    I don't mind the retcon of the timing of the Eugenics wars, and I didn't even think about the issues surrounding Spock. I am curious as others are on here regarding what Pelia remembers.

    My biggest question is how La'an took Sera's ear comment in stride. In theory she has never seen a Romulan, right? (If this has already been addressed in thread I apologize, I tried to find it but didn't see it. Could have missed it)

    Kirk from an alternate timeline could have met the Romulans already, and she was "in disguise" but La'an doesn't quite react the way I'd expect, and even if she can't tell about her temporal escapades (aside: temporal escapades as a band name), that information might come in handy for the Federation to be aware of.

    I think La'an doesn't clock the significance of the ear incident. It wouldn't have meant much to her.,

    Holy crap is this episode boring.

    Everything just drags and drags. 5 minute scenes would have been better served as 3 minute scenes.

    And when the story reaches a peak everything just stops for some VERY stilted exposition dumps.

    Maybe the worst episode of the show thus far.

    I hate how much Trek shows go back to modern day Earth. It's a trope that needs to die.

    There were things in the episode I enjoyed but in the end I just didn't get why they bothered. Please tell me this wasn't done simply to satisfy the continuity nerds.

    A lot of people are missing the point of this episode. It's a Big Picture episode with ramifications for all of Star Trek.

    Star Trek has long had a contradiction in its canon. It's our future, and yet one of its earliest predictions was that this guy Khan Noonian Soong would rise up in the 1990s and take over a quarter of the planet. The 90s came and went and there was no Khan. Is this really our future? I (a fan of Star Trek since the 90s) treated Star Trek as an alternative timeline as a way to resolve the contradiction. But that meant dispensing with Roddenberry's original vision of the show being our actual future.

    Along comes with SNW with is own resolution to the problem. Star Trek is still our future, but, you see, these aliens from the future are messing with the timeline. They're trying to stop earth's progress. That's why the Eugenics Wars haven't happened yet.

    Star Trek is picking up on a literary device that goes back to the Old Testament. The glorious future can only come after a period of great tribulation (in this case Khan, WWIII, and the nuclear holcaust). But when the predictions don't come true, we are told they have been delayed. The book of Daniel reinterpretted Jeremiah so that seventy years became seventy weeks of years. SNW reinterprets TOS so that interference from the temporal cold wars pushes Star Trek's past further along in the timeline than it was originally placed. But have faith: Kirk, the Enterprise, and the Federation are still our future.

    None of what I said means it was a good episode. I agree with Jammer's critiques, but it's a Big Canon episode making a statement about how Star Trek will handle discrepancies between its timeline and real history going forward.

    @Mister Darwin
    "I hate how much Trek shows go back to modern day Earth. It's a trope that needs to die."

    I think I have to agree with you. I saw a still photo from the episode showing La'an and Kirk looking startled in a typical city alleyway, replete with multiple dumpsters highlighted by yellow concrete-filled steel poles (bollards) sunk into the greasy pavement in order to protect the corners of masonry buildings. No doubt the scintillating dialogue was made all the more poignant by morning dew glistening upon plastic bags filled with cast-off styrofoam.

    At times getting through this episode seemed more like work than like entertainment. I can't warm up to Pelia (the Gollum-like accent is too distracting) and Wesley's Kirk just feels "off." And seriously, our intrepid heroes didn't think to use a 21st century computer?

    Another misfire of an episode for me.

    Coming to this one late to confess that I absolutely loved this episode. I'm shocked by the dislike from both Jammer and the comments section. Trying to reconcile this "meh" review with the glowing praise that the end of Picard got is difficult, I found the end of Picard to be quite "meh" whereas I'd have chosen to rate this episode 3 or 3.5 stars.

    Not sure I concur with the criticism of Wesley. I find his Kirk a lot less annoying than Chris Pine's, though, my own dislike of the JJVerse probably has a lot to do with that. Discounting the quick call at the end, have we actually seen his Kirk in the "real" universe? The two episodes I can recall that featured him were alternate timelines, so it's rather easy to write off any differences with OG Kirk to that. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    I do concur with @Trek Fan's sentiment here, not on cancellation, but excess fan service (some of this I think are the writers being genuine Trek Nerds™ but no doubt a large part is the studio endeavoring to build A Cinematic Universe™)

    "The excess fan service on new Trek shows (except for the cheeky Lower Decks, at its best) feels more like marketing than genuine. It also shows why all of these prequels (ENT, DISC, SNW) need to be cancelled immediately."

    It would be nice if we could get an honest to god sequel to 90s era Star Trek so fandom would stop arguing about continuity and retcons. I like Strange New Worlds, a lot, would not want to see it cancelled, but I do not understand the studio's reluctance to launch a live action show that could honor the past without being handicapped by it.

    I don't like the security officer character. Her attitude is bizarre to me. However, I love time travel/alternate timeline stories so four stars for that.
    The casting department must have gotten mixed up. They were trying to cast Jim Kirk but they hired a Jim Carrey look a like.

    I seem to be in the minority but I really liked this one. La’han continues to be the best SNW character this side of Pike for me.

    And bonus points for this Kirk to finally start to be likable.

    Why does Laan trust THIS timeline?
    Maybe in 200 years it’ll be a true hell.

    Anyway. This has all been explored in Loki.

    Time travel is tiresome as a plot device.

    Good acting at the end but… Yeah.

    Liked the episode quite a bit. It was fun. I’m on the side of “chemistry was cute,” although it escalated pretty fast. But what’s new for Star Trek. At least she didn’t sleep with him on the first night.

    BUT!

    Did La’An just leave a loaded gun on the table next to Kid Khan?!?

    Also, if I ever have to get a suicide switch installed, “side of neck” would not be my first choice.

    “Spock! I said nerve pinch, NOT LIQUIFY!”.

    3/4 stars.

    In which tax breaks dictate that Starfleet must always time travel back to Canada instead of the USA.

    I have to say, the performance of Pavel (Wasilewski that is) really grew on me this episode. I don’t feel like he’s channeling Kirk exactly, but he showed another layer than just “righteous contempt” or whatever was going on the season’s first episode.

    Christina Chong also impressed. I know Disco went off the deep end in the drama department, but so far SNW is striking a good balance.

    And yes, as a sucker for things I remember, the DS9 Temporal Investigations call back (call forward?) was a nice touch.

    One thing that bothered me though: has Pelia recognized La’an from the past this whole time?

    I always groan when writers try to shoehorn a romance plot within a ticking-clock plot. As Torres said in "Muse", "Because when you think that you are surrounded by enemies, when you're up against the Borg, or, or Species 8472, the last thing on your mind is romance."

    Not only do the romantic beats not work on their own, they undermine the ticking-clock plot by making it seem less urgent. And why did the Romulans send only one agent to carry out this master plan instead of, I dunno, fifty? Sigh.

    Christina Chong was indeed very good though.

    This seems like it was a Discovery reject script. The acting from Chong was great, but, like the previous episode, this idea has already done much better before, namely in “The City on the Edge of Forever” and DS9’s “Past Tense.” I’m not a fan of this version of Kirk, Pine was more believable, and the game “would you kill baby Hitler (Khan) if you could go back in time?” is a better topic for high schoolers. Personally I’d give it 1.25 stars.

    What happens when you get lazy and just recycle a combination of Star Trek IV and your classic "could you go back in time and kill Hitler as a child?" story? Ah right.

    Also, it kinda gets away with it this time due to being an alternate timeline but I still really struggle to "see Kirk" in this version of Kirk. He doesn't seem particularly likeable either. I'm glad the incident with Pike is set far enough in the future that it could get away with a full Trek heyday style 7 seasons (hey, we can HOPE) without having a change of captain, because I think going from this Pike to this Kirk would be a huge downgrade for the series.

    Triple post but keep thinking of additional 2ps to throw in

    - Explicitly referring to the Federation as a socialist utopia is an interesting decision, and it's fun to watch the right wing Trek fans (a phenomenon I still can't quite get my head around) trying to rationalise it as sarcasm or exaggeration or something :)

    - Pelia's slow, laboured "hundreds of years old granny after a few glasses of wine" style of delivery is something I found painful to watch a couple of episodes ago, but I admired how the actress was able to pull off "the same thing but a few hundred years less" so well for her past self. She managed to retain that style whilst toning it down a noticeable enough amount to honestly come across as a younger version (but still having lived a heck of a long time).
    I'm surprised though (maybe there's a good reason to be discovered later) that they made her a new species rather than just an El-Aurian.

    Jammer's too harsh on this one. It doesn't just read good on paper, it was also done in a very nice, subtle and humorous way. Not lol humor but the one which can only be achieved with two good actors who have chemistry. Paul Wesley may not look or act much like Shatner, but he sure holds his own and I enjoyed his understated performance a lot.
    It still amazes me how likable the SNW cast is and how well put together.

    I'm amazed they resisted having Spiner pop up given how we last saw of whichever Soong was in Picard S3.

    I thought it was genius and I loved the scenes on Earth, maybe because I'm only a casual Trek fan. I can't believe Christina is 40! She looks so young. Paul is growing on me as Kirk and I liked how it gave him more screen time, and explored L'An's back story. 3.5 for me.

    This was a good episode, maybe comparable to early TNG's Time Squared, but the story hit hard and dealt with a lot of Star Trek backstory.
    I do understand why Jammer may dislike this episode from a stylistic and narrative level. Essentially, this episode kills all retcon and trek canon issues, by blaming it on Temporal Agents mucking around on the past. Essentially, it gives an excuse for inconsistency to what Star Trek has become (too bloated with plots).
    Maybe, it's time to view star trek less based on consistency, but rather the quality of the story itself. Narratively "Tomorrow, Tomorrow, and Tomorrow" is a superior storyline and perhaps one of the better Time Travel episodes in recent years. From that standpoint, I think this episode deserves at least 3-3.25 stars.

    How funny - I found this to be one of the best stories of the series I've seen so far. I really bought into it on a number of different levels and enjoyed it immensely. I actually spent much of the episode thinking just how difficult it must be to pull off something like this and not make it seem overly clichéd or tacky. So reading other's opinions certainly gave me a chuckle. Horses for courses and all that I guess!

    Meh.

    Love SNW overall. Liked the first season very much, loved s2e1. Thought e2 was meh, and this now unfortunately is also kinda meh. It's weirdly slow. Pacing is off.

    Also, they do remember that the whole reason this series exists was because people loved pike so much, right? Why on 21st century earth are they constantly writing him out of an episode or have him sit down at the sideline?

    The tritium thing was complete nonsense. The paint react to betas from the decay of tritium and requires being quite close to the source to give off a visible glow. A simple Geiger counter would have been a much more realistic detector. Even then, betas are easily absorbed by even thin sheets of metal, so the cold fusion reactor must really be killing everybody from radiation poisoning if the paint in a watch is enough to identify the presence of betas.

    I am ok with technobabble regarding future technology, but making up scientifically inaccurate statements regarding current technology kills off all the fun for me as a physicist.

    The idea behind the episode is not bad, the acting is pretty good, the end is strong. However, the sloppiness of the episode's execution is. hard to forgive. A major example is La'an not taking the basic care to not teletransport to the future in front of the kid. Intense eye-rolling moment

    Alright admission - any ep focusing on La'an gets a automatic 2 stars from me to start with. Thats how much I like her character.

    Any time-travel epizode gets another half a star, and if its competently done (which this 1 is), another half. Full star there.

    Finally, the twist that the 'helpful native in the past' was actualy a enemy agent, was fucking DELIGHTFUL. I have to say, I didn't see it coming. Half a star there. The actress herself was... meh... but i can look past that.

    And finally, having La'an deal with her heritage and coming face-to-face with young Khan (some very SWE1 Anakin Skywalker-esque vibes there, I can definitely see the inspiration) - saving him, even knowing vhat he would become, but aware of his importance in the timeline... very deep stuff.

    4/4 stars!

    Such a tired premise. This makes Enterprise's "Carpenter Street" look like "City on the Edge of Forever."

    Why oh why did they have to tie so much of this show to TOS? And, more importantly, why do it so poorly?

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