Where Fun Goes to Die

In this week’s episode of Strange New Worlds: Spock Amok, Enterprise returns to Starbase 1 for repairs and for the crew to enjoy some shore leave. Spock reunites with his fiancee, T’Pring who we last saw in episode 1 when they got engaged. She is stopping by, taking a break from her bounty hunt of Logic Criminals, to spend time with Spock.

Captain Pike is getting briefed about a diplomatic mission with the R’Ongovian Protectorate, who controls a small, vital territory between Kling & Romulan space. They want to establish a relationship to ensure safe passage in the area. Their meeting is interrupted by the R’Ongovian delegation, who arrived early. They are aggressive and direct initially, but then quickly become jovial when Pike becomes his charming self. 

The crew leaves for shore leave while Una and La’an stay behind. Ortega lets slip that Una is nicknamed “where fun goes to die,” clearly hurting her feelings a little bit. Spock returns to T’Pring, who was not pleased that Spock was late. He chose his work (yet again) over their time together. She leaves, clearly upset (as upset as Vulcans can show they are that is). 

Strange New Worlds: Spock Amok, I’m Your Backup!

La’an and Una are walking the halls of an empty Enterprise, lamenting Una’s nickname when a security breach in the airlock triggers a security alert. Phasers are drawn, and they find two crew members preparing for a spacewalk. 

During shore leave, Nurse Chappel ditches her date when she sees a solo Spock, nursing his drink.  Spock confides in her what happened with T’Pring. She tells him that he was an idiot for not prioritizing his fiancee. She tells him that he needs to show T’Pring that he understands her feelings. 

Spock returns to T’Pring and asks her to participate in a Vulcan soul sharing as a way for them to “see through each other’s eyes.” As a by-product of the ritual, the two actually switch places (a la Freaky Friday). 

Hijinks are the Most Logical Course of Action

The Admiral visits Pike and tells him that the R’Ongovian’s were unhappy and wanted to sever communications. They’ve agreed to come back to the table but only if they talk to Spock. 

In Spock’s quarters, T’Pring and Spock continue to try to return to their own bodies–unsuccessfully. Pike comes to retrieve Spock for the R’Ongovian diplomatic mission where they confess that they have switched bodies. Pike tries to talk them into sending T’Pring in Spock’s body to meet with the R’Ongovians, and she agrees. While Spock (in T’Pring’s body) stays behind to find a solution. While they wait, T’Pring’s partner reaches out and asks her to help retrieve their Logic criminal into custody. 

Una and La’an interrogate the crew members about what they were doing in the airlock. After some good-cop, bad-cop they learn that they were playing a game called “Enterprise Bingo.” They track down the list of tasks in Enterprise Bingo and decide to tackle them. They experiment with gum in the transporter, battle over turbo-lifts, and even shoot each other with phasers (on stun). 

While on shore leave, Ortega and Nurse Chappel run into who they (think) is T’Pring. Chappel is worried that T’Pring is mad at her for giving Spock relationship advice. When T’Pring (Spock) asks to chat with Chappel, she/he confesses that she is actually Spock. Chappel recommends that Spock (T’Pring) continue on her quest for T’Pring’s career to better understand her. 

T’Pring (in Spock’s body) attempts to engage with the R’Ongovians who, Pike notes, have become “Vulcan-like.” When Pike sees that T’Pring is struggling to address Spock’s sacrifices for Starfleet (because she doesn’t understand it), he intervenes and advocates for Spock — not so much to the R’Ongovians, but to T’Pring. The R’Ongovians were clearly impressed and called a recess.

They’re Gonna Nerve Pinch us for This 

T’Pring (Spock) confronts the logic criminal who starts to insult her for planning to marry a half-human – overtly insulting Spock (and nurse Chappel). When Bargian insults Chappel again, Spock (angered) punches him, knocking him out. 

Back on the ship, the doctor performs a procedure to put T’Pring and Spock back into their appropriate bodies. The procedure, although painful, is successful. And, even though it was unintended, the ritual achieved its goal of allowing them to see through each other’s eyes. 

In their final meeting with the R’Ongovians, Pike is direct about what the Federation wants from them, essentially telling them to not join the Federation due to the high price. He points out to the Admiral that the R’Ongovians mirror their audience as a form of radical empathy. 

The R’Ongovians depart the space station on their light sail ship, flying the Federation flag. They fly right past La’an and Una, who have taken a spacewalk to sign the hull of the Enterprise – completing Bingo. 

Strange New Worlds: Spock Amok Episode Analysis

While I liked this episode, I honestly feel like it has been the weakest so far. It’s disappointing because I love when they delve into Spock’s character. However, like many who try to explore Spock, they often do it at the expense of understanding Vulcan logic – instead of delving a bit too much into emotion. From punching a Logic criminal who insulted his human friend to his and T’Pring’s relationship troubles, these Vulcans are just too emotional to be Vulcans. And Spock, especially, is known for overcompensating for his human side. Still, I always appreciate the opportunity to delve a little deeper into Vulcan culture.

I liked seeing the lighter side of Una and La’an as they try to achieve “Enterprise Bingo.” Those two are so straight-laced, that it was a fun little aside to see them let their hair down and go a little wild. 

The ambassadorial mission, however, seemed to fall a bit flat. Out of everything that happened this episode, securing access to a crucial route near Romulan and Klingon territory seemed to have been far more important than the writers let on. I wonder if it will come back later? 

Ultimately, this is a solid episode but I’m not so sure that it moved the show forward in a meaningful way. Is the episode return of Star Trek also the return of “throw-away” episodes? Let me know in the comments below!