Let’s get this started with this episode of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds being the perfect palette cleanser after last week’s reality of war. I will give Paramount kudos for slipping last week’s episode in the way they did, sandwiched between 2 joyful episodes.
So Much Harmonic Convergence
The premise of the story is rather ridiculous! I get the idea of using a subspace fold to boost signal power. BUT making a huge improbability field the culprit… OK! But let’s be honest we aren’t here about the science. we are here for the music!
But just a little more backstory, Kirk is coming to shadow Una before he becomes XO of the USS Farragut NCC-1647, which is making La’an uneasy with her feelings from her brief time escapade. Nurse Chapel, FINALLY gets her chance to attend the Vulcan Science Academy Fellowship. Lastly, PIke is dealing with his deep seeded commitment issues with his significant other, Captain Batel.
Blah blah blah, feeling feelings feelings, OH let’s try sending music thru the rift rather than a message it might be easier NOPE!
NOW THE STAGE IS SET CHARACTERS AT THIER MARKS AS THE SUBSPACE BUBBLE RISES (Much like a curtain) ANYTHING GOES!!
A Strange New Song List
So it seems that emotions are to blame for the crew bursting out into song. now having all that baggage going into the episode the whole 60 minutes wasn’t filled with song end to end like RENT but sensationally scored songs with an entire range of feelings.
Choosing to start off with Spock was a most PERFECT and not unusual thing. Ethan Peck even as Spock was melodic but very monotone in his Vulcan vocals. It starts spreading across the ship. Ortegas gets her time at the helm, literally expositing, what she does. This first tune had a great staccato and nervous tone to give us the WTF is going on? Overall the first song had a very modern Broadway feel, especially at the end with the layered vocals and Pike just angrily finishing it.
Connect to Your Truth
Una and James Kirk are next in this musical montage. Una explains that Kirk needs to find his own truth and how that will inform his leadership style.
Rebecca Romaijin has such a wonderful voice if you didn’t know. Combine that with a Sing-Songy Rodgers and Hammerstein style, With a pillowy bouncy waltz, it was punchy and poignant! But La’an was watching “For security reasons” which segways into the next song.
How Would That Feel
La’an gets the introspective snare drum-driven ballad with lots of strings and a counter melody that evokes an almost Jonathan Larson tone. Top that off with the flashback and dream sequence rolled into one. WOW! Amazing job to Christina Chong for the depth and hurt she put out on screen is a bittersweet self-realizing moment.
The crew try to “fix the problem of the week” but they just made it worse, but don’t worry it’s okay!
Captain Batel calls and for some “Broadway reason” they decide to hash it out in front of the whole bridge crew. Reprising So Peculiar adds to the tension. La’an saves the day and shuts down the communication, of course AFTER we get that hard double knee drop from Captain Pike. The field is spreading…
Una has a heart-to-heart with La’an about working with Kirk. but the song fits perfectly over everyones inner turmoils. Chapel and M’Benga’s connection from the war and their experience. Spock and his feelings for Nurse Chapel. Pike second-guesses his lack of sharing his feelings with Batel. It’s a soft almost maternal moment in song with a ridiculous bridge in anti-gravity.
Did I mention that the field is spread into Klingon territory? In true honorable Klingon fashion, they are going to just blow it up! Now it’s up to Spock and Uhura to fix this musical malformality in 2 hours. Nyota does realize that everything is happening in Musical format with emotions being the catalyst to bursting out into song.
A big sexy vampy girl power anthem! Jess Bush just slays at this with a very sexy and breathy ’60s inspired how she is ready to take what she wants. and moving forward in her career.
La’an and Kirk have a moment and she breaks the Temporal Prime Directive telling James/Jim about their alternate timeline twist. James is flattered but we get a huge cannon reveal: Carol James’ girlfriend is pregnant… yes that Doctor Carol Marcus, you know Kirk’s baby mama? Who has their kid, Marcus….. yeah in cannon foreshadowing!
I’m the X
Uhura and Spock are in Engeerinng, and Uhura prompts Spock to “break out” into song. Surprisingly this is an immediate reprise of the last song. But with a different orchestration giving off Andrew Lloyd Weber Phantom vibes having synth drums and E.Piano on top of a steady bass line. match that up with Peck’s monotone again, and honestly, it’s a very Bowie-esque equation that is very LOGICAL.
Keep Us Connected
Nyota has to figure out the pattern to stop the field, but she’s self-doubting herself. With all her trauma growing up and missing Hammer, she comes awash with emotion, and it’s her time to belt!
We get reminded of her backstory again. Luckily this song keeps building and building till she gets that AHA moment! First off crying how alone she is, but her strength is the fact she’s survived and all the people in her life are still in her.
Let’s not forget the epic key change!
The solution is that every time someone starts singing,, it puts out energy. But the majority of the songs have been introspective and tearing them apart. But music can also bring joy! That means the entire crew has to sing together or be inspired to sing together. The only one who can do that is the one who “Keeps them Connected,” and Pike sees it and gives Uhura the Mic? or Con? Kind of both!
We Are One
If you haven’t seen TICK TICK BOOM on Netflix, Go watch it! Then come back and watch the episode and tell me you DON”T get that same driving feeling.
It’s all VOICES on deck! The meter is going up, but they still need MORE VOICES! Pike hails the Klingons. I was hoping we were going to get Klingon Opera like Aktuh and Maylota instead finally… its a Dub-Step breakdown and, of course, with Auto-Tune! As of posting this article, I have no idea who the Klingon Captain was, but I think we have a big cameo under those ridges!
Add some choreography and top it off with Spock cutting dry jokes. They blew up the anomaly!
Everyone comes to terms with their feelings by talking it out except Chapel and Spock. This is good cause it would be shoehorned in at the end. But Batel is going on a Priority 1 mission, so we have something there.
Captains Log: Subspace Rhapsody
As I said at the top of the number, this was a genius palette cleanser after last week’s episode. It was a nice way to see our crew in a different light but at the same time, the “mis” fortune of the field did give us more depth of character.
Kirk talking about Carol! Whoa didn’t see that coming so soon. But they have to factor in the established course of events. It’s such a twist knowing that a descendent of Kahn is in love, albeit one-sided with Jim.
Cheers to the acapella group they got to do the opening theme! The whole team understood the assignment and threw it all out there!
Can’t forget the Classic TOS Theme added in for good measure.
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