STRANGE NEW WORLDS’ “CHARADES” could have sucked…but it was a surprisingly STRONG episode! (editorial review)


It’s hard to believe that we’re already half-way through season two of STAR TREK: STRANGE NEW WORLDS. However, when you have only ten episodes budgeted per season…

That said, we’ve now had five straight episodes without a clunker in the bunch (at least, in my opinion)! And to be honest, my hopes weren’t all that high for “Charades,” the fifth and latest episode. When I saw that the plot involved Spock being turned into a human at the most inopportune moment—just in time for his engagement dinner—I remembered how the last time we saw T’Pring, the two switched bodies, and hilarity ensued. And I cringed to think that, once again, a T’Pring episode (and there seem to be so many!) was going to go the way of slapstick comedy. Doesn’t anyone take Vulcans seriously anymore???

So yeah, I was totally expecting to hate this week’s episode. And I mean REALLY hate it. After talking last week about how Spock is being treated by the writers like the character of Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory, I was hoping that we’d get a serious Spock episode sooner or later…and this one obviously wasn’t going to be it! And as the episode started, I had my shields raised and my phasers energized to write a scathing review.

And then something funny happened, or rather, something not-so-funny happened. Oh, sure, this episode had a lot of comedic moments, including ending the teaser Spock saying “What the f—” (and I don’t think the last word was going to be “fascinating”). But it was also surprisingly serious in places, introspective, character-driven, and very, very human. In many ways, an episode like this represents some of the best qualities Star Trek has to offer viewers who watch for the characters and to feel what they feel. Normally, Spock is the exception to that rule, but not this time.

All right, let’s unpack this episode, shall we…?


Barely a handful of TOS episodes had aired when “The Enemy Within” split Captain Kirk into his good and bad sides. But beyond being a simple “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” episode, the story looked at the true nature of these two aspects of Kirk. While his aggressive side was impulsive, it was also cowardly. His intellectual side, while weaker and indecisive, also possessed his courage. Star Trek‘s first “split character” episode was a rousing success.

Later in the first season, “This Side of Paradise” showed viewers Spock with feelings, and it was quite an eye-opener. “Mirror, Mirror” in season two gave us evil doppelgängers of our favorite characters. And lets not even mention WILLIAM SHATNER’s feminine side in “Turnabout Intruder,” okay?

I won’t spend much time on the other series because, depending on how far you want to take it, you could point to Lore, Thomas Riker, “Yesterday’s Enterprise,” the merging of Kurzon Dax with Odo, the Intendant and the rest of the Mirror Universe counterparts of DS9, Tuvix, and a host of other examples of characters not being “themselves.” But I will mention the most obvious split-character episode (literally), and that was Voyager‘s “Faces,” when B’Elanna is divided into a human and a Klingon version of herself. Voyager was still finding its way at the time, and “Faces” was only 14 episodes in. The episode tried to better define B’Elanna and her internal struggles, but in the end, I think it missed the mark and came out pretty weak.

Similarly, “Charades” was only 15 episodes into SNW‘s run, and I went in figuring it was going to try to do the same thing with Spock: better define him by showing an all-human version (although no all-Vulcan version). But really, with a character possessing a 57-year history who has appeared in four different Star Trek series (five if you count his hologram in PRODIGY) plus nine feature films, what can you tell us about Spock that we don’t already know???

Surprisingly, quite a bit!


If you think about it, Spock has been a tough nut to crack since LEONARD NIMOY first passed the torch to ZACHARY QUINTO back in 2009. Even Quinto’s performance, though admirable, brought an anger and rawness to Spock that some fans (including me) found somewhat dissonant. And of course, Spock’s relationship with Uhura went almost nowhere, having been shoehorned into those movies for some unfathomable reason.

Spock’s reintroduction into STAR TREK: DISCOVERY didn’t fare much better. As you may or may not recall, the “bearded Spock,” although well-portrayed by ETHAN PECK, didn’t show up until halfway through Discovery‘s second season and was finally located inside a mental institution, suffering from hallucinations. From there, Spock’s main purpose, it seemed, was to be a pain in the ass for adopted older sister Michael Burnham (or was it vice-versa?). Either way, it wasn’t pretty. Spock was played as a little more emotionally vulnerable than many of us had gotten used to. But it was clear that the producers of Discovery—who had said at the launch of the series that Spock would NOT appear—struggled with the character as being little more than a foil for star SONEQUA MARTIN-GREEN to have yet another character to butt heads with.

As such, going into Strange New Worlds, defining Spock as a character was going to be a huge challenge for both the writers/directors and for Ethan Peck himself. What do you do with a 57-year-old character that everyone already knows and loves? And as I mentioned above and in last week’s blog, their answer was to turn him into Sheldon Cooper!

More specifically, the writers needed to decide who “their” Spock was and what his growth path was going to be as a character. And they decided that Spock would be awkward, trying but sometimes failing to control and/or hide his emotions while simultaneously trying but sometimes failing to fit in. This wasn’t the poised, confident Vulcan first officer from TOS. This was a much more self-conscious and uncertain lieutenant in a very new and unusual situation. Granted, by this point in his career, Spock has already been on the Enterprise under Pike’s command for over half a decade. But for fans coming into the show with episode one, Spock needed to be a bit of a clean slate. So yeah, you kinda have to purposefully “forget” that Spock has already had 5-6 years to learn to fit in with a mostly human crew. And if your mind has trouble with doing that, then you’re probably gonna be fighting this current each time you watch an episode. (Sorry.)

Anyway, while some fans have complained that “This is NOT Spock!” I’m actually enjoying getting to know this new guy. Ethan Peck has made the role uniquely his own, not trying to imitate Nimoy while still staying true to the core concept of a character who has very strong emotions but is trying really hard not to. And Spock’s character arc is obviously about getting from here to there…”here” being the awkwardness on Pike’s Enterprise and “there” being the logical first officer standing confidently alongside James T. Kirk. We are watching a very important part of Spock’s journey—his trek, if you will—and for me, at least, it’s a compelling story.

So in their search for “their” Spock, the writers have found this character. And if the Spock they have found isn’t the Spock you were looking for, then as I said, this is probably going to be a difficult show for you to watch. Again, sorry that you’re not happy and sorry that others are loving it. (That wasn’t intended to be as snarky as it might have come out.)


I’m not an actor. I have no classical dramatic training. But I know enough to recognize a challenging role when I see it. I don’t mean Spock. Spock is tough enough for an actor to find properly. No, I am talking about the HUMAN Spock!

Whether you loved this episode or hated it, the fact remains that playing Spock as a human COULD have been a complete disaster. There were so many ways that performance might have strayed into the mega-cringe realm. Instead, Ethan Peck’s choices were flawless! In fact, both my son and my wife said during the episode, “I don’t think I want the other Spock to come back. I like this one better!” And I kinda agreed. In many ways, you could call this the “Tuvix Effect”: what should have been the stupidest episode of Voyager ever AND the most annoying character ever suddenly became someone we wouldn’t have minded seeing stick around! And rather than being a stupid episode, “Tuvix” was a unique, morally-complex story without a clear choice at the end. And so it was with human-Spock…although of course he was going to return to “normal.”

What Ethan Peck had to do in this episode was to create an emotional version of an emotionless character and make it look seamless. And he did! You could tell this was still Spock but with pubescent emotions leaking out all over the place. Indeed, we know that Vulcans have very passionate and intense emotions; they just constantly suppress them to the point where they hardly notice doing it. But for Spock, such “mundane” emotional control is an almost constant struggle, much like someone who is on the autism spectrum (like Sheldon Cooper) has to work extra hard just to try to appear normal…or rather, society’s definition of “normal.”

Sure, watching Spock be awkward can seem comedic at times, just as watching Sheldon can be funny, too. But if you take a moment to step into their mind and see the world through their eyes and perspective, it might not be quite as funny. Ethan Peck gave us that gift in this episode: a glimpse into just how hard it is to be a Vulcan-human hybrid who has to struggle every moment to do things that other Vulcans come by so easily.


Of course, Spock was the main focus of this episode—a total “Spock episode,” right? But was it really?

Ever since JANE WYATT introduced the character of Spock’s mother in the second season TOS episode “Sarek Knows Best”…er, I mean, “Journey to Babel,” fans have kinda taken her for granted. Spock’s human mother…a teacher…who fell in love with a man who could not show her love in return…learned the ways of Vulcans…and lived among them…raising a half-human/half-Vulcan son. And that was pretty much it.

Amanda was wise, of course, a dutiful wife and mother, dedicated to both of these men in her life, trying to draw them together as they kept moving farther apart. But who was Amanda Grayson really? We never really knew and, somewhat embarrassingly for me as a fan, never really felt the need to probe further. Such a pity.

For me, this one scene will go down as one of the most impactful in Star Trek history, and I doubt most people even noticed. But watch it again…

The fact that Vulcans are judgmental and somewhat scornful of humans goes back to T’Pau’s reaction to Spock in “Amok Time” bringing “outvorlders” to a sacred Vulcan ceremony. The way that actress CELIA LOVSKY delivered the line, “Art thee Vulcan…or art thee human?” carried such venom and bile in the way she said “human” that you could taste the deep-seeded resentment. And to be honest, the prejudices went both ways, as Lt. Andrew Stiles’ xenophobic rudeness to Spock demonstrated in “Balance of Terror.”

All this time (57 years) fans have focused on how hard it must have been for Spock, growing up shunned, never completely fitting in among humans or Vulcans until finally finding a home in Starfleet. Spock needed to be so strong. But where did he get that strength from? Sarek? His father’s stubbornness perhaps. But this episode showed us that Spock’s true inner strength of character came from his mother, Amanda, who had to live each day with that same scorn and disapproval from Vulcan society brewing just under the surface.

Hats off to Amanda!


I’ve seen a number of fans on social media complaining about T’Pring’s parents being little more than caricatures of human parents—with an arrogant, overbearing, disdainful mother and mostly emasculated father.

I understand that Star Trek has always been about showing us truly alien cultures that we might not understand but should endeavor to embrace for their infinite diversities. So in that way, this humanization of T’Pring and her parents was somewhat at odds to that inherent message.

But Star Trek also had ANOTHER message that you might have forgotten: underneath all of this strangeness of culture and ritual, we have more in common with other races than we might suspect. Ferengi were our modern capitalistic tendencies in disguise. Klingons (in TNG and DS9) were very much like feudal Japanese warriors, fierce but draped in tradition and honor. Romulans showed our paranoia about other races. Cardassians were Nazis and Bajorans Jews after World War II. The list goes on.

This message of tolerance and understanding, of course, is directed mainly at viewers who might feel close-minded and prejudiced themselves. Blacks, Asians, foreigners in general, gays, transgenders…these groups are are just people like you and me and don’t deserve your anger or hatred.

So in that way, making T’Pring’s parents appear a little, shall we say, “familiar” hammered home the message that Vulcans, despite their unusual and mystifying ways, might not be so different from us after all. That said, T’Pring’s mother is such a BITCH! Say what you want, but it felt very satisfying for Spock to put her in her place at the end…and good episodes should have satisfying moments like that.


Moving on from Vulcans, this episode did, in fact, have a B-story involving Chapel and her attempts to get into that special program at the Vulcan Science Academy. But that’s not what I want to discuss. Instead, I’m going to point out something that surprisingly few fans have realized about this show…

SNW is the first Star Trek series where there are more women in the main cast than men!!! (Go ahead, count. I’m right.)

As such, this episode gave us a spectacularly awesome sequence where Chapel, Uhura, and Ortegas go on a mission to convince the “colorful” extra-dimensional aliens to fix Spock. The alien voices were also female, by the way. There were so many ways that this sequence worked beyond just the fact that these were three women (heck, TOS, TNG, DS9, and ENT didn’t even have three women in their entire main casts…and SNW still had two left over!). First of all, these were all junior officers—the “lower decks” of SNW, if you will. But also, their reaction to Chapel’s reluctance to admit how she really felt about Spock was awesome. Let’s take a look just because we can…

Anyway, I just really loved seeing an all-woman sequence in Star Trek that was no big deal. The writers did it not as any grand feminist gesture but simply because they could. Brava!


Sam and Diane. Ross and Rachel. Mulder and Scully. These are some of the most famous “will they or won’t they?” character hook-ups in television history. And now we can add Spock and Nurse Chapel to that list. And as of the very end of this episode, well, apparently they will…and they did!

There’s just one problem: canon.

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve been loving the growing sexual tension between the two characters and their star-(trek)-crossed love affair. And since Spock and T’Pring are now officially on a “break,” it’s all okay for a little Chock…which is what happens when you ‘ship Chapel and Spock (as Spapel or Spristine totally don’t work!).

However, we know from TOS that, within the next 6-7 years, both Spock and Chapel will be engaged…and not to each other! Spock will be back with T’Pring, less than a year away from his koon-ut-kal-i-fee wedding ceremony. And Chapel will be engaged to Dr. Roger Korby (or what’s left of him). So…a lot happens between now and then, and not all of it good for Chock!

And that’s where this whole thing can become super-frustrating for Trekkie viewers like me (and you?). On the one hand, we’re really rooting for these two characters to get together—just like Ross and Rachel and the others. However, we know they can’t last. And in fact, by the time of TOS, Spock is totally over Christine, although not vice-versa. TOS was from a different era when a woman could hopelessly pine over an unattainable man and it would just produce a sympathetic sigh from viewers, especially female ones who were themselves pining over the unattainable Spock. Welcome to the 1960s.

Today, however, the reaction would more likely be, “Girl, you gotta get over him! You got so much to offer, and he doesn’t deserve you. Just move on with your life!” So yeah, different times.

But in the end, SNW asks fans to live in the moment and not be thinking about the future all the time. Just look at Pike! He’s knows exactly what’s going to happen to him, but he’s living in the here and now. And so am I. I’m enjoying SNW for what it is and not worrying about what it isn’t or what it’s going to be by the time it gets to TOS. It is what it is, and I can live with that for now.

So let’s see what happens next…

19 thoughts on “STRANGE NEW WORLDS’ “CHARADES” could have sucked…but it was a surprisingly STRONG episode! (editorial review)”

  1. I’m just gonna say it! This is a completely different timeline, and Spock & Chapel could certainly end up together! Why not? It’s becoming clear, the writers and producers don’t care about Cannon. So, I’ve decided to just accept Cannon is dead in this day & age!

  2. You have only just noticed the gender balance!?! Seeing the posters up for it, I instantly noticed and was one of the big draws for me to start watching! I have been waiting for this ever since I learned that in Voyager Seven was originally meant to replace Kim rather than Kes meaning we would have had a gender balanced cast!

    I was also very hesitant about this episode as it began, both because of the slaptstick feel (I have been comparing SNW to The Orville, they seem very similar also in the growth and starting of putting in too much humour in their first seasons and then dialling back for the second), and because of the whole Spock-Chapel thing, I don’t watch Star Trek for relationship drama, I watch it for scifi, for strange new worlds!

    But yes, this episode was far better than I had hoped! I lol’ed in a good way at their first contact with the aliens, though that was because I thought they were chatting with a dumb A.I. bot, the future version of calling an automated service hotline.

    “Three women”? Has it been said that they all identify as women and not non-binary? Even so, not quite Girl Power though as they were there talking about a man… but the show in general, hell yes! Also this scene kind of reminded me of The Wizard Of Oz, both due to the SFX and they went their to get Spock a part of what he was missing from the magical wizard!

    Oh, and you wanted a serious Spock episode? What about the first episode of this season with Spock in command of the Enterprise? Did that not count?

    Strange New Worlds has rekindled my love for Star Trek after that disastrous third season of Picard! 🙂

    1. Oh, I noticed the gender skew quite a while ago; I simply hadn’t commented on it yet. But I had a recent debate with a friend who thought the show spent too much time showing the women doing all of the important stuff and almost none of it being done by the men. That’s when I reminded him that more than half of the main cast is female, and he likely never complained when men were doing almost all of the important stuff. So I figured this was as good a blog as any to drop that little tidbit into.

      As for replacing Harry Kim and Kes, Kes was always going to be nixed because Jennifer Lien had stopped taking her meds for bipolar disorder and was becoming increasingly difficult to work with. The producers pleaded with her to get back on them, but she refused, citing (truthfully) their tendency to fog her mind and dull her acting abilities…as such medications tend to do. However, her attitude and behavior were becoming impossible for the cast and crew to deal with, so Kes was written off the show.

      As for Garrett Wang, as I understand it, he might have been engaging in some activities that were leading to problems on set following “eventful” weekends that left him, shall we say, not fully prepared for the demands of the job. Apparently, according to rumor, going into season four, Garrett was given the option of either cleaning up his act or else coming back to finding the first script of the season killing off his character. I suppose you can guess as to which course of action he followed.

      As for the three women, it’s obvious that Chapel identifies as a woman, and Uhura has never shown any tendencies beyond cisgender. As for Ortegas, she certainly has a butch haircut, but she’s never indicated to anyone that she prefers the pronoun “he” or “they.” So I’m going with girl-power.

      And yes, the first episode counted as a serious Spock episode, also it wasn’t entirely focused on Spock. He kinda shared the A-story.

      And finally, I’m not sure what your definition of “disastrous” was, but based on fan reaction to Picard’s final season, “disastrous” might mean the opposite of what you think it means. 🙂

  3. We argued a lot years ago about Axanar and I thought I’d say hello. I just found your ‘Stone Trek’ on YouTube and it is GREAT!! I’m one of the people who doesn’t really like SNW AND I write a review of each episode. Honestly while my opinions (as you probably remember!) tend to be negative I do try to be polite and respectful in what I say (although I did ask if Kirk had acted like Chapel did would he have been called terrible names and I did say slut…oops)

    Anyway I was wondering if you read my review and could tell me how to avoid all the upset and anger I’m not going to include it here unless you want me to send it because I don’t want to interfere with anything. Let me know and I’ll send it your way

    You take care and remember I’m older and (think) I’m nicer!! Haha!

    1. Are you asking me how to avoid being angry or upset in your reviews, Edward? I’m happy to read one, but I have to ask: why are you letting a television show draw out such intense emotion from you? Oh, I know we’re all Trekkies and we LOVE our favorite franchise and don’t want anyone to hurt it. But is anything they’re doing really enough to justify anger?

      I know that, in the past, I’ve written some pretty harsh reviews of Discovery and even Picard episodes. I’ve even resorted to ALL CAPS a few times. But in the end, I know that these people are just trying to do their best in jobs that are, at best, super-challenging. They have to make decisions, and even though I might not agree with those decisions (ahem, Discovery Klingons), I accept that those decisions were indeed made, and I have no influence over them. Even were I to decide to boycott the show or the subscription, it’s seven bucks a month out of pockets that are taking in millions a month. So my getting angry at CBS or Alex Kurtzman is like the ant getting angry at the heard of elephants.

      In other words (and this goes for Axanar, too), the secret to avoiding being upset and angry is to realize that, in the end, you really don’t matter. I really don’t matter. Heck, I was buddy-buddy with Alec Peters for years (and we’re still friendly), but honestly, nothing I did one way or the other would have affected his decisions regarding crowdfunding, production, studio location, or anything else involving Axanar. Granted, I was in charge of Interlude, but in that case, Alec stepped aside and let me be in charge, and he didn’t agree with every decision I made. I don’t agree with every decision he’s made, either. As we say on Earth: such is vie.

      In the end, though, life is too short to be angry all the time. And it takes so much effort and work, to boot! So I typically just let things go and focus on other aspects of my life that make me feel good…like family, friends, and fan films. I enjoy SNW, so I appreciate the series for all it gives me and my family…and so I don’t sweat the shortcomings.

      1. No comments here at this time. Just a “scratch” of the head at the “such is vie”. Do you perhaps mean “C’est la vie”? I suspect that there isn’t a lot of french language used in the US versus Spanish/Mexican; however, I can’t believe you don’t know this phrase, even if only as delivered by Kirk (Shatner, who is from Montréal, Québec) to Kruge in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock.

        So, were you “making a funny”, or …?

        P.S.: You make many good points in this review. And as you said, we may not agree on all these points, but I do appreciate this p.o.v. and agree with many more than I disagree with.

        1. Yes, I was making a funny. I often say (on purpose), “Make sure to dot the t’s and cross the i’s” or “It’s not rocket surgery” or “Just my too sense.” It’s my way of seeing if anyone is paying attention.

          Initially, I wrote the line “Such is life,” the English translation (or one of them) of the French “C’est la vie.” But then I noticed that I had written the word “life” in the very next sentence, and I hate being repetitive, redundant, and/or tautological…and I hate using the same word twice in two consecutive sentences one right after the other in sequence. (See what I just did there?) And so I swapped “life” for “vie” to see if anyone would notice…and you won, Charlie! You get this whole factory! You, your mom, and your four grandparents who never get out of bed and who somehow managed to buy you a Wonkabar. Congratulations! 🙂

  4. Here it is Jonathan, my episode 5 review. I just want to say, I don’t think I come across as angry in any part but I await your opinion! Thanks teach!!

    Ok. Episode 5 of Strange New Worlds Review!

    Let’s start with the recap in the beginning of the episode. I’ve said it before, but these ideas I discuss are mine but honestly from what I see and hear around me, I am not alone in how I feel. Immediately the recap is all about the times up to now that Spock was portrayed as almost stupid and fairly ignorant and certainly not someone to be third in command of a starship. Again the other crew members pretty much show no respect toward Spock and are basically completely disrespectful at all times. We are shown that Spock and Chapel are all emotional about each other and this continues on into the episode.

    This is jumping a head a bit but it seems strange to me that Nurse Chapel throughout the whole episode is all turned on and googly-eyed at him and since from the beginning of the episode (actually the series) she realized that he was engaged and in all honestly she should be adult enough to resist her ‘passion’. I just can’t resist asking…how would people be reacting if it was James T. Kirk acting like this? I can just imagine the names he would be called! So as a curiosity, am I allowed to call her a slut?

    My next comment is going to be a short one but I just feel it needs to be made. Ortega (I think) mentions that they were on the way to Vulcan but they were traveling at ‘sub-impulse speed’ so we can “Take in the View”. Are you kidding me? Since when is the Enterprise a cruise ship that takes forever to get somewhere so everyone can have a great time? I guess by doing that everyone had more time to hang out in the bar get drunk and laugh at Spock!

    As I mentioned in my last review, Chapel comes across in this episode as more of a pretty, sexy character instead of a particularly effective one. Here I will continue to discuss Nurse Chapel since throughout the episode I see some problems. Near the end she acts surprised that Vulcan isn’t interested in offering her a position at the Vulcan Science Academy but we have not been shown where she should be anywhere near qualified for a position on Vulcan and wouldn’t it have been a bit smarter for her to understand how Vulcan’s react instead of acting like they owed her just because she applied? I respect the fact that she tried but to act surprised at the result seemed wrong.

    Ok since this was a comedy show about Spock being turned ‘un-Vulcan’ I guess this would be a good time to talk about that. Maybe it was just me but it seemed terrible how completely out of control Spock was. Honestly, the way he was acting, I hope Captain Pike immediately took him off the duty roster. If anything Spock seemed completely out of control and the way he tried to attack Sam should have been enough to have him sent to the brig or at least confined to quarters! Overall through this whole segment Spock just came across as useless and not just him being confused. It’s probably better that I don’t mention the Vulcan tea ceremony!
    (Quick question…Why did we suddenly see Sam Kirk when we haven’t seen him since last season?)

    There were a few problems I had with different characters but honestly I have completely decided in my head that this is a complete rewriting of the Star Trek saga and I just can not expect any real continuity! It is getting a bit tiring having to see Captain Pike wearing an apron and cooking in every episode instead of him being on the bridge acting as captain. Once again I need to ask about the luxury kitchen Pike has in what is basically a space-submarine? Also the way he acted when TaPring’s Mother acted negative about the food was extremely weak for a Starship Captain!

    A couple more small things that actually surprised me were that in the preview I was sure we were going to hear Spock scream out an ‘F’ Bomb and really we didn’t. It was obvious what he said but at least at my house I couldn’t hear it! Thank you Director! Also the Girl-Boss crew decided to take the shuttle to contact the aliens and someone mentioned ‘should we ask the Captain?’ And that question was never discussed. If they did it without orders that is complete insubordination by the crew and they all deserve a reprimand. One last question…Since when do Vulcan woman rule the family or is it just TaPring’s Father who is a Cuck?

    Ok, ok…one more thing came to mind. If one alien was named ‘Blue’ and one ‘Yellow’ wouldn’t it have made sense for them to be that particular color instead of both of them being the same color? Small but significant in my mind!

    Well, that’s it for this week. I hope I get some discussion instead of name-calling!


    Edward Darlow

    1. It’s a decent review, Edward. Granted, I don’t necessarily agree with much of it, but that’s fine. I don’t think you’re being over-the-top on anger or anything. I do feel that you might be generalizing, though. I think if you watch through the two seasons, you’ll see that most of the crew is very respectful of Spock most of time. There are, of course, a few exceptions. But they’re exceptions. So when you say, ” …the other crew members pretty much show no respect toward Spock and are basically completely disrespectful at all times…” you ignore all of the times when they have shown him respect. Just a few examples: when Spock is in command in the first episode, when he first tells the crew they need to steal the ship to go after La’an, and when Dr. M’Benga gives Spock the lyre. Oh, Uhura is respectful when she comes to Spock’s quarters, too.

      So what I’ve saying is to be careful about selection bias and using words like “always” or “never’ or “at all times.” Such absolutes serve, of course, to make you right. But a reviewer should be open to the possibility that they might be wrong, as well. Your job isn’t to pronounce “I am the lord thy God” judgement upon these episodes you review. It is to share your opinion with others and invite them to agree or disagree. When you use absolutes, you shut the door on such discussions or debates because you leave no opportunity for the other person to believe differently. Obviously, I’ve just given you four examples of the crew showing Spock respect, but I’m not shy about pointing out things like this when trying to demonstrate my reaction to your using absolutes. Others, however, might find such aspects of your blogs intimidating and off-putting…unless, of course, they agree with you. But when that happens, you’re pretty much just preaching to the choir of kvetchers rather than truly reviewing.

      How’s that? Helpful?

  5. Regarding Spock = Sheldon, in this episode T’Pring’s parents = Amy’s.
    I kept thinking that someone needed that app that made the whip noise, or that Pike would catch the father’s eyes and raise an eyebrow, followed by a shrug from the father.

  6. One scene I noticed in AMOK TIME with Spock and Chapel implied that Spock was considering a relationship with Chapel momentarily prior to being informed that they were heading to Vulcan. It is that scene that implies that he could have easily ended up with Chapel as his wife if they had not set course for Vulcan

  7. I’ve been really surprised not to see more discussion of the short story “Ni Var” (which was included in the Star Trek: The New Voyages anthology) as people are talking about this episode. That’s the classic “Spock split into two halves story,” with the lesson being that Spock’s human half relied on his Vulcan side to control his emotions, but his Vulcan half relied on the human side to keep him from being too out of touch.

    I enjoyed this episode a lot, and am also finding the new season of SNW to be awesome!

    1. I’m not sure that the NV anthology is getting a significant amount of readers. As such, there might not be as many people in the Venn intersection of readers-who-comment as some might think. Glad you’re enjoying the new season, Liz…and good to hear from you!

  8. Obviously those complaining about T’Pring’s parents aren’t familiar with British TV sitcoms.

    There’s a long *long* tradition of strong female characters of mature years matched with henpecked husbands.

    The fierce Nora Batty and her husband Wally, the house proud and opinionated Edie Pegden and her other half Wesley from “Last of the Summer Wine”, written by Roy Clarke. Social climber Hyacinth Bucket (pronounced “Bouquet”) and much put upon husband Richard from “Keeping Up Appearances”, also written by Clarke.

    T’Prill and Sevek would fit in quite nicely in either show.

    And hey, there’s an idea for our next Star Trek spin off show – a sitcom starring those wacky Vulcan.

  9. The episode’s Spock was a bit too like me for comfort so I can’t say I enjoyed it. But it was very well acted as you pointed out.

    And totally YES on Amanda and the scene with Spock. For the first time we saw a bit of what life can be like and the dialog and acting were spot on and then some. That scene was on the surface about Vulcan and Human but really it was about any situation where the parents are from different backgrounds where one looks down on another.

    Carefully avoiding what many if not most are thinking I was about to write, consider the long list of various forms of bigotry related to wealth, national origin, religion, tribe and so forth. This was classic trek – shining light on our issues on a SF stage. And major kudos to the writers for doing so in an outstanding fashion.

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