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Star Trek: Strange New Worlds - All Those Who Wander - Review

  Star Trek: Strange New Worlds “All Those Who Wander” was written by Davy Perez (Supernatural and American Crime) and was directed by Christopher J Byrne, whose other credits include Star Trek: Discovery, Clarice, American Gods, and 12 Monkeys. I’m sorry this review is late – I was one of those wandering (and sick)! This was a pretty good episode – except that we lose one of my very favorite characters – Hemmer (Bruce Horak). Very, very sad face here! Horak is absolutely fantastic in the episode. It also seems like we won’t be seeing more of Christina Chong as La’an - at least not in the short term.

I did like all the shout outs to other space movies – or was it derivative? I’m going with homage. The way the baby-Gorn see is right out of a Predator movie. The way they incubate out of their hosts is right out of Alien. The Oriana (Emma Ho) is also a dead ringer for the kid in Aliens. And was it just me or did they look an awful lot like super-evil Gremlins?

 

      I did love Pike (Anson Mount) having a breakfast party, and making Spock (Ethan Peck) do the dishes. Uhura (Celia Rose Gooding) seems to be determined to leave the Enterprise even after having learned so much and made so many friends on the ship. Pike using obscure earth references to family road trips – threatening to turn the car around - and how bemused/confused the rest of them all are will never not be funny. And of course, Mount is always clearly having a ball.

        Sam Kirk (Dan Jeannotte) finally makes another appearance on the away mission. Of course, the away mission has no communications possible… They find the crew of the crashed ship outside, dead. M’Benga (Babs Olusanmokun) thinks they went outside couldn’t get back and were killed by elements. They find the dead Captain and a report about finding 3 castaways – and one full of Gorn eggs that can’t be detected by bioscans – and a warning to stay away! Oops. Too late – and the Enterprise has already gone off on her mission…

 

      Uhura detects two life signs – one human and one unknown. La’an wants to kill the Gorn, but willing to settle for just finding anyone alive and getting away. I loved La’an wanting Uhura to just understand the unknown alien and Uhura shooting back – that’s not how linguistics works! In the end, she is still able to communicate with him. 

         Hemmer and Uhura have another heart to heart as they fix the warp drive. Hemmer tells Uhura that she fears putting down roots – but she has a gift for creating bonds and should nurture it. He tells her that it’s easier to be the one leaving than to be the one left behind, but the rewards for staying far outweigh the pain of losing anyone. I just love the chemistry between these two, and I’m really going to miss it – but does this explain Uhura’s soft spot for Engineers???

 

      M'Benga reflects that he’s too emotionally involved with Oriana because of his daughter, but it’s La’an who completely identifies with the kid. She tells her “there’s surviving, and there’s living.” Which is really what Hemmer has tried to impress on Uhura too. Hemmer gets infected saving Uhura – and La’an, Chapel (Jess Bush) save them. 

        Things get heated as the group consider their options. Hemmer can’t use his telepathy. Spock finds that – and the Gorn – interesting, Sam is already freaking out and starts ragging on Spock for not being more upset – or upset at all apparently about Duke (Teddy Kellogg) who was killed right in front of them. Pike steps in to break it up. La’an stresses that they have to kill them before they become adults – they’ll be fighting and killing each other for dominance. Pike points out that their strength is that they work together. Spock is also impressed by Uhura’s logical contribution. They decide to force the Gorn where they want them to be. 

        Hemmer assures Spock that he’s prepared to do what it takes to protect the crew – and we don’t suspect yet what he means. Chapel checks on La’an to make sure that she’s doing ok.  

 

      Spock has to draw out the Gorn – and he has to get angry to do it. It's going to be hard for him to put that genie back in the bottle and keep him there...Spock almost attacks Kirk when he steps in to save Spock from the second Gorn. La’an acts as bait for the final Gorn after it kills the other and leads it to Hemmer who kills it.

        Hemmer knows he’s infected and is prepared to sacrifice himself. Chapel and the doctor insist that they can help, and Hemmer tells them there isn’t enough time. Of course, his final words are advice for Uhura: Open yourself, make a home for yourself amongst others and you will find joy more often than sadness.

        Hemmer tells them not to weep for him because he’s had a good life. He walks into the cold which he found so reminiscent of his home Andoria, and rather than let the Gorn take him, he takes his own life. He dies a hero’s death – but c’mon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He was one of my very favorite characters! Ever!  

        Of course, we find out that Ortegas (Melissa Navia) used to call him a Blue Meanie. Uhura reminisces that he reminded her of her dad. And she reiterates Hemmer’s purpose – to fix what is broken – and that’s what he did for her. 

 

      Chapel follows Spock out of Hemmer’s funeral to find him losing control and denting the Enterprise. Spock is distressed because he’s let his rage out and he can’t control it. Chapel assures him that it doesn’t make him weak to have emotions – it makes him human… I’m not loving this aspect of the story. They hug but don’t kiss. And Spock walks away. 

 

      La’an takes a leave of absence to help reunite Oriana with her people, but Uhura is clearly on her path to become the Communications officer.

        I thought this episode was a return to form for the show after a couple of weak episodes. I’m sorry for the late posting of this and the final review, but I’m just catching up on everything after having covid, so please be patient… Mount continues to delight as Pike, and I’ve really enjoyed watching Uhura come into her own. I hope that they will continue to showcase her journey. I’m still disappointed at losing Hemmer, however. What did you think? Will you miss Hemmer? La’an? I’m hoping that we are done with the Gorn for now too… Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!






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