Sushi for Twelve, $482 plus delivery f Star Trek: Strange New Worlds - A Quality of Mercy - Review


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Star Trek: Strange New Worlds - A Quality of Mercy - Review

  Star Trek: Strange New Worlds finished its first season with “A Quality of Mercy” written by the team of Henry Alonso Myers and Akiva Goldsman and was directed by Chris Fisher, whose other credits include Person of Interest, The Magicians, and Inhumans – so a reunion with Anson Mount (Pike)! The series ends this season on a high note, introducing Paul Wesley as James T Kirk and providing a terrific spin on the Original Series season one episode “Balance of Terror.” The episode also brings us back to the first episode of the season with Pike having a visit from Captain Batel (Melanie Scrofano) and a return to Pike’s dilemma over his future. I liked that he was perhaps more concerned about saving the other people who die with him than his own destiny.

We get more Pike in the kitchen with Batel. Pike meets with Commander Al-Salah (Ali Hassan) to go over how they will be helping his outpost. Did you notice the saddle sitting in the background? Another little call back to the first episode… Pike freaks out when Al-Salah introduces his son Maat (Chris River) because he will be one of the Ensigns to die in the accident in seven years. Una (Rebecca Romljn) recognizes Maat’s name and running after Pike, tells him that he doesn’t have to face it alone. Pike knows he has to do something, so he starts a letter to tell Maat about the future.

Pike is visited by his older self – dressed in the uniform from the OS movies… I loved how Mount is able to age his own character. It’s not just the makeup, but his voice and delivery are also different – and yet clearly still Pike. Old Pike tells Younger Pike that he manages to write letters to all those who are supposed to die – and it changes the future in catastrophic ways. Old Pike has been sent with a time crystal by the Klingon monks to show Younger Pike the results of his actions. He convinced them to let him have the crystal by convincing them that his younger self would never put his own fate before the fate of the Galaxy. 

Pike gets zapped forward in time – right in the middle of a wedding – of two people he has NO idea who they are… Pike is happy when there is a Red Alert. Spock (Ethan Peck) is Number One – and Uhura (Celia Rose Gooding) is a Lieutenant. Ortegas (Melissa Navia) suggests it’s the Romulans… again! Pike tells Spock what’s going on – and Spock suggests he should take command because Pike is clearly mentally compromised. Pike suggests a mind-meld. Spock sees the accident – and tells Pike it happened 6 months ago and there were no cadets present during the exercise. Spock posits that in the alternate future (where Pike is melted), a different Captain must have been on the Enterprise… yep. See Original Series! The only way to determine what the terrible future is is to live it. 

Pike asks Uhura to see if there are other ships in the area who might help. She tells him the Farragut is close – and it’s La’an’s (Christina Chong)! The outpost from the present has been attacked, and Pike and company are forced to watch as Al-Salah is killed by a high-energy plasma beam. The Enterprise is too far away to help – and the Romulans refuse to answer their hails. The Captain of the Farragut is Kirk. The Romulans have to drop their cloaking device to fire and it leaves a radiation signature because of the massive amount of energy needed to cloak.

Ortegas is frantic to engage – and destroy – the Romulans. Pike and Kirk agree that they can’t just engage them because it would be an act of war. The decide to just shadow the Romulans until they can contact Starfleet. 

Pike calls for Sam Kirk (Dan Jeannotte) to get some insight into Kirk. Sam checks to make sure that he’s off the record and then says that his brother was always top of his class, smart, and highly skilled, but he’s not above relying on charm or luck. He doesn’t like to take the path everyone else does and he doesn’t like to lose. Sam says his brother is a huge pain in the ass and loves to bend the rules… 

Pike is called to the bridge because of a comet and they’ve detected a signal reflected by it. They get their first look at a Romulan… and of course, WE expected it – but the bridge all stare at Spock when it’s clear that the Romulans and Vulcans have some shared ancestors! And even Spock gives us the eyebrow!!!!!!!

Kirk beams over – and greets his brother with a warm hug. Ortegas is pretty antagonistic towards Spock. Kirk suggests that it’s possible the Romulans let them see the transmission to sow discord in the Federation over their similarity to Vulcans. M’Benga (Babs Olusanmokun) points out that attacking the Romulans would be an act of war. Ortegas points out that they started it, but M’Benga is having none of it, telling her this isn’t a school yard – she’s playing with billions of lives. Pike wants everyone’s opinion. M’Benga is against war. Ortegas is too – but thinks that means killing Romulans. Kirk points out that if the Romulans return home with no challenge it will be seen as a weakness – and Spock agrees based on the clear similarity to Vulcans. 

Kirk comes up with a pincer move that will be possible when the Bird of Prey passes through the comet’s tail. They will disable but not destroy the Romulan ship. Pike wonders if he was sent there to stop Kirk from starting a war. The Bird of Prey out flanks them and gets behind the Farragut, destroying it. We get a little more of Jenna (Rong Fu) who makes a spectacular hit on the Romulans. Luckily, the Enterprise is able to beam the crew aboard. La’an gives Pike a hug, which surprises him. He asks if she’s talked to Una – and she’s says of course not. Una isn’t allowed any contact… um… what?!?!?

Kirk is not happy that Pike didn’t take more risks. Kirk also says he underestimated the Romulan commander. Spock calls them to the bridge – the Romulans are damaged and won’t be able to get back to the Neutral Zone. Pike tries to send them a message. He tells them that their two cultures have been at war for over 100 years. He offers a cease fire so that they can talk… for the first time in 100 years. And the Romulan Commander (Matthew MacFadzean) actually responds! 

Pike proposes that they try to understand each other to avoid more death. The Romulan Commander tells him that their cultures are very different. Pike suggests time for them to repair their ships and bury their dead. The Romulan agrees to two hours. Ortegas insists that they can’t trust the Romulans. Ortegas pushes her luck until Pike actually yells at her to stand down.

The Romulan Sub-Commander (Mathieu Bourassa) shares Ortegas’ point of view and wants to attack. The Commander, however, refuses to make decisions based on pride. He tells him they’ll fix the engines first and then the weapons. 

Pike and Spock discuss the situation. Pike is sure that something worse is yet to come that is the real path to destruction. Pike asks Spock about Una, and Spock tells him that she’s on a penal colony because of her deception. They’re interrupted by Kirk. Spock goes to supervise the repair of the phasers. Kirk has a plan – he wants to go for backup in case the Romulans are calling for backup. Pike points out that it would take weeks to get a message to Star Fleet, let alone have ships meet them there. All Kirk wants is a shuttle.

We get a terrific scene of Spock fixing the phaser array – and the Chief Engineer (Matthew Wolf) – who is not named but has a strong Scottish accent! – replies. Scottie isn’t joining the show just yet though. 

The two hours run out, and Pike calls the Romulan Commander. He suggests that in his culture, not wanting to fight, but instead to see a partner is a sign of strength not a failure of character. Pike asks if Romulans have that kind of strength. The Commander stuns everyone, including his own men, by admitting that he’s grown tired of war. And at that moment dozens of Birds of Prey join him. The Commander didn’t call them, so the Sub-Commander did! The Commander actually remembers a time without war. The Commander points out that Pike won’t trust him now – and has the Sub-Commander removed from the bridge.

The Praetor (Carolyn Scott) asks for Pike’s unconditional surrender – and for him to kneel. Pike declines both invitations! She gives him one minute to comply or they’ll destroy him. I loved Pike turning away and saying “You know, I don’t like her…” HA! At that moment Kirk shows up with his own “fleet.” It’s all robotic mining craft, but Kirk points out that they can bluff the Romulans into believing it’s an armada!

Pike shows the Praetor footage of the Bird of Prey destroying the outpost. The Praetor sends the Commander’s ship out. The Commander tells Pike that he thinks that in a different reality, they might have been friends. The Praetor has called it a culling – the Commander has to pay for being seen. The Commander is a creature of duty – and sees a like soul in Pike. Pike is a creature of duty – and here’s a lesson for him too. Pike’s duty is also to die in service to save billions. The Commander’s ship is blown up.

The Praetor hails them again. She’s ready to accept Pike’s affinity. He wants to know if this is how she wants to end a hundred years of peace. Kirk uses the drones to give Pike enough time to fiz his engines and get away. Kirk is beamed on board, and they manage to get away. The Romulans declare war against the Federation. The ship is heavily damaged – including weapons which took a direct hit!

Pike goes to Sick Bay and we get one of those moving camera deals to mirror his shock. He finds Spock – missing a leg and with his face disfigured. Chapel (Jess Bush) tells him there’s massive cerebral trauma, massive blood loss, spinal fractures, radiation burns on 40% of his body. She’s not sure he’ll recover, but even if he does, he won’t be the same. And that’s the final straw for Pike. He won’t sacrifice Spock for himself. 

Pike returns to his future self. Older Pike tells him that things get worse – but the best hope for peace with the Romulans is lying in a bio-bed – Spock! Older Pike tells younger Pike that every time they change the future, Spock dies. They’re interrupted by Kirk. 

Pike tells him that he feels like he was supposed to meet Kirk. Kirk says he’s sorry things went down as they did – Pike was trying for something better. Kirk asks him if he ever considered that sometimes you have to fight. Pike tells Kirk that the Enterprise would be lucky to have him as a Captain. The two share a drink and Pike gets to know Kirk. 

Pike touches the time crystal and returns to the present. He deletes his letter to Maat – and goes to look up Kirk. Spock comes in to check on him. Pike tells him that the universe it trying to tell him something – that some fates are inescapable. Spock intuitively realizes that he owes Pike a debt of gratitude. The two tell each other that they are important to each other.

Pike then wanders around the Bridge – “making memories.” Uhura interrupts his reverie with a message that Captain Batel is there. She beams aboard to arrest Una for violation of the anti-genetic modification directive. Una doesn’t resist – and tells Pike not to either. Una has known for years that it might happen. Pike tells Batel that it isn’t over – and the energize… to be continued next season!!!!!!

This episode was really all Anson Mount. Paul Wesley did a creditable job as Kirk. Bearing in mind that he’s only had this one episode to settle into the role, it would be a bit harsh to expect a perfect mimic of either William Shatner or Chris Pine. I think the best path is to make the role his own – and he does a good job putting a start on that. We also get some nice Pike/Spock moments in the episode – anybody else going there? It looks like Season Two will start off with saving Una – or maybe Romijn only committed to the one season? What did you think of the episode? The season? Will you be back for Season Two??? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! Thanks to cap-that.com for the images.