Strange New Worlds Season 2 Ep 2 is the second instalment of the second season of an American scifi space opera television drama created by Akiva Goldsman, Alex Kurtzman, and Jenny Lumet for the streaming service Paramount+. A spin-off of the Discovery series, Strange New Worlds features the USS Enterprise captained by Christopher Pike and set a decade before the events in the original Star Trek TV series.
S P O I L E R S
Entitled “Ad Astra Per Aspera”, Strange New Worlds Season 2 Ep 2 finds the series coming back strongly after the lows of the previous chapter. The premise is simple – Commander Una Chin-Rily faces court martial, imprisonment and dishonourable discharge from Starfleet for hiding her true identity as an Illyrian, picking from the end of the first season.
This latest chapter echoes one of the finest episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation viz. “The Measure of a Man” where Data’s status as a person is challenged by a scientist seeking to experiment on him and a Starfleet tribunal is convened. Here, Commander Chin-Rily’s cause seems impossible as she rejects a plea deal that would end her Starfleet career. Captain Pike seeks out Neera, a fellow Illyrian and old friend, to defend her.
As the tribunal case is conducted, it seems clear that the law that the Federation imposes against genetic modification, has led to prejudice and hatred, somewhat alien concepts to what these institutions supposedly stand for. The tension built up by the conflict to uphold a well-intentioned law and the injustice it brings to an exemplary Starfleet officer is almost impossible to resolve. But of course, Neera finds a way to give us the happy ending we all crave.
In the final analysis, Strange New Worlds Season 2 Ep 2 deserves to be feted as one of the best Star Trek episodes of all time, and an encouraging portent for the season/s still to come. Get the hankies out though, because the emotions will get tweaked! Highest recommendation!!!
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