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What a finale! Star Trek: Strange New Worlds 2×10 “Hegemony” gives Trek fans action, horror, and some crazy high stakes. Also, GORN! Lots and lots of Gorn! Strap in and hold on tight as we freefall below Gorn scans and dive into our review of the season two finale of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, “Hegemony.”
Return of the Alien Motif
In Star Trek: Strange New Worlds 1×09 “All Those Who Wander” I waxed philosophical about how much I loved the homage to Alien in that episode with the refresh on the Gorn. This season, the practical effects team, Legacy Effects, really pulled out all the stops for this one. I’m a huge fan of practical effects and these folks really knocked it out of the park. Watch this week’s episode of The Ready Room with Wil Wheaton to get a behind-the-scenes look at just how the Gorn puppetry and that monstrous Gorn EV suit was made and utilized in the filming of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds 2×10 “Hegemony.”
But it’s not just the effects that homage Alien in this episode. The faceoff Captain Batel has with the Gorn youngling is an awful lot like the Xenomorphs in Alien3 not going after Ripley because they sense she’s impregnated with the Queen. Also, what they do with her at the end of the episode, where she’s put under sedation and in a stasis field is effectively what Parker and Brett suggest in Alien and no one listens to them. My colleagues and I at We Are Starfleet discussed the Alien homages and more in our discussion of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds 2×10 “Hegemony.” Give it a listen for a deeper dive into these ideas.
Spock and Chapel Aren’t Done Yet…Maybe?
Spock and Chapel aren’t done breaking my heart yet. I loved first, Chapel effectively functioning as Ripley in this episode, from finding an EV suit to shooting that Gorn in the back (might as well have been a harpoon) while Spock delivers a perfect alley-oop by breaking its helmet. But then, after they escape, the little handhold in space isn’t just for holding onto someone because you’re floating out in the middle of space. It ever so slightly brought to mind Tom and B’Ellana’s love confession floating in the middle of space in Star Trek: Voyager. Even though we don’t get a full resolution in this episode, I’m hopeful for an amicable conclusion in the season three premiere.
Montgomery Scott on the Bridge!
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds 2×10 “Hegemony” is bringing back another Star Trek: The Original Series character to Strange New Worlds, everyone’s favorite Chief Engineer, Montgomery Scott! Scotty is played by a newer actor, Martin Quinn, and boy, did he win me over right quick. First up, this is the first time in history that we get Scotty played by an actual Scotsman! Second, he embodies all the unassuming confidence and practicality we see in Scotty. Third, Martin Quinn is just dang charming.
While I still would prefer to have us spend more time with our newer characters in Strange New Worlds, I’m not going to be upset about them sprinkling in Scotty occasionally like they do Kirk. This just lends further credence to the idea that Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is leading to a soft Star Trek: The Original Series reboot. If that’s the case, and I get more time with this cast, I’m not going to be sad about it.
The character moments we get in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds 2×10 “Hegemony” are what seals the deal for me. My favorite scene is where we see Dr. M’Benga and Ortegas work together, largely to keep busy so they don’t have to think about what may or may not have happened to Chapel. With just a few lines of dialogue, we learn about the depth of their individual friendships with Christine. It’s really endearing. I hope we get more of this kind of character development with these characters soon.
I also loved that we got to see Ortegas in action in this episode. Not just with her joining the landing party, but getting to see more of those fighter pilot skills. I’m still going to need #MORETEGAS, though. We’ve only hinted at her history. She’s the only main character that hasn’t had her backstory fleshed out. Frankly, I think that’s one of the few failings this series has.
On a completely silly note, I want a full get-up of Starfleet armor and Gorn battle gear. As they were unpacking that crate, it reminded me of the Ghostbusters toys one of my friends had growing up. He had the proton pack, the trap, the gun, etc. Wearing all of them at once made you feel invincible as a kid. I think I’d feel like that again in all of that battle gear.
Predictions for Season Three
Finally, I have a few predictions for the third season. First, we know the Gorn have La’an, Ortegas, M’Benga, and Sam Kirk. I think La’an is going to take point on the Gorn ship, having been in that situation before. This is an opportunity for her to get closure on the trauma she has with the Gorn. I want her to continue to heal and move forward. Only two of those characters don’t have plot armor, AND they’re my two favorite gals. I don’t think we’re going to off them, but it still makes me nervous.
Second, I think Pike is going to retreat, but only long enough to regroup. There’s only so much they can do while being fired upon like that by the Gorn. Scotty will engineer a way for them to go undetected back into the fray, so they can rescue their people.
My final prediction is that we are going to see more of Pike the Diplomat in season 3. With Batel in stasis, we have an opportunity for Starfleet to learn more about how the Gorn species operate. Chapel will figure out a way to save Batel, but it’s going to be harrowing as we saw in Prometheus. Then having Gorn in Starfleet custody could also provide a bargaining chip. I don’t know how the Gorn feel about their young. There’s a line that they’re unwilling to cross if they know someone is carrying Gorn embryos.
Final Thoughts on Season Two
Overall, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds season two completely exceeded my expectations. Every episode worked for me on some level. I think a couple of them will eventually be recorded as some of the finest Star Trek ever put to screen. My only real nitpick of the season is the lack of true #MORETEGAS, and the fact that we have a “To Be Continued…” finale with the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes going on. That put a question mark at the end of “To Be Continued” rather than the ellipses.
These studios need to get their act together. Not only are they cutting themselves off at the knees by not negotiating with their writers and actors, but they are also ruining the goodwill of their fanbases. They’re also quite literally financially devastating all the supporting businesses around the film and television industry. I hope it’s not another two years before I see these characters again. Do the right thing, folks. Pay these artists their fair share.