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Star Trek Strange New Worlds season 2 episode 1 recap – Klingon chaos

Check out our Star Trek Strange New Worlds season 2 episode 1 recap and review for detailed thoughts on the first adventure of the season on Paramount Plus.

Star trek Strange New Worlds season 2 episode 1 recap: Spock and Klingons

Our Verdict

Silly but fun, it's a great start to the new season of the latest Star Trek show.

Star Trek Strange New Worlds season 2 episode 1 recap. After what seems like no time at all, Star Trek Strange New Worlds is back and so begins another 10 weeks of episodic sci-fi adventure. Or, as I like to call it, bliss. The new season has big shoes to fill, and as we detailed in our Star Trek Strange New Worlds season 2 review it steps into them admirably from the very start.

Forgoing a time jump, Star Trek Strange New Worlds season 2 episode 1 begins right in the aftermath of the season 1 finale, which saw Commander Chin-Riley taken into custody by Starfleet for concealing her true species. While the Enterprise is docked at Starbase 1 to undergo an inspection from the new Commander Pelia, Una and Pike have a zoom call in which the irrepressible Star Trek captain tries to pump her up to fight her case.

Arguing that her situation isn’t as cut and dry as it seems, Pike takes the decision to leave the ship for almost three days to seek out vital legal counsel for Una. This leaves Spock as acting captain of the Enterprise, which is still lacking a chief engineer and head of security after the death of Hemmer and La’an’s extended voluntary leave of absence.

The weight of this pressure clearly impacts the young Spock, who is unused to this level of command (as we know from the Star Trek movie The Wrath of Khan, he never took the Kobayashi Maru). He visits M’Benga to seek relief from the symptoms of this pressure, where the chief medical officer delivers one of my least favorite tropes telling the Vulcan he may be experiencing ‘what we humans call stress.’

His solution for that stress is to give Spock a musical instrument, to allow him to express himself without overtly displaying his emotions. This is lovely, as is the tune Spock plucks. M’Benga and Spock are interrupted by the arrival of Nurse Chapel, who raises Spock’s heart rate once again and tells M’Benga that she intends to leave the Enterprise to take on a fellowship of archaeological medicine.

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The search for La’an

While the inspection is underway on the bridge, Uhura receives a distress signal from a mining planet on the edge of Klingon space, sent by La’an. The crew are desperate to help her, but Admiral April denies their request stating that the situation on the planet is too unstable and could disrupt the uneasy Klingon peace.

Naturally, Spock and the crew won’t take no for an answer and determine to steal the Enterprise on their Search for La’an (between this and Picard, no more starship stealing now, please). They sabotage the inspection by manufacturing a coolant leak, which begins an evacuation of the ship.

But Pelia, the leader of the inspection, sees through their plot. She forces the truth from Spock and, clearly mischievous by nature, decides to help them on their mission. With her knowledge, the Enterprise frees itself from the docking clamps and blasts off from Starbase 1 and towards La’an.

And what’s La’an doing? Having bloodwine drinking contests with Klingons, fresh off the back of yet another (welcome) redesign. She’s undercover, clearly tracking down some secret plot, when M’Benga and the crew show up amid the busy crowds.

Star trek Strange New Worlds season 2 episode 1 recap: Pelia

Misbehaving Klingons

Reunited with her crew, La’an explains the planet is an important source of dilithium supplies for both Starfleet and the Klingons. It became even more vital during the war, and the planet profited. In a very Ferengi move, a Klingon syndicate on the planet wants to restart the war in order to bump up their profits once again, and to do so they’re stealing as much Federation technology as possible in an attempt to instigate a false flag attack.

M’Benga and Chapel are captured by the Klingons and taken underground where all this tech is being stored alongside, as it turns out, an entire Crossfield class starship. The pair are forced to treat injured Klingons (which proves to be an emotionally challenging experience for M’Benga who is a veteran of the Klingon war) and realize the Klingon syndicate is going to use the Starfleet ship to attack themselves, restarting the conflict.

So, they have to fight their way onto the hidden ship in order to take command and warn Enterprise of the plan. The only problem is that this involves the two having to battle their way through hordes of Klingons. They inject themselves with a stimulant which seems to enhance their adrenaline and physical capabilities, and their hand-to-hand fight begins. Watching them toss Klingon assailants aside like ragdolls (who mostly go down like Stormtroopers) hurts the part of my brain which takes Star Trek very seriously, but there we are.

M’Benga and Chapel get to the ship, and continue to battle their attackers. There’s too much slow motion for my liking, and not enough double-fist punches, but they finally get through as the ship begins to lift into orbit. Also in orbit is a beautiful Klingon Battle Cruiser, which the Klingon-commanded Starfleet ship is going to attack to simulate Starfleet aggression.

Star trek Strange New Worlds season 2 episode 1 recap: M'Benga and Chapel

The needs of the many

In an effort to prevent the Starfleet ship from attacking the Klingons, M’Benga and Chapel send a message to the Enterprise telling them to blow it up with them on board in order to avert a new crisis. The needs of the many, etc.

Spock orders Enterprise to follow the Crossfield class ship, but they hold off on attacking it for as long as they can in order to give M’Benga and Chapel time to escape. This escape involves jumping out of an air lock without the proper equipment which, as M’Benga says, is a terrible idea but their only option.

Finally, Enterprise can’t hold on any longer and launches a full spread of photon torpedoes, completely destroying the Crossfield. It also manages to beam M’Benga and Chapel aboard just in time, so a happy ending for all.

The captain of the Klingon Battle Cruiser is mystified by what he saw, and suspicious of the Enterprise’s intentions. To prove his trustworthiness, Spock meets the captain face to face and shares a barrel of blood wine. It makes for a very fun, wholesome ending.

Star trek Strange New Worlds season 2 episode 1 recap: Klingon

Before leaving the planet for good, Pelia begs Spock to take her onboard permanently as the new chief engineer so she can escape the demands and boredom of Starfleet academy and get back into adventuring in space. La’an also rejoins the crew, meaning that the Enterprise’s complement of senior staff is restored.

As a bookend, fresh off of reprimanding Spock, Admiral April reveals his concern about a potential war with the Gorn, whose status as major villains was teased through season 1. And that’s the end of the debut for season 2.

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The verdict

Star Trek Strange New Worlds season 2 episode 1 is a very fun, very solid starting place for the season. It establishes some threads to be picked up later on, while also making the most of its promise to remain steadfastly episodic. Taking the decision to entirely sideline Pike and Commander Chin-Riley in the premiere is very TNG, and works excellently by giving more space for the rest of the cast to breathe.

Did it hurt me to see the Klingons so easily overpowered? Yes. But did the final celebration scene with the Klingons make up for it? Also, yes.

If we were to get nine more episodes of this quality, there’ll be plenty of very happy fans out there indeed. It’s just good Star Trek.

For more on Star Trek, take a look at our guide to the Star Trek Strange New Worlds season 2 episode 2 release date. Or, find out about the time Martin Luther King Jr convinced Nichelle Nichols not to quit Star Trek, before checking out which Star Trek captains would survive in a zombie apocalypse.