With this week’s poignant episode “A Quality of Mercy,” the first season of “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds” came to an end as Christopher Pike (Anson Mount) faced his future. The crews of the Enterprise and the U.S.S. Cayuga traveled to the Neutral Zone, a region of space that had existed peacefully between Federation territory and the Romulan Star Empire for a century. This is when the captain’s cautionary tale began. He runs into Commander Al-Salah there, but their encounter is derailed when the commander’s excited young son shows up to pay Pike a visit.
The captain is moved by the boy’s name, and as the young man begins gushing about his desire to join Starfleet, Pike realizes that this is one of the children who will be on the training mission that will result in the Enterprise captain’s disfigurement and the deaths of numerous young trainees in seven years. Having caught a vision of his destiny at the start of this series, Pike is overwhelmed by the weight of this knowledge but unable to change it. He makes the decision to attempt this time. He’s in the middle of telling the child not to join Starfleet when he receives a visit from a former member of Starfleet: himself. This Pike is older and soberer; he also appears to be plagued by some dreadful knowledge. He instructs Pike to use time crystals, a relic he obtained from the Klingon monks of Boreth, to visualize the world in the event that the dreadful event Pike predicted never occurs.
Pike grabs the time crystal and is immediately transported forward seven years, where he’s officiating a wedding on the Enterprise. In this version of the future, Spock (Ethan Peck) is his go-to person, and he skillfully confides in him right away. Spock, who is also highly intelligent, informs Pike that the event in question occurred six months earlier, but that neither Pike nor the cadets were present, hence no one was wounded. He concludes that whatever Pike intends to show him in the future includes a leadership choice Pike will make soon. As it turns out, the leadership choice entails igniting a galactic conflict. Commander Al-Salah sends out a distress communication to the Enterprise, informing her that an unidentified ship has destroyed many outposts in the Neutral Zone. However, the USS Farragut and her rookie captain, Captain James Kirk (Paul Wesley), are also present to assist. Despite receiving a slight side-eye from Pike right away, Kirk is prepared to assist. (In the original 1966 version of Balance of Terror, Kirk is in charge of the Enterprise and is by himself when it encounters the Romulan ship.) As his brother Sam (Dan Jeannotte) puts it, he “doesn’t want to walk the path everyone else goes, and he doesn’t like to lose.” He appears to be a wise leader so far.
The gang learns that the outpost attack was carried out by a rogue Romulan warbird. Both Spock and Kirk believe that the Federation ships should strike the Romulans in order to avert a full-scale war. The Farragut is wrecked beyond repair and the other two ships are left stranded in space after they fail to de-cloak and eliminate the warbird after sustaining blows to their own ships. Pike finally takes a choice, and He suggests a 2-hour cease fire so that all ships can resume operations and tend to the injured. Both sides request assistance, but the Federation is actually a group of unmanned mining vessels designed to bluff and demonstrates power. The initial attacker’s vessel is culled by a higher-up Romulan, but Pike’s attempts to maintain calm only enrage her. She launches an invasion that would end the hundred years of unsure calm and rekindle a great conflict.
Things start to turn terrible at this point. A blast shakes the Enterprise and causes the Earth to spin out of control. In the chaos that follows, Pike finds Nurse Chapel (Jess Bush) standing over a lifeless victim as he makes his way to the sick bay. It’s Spock, who was attempting to repair some of the ship’s equipment when the blast occurred. He has a fractured back, a lost leg, brain damage, and serious radiation burns. Chapel’s warning to Pike that he might not survive.
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Episode 10 Recap Ending
So, this is what Pike’s future self intended for him to understand. It’s not that he would have to forbid Kirk from acting rashly or persuade the Romulans to make peace in order to avert the training mission disaster but it’s quite the opposite. Pike would start a chain reaction of bloodshed that seemed never-ending. When Pike uses the time crystals to travel back to the present-day Enterprise, he is still silently suffering from this realization. Just as Spock enters to speak with him, he erases the message to the young cadet. Spock realizes something is off right away. The cosmos, according to the captain, is trying to remind him that there is no escaping fate. Future Pike just described Spock as The best chance at permanent peace between the Federation and the Romulans, and he immediately gets it this time. Pike begins to say something else but stops himself and tells Spock that he holds a special place in his heart. Spock responds, “As are you to me, Captain.” Spirk is dead.
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Finale Credits Scene
“Star Trek: Strange New Worlds’ first season closes on a cliffhanger with Una (Rebecca Romijn) being detained for concealing her Ilyrian ancestry from the Federation. Both Pike’s future, in which Commander La’an (Christina Chong), informed him that Una was in isolation, and a scenario earlier in the season, in which Pike chose not to report her in accordance with antiquated and xenophobic Federation protocol, predict this. Just before the credits begin, Pike promises to assist Una. Pike walks up to the bridge and gives his crew members each a brief but meaningful smile. As Pike assumes command of the ship and he may have realized for the first time in his career what it means to be willing to give up something for the good of everyone.