The strange new world robbed Pike of his power in sacrifice

The mission is clearly one Star Trek one: Again doubting his tragic fate, Captain Christopher Pike (Anson Mount) is visited by his own future and forced to live during a critical moment in the ship’s existence to see why the accident that left him scarred and paralyzed is not a problem. better than what happens in that timeline. Also, it’s just “Balance of Terror” again, Star Trek love to visit again.

The result was “A Quality of Mercy”, the final season of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds season 1. And it’s full of information: In this timeline, with Pike at the head of The Enterprise instead of Kirk, what would have been a one-off episode turns into an all-out war. Pike is left with the consolation (if not entirely comforting thought) of knowing that his death not only saved several kings, but kept Spock is alive and the universe from being torn apart in conflict. Now he can move on to the dire fate he witnessed Star Trek: Discovery know that it is right thing to do.

Sorry strange new world, but that’s a bit of a joke. In the show’s attempt to end the story loosely and give Pike a season share, it robs his character of a major challenge. – one that all his intelligence, charm and ingenuity could not free him.

Pike talking to himself from an alternate future

Photo: Marni Grossman / Paramount Plus

His grim fate of being exposed to delta rays (which renders him unable to move or talk) is an inevitable position, a Pike suffered in the two-story “The Menagerie” by Original series. While in 2009 Star Trek tried to soften his post-accident ending, modern Star Trek TV portrays Pike’s fate as a terrifying physical nightmare he is looking down on every day.

And predictably – amazingly – we see Pike struggle with it. For this virtuous, wise, optimistic character, his fate was painful. Every day, he has to contrast the fact that he knows when, where and why he will lose the ability to work, and every day he also lives with the knowledge that no matter what he can still make the decision to risk his life and save the crew members. And so he researched the handful of practitioners his accident would save, learning their names and lives. He seeks to give meaning to their existence in such a way that he worries his own accident will take his life.

“A Quality of Mercy,” as its name suggests, is a merciful attempt to give him some reassurance on that front. But it cuts out one of the things that makes this Pike so appealing. How does one man maintain his unending optimism in the face of certain doom? If Pike’s main flaw is his hope, he will believe that every problem has a solution if only he can. just find it, it’s poetic as he must confront a future that completely robs him of that belief. The fact that it’s not a complete death might even make someone like Pike harder to swallow than your standards Kobayashi Maru.

Close-up of Captain Pike

Photo: Marni Grossman / Paramount Plus

There is hardly a place in Mount’s description for the answer to that question to be anything other than “yes”. As for Star Trek’s credit, it’s kept Pike’s crash stake low so far, allowing his heroism to define the devastation. In letting this loom about Pike – public or not – Strange new world establishes a dynamic compelling character, constantly forcing a captain’s golden retriever to confront that not all suffering is noble or worthy, and causing him to analyze whether he has How can you live with your future?

By expanding the stakes beyond what Pike can imagine, “A Quality of Mercy” brings his character personal profit. He can now be (nearly) completely assured that his sacrifice is to make history in the grand scheme of things, an understandable way of measuring the value of his being lost. burn. But for a show that has done such a great job back to the things that define Star Trek“A Quality of Mercy” is a rare lapse that doesn’t have much of an impact on the Trek ride or the characters it focuses on.

Maybe there’s room in season 2 (which I’ll obviously be completely watching) for this shadow to continue to color everything Pike does. But I will miss Pike’s repetition which is very little to hold as he processes his vision. He faces a future that he cannot avoid when everything is just suckedand constantly contrast it with his value system, which tells him the pain is worth it anyway.

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