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Star Trek: Strange New Worlds - S2 E2 - "Ad Astra per Aspera"

  
By:  Dig  •  last year  •  7 comments


Star Trek: Strange New Worlds - S2 E2 - "Ad Astra per Aspera"
 

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From Collider

June 22, 2023

'Star Trek: Strange New Worlds' Season 2 Episode 2 Recap: Number One on Trial

Number One is on trial in a breathtaking episode that inspires us to be our better selves and upholds the best ideals of Starfleet.

original

By Samantha Coley

The second episode of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Season 2 finally offers the resolution to Season 1's heart-pounding cliffhanger that saw Commander Una Chin-Riley (Rebecca Romijn) arrested and taken into custody for lying about being genetically modified. Titled "Ad Astra per Aspera," Episode 2 delivers a stunning courtroom drama that digs into social issues in a way that is inherent to Star Trek, while also giving us a look at how the crew of the Enterprise feels about their first officer.

Written by Dana Horgan and directed by Valerie Weiss, "Ad Astra per Aspera" introduces the phenomenal Yetide Badaki as Una's Illyrian lawyer and former childhood friend Neera and brings back Melanie Scrofano as Captain Batel on the opposing council. Batel represents strict adherence to Starfleet laws and protocols, despite her sympathy for Una, whereas Neera is determined to prove that laws are not always just and must be changed when they no longer serve the people they're meant to protect. The episode offers insightful commentary on how we should treat other people and how we approach the laws that govern us while providing an engaging character study of Una through the eyes of her peers. The emotional core of "Ad Astra per Aspera" makes every moment of the episode engaging and thoroughly thought-provoking as future history is made to reflect our own societal prejudices.

"Ad Astra per Aspera" begins with a flashback to Una's childhood. As a younger version of the future first officer looks out over the night sky her parents argue in the background about whether to take her to a hospital for a gnarly-looking wound on her leg. One of Una's Illyrian genetic modifications causes her immune system to glow, and because genetic modifications were widely frowned upon across the galaxy after the Eugenics Wars on Earth, her family must keep her modifications a secret or risk being exposed. Weiss uses some stunning homages to classic Trek in the way she films the return to the present, with artfully done close-ups and reflections as we find Una at Starfleet Headquarters in San Francisco.

Continue recap on Collider




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Dig
Professor Participates
1  author  Dig    last year

The reviewer at Collider seemed to like this episode, but to me it felt like a complete waste of time. I mean, we've only got 10 episodes per season, and they devote an entire episode to a trial to see if a character we already know will stay on the ship will stay on the ship.

Maybe I just wasn't in the mood for a courtroom episode, but about the only thing I found interesting was the mention of the Eugenics Wars and Khan's relation to La'an, potentially setting something up for a future episode.

What did you guys think?

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Expert
1.1  sandy-2021492  replied to  Dig @1    last year

I didn't mind it.  It's showing the Federation evolving, although we know that by the time of DS9, those with genetic modifications still weren't accepted by Starfleet.

I think some of the best episodes have been courtroom eps.  The Measure of a Man was a good one.

I didn't understand the tension between Spock and Pesalk.  Why the dislike?

 
 
 
Ed-NavDoc
Professor Quiet
1.1.1  Ed-NavDoc  replied to  sandy-2021492 @1.1    last year

Obviously something in the past between them. Hopefully find out in another episode.

 
 
 
Dig
Professor Participates
1.1.2  author  Dig  replied to  sandy-2021492 @1.1    last year
Why the dislike?

I dunno, but he seemed like a real jerk going after Pike and the crew. Maybe something to do with that, if he told Spock about it in advance when they were sitting together at that table.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Expert
1.1.3  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Dig @1.1.2    last year
Maybe something to do with that, if he told Spock about it in advance when they were sitting together at that table.

But you had to laugh at Spock's reaction... apologizing for the non-existent outburst. 

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Expert
1.2  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Dig @1    last year

I have to say that I actually liked it a lot. It reminded me of the original Trek. That being said, there are only 10 episodes, unlike the over 35 eps of days of old.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
2  TᵢG    last year

I loved this episode.   But I like legal stories so ...

I agree that it would have been better to have some cool starship activities but that does not change the fact that this episode appealed to me.

 
 

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