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Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Season 2 Episode 3, “Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow,” is one of the most emotionally deep episodes of the series to date. This episode is the latest example of just how effectively this franchise can rip hearts but leave a sense of hope behind. This is yet another example of an episode that laser focuses one character to make the ensemble that much stronger.
La’an Noonien-Singh (Christina Chong) is among the most compelling characters in this series. She is a tie between the past and present of this entire franchise. Any time she gets a chance in the spotlight, the series is elevated. So it is on this episode that her off-world adventure adds an emotional depth to an already rich character. It’s clear within this story that Noonien-Singh has an immensely kind heart. Watching her be willing to save the entire world and a stranger she just met makes her that much more lovable.
This episode also features the return of Captain Kirk (Paul Wesley) at the perfect moment. His chaotic energy is a picture-perfect match for Noonien-Singh’s sensibilities. Watching him play off of Noonien-Singh while she puts him in his place makes him easier to love. This is the perfect adventure for these two strangers in their quest to return to their respective worlds. Kirk is allowed to grow in the course of this story which makes him more relatable.
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Season 2 Episode 3, “Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow,” brings these two characters together brilliantly, in the most bittersweet way. The fact that the overwhelming tragedy is offset by sweetness and lightheartedness leads to a more devastating story. The gargantuan stakes never overwhelm the deeply personal story of two people pushed closer together by adversity. This focused story heightens the emotional journey over the course of the episode.
In one episode, the series defines its emotional core. The fact that the pace of this episode is frankly unrelenting just makes the story more overwhelming. Watching this journey of self-discovery on a not-so-distant world is what makes Star Trek as a franchise so magnetic. The story may have silly space stakes, but these smaller stories with heart make everything fall into place.
Ultimately, this episode is a meditation on legacy and what we’re remembered from. It’s so endearing to watch Noonien-Singh be introduced to someone without the baggage of her past. In order for Noonien-Singh to continue on in light of the trauma and devastation, she must reckon with how she got to where she is now. She is in a perfect position now to move forward with courage, never forgetting Kirk and what he meant to her on another world.
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is at its best when it allows the characters to lean into their respective emotional centres. This is the treatment that Noonien-Singh so richly deserves. Rather than be defined by her lineage and everything she’s been through, she deserves nothing less than to begin on a new path forward. Hopefully, this is not the end of a beautiful partnership that transcends space and time.
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds airs Thursdays at 9/8c on Paramount+.