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Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Season 2 Episode 5 Review: “Charades”

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Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Season 2 Episode 5, “Charades,” gives Spock (Ethan Peck) the spotlight and a new beginning. This storyline could have very easily gone off the rails at least several points. Happily, the episode is able to focus on Spock as a character and really dig into what makes him so compelling. This character deserves an episode like this to get us all to appreciate him even more. 

Ethan Peck’s version of Spock is a sweet one. This episode is an opportunity to really delve into what makes this character so lovable and what makes him tick. Watching him make the decisions he does provides a greater insight into his character. While he might present as someone driven solely by logic, he clearly has a massive heart which he demonstrates over and over again. 

Relatedly, this episode is a brilliant way to explore Spock’s deeply human side. This is an excellent way to contrast his Vulcan side, which is usually on display throughout this series. The humourous moments just make the emotional ones that much more resonant. It’s incredibly relatable, watching Spock struggle with his emotions and attempt to express himself accurately. This adjustment to a new reality is immediately recognizable when it comes to the human experience. 

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Season 2 Episode 5, “Charades,” also fleshes out the special relationship between Spock and his mother. This is a part of Spock’s character that is worth exploring further. It’s clear that after a lifetime of being shunned by his heritage, there is a part of himself with which he longs to connect. It’s lovely to see him get a venue to do so on this episode, even if it ultimately comes at a high cost.  

While this may be the end for Spock and T’Pring (Gia Sandhu), the story presents an opportunity for Spock and Nurse Chapel (Jess Bush). There’s an argument to be made that Spock was admirable in his commitment to his fiancé. However, it’s clear that while they may have cared for each other very much, they faced insurmountable obstacles, not least of which is the fact that they have been separated for so long.

However, this way of moving forward may be exactly what Spock, in particular, needs. Only time will tell if the relationship between him and Nurse Chapel can be developed effectively. Until this moment, there have certainly been brief moments of hinting that these two have feelings for one another. This episode really is the biggest moment these two have had so far since Spock chose to save Nurse Chapel. Time will tell if there is more to come. 

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds continues along the right path in its sophomore season at the halfway point. Spock is the latest character to be set on a new path with new possibilities. Episodes like these make it even easier to appreciate these characters who are already so lovable. The additional context is always welcome and makes it easier to invest in these characters’ futures. 

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds airs Thursdays at 9/8c on Paramount+. 

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