12. "The Serene Squall" (season 1, episode 7)
"The Serene Squall" is a journey, but one that feels like it could have been so much more as it completely misses a few beats. Ranked 12th out of 13, it tries to be a swashbuckling space adventure but ends up more like a slightly off-key space opera. The episode dives into a classic Star Trek theme – space pirates! Sounds fun, right? But instead of sailing smoothly, it hits quite a few space bumps. It has us expecting an iconic symphony but gives us an interstellar Kazoo concert instead - kind of messy and all over the place. The story revolves around a group of pirates hijacking the Enterprise - a plot that promises excitement but somehow doesn't fully deliver the adrenaline rush we wanted.
The episode does have its moments, like a savage surprise twist and it delves into Spock's personal life, which is honestly always a treat. Say what you will about this episode or show, even, but Ethan Peck is extremely good at playing his role as the half-human half-Vulcan. However, this episode is more like a jigsaw puzzle with a couple of pieces that don't quite fit. The pacing feels a bit off, like a starship cruising at impulse power when you're itching to go to warp speed. And while it tries to juggle multiple storylines, they don't all land as neatly as a well-docked shuttle.
"The Serene Squall" is ambitious, but in the grand scheme of the Strange New Worlds' universe, it's more of a mild breeze than the galactic tempest we were expecting.