In the penultimate episode of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, “All Those Who Wander,” Uhura (Celia Rose Gooding) learns that in space, no one can hear you scream. Written by Davy Perez and directed by Christopher J. Byrne, the episode was made available for streaming on Paramount Plus beginning Thursday, June 30, 2022.
The crew is gathered in Captain Pike (Anson Mount)’s quarters for a celebratory breakfast. We get important exposition in a Cadet’s Personal Log by Uhura for Stardate 2510.6. The Enterprise is heading to Deep Space Station K-7 to deliver viridium power cells. Furthermore, Uhura’s assignment to Enterprise is over, and she’ll be returning to Earth after the K-7 mission. She is envious of those who feel at home in Starfleet but isn’t sure she belongs.
Pike delivers a speech culminating in Ensign Duke (Ted Kellogg) being promoted to Lieutenant. Ortegas (Melissa Navia) emphasizes that Uhura is part of the community, and Pike underscores it.
But the part is interrupted by a priority one mission (in addition to the priority one mission they already have). The bridge crew joins Pike in his quarters. La’An (Christina Chong) apologizes for being late on account of having been with the ship’s counselor, Doctor Sanchez. She eats breakfast as Spock does the dishes.
The USS Peregrine was making an emergency landing on Valeo Beta V, a Class-L planet. The planet’s upper atmosphere causes comms interference, a “known dead zone,” the last time they heard from the Peregrine was four days previous. The ship had been off the grid in uncharted sectors, and now the Enterprise must find out what happened and rescue the crew.
Valeo Beta V
Because the viridium that embodies the focus of Enterprise’s mission will degrade if they aren’t delivered, the Enterprise leaves the away team as they head to deliver the cells.
Soon two shuttlecraft are heading through the choppy atmosphere. They approach a rocky, ice-laden planet where the Peregrine sticks up from the horizon. Think “the Derelict” in Alien.
Hemmer (Bruce Horak) says the stormy weather reminds him of his home planet, Andoria. Spock accidentally calls Duke an Ensign instead of Lieutenant, and Sam Kirk (Dan Jeannotte) says that means he has to buy him a drink. “Another human drinking game,” remarks Spock. “Does their number have no limit?”
La’An discovers a bloody limb, and the away team realizes it might not be a scanning problem preventing them from picking up anyone with their tricorders.
The away team enters the Peregrine and finds more blood. They assess the damage and find that control has been transferred to Engineering. La’An returns and reports twenty casualties, including the captain. That leaves nearly eight missing. Some of the corpses outside were picked apart, but it’s unclear if this was local wildlife.
Kirk and Nurse Chapel (Jess Bush) are investigating outside when Ensign Chia (Jessica Danecker) calls them over. There’s a big, gory pile of bodies in the shadow of the ship’s nacelle.
According to Captain Alice Gavin (Liza Seneca)’s log, the ship was mapping uncharted space when they rescued three castaways from an M-Class planet. One of them was infected, and although he attempted to blow himself up, it didn’t help. The log ends with a warning to stay away from the planet. It’s the Gorn.
La’An wants revenge. But she’ll settle for survival and escape.
The away team makes their way to engineering, encountering mangled corpses and more detritus. An unidentified alien (Carlos Albornoz) appears. While the universal translator isn’t effective, Uhura deduces that the alien is protecting someone. She advises lowering their weapons. It’s an effective strategy.
The alien reveals that he’s protecting a young human girl (Emma Ho). She’s got huge Newt from Aliens vibes.
Spock approaches Chapel and asks for burn treatment for Duke, who was too proud to come himself. Chapel says there’s a reason pride is called “foolish,” and Spock boasts that the teaching of Sarak have allowed him to purge emotion. But Chapel says that she understands Vulcans have concealed emotion, postulating that he’s a tempest when angry. Spock says they use logic to not succumb to anger, but Chapel says it’s good to get mad sometimes.
Uhura tells Hemmer that she’ll miss him. Hemmer says she’ll be back to Starfleet, but she demures. Uhura says she doesn’t know where she’ll end up, but she isn’t afraid to be alone anymore. Hemmer says he believes Uhura’s real fear is to put down roots. “I understand. It is better to leave than to put down roots,” says Hemmer. “But that’s wrong.” He tells her it is a gift to create bonds, even if those bonds sometimes cause pain.
In medical, Oriana tells M’Benga (Babs Olusanmokun) that she calls the alien “Buckley.” La’An interrogates Oriana about the Gorn eggs, and M’Benga interjects, accidentally referring to Oriana as “his daughter” instead of “his patient” (see “The Elysian Kingdom” for more on M’Benga’s confusion).
La’An says that the child had been missing for two years and determines that there are probably no mature Gorn on board the Penegrine. But she notes that this is still a threat.
M’Benga uses a soprano metaphor to explain why he called the girl his daughter. He apologizes for his confusion but says that La’An can help Oriana. Oriana has a chance to grow beyond her pain. However, she needs someone to help her see the light.
Spock finds a trail of blood, suggesting a body was dragged into a vent. Pike touches his shoulder, and M’Benga says he didn’t realize Spock was so jumpy.
In medical, Buckley is breathing heavily. Chapel finds strange abrasions on his limbs. She orders Chia to calibrate his scan. Oriana looks fearful and sneaks away from the increasingly agitated Buckley. A baby Gorn bursts out of Buckley and kills Chia. Chapel witnesses two more emerge, and one kills the other.
Chapel flees from a baby Gorn and protects herself using a medical bed shield.
Duke is getting treatment for his injury from Spock, Pike, Kirk, and M’Benga. But then a baby Gorn comes down the Jefferies Tube and attacks his neck. A second one joins, and Duke is dragged away, screaming.
Chapel is horrified but forces herself to leave the bed. La’An enters and surveys the bodies. She determines that three Gorn hatchlings are still at large. She says they’ll mature soon and then fight for dominance. The Gorn don’t appear on Starfleet sensors: they could be anywhere.
La’An and Chapel locate Oriana in a colder part of the ship. Gorn hate the cold. Oriana insists if they don’t leave, they’ll die. La’An has a flashback to her late brother, Manu (Cameron Roberts; see also: “Memento Mori”). She explains to Oriana that her job is to keep the people she came with safe. She tells Oriana there’s surviving, and then there’s living.
In Engineering, Team Hemura strikes again. But when the power returns, Hemmer smells human blood. We hear an ominous Gorn growl.
Elsewhere, Kirk is hysterical about the Gorn. Pike says M’Benga should save the sedative; however: he needs everyone alert.
In Engineering, one of the Gorns arrives. It’s gotten much bigger. It spits at Hemmer and hits him in the neck.
Uhura vs. Xenomorphs
M’Benga determines that the Gorn are a “genetic chameleon,” allowing them to evade sensor detection. This is likely an evolutionary trait for hunting. They postulate it might have spat at Hemmer in an attempt to blind him with venom. “I was not the best target,” says Hemmer. He further states he would use his psychic abilities to find them but can’t locate them.
Kirk nearly turns on Spock. But Pike says that if they want to get out alive, they can’t yell at each other; they must listen. Hemmer says they only need to reboot the nav-conn, and their mission is complete once they’ve gotten rid of the Gorn.
La’An says that the young Gorn will have an intense drive for alpha dominance. Pike identifies their inability to cooperate as their disadvantage. La’An insists they must defeat the Gorn before they reach maturity, or they’ll have no chance. Since conventional hunting is impossible, they make the Gorn come to them. Gorn can’t resist a challenge. They will respond to bait. And temperature can be used to dissuade them from certain areas and encourage them towards others.
They make the cargo bay into a “warm oasis.” Hemmer will be located here for the operation.
From the Gorn perspective, we see Uhura being located. “We got one in the chute,” says Kirk. The Gorn chases Uhura through the halls, and she escapes into the transporter room. The Gorn enters the vents, and Spock gets into position. But the Gorn isn’t responding. La’An tells him to fight it and make it angry.
“The rage that is in my thoughts,” says Spock. “I let it to my heart.” The half-Vulcan screams and attacks. The second Gorn arrives. Kirk rescues Spock and nearly bears the brunt of his emotion.
They listen as the two Gorns fight one another. Only the alpha Gorn survives.
Hemmer, Spock and Uhura
As she approaches the surviving Gorn, the Wrath of La’An is unveiled: “It’s just you and me!”
The Gorn chases La’An towards the cargo bay. When she arrives, she climbs into one of the waiting crates. She closes it behind her, and Hemmer activates the freezing gas. The Gorn shrieks, but the process proves effective. La’An emerges from the crate and approaches the frozen Gorn. She smashes it.
But when Hemmer emerges from the other crate, something is wrong. Hemmer says he’s going to go outside now. He can’t sense the Gorn hatchlings, but he knows his body well enough to determine the truth. He’s been infected.
The survivors of the away team attempt to dissuade him, but Hemmer says it’s too late. Pike says Hemmer doesn’t have to do this.
“But Captain, my sacrifice will save those I care most about,” says Hemmer. “For me there is no other choice.”
“A logical conclusion,” Spock says to himself elsewhere, foreshadowing The Wrath of Khan. Hemmer (psychically) tells his friend to live long and prosper. Hemmer tells Uhura to open herself, and she “will find joy more often than sadness.”
Hemmer says not to weep for him, as he’s had a good life. He walks out of the cargo bay and into the cold air, which he relishes. “Just like Andoria.” He throws himself to his death, just like Ripley in Alien 3. If you aren’t already crying, Nami Melumad’s score will push you over the edge.
Towing the Penegrine
The Enterprise returns and tows the damaged Penegrine away from Valeo Beta V.
At the funeral for the three lost officers, Ortegas eulogizes Hemmer. She called him the “Blue Meanie.” Uhura says Hemmer reminded her a lot of her late father. Spock’s fists are clenched. Uhura says the people you love the most can cause you the most pain, but they are also the ones who mend your broken heart.
Spock punches a wall as Chapel pursues him. Chapel asks him what’s going on. Spock says he can’t control the emotion he allowed out. Chapel says it doesn’t make him weak; it makes him human. They embrace, and for a moment, it seems like they may kiss. But Spock walks away.
In his quarters, La’An tells Pike she found a (weak) lead on Oriana’s family. It’s outside Federation space. She still wants to pursue it. Pike says a mission like this takes time, and La’An requests a formal leave of absence. Pike says he’ll square it with Starfleet but says however long it takes; she should come back to them. La’An thanks Pike for everything.
Uhura returns to the bridge. She looks over at the Comms station as the classic Trek theme swells.
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