In the nearly 57 years of the franchise’s existence, Star Trek finally has a musical episode. “Subspace Rhapsody,” Season 2 Episode 9 of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, is a joyously exhilarating hour of song and dance. Everything from the lyrics, melody and composition to the performances and the story is a home run for me.
While everyone sings beautifully, Celia Rose Gooding and Christina Chong deliver powerhouse performances with stunning vocals. Uhura and La’An’s episodic arcs take them on gorgeously vulnerable journeys. Both emerge from this narrative more empowered and uninhibited than before while honoring their respective seasonal stories.
On a similar note (hee hee), I love how the solos/duets really honor each character’s arc while propelling the episode. Methinks some of the revelations, i.e., Spock and Chapel’s breakup (especially Chapel’s acceptance into the Vulcan program), will revisit us in a later episode.
In honor of today’s monumentally musical extravaganza, here are my favorite quotes and lyrics from “Subspace Rhapsody.” Energize!
LA’AN: “So, what’s next? More improbability? Or will we just suddenly poof into bunnies?”
Listen, as a Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan, this feels like a nod to Season 6 Episode 7, “Once More, With Feeling,” the show’s history-making musical episode. If you recall, Anya is terrified of bunnies. She even sings about it in the tune “I’ve Got a Theory / Bunnies / If We’re Together.” Bunnies are behind everything, right? Perhaps if our Enterprise crew couldn’t solve the subspace fold dilemma, the next step in the process would be singing bunnies. I’d pay to see that.
LA’AN: “It might be time to change my paradigm. If only I can let go of the wheel. It’s nice to dream that I could change my mind. Deep down, I know I will never let go. My fear is staked; I have no faith. Consenting freedom is not real. Flying blind … how would that feel?”
I felt La’An’s (Chong) solo song in my soul. It profoundly resonated with me. So many folks, myself included, feel paralyzed by fear — terrified to take risks because we don’t know where (or if) we’ll land. I can relate to La’An’s trauma, which undoubtedly fuels her fear of risk-taking (I know it does for me). Her doubts that she can’t change because she’s so entrenched in anxiety just … speak to me. Despite having taken my share of chances in life thus far, I still go through phases where my fear seems insurmountable. How would it feel to fly blind, I wonder?
UNA: “Secrets I keep safe inside. A skill I perfected so I could survive. It worked before; it doesn’t serve me anymore. I wish I never learned how to be so good at keeping secrets.”
Una (Rebecca Romijn) knows a thing or two about secrets. This particular section of the lyrics hit home for me. As a child, I had to keep secrets and lie to survive. It shielded me from harm. It’s still challenging to open up sometimes, although I’m getting better at it. Of course, in relation to Una, our fave Number One spent years in Starfleet harboring a personal secret. She hid her Illyrian identity from everyone to protect herself (and keep herself alive). It breaks my heart that she endured in silence and spent so much time concealing her true self.
UHURA: “How come everywhere that I go, I’m solo? Am I at my best unaccompanied? My whole life has been, fix this and save you. I’ll light the path and keep us connected.”
My girl Uhura (Gooding) gets a showstopping 11 o’clock number in “Subspace Rhapsody,” and she knocks it out of the park. It’s fitting because A). Celia Rose Gooding is an incredible vocalist, and B). Uhura makes a course-altering revelation regarding the subspace fold. I also love how this song delves into her Strange New Worlds journey and how isolated she often feels.
But she, more than anyone, keeps the crew connected. I’d argue she’s the heart of this show. I found myself relating to the above lyric, that feeling of loneliness. I’ve done a lot of things by myself, too.
LA’AN: “I’m glad I took that chance. Maybe I could be someone who takes chances more often.”
Oof. This line made the tears flow. What a defining moment for La’An. Despite the outcome of sharing her heart with Kirk (Paul Wesley), despite the pain of discovering he’s in a relationship with Carol (last seen in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan), La’An chooses to see the beauty in that heartache. She took a chance, and now she can be that person who takes risks more often. Brava. Her arc might be my favorite.
BATEL: “I promise you, even Julia Child’s boeuf bourguignon itself will not make me forget that you sing about lying to me.”
We never got a Wynonna Earp musical episode, so having Melanie Scrofano participate in “Subspace Rhapsody” made my little Earper heart smile. Batel boasts a toned-down version of Wynonna’s quick wit and penchant for sarcasm (without the knee-jerk urge to shoot demons with a magic gun). This line, directed at Pike (Anson Mount), feels like something Wynonna would say. Plus, I love the idea of Julia Child’s legacy lasting centuries after her death.
What are your favorite quotes and/or lyrics from “Subspace Rhapsody”? Sound off in the comments below.
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds streams new episodes every Thursday on Paramount+.
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