0 7 min 11 mths

If you could go back in time and kill a dangerous person like Hitler, Stalin, or Pol Pot, would you? If you succeed, what would be the effect on future events? What if you had to restore said tyrant to history, in order that the brighter future can come to pass? Strange New Worlds “Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow” tackles exactly that question. This episode features time travel, some time travel tropes, an alternate timeline, and Star Trek’s most notorious villain along with the Federation’s greatest enemy, set in Toronto, close to our time. 

The episode opens with a heavily sarcastic yet humorous tone from the point of view of La’an, the security officer. Her day is full of such pressing matters as Spock needing to practice “less vigorously” due to a noise complaint, dealing with mundane disputes, and coming up against the incorrigible yet lovable Pelia who has more artifacts of dubious acquisition than four Indiana Jones films… and predictably getting nowhere with her. Her sparring session with M’Benga is well choreographed and demonstrates how strong and capable she is physically, although emotionally and internally she is constantly at war with herself.

A strange visitor with a gun shot wound appears and delivers a cryptic message to La’an, who finds herself in Kirk’s alternate timeline where something happened to change humanity’s trajectory to the stars. Following the trend established so far this season of entering on a specific character or two in order to expand their story arc, La’an is teamed up with an alternate timeline Captain Kirk, played again by Paul Wesley. The focused, determined, and capable La’an is the perfect foil against the brash, bold, somewhat impulsive Kirk. Paul Wesley here playing the character closer to the Kirk we later know in the timeline from the Original Series. In fact, those fans who enjoyed Kirk & Spock teaming up in the “past” in “The Voyage Home,” or Tom & Tuvok in Voyager’s “Future’s End” will note a lot of similarities, particularly in how the characters interact with the history and setting that is unfamiliar to them, while they race the proverbial clock.

The episode features some of the usual hijinks we expect – Kirk hustling, at chess no less, to earn currency, La’an orchestrating a successful shoplift to get regular clothes albeit setting up an innocent bystander, and Kirk indulging in the contents of the mini bar and gorging himself on street vendor hot dogs – does junk food not exist in the future because its all they eat in the past? We even get an amazing car chase scene, although one wonders how Kirk goes from not being able to start the car and get going to driving like he is in “The Fast and the Furious”. The police, predictably, are depicted as being kind of slow to get involved and easily talked out of doing their job by a woman with a cell phone recording it.

The most detail oriented fans will pick up early on the foreshadowing that Khan is the real target – yes that Khan. This hint is dropped when we see that while La’an knows of Kirk and the people of his time including his brother, Kirk has never heard the name Noonien-Singh, nor the implications of such a person existing. Out of necessity, the two choose to work with Sera, a stranger spouting “alien conspiracies” who is much closer to the truth than she should be for an ordinary person, and she shares knowledge of a building with  a cold fusion reactor – the next target. 

Enter Pelia. After one of the silliest and least plausible border crossing scenes in history, La’an uses blackmail…I mean her knowledge of Pelia, to get her on their side. Of course, Pelia manages to MacGyver a solution to find the reactor with only “antique” and current technology from among her dragon’s hoard of ill gotten antiques and artifacts.

Surprise…well not really…Sera is a Romulan in disguise. A Romulan who has gone off script due to circumstances that have stranded her too long among humans. After Kirk calls her bluff and dies, she forces La’an to get her access to the facility through the use of a possible DNA marker…..TROPE ALERT!! La’an is eventually brought before a young boy named Khan…in this research institute with her family name. Despite knowing she could be free of the stain of Khan if she kills him, which is pointed out to her by Sera before La’an dispatch her to the Romulan afterlife, La’an chooses mercy upon seeing “You’re just a kid” and she tells him that he “is right where he needs to be”. 

Is this episode on the level of Guardian on “The Edge of Forever”? Not quite, but it is a strong contender. We get to see more character development of one of the bridge crew, we get some humourous time travel moments, the Romulans are devious and as usual playing the long game, and we get a tie in to one of the OG villains of the Trek-verse. We also get a shadow organization that manages temporal directives but cannot be revealed, and we get a solid “buddy adventure”. Pelia is brilliantly portrayed, and the heavy lifting of the story is handled well by the characters. Bonus points for the MacBeth reference that is the title reflecting on futility. The detractors of this episode would be the romantic moment between Kirk and La’an – really not something that fits her character even if Kirk has always been a Lothario, and some of the more ridiculous moments – expert stunt car driving, being waved across the border, and how much money did they really make at chess? Also, is it really surprising that Khan is a fixed historical point that has to come to pass?


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