Monday, August 21, 2023

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds - Lost in Translation

"Lost in Translation" is an episode that previous Star Trek series have used before, with one member dimly aware something isn't right and needing to solve a mystery to explain what is really going on (often due to some kind of yet undiscovered alien). In the case here it's Uhura (Celia Rose Gooding) who begins experiencing hallucinations which the ship's medical team initially diagnose to be nothing more that a case of exhaustion and low-levels of deuterium poisoning, something more is obviously going on. In order to discover what, she'll need to face difficult moments from her past and potential future and decipher the meaning of the hallucinogenic messages being shown to her.

In terms of season arcs, "Lost in Translation" offers a couple examples of Pelia (Carol Kane) still struggling to win over some of the crew, and in doing so show us how both Uhura and Una Chin-Riley (Rebecca Romijn) are holding on to the death of Hemmer (Bruce Horak) and still grieving for their friend's death. Horak returns to play the role both in recorded flashbacks teaching Uhura about engineering and as a more zombified version of himself in her hallucinations. Once made aware of what is causing Uhura's distress, and that his ship is causing damage to a new lifeform, Captain Pike (Anson Mount) doesn't hesitate to destroy the relay station (even if it does give up a strategic advantage for the Federation in their battle with the Gorn).

The episode is notable for the appearance of James T. Kirk (Paul Wesley) who is now First Officer in the other ship assigned to help get the relay in order. Recognizing Uhura needs a friend, he steps up and helps her work through the hallucinations and in doing so making a key discovery to their meaning. While they get a short scene together, the episode doesn't play on Lieutenant La’an Noonien-Singh's (Christina Chong) experiences with the alternate captain, but the episode is notable for Kirk's first meeting with the ship's science officer.

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