The crew of the USS Enterprise from "Hegemony"

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Season 2 – Episode 10 Review: “Hegemony”

The season two finale is here for Strange New Worlds, and it’s as intense as I expected. The Gorn is finally revealed towards the end of the episode. Also, a character appears that I don’t think anyone is expecting to see. “Hegemony” will become one of the most significant episodes that Strange New Worlds has pulled off.

Ethan Peck & Rebecca Romjin as Spock & Una Chin-Riley from "Hegemony"
Ethan Peck & Rebecca Romjin as Spock & Una Chin-Riley from “Hegemony”

I knew when the episode started on a happy note, it wouldn’t last long. Pike’s girlfriend in the series, Captain Patel, is ambushed on a planet by the Gorn, and she luckily gets a message sent out before it’s too late. Pike immediately jumps into action; you know he isn’t thinking clearly. Even when he is told that his connection to her won’t affect his judgment, we know it does. Shows sometimes mention the “hopefully this won’t alter your thinking” trope when it always will. The image above is from when Pike tells his main crew his intention to cross a border in space to get to the planet. They all understand why he ultimately wants down there, for Patel, and they don’t hesitate. They trust Pike, and their plan works out, not without its scary faults.

Ortegas, the USS Enterprise’s helmsman, finally got her chance to join on a mission off the ship. I wasn’t even thinking of this storyline, but they made a point to allow her to get them past the border safely. It was a nice moment in the madness of this episode. They had to use the debris of another ship destroyed by the Gorn to pass through undetected. When the landing party was searching around, I started to get this feeling that we would lose someone in this episode. It’s a feeling that didn’t disappear until the credit began to roll. This felt like a time the show would have someone die, and until we see the conclusion, maybe we still will.

Christina Chong as La'an Noonien-Singh from "Hegemony"
Christina Chong as La’an Noonien-Singh from “Hegemony”

As alluded to, “Hegemony” ends on a cliffhanger, and I’m unsure how I feel about it. I get the stance of wanting to hold your audience over and make them wait for the story to conclude. This could have been a two-part finale instead of choosing to end it this way. The musical episode could have been removed and replaced with this episode as a part one setup for the finale. This is not me saying I disliked the episode; quite the opposite. I loved the emotion, tension, and chaos in this episode. We finally see the Gorn, and it’s what I expected. They are very lizard-kind humanoids and different from their original appearance in The Original Series. I didn’t expect them to make the Gorn like their first appearance, but I wouldn’t have been surprised if they did attempt some aspects of it. I hope we see more of them in the future, probably in the season three premiere.

The biggest surprise was the appearance of Montgomery Scott in the episode. At first, I was confused about who this character was, but it hit me before he said his name. Scotty being here did feel a bit forced, but I also find it quite exciting. The actor portraying him did a great job with having the nuances of Scotty but also making this character his own. Scotty being on the USS Enterprise at the end implies he will have some role in season three. Is Strange New World just a way to set up all the original cast of characters to meet before their time in the original series? It sure is feeling that way at this point.

The crew of the USS Enterprise from "Hegemony"
The crew of the USS Enterprise from “Hegemony”

As far as season finales go, “Hegemony” keeps you on edge throughout the episode. I hoped this would clock in at an hour or more because it ended the season, but unfortunately, it was not. This season, Strange New Worlds improved over its first, and my hopes are up for season three to be great, too. The season three premiere better blow me away because this episode hit a high the series hasn’t hit in a while.

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds season 2, episode 10, “Hegemony,” is available now on Paramount+.