Synopsis: In The Serene Squall, Pike and his crew are on a humanitarian, but things soon take a turn for the worse when they find themselves confronted by Pirates.
When Dr. Aspen calls on the Enterprise Crew for help with a humanitarian mission in a neutral part of space where piracy and slave trading is rife. Pike and his crew find themselves overrun by Pirates. As the story develops. We learn that Dr. Aspen is not who she claims to be as she manipulates Spock into giving her access to the Enterprise controls while other members of the Enterprise crew are being held captive.
As the plot gradually unfolds we learn that Aspen who is really the Pirate leader Captain Angel wants Spock so she can exchange him for her Vulcan husband who happens to be one of the Criminals who is under the care of Spock’s girlfriend T’Pring.
We get a really charismatic and layered performance in this episode from Jesse James Keitel who is best known for her role in ‘.Big Sky’. However, in this instance, she plays Dr. Aspen/Captain Angel, which is a somewhat different role. The scenes she has with Spock are strong throughout the episode as she messes with Spock’s head by manipulating both his Human and Vulcan sides. Indeed she really does have Spock pretty much wrapped around her little finger by playing the Victim card until she eventually reveals her true self and motives. Keitel’s delivery of the monologue explaining to Spock how she had manipulated him is delivered with true venom.
We also get a good performance from Gia Sandhu as T’Pring. Her opening scene where she is trying to talk to Spock about exploring the human side of his sexuality with her is such an awkward conversation that it’s fun to watch. Ethan Peck does a fairly decent job of selling Spock’s discomfort with the conversation as we see Spock squirm a little at the mere fact that they are having this conversation over comms. We also continue to see some evolution of Spock’s friendship with Nurse Chapel (Jess Bush) as the two characters have to sell their own ruse.
In terms of other regular cast members. Anson Mount has some fun scenes as we see Captain Pike go on a charm offensive with the Orian Pirate deputy leader Remy (Michael Hough). By offering to cook for his people and using it as an opportunity to try and start a mutiny.
The Serene Squall offers up a nice mix of drama and comedy as we see various members of the Enterprise Crew get their moment to shine. Melissa Navia’s Erica Ortegas gets a moment to show what an awesome pilot she is. While Nurse Chapel gets to show off some pretty impressive combat skills as she sedates a number of Pirates while trying to get out a distress call to Starfleet.
At the center of this episode is Spock and his relationship with T’Pring and his struggle of balancing his mixed Vulcan and Human Heritage. This is a Spock that we haven’t really seen before and its a Spock that doesn’t quite feel like the Spock we came to know and love from the classic Leonard Nimoy portrayal. But it is unfair to compare given that an actor is always going to give their own take on a role.
Insofar as continuity. This gives us a bit of a prelude to Star Trek V: The Final Frontier as the Vulcan prisoner that Captain Angel is trying to get released could potentially be Spock’s half-brother Sybok.
Overall The Serene Squall is a bit of a mixed bag. But it gets sealed with a kiss as Spock and T’Pring do their thing.
- CGI & Stunts9.8
- Incidental Music10