In Review: Star Trek: Strange New Worlds (S2 – EP5) – Charades

A shuttle accident leads to Spock's Vulcan DNA being removed by aliens, making him fully human and completely unprepared to face T'Pring's family during an important ceremonial dinner.

Synopsis: In Charades, A shuttle accident leads to Spock’s Vulcan DNA being removed by aliens, making him fully human and completely unprepared to face T’Pring’s family during an important ceremonial dinner.


The Story

When an accident happens while on a shuttle mission. The interdimensional aliens that save Nurse Chapel and Spock’s lives are confused by Spock’s mixed heritage and alter his mixed DNA to the point where they make him completely human. This gets somewhat tricky for Spock as he suddenly finds himself having to figure out how to control human emotions, which are very different to Vulcan emotions. But to make matters worse T’Pring’s family has chosen to hold an important Vulcan ceremonial dinner on the Enterprise, which means that Spock is going to have to learn to lie in order to convince T’Pring’s family that he is still part Vulcan.

In the meantime. Nurse Chapel struggles to find a way to refuse Spock’s Vulcan DNA with his human DNA and finds herself having to attempt a risky mission by Shuttle to establish contact with the interdimensional aliens that changed Spock.


The Acting

Ethan Peck gets to let his hair down a little bit as he plays a very human version of Spock who is struggling with human emotions that would be akin to those of a teenager. Of course, this makes way for some fantastic comedy beats where we see Spock experiencing things from a more human perspective than he is used to. A fun moment is when we see Spock learning to cook with some help from Captain Pike (Anson Mount) who happens to be doing breakfast. This allows Peck to rather convincingly give us a version of Spock who is experiencing the taste and smell of bacon for the first time.

Of course, the real comedy does not come along until Spock has to relearn how to be Vulcan. This introduces Mia Kirshner as Spock’s mother Amanda who has to teach her son how to lie. Kirshner is brilliant casting in this role and gives us a nice insight into Spock’s relationship with his mother. I particularly enjoyed the scene where Spock gains a new appreciation for the life journey that his mother has been on thanks to her marriage to his Vulcan father Sarak. I also enjoyed the scenes where Spock’s other crew mates were teaching him how he talks when suppressing his human side to be more Vulcan.



This was a solid episode with a nice mix of drama, comedy, and decent character development. I really enjoyed seeing a more human version of Spock and seeing how that kind of change would affect the rest of his crew. We get great performances from Ethan Peck and Mia Kirshner and some genuine laugh-out-loud moments. In terms of character development. We see some growth for Spock as well as a bit more development for Nurse Chapel.

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds (S2 - EP5) - Charades
  • Story
  • Acting
  • CGI & Stunts
  • Incidental Music

Ian Cullen is the founder of and has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy from birth. In the past few years he has written for 'Star Trek' Magazine as well as interviewed numerous comics writers, television producers and actors for the SFP-NOW podcast at: When he is not writing for Ian enjoys playing his guitar, studying music, watching movies and reading his comics. Ian is both the founder and owner of You can contact ian at:
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