Strange New Worlds Finale Ignored Spock’s Big Vulcan Cliffhanger

Warning: SPOILERS for Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Season 1 Finale - "A Quality of Mercy"

The season 1 finale of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds didn't address the cliffhanger of Spock (Ethan Peck) losing control of his emotions from episode 9. In Strange New Worlds' season 1 ender, "A Quality of Mercy," Captain Christopher Pike (Anson Mount) time travels to a future where he was never disfigured by a delta ray accident and remains Captain of the Enterprise. As a result, Pike, with Spock serving as First Officer, lives through his own version of the Star Trek: The Original Series episode, "Balance of Terror," with disastrous consequences for the galaxy and for Spock. Yet the finale's focus on Pike ignored Spock's plight at the end of the prior episode.


Strange New Worlds episode 9 ended with Spock's stunning confession to Nurse Christine Chapel (Jess Bush) that he lost control of his human emotions. To face the threat of deadly baby Gorn on Valeo Beta V, Spock broke down the walls of his Vulcan logic and allowed himself to feel aggression and rage. Ceasing the suppression of his human emotions allowed Spock to survive the Gorn attack and helped Captain Pike's away team kill the lizards. But at the funeral for Chief Engineer Hemmer (Bruce Horak), who sacrificed his life to save his friends from the Gorn, Spock revealed he can't regain control of his emotions. Spock even unleashed his fury on a bulkhead, damaging it. Spock has feared his human side all of his life, and he fearfully told Chapel that he thinks his "mind has gone weak."

Related: Strange New Worlds Finale Cliffhanger Continues Number One Being Replaced

However, in Strange New Worlds' finale, Spock appeared to be his normal logical self when he shared a touching moment with Captain Pike at the end of the episode. Pike learned that in every timeline that he alters his tragic fate, his destiny of being horribly disfigured (or worse) transfers irrevocably to Spock. The Vulcan told his Captain he believes he owes him thanks, but for what, he doesn't know, and Spock and Pike related how important they are to each other. Yet Spock's cool demeanor is at odds with the torment he was in at the end of Strange New Worlds episode 9. If Spock was able to get his emotions in check between episodes, that would be a disappointing cheat, especially when his cliffhanger sets up an intriguing story for the Vulcan in Strange New Worlds season 2.

Will Spock's Vulcan Change Impact His Story In Strange New Worlds Season 2?

Spock Hugs Chapel Strange New Worlds

Hopefully, Spock's cliffhanger will continue into Strange New Worlds season 2 after all. Since Spock's scene with Pike was just a few brief moments, it's possible that the Vulcan is able to temporarily compose himself when he has to but Spock is still a cauldron of emotions. Spock unable to control his feelings would create compelling new drama for his relationship with his fiancée, T'Pring (Gia Sandhu), especially when she has taken such interest in understanding Spock's humanity. Perhaps more intriguing is what an overly emotional Spock means for Nurse Chapel because he could now return the intense feelings that Christine is hiding from him.

Spock forced to live with his emotions could also show a deeper new side to the otherwise stoic Science Officer, and it would create fascinating new interactions with the rest of his Enterprise crewmates. Further, the experience of not being able to control his emotions would color Spock's choice later in life to embrace Vulcan logic even more fully. By the time Spock (Leonard Nimoy) is the First Officer of Captain James T. Kirk's (William Shatner) Enterprise, he's an even more staunch advocate for the superiority of the Vulcans' logical way of life. In Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Spock tries (and fails) to purge all emotion in the kolinahr ritual. This could all be the result of Spock losing his emotions in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, assuming the show does the right thing and continues this story in season 2.