The fourth episode of Star Trek: Short Treks has finally arrived, marking the last episode of the first batch of four, and once again it does not disappoint.
As always I will attempt to keep this article Spoiler free for those who have not yet seen the episode.
"Harry Mudd, back to his old tricks of stealing and double-dealing, finds himself in a precarious position aboard a hostile ship – just in time to try out his latest con.Official Synopsis – CBS"
If you haven’t already seen the episode and you’re in North America, it’s available now in the United States on CBS All-Access, and in Canada either on Space or streaming free on their website (without a login or subscription) at Space.ca. You can also see the trailer below.
Much like the three earlier episodes, The Escape Artist once again serves as a perfect character study, this time for one of Star Trek’s most beloved characters Harcourt “Harry” Fenton Mudd (Rainn Wilson).
With a ticking clock deadline, and a tense situation the episode manages a perfect mix of desperation and the trademark humour you’d expect from Harry Mudd as well as from the episodes co-writer and the man who will bring us the upcoming half hour comedy series Star Trek: Lower Decks, Michael McMahan.
As expected from the synopsis Harry spends much of the episode trying his best to scam his way out of the predicament, his character growth over the course of his time on both Star Trek: The Original Series and Star Trek: Discovery seems on the surface limited to learning new scams and acquiring new technology to aid in those scams, but this episode focused entirely on him helps to cast a new light, or at least a brighter spotlight on this fan favourite character.
A nod to the future…
More from Star Trek: Short Treks
- Why now is the perfect time for Short Treks to return
- First Short Treks idea included Nichelle Nichols as Uhura
- Fan has fun spinoff idea for Short Treks—Nature Treks
- Jonathan Frakes wants in on potential Short Treks musical epsiode
- Season 3 of Star Trek: Short Treks should be a Captain Proton mini-series
There’s something about Harry Mudd and his strange mix of confident schemer, fish out of water and poor victim of his future wife Stella Mudd that makes the character somehow relatable despite the outlandish nature of his scam of the week. Somehow we can all see ourselves in the narrative of Star Trek becoming, or at least wishing in some way to become as fee as Harry pretends to be, while knowing eventually reality will catch up to us.
Without going into detail and giving away any spoilers, the climax of the episode features a brilliant twist that gives a nod to the future scams of Harry Mudd as seen on Star Trek and helps cement the character as the man we will catching up with a decade later, though Rainn Wilson is such a pleasure to watch in the role that, this writer at least, hopes will continue to make guest appearances on Star Trek Discovery, or possibly star in his own spin-off series or miniseries.
With the first four episodes now out, and strong performances in each leaving us with a better understanding of some great characters, as well as the introduction of one new character we look forward to seeing what will come next from Star Trek: Short Treks, hopefully it won’t be long before the next batch of episodes are announced.