The Serene Squall is the best episode of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds yet

Pictured: Anson Mount as Pike of the Paramount+ original series STAR TREK: STRANGE NEW WORLDS. Photo Cr: Marni Grossman/Paramount+ ©2022 ViacomCBS. All Rights Reserved.
Pictured: Anson Mount as Pike of the Paramount+ original series STAR TREK: STRANGE NEW WORLDS. Photo Cr: Marni Grossman/Paramount+ ©2022 ViacomCBS. All Rights Reserved. /

This post contains spoilers for Star Trek: Strange New Worlds “The Serene Squall.” 

On The evening of Thursday, June 16, the Golden State Warriors defeated the Boston Celtics and became NBA champions. Despite my sports fandom that exists outside of my love for all things science fiction, I was completely and blissfully unaware of the Celtics defeat and of Golden States victory until I had finished watching what was not only without a doubt the best episode of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds yet, but quite possibly the best episode of any Trek show I have seen in a long time. (You can find the full recap at

I am not throwing shade at Discovery, Lower Decks or ,Picard (which are good if not great shows in their own right) but “The Serene Squall” just felt like true Trek in its purest form. The latest installment in the adventures of Captain Pike and his crew had it all, from excitement and action, to laughs and moments of real heart, and then some moments that are just Trek. If you saw the episode (and no doubt you did and that is why you are currently perusing this piece) then I am fairly confident that you are in complete agreement with me, but if you need further convencing, then allow me to elucidate.

From the opening of the show, at about the 1 or 2 minute mark, a smile has already formed on my lips, when T’pring (fiancee to Spock) can be heard, talking about her research and exploration of human sexuality, in an effert to appeal to her lover’s more “human” side. This line of inquiry sets up comedic moments for Ethan Peck’s Spock, who seems charmingly bashful and shy when his logical Volcun mind is faced with his own sexuality and that of his partner.

Vulcan pillow talk does not last long, however, when the Enterprise and its crew are thrown into a plot involving colonists and a band of pirates just outside of Federation space. There is not a dull moment in this episode that can only be described as swashbuckling.

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds sent the away team to a pirate ship.

The Enterprise is depicted as the technologically superior and sophisticated military vessal, as opposed to The Serene Squall, which is so perfectly rendered as a pirate ship in space. Its cargo hold has puddles of water, its galley is dim and dingy, and when Pike and the rest of the away team are captured, rather then being placed in a room with an electronic lock, they are thrown into a cell. It even has an old fashioned ship stearing wheel that we as the audience don’t even question its presence in the 24th century for a second.

The atmosphere aboard the Squall is absolutely perfectly rendered, making you forget that Pike and the away team are aboard a starship, rather then a sea fairing vessel.The Serene Squall is very much the old rundown pirate ship, only the choppy waves of the ocean have been replaced by the cold black backdrop of space. The old rusted star ship is not the only detail that aids in the authenticity of this pirate theamed episode, for while the crew of the Squall are different species of aliens, they are undoubtedly swarthy pirates.

While the away team are trapped aboard the Squall, exciting action sequinces, plot twists, and great character moments (especially for Spock and Nurse Chapel) are taking place back on the Enterprise. I believe this to be Ethan Peck’s strongest episode yet, perfectly balancing Spock’s Volcun and human sides, and showing Spock’s struggle between the two throughout the durration of this excellent episode.

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds /

Meanwhile, back on the Squall, Pike is doing his best to work a way out of the clutches of his enemies for him and his away team, and how might he be doing this you ask?

Is he being diplomatic like the intelectual Captain Picard?

Is he fighting his way out (and maybe taking that female pirate with him) like the impetuous Captain Kirk?

Actually, he is cooking for them, of course.

During my time as a Trekkie, I have seen many different Star Fleet Captains finagle their way out of the hands of their enemies, but I am all but certain this is the first time I have ever seen a captain use his cooking to start a mutiny among the crew, and while we are on the subject, can we talk about Captain Christopher Pike for a moment?

I have enjoyed Pike ever since first seeing him on Discovery and all through the first five episodes of SNW, but this episode showcases several characteristics of Pike that are making me have to seriously reconsider my own personal ranking of Starfleet captains.

Pike displays a calm, relaxed, and even humorous style of leadership, a seemingly permanent smirk residing on his face, all the while, instead of threats or intimidation, rather he is so charismatic and charming that even his enemies can’t help but like him. This episode is not only the strongest Spock episode we have seen yet, but the strongest for Pike as well.

The plot wraps up perfectly with a heart felt moment between T’pring and Spock, and also Spock and Nurse Chapel, and the door remains open for more encounters between the nefarious captain Angel and her crew and that of the Enterprise.

Just in case all that this episode had to offer wasn’t quite enough, we are left with a fantastic cliffhanger involving Sybok, Spock’s half brother and a very underwelming villain from Star Trek V, setting up future plots to come for Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.

As a constant Trekkie, I love Star Trek in all of its different variations, but I have to admit that it has been a while since I so theroughly enjoyed an episode of Trek that was not part of the original five series. The Serene Squall is exactly what I was hoping for with Star Trek: Strange New Worlds and what I have faith it will continue to be.

Now, having said all of that, I will only tell you this once. Get the hell out of my chair.

Next. Social media is all abuzz about Captain Pike’s hair. dark