Placing the arrest of Una Chin-Riley on the back burner was a mistake for Star Trek: Strange New Worlds

Celia Rose Gooding as Uhura and Ethan Peck as Spock appearing in episode 201 “The Broken Circle” of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, streaming on Paramount+, 2023. Photo Cr: Michael Gibson/Paramount+
Celia Rose Gooding as Uhura and Ethan Peck as Spock appearing in episode 201 “The Broken Circle” of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, streaming on Paramount+, 2023. Photo Cr: Michael Gibson/Paramount+ /

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds made a mistake in putting the biggest plotline on hold.

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds ended its first season with a series of mostly minor but also some major plot lines. On the minor front, you have Nyota Uhura unsure of what her future holds, Christopher Pike coming to terms with his future being inevitable, and Spock’s relationship hanging by a thread. In the mid-major, you have La’an Noonien Singh going on a sabbatical from Starfleet. While the biggest hook that the show ended on, was the arrest of Una Chin-Riley.

Chin-Riley was arrested for forging her Starfleet papers and hiding the fact she was an Illyrian; a race of aliens that were genetically altered to fit the conditions of the planets they resided on. Since Starfleet is against genetic augmentation, and rightfully so following Khan Noonien Singh’s attempt to conquer the Earth and commit mass genocide, Chin-Riley hid what she was.

Knowing full well she wouldn’t be admitted into Starfleet otherwise. Her arrest wasn’t shocking and the way Chin-Riley is handling it with dignity and grace is making her a very sympathetic character.

It’s the biggest plot line of the show, at least heading out of season one. So, you’d think we’d get a lot of headway made with the season premiere? Nope.

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds needs to address Una-Chin Riley’s plotline first

Have we learned nothing from The Walking Dead? Don’t delay resolving storylines just to artificially extend them. The Walking Dead fell into that pattern a lot, most notably with the character Glenn Rhee. In season six, episode three, viewers saw Glenn presumably fall to his death to close the episode. Everyone was shocked, and it was a major hook for viewers to come back the next week.

The only problem, when viewers did come back, they didn’t find out anything about Glenn. Viewers hated it, and when it happened again, and yet again, they angered their audience enough to start what would end up being the downfall of the franchise. After a month from the cliffhanger, in episode seven, we find out that Glenn survived in episode seven. But fans didn’t care. They were baited, and this is when fans started to leave the show. It only got worse when they pulled the same nonsense with Negan’s arrival at the end of the season.

Strange New Worlds absolutely did this, ending season one with the arrest of Una Chin-Riley, only to give the biggest storyline of season one about 90 seconds in the season two premiere before shifting the plot to a completely unconnected plotline involving Klingons.

A plotline that wasn’t even that well executed.

If this is the trend of the season, fans are going to leave the show, they’ve proven to be willing to walk away from poor writing before, and Strange New Worlds isn’t going to be safe from that. Now, I understand they may be trying to shake up the dynamic some, as they’re basically just repeating the same plotline from the third season of Lower Decks, but that’s not an excuse to leave the biggest cliffhanger of season one lingering even longer.

Especially since we already know she rejoins the ship, thanks to the trailers released. It’s a plot line that is quickly becoming needless and that’s the worst thing to happen to a show. Once you realize your questions won’t be answered in a timely manner, you stop caring about the answers at all.

Next. Ranking every Star Trek film in franchise history according to metrics. dark