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Strange New Worlds’ season 2 finale would make ’90s Star Trek proud

Everything we know about where Strange New Worlds goes from here

(LtR) Jess Bush as Chapel, Celia Rose Gooding as Shura, Ethan Peck as Spock, Anson Mount as Pike, Rebecca Romijn as Una, Babs Olusanmokun as M’Benga, Christina Chong as La’an, and Melissa Navia as Ortegas in a promotional image for Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. Image: Pari Dukovic/Paramount Plus
Susana Polo is an entertainment editor at Polygon, specializing in pop culture and genre fare, with a primary expertise in comic books. Previously, she founded The Mary Sue.

The promise of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds was that episodic television — specifically, the episodic adventures of the starship Enterprise — could still captivate audiences in the age of single-day full-season drops and movie-like “television events.”

With the close of its second season, Strange New Worlds is a fantastic reminder that when you combine the traditional self-contained episode format with a crew that knows they’re getting renewed, you can get great television drama.

[Ed. note: This piece contains spoilers for Star Trek: Strange New Worlds’ season 2 finale, “Hegemony.”]

Anson Mount as Capt. Pike sits sternly in his captain’s chair, wearing tactical armor, with Ethan Peck as Spock visible at his console in the background, in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. Photo: Michael Gibson/Paramount Plus

That is to say, you can get a cliffhanger in which half the cast is teleported to who-knows-where by the Gorn. It’s a great reminder that this sort of thing used to be Star Trek’s bread and butter.

Back in 1990, The Next Generation’s season 3 cliffhanger, “The Best of Both Worlds Part I,” showed Riker taking control of the Enterprise after Captain Picard was captured by the Borg and transformed into the chilling entity called Locutus. The final shot of that episode is an electrifying slow pan over Riker’s face as he does the unthinkable, ordering the Enterprise to fire on its own captain. The summer of 1990 was an uncertain one for Star Trek fans, who had to wait from June’s finale to September’s season 4 premiere to find out what happened next.

Is “Hegemony” as shocking as “The Best of Both Worlds Part I”? Nah, you can’t put that kind of lightning in a bottle twice. But it’s still classic Trek shenanigans.

Will there be a season 3 of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds?

Yes! This March, Paramount Plus announced Strange New Worlds would return for a third season on the streaming service. Production on Strange New Worlds season 2 wrapped in July, so the folks behind this cliffhanger were confident they’d be able to follow up on it.

When is season 3 of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds coming?

That’s the big question. At a Trek-themed Writers Guild of America picketing action in May, SNW showrunner Henry Alonso Myers confirmed that pre-production on season 3 is on indefinite pause until the AMPTP can come to an agreement with the WGA.

And actual production will similarly be on pause until the AMPTP can come to an agreement with the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. It’ll be a much longer wait for Captain Pike to come back than the three months of uncertainty between The Best of Both Worlds parts I and II.

Who in the Enterprise crew is still OK?

That said! A lot of the characters in the show will definitely make it out of this pickle alive — because they appear in previous Star Trek shows set after this event. Though M’Benga, Sam Kirk, La’an, and Ortegas all disappeared with the colonists to who knows where, we know M’Benga and Sam will be fine, as they both appear in small roles in Star Trek: The Original Series.

La’an and Ortegas, however, are original to Strange New Worlds, so their stories are less set in stone. That also goes for Captain Batel, who’s nursing a serious case of A Gorn Laid Eggs In Me. Only the real-life crew behind season 3 know these characters’ planned fates, and they’re striking for better working conditions. So until Hollywood can go back to work, and for many months after that, we’ll be waiting.

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