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La'an travels back in time to twenty-first-century Earth to prevent an attack which will alter Humanity's future history – and bring her face to face with her own contentious legacy.

Summary[]

Teaser[]

"Security officer's log, stardate 1581.2. Nobody told me when I took this assignment just how many friends it would make for me. It is a well-known fact that people love it when you bring them bad news. And quite frankly, who doesn't find having their belongings searched endearing?"

As the USS Enterprise travels to her next mission, La'an conducts her business as chief of security. First, she is forced to step between a Denobulan cadet and transporter chief Jay, the former accusing the latter of using the transporter to steal a ring given to him by his matriarch. Then she informs Spock of an anonymous noise complaint as he practices with his Vulcan lute, and he promises to practice "less vigorously". Finally, she confronts Pelia about the provenance of a number of priceless artworks and artifacts she is bringing aboard, some of which are marked "property of the Archeology Department". Pelia waves it off by saying she used to work there, and tells La'an to live through the calamities of Human history without becoming a "packrat" before she judges her, commenting that she maintains a bunker in Vermont in the event the Federation's "no money, socialist utopia thing" turned out to be a "fad". She notes one particular work as a fake – so she suggests La'an tell the Louvre to stop calling her about it. La'an tells her she can take it up with Captain Pike.

La'an and M'Benga in athletic wear

La'an spars with Dr. M'Benga

Afterward, she engages in a furious sparring match with Dr. M'Benga in the ship's gym. The doctor clearly sees something is on her mind, telling her to ease up before she takes his head off. He tries to reach her as her physician, but she pointedly replies he's not there as her physician; he amends by saying as her sparring partner, he advises her to talk to her physician. As she rushes at him, M'Benga uses her own energy to hurl her to the floor. He points out that she didn't attend the party for Una in the captain's quarters the previous evening. He can see what whatever she's dealing with alone seems to be "lonely", and it doesn't need to be. La'an doesn't reply, simply saying she would see him the next day.

As she patrols the decks, a strange light catches her eye, followed by a grey-suited Human staggering to the deck. As she demands to know who he is, she sees the bloodstain, and recognizes his injury as being from a bullet rather than a phaser. The grey-suited man says there has been "an attack" in the past, and urges La'an to stop it. He hands her a device from his pocket and tells her to get to the bridge, after which he dies. A wave of energy causes his body to disappear, followed by the klaxons signaling red alert. She makes her way to the bridge, approaching who she assumes is Captain Pike. But the man who turns in the chair is unfamiliar to her – and she to him: "Ma'am, not to be impolite, but who are you, and what the hell are you doing on my ship?"

Act One[]

Uhura reports that the nearby Vulcan ship is hailing them. The captain orders a channel open, identifying himself as James T. Kirk of the "United Earth Fleet ship Enterprise". La'an is surprised to see Spock on the viewer, identifying himself as captain of the Vulcan vessel Sh'Rel, and requesting assistance from the Earth vessel. Vulcan is in a losing war with the Romulan Star Empire, and quotes the Human adage that "the enemy of my enemy is my friend". Kirk replies that it was not the case here, as the UEF had its own problems with Romulus and could not afford to fight a war on two fronts. Spock pleads with him that without their aid, the last of the Vulcan fleet would be destroyed, and their homeworld would be defenseless. Kirk is apologetic, but is firm that there was nothing he could do, before having Uhura close the channel. All eyes then turn to La'an, who suggests she and Kirk should speak in private.

In the conference room, Kirk is incredulous at the idea that La'an is from some kind of alternate timeline, though he admits scientists have said the idea was possible. More likely, he thinks La'an is insane, except there is no record of her in the ship's database. La'an tries to explain about her own Enterprise, and her encounter with the grey-suited man who gave her the device and told her to go to the bridge. She suspects the man wanted Kirk to help her in some way, and points out Starfleet's protocols for dealing with such things. Kirk, however, has never heard of Starfleet, and demands she give the device over to be studied by UEF Command. La'an refuses, and Kirk attempts to take it from her. She activates the device, taking both of them off the ship.

Toronto Eaton Centre

La'an and Kirk emerge into downtown Toronto

Kirk and La'an materialize in unfamiliar territory, the captain jabbing at the device again trying to activate it, but it does not respond. He suspects it might be broken, but La'an thinks it brought them precisely where they needed to be – to stop the attack the grey-suited man had warned her about. Neither of them have any devices to aid them – no tricorder, communicator, or phaser – so La'an elects to scout ahead. It soon becomes clear they are on Earth; Kirk thinks they are in New York City in the 21st century, but La'an corrects him by pointing out that they were in Toronto, the largest city of what was known as Canada, known for "maple leaves, politeness, poutine". Kirk confesses he has never been to Earth, and that it was nothing like this in his timeline; he had been born in space aboard the USS Iowa, and Earth had first been a battleground, then occupied territory, and was now a ruin. Kirk shivers, wondering if it was always so cold on Earth. La'an is unfazed, saying it was not that bad for Canada, but it would get colder at night, and they had to change clothes before they froze.

La'an and Kirk go into a clothing store and find suitable attire to allow them to blend in, but discover that they still used money in this time, and would be caught if they tried to leave without paying. Kirk asks if La'an is a fast runner, but La'an has a better idea; taking an item from a nearby shelf, she slips it into the bag of a customer, who trips the alarm when she goes to leave. As the security guards take her to the side, La'an and Kirk make their exit. As they dispose of their uniforms, she warns they couldn't do that again, and Kirk suggests getting some money, asking if La'an had any marketable 21st century skills… before he spots something that gives him an idea. He engages in a series of chess matches, and proves to be a formidable player, earning a considerable amount.

As they walk away with their winnings, La'an is surprised, and Kirk can guess why: she doesn't think him a "thinking five steps ahead kind of guy". He admits he used to play with his first officer until she got tired of losing and has been looking for an opponent ever since. He finds the three-dimensional chess of his era more challenging, calling the standard two-dimensional board "idiot's chess". He then spots a hot dog stand and buys two, offering one to La'an, who refuses. He tries to make it an order, but she points out she is not part of his "United Earth Fleet". She is concerned with the circumstances, particularly given that they had nothing to go on. Why the two of them, why that place, and why that time? Kirk, however, is momentarily distracted by watching the setting sun; from the videos he saw, Earth was coated in a cloud of ash that wouldn't clear for a thousand years, and people lived on underground lunar colonies with no view of the Sun. He advises her not to skip on a good hot dog if she can help it, and she finally relents. As he takes a bite of his, Kirk enjoys his hot dog and suddenly feels the need to buy another.

Photonic bomb

La'an and Kirk witness the destruction of the Lake Ontario Bridge

That night, set up in a hotel, La'an is unable to sleep, looking out in the living room where Kirk is sleeping on the couch; he awakens when he realizes she is there. She seems to have something on her mind, but is unable to voice it before returning to bed. The following morning, La'an is attempting to put together a list of what she remembers of 21st century Earth history, but Kirk is nonchalant about it. He has a vague understanding of temporal science, knowing that they were at a fork in the road: repairing her timeline would end up destroying his, erasing his entire existence. While Earth is a ruin in his time, Humanity has settled on the Moon, Mars, Venus, and Europa, just to name a few. La'an wonders why he should be content with simply surviving; where she came from, Earth still had sunsets, and Humanity had spread out across dozens of worlds, part of a greater Federation. She concedes that 21st century Earth history was bad in her timeline too, but after first contact with the Vulcans, Earth became a paradise. She thinks him as being nothing but a soldier in a losing war, when he could be an explorer. Kirk wonders if he even exists in her timeline at all, but La'an knows that he does, having heard stories about him from his brother Sam. Kirk is stunned to hear that Sam is alive in her timeline. As this sinks in, the bridge over Lake Ontario suddenly explodes. La'an realizes this is what the grey-suited man meant by "get to the bridge".

Act Two[]

First Responders converge on the scene of the ruined bridge. Arriving, La'an realizes that this scene is familiar to her, and realizes it happened in her timeline. Kirk knows it happened in his, too: the largest suspension bridge ever built, destroyed just after it was complete. This was not the event they were sent to prevent, but La'an sees something from a piece of wreckage that gets her attention. Borrowing a camera from a nearby onlooker, she is able to see for herself. She tells Kirk the damage was from a photonic bomb, a weapon not supposed to be developed on Earth for at least another century. She suspects the bridge collapse may indeed be the work of the assassin they're hunting. The Toronto City Police load the chunk of rubble into a van, and Kirk knows they would not be able to follow on foot. La'an points out that vehicles in that era had private ownership, but Kirk is well aware.

Coming up to the driver of a Dodge Challenger Hellcat, Kirk applies the Vulcan neck pinch to disable him and takes the man's keys. La'an wonders where he learned to do that; Kirk replies he had spent six months in a Denobulan prison with a Vulcan cellmate, cheerfully adding that he could also make plomeek soup in the toilet. Unfamiliar at first with the 21st century vehicle's controls, Kirk eventually gets the hang of it and follows the van through Toronto as snow begins to fall. She urges him to drive slower, and more discreetly; he replies that "discreet" was basically his middle name, even as he drifts through the streets. La'an, however, has seen his personnel file, and remarks that "Tiberius" was probably the "least discreet middle name" she had heard. He defends it by saying it was his grandfather's name. He points out she does not have the most subtle name either – mistakenly referring to her as "La'an Noonien Soong." After correcting him, La'an is silent for a moment as she realizes he doesn't recognize her last name, remarking on her "infamous" lineage.

As they reach a police detour, the van suddenly turns without warning, forcing Kirk to take a "scenic route" through the city to intercept it. The high-speed pursuit earns the attention of the police. The van escapes, and the police apprehend Kirk for driving without a license and breaking traffic laws. Kirk protests that his license was in his "other pants". Meanwhile, the photographer from the bombing scene suddenly arrives, streaming the arrest live from her cellular phone as evidence of "police brutality". Just then, the police dispatcher calls for more assistance at the bomb site, and the police let Kirk off with a warning. La'an and Kirk introduce themselves to their rescuer, La'an using the name "Vanessa", while Kirk sticks to "Jim". The photographer, Sera, spoke out because she was also in pursuit of the van with the bombing evidence. It becomes clear to La'an and Kirk that Sera is some kind of conspiracy theorist, who believes the bridge attack was intended to force Humanity to back off from its plans of international cooperation instead of fighting extraterrestrial threats. Kirk tries to bluff by saying that his "wife" had been abducted. La'an, playing along, says she has, and has seen evidence of advanced technology beyond anything Humans possessed. She looks incredulously at him when Kirk outright asks about the photonic bomb.

As they proceed through the streets, Sera goes on with her belief that an international cabal is responsible for hiding evidence of alien attacks in order to steal their technology. She believes there is a facility somewhere in Toronto where they keep their stolen technology, powered by a cold fusion reactor, and that attacks had been going on for years intended to slow Human advancement. As they stop at a restaurant, La'an is uncertain what to make of Sera, thinking she is "unhinged". Kirk, while indulging a plate of poutine, is more understanding, pointing out that this was an era where Humans thought aliens were science fiction, but Sera knew in her gut they existed, and were not friendly. Sera returns a moment later, bringing her digital tablet, showing pictures of what she had uncovered. Kirk's attention is immediately seized by one picture, captured by an astronomer attempting to get a picture of the International Space Station. She also obtained surveillance footage from a hookah parlor near the bridge explosion site, showing a man in a dark suit waiting nearby, fifteen minutes before the blast… like he knew it was going to happen.

After they part ways, La'an admits to feeling sorry for Sera, being so close to the truth but without the proof she needed. Kirk, however, knows Sera was closer than she thought, pointing out the ship in the picture as a Romulan vessel, a Bird-of-Prey. He recalls what Sera had said about the cold fusion reactor in the city, because in a few days, it would be destroyed in a Romulan first strike that wiped out Toronto. They had to find it first. La'an concedes it would be trivial with a tricorder, and Kirk pointedly agrees that it would be, if someone (i.e. La'an) hadn't brought them back in time without one, and wonders if she learned any engineering courses at the Academy that would help them build one… and an engineer who wouldn't ask questions. Seeing a news report about unseasonable temperatures in Vermont, La'an recalls a conversation she had, and tells Kirk she knows one there.

La'an and Kirk arrive at "The Archeology Department", an antiques shop. Kirk is unsure what to make of it, but La'an asks him to trust her. Knocking on the door, the sound of breaking glass heralds none other than Pelia, who tells them in a sing-song voice that the store was closed. La'an tells her that they had driven all day, having to bribe a border guard and take several modes of transport to get there. She then surprises Pelia by identifying her by name, adding she was aware of her secret.

Act Three[]

La'an knows that Pelia is in fact a Lanthanite, not a Human at all, and that one of the paintings in her collection was in fact stolen from the Louvre. She had thought when Pelia had told her she worked at the "Archeology Department", it was at a university, but then discovered the antiques shop (Kirk remarking that someone at the Apple store had taught him to use "DuckDuckGo"). Without giving too much about herself away, La'an tells Pelia that they shared common knowledge that would break most people's perceptions about reality, and that she and her friend were on a mission to protect something "beautiful": the future of Humanity, something Pelia would know was incredibly fragile. Pelia concedes that "brain-melting secrets" were a good enough reason to help someone. But when La'an says she needed an engineer, Pelia is taken aback, remarking that she hadn't taken a math class "since Pythagoras made the crap up", and thought that cold fusion was fiction, like Bigfoot and lasers. Kirk points out that lasers were real, earning another rant from Pelia about how she couldn't keep up with Earth's scientific achievements. Kirk is bemused that this is the person who in two centuries would be the chief engineer of the Enterprise. La'an assures Pelia that they didn't need to understand cold fusion to detect its biproducts – excess heat, neutrons, and tritium. Pelia knows that tritium was used in diver's watches from the 1980s and may have some in the back. Kirk is convinced that whatever Pelia comes up with is bound to be "insane".

Examining the watches, La'an knows tritium gives off small amounts of radiation, and that the dials of the watch were coated in a reactive material, like phosphor. Kirk also knows tritium has a short half-life, so it would decay. La'an pries off the glass casing covering the watch in her hand, as they both realize that if the reactive materials of the watches were exposed to tritium, the hands would glow. La'an thanks Pelia for her help, thinking her more of an engineer than she thinks. Pelia is inspired by this, thinking it would be nice to have an honest living – not that any of the items she had were stolen, she adds firmly.

La'an and Kirk return to Toronto, where they have been wandering the streets for hours, with no sign of anything glowing. Kirk wonders why he couldn't have worn the watch, thinking it was a "man's watch"; La'an jokes that he just wanted to be in charge. She admits that if she had been in his place, she would not have gone along with it, and believes it was better with him there. Kirk concedes that if there was one timeline that could be saved, he'd like to live in hers instead, though he knows that was not how temporal mechanics worked. But La'an wonders, what if he could? Kirk is not so sure, thinking one timeline would not be big enough for two of him, but La'an is serious, wondering if perhaps the device could bring them both back to her timeline. She confesses she finds people "difficult" and admits to being lonely. She has felt the weight of her heritage her entire life, and thinks she is letting that go; it helped that Kirk had never even heard of the "scarlet letter" she had carried her whole life, before explaining about The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, a story about a woman marked her whole life, like the mark of Cain. When he again shows incomprehension, she is incredulous, before he reveals that he has read Hawthorne and the Old Testament of the Bible. He then kisses her, and after a moment, she returns it. He then points out the hands on her watch were glowing; they were close.

Entering a nearby building, they are certain the reactor is close by, moving out of a sight when a man approaches, using a handprint scanner to access a nearby locked room. Kirk wonders if they should wait for someone to approach or come out, and force their hand onto the scanner, but La'an sees a sign that indicates they might not need to: the Noonien-Singh Institute for Cultural Advancement. Taking a gamble, La'an places her hand on the scanner, and it unlocks the door. She suspects a marker in her DNA grants her access to the building's security.

A gun cocking behind them heralds the arrival of Sera, who now looks deadly serious. She chides herself for taking so long to recognize Kirk. While she was not behind the bridge bombing, everything she had said about slowing Human advancement was true – her people had been doing so for many years. Kirk realizes Sera is a Romulan and compliments her on the "hell of a job" she did on her disguise. Sera admits she wasn't quite used to the ears, before ordering them to take her inside. Kirk refuses, saying that if she shot them, the building's alarms would go off, and security would seal the building. Sera thinks he's bluffing. "Try me," is Kirk's reply. Sera shoots him in the chest, and he collapses to the floor. As he predicted, the alarms go off. La'an pleads with Kirk to stay with her, but as he dies, he tells her to say hello to Sam for him. Sera concedes it was impulsive on her part, but it was worth it to be the one to kill James T. Kirk. When La'an rushes to attack her, Sera grabs her by the throat and pushes her through the unlocked door.

Act Four[]

Sera pushes La'an through the corridors, shooting down any who try to stop her. La'an points out that security would not allow her to get near the reactor now, but Sera has changed the plan. Destroying the reactor was "plan A", and now they were going to "plan B", heading towards the building's genetics labs. As they reach a nearby locked room, La'an is stunned to see the nameplate on the door, as well as child's drawings on the walls. La'an realizes that Sera intends to kill Khan Noonien Singh and demands to know why. Sera replies, without irony, that a computer simulation told her to, explaining that time was too complex to leave to intuition, so the Romulans had built computers to calculate results of changes in the timeline. She points out that Khan becomes a brutal tyrant, though perhaps Humanity needed the "dark age" he brought in to reach its own enlightenment, or perhaps it was just random. Either way, Khan's death would ensure the Federation would never form, and the Romulans would lose their greatest adversary. Sera rages that entire Temporal Wars have been fought trying to change these events; she herself arrived in 1992 trying to eliminate Khan, and she has been trapped on Earth for thirty years – and now she is taking her chance. La'an tells Sera her real name, that Khan is her ancestor, and that his legacy was genocide, torture… and La'an herself. Sera points out that the device in La'an's pocket protected her from changes in the timeline; if Khan died now, she could live whatever life she wanted, and never hear Khan's name again.

La'an turns, as if to approach the door… then whirls, disarming Sera, and engaging her in hand-to-hand combat. The Romulan's strength is greater, and she forces La'an's hand onto the scanner. But as the door opens, La'an re-engages, until she is able to get hold of Sera's gun, shooting her twice. Falling to the floor, Sera presses a point on her neck, and her body disintegrates, leaving no trace she was ever there. The device in her pocket activates, which would allow her to return to her own time… but curiosity sets in, and La'an enters Khan's room, finding drawings of advanced equations and cityscapes on the walls. A fearful voice asks if she was going to kill him, and La'an finds herself face-to-face with her infamous ancestor, Khan Noonien Singh, who appears exactly as he was at that time: a scared child. La'an assures him that she would not hurt him, and asks if he was alone, or if there were others like him. Khan gestures to a photo on the wall of himself and other children. He then asks if she was going to take him away. La'an tells him that it may not make sense to him, then or maybe ever, but he was where he needed to be.

La'an steps outside Khan's room as security approaches, and activates the device, which takes her back to the Enterprise. She returns to the bridge, finding it as familiar as she expected; as La'an had earlier told her to do, Pelia is speaking with Pike and Una about the Louvre's demand for the return of its artifacts, saying the statute of limitations had long run out. Una wonders if there was a statute of limitations on "plundered antiquities". Seeing La'an, Pike wonders if Starfleet Security might want to weigh in on the topic. La'an, somewhat wrong-footed after her recent experience, says she would let this one slide. Pike notes she was out of uniform and asks if something was wrong. La'an replies nothing was wrong, that she had needed to check on something, and now she had.

As La'an returns to her quarters to change, someone else is there: Agent Ymalay from the Department of Temporal Investigations, a Federation agency monitoring changes in the timeline, who thanks her for her assistance. La'an likely hadn't heard of them because they didn't exist yet in the 23rd century. La'an produces the device given to her by the grey-suited man, whom Ymalay confirms was a DTI agent. She emphasizes that La'an is not to reveal any of what she experienced to anyone, not even Captain Pike. La'an is upset at the idea of having gone back to protect a mass murderer, having had to kill to protect him, and watching a friend die. Ymalay calmly tells her that none of that was supposed to happen at all and points out that she had protected the timeline in a way no one else could have, asking if she was willing to undo that. La'an admits she wouldn't. Ymalay again thanks her for her assistance, before asking for the device to be returned to her. As she takes it, she examines the time stream, before she departs.

Sitting alone in her quarters for a moment, La'an removes the watch she had taken from Pelia's shop, before moving over to her bed and opening a communication to the USS Farragut – the ship where James T. Kirk was serving as a lieutenant. She identifies herself as the security chief on the Enterprise, leading Kirk to wonder what his brother Sam had done this time. La'an bluffs by saying she was trying to get some biographical data for Sam's security file, saying she was a stickler for keeping an orderly security record. Kirk offers the "real dirt" on Sam if she buys him a drink next time that they're at a starbase. After signing off, La'an breaks down in tears.

Memorable quotes[]

"May I inquire as to who filed this noise complaint against me?"
"It was anonymous."
"I shall make every effort to practice less vigorously going forward."

- Spock, after Noonien-Singh informs him that someone has complained of the sound of his Vulcan lute


"Ma'am, not be impolite, but who are you and what the hell are you doing on my ship?"

- Kirk, to Noonien-Singh after she comes onto the bridge of the UEF Enterprise in an alternate timeline


"Do you have a tricorder?"
"No! Or a communicator or a phaser! Thanks for that."

- Noonien-Singh and Kirk, when they arrive in 2022


"Seems to be New York City. Mid-21st century."
"What?"
"What?"
"It's Toronto. The biggest city in what used to be called Canada? You know, maple leaves, politeness, poutine."

- Kirk and Noonien-Singh


"That old-fashioned, two-dimensional version, though, it's basically idiot's chess."

- Kirk, after winning a lot of money playing outdoor chess


"Just so you're aware, this is streaming live. Say hello to the entire, very judgmental Internet."

- Sera, persuading Toronto City Police officers to let Kirk go

"Drive more carefully in the future."

- Toronto City Police Officer Klauss, giving Kirk advice that he will not follow


"Wait, poutine has gravy? This is amazing!"

- Kirk


"I haven't taken a math class since Pythagoras made the crap up!"

- Pelia


"OK, a little impulsive on my part but maybe worth it to be the one to kill James T. Kirk."

- Sera, after shooting and killing Kirk


"Are you gonna kill me?"
"No, of–of course not. I… you don't need to be scared of me. Come here. You're just a little boy."

- Khan Noonien Singh, meeting La'an Noonien-Singh

Log entries[]

  • "Security officer's log, stardate 1581.2. Nobody told me when I took this assignment just how many friends it would make for me. It is a well-known fact that people love it when you bring them bad news. And quite frankly, who doesn't find having their belongings searched endearing?"

Background information[]

Title[]

Cast and characters[]

Production[]

  • Photos of Paul Wesley and Christina Chong filming this episode on location in Toronto were leaked to the press in March 2022. [1] [2]
  • Paul Wesley was appreciative of the choice to have the episode be set in Toronto itself, saying: "Oftentimes, you're filming in Toronto and they're like, 'We're gonna pretend it's New York City.' Well, they actually landed in Toronto, which is awesome." [3]
  • Showrunner Akiva Goldsman revealed that the episode was initially supposed to be set in NYC, when originally conceived: "We wrote it for New York, right? We were gonna do this giant spectacle and take the show to New York, and we quickly realized we could not afford it. So then we went through the process of doing that thing that everybody does, which is, well, how do we make Toronto look like New York? And then we sort of thought, 'Huh, why don't we just let Toronto be Toronto?' And that was fun for us and probably lower impact on the city than you might imagine. So, you know, I don't think it was like trying to film 'Star Trek' in Times Square." [4]
  • Graphic designer Timothy Peel has revealed that none of the animated advertisements or news feeds seen in Toronto were rooted in real world products or events. "We had to replace any signage that could be a legal issue. We do this for many ad filled locations that feature wide establishing shots, like Times Square, Piccadilly, or Shibuya. Star Trek is no exception… Fun times creating fictional CP24 style news feeds…:)" [5] However, many fixed signs advertising real-world businesses or institutions are visible in the location shots, including for Toronto Eaton Centre, the Royal Alexandra Theatre, the Harbourfront Centre, Ryerson University (since renamed Toronto Metropolitan University), CIBC, Dollarama, and several more. The Roots clothing store in the Eaton Centre, identifiable on screen by tags on the clothing being sold, was also used for filming.
  • The filming of the car chase was accomplished using AR walls and a stationary car. Wesley and Chong recalled experiencing motion sickness due to the disorienting effect of the technology. [6]

Continuity[]

  • This episode is the first to definitively establish the prime James T. Kirk's hometown as Riverside, Iowa. Kirk had been associated with Iowa since Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, and Star Trek had previously established Riverside as the hometown of the alternate reality James T. Kirk.
    • Like the alternate reality James T. Kirk, this alternate timeline's Kirk is also born in space, rather than on Earth (though on the USS Iowa rather than the USS Kelvin).
      • The alternate timeline Kirk being born on the USS Iowa is likely to be a reference to the original plan for the alternate reality Kirk to have been born on a ship by the same name before ultimately being changed to the USS Kelvin. [7]
  • The male agent from the Department of Temporal Investigations shows La'an a holographic TCARS interface, similar to the one first seen in VOY: "Relativity".
  • La'an indicates that Canada is no longer referred to as such by the 23rd century, despite references in other shows that refer to Canada by name (e.g. TOS: "The Trouble with Tribbles" and TNG: "Lower Decks"). However, she may be referring to the fact that Canada, as part of United Earth, no longer exists as a nation state, meaning that the name is likely still used as a geographical signifier.
  • This version of Kirk's proficiency for chess becomes instrumental for getting them access to local currency. According to this version of Kirk, his proficiency is derived from his familiarity with Three-dimensional chess, a skill that was often displayed with the Prime Timeline version of Kirk in the TOS episodes "Where No Man Has Gone Before" and "Charlie X" where he would often beat Spock.
  • La'an shows disapproval at this version of Kirk's methods of driving. This is similar to how in TOS: "A Piece of the Action", Spock was shown to be equally critical of Kirk's driving skills. In Star Trek, a young Kirk is also pulled over by police for reckless driving.
  • This episode notes that multiple temporal incursions have shifted the chronological events of the Eugenics Wars from the mid-1990s, where they were first established by TOS: "Space Seed". Now, the Eugenics Wars apparently happen in the mid-21st century.
    • Aaron Waltke, executive producer of Star Trek: Prodigy, had previously offered a similar explanation for the confusing placement of the Eugenics Wars, saying that "the ripples of the Temporal Cold War [shifted] the prime timeline in Enterprise." [8]
    • This supports (and explains) the reference to the Eugenics Wars and World War III being the same conflict as indicated in the episode "Strange New Worlds".
    • Retroactively, and in a more profound sense, the fact the timeline has shifted due to incursions also serves to explain character and technological differences seen over the years in the various prequel series, plus the fact that in the original "Space Seed", no one seems familiar with Khan, despite his own descendant having been an Enterprise officer who served (or shared adventures with) Kirk, Spock and Uhura and episodes of SNW indicating the Khan name is well-remembered.
  • Kirk recognizes the starship in Sera's photograph as a Romulan Bird-of-Prey, but La'an does not. This adheres to the canon established in TOS: "Balance of Terror" (and again in "A Quality of Mercy") that prime timeline Starfleet has not yet encountered this ship class and would not formally do so until the Neutral Zone Incursion of 2266.
    • In a similar vein, La'an chronologically becomes the second Starfleet officer after Pike to knowingly come face-to-face with a Romulan. However, beyond making a reference to having altered her ears, Sera's Human disguise prevents La'an from becoming aware of the Romulan/Vulcan physical similarity.
  • Kirk assumes at first that he and La'an have landed in New York City. Prime Kirk later finds himself in the real New York City in TOS: "The City on the Edge of Forever".
  • Some aspects of the story parallel both TOS: "The City on the Edge of Forever" and TAS: "Yesteryear", as well as Season 2 of Star Trek: Picard:
    • A change in the timeline results in a sudden personnel change on the Enterprise – most notably the fact Spock is no longer a crew member. ("Yesteryear")
    • Similar to in PIC: "Penance", the change occurs in the 2020's and results in the United Federation of Planets no longer existing.
    • Kirk and La'an find themselves in a public place dressed in uniform and realize quickly that they need to obtain modern-day clothes. They do so by stealing them. ("The City on the Edge of Forever")
    • Kirk and La'an encounter law enforcement and attempt to explain themselves (only unlike Kirk and Spock in "The City on the Edge of Forever", Sera assists).
    • Kirk and La'an find themselves at a "fixed point in time" that must not be altered. Both cases required a World War to proceed as history recorded ("The City on the Edge of Forever")
    • La'an encounters Khan, her young ancestor, much as Spock encountered his younger self in "Yesteryear".
    • La'an's newfound romance with Earthfleet Kirk is cut short by his death, much as Kirk lost Edith Keeler ("The City on the Edge of Forever")
    • Although without any apparent impact to the timeline, at least two Humans are killed by Sera in the past; in "The City on the Edge of Forever", a 20th century man dies when he accidentally shoots himself with a phaser, but this has no apparent impact on the timeline, either.
    • In addition, the idea of seeking out a long-lived crewmate who is expected to be on Earth in the past parallels how Guinan was utilized in both TNG: "Time's Arrow" and Season 2 of Star Trek: Picard.
    • This is also the first of two times that Kirk has been one half of a doomed relationship because of time travel that ended in the death of one partner, in this case, the male (Kirk).

Apocrypha[]

  • By coincidence or by design, this episode bears some similarities to the 1985 novel Killing Time, which also features Romulans attempting to prevent the existence of the Federation through means of temporal sabotage. In that telling, the Romulans circa 2269 dispatch android agents to assassinate Humans who were crucial to the founding of the Federation in 2097, but Vulcan still ended up founding the Interstellar Alliance of Planets, including Humans as members and holding the Romulans' ambitions of conquest at bay. The Alliance fleet's counterpart to the USS Enterprise is the VSS ShiKahr, commanded by Spock, with Kirk as a disgraced ensign. When the Romulan project is discovered to threaten the unraveling of spacetime, Spock and Kirk travel back in time to ensure the correct course of history.
  • This episode also shares some similarities to the novella "A Less Perfect Union", part of the 2008 anthology Infinity's Prism. In that story's parallel reality, John Frederick Paxton successfully attacked San Francisco in 2155, prompting United Earth to withdraw from the Coalition of Planets, whose members instead go on to form the Interstellar Coalition. The Romulans decline to wage war against the weaker Coalition in the 22nd century, instead taking action a century later when Earth is finally on the verge of the joining the Coalition. Spock does not exist, but in 2264, Pike commands the UESS Enterprise, with Kirk as XO.

Links and references[]

Starring[]

And

Special guest star[]

Guest starring[]

And

Co-starring[]

Uncredited co-stars[]

Stunt doubles[]

  • Josslyn Farrow as stunt double for Adelaide Kane
  • Laiko Foroughi as stunt double for Christina Chong
  • Mike Joseph as stunt double for Babs Olusanmokun
  • Kaanchana Kerr as stunt double for Christina Chong
  • Unknown stunt performer as stunt double for Paul Wesley

References[]

& Juliet; 166 Pearl Street; 1932; 1980s; 1992; 1999; 2022; 21st century; 22nd century; 9-1-1; Adidas; alley; American; Anubis; Apple; archaeology department; Archeology Department, The; artifact; assassin; astronomer; Atlantic, The; attack; attorney; Audi Q7; augment; axe; axe murderer; Bay Street; Bible; Bigfoot; blood; Blood Train; bollard; bridge (location); bridge (structure); brother; bullet; bunker; bunny suit; cadet; Cadillac Fairview; Canada; Canadian dollar; Canon; captain; captain's quarters; cardboard box; Casablanca Tobacconist, The; cement mixer; Chelsea Hotel; Chernobyl; chess; Chevrolet Cruze; CIBC; Cineplex; civil rights; CN Tower; cold fusion reactor; Concert, The; Constitution-class; cotton candy; crap; Croissant Express Cafe; Denobulan; Denobulan matriarch; Denobulan prison; Department of Temporal Investigations; dial-up; DiCharri Brandy; directory; divers' watch; doctor; Dodge Challenger Hellcat; Dodge Grand Caravan; Dollarama; Dr. Keeler; DuckDuckGo; Dundas Street; dumpster; ear; Earth; economic calamity; Empire Sandy; engineer; ensign; Entera; Enterprise, UEF; Enterprise, USS; equipment; Europa; explorer; fad; Farragut, USS; FDNY; Federation; fire extinguisher; first contact; Foot Locker; Ford Crown Victoria; Ford EcoSport; Ford Escape; Ford E-Series; Ford Focus; Ford Taurus; Freshii; friend; Gain; genomics; Gettysburg Address; gift; glass; graffiti; grandfather; gravy; Greater Toronto Newscast; H&M; half-life; hand grenade; handheld time travel device; Harbourfront Centre; Hawthorne, Nathaniel; head; Heineken; hell; Hitachi; Honda Civic; hot dog; Human history; hybrid; Illyrian; INS Market; International Space Station; Internet; Iowa; Iowa, USS; iPhone 13 Pro; jersey; JFK; John Street; Jump; Kajama; Kerathanol; Kingston; Kirk, George; Kirk, George Samuel; Kirk, Tiberius; Kirk, Winona; Kirk's Vulcan cellmate; Lake Ontario Bridge; Lakeshore East; Lakeview, The; Lanthanite; law enforcement; lieutenant; lieutenant commander; Lincoln, Abraham; Louvre; Luna; Luna Shipyards; lunar habitat; ma'am; maple leaf; Mark of Cain; Mars; math class; matriarch; meme; Mercedes-Benz GLK 350; Metro Centre; Metro Hall; Milestones Grill and Bar; Milky Way Galaxy; Mill Street Brewery; minibar; The Monet Family in Their Garden at Argenteuil; Montpelier; Montreal; natural disaster; neutron; New York City; noise complaint; Noonien-Singh Institute for Cultural Advancement; Northern Spirit; Old Testament; Ontario; op-ed; Ottawa; pack rat; pallet; parents; past; Pearl Street; phaser; phosphor; photonic bomb; physician; Pilsner; pistol; Plomeek soup; Popeyes; Princess of Wales Theatre; Propritrolix; provenance; poutine; Pythagoras; Quebec; Queen's Quay Hair Design + Esthetic radiation; RBC; Red House Music Academy; revolving door; ring; Ritz-Carlton, The; Riverside; Rogers Centre; Romulan; Romulan Bird-of-Prey (unnamed); Romulan Star Empire; Romulus; Roots; Royal Alexandra Theatre; Ryerson University; Samsung; scalpel; scarlet letter; Scarlet Letter, The; security officer's log; shower; Sh'Rel; Simcoe Street; Singin' in the Rain; socialist; Sol; sonic shower; space; sparring partner; Spring Sushi; stardate; Starfleet; Starfleet Academy; Starfleet uniform; streaming; Subaru Outback; superior officer; Tampax; temporal mechanics; Tenor, The; Three Eyed Goat IPA; Ticonderoga; Tim Hortons; time travel; toilet; Toronto; Toronto City Hall; Toronto City Police; Toronto Eaton Centre; Toronto Fire; Toronto Maple Leafs; Toronto Odyssey; T'Plana-type; traffic light; transporter buffer; transporter room; tricorder; tritium; Toyota Tacoma; Toyota RAV4; Tunguska; UEF Command; Underbelly Bourbon; United Earth Fleet (aka UEF); United Earth Fleet uniform; utopia; UPS; Venus; Vermont; Vermont Taxi; video; Volvo; Volvo XC90; Vulcan (planet); Vulcan (species); Vulcan lute; Vulcan uniform; Walking On A Cloud; Walrus Pub & Beer Hall; wallet; watch dial; Wellington Street; Winners; wristwatch; year; Yonge Street

Meta references[]

Black Lips; Home Of Happy, The; "Modern Art"; Molly; "This Is It"

External links[]

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"Ad Astra per Aspera"
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds
Season 2
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"Among the Lotus Eaters"
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