Star Trek Time travel episodes are always fun, right? That’s what I love about Strange New Worlds. One week it can be a serious courtroom drama, and here it’s an entertaining (if imperfect) time travel adventure. But whenever a show goes to the past, it’s certain to look to its past. Especially with Captain Kirk (Paul Wesley) in this week’s Strange New Worlds “Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow“. There were tons of nods and references to the franchise’s past.
Join me today as we dissect the “Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow” Easter Eggs, and get some potentially massive hints as to where the rest of the series could be headed. Plenty to talk about and no time to waste!
A Normal Archaeologist
The “Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow” Easter Eggs begin from the very first scenes! New engineer Pelia (Carol Kane) is found with centuries of priceless artworks. We learn that as a Lanthanite, she probably collected it all herself. Her age is a bit of a mystery, though. She mentions learning from Pythagoras. Assuming that’s not a joke, that would make her at least 2700 years old on the USS Enterprise. She’s clearly led a very long varied life. Between maths, art collecting, and being an engineer aboard a starship, she really has done it all.
By the time we meet up with her on the Enterprise, she’s managed to acquire quite the collection! Among the paintings is an actual stolen artwork – Johannes Vermeer’s “The Concert”. It’s perhaps the most valuable missing item in the world, and Star Trek implying that Carol Kane is responsible is very funny. A big missed opportunity was not including the other artworks stolen in the same heist, which would just make it even funnier.
Another painting we can see is The Monet Family in Their Garden at Argenteuil by Edouard Manet. This one’s currently safe and sound in New York. So perhaps Pelia’s thieving habit wasn’t quite over after the events of this episode. Speaking of her lifestyle changes, we don’t know what made her want to become an engineer again, but there is a chance it was her encounter with Kirk and La’An (Christina Chong).
In Some Other Lifetime, Captain Kirk
The big drawcard for this episode was the first non-cameo appearance from Captain Kirk in the series. We’ve all been waiting in anticipation to see what they’d do with him, and there’s not enough here for me to see Paul Wesley as Kirk yet. I feel we need to spend more time with him, in the prime timeline, to care. On the bright side, the United Earth Fleet is hardly the Terran Empire, and there is a little common ground.
For starters, Kirk’s still not a great driver. We first saw his inability to drive a car in “A Piece of the Action”, and we get a small callback to that as he again puts the car in reverse here. Before he gets into the car, he also does the iconic Vulcan nerve pinch, which doesn’t feel right without a Spock (Ethan Peck) in his life. However, we remedy this with a reference to time spent in a Denobulan prison with a Vulcan cellmate. This is where referencing Sybok wouldn’t have gone amiss for me, making the most of an alternate timeline.
We also see Kirk briefly interact with Spock at the beginning, but it’s clear these versions aren’t familiar with one another. This other Kirk also mentions serving with a female first officer, who I assume was Number One (Rebecca Romijn), but this is not specified. Together, Kirk and this mystery first officer played 3-D chess. We were first introduced to Kirk and Spock playing chess together in “Where No Man Has Gone Before“, in the first scene of the first episode.
“Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow” Easter Eggs didn’t have as much to say about modern society as Deep Space Nine’s “Past Tense”. Outside of a short scene about police issues, which was far better done in the second season of Picard, there’s not much in the way of social commentary. It does, however, have quite a lot to say about the increasingly complex Star Trek timeline, trying to rewrite some of the history we’ve learned over the years.
The 1990s are over, and we’re now in the 2020s. There has, as of yet, been no World War 3 or Eugenics Wars. All of this is supposed to be happening around now. So Strange New Worlds is using time travel to move these events forward. While we don’t know exactly when Kirk and La’An landed, it looks to be around now, and Khan is now a child. The debate around killing baby Khan, as well as the utopia that would grow from the ashes of his reign of terror, is perhaps the most Star Trek thing in the episode.
The whole thing makes for some lovely character moments for La’An. She’s an intriguing character, and her connection to her ancestry has made for some cool viewing in the past. It’s obvious from her attitude in the sparring scene at the start (where you can actually see what looks to be a Federation issue Bat’leth!) that she’s bothered and feeling isolated. I hope her decision not to protect the young Khan here has gone some way to help her accept all of who she is.
New Trek is no stranger to time travelers. We’ve had Time Crystals in Discovery and earlier episodes of Strange New Worlds. Season 2 of Picard also featured the Travellers, the same group as Gary Seven (Robert Lansing) in The Original Series. The time traveler at the start of this episode (Christopher Wyllie) is dressed similarly to Seven. However, he’s got a holographic device that tells us he’s connected to something far deeper.
And more great “Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow” Easter Eggs in the shape of the TCARS system, similar to the LCARS operating system. This was first seen in an episode of Voyager called “Relativity“. Given the USS Relativity from that episode was based in the 29th century, it follows that these agents are from around that era as well. I really wish we got more specific timeframes of when Kirk and La’An landed and where the agents are from.
At the end of the episode, these agents are revealed to be working for the Department of Temporal Investigations. Like TCARS, they also have their roots in 90s Trek. This time though from Deep Space Nine in “Trials and Tribble-ations“. Given the appearance of Agent Ymalay (Allison Wilson-Forbes) at the end and the lore dump that followed, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see them again.
A New Temporal War?
While we don’t know if this is the same war from Enterprise, as I mentioned earlier, it’s not explicitly mentioned when these agents are from. I would love some eventual closure on Future Guy from earlier episodes of the series. While the showrunners have since stated that the intention was for this character to be Archer (Scott Bakula), this never materialized onscreen. It’s entirely possible, if this is the same war here, that Future Guy is a Romulan.
The inclusion of the Romulan Sera (Adelaide Kane) here was an interesting one. I’d love for this character, despite her disintegration, to hopefully get a little more depth. When dealing with time travel, anything’s possible, and this is definitely a plotline worth keeping an eye on. Interestingly, her killing of the alternate Kirk could be read as a mirror of the “Balance of Terror“. Where despite Kirk’s attempts at diplomacy, he is killed, as opposed to the eventual respect earned between Kirk and the Commander (Mark Lenard) in TOS.
It’s worth noting that Kirk is set to have a recurring role this season, and there’s no real place for prime Kirk on the Enterprise as it stands now. We got a small glimpse of him at the end of this episode, but the writers have to be very careful to keep continuity when it comes to using him. What if this temporal war is eventually fought over him becoming the captain of the Enterprise? This could also feed into the series arc of Pike’s looming fate as well, perhaps becoming overwritten slightly.
Looking Forward to “Among the Lotus Eaters“
This week’s new episode looks to be playing with memory, which could lead to some interesting character moments for the away team. Speaking of the away team, the costume design for them really looks next level. It’s a bit more realistic than the more fantastical costumes we got last season, but it’s a breath of fresh air compared to the regular Starfleet uniforms.
There’s something about a castle as well, with the Starfleet insignia as well. Just what Starfleet has to do with the events here raises a lot of questions. We know that Reed Birney is guest-starring as Luq. He could be the ghost from Pike’s past mentioned in the synopsis. I’m not sure how it all blends into an hour of television, but it looks like an absolute delight.
That was everything I noticed in the latest episode of Strange New Worlds “Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow“. While it was imperfect, with an underdeveloped romance and unrealized potential for social commentary, it was more than watchable. What did you make of the episode? Was there anything I missed? I’m looking forward to talking about next week’s episode a lot. Playing with memory and a medieval-style setting is bound to be a lot of fun.
Where to Watch
Season 2 of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds airs on Thursdays exclusively on Paramount+. New episodes drop weekly on Paramount+ in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Latin America, France, Germany, Brazil, South Korea (via Tving), France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland & Austria. As well as CTV Scifi / Crave in Canada, and TVNZ in New Zealand. It also airs on SkyShowtime in the Nordics, the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, and Central and Eastern Europe.
More From Trek Central
Join the Star Trek conversation via our social media platforms:
- Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/TrekCentral
- Instagram – https://instagram.com/TrekCentral
- Twitter – https://twitter.com/TheTrekCentral
- YouTube – https://youtube.com/TheTrekCentral
- Mastodon – https://mastodon.social/@TrekCentral@universeodon.com
- Discord – https://discord.gg/fF2heMbfW8
- Twitch – https://Twitch.tv/TrekCentral