‘Strange New Worlds’ season finale: Unbalance of terror
"A Quality of Mercy" uses visions of the future to tell Strange New Worlds‘ first quasi-time-travel story, which is the vehicle for a parable about one man coming to terms with his personally awful fate, which he must willingly choose to accept. It cleverly frames its events from a possible alternate future based on a classic TOS episode and asks the question: What if the fact of our mere presence in a situation were destined to have catastrophic consequences, almost regardless of our actions?
The result is perhaps the best SNW episode of the season, which uses callbacks and nostalgia effectively but without compromising the straightforward effectiveness of the story at hand, which is about Pike learning that his attempt to outsmart his fate may have even more dire consequences for the Federation and those closest to him.
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