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STAR TREK: STRANGE NEW WORLDS: Episode 105: “Spock Amok”

"Radical Empathy"

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What You Need To Know:

“Spock Amok,” the fifth episode of STAR TREK: STRANGE NEW WORLDS on Paramount Plus, has Spock torn between pursuing his Starfleet career or making his fiancé T’Pring happy. Moreover, Spock’s emotional half-human side impairs his ability to wield “Vulcan Logic.” Spock convinces T’Pring there’s a way to mend their long-distance relationship. The duo performs a Vulcan telepathy ritual for better mutual understanding. However, the ritual goes haywire and causes both users to transfer their minds into the other person’s body. Meanwhile, Captain Pike needs Spock’s help convincing a strange humanoid race to join the Federation instead of the Klingons or Romulans.

“Spock Amok'' is an emotional, comedic triumph. It harbors healthy romantic advice for engaged couples. Spock commits to being honest about his shortcomings and literally stepping into his future wife’s perspective. Spock and his fiancée learn how to navigate between emotion and cold Vulcan logic. “Spock Amok” is a fun episode about successfully interacting with other people. However, it has some violence, brief foul language and a reference to bisexual dating. So, MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution for older children for “Spock Amok.”

Content:

(CC, BB, Ho, Ev, L, V, S, N, M):

Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
Strong redemptive, moral worldview includes a positive reference to Christmas and extols the ideals/virtues of duty and sacrifice and especially empathy and honesty in multiple relationships, such as an engaged couple works through some personal issues while trying to understand each other better, there are diplomacy sessions between the Federation and an alien race that relies on empathy and honesty (a character mentions that the aliens have a theory about empathy that he describe as “radical empathy”), Mr. Spock learns to accept his heritage as half-human and half-Vulcan, Spock’s fiancée learns it isn’t easy being in her fiance’s scientific shoes and his commitment to duty and service, and a spaceship’s “First Mate” or “Number One” bonds with the ship’s security officer as they try to understand a game that the people under them are playing during a shore leave, plus there’s a reference to bisexual dating and an insulting reference to false evolution theories when an alien bad guy mocks a human woman because humans “evolved” from apes

Foul Language:
Four “h” obscenities, two “d” obscenities and no profanities

Violence:
Light violence includes Human Spock battles against Vulcan Spock in a fierce duel in a nightmare, a nurse slaps Spock in the face to teach him relationship advice, a Vulcan diplomat punches a criminal in the face and knocks him unconscious to put him into a futuristic rehabilitation treatment program, two Vulcans reverse a “mind meld” mistake inside a medical bay but the procedure exerts great pain on them, security officer fires her laser gun, set on stun, into a higher ranking officer’s shoulder as part of a game

Sex:
Implied fornication between two “engaged” Vulcan characters, the two Vulcans kiss passionately inside an Enterprise room, the two Vulcans are cuddled in bed together at the end of the episode, and a man at a bar tells woman she’s “hot” and she suggests they go somewhere else

Nudity:
A male Vulcan takes off his shirt right before the credits roll

Alcohol Use:
Alcohol use at a futuristic bar in two scenes

Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
No smoking or drugs; and,

Miscellaneous Immorality:
Some talk about “breaking the rules” and a spaceship’s first mate and its security officer separately interrogate two rambunctious ensigns (the security officer plays the “bad cop” to the other’s “good cop”).

More Detail:

“Spock Amok,” the fifth episode of STRANGE NEW WORLDS, has Mr. Spock torn between pursuing his Starfleet career or making his fiancée T’Pring happy. The story opens with Spock, as a human, dueling against his Vulcan self to marry T’Pring. Spock wakes up from the nightmare and discovers his wife is on board the Enterprise. Meanwhile, the Enterprise ship undergoes lengthy repairs at a Federation starbase. Most of Spock’s crewmates go on “shore leave” or vacation.

Spock goes to Nurse Chapel for “girlfriend” advice. She tells him he needs to be honest with his future wife. T’Pring tells Spock he’s leaning too far on his vulnerable “half human” side. Spock convinces her he can mend their waning, long-distance relationship. The duo performs a Vulcan telepathy ritual for better mutual understanding. However, the ritual goes haywire and causes both users to transfer their minds into the other person’s body. Spock’s mind inhabits T’Pring’s body while T’Pring’s mind inhabits his body.

In the B-plot, Lieutenants Number One and Noonien-Singh play “Enterprise Bingo” to pass the time on board. The other crew mates joke that Number One can’t enjoy anything “fun.” The two women apprehend two ensigns in the brig, experiment with the teleporters, and walk on top of the ship’s exterior. Both ladies prove they’re are more than just “[the place] where fun goes to die.”

Meanwhile, Captain Pike enters negotiations with the Rongovian alien race. He tries to convince them to join the Federation instead of siding with the Klingons or Romulans.

With the discussions on the brink of failure, Pike learns about Spock and T’Pring’s accidental mind swap. He enlists T’Pring’s control of Spock’s body to patch up the negotiations. Moreover, Spock’s control of T’Pring’s must negotiate with Vulcan diplomat Barjan over the sentence of a high valued prisoner. Barjan admits his distaste for T’Pring’s high tolerance of humans and their low-level emotions. Enraged, Spock uses T’Pring’s body to punch the ambassador in the face, justifying it as “a logical choice.”

Back on the Enterprise, Pike plays a hunch against the Rongovian diplomat. The Captain correctly figures out that the aliens “just wanted to be understood.” Pike appeals to their emotions and almost gives the Federation Admiral a heart attack.

“Spock Amok” is an emotional, comedic triumph. It harbors healthy romantic advice for engaged couples. Spock commits to being honest about his shortcomings and literally stepping into his future wife’s perspective. The episode also explores Spock and T’Pring’s clash of exhibiting human emotion versus sticking to cold hard Vulcan logic. The hijinks involving the mind-swap twist will put a smile on any Star Trek fan’s face.

Ultimately, the episode has a strong redemptive, moral worldview. For example, it extols sacrifice, service and duty. It also repeatedly extols ideals/virtues of empathy and honesty in all relationships, macro and micro. There are, for example, examples of relationships between friends, relationships between two heterosexual couples, relationships between bosses and workers, and the diplomatic efforts to establish a positive relationship between the Federation and the alien race that’s thinking about joining the Federation. Honesty and especially empathy help solve the impasse between the two negotiating teams. In fact, Captain Pike deduces that the alien race has a diplomatic technique that he calls “radical empathy.” Eventually, it’s empathy that brings the two sides together.

There is, however, a brief bedroom scene in “Spock Amok” between Mr. Spock and his future wife. The episode also contains six obscenities, some violence and brief references to bisexual dating and human “evolution” from apes. So, MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution for older children for “Spock Amok.”

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4000+ Faith Based Articles and Movie Reviews – Will you Support Us?

Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.

Movieguide® is a 501c3 and all donations are tax deductible.