Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Season 1 Episode 10
A Quality of Mercy
Enterprise is on the edge of the Neutral Zone, retrofitting the outposts with the help of the USS Cayuga.
Pike makes breakfast for Batel, the Cayuga’s captain.
Batel departs for the far side of the Neutral Zone. She doesn’t reveal who she’s meeting with.
While meeting with the Commander of the Outpost 4, the Commander’s son bursts in, wanting to meet Pike. The boy is introduced as Maat Al-Salah, one of the cadets Pike will save in the future.
Pike excuses himself from the meeting.
Una chases him down and asks him what he’s going to do. Pike considers his options.
In his quarters, he begins dictating a letter to Maat, discouraging him from joining Starfleet. Suddenly, another man is in his room. It’s Pike but older and wearing an Admiral’s uniform.
Captain Pike tests the Admiral’s veracity.
The Admiral warns him the letter he’s writing is going to wreck the future. He tells him they succeeded in saving the cadets and themselves but the knock-on effects are catastrophic. He reveals the Klingon monks from Boreth sent him back to warn himself and he’s brought a time crystal to help convince young him not to start the series of events that follow.
Captain Pike lays a hand on the crystal and is transported to a wedding on the ship where he is officiating. He’s stumbling through figuring out what he’s saying when a red alert is sounded.
The wedding party quickly disperses. Spock contacts him, identifying himself as Number One, and reports that Outpost 4 is under attack by an unidentified vessel.
On the bridge, Lt. Uhura briefs them on the status of the various outposts. Ortegas suspects it’s the Romulans. Pike cautions they don’t want to start a war and asks to speak with Spock in his ready room.
Pike explains to Spock what’s happened. After performing a mind meld to prove he’s telling the truth and not mentally compromised, Spock advises he do everything as he would if he didn’t know things were different than they should be.
The Enterprise arrives at Outpost 4. There is no sign of attacking ships but lots of debris. Uhura informs Pike the nearest ship is the USS Farragut. She reminds him that La’an is serving on the Farragut.
The outpost hails the ship. It’s Commander Al-Salah. He reports Outposts 2 and 3 are gone. He shows them on visual the damage his outpost has sustained and describes the weapon as a high-energy plasma weapon.
The attacking ship appears again. The Enterprise tries to hail them, but there’s no acknowledgement. They are too far to help. The ship fires on the outpost and obliterates them.
The ship cloaks again, disappearing from sight. Spock starts an analysis on the ship’s movement patterns.
Uhura reports a Federation ship is hailing them. It’s Captain James Kirk on the Farragut.
Spock reports he can track the attacking ship by its gravitational presence. He believes that the ship is flying blind. Their course heading is what a Romulan ship heading back to the Neutral Zone would take.
Ortegas insists they take out the ship. Pike insists on caution, that intercepting the ship would be an act of war.
Kirk recommends they shadow the ship until Starfleet gives them permission to cross into the Neutral Zone.
Pike ends communication with Captain Kirk and asks for Sam Kirk to be sent to his ready room.
Pike talks to Sam about Jim.
Spock calls Pike back to the bridge. A nearby comet seems to be reflecting a transmission from the enemy ship. It’s a feed from the bridge. It’s a chance for the crew to see what Romulans look like.
Pike has Spock put it on screen and everyone is shocked to discover that Romulans look like Vulcans.
James Kirk beams aboard the Enterprise to meet with Pike and his senior crew. Ortegas wants to know what Spock thinks of the Romulan reveal. Spock assures her he is just as surprised as she is about the similarities between Romulans and Vulcans.
Ortegas and Mitchell report the Romulans will reach the Neutral Zone within the hour. M’Benga cautions again starting a war by attacking the ship. Kirk wonders what the Romulans at home will think of the Federation not fighting back after having several outposts destroyed.
Spock votes for an attack based on the historical violence of the Vulcan species before adoption of logic.
James Kirk proposes locking weapons on the Romulan ship when it enters the comet’s tail. Kirk agrees to neutralizing not destroying the Romulan ship.
As they pass through the tail, they see nothing. Suddenly the Romulan ship appears behind the Farragut. They attempt to evade but are hit. The Enterprise fires on the Romulans to draw their attention. They are hit by the plasma weapon but not destroyed. The Farragut is going critical. The Enterprise beams their crew aboard before the ship’s life support fails completely.
La’an is in the first group to beam aboard. She greets Pike warmly with a hug, surprising him. He asks about Una and La’an reminds him Una isn’t allowed visitors.
Kirk comes aboard and insists he and Pike talk alone. He accuses Pike of hesitating and costing them the battle.
Spock calls both captains to the bridge.
On the bridge, he informs them that the Romulan ship’s power supply is damaged and they may not be able to reach Romulus.
Pike opens a channel to the Romulan ship and offers them a ceasefire so that they can talk.
The Romulans call back and Pike offers them two hours to repair their ship. After some thought, the Romulan commander agrees.
Ortegas insists the Romulans can’t be trusted. Pike orders her to stand down.
The subcommander on the Romulan ship urges an attack to take out the Enterprise during the ceasefire.
The Commander pulls him aside to drive home his orders.
Spock attends Pike in his ready room. Pike can’t shake the feeling there’s something worse to come. He asks Spock about Una. Spock informs him that she was sentenced to be imprisoned for her deception.
Kirk enters the ready room. Spock excuses himself. Left alone, Kirk asks to explore a backup plan and asks to borrow a shuttle.
Spock works on repairing the phaser array. From the Jefferies tube, he asks Engineering to try the system again. A Scottish voice confirms the system is working now.
The two hours ceasefire has elapsed. Enterprise still has no weapons.
Pike hails the Romulans and offers to become partners instead of resuming hostilities. The Commander seems interested, but suddenly a Romulan fleet arrives.
The Subcommander had alerted the fleet. The Commander realizes Pike will never trust his word now.
The Romulan flagship hails the Enterprise. The Praetor demands an unconditional surrender. Pike introduces himself and declines to surrender.
Sensors detect more incoming ships. It’s James Kirk returning with a fleet of robotic mining craft, playing a hunch the Romulans don’t know what Federation ships look like.
The Praetor contacts Pike again, declaring the Federation ships an act of aggression. Pike points out a Romulan ship destroyed the Federation outpost. When she claims ignorance, Pike has the footage sent to her.
The Praetor calls for the Bird of Prey to move out of formation. She on culling the ship, punishment for being caught destroying the outposts.
Pike contacts the Commander and offers him an out. The Commander demurs. He will do as asked and face his destruction.
The Romulan fleet fires on the Bird of Prey and destroys it.
The Praetor hails Pike again. She thanks him for his talk of peace. It has made clear the Federation weakness. The fleet attacks. The Enterprise evades. The warp engines aren’t engaging. Kirk uses the mining ships to block the Romulan attacks to buy more time.
The Enterprise takes a hard hit. Kirk beams onboard and the engines engage. The Enterprise warps away.
As they take stock, Uhura reports the Romulans are declaring war.
The weapons system took a direct hit and Pike realizes Spock would’ve been hurt. He rushes to sickbay and finds Spock horribly injured with similar disfigurement as Pike suffered in the Prime timeline. Chapel informs him that Spock may survive but will never be the same.
In his quarters, Pike considers the situation. Admiral Pike joins him again. He informs him the war gets worse and Spock was the key to peace but the injuries change him forever and he never fulfills his role in peace between the Romulans and the Federation.
The Admiral tells him the monks showed him that every time they change the path, Spock dies.
Kirk comes by and the Admiral disappears. They sit down and have a talk.
Later, Pike touches the time crystal and returns to his time. He deletes the letter he was writing.
Pike reviews Kirk’s file. Spock enters and asks how he is. Pike relates how he may not seek to avoid his fate any longer. Spock deduces that Pike is doing so to protect him and thanks him.
Pike returns to the bridge in a good mood and walks around smiling at everyone.
A message comes through Uhura from Starfleet command that Captain Batel is beaming onboard. They want Pike and Una to meet them in the transporter room.
Batel apologizes as her officers arrest Una for lying about being an Illyrian. Una tells Pike not to fight it, she accepts it. Pike swears this isn’t over. Batel and her officers beam back to her ship with Una.