Strange New Worlds “Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow” Spoilers Ahead
Note from Marvelous Geeks’ Team: With the ongoing WGA strike, it’s imperative that we state we stand in solidarity with all writers asking for better wages and the respect they deserve in this industry. No story comes to fruition without the idea born and nurtured inside a writer’s head. Writers are the beating hearts of everything we love — we stand with and for them.
In a time where discourse over shipping aggressively storms the internet with opposing viewpoints and misconstrued opinions, it’s thoroughly satisfying to see Star Trek: Strange New Worlds pull out a time travel episode coded with tropes, leading the audience to understand they were right to notice the signs. Strange New Worlds’ anthology format leaves plenty of room for explorations like this, making “Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow” excellent from start to finish. The episode separates La’an Noonien-Singh (Christina Chong) and a version of Captain James T. Kirk (Paul Wesley) in a quest to prevent an attack that can change the future, allowing this time together to lead to a place where there’s no going back from.
The episode’s finely tuned script and exquisite performances from Chong and Wesley create the sort of enigmatic escapism only a narrative laced with these tropes could accomplish. While it doesn’t end on a particularly high note, it’s satisfying nevertheless to see how the trajectory of this path will impact the characters. The time travel trope finds a way to become complicated no matter how precise a writer tries to get, and thereby, it’s safe to assume to ramifications here will lead to all sorts of future debacles. Still, for a moment, the romance threads the story together beautifully, rewarding the audience for paying attention while understanding that such decisions often need to transpire carefully.
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds isn’t a romance. As much as it can be part of the plot, this isn’t what the story is about. Still, “Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow” offers something profoundly special and moving, solely because it plants specific seeds and gives them a chance to grow. The “shippers” aren’t deluded to see things that don’t exist. Since the dawn of storytelling, relationships have been interwoven into all sorts of stories. The romance genre focuses entirely on relationships, but the concept isn’t brand new or foreign because of social media. It’s always been here—we’re merely louder now when we see it. We point to the screen like Leonardo DiCaprio in Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood, drawing closer attention to analyzing it.
Specific looks, familiar tropes, and, most importantly, an understanding between characters that effectively transcends off-screen, allowing viewers to feel like their dynamic is a safe space, is always worthy of celebration. “But why can’t they be friends?” naysayers will scream—because the best relationships stem from the strongest friendships. Because people start as friends, however reluctant, allowing the trust and comfort they find in each other to burst into something bigger and better. It’s the oldest trope in the book because it’s the most organic depiction of relationships outside the fictional world.
In truth, there’s no reason for a romance in an episode like this. Strange New Worlds is an anthology, after all, and this isn’t the James Kirk of La’an’s usual timeline either. So what’s the purpose of bringing La’an and Kirk together like this, ripping her heart out in the end with the grief his death causes? Romance, that’s why. Character development, too. Strange New Worlds’ “Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow” is wise enough to use every glistening spy drama trope to bring two people to a place where they don’t belong, allowing them to find that safety in each other. Whether it’s finding disguises, stealing glances, bickering, and getting to know each other, it establishes something life-changing in a way that helps create exceptional television. Still, more than anything, all of this works because the execution pays off. None of it is random. It’s deliberate.
By the time they kiss, you can pinpoint every quiet moment that led to this. And more importantly, it’s about showing why people are difficult for La’an and how this Kirk could fit seamlessly into her life. “There’s always been a barrier, and it can get lonely,” she tells him, diving into deeply relatable and human emotions nearly every person can relate to at some point. (If I knew more about the more expansive world of Star Trek, I’d maybe even make a note of how we can analyze this as a stunning showcase of demisexuality.)
Where the current timeline of Kirk and La’an’s story will go is unclear for now, but “Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow” alone honors the deliberate seeds planted toward exhibiting why trust matters and how it leads people from points A to B. There’s a plethora to take away from everything (the expansive lore aside). Still, in a time where shippers are mocked and ridiculed, it’s always rewarding to see moments like this that plainly show characters opening themselves up—finding brief beats of vulnerability to hang on to that ultimately strengthen them.
Now streaming on Paramount+: What are your thoughts on La’an and Kirk’s Moments in Strange New Worlds’ “Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow?” Let us know in the comments below.