Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Season 2 Episode 9 Recap – what causes the crew to burst into song?

August 3, 2023 (Last updated: last month)
Adam Lock 8
Paramount+, Streaming Service, Weekly TV
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Paramount+ series Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Season 2 Episode 9 Recap


The musical angle allows for tongue-in-cheek humor and plenty of over-the-top dance numbers. Some of the songs work perfectly, exploring the crew’s deepest emotions, yet they are not all to the same standard. Once you acclimatize to the gimmick, the songs lose their magic somewhat. Although overall, this is still a fun and frivolous detour.

We recap the Paramount+ series Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Season 2 Episode 9, “Subspace Rhapsody,” which contains spoilers.

No, I didn’t have a Star Trek: Strange New Worlds musical episode on my 2023 Bingo card either. But here we are, with episode nine of the second season, titled “Subspace Rhapsody,” the first-ever musical-themed installment from the Star Trek franchise.

In the penultimate episode, the Enterprise crew members are overcome by dance fever, breaking uncontrollably into song thanks to an accident with an experimental quantum probability field. Don’t you just hate it when that happens?

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Season 2 Episode 9 Recap

The musical episode begins with the discovery of a naturally occurring subspace fold. This unusual phenomenon could help the galaxy with record-breaking communication speeds.

During this discovery, Uhura is inundated with extra work. Pike organizes his first vacation with partner Batel. La’an finds herself working with James T. Kirk once again, and Christine celebrates her successful fellowship submission.

Early on, Spock struggles to communicate with the subspace fold. Pelia suggests using music to make a connection. Uhura fires a song directly into the subspace fold’s direction, which immediately results in a strange reaction.

A ripple effect causes everyone in the Enterprise to break out into song. The explanation may be complicated, but who cares? Let’s just enjoy the musical, shall we?

What causes the crew to burst into song?

The crew quickly checks that all of the systems are stable. They appear to be safe and largely unaffected by this strange phenomenon, except for the uncontrollable show tunes, of course. There are reports of musical outbreaks throughout the entire ship. Spock believes their song has unlocked an improbability field, linking the Enterprise with a musical realm.

Pike wants to close this improbability field immediately, although they are seemingly tethered to this field regardless. Spock investigates the data further. Uhura uses this as a chance to probe Spock about his love life; he is shocked that Christine hasn’t told him her good news.

More musical incidents follow. Una gives James advice on leading his crew via a musical number. And La’an sings a heartbreaking ballad, pondering her complex relationship with James.

La’an thinks that expressing one’s deepest emotions could actually be a security threat. They need to close the field right away.

What causes the improbability field to expand?

They fire a deflector into the field, but this causes an energy surge instead. The musical disease spreads, and the improbability field starts to expand, affecting other ships in the fleet, including Batel’s. Pike and Batel share an awkward musical sequence together, arguing about their vacation in front of an embarrassed Enterprise crew.

After this incident, the crew suggested blowing up the subspace field. Spock runs some simulations, discovering that this option could be catastrophic.

To make matters worse, the Klingons have been infected by the musical bug and plan to destroy the field anyway.

Uhura and Spock research the phenomenon, instigating further musical numbers so that they can analyze the data from them.

Meanwhile, La’an confesses to James about their time-travel romance. James has his own confession to make: he is in a relationship with another woman, and she is pregnant with his child. La’an is heartbroken by this news.

Spock is also struggling with his own messy romance, upset by Christine’s sudden change in behavior. His heartache clouds his judgment as he is unable to find any patterns in the data.

Uhura analyzes the data on her own, noticing that the data spikes during the musical numbers. She concludes that they’ll need a serious showstopper tune to shatter the field entirely.

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Season 2 Episode 9 Ending Explained

Pike puts his trust in Uhura to rally the troops and pull off the most powerful grand finale musical number ever to break the field completely. Uhura’s song manages to unite the entire ship, and even the Klingons join in, providing their own comical interlude.

The subspace field explodes as their musical number reaches its crescendo.

After the grand finale, Pike and Batel discuss their vacation again. They choose to trust in each other and be more open going forward. La’an tells Una about her conversation with James. She’s glad that she told him the truth and took a chance, even if it ended in heartache. The episode ends with the Enterprise going back to normal; all is well once again.

What did you think of the Paramount+ series Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Season 2 Episode 9? Comment below.

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8 thoughts on “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Season 2 Episode 9 Recap – what causes the crew to burst into song?

  • August 4, 2023 at 2:34 am

    stupid!!! is this star track or is this a musical,please don’t do anything like this again,i couldn’t stand it and turned it off

  • August 4, 2023 at 2:37 am

    Just awful,it made them all look like idiots.UGH………..

  • August 5, 2023 at 3:58 am

    I did not like it. Star Trek is not about musicals. I actually turned it off because I could not stomach the noise. As a matter of fact I’ve been a little disappointed all season. More substance less fluff.

  • August 5, 2023 at 6:57 pm

    your kidding? this is celestial vomit inducing galactic diarreha. DO NOT DO THIS AGAIN. STUPID. TOTALLY STUPID.

  • August 9, 2023 at 1:46 am

    From someone who loves BOTH Star Trek and Musical Theater- this was refreshingly delightful. I think we can embrace another reality – for Gods sake- we have embraced and suspended our disbelief for more absurd creations; Blue skinned women, Q, AND TRIBBLES! Come on people, lighten up and enjoy the Intergalactic Journey.

  • August 10, 2023 at 4:12 am

    too see my favorite franchise show they can be comedic, this was AWESOME ! i had the worst day of my life and i laughed so hard, i wish they goofed around MORE. every trek series is so damn serious all the time, i hope the future isnt so stiff.
    hail the klingons ahuraaaaaa

  • August 26, 2023 at 9:24 am

    Like noses, everyone has one. This is my opinion. I do NOT do this. I don’t wear the uniforms or put on the ears to look like Mr. Spock. I love the shows. However, Subspace Rhapsody deserves my comment. I was blown away!! On one hand can I count the times I was so impressed. A musical episode!? It was very, very good. I grew up on Star Trek. I adopted Captain Kirk as my father. Gene Roddenberry was a genius!! Subspace Rapsody went where I thought no man should go. A musical!? I was blown away. I bow to you. That was an amazing episode. The music was over the top!! Gene is so proud. I mean it. Thank you.

  • September 2, 2023 at 12:54 pm

    I loved this episode! I have been a Star Trek fan since the 1970s when I discovered late night reruns of OS as a teenager. I have been enjoying SNW and this episode was entertaining, original and so clever. Three romantic relationships were explored and two mentoring relationships and three self awareness solos. All neatly packed into an episode length. I could see the possibilities as a three episode story arc. Imagine all the stories from across the Fleet, and the Klingons! We heard the briefest of their feelings but Pike could have given a musical reply: we don’t want to fight you but we will if we have to. Nurse Chapel and Spock could have sung together. On the Enterprise the Kirk brothers could sing together. The incredibly long-lived alien engineer could share her accumulated wisdom and tolerance, her loss of short lived friends and loneliness, her long concealment and current acceptance, her continuing curiosity tinged with rebellion against officious rules, perhaps even some hints of past involvement with her own kind and why she came to Earth. As for the singing I’m sure some was dubbed but that’s fine. Not everyone can sing. I did expect both Spock and the Klingon to have deeper voices though. An attempt was made in the background music for Spock’s rejection solo to have some increased intensity but there should have been much, much more, Wagner-like, tempestuous music representing his human emotions and his wild underlying Vulcan emotions, swirling, changing to more regularly controlled, some what artificial music, as he brought his logic and discipline into play to cover, suppress and control his emotions. I will definitely watch this episode again and recommend it! I can imagine a string of fan made songs covering past Trek episodes and relationships. I also noticed the variation to the closing theme song. Will there be a CD released of the songs of this episode? And yes, I do like the old musical movies. It was a great cross-over of genres.

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