We Need To Talk About That Devastating Moment In This Week’s Star Trek: Strange New Worlds

By the end of the episode, multiple crewmates have been injured or killed, and the Enterprise’s grumpy Aenar engineer Hemmer (Bruce Horak) has become infected with Gorn spores, his body serving as host to a potential new litter. Rather than offer an additional threat to an already-desperate situation, Hemmer elects to exit the ship and fall off a cliff to his death. Before falling, he takes a brief moment to appreciate the frigid weather around him. Just like his home planet, Andoria.

Hemmer’s death is an unexpectedly tragic moment on “Strange New Worlds,” as he was, up to this point, a member of the core cast. While Trek would occasionally kill off a crewmate to accentuate the danger of the job — there’s a reason Red shirts have become a pop culture staple — it’s rare that a central character on a Trek show is ever killed. It’s happened so infrequently, you can count the instances on one hand. 

A Trekkie’s mind may immediately jump to the “Star Trek: The Next Generation” episode “Skin of Evil,” a notoriously dark episode wherein the Enterprise’s security chief Lt. Tasha Yar (Denise Crosby) is unceremoniously killed by a powerful, sentient blob of tar calling itself Armus. Yar’s death happened quickly, had no build-up, and occurred before the halfway point of the episode. And, since the crew was still trapped in a precarious scenario, no one had time to properly mourn or even comment on her death. It wouldn’t be until an epilogue that the crew could properly memorialize her. 

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