“Ascent-ial Questions” by Nami Melumad
When I was waiting for the soundtrack to Season 1 of Strange New Worlds to arrive, this was the one cue I wanted the most. Nami Melumad’s work in Star Trek has been nothing short of phenominal, and this was a musical moment that stuck with me the first time I watched “Lift Us Where Suffering Cannot Reach.“
After the horror of the truth about the First Servant’s ascention are made clear, the episode ends with two reflective scenes. The first shows the First Servant’s father, Gamal (Huse Madhavji), speaking with Dr. M’Benga (Babs Olusanmokoun). Earlier we had learned that Majalus had highly advanced medical skills but were forbidden from sharing their knowledge. But after seeing what his society did to his son, Gamal now appears to be open to helping M’Benga with his daughter’s case of cygnokemia1Shame that never went anywhere in favor of what we did get, but that’s a rant for another time..
This scene flows into a shot of Captain Pike (Anson Mount) looking out the window struggling to process what he just experienced. The cue that Nami Melumad wrote for these two scenes covers all the necessary emotional bases, from sad but hopeful to contemplative to somewhat foreboding at the end. Pike knows that this won’t be the last First Servant to suffer for his society, and he knows that Alora isn’t at all the person he made her out to be.
A very similar take on this cue was used to close out Season 2’s “Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow, ” which ends on another emotional moment2Wonderfully performed by Christina Chong with the hint that things were not yet resolved.