As River Song is fond of saying: SPOILERS! (Specifically for S2…)
I hate to beat a dead horse, but I love the first half of Season 2. Just love it. It’s an epic tale, really, taking six episodes to tell (not unlike DS9’s Season 6 opener). We see so much of our crew – we see them off the ship, out of the familiar, and into some damn difficult situations.
My favorite arc, though, is definitely Salea’s. She really has the most difficult journey of anyone, in my opinion. And in a lot of ways, her journey is an extension of my own “coming of age.” Well, that’s wrong. Not coming of age so much as coming to realize life isn’t all about fun and pleasure seeking. It’s a f*cking cruel world out there, and sometimes you’re going to do things that have a MASSIVE impact on other people. And that impact isn’t always good. It reflects a personal situation I was still working through when I rewrote this script, and it’s really reflected there in a lot of ways you’ll never know.
Through the rewrites, though, one of the best scripts of our original run – No Matter How Long the Night – came to make a little less sense. Because things changed in the previous six episodes, that one needed revisions, too. Except, I opted to just write a new episode, ground-up, to tell that particular story.
Those of you who remember it, will recall it’s the story where everything that Salea has done finally catches up to her. Oh sure, while they were chasing down Aidan Rahl and doing battle with the Enterprise-G, Salea was distracted. It couldn’t sink in yet. But now that they’re all settled on the new ship, now that a new routine is established, all that mess is rushing back to her, and she doesn’t know what to do.
There are some similarities between “Night” and “Daybreak” – in both, we find Salea engaging in reckless, dangerous behavior. She’s got survivor’s guilt, big time. When she programmed that thaloran weapon to target the syndicate tower, she expected to die. She didn’t think she’d have to live with the decision.
But fate is cruel (and so is Section 31), and she was saved. She confesses her crime to Starfleet Intelligence and is given a pat on the back for her “help.” She can’t deal with that. She can’t handle going free, getting off clean. In “Daybreak” we will see the effect this has had on her.
One new angle to this story is Keali, the Orion girl whose presence and affections helped Salea get over the initial shock of surviving the blast. Salea never told Keali why she was wanted. She never told her that the blast on Keali’s homeworld was because of her. That’s weighing on her, too. And though Keali doesn’t make an appearance, her presence is felt in Salea’s life.
This episode is the real conclusion to the “opening arc” – the final story that sets us back to the status quo, or at least establishes a new status quo (some things will never be the same as they were in S1). My version of this story, Daybreak, is done and I’ll be posting it on our site once the beta has given it a look. It’s not an easy read, but I think it’s an impactful read, especially if you or someone you love suffers from severe anxiety and depression. Because those things do exist, in the 25th century. But you know what else exists? Hope. For those who are willing to look for it. Will Salea? I guess we’ll find out in a few days.
As has been my habit in the past, I wanted to leave you with a video. If Star Trek were the sort of franchise to make more regular use of contemporary music, this is the song you’d find playing over the final moments of the episode and into the credits. Hopefully it will give you something to look forward to and speculate over. It’s a gorgeous cover of a more mainstream song, but this version really drives home the heart of Daybreak, and Salea’s heartbreaking journey through the darkness and back into the light.
Look for “Daybreak” on our Facebook page, very soon! (And yes, new material is coming, too. I’ve owed you guys this ep for awhile though, so you’re gonna get it and like it. Well, I hope you’ll like it. It IS technically “new” even though it’s a retelling of a similar story…)