Strange New Worlds Season 2’s Darkest Episode Was “A Blessing” For Star Trek Actors

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds season 2 delved into the heart of the Klingon War’s darkness, and Jess Bush and Babs Olusanmokun are grateful.

Chapel M'Benga Cloak War


  • Babs Olusanmokun and Jess Bush praise the depth and exploration of their characters’ backstory in episode 8 of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds season 2.
  • Olusanmokun appreciates the opportunity to delve into the psyche of Dr. M’Benga and his journey out of darkness, highlighting the show’s commitment to giving each character meaningful development.
  • Jess Bush expresses her joy in discovering the unique and intimate bond between Chapel and M’Benga, which added depth and satisfaction to her portrayal of the characters.

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds season 2’s darkest episode was “a beautiful blessing” for Babs Olusanmokun while Jess Bush called the experience of the episode “unforgettable.” Strange New Worlds season 2, episode 8, “Under the Cloak of War” is arguably season 2’s most dramatically powerful episode as it deals with the trauma and scars the Klingon War left upon Dr. Joseph M’Benga and Nurse Christine Chapel. The Klingon War flashbacks in “Under the Cloak of War” revealed the origin of Chapel and M’Benga’s special bond, which results in the two covering up the Doctor’s murder of Klingon Ambassador Dak’Rah (Robert Wisdom).

In a Q&A with the cast of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds to benefit the SAG Foundation, Babs Olusanmokun and Jess Bush each spoke about their personal connections to Strange New Worlds season 2, episode 8, “Under the Cloak of War” and why it was special to both actors. Read their quotes and watch the video below:

Babs Olusanmokun: Before we started shooting the first season, Akiva had said to me [that M’Benga] used to be a man of violence. Something along those lines. And so I had wondered what could have brought that about, and I’d gone towards this direction of, yes, he was a man consumed by war at some point. And so that was already getting layered into what he was in the first season. And then in the second season, we just unlayered some of that… there was just this journey of going deep into the psyche and the past of Dr. M’Benga and him finding a way to really walk out of the darkness. But going back into the darkness, of course we did in Season 2, and just exploring that and the depths of that and his reluctance to be involved, and how he had tried to get out and he kept being pulled back in.

It’s a real wonderful treat to walk in the shoes of this character, and I’m sure my cast mates feel the same way about their characters. The showrunners and the writers, I think they’ve been honorable enough to spread the wealth, and I think that’s very important because there’s eight of us, and it would really, really, really suck to be standing on the sidelines throughout and having pitter-patter dialogue and whatnot. So to go through what I went through in Season 1 and have what I went through in Season 2, for me, is just a beautiful blessing.

Jess Bush: For me, the standout experience in that was discovering the depths of Chapel and M’Benga’s connection and the genesis of that. It’s a really unique bond that they have. It’s familial. There’s something about it that’s really non-verbal and very intimate. There’s like a protector slash mentor. And I think that understanding where that comes from in such a holistic and deep way was so illuminating and satisfying and has brought so much depth to that for me. It was a very, very special experience, that episode for me. Unforgettable.

Jess Bush shouted out the importance of director Jeff Byrd, who helmed Strange New Worlds season 2, episode 8, “Under the Cloak of War.”

Dr. M'Benga looks concerned about the arrival of a Klingon Ambassador in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds
Star Trek Strange New Worlds Season 2 Episode 8 Ending Explained

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds returns to the aftermath of Discovery’s Klingon war, in a dark episode that ends with an Enterprise crew divided.

Will Strange New Worlds Season 3 Follow Up What Happened In “Under The Cloak Of War?”

Big questions were left behind by Strange New Worlds season 2, episode 8.

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds season 2, episode 8, “Under the Cloak of War” ended with Dr. M’Benga revealing he, not Ambassador Dak’Rah, was the true “Butcher of J’Gal,” and the Enterprise’s Chief Medical Officer killed the Klingon war criminal. Nurse Chapel witnessed it, and she and M’Benga conspired to conceal the truth of Rah’s death from Captain Christopher Pike (Anson Mount). However, that can’t be the end of the story, and it’s possible Strange New Worlds season 3 will see Starfleet conduct an investigation into the Ambassador’s death and discover the truth of what transpired between Dak’Rah, Chapel, and M’Benga.

The lingering trauma of the Klingon War was one of the most compelling aspects of Strange New Worlds season 2. Along with Dr. M’Benga and Nurse Chapel, Lt. Erica Ortegas (Melissa Navia) and Lt. La’an Noonien-Singh (Christina Chong) are also Klingon War veterans who bear scars from the atrocities of that conflict. While most of Captain Pike’s USS Enterprise crew were spared fighting in the Klingon War, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds season 3 could create a divide between the Klingon war veterans and the non-combatants, especially if the truth about Dr. M’Benga killing Ambassador Dak’Rah is revealed.

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