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As Star Trek: Discovery slowly but surely justifies its various inconsistencies in comparison with the original Star Trek, naysayers are finding other ways to pick at the CBS All Access series. One of the biggest criticisms ahead of Season 2 came with the reveal of Ethan Peck's Spock, who's been rocking a full Vulcan beard in trailers and promos. As for why Spock's not his traditional clean-shaven self, Peck explained the new look fits within the context of the story.
I was told not to shave about a month out before coming to Toronto to begin production,and I was like, ‘What?' This is a time in Spock’s life when I think the deep inner conflict of human versus Vulcan really comes to the surface… so I think it’s an expression of his state of mind.
Much like Anson Mount gets to fill in the blanks of Captain Christopher Pike's life in the time space between the rejected pilot and "The Menagerie," Ethan Peck gets to cover a stage of Spock's life previously skipped over by Star Trek. Peck explained that he's taking on the emotion-lite character at a tumultuous time in his life, where his human and Vulcan sides are at war. Such inner conflict could obviously make typical self-care habits fall by the wayside, so the beard makes sense.
Especially in the context of what's happening in Star Trek: Discovery Season 2. Spock has been on the run from Starfleet and seeking out the mystery of the Red Angel, and to effectively hide from all the folks searching for him, Spock probably doesn't have the luxury of relaxing in places where one can enjoy a fanciful shave. Plus, who can afford the time to get a trim when Starfleet is trying to bring everyone in for murder?
Despite the various valid reasons for Spock sporting some facial fuzz in Star Trek: Discovery, some fans will continue to criticize the look. Ethan Peck told TVLine he knows the reactions to the new look will be mixed, but he seems unbothered by it, since he knows there's a purpose for that beard of his. In his words:
People are gonna hate on it. People are gonna love on it, hopefully, too. But it’s done for a really remarkable reason that will be revealed by the end of the season.
It's certainly interesting to hear that the beard's origins are worth waiting an entire season to hear. How will Spock's beard play an actual role in the season? Maybe that's not really Spock, or at least, the Spock that Burnham grew up with.
Remember, Leonard Nimoy's Vulcan did sport facial hair at one point, but it was when he was portraying the Terran Mirror Spock. The Terrans found a way over to the Prime Earth in Discovery's Season 1, so is it possible this Spock did, too? If so, what's his goal?
Star Trek: Discovery Season 2 premieres new episodes on CBS All Access on Thursdays at 8:30 p.m. ET. CinemaBlend will keep an eye out for more updates, and try to think of more ways Spock's facial hair plays into the story. For a look at what's coming to television in the near future, head on over to our midseason premiere guide.