Because that’s the modern model. Shorter, higher-quality seasons. I personally think it’s usually a pretty good trade-off. I’d rather be left wanting more than slog through multiple filler episodes.
I thought S02E10 was a bit of a let-down from S02E9 - but only because “wej Duj” was one of the best Star Trek episodes of any series, while “First First Contact” was merely one of the best episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Seriously, how does a quasi-parody series manage an episode that’s genuinely more dramatically thrilling and emotionally engaging than any of the serious versions have for decades? And note to J.J. Abrams - no one got shot. Thrilling space action for a rescue mission, with no combat. And note to pretty much every other current creator, Star Trek or otherwise: genuine character conflict that’s organic to the characters and not just there for the sake of having conflict, which means it’s actually emotionally engaging for the audience, and its resolution is genuinely cathartic.
One caveat: the system’s sun just happens to release an unpredicted solar flare that just happens to hit the unstable planetoid made of technobabble, which just happens to strike the other Starfleet vessel at the exact moment it’s approaching the planet…groan. The odds against all of that lining up that way are literally astronomical. Still…I’ll suspend disbelief to get the rest of that episode.
A couple more caveats, I guess. I was enjoying having genuinely optimistic and humanistic Star Trek back, and then…Rutherford’s implants are apparently part of some sinister conspiracy (is he the Section 31 black ops embed on the ship? Wasn’t it established in the episode they were mentioned that the rumor is they sometimes don’t even know they’re Section 31 plants until they’re activated?). Ugh. But that does have a pedigree in TNG, and even moreso in DS9, so, ok. Also, Captain Freeman is obviously the victim of a conspiracy within Starfleet to frame her, and possibly spark a new war with the Klingons, which, again, ugh. But, again, there’s a pedigree for those sorts of stories in TNG and DS9, so…ok, I guess.
We really need a Season 3 now, though.