I am amazed that Spock's sleeping area looks
so seductive: those deep red drapes on the wall, the flickering
firepot, velvet bed covering - practically a Love Grotto, if you
ask me. Just about all that we know about Vulcan comes from this
ep: the script that launched a thousand Treksmuts! Personal fave
scene: Kirk: "I don't understand - 'if both survive'?"
T'Pau, oh-so-casually: "This is a fight to the death,"
and she walks right past him, leaving Kirk with the best "Oh
shit!" expression on his face. A great moment in an ep filled
with great moments. And didn't we agree that "let's go mind
the store" is code for "let's go fuck"?
Important Treksmut which refs this ep: 50% of all K/S ever written.
Hey, Apollo has no nipples! I guess that's how you tell a god from a mortal. Thank you, Captain Sexist Pork Chop Kirk, for saying, "She'll meet the right man and then - out of the service"; he is, however, somewhat redeemed by calling Scotty (who acts wildly out of character here) a "thistlehead". Spock and Uhura have a very nice moment together when he tells her that she is the only one who can do the delicate communications bypass work - and she does wield a mean soldering pen. Hello, Chekov! Now that you're on board, get rid of your Beatle wig, please - those things went out in '64.
OK, I admit: This is my all-time favorite
TOS ep. Watching it again uncut me love it all over again, every
little thing about it. First, even though the plot is marginally
plausible, the action really moves along and every scene is fraught
with tension. Second, all the (evil) cast turn in grand performances,
really revelling in nastiness in a way that stops just short of
Snidely Whiplash. So much fun! Third, this is also my favorite
Uhura ep - she is so good distracting Sulu on the bridge, even
the way she pulls that dagger out of her boot - and then later
she tries to help fight Spock, hands Kirk the skull that he uses
to knock Spock out, and strongarms Moreau to save Kirk's ass.
You go girl! (She also get to show off her legs in the opening
shot when they're talking to the Halkans.) Oh! And those uniforms!
I love Uhura's outfit - those thigh-high boots are to die for!
Kirk too looks fabulous; that vest is so flattering, makes his
arms look really big and buff. I think it goes without saying
that we all dig that goatee on Spock, the first time we ever see
facial hair on a officer (imagine! the first officer with a beard!
what nonsense). There are so many nice touches in this ep - the
Vulcan guard that follows Spock around, the big old captain's
chair on the bridge, the Empire symbols everywhere. I must also
mention that this ep has inspired countless volumes of Treksmut,
both here and in print, of which my favorite is A.F. Black's "Taking
Command". I cannot recommend it too highly.
Best line: "I must have my captain back."
Yay! Finally an EVE to report! Thanks to JK for clueing me in to this, b/c you've got to watch closely: although throughout this ep Kirk's pants are *extremely* tight, during the first 20 minutes there are several scenes in which he's showing us rather more than the usual package. Granted, it's not a huge EVE, but it's an EVE nonetheless. Let us celebrate. Otherwise, this is pretty silly ep (I guess to balance out all the excellence of the surrounding eps) with a record number of red shirts getting whacked, a total of 4. The natives are redeemed only by a very young David Soul playing Makora, who's pretty hot - but don't you think they all look like giant Oompa-Loompas? And there's not very many of them, either; I think in a few generations they might have some inbreeding problems. Where did Yeoman Landon come from? Her graduating class is a distinct inprovement over McGivers, Stiles, and Bailey - she really kicks some butt when necessary and has the good sense to kiss Chekov when she has the chance. Spock really is indestructible: he gets attacked by a poisonous plant, bounced on his butt by a force field, and hit by lightning, and yet he keeps his hair and sarcasm intact.
I have one thing to say about this ep: Kirk's package. It is in *every* shot and there's a bit of EVE in two scenes: first, when he almost sits on a tribble in his captain's chair, and second, when he's interrogating Cyrano Jones in Lurry's office. Yikes! It is just so *out there*. Anyway, this ep is a lot less funny than I remember, but the acting is a lot better than I remember. Special mention must go to Michael Pataki, who plays the Klingon who insults the Enterprise - this guy has made a career of playing really nasty villians; he was in a horrible movie called "Sidehackers" (MSTd in the days of Joel) right around this time and he was a great hammy psycho. I wonder why everyone is so bitchy, tho - Spock just dishes like nobody's business! Ah, but Uhura - is she just great or what? Her best line, when Jones offers her a free tribble: "Oh, but I couldn't....could I?" and she looks up at him through those long lashes. Who could resist?