Anyway. This episode is awesome, and everyone should watch it. (And write it oh god please please please.)
Part One: This Is Your Environment on Spray Foam
According to the captain's log, they're going to pick up a scientific team from a planet that's disintegrating, and they're going to do Important Scientific Measurements while they're there.
We're apparently on the planet, and you can tell because it isn't grey. It's sort of, um, off-white. This scene proves two things:
- They had spray foam in the 1960s.
- Somewhere had it on special offer when they made this episode.
An away party of two beams down. I can't tell you which two, since they are wearing orange lamé, which I did not even know was possibly until just this moment. Best Beloved tells me that one of them is Spock and the other is unimportant. Things are looking bad for Ensign Unimportant!
Spock has a hairdryer, which he is directing at Spray Foam Dude. I think he's already dry, Spock! You might set his spray foam on fire!
In close up, we learn that it is not orange lamé. It's orange covered in little circles of saran wrap. We also learn that these are the worst hazmat suits in all the world.
The camera shows us a dead body! (This was clearly a great savings, not having to pay live actors, except I'm fairly convinced they paid their extras in, like, candy and lint, so maybe the mannequin actually cost more.) Clearly she died of spray foam abuse. Don't let this happen to you, people. Use spray foam safely, sanely, and with a designated clean-up person!
Spock aims his hairdryer at the wall.
We learn that the environmental systems are off, and the engineer is just at his post all frozen, like he didn't care. The woman was actually strangled - probably by someone driven to madness by her spray foam addiction - and, worst of all, one man was taking a shower with all his clothes on. I don't know why that's worst, but the music does one of those ominous, low-toned chords that makes it clear that this is Deeply Foreboding.
I suddenly realize that the spray foam is supposed to be ICE. Or snow. I feel stupid, but not as much as the set designers probably do.
Ensign Unimportant TAKES OFF HIS GLOVE, REACHES UNDER HIS HELMET, AND SCRATCHES HIS NOSE. And then he doesn't put his glove back on. And all of this in a hazardous environment where everyone is dead of an unknown cause. Apparently this guy wants to die.
And then a sort of liquid substance drops on his hand, and his reaction is to SNIFF HIS HAND. Holy CHRIST. And then he puts his glove back on, because his motto is "But after the horses have left, the barn is so quiet!"
Spock comes in and says, "Make certain to expose yourself to nothing." TOO LATE, SPOCK. I officially change his name to Ensign The Real Hazmat Is In My Head.
Spock reports that everyone's dead, Jim. Kirk asks what caused it, and Spock says, "Unknown, Captain. It's like nothing we've dealt with before."
Part Two: Friends Don't Let Friends Shower Clothed
Kirk is playing some kind of game with colored squares as he sums up the situation. "Conditions highly unusual." That's eloquent, Kirk. I bet they line up to hear your logs back at Starfleet HQ.
The away team is beaming back up to the Enterprise, still wearing their useless suits. Spock doesn't let Ensign The Hazmat Is Coming From Inside The House off the platform; they use some kind of decontamination light on them. Of course, it doesn't matter, since it's already setting up home in our friend Ensign Dick-for-Brains.
Kirk sends them to sickbay and goes there himself to see Spock, who is WEARING A TIGHT-FITTING BLACK T-SHIRT AND PANTS. Wow. Um, wow. He should do that more often. (And then he pulls his blue tunic on over it, suggesting that the black part you can see is actually some sort of underlayer. Which, interesting, because we've seen various episodes where other people got their shirts or dresses ripped, and the black part on most uniforms is pretty clearly just a ring around the collar. Maybe Spock gets special long underwear because he's cold on the ship?) Anyway, McCoy clears them. I'm not going to blame him for this, because a) you can't detect something unless it's like something you've dealt with before and b) it's easier and more satisfying to blame the ensign, whose fault this actually is.
Spock is slightly too tall for the biobed, which you step onto while it's vertical and then there's an extra there playing, like, an LVN, whose actual purpose is to swing the bed horizontal and hold it down because they couldn't afford some kind of pulley arrangement. (No, of course they couldn't actually make an electrical device to do that. That would be their whole budget for three shows! We'd have to see people in the biobed in every episode thereafter to make up for the expense! It would end up being House in Space.) Seriously. They have to have an extra in there to hold down the biobed. God, I love this show.
The biobed woobles for a bit. McCoy disses Spock while he's a patient - nice bedside manner there - and insults Vulcans generally. Spock notes that he is entirely delighted to be different than McCoy. Frankly, I wouldn't mind not sharing a species with the guy, either.
Kirk shows up to check on his people (read: SPOCK). Ensign Hazmat decides this is the time to have a little fit. He keeps wondering, you see. Wondering. Kirk says, "You keep wondering, and you keep signing on." I really have to admire his ability as a commander, here, since he managed to rework Ensign Hazmat's breakdown in a motivational speech, which you have to admit is a nice trick.
Spock and Kirk try to talk about the planet. Ensign Hazmat loses it:
Ensign Hazmat: Six people! SIX PEOPLE. DEAD. Oh my god, there were SIX of them and they are DEAD. Did I mention that six people died? Six! Not five! Also, not alive!
Kirk: Go to your room. Daddy and I need to have grown-up talk.
Ensign Hazmat starts sweating and pawing at himself, which sort of seems like something we didn't necessarily need to see, and then he pauses to stare at his hand. We are excited! All canons everywhere could use more evil hands. The soundtrack makes a rattlesnake noise, so we can see that rattlesnakes are, um, associated with evil limbs. On account of they don't have any. Yeah, I don't get it either.
There's a meeting, in one of the Enterprise's endless supply of Claustrophobic Rectangular Gray Rooms. It's really hard not to notice that all the guys get to sit down and the lone woman has to stand up. It's equally hard not to notice that said woman has a HUGE BASKET WOVEN OF HAIR on her head. Seriously. Giant woven hair basket. The future: filled with very complicated hair. Or wigs. Man, I hope that's a wig.
And, oh, hee: they're using TAPES! That is so adorably retro.
Once again, they just cannot get over the guy who took a shower in all his clothes. I tell you what, this obsession with the clothed shower - so much more shocking than killing someone! - is starting to make me want to take one. I will yell, "HOW DO YOU LIKE ME NOW, KIRK?" while I'm doing it. (And I will count myself lucky that our neighbors won't be able to hear.)
Finally, they let go of Dressed Shower Man and talk about the actual problem.
McCoy, looking reminiscent: They might be intoxicated!
Spock, looking fascinated: It could be something unknown to science.
Scotty, looking worried: Maybe our technology just wasn't good enough to find it.
Kirk, looking intent: How's this going to affect the mission?
They're all very in character!
Scotty does note that "Unless you people on the bridge start taking showers with your clothes on, my engines can hold it together." I - I really don't understand. Is this the major taboo in the Federation? Adultery: keen. Dishonoring your parents: encouraged. Murder: not exactly peachy, but if you need to, the Federation will certainly understand. Clothed showering: BURN THE HERETIC.
Part Three: A Butter Knife Is a Terrible Thing to Waste
Uhura - and I just need to say here that if I had someone that awesome on my staff, I would bring her to the damn briefing - calls with news that the planet is doing its whoopty-doodle thing. Spock says they need to haul ass to the bridge.
And then we open on the rec room, which, as I have said before, is so depressing that it would make a perfect test chamber for new antidepressants. It contains two people are playing swoopy chess, visibly looking like they hate their lives, and a redshirt apparently contemplating the bleakness that is his existence. Ensign Hazmat puts a colored square - what ARE those things? - in a slot by a box. Food comes out. Are the colored squares currency?
Best Beloved, staring at the "rec" room: Couldn't they put up a painting or something? Anything?
Me: They have. The entire rec room is a sea of brilliant art. Just, they only have gray paint.
We agree that we would rather spend our time in a padded room than in the rec room. But we don't have to. You know who does? Ensign Hazmat! The soundtrack makes another rattlesnake noise, to remind us that he's got an evil zombie hand. He sits at a table with his food and pulls out a napkin, which is the most colorful thing I have seen on the ship. If I worked here, I'd charge people ten cents to see it and a dollar to touch it, and I would make a fortune.
In comes Sulu, talking with some dude about rapiers. Sure, Sulu, I bet you say that to all the boys. Dude with Sulu says that last week it was Botany that Sulu was trying to get him interested in, and this week it's fencing. Listen, sweetie, when a man gives you flowers and then offers to show you what he can do with his sword, he isn't trying to teach you a new hobby. Secret newsflash: SULU WANTS YOUR BODY. I'd advise you to go with it. It's not like you'll be seeing any action from Kirk or Spock, McCoy seems to be mostly in love with his bottle, and I am willing to bet money that the women on this ship spend most of their off time licking each other and target shooting. At least, that's how I would react to being on this ship.
Sulu and his boyfriend sit with Ensign Hazmat and ask him if he's okay.
Hazmat: Get off me! You don't rank me and you don't have pointed ears, so just get off my neck.
We are delighted to hear that Spock's word is law on the ship. Apparently they have a saying on the Enterprise: "Talk to the pointy ears."
Sulu and his boyfriend exchange worried looks.
Ensign Hazmat takes the cover off his dish and slaps it down on the table next to him. All the other people in the room whip their heads around and stare like this is the most exciting thing that has ever happened in this room. I am not surprised.
Uhura calls everyone to the bridge. (Does that woman ever get any time off?) Sulu and his friend get up, and Sulu asks if Ensign Hazmat is going to be okay. He leaps up and gives a lengthy speech about how they shouldn't be in space, they're polluting it, and then he pulls out a BUTTER KNIFE - seriously, I know my knives and that is a butter knife if I've ever seen one - and holds it on Sulu and the friend. They look alarmed. They know that a man upset enough to threaten someone with a butter knife is a man upset enough to use said knife.
"We don't belong here," Ensign Hazmat says, and then he turns the butter knife on himself. Oh no! Sulu and his boyfriend attempt to wrassle with him. Meanwhile, the former checkers players are watching, looking bland and flat of affect, and taking no action whatsoever. I can only conclude they're having this conversation:
Girl: You know, last week's suicide threat was better.
Guy: Yeah. I tell you what, when I do it, I'm going to use FLAMES.
Girl, yawning: That'd be cool.
Guy: Yeah. My roommate says he's going to take poison, but where's the entertainment value in that? I ask you.
Girl: Huh. Was it your move or mine?
Redshirt Dude: *gets up and walks around to the other side of the table so he doesn't have to get involved*
Sulu and boyfriend continue wrestling with the guy, and then they all slip and fall and Ensign Hazmat falls on the knife. It's a butter knife, and he's stabbed himself in the stomach, but I still sort of suspect he might not make it. THIS IS THE PRICE YOU PAY FOR VIOLATING SAFE HANDLING REGULATIONS, PEOPLE. Don't let this happen to you!
The three observers leap to their feet to give a standing ovation - usually people don't take it this far! Of course, if they'd called security and medical as soon as the knife fight started, maybe things would be okay, but obviously they are too sunk in ennui for that kind of thing.
Sulu's boyfriend runs over to call in the emergency - which the other people could have done at any time at all, I just want to repeat - and then his hand gets the rattlesnake noise. Oh, Sulu, I'm not sure you're going to get to sleep with this one.
Back on the bridge, we are treated to the stunning news that they are moving into a tighter orbit. Everyone stares thoughtfully at the boring planet, probably hoping it will mambo or something. Sulu's boyfriend is having rattlesnake hand and so is Sulu.
There is a profoundly creepy scene where Kirk and Spock gather around Spock's little blue viewscreeny thing and stare at Ensign Hazmat's personality profile and thoughtfully discuss the reasons why he might have attempted suicide WHILE EVERYONE ELSE ON THE BRIDGE CAN HEAR. Oh my GOD no.
McCoy and Chapel, meanwhile, are doing surgery on Ensign Hazmat with cake decorating implements. Chapel says, "His breathing rate is dropping, doctor." McCoy tells her to use the respirator. So she puts a mask, the sort of thing a dentist might use to give you nitrous, over his nose and mouth. Just a mask. Not attached to anything. I am hoping the actor can breathe. But, hey! They're wearing surgical gloves, meaning that for once McCoy is actually thinking about sterility and infection, so I'm going to give this scene the Enterprise Medical Realism Award.
And then Bones pulls out an acetylene torch to close, and I take the award away again.
Back on the bridge, the red boopy thing is going off. Sulu says, "It's like the planet just reached out and yanked at us." Kirk orders Sulu and boyfriend to compensate, and they stare at their boards, clearly having one of those moments when you forget everything and also you realize the captain is actually your third grade teacher and you're naked and Mr. Spock looks you over and raises an eyebrow and says, "Fascinating" and then you wake up screaming AIEEEEE.
Kirk, irritated and unaware that two of his crewmembers are trapped in a living nightmare, snaps, "Compensate!" And then he pokes the instrument board, apparently to turn off the red booper, for which we are all very grateful.
Sulu's boyfriend says he's a little nervous. Sulu gives him a frankly appreciative look, as though he is thinking, "Oh, I love virgins."
Meanwhile, Ensign Hazmat is dying. McCoy is puzzled, and asks Chapel if she's sure the respirator is functioning properly. No! NO, IT ISN'T. It isn't connected to anything! OH MY GOD JUST LOOK AT IT!
But McCoy doesn't and Ensign Hazmat dies.
Kirk heads off to sickbay. On the bridge, Sulu is all moist. "I'm sweating like a bridegroom," he says, shooting a glance at his boyfriend, who it turns out is named Kevin. And then he GETS UP and PUTS HIS ARM AROUND Kevin and INVITES HIM DOWN TO THE GYM FOR SOME NAKED WRESTLING. And then he leaves. Kevin m'lad stays behind, passing up his chance to hit that. I judge him.
Down in sickbay, McCoy and Kirk hug it out:
Kirk: What the fuck happened?
McCoy: He just died. IT WAS NOT MY FAULT DON'T JUDGE ME.
Kirk: I was just -
McCoy: HE JUST GAVE UP. I HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH IT.
Kirk: I was wondering -
McCoy: Shut up shut UP the respirator was FINE.
Kirk: PLANET. I was wondering if this was related to the PLANET.
McCoy: Oh, man, that. Who can say?
Kirk demands that McCoy do the impossible - seriously, in so many words - and stomps out. We conclude that he's tense because Spock was on that planet, too.
Part Four: We Learned It by Watching Sulu
On the bridge, Spock looks around and discovers that Sulu is not among those present, which apparently no one felt was worth, you know, mentioning. Spock demands to know where Sulu is, and his boyfriend says, "Have no fear, O'Riley's here! And one Irishman is worth ten thousand -" Spock, thank god, does not let that continue.
Spock puts Uhura in O'Riley's chair. (I guess there's a lot of cross-training in Starfleet.) "Now that's what I like. Let the women work, too. Universal suffrage!" Spock, clearly aware that "universal suffrage" has nothing to do with "letting the women work," (also: LET?) orders him to sickbay, where presumably he'll be provided with a dictionary and a clout on the head.
O'Riley skips off.
Next we see O'Riley in the elevator, and he's doing some kind of weird walk. Best Beloved says he's drunk. I say he looks like a man with a hip injury starring in a Western.
In sickbay, O'Riley goes all flirty with Chapel and calls her little lady. I knew he was imitating John Wayne! Chapel, for reasons unknown, is actually flattered by this, possibly because she spends all her time around McCoy. O'Riley touches her face, and there's a rattlesnake noise.
Annnnd we cut to Sulu, topless and waving his sword around. Man, O'Riley, you missed out.
Sulu appears to have been, uh, oiled. He fondles his sword for a while and seems to be about to lick it. Then he leaps out to attack a redshirt and a man in blue pajamas. "You either leave bloodied," he says, "Or with my blood on your swords." In this case, the blood is obviously a metaphor, and so are the swords.
They stare at him blankly. "Is Sulu - practicing for something?" thinks the redshirt. "Wow, Sulu is pretty hot," thinks blue pajama man. Neither of them so much as looks around for the camera, proving that practical jokes aren't big on the Enterprise. And then Sulu charges and they flee.
On the bridge, there's a whole lot of shaking going on. They have no power, and the engine room is not answering. Kirk hands the helm over to Spock and goes for the elevator, where Sulu is waiting for him. "For the love of god, Sulu, put that thing way!" Kirk says. "I'm a married man!"
"For honor," Sulu says. Uhura tries to intervene, and they have the most wonderful exchange in the world:
Sulu: I'll protect you, fair maiden!
Uhura: Sorry, neither.
Kirk and Spock team up on Sulu - and I sure hope that has been the subject of a few stories - and then Spock nerve pinches him and says, "Take D'Artagnan here to sickbay."
Kirk demands power from the engine room. O'Riley says, "You rang, sir?" He says he has "relieved" Mr. Scott, and I worry that it was over his dead body, because come on. What are the odds Scotty would leave his lady in the hands of an Irishman? O'Riley starts singing, and, wow, I wish he wouldn't.
Kirk goes stalking off to find out what the hell is going on, and discovers that Scotty was locked out and they'll have to cut through the wall. Spock orders "alert b-2" whatever that is, but O'Riley cuts it off.
We pause to ponder this. Did O'Riley take over a secondary bridge or something? Because he has a dickload of power, here.
Back on the show, O'Riley is demonstrating his power by telling Uhura there will be no ice cream for her tonight. And then he orders a formal dance in the bowling alley, which answers a lot of questions about the rec room and raises many, many more. (Why the fuck would they have one room for both eating and games and then make a bowling alley? Is bowling someone's religion or something?)
The ship wobbles. McCoy orders Kirk to keep it level, because he believes that mountains will move if you just ask them irritably enough. O'Riley announces that from now on, women will wear their hair loosely about their shoulders, while making a hand gesture that I would interpret as "giant boobs - I want to see some giant boobs," and believe me when I tell you I am familiar with such gestures. He also encourages the women to use restraint when putting on makeup, which I support, although really I think he should have addressed the male crewmembers on this one - the purple eyeshadow epidemic is raging among them even now.
Uhura looks like she's promising herself, at some time in the near future, to wrap O'Riley's genitals in duct tape while he's asleep. O'Riley sings another song, and Kirk breaks under the torture. I can't blame him; I'm about to, too.
Scotty is in a tube! And evidently I've been watching TOS too long, because to me the tube looks like a really fancy set. He gets power for Kirk and then goes to check on his assistant, who is drawing a petroglyph on the wall for some reason.
Kirk sends Spock to help Scotty, and Spock finds evidence of loose inhibitions throughout the ship - a hebephrenic dude who has written LOVE MANKIND on the wall, and I can totally see why he's so pleased with himself, since that's the only decoration we've ever seen on the walls on this ship. I find myself hoping they put a frame around it; people can come after work to admire it and debate the meaning of his font choice. Then there's a guy singing at Lady Baskethead - who is she? - and refusing to let her by, which, seriously, not okay, dude. She asks Spock to intervene, and he orders him to let her pass (thus proving that everyone on the ship really does follow Spock's orders - the man is just a natural, well, let's say that he has a natural air of authority, and I bet Kirk appreciates it, too); he waits for Spock to go and then goes back to his sexual harassment.
I find myself wishing Spock would just nerve pinch everyone he passes who seems affected. But then, if I were Spock, I would nerve pinch people all the time (Person in the bank telling the teller about her daughter's wedding? NERVE PINCH. Lady who uses her cart to block an entire aisle at the grocery store? NERVE PINCH. Door-to-door salesmen? NERVE PINCH. People who drive 55 in the fast lane? I will follow them to their destination and then - NERVE PINCH.) so maybe I'm not a good judge of that.
In sickbay, the biopsy lab (they have a separate biopsy lab even though they only have one doctor? I AM SO CONFUSED) isn't responding, so McCoy goes off to deal with that, leaving behind a curiously creepy Chapel, who says, "Of course, doc... tor" like she's been taking elocution lessons from Kirk. Once he's gone, Chapel decides she'd rather not work any more; she rubs her rattlesnake hands together and makes plans for her serial killing spree.
Sulu writhes in his restraints, and, wow, I bet that scene has featured in quite a few vids. For the record, I would like links to all such vids.
Back on the bridge, Kirk orders Lady Baskethead into the captain's chair (so she's not good enough to sit down in a briefing, but she's plenty good enough to take the helm? Also: Uhura is RIGHT THERE), tries to rouse an insensible goldshirt at one of the stations, and has a brief spat with Uhura. The singing is getting to everyone.
Spock arrives in sickbay, where Chapel is fondling her (evil) hands. There is a cringe-inducing scene that I won't discuss because I can't even stand to think about it. We distract ourselves from it by trying to figure out why Spock and Kirk didn't get the rattlesnake drunkenness from Sulu, who they were all over while he was, you know, moist and partly naked. Best Beloved advances the theory that Sulu is a non-carrier - he can get the disease but not pass it on. I advance the theory that the writer wasn't paying too much attention to his work. She's Watsonian and I'm a Doylist! CAN THIS MARRIAGE BE SAVED?
Part Five: Just say OH MY GOD NO NO NO
Back in the horrible scene, Chapel grabs Spock's hand and asks about kinky Vulcan sex. Spock takes his hand back and moves away, visibly as horrified by this scene as we are. And then - AND THEN -
Chapel: I'm in love with you, Mr. Spock.
Us: OH GOD EW EW EW EW.
Is there anything worse than a scene where person A says "I love you" when you know person B does not feel the same way? Yes, actually, many things, including every scene where Uhura has to say she's frightened, but none of them is happening on our screen right now. For the love of GOD, Chapel, just get a male crewmember to put on some pointy ears while you fuck him - I'm sure they're used to it, and it's better than humiliating yourself. EW. Tip for everyone everywhere: probably don't say "I love you" to someone until you've at least had a date.
Spock looks revolted and appalled. He stares at his hand like he wants to cut it off. And the scene just will not end. She rubs his hands and says she knows he does have feelings. She says she loves him again. She kisses his hands. It just. It just keeps getting worse, until Uhura's magical ninja senses tell her Spock needs an out.
I am really not surprised that Uhura is going to end up being the only sane person on this ship.
In sickbay, Chapel leans against the wall and smiles happily, like she's sure she's just taken first place in the shipwide Most Uncomfortable Scene competition. Outside of sickbay, Spock presses himself against the wall and curls into his hands kind of like he did in Amok Time during plak tow. He makes a visible effort to get himself under control, and starts sniffling. I cringe. Oh, Spock.
Spock wanders through the hallway, visibly pained. The dams are breaking! Years of Vulcan repression crumbling away!
HE'S CRYING OH GOD HE'S CRYING. He makes a stop in a room with a bizarre chair-thing and grey and blue (!) walls. We decide to call it the Recuperation Lounge until further notice. He chants, "I am in control of my emotions." The whole scene makes you think uncomfortably about what wee Spock's life must have been like to make him learn all these techniques for distancing himself from his feelings.
And then, oh, oh god. Spock whimpers and his body language just crumples. He does the same thing with his feet that the earthling does when he's really distressed. It's awful. He says, "I am an officer." Now Spock is hitting himself. And sniffling. He tries to force his body language back to normal and fails.
"My duty..." Spock stumbles to a table and nearly falls as he sits down. He fondles a box thing and weeps. "I am sorry." OH GOD THIS IS HARD TO WATCH.
"2 4 6 - 6 - 6 times 6 -" EVEN THE MATH ISN'T WORKING. This entire scene is so painful, watching all the techniques Spock regularly uses to control his emotions crumble. The thing is, I watched Naked Time once, long ago, before the madness took me, and I remember this scene as being vaguely interesting. NOW I AM ALMOST CRYING WITH SPOCK. Oh my god, what has happened to me?
Over with the Bridge Recovery Unit, Scotty is - actually, Scotty is weirdly shiny, but I don't think he's infected. It's just, in TOS, sometimes the future is so bright that people spontaneously start shining. (Either that, or they spontaneously develop oil slicks. I like the first theory better.) Scotty says O'Riley turned off the engines and it'll take half an hour to restart them. They have eight minutes left. "I can't change the laws of physics," Scotty says, which I know for a fact is a total lie. Any time he's bored, he breaks one of Newton's laws just for kicks.
But apparently the problem here is that you can't mix antimatter and matter cold, which - what? We have to pause for another repetition of Best Beloved's "If you can't let the science go, we can't keep watching" speech. She's getting really good at that. Pretty soon she'll be reciting it in her sleep.
And then we cut to a scene of MCCOY TORTURING SULU. Seriously, he's standing over him with a sonic screwdriver (if McCoy is a Time Lord, I am judging the hell out of Gallifrey, by the way) and watching him scream. Scotty, watching, looks thoughtful, like he's always wanted to shove the Implanter in THAT body cavity. Sulu, after some anguished screaming, recovers and says, "I was on the bridge." And then he asks what happened, so apparently he doesn't remember the oiled fencing. Pity. He'd probably like to.
McCoy has figured it out, but the explanation is so scientifically painful that we have to pause for yet another round of BB's speech. Shortest time between two repetitions in all of TOS (so far)!
We return to Spock, still fighting for self-control in the Recuperation Lounge.
Kirk comes in. "Where have you been?" he asks, but he sounds worried, not angry, and once again he leans protectively close to Spock.
"My mother," Spock responds. "I never told her I loved her." We pause to appreciate the simultaneous horror and beauty of this moment.
"We've got four minutes, maybe five," Kirk tells him, visibly thinking, "Spock, I need you now." And then Kirk YANKS Spock out of his chair and SHAKES him. Spock looks unusually limp and boneless. "We've got to do a full power start! I CAN'T DO IT WITHOUT YOU!" (Okay, the last part is only implied.)
Spock continues to try to initiate a sharing moment. Kirk, horrified, smacks him across the face. But he can't stop the confession: " Jim... when I feel friendship for you, I'm ashamed." OH MY GOD. If this had aired in 2010 instead of, you know, 1960-something, it would be the squee heard round the world. There would be YouTube reaction videos. My friends list would break under the strain of the cut-tagged posts consisting entirely of punctuation. There would be three hundred ep-tag stories posted before dawn.
Kirk does not want to talk about it. He smacks Spock again - and, wow, I'd like to see him try that with Reboot Spock; he'd get his ass handed to him, and frankly it would be awesome - several times, and Spock grabs his hand and makes him stop. They stand there, holding hands, and we pause once again to let it all sink in, except this time we pause so that Kirk is making a perfect O with his mouth. While they hold hands. I laugh so hard I hurt myself.
Spock forces Kirk's hand down.
"I spent a whole lifetime learning to hide my feelings."
Kirk, the motherfucker, HITS SPOCK YET AGAIN. Seriously, if the first five slaps don't do anything, MAYBE YOU SHOULDN'T TRY THE SIXTH. Or, hey, don't even try the first! Spock hits Kirk so hard he flies over the table. We applaud vigorously.
"We've got to risk implosion!" Kirk shouts.
"It's never been done," Spock says, proving that while being hit did nothing to get him to focus, hitting Kirk helped. I see how this relationship works.
Uhura asks if Kirk found Spock, and Kirk shouts at her. "I've got the disease," Kirk realizes. And then we go into Kirk's breakdown:
Kirk, to Spock: Love. You're better off without it, and I'm better off without mine.
Spock: *looks vaguely offended*
Kirk: I'm talking about this vessel. I give and I give and I give, and all she does is take. She's a bitch, do you hear me? THE ENTERPRISE IS A BITCH. SHE WON'T LET ME LOVE YOU. God, I hate her. I love her so much. And that's why I hate her.
Spock, apparently willing to do anything to stem the flow of Kirk/Enterprise confessions before he gets to the part where he rubs off on the bulkhead: Jim, there is an intermix formula.
Annnnd Kirk leans against the wall, apparently rubbing his crotch. I - I have to confess, when I wrote that part about rubbing off on the bulkhead, I didn't expect he'd actually be doing it a minute later. Whoa.
Spock is now much calmer. It's pretty clear that they have that marriage balance thing, where when one partner gets more upset, the other one gets less upset - conservation of distress. Now that Kirk is a complete freak, Spock is calm and focused.
Uhura interrupts with a bulletin on the temperature of the skin of the ship. That Kipling poem that goes "If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs..." - that is clearly about Uhura.
To the sound of violins, Kirk tells the ship that he'll always love her. (This, by the way, is a total lie, since he's going to sacrifice her to save Spock. Wow, that sequence takes on new meaning now.) He's sorry he called her names. He'll get her a bouquet of dilithium crystals in the morning.
Part Six: Beyond the Influence of Sanity
Kirk gets in the elevator and sees that someone has written SINNER REPENT on the wall. He wipes his mouth, visibly worried, obviously trying to figure out which of his sins they know about. Is human/Vulcan love a sin? What about if you sometimes cry out the Enterprise's full registration name and number when you come? It's hard to repent if you don't know what you're supposed to be sorry for!
Sulu is back on the bridge. Kirk arrives, and McCoy RIPS OPEN KIRK's SHIRT to give him the shot, which - what, through the shirt wasn't fast enough? Also, Kirk's neck is right there! Apparently he just WANTED to see Kirk's manly shoulder. Are we sure he isn't infected?
Everyone stares at Kirk. He recovers without any agonized screaming - I guess McCoy only needed to administer it rectally to Sulu.
There is a hideous, hideous scene with Lady Baskethead and a regretful speech from Kirk, but I can't go into it. I'm sorry. Some things I just can't recap. Baskethead stares at the viewscreen, apparently more worried about impending death. I applaud her good sense.
Spock and Scotty are working on the whole death thing - which, as far as we know, Spock didn't get the antidote, so we just have to assume that hitting Kirk was a cure. Well. I mean. Who wouldn't be cured by that?
There's a moment of rising tension, as the music - no, I can't really call it music, so maybe I'll call it the wailtrack- gets really loud, and then Kirk and Uhura fling their heads back in anguish. It's so bizarre we pause to discuss who directed them to do that - I mean, it's not just Shatner, who can reliably be trusted to make the worst of all possible acting choices. It's also Nichelle Nichols, and she's not a total crazypants. Someone must have actually told them to do that. Wow.
And then we decide we don't want to see that shot anymore and unpause in a hurry.
Back on the bridge - they're going really fast! The CLOCK IS RUNNING BACKWARDS, which WHAT? WHAT THE FUCK? Only the Doctor has that kind of technology! Maybe McCoy really is a Time Lord!
They stop, in the space of about 30 seconds, which - again, not possible. And now the clock is going forward. WHAT WHAT WHAT WHAT WHAT?
"We're back to normal time, Captain." Maybe Spock is the Time Lord!
Kirk notes that now they know how to travel through time. (Whaaaaaaaat?) "We may risk it someday, Mr. Spock." You know, that is not the reaction I would have upon accidentally discovering time travel. What happened to a good old-fashioned "FUCK YEAH"?