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Series and Season: Star Trek: The Original Series, Season 2
Episode #,and Episode Name: 19 – “A Private Little War”, 20 – “Return to Tomorrow”, and 21 – “Patterns of Force”
Setting the Stage: I started at 6:30 pm on January 20, 2020, still watching Netflix and using their viewing order. At first, I was all alone! Not a soul was within my line of sight for at least the first episode. Later, Professor Zoom and my husband watched at bit while we all ate dinner. While writing tonight, I am listing to a mix of: El Ten Eleven, the Brobdingnagian Bards, and Joe Satriani. There was also a rendition of “Jessica” by the Allman Brothers.
Also, I’ve recently updated the My Rankings page (linked above) now that I have things to compare. I’ve also started collecting my favorite episodes. Is there anything else I should add? Let a blogger know!
Quick Summary with my Impressions: “A Private Little War” opens with Kirk finishing a not-so-short speech about how peaceful the inhabitants are, when they see men with guns about to shoot men with arrows, so naturally Kirk interferes. Spock is shot, his phaser is lost, and the party beams up. Uhura sounds the alert, it’s Klingons! I like Kirk in command gold, the green just doesn’t look as great. Okay, what was that white creature? Oh snap, Kirk was bit. I mean we all know he’s not going to die, but the scene is quite dramatic. Okay, so things between the leader and his wife get all hot and heavy, and quite scandalous for the 1960’s. Back on the Enterprise, Chapel is holding Spock’s hand… my, my this episode is just steaming up. Kirk is healed, after another steamy scene, and McCoy is mystified at the technique. The wife, Nona, seems to be on the same page as Kirk, but Tyree puts up a big “MEN ONLY” sign to join the meeting, sigh. Of course the Klingons are involved in helping some of the tribe to gain knowledge about weapons. Spock asks Chapel to hit him… “harder”, seriously what’s with all the innuendo in this episode? So Kirk falls under the spell of Nona and the parsley leaf, Tyree sees this and gets mad, and then they get attacked by that weird white creature again. Nona steals the phaser and tries to defect to the other side, but the men just want a piece of her. I’m kind of over the rape-like scenes, it’s just not okay. She gets stabbed, McCoy gets shot, and a fight ensues. Although Tyree eventually agrees to the guns, Kirk decides it would be better to leave them as is, even with Klingon interference.
So there were parts of this episode I really liked, and parts that I really didn’t like. I totally get the decision of Kirk to stick to his orders and let things play out, but there didn’t seem to be any repercussions for the Klingons that were clearly interfering with the society that had existed previously. I liked the character of Nona, she just wanted what was best for her husband, until she went and tried to switch sides. I can’t justify giving this episode any other rating other than the 5 of clubs.
“Return to Tomorrow” shows us that Sulu is back, but only for like 5 seconds. Oh, a disembodied voice is talking to Kirk, nifty! It is very specific with the people it wants to beam down, and it’s only four of the six that Kirk thought he was taking. The disembodied voice is a flashing, glowing ball, that inserts himself into Kirk. Spock and Mulhall are required for the other two survivors. They need mechanical bodies in order to leave the planet, and McCoy is not at all about it. I don’t understand why Kirk is making this ridiculously long speech, I mean it goes on forever, but eventually they all decide to do the body swap. Kirk, Mulhall, and Spock all get a being from one of the three receptacles, but only the one in Spock’s body can handle the stress. Oh man, the dude in Spock’s body is trying to get Sargon and Kirk killed, and then Kirk dies… or does he? And wait, Sargon isn’t dead yet either, interesting. Kirk is ALIVE but all three receptacles are now gone, including Spock’s. Okay, I hate listening to Uhura scream, but that woman has PIPES! Chapel kills Spock’s body, but Sargon saves the day and Spock lives too, because he was just unconscious. Chapel looks ALL TOO HAPPY to have shared consciousness with Spock, and Kirk and Mulhall grant the others one last goodbye. Awww, how sweet.
I kinda liked this episode. It had a lot of elements that make a good story. We have the benevolent overlords who just need a body, in exchange for advancement. We have two people in love, and one with nefarious intentions, and we have the one who is cynical of the whole project. I now know I can lure Scotty into any trap by dangling engineering advancements in his face, I’ll file that away for later. The only thing I didn’t believe was how trusting Kirk was, as he usually isn’t, but he did get taken over first and who knows what he saw that convinced him. For some reason, I truly loved this line by Thalassa (sharing Mulhall’s body): “Oblivion together does not frighten me, beloved. Promise we’ll be together.” This episodes get 8 tacos, 8 burritos, and 8 orders of chips, salsa, and guacamole from me.
“Patterns of Force” starts off promising, there’s an unmanned probe with a warhead? My goodness! Let’s blow it up. Beaming down, it turns out that this will be the Nazi episode. The Nazi’s are scandalized by Spock’s ears. Turns out the guy who the Enterprise came looking for became the Fuhrer, uh not cool bro. Spock begins to understand the appeal of gambling, in the midst of crazy Nazi shit. The Chairman from earlier appears to not recognize Kirk and Spock, but I believe something is going on. That’s the only part of the episode that I like, when it might turn out that a high ranking official is trying to be the “good guy”. Turns out Gill’s been drugged and his second in command has been taking over and is the real evil behind the throne. Both top men get shot, and our three heroes beam back to the ship with the promise that the inhabitants will clean up and show their people a better life.
I think we all know that “good” and “bad” are relative terms, but we can all agree that discrimination is in the bad category. I’m giving this episode a combo #3, mostly because of Nimoy’s hairy chest, the magnificent use of red and green “blood” makeup, and for the Nazi’s being defeated. Oh, and that one scene where Spock was standing on Kirk and kept pausing to ask Kirk questions, that was comedy gold. At least this time we got to see bare-chested Spock more than bare-chested Kirk, but not by much. If I ever do a re-watch I’m going to devise a drinking game and take a shot every time Kirk is missing an item of clothing. I don’t think I’ll make it to Season 3, haha.