Series and Season: Star Trek: The Original Series, Season 3
Episode #,and Episode Name: 3 – “The Paradise Syndrome” and 4 “And the Children Shall Lead”
Setting the Stage: I actually watched these episodes yesterday, still watching via Netflix and using their viewing order. I watched these two episodes with my friends; the third episode was spent on the couch, with a cat to my left and a Trekkie to my right. The fourth episode was shared while the three of us ate a very tasty dinner and I got to drink some Manhattan Special, I really do have the best friends.
I’m sitting at the airport trying to finish this post, because I have an engagement party to go to as soon as I arrive back home. Thank the internet gods for free WI-fi at LGA, although it’s cold, rainy, and windy outside. I’ve got my iPod running and we’re starting out with “Blow Me (One Last Kiss)” from Pink, so it’s going to be an interesting writing session. Just as I finished writing the last sentence, we moved to “Blown Away” by Carrie Underwood and apparently I’ll be writing to angry, passionate, wronged women today.
Quick Summary with my Impressions: “The Paradise Syndrome” opens with a big green obelisk and apparently a meteor is coming in a few months to destroy the planet. The Enterprise is on a mission to help nudge the meteor elsewhere, but as soon as they are about to leave Kirk falls into it and is electrocuted. McCoy and Spock have no idea where their captain went, so they leave him as the meteor window is closing. Back on the Enterprise, Scotty is worried about his engines like a father who is worried about his child, and it’s adorable. Due to the electrocution, Kirk has amnesia. So when he exits the obelisk, the locals think he is a god come to save them. He is then invited to the tribe and performs CPR to revive a drowned child, so they are now certain he’s a god. That reminds me of another false, gold god:
For the record, Shatner does not give as good of eyebrow as Nimoy. Back on the Enterprise they can’t move the asteroid, they are losing power, and they decide to make their way back to the planet – but it will take almost 2 months. There’s a whole lot of “awww” in the exchange between Miramanee and Kirk, he really does look happy and I’m sure this is what it might be like if he didn’t choose a life of service to Starfleet. McCoy is dramatic as usual and Spock is thinking, also as usual. Silash is jealous and tries to knife Kirk, but Kirk is merciful. Ah, shirtless Kirk with his new bride… I knew we couldn’t go too long without seeing him shirtless. This kind of feels like On Her Majesty’s Secret Service when James Bond gets married, it’s a little weird. Spock figures out the symbols, but Kirk and Miramanee are being stoned by the villagers. When McCoy and Spock show up they COMPLETELY ignore Miramanee, what gives? More Vulcan mind magic and Kirk is back, and they save the day… but not the girl.
I totally get why the wife had to die, they did it in OHMSS too. What I don’t get is why did they all act like she wasn’t even there? There’s also the issue of Native American stereotypes, the, jamming two months into a 50 minute episode, and McCoy being overly dramatic and almost insubordinate to Spock when he was in control. My biggest question, though, is why didn’t they just check out the planet AFTER they destroyed the meteor? Doesn’t make much sense to only leave a 30 minute gap to meet your deadline. The only two things about this episode that were good and pure were Scotty and, surprisingly, Kirk. We get to see Scotty being a mother hen to his beloved Enterprise and we get a glimpse into the future Kirk may have had if he had not the desire to captain a star ship. I give this episode 4 macarons, you know the French ones that almost always have almonds in them so I can’t eat them… those.
“And the Children Shall Lead” begin with the landing party encountering at least eight dead adults, and it looks like a mass suicide. All of a sudden, their children run out and are not in the least bit concerned, they are running and playing. Kirk and Spock check out the cave and Kirk becomes anxious, a very strange feeling overcomes him… but not Spock. Back on the ship the kids eat ice cream but then are snotty to Kirk and Chapel and only want to play. The kids chant and this creepy guy we later find out to be named Gorgon, shows up, and he gets the Disney Villian treatment.
One by one, the children take over the bridge, engineering, and other areas of the ship. Kirk doesn’t realize they have left orbit of the planet and sends down two red shirts to relieve the two they left, and they get spaced. Chekov tries to arrest Kirk and the kids have taken over the ship and most of the crew members. Kirk has a hunch and shows the kids a video of them having fun with their families, which breaks the connection with Gorgon. However, he then shows them their dead parents, so it’s slightly traumatic, but kids are resilient and they’re now crying so McCoy thinks they can now help. On this bit, I agree because you need to face your trauma and, sometimes, cry it out before you can start working on your grief and healing. I am curious, however, whatever happened to the two security guards they left on the planet?
I did not care for this episode. There are three groups that cannot always advocate for themselves: animals, the elderly/infirmed, and the young. To have children be influenced, manipulated, and traumatized, it’s just not okay. There were some elements that would have been okay of Gorgon was taking over the crew or got loose on the ship, so this earns a rating of 2 melted ice pops.