Series and Season: Star Trek: The Original Series, Season 3
Episode #,and Episode Name: 6 – “Spectre of the Gun”
Setting the Stage: I started at 7:00 pm, still watching Netflix and using their viewing order. I had a long day of meetings and teaching, and we had a delicious taco dinner, and I can’t believe it’s only Monday because it already feels like I’ve had a hell of a week. Again, I planned at least two episodes and only was able to watch one. While I am writing this up, it’s a Daft Punk and Linkin Park kind of night.
I also recently figured out that Firefox has more menu options than Chrome, so I have figured out how to categorize things and am hoping to update some of the pages. I hope you like the new menu (available at the top and bottom of each page). Let me know if anything is amiss!
Lastly, I figured out who the Slytherin on the bridge is – it’s Chekov! First, in “Mirror, Mirror” we have him wanting to move up via the assassination of Kirk. Next, in “And the Children Shall Lead“, it’s Chekov that is tapped by the children to try and arrest Kirk on “federation orders”. I think he has the motivation, work ethic, and ambition to be more than he is. That makes the set of Gryffindor (Kirk), Slytherin (Chekov), Ravenclaw (Spock), and Hufflepuff (McCoy).
Quick Summary with my Impressions: “Spectre of the Gun” begins with the Enterprise being followed by a shiny, multicolored beacon and then an entity speaks to each of the crew in their native tongue telling them to leave. So what do they do? Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Chekov, and Scotty all beam down to the planet of course! They find themselves in a dense fog when a voice tells them they shouldn’t have come and transfers them to a place that appears to be the Wild West. Apparently we are going to watch the Star Trek rendition of Tombstone, which I have seen, but the crew is set as the ill-fated Clantons.
As they walk into the bar, everyone recognizes them as the Clantons, and Chekov gets some smooching time with the barmaid, who is head over heels in love with him. The crew can’t leave the area, so they all gather up supplies to try and endeavor to “MacGyver” some weapons and other self-defense items. Chekov is adorable with Slyvia, the barmaid, but understands he can’t go so far as to marry her – which is what she wants. The actors who play the Earps are almost mechanical and quite stiff, not sure if that’s because this is supposed to be a replay of the O.K. Corral shooting or because they were just all bad actors. Earp and Chekov get into an argument over Sylvia, Earp shoots, and Chekov dies. Spock points out that Billy (who was Chekov’s counterpart in this story) didn’t die in the original O.K. Corral, so he theorizes that Chekov only died because he thought the bullets were real. This leads to Spock using the Vulcan mind melding stuff with the others in order to make them have faith that nothing is actually real. Somehow they wind up back on the ship, even Chekov! The Melkotians are most impressed that Kirk has outgrown his ancestral appetite for violence, and invites the crew to talk of joining the Federation.
I was positive Chekov wasn’t dead, but I didn’t think it was an illusion until everyone was magically back on the Enterprise. If you don’t understand the reference above, I’m not sure if we can still be friends. The Earps were super mechanical, like they were reading off a script, which I am sure was intentional but just added to the idea that the setting wasn’t as real as the Melkotians may have intended. Each Earp said they were going to kill the crew “at 5:01 pm” so many times! Thinking about the crew, though, they really kept to their mission this time. They spoke from a place of peace and didn’t ever throw the first punch or go out of their way to make trouble, they really wanted to talk… honest!
One thing that bothers me is when Scotty and McCoy gang up on Spock for not having the “appropriate” reaction to Chekov being dead. First, regardless of if you are Vulcan or Human, there is no correct way to grieve. I hope that’s loud enough for all of you in the back. Yes there are the usual steps, but everyone goes through them in their own way. The best way to help someone who is grieving is to be there for them and make sure they are taking care of themselves. Now that I’m off my counseling soapbox, I did like how everyone tried to make the tranquilizers and other non-lethal weapons in order to really stick to the “I don’t want to kill you I just want to talk about peace” mission. I give this episode a 4.7 liter v8 engine, mostly to annoy my husband.