Series and Season: Star Trek: The Original Series, Season 3
Episode #,and Episode Name: 12 – “The Empath” and 13 “Elaan of Troyius”
Setting the Stage: I started around 5:30 pm, on a rainy day, still watching Netflix and using their viewing order. Professor Zoom got groomed today, so naturally he slept because it was such a rough day, how could you mom?! There was food to be had somewhere in there, and plenty of cats around. While writing this up, I’m listening to my “study” playlist on shuffle, even though I’ve been out of school for at least four years now I don’t think I’ll ever rename it. I think the most impressive news is that it’s finally the end of January! That means this is the 31st blog post, and I’ve been watching Star Trek for 31 days! In that time I’ve watched 69 episodes of The Original Series spanning an approximate time of 57 hours, duuuuuude.
Quick Summary with my Impressions: Let me start off the review of “The Empath” by saying THIS EPISODE MOVED SO FREAKING SLOW! There’s a solar flare so Scotty has to move the ship out of orbit, but that leaves Kirk, Spock, and McCoy on the planet. They begin to hear a sound and then they all disappear, great Scott! Below the surface, they find a woman who is asleep, and Kirk says “we’re not going to hurt you” as he points a phaser at her… seriously? The men speculate while she looks on, until two very alien looking men pop in and freeze them in place. They realize she is an empath and a mute. While walking around the place, they find their missing men as well as tubes with their names on them… curiouser and curiouser.
They see the search party, but realize it was a ruse. The aliens say they only need one specimen, and they want Kirk, but instead of letting McCoy and Spock go, they disappear. We now pan to a shirtless Kirk, who is being tortured, but is then healed by the empath. McCoy knocks out both Kirk and Spock, so he can sacrifice himself to the aliens for experimentation. Turns out the aliens are trying to see if the empath will sacrifice herself for McCoy, which she eventually tries to. This is all in an effort to see if she will sacrifice herself for someone else, like the others demonstrated. Kirk delivers a speech, the aliens see reason, and everyone goes back to their normal lives, after going back to poking fun at Spock and his Vulcan heritage at the end of the episode.
I did a lot of eye-rolling at this episode. The men standing around a woman and talking about her like she wasn’t there (McCoy does mention this, but then they go right back to it), the whole point of what the aliens were trying to prove, and the whole hour being devoted to mostly six people… it was just a bit boring. No one died, except for the two men who were on the station but they died off screen. No one fell in love, thank goodness, though at least we’re back to brunettes. There was an attempt at science, but the reasoning didn’t make sense and I walked away feeling like I had just lost an hour of my time. This episode get 1 whole banana, but it surprises you by telling you the exact moment it is most ripe.
“Elaan of Troyius” begins with Kirk not knowing what the hell is going on, and he does not like that one bit. Finally a woman beams aboard and she apparently is “the Dohlman of Elas”, whatever that means, and she thinks she is in control. She is the planned mate of the ruler of Troyius so that their two worlds can have a chance at peace. She is not happy and quite the drama queen, as is the other ambassador, but Kirk won’t take shit from her. There’s also something following the Enterprise, and it’s a Klingon warship… just as the ambassador has been found with a knife in his back! Kirk has no patience for the Dohlman, he gets slapped, and slaps her right back. Kirk touches her tears, which is not good, because now he is under her control, and they kiss and do other naughty things. Meanwhile, one of her goons is sabotaging the ship. She finally dons the wedding dress and necklace that were “gifts” from her future husband, but the necklace is made of dilithium crystals and we now know why the Klingons want the star system. Scotty does his engineering magic and Elaan is off to be married. Turns out Kirk’s first love, the Enterprise, was the cure all along to the tears of Elaan, it’s a Christmas miracle.
All I got out of this episode was the Star Trek take of The Taming of the Shrew. There’s an arranged marriage, a “savage” woman, and some political intrigue. Some of the comments throughout the episode are just as eye-rolling worthy as the previous episode, so I’m going to have to give my eyeballs a long rest this evening. I also don’t understand how Elaan goes from being calculated enough to fake cry and make Kirk feel bad enough to touch her tears and be under her control, to be utterly in love with him back and listening to him when he kicks her off the bridge? What gives for her to change that much in so little time, unless of course her tears are a double edged sword? I have more questions than answers, and was overall unimpressed with this episode as well. This episode earns 1 bag of non-clumping cat litter, which is actually super useful if your car gets stuck in the snow, but not for when you have four cats in one house.
Season 2 was so good in some ways, at least an improvement over Season 1, but Season 3 is just not doing it for me. We’re halfway there, so let’s see what happens in February.