Setting the Stage: Today consisted of: office hours, lunch meeting, more office hours, teaching, dropping off food for a friend, and sitting in on a student meeting for which I am their faculty advisor. This meant I walked in the door at 7:45 pm and was watching Star Trek by 8 pm, still watching via Netflix and using their viewing order. Husband and I ate dinner (repurposed leftovers for the win!) while Zoom had his iced pumpkin-filled Kong, and Tempura looked on with disdain. Jazz joined us for a bit and, to everyone’s surprise, Loki sat next to me for the last 10 minutes of the episode! Thor was curled up somewhere, ignoring all of us. Tonight’s music is brought to you by El Ten Eleven, off of their self-titled album.
Quick Summary with my Impressions: “Let That Be Your Last Battlefield” begins with a mission: decontaminate the planet Ariannus. What happens instead is they come across a runaway space shuttle that had been stolen. They pull in the ship which has one inhabitant, a man who has half white skin and half black skin (think in terms of paint colors) who promptly collapses and is turned over to McCoy. When he comes to he claims to have only borrowed the craft and he swears he was going to return it as soon as he was done. His name is Lokai, no relation to this guy:
In the meantime, every sensor on the bridge identifies a ship – but no one can see it. We spend SO MUCH TIME trying to find the ship only to determine it’s probably invisible when it disintegrates and another alien beams aboard the ship. At first glance, he’s identical to Lokai. Upon further inspection I can see that the colors are opposite on Bele. Bele claims that Lokai is a murderer and a fugitive from their shared planet, Cheron. Bele seems a little more reasonable, until he continually argues with Lokai and then takes over control of the ship, with his mind no less. Kirk threatens to blow up the Enterprise and Bele calls his bluff, so we have Kirk give the first sequence, then Spock, and then Scotty (through gritted teeth), and then there’s the countdown. The passwords they all give are THE WORSE PASSWORDS EVER.
In true dramatic fashion, Bele concedes control and Kirk aborts the self-destruct, hoping both men will now learn more about the Federation and ultimately, peace. The Enterprise arrives at Ariannus and Scotty leads the decontamination. Once that is complete, Bele takes over the ship (and destroys a few things along the way), and Kirk is pissed! Once they are within visual range of Cheron, things get bad real quick. Apparently there is no evidence of life on the planet because the two factions warred each other to death and destruction. Lokai and Bele immediately turn on each other and then begin to chase each other through the ship. What seems like 10 days later, Loaki beams himself down to the planet’s surface, with Bele following a short time later. Everyone on the bridge is confused and Kirk is essentially like “screw it, we’re leaving”, so they leave.
This was absolutely a social commentary episode and very apropos, still, for today’s society. Don’t let the differences in someone’s outside appearance cause you to hate someone with every fiber of your being and certainly don’t let it dictate who is in charge, or superior, to someone who looks different. It doesn’t matter if it’s Sneeches with stars on their bellies or someone who butters their toast on a different side, because literally none of that matters. What matters is how we treat each other, kindness matters. Now that I’m off my soapbox (well, I mean I’m never off of it or you’d never be able to actually see me)… the plot was meh, and not really science-fictiony. I mean we get to see personal shields, invisibility cloaks for aircraft, and some mind control, but none of that was explored, it all just happened. Since everyone winds up dead at the end, it’s like we went through that whole episode for nothing, except maybe the meaning at the end of the parable. I was super stoked to see one of my favorite Riddler actors, Frank Gorshin, especially since I cosplay as Lady Riddler at cons! This, along with the ridiculous running scene that further reminded me of the Batman TV show, earns this episode all 4 seasons hitting at once in the same week.
4 thoughts on “TOS: Season 3, Episode 15, “Let That Be Your Last Battlefield” (Feb 3, 2020)”