Date: February 11, 2020
Episode # and Episode Name: 7 – “The Infinite Vulcan”, 8 – “The Magic of Megas-Tu”, and 9 – “Once Upon a Planet”
Setting the Stage: I watched these episodes via Amazon Prime through the CBS All Access 7-day trial, starting around 7:30 pm. Accompanying me as always is the husband and Professor Zoom, various cats were around the living room throughout the evening. I didn’t sleep well last night and got a much later start, so we only got through three episodes tonight. In the background while I write this evening, I am listening to Menos El Oso by Minus the Bear, which is sort of a self titled album? But it’s good and you should give it a listen.
Quick Summary with my Impressions: “The Infinite Vulcan” has the crew of the Enterprise surverying a new planet. Sulu finds a plant that looks like a mini Truffula tree but it stabs him and he is insta-poisoned.
McCoy is snarky about the “intelligent plant life” on the planet, but they are able to save Sulu. Way to be an ass McCoy! They are very friendly aliens, but all of a sudden there’s a bunch of plant-dragons who take Spock away! Kirk, defeated, heads back to the Enterprise without his first officer. Turns out the guy who is in charge of the planet keeps cloning himself. Kirk, McCoy, and Sulu beam down to try and find Spock. They find him, but he’s already been cloned. Dr. Keniclius (the 5th) believes there is no peace in the galaxy, but he’s working on old information. The giant Spock clone transfers himself back to his original form, which is awesome and also weird. The Spock clone will stay with the doctor clone to try to help the aliens rebuild their society, and regular sized original Spock talks to giant clone Spock and it’s like when Batman talks to Bruce Wayne.
I didn’t hate this episode, but I also didn’t really love it either. It’s very middle of the road after such strong episodes before it. This was a very middle of the road episode for me where we find new and interesting alien life, who has an agenda, there’s a crisis, and then it magically gets solved in super dramatic fashion at the last minute. I did like that there was more Sulu in the episode and that the aliens were plant based, because that’s different. Also there were dragons! I mean, that’s always a plus in my book. That earns this episode 6 perfectly positioned petals on a purple petunia.
“The Magic of Megas-Tu” has the Enterprise traveling to the center of the universe; the creation point, and it’s super chaotic. Everything on the ship starts failing and then there’s a satyr? What the what is happening? Lucien, the satyr, transports Spock, McCoy, and Kirk off ship and they are in a land of “magic”. Looks like his species is like the Vorlons from Babylon 5, interesting. This dude is all over the place and then randomly sends them back to the ship in a panic. Spock theorizes that he can use the “magic” and he is successful. I mean it was totally logical, duh. However, the whole crew wind up in a replica of Salem, MA and are to be charged because they are humans from Earth and were terrible to Lucien’s people. Since Spock is not of Earth, he is allowed to call a witness. Kirk explains how humans have changed since the early times when they were on Earth. Apparently Lucien is also known as “Lucifer” but Kirk doesn’t care, he wants to defend him. There’s now a magic-off until Kirk can explain that he really would die for Lucien and we find out this was all a big test.
I need the last 24 minutes of my life back please. I have no idea what the hell went on in this episode, maybe I needed to drop some acid? Oh wait, I can’t swallow pills. I have nothing good to say, other than Kirk was his usual self at making sure someone didn’t get punished for something that wasn’t their fault and for being diplomatic. This episode gets 1 dollar that you can’t even use at Dollar Tree because, taxes.
“Once Upon a Planet” has Sulu, McCoy, and Uhura to the same planet as the “Shore Leave” episode from The Original Series. This time, however, they know how the planet works… so everything should be fine, right? Clearly not, as we have a whole episode to watch about it. Uhura is kept captive by the computer as a hostage. Apparently, the keeper of the world is dead… oh no! The computer no longer wants to live a life of service, which is why it wants to kill Kirk (maybe?) and take over the Enterprise. This is the first time we get to hear BOTH of the new alien crew members, and I absolutely love the voice of M’Ress, but it does mess with the pace of the episode a bit.
Spock volunteers to be “injured” in order for them to find the underground entrance. The thing picks up Spock’s “lifeless” body, it looks like it’s from The Hunger Games and Kirk is able to sneak through to follow it. So the computer on the ground wants to escape to the Enterprise and seek out his “brother computers”, my goodness. Kirk explains that man and machine work cooperatively, and Uhura and Spock help the computer to understand how special it is. The computer understands the logic and agrees to host shore leave.
So… I really liked the music in this episode. As a sequel to “Shore Leave”, I thought it was a good start to the story that something was clearly different. I couldn’t really get behind the ending, and I’m not really as excited by the episode pacing either, as I mention above, so this episode gets 5 soggy soft-shell tacos.