Date: February 13, 2020
Episode # and Episode Name: 14 – “The Slaver Weapon”, 15 – “Eye Of The Beholder”, and 16 – “Jihad”
Setting the Stage: I watched these three episodes via Amazon Prime through the CBS All Access 7-day trial, starting around 7:00 pm. Professor Zoom and Tempura slept through all of the episodes, as did Thor in the background, but Loki and Jazz were no where to be found. Tonight’s musical accompaniment is the album “A Celtic Renaissance Wedding” by the Brobdingnagian Bards, very fitting for Valentine’s Day Eve.
Quick Summary with my Impressions: “The Slaver Weapon” has Spock, Uhura, and Sulu with something known as a stasis box. The boxes are the only remnants of an old civilization, and having one can help you find others. They head to a nearby planet as another box might be near, but they are captured by weird cat aliens known as Kzinti. The Kzinti found a box but it was empty, so they used it to lure anyone else with a stasis box to where they were. In the box that Spock and company had, they encounter a weapon of unknown origin and test it out. It has many functions and Sulu theorizes it’s a spy weapon of some kins. Our three heroes are able to escape and take the weapon, but Uhura is then recaptured. Spock and Sulu try to negotiate a trade when Sulu accidentally finds a secret setting on the weapon that is very powerful and knocks them out, so they are again captured by the Kzinti who want to use the destructive capability. Turns out the weapon is also a computer and communication device, but it lies to the Kzinti and destroys itself (and likely a few Kzinti along the way).
Two items of note here. One – until the box was opened I was internally screaming “what’s in the box?!”, from Se7en because it’s now an automatic habit and I’m really a child at heart. I didn’t include that as a picture here, because I’ve used it twice before and how could I dare deprive you of felines in any form?! Two – I found it incredibly interesting that no one else was in the episode; just Uhura, Spock, and Sulu. If you had added in Scotty, we’d have my four favorite characters from The Original Series. While there are some pacing issues with the condensed and animated format, this was a super good episode… and not just because there were cats in it! I really enjoyed the concept of the stasis box, the crew being lured into a trap and having to work together to get out, their interaction with another species, and that Sulu got to impress Spock with his logic. This episode is a solid 9 hours of sleep, completely uninterrupted by noise or bodily functions, where you wake up feeling rested and refreshed the next day.
“Eye Of The Beholder” starts us with Kirk, Spock, and McCoy beaming down and of course there’s another lake monster. They are trying to find the missing crew of another ship. Now there’s another monster, and this one seems familiar and totally out of place from the terrain they are wandering. My first though is “I wonder if the crew was transformed or if there’s just a lot of wildlife on this planet”. However, they are trying to figure out why animals from different planets randomly appear and they are picked up by some large, red slug monsters. Spock theorizes we’re back in “The Cage” and they might have been collected. He is correct and they are transported to the human area, where they find the missing crew members from the other ship. They focus on the medical kit in order to help their captors give them what they need. They then try to trick their captors, but Scotty accidentally beams aboard the slug-child by accident. The child beams himself and Scotty back down because they are apparently super intelligent creatures that we will evolve into in a long, long, long, long, long, looooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong time from now. Everyone gets beamed back to the Enterprise and Spock is excited (well as excited as a Vulcan can get) about crunching the numbers.
When the other captain and Kirk are discussing escape, the “so you’re saying there’s a chance” came to my mind. Of course there’s always a chance of escape when you’re Captain James T. Kirk! So at first I was a little bummed that we recycled the plot of “The Cage” and made it more “G” rated for the children, but then I decided I kind of liked it better this way. Spock, with all of his telepathic abilities, couldn’t immediately save the day and it was actually Scotty that led to the final assist. It was also good that the child-slug was able to help and teach their parents a thing or two. I thought there were some interesting lessons to be learned and that this was a “cute” episode. All that earns this episode a 7 foot tall statue of Paul Bunyan with Babe, his blue ox.
“Jihad” begins with Kirk and Spock having been called to a meeting of a group that has a mission and needs a specialized team. One group stole the soul of a religious figure and they need to get it back, it’s like Ocean’s 11. As they search for the soul, there’s a volcanic eruption. They work together to try and stay alive and find the soul. Apparently cartoon Kirk doesn’t take advantage of a woman wanting him (a first, I am SHOCKED), but I guess they are pandering to a younger audience in this medium. They find the entrance to a temple when those damn purple dragons attack again – the third time we’ve seen them, but these ones are mechanical. Once inside, they realize there might be a traitor in their midst, but they see the soul and try to get to it. Tchar is the one who stole the soul, escandalo! The team goes their separate ways and When Kirk and Spocker are beamed back Sulu says they were only gone for two minutes. Kirk simply states the others changed their minds, and we end Season 1.
This episode started off with an interesting plot, had a totally campy middle part, and ended poorly because the guy who we were rooting for to find the stolen object was the guy who stole it, come on now! This was a very fun episode and the fact that no time had lapsed on the Enterprise made it worth it as a side excursion. This episode earned itself 8 purple sweet potatoes, because they are tasty but stain your fingers.
Overall, I genuinely enjoyed this season and am sad Season 2 is only 6 episodes! For a Saturday morning cartoon, aimed at the tiny humans, I found some of the topics to be quite cerebral and interesting. Also, aside from I-Chaya, no one died. There’s no need to kill extras in animation when you can simply just not draw them. I’ve updated this on the Rankings page, so you should check it out. Tomorrow, we begin (and possibly end) Season 2.