January 5, 2020: 4 Episodes

Series: Star Trek: The Original Series

SeasonEpisode #,and Episode Name: Season 1, Episodes 12 and 13, “The Menagerie: Parts 1 and 2”, Episode 14, “The Conscience of the King”, and Episode 15, “Balance of Terror”

Setting the Stage: I started at 4:30 pm on January 5, 2020, still watching via Netflix, so I’m using their viewing order. Professor Zoom kept me company today while the husband was in and out running some errands we had forgotten to complete.

Quick Summary with my reactions: “The Menagerie” opens with Kirk, Spock, and McCoy beaming down – but why? We find out Pike is in bad shape, Spock is planning something, and it’s even more clear to me that Kirk’s been wearing eye makeup probably the whole time. McCoy is adamant that Spock couldn’t be disloyal and Kirk is all atwitter with who the hell is interfering with his ship. Spock steals the Enterprise AND Pike and then submits himself for arrest? What’s going on with Talos 4 – wait are we rewatching the pilot? You can find my reactions to that here, since it was just a few days ago. Part 1 ends with Spock being ordered into lockup. I’m reminded at how much I love Number One. I also get to relive “THE WOMEN!!!” line by Spock. It is heartbreaking when the screen is blank and all three vote guilty. But then, it was all a deception! The Commodore was never there and there’s no court martial. Another plot twist I didn’t see coming. A mostly happy ending for Pike, but no consequestions for Spock.

from therpf.com

“The Conscience of the King” made me think “Oh good, they still have theater in space.” The guy Kirk is with thinks there’s a war criminal on the loose, and then the guy winds up dead. Spock gives some great eyebrow, I mean have you seen them? His eyebrows have better acting skills than some of the red shirts. Clearly Kirk chats up the daughter in the acting troupe to try and get to the father, who turns out to be the bad guy everyone thought he was, the infamous Kodos. Riley’s parents died at the hand of Kodos, so he wants to shoot the father, but then you find out the daughter is the one who’s been killing the witnesses that could identify him. It’s another plot twist, and another heartbreaking ending as the daughter accidentally kills the father and then goes mad, or maybe she was always mad?

“Balance of Terror” opens with Kirk about to perform a marriage ceremony and I’m instantly questioning the name of this episode, but first war with the Romulans! There might be spies on the ship, and the Romulans absolutely have a Vulcan in their midst… escandalo! Apparently, my husband explains that the other ship is actually all just Romulans and that the Vulcans and Romulans are related. Looks like the Enterprise is about to be hit by… red smoke, a red beam? The Enterprise starts shooting at… open space? Oh, the Romulan ship can disappear… nifty. After the Romulan ship blows itself up, Spock is sassy about saving the life of the navigator, and then we receive the news that homeboy who was going to get married was our only casualty. That’s just cold!

from popbuzz.com

My Impressions: I was most excited, when I found out the Commodore’s name, to see if I would find out if Jose ever got his peppers. Unfortunately, that’s still a mystery. As this two-part episode brings back the pilot in a different light, I am reminded at how much I liked Number One, how much of a fantastic bad ass she was and how I truly wish they had found a way to keep her. Having recently seen the pilot (11 episodes ago), I was much more interested in seeing where the story went, which I had an idea once I saw what happened to Pike. I was a little thrown off by how feverently McCoy dismisses that Spock could ever deliberately disobey an order, given their past interactions and McCoy’s general snarkiness. Even though I just watched the pilot a mere four days ago, I noticed some things this time around that I didn’t before. Now I understand why folks do a rewatch. I enjoyed the parts they kept of “The Cage”, but if I choose to ever do a rewatch I don’t know that I’ll watch the Pilot as most of the elements are in here. I do think I would try the production order, however, to see if the story makes more sense when watched in a different way. Let’s make it through this first run through, though.

I don’t have a lot to say about “TCOTK”. I find it all too convenient that the last two survivors who could be witnesses at identifying this Kodos guy are both on the Enterprise, but that’s TV. I was, however, truly shocked that the daughter was the one killing the witnesses all along. It was some instant karma that she goes to kill Kirk and kills her father instead, but still sad.

In “Balance of Terror” I am very happy that Kirk takes a big stand against bigotry, so very progressive during the 60s. It’s also another moment that aged well and still resonates in the “now” because people are scared of things that are different. The guy who is all leery of Spock was just fine with him before we knew what the Romulans looked like. Shows us that looks can absolutely be deceiving. I am a big fan of the game Munchkin, and there’s a card called “In Space, No One Can Hear You Cheat” (it’s part of the Star Munchkin universe). I tell you that story to explain why I am absolutely confused by how the Romulans can hear things in space. That scene also reminds me of the change scene from “Down Periscope”, provided here for your viewing pleasure: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cveFKerkadA. Anyway, I’m a little pissed they made the groom the ONLY casualty. I mean, at least kill another few red shirts or something.

January 4, 2020: 3 Episodes

Series: Star Trek: The Original Series

SeasonEpisode #,and Episode Name: Season 1, Episode 9, “Miri”, Episode 10, “Dagger of the Mind”, and Episode 11, “The Corbomite Maneuver”

Setting the Stage: I started at 12:30 pm on January 4, 2020, still watching via Netflix, so I’m using their viewing order. Professor Zoom was ever present on my lap. Tempura joined in for the first two episodes and Thor joined for the last episode. This is try #2 at this post, because I accidentally hit the back button, sigh.

Quick Summary with my reactions: “Miri” opens to a deserted 1960s Earth clone, but at least Rand in the landing party. A zombie-like creature is sad about his bike and then dies… that escalated quickly. We meet Miri, and is Kirk being a creep to her and I’m so confused. I guess he thinks being sweet will help, but it’s really fucking creepy since she’s just a child. Ah, sassy Spock is back and we’ve got a medical mystery on our hands. Turns out we’ve entered a sci-fi version of Peter Pan, complete with a Lost Boys group. As the Lost Boys steal the communicators, the crew flips out and starts to act like children. As McCoy makes a breakthrough, Miri gets jealous and concocts a plan with the rest of the Lost Boys to separate Kirk and Rand. The line “I never get involved with older women”, by Kirk had me howling with laughter, it was delivered beautifully. It was so nice to end an episode on a high note for once, considering all of the sad endings so far.

“Dagger of the Mind” makes me glad prisons have good security and sad that technicians still don’t read the damn manual. However, all I’m thinking about when the box is beamed up is: “What’s in the box?” The answer to that is: THERE’S A HANNIBAL LOOKING DUDE IN THE BOX! McCoy has the worst attitude, and Spock just hands it back to him – but then the prisoner busts in and wants, *checks my notes*, asylum? Okay, the “crazy” dude laughs just like Goofy and then we find out he was assigned as a doctor to the colony, curiouser and curiouser. Kirk and McCoy get into a bit of a tiff, and they decide to beam down to the penal colony to meet the enigmatic “Dr. Adams”. So we’re going to get to see Spock do some Vulcan mind magic, excellent. Back on the colony, there are mind tricks afoot. Dare I say, Jedi mind tricks? Bwahaha, I know Star Wars came out after Star Trek, but I’ve been a Star Wars geek since I learned to talk so you’re going to have to sit through all of my references. Back on the colony, Spock saves the day as Kirk gets handsy with Helen, and we have another not so sad ending.

from tenor.com

“The Corbomite Maneuver” has me wondering why is Uhura in a yellow outfit? Wait, what is that Windows 95 looking Rubix cube doing just sitting there? I do love me some sassy Spock and Scotty who doesn’t have a clue and won’t speculate, like a damn fine engineer should. Bailey is a little annoying this episode, especially when he almost screws up locking onto the object. Now there’s a sphere and the man behind the curtain decides that the Enterprise, and its crew, must die. Kirk decides to play poker instead of chess with the attacking vessel, clearly inventing corbomite. Kirk continues to remind everyone what the mission of the ship is as he makes decisions, one of those being to board the ship and encounter the Muchkin-looking alien, which was a big shock for everyone. That’s two “Wizard of Oz” references in one episode for anyone keeping score. Apparently this was all a test and Bailey is going to stay on board with the alien for a bit. Three episodes, three not sad endings… score!

My Impressions

“Miri” was super creepy at times, especially with the Kirk/Miri relationship. It would be find if she had a crush on him, but he’s flirting back and it’s all very uncomfortable. I find it interesting how much the crew relies on the computers and communicators, it’s very “now” as our current society relies so much on our smartphones. Kirk clearly doesn’t understand children, logic doesn’t work on them. It was very amusing to see Kirk get beat up on by the Lost Boys, but also a little frightening as children shouldn’t resort to violence like that. Despite the creep factor, I liked this episode a lot.

“Dagger of the Mind” opened with a few shots of Uhura’s boots and got me thinking about cosplaying as her sometime soon. I mean, a short dress is excellent during the Atlanta heat. I am also in giggles every time they mention “Dr. Adams”, as that is the name of my work mom and one of the reasons I am watching Star Trek. This episode is another Captain Kirk story hour, with very little of the crew and Enterprise. As someone with a counseling background, I was intrigued by the science and psychology put into the episode, so it’s definitely worth a rewatch in the future, but I missed the rest of the crew.

As an avid fan of poker, “The Corbomite Maneuver” kept me intrigued the entire episode. I also really like how Kirk and Spock interact, I can see how they likely have a good working relationship both in and out of the command structure. The pacing of this episode seemed slow, at time, and not a lot really happened here. I mean, you can boil it down to: there was a weird object, it got blown up, then there was another object, and there was some alien interference. Seems like a lot of things got stretched out to fit the episode length, but in the end it turned out the alien was doing something similar to the mission of the Enterprise, so there’s that.

January 3, 2020: 3 Episodes

Series: Star Trek: The Original Series

SeasonEpisode #,and Episode Name: Season 1, Episode 6, “The Enemy Within”, Episode 7, “Mudd’s Women”, and Episode 8, “What Little Girls Are Made Of”

Setting the Stage: I started at 6:15 pm on January 3, 2020, still watching via Netflix, so I’m using their viewing order. Tonight was a banner night for attendance. Professor Zoom was firmly planted in my lap for the entire episode. Tempura (my oldest cat) was in the lap of my husband (who was occupied with his phone, some Trek fan he is). Thor (my youngest cat) was asleep at my head. My two middle children, Jazz and Loki, wrestled in the kitchen almost all night. It’s so much fun to watch Star Trek with a background of cat mews.

Quick Summary with my reactions:  I’ll start off with “The Enemy Within”, which starts off with A PUPPY IN AN ADORABLE COSTUME, carried by Sulu. Rut Roh Raggy, we’re having issues with the transporter… and now there are TWO KIRKS! McCoy’s bedside manner leaves something to be desired, but the music for evil Kirk is a nice touch. THE PUPPY IS BACK, but now he has an evil, barky twin. Evil Kirk makes unwanted advances at Rand, who scratches his face… Go Rand! We cut to three men surrounding a woman who has just been assaulted, which is absolutely no bueno, but at least Fisher backs up Rand’s claims and she’s not backing down either. Evil Kirk puts on makeup, steals a phaser, and then is electrocuted and sedated. Spock is all in research mode while Scotty reports that there’s still an issue with the transporter, while Sulu and the crew are freezing; but not dead or frostbitten at 41 below 0, tsk tsk. GUYS, THEY’RE GOING TO SEND THE PUPPY IN FIRST – HE BETTER NOT DIE!!!! Um, one is definitely a stuffed animal, I totally noticed that. NOOOO THE PUPPY IS DEAD, THIS IS WHY WE DON’T TEST ON ANIMALS. It’s Kirk vs. Kirk, and evil Kirk’s scratches are on the wrong side of his face for part of the time. We end with a weird word from Spock.

from memory-alpha.fandom.com

Moving onto “Mudd’s Women” and who is this pirate motherfucker? I already don’t like him. I do like the sparkly dresses, but WTF McCoy? At least Scotty and Spock have less leery looks, in fack Spock is plum amused. PEOPLE ARE NOT CARGO… I understand it was the 60s, but I wanted to mention that for those in the back. Let me tell you, though, I love George Takei; his voice is fantastic. I absolutely love that the computer knows this guy is no good. Wait, what is happening to the women? Great, now the miners want to trade crystals for women. PEOPLE ARE NOT CARGO! The best way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, I’ve always said. Okay, the episode was made better by the Venus drug swap and helping Eve find her confidence. Spock doesn’t take shit from McCoy and I’m all for it.

In the last episode of the evening, we’re going on an adventure! In “What Little Girls Are Made Of” we find Chapel’s long lost financée after some Lurch-looking alien sneaks out of the cave as Security Red Shirt #17 falls to his death, and then he kills Security Red Shirt #18! When we finally meet the rest of the party, I have but one question: WHERE IS THIS WOMAN’S BRA?! Lurch (who’s real name is Rok, but I am a big fan of The Addams Family and do a mean Wednesday Addams cosplay) can copy voices, okay that’s nifty, and is an android; but so in Andrea (the lady with no bra). Seriously, WHY ARE THEY ALWAYS CLONING Kirk – and why does that scene take forever? In the plot twist of the century… Korby is an android too! Looks like Kirk and Spock worked out a distress signal by using a derogatory term, and Chapel decides to stay on as the nurse as it turns out, there was never anyone to find on the planet.

My Impressions: Honestly, there’s not a lot to report on these three episodes. They’re all pretty “meh” in my opinion. In TEW it boils down to two things: Evil Kirk and Dead Unicorn Puppy. I’m likely not going to watch this episode again as it falls into the same category as “John Wick: Chapter 1”. I mean, why does the dog have to die? I’m a big animal lover, if you couldn’t tell, and it just seemed unnecessary to bring that cuteness into my life and it come to a sad ending.

Mudd is the most ridiculous man and I can’t like him any less, I tried but he definitely hit rock bottom for me. I am a bit disappointed that Kirk gives into the demands of the miners so easily, but he redeems himself by switching out the drugs for a placebo and then checking with Eve before leaving her on Rigel 12 with a man she just met (cue that song from Frozen, you know: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPImqZo0D74 ). This is also not another episode I would want to watch again.

WLGAMO has a very “I, Robot” feel to it. I thoroughly enjoyed the plot twist of Korby being an android, I absolutely did not see that coming. I also really liked super sassy and on-the-ball Spock, but we saw so little of him this episode. It really felt like the Captain Kirk show. I found myself missing the rest of the crew, the ship, and the overall shenanigans that the crew causes by making OSHA violations.

I continue to power through. Until tomorrow…

January 2, 2020: 3 Episodes

Series: Star Trek: The Original Series

SeasonEpisode #,and Episode Name: Season 1, Episode 3, “Charlie X”, Episode 4, “Where No Man Has Gone Before”, and Episode 5, “The Naked Time”

Setting the Stage: I started at 7:00 pm on January 2, 2020, still watching via Netflix, so I’m using their viewing order. It has recently come to my attention that there’s this thing called “production order”, which I am clearly ignoring because I didn’t know about it. Professor Zoom was in attendance, but snoozing away. The husband joined for WNMHGB, but was occupied with his phone for some of it.

Quick Summary: “Charlie X” starts off with a fun moment, “Are you a girl?”, makes me think at first that he’s definitely on extacy. Why is Kirk wearing a weird green shirt? Okay, the butt slap thing was really funny, I mean I saw it coming a mile away after what Charlie witnessed in the hallway. I find it interesting Uhura has something akin to the OG Bluetooth. McCoy tries to get out of giving “the talk”, then Spock and McCoy argue like an old married couple. The interlude with the music and recreation time was a nice way to show the crew in their off time and it totally looks like there’s a little something going on between Spock and Uhura. Kirk is adorable and god-awful at trying to explain why you don’t smack a woman’s ass to a 17 year old boy who has been rather isolated. At least everyone gets turkey for Thanksgiving. I think the gym scene was just trying to get Kirk shirtless. The big question is, why are Rand’s bed clothes less revealing than her uniform?

“WNMHGB” is the second sighting of 3D chess, but it looks different than the last episode. Why are the uniforms turtlenecks? Our first sighting of Scotty, I have a soft spot for engineering, but oh no, the creepy doctor is back. The shot of the Enterprise going through space is pretty swank, actually… but why does the Yeoman look bored and then scared? Wait, did the two folks on deck just get electrocuted? Mitchell wakes up with strange eyes, and he knows he’s being watched (having just watched Babylon 5, he pulled a Lyta Alexander, well I guess she pulled a Gary Mitchell). Somehow Mitchell is reading faster, and able to control other things, and everyone is creeped out. They’ve decided to maroon the man on Delta Vega, but he’s got lightening fingers (looking at you Shazam! And Raiden). They finally get him sedated and try to get the ship repaired. Dude can withstand lasers AND he’s turned the psychologist into his crazy eyes. The crazy people die after a crazy fight.

from youtube.com
from geektyrant.com

The Naked Time opens on Hoth (okay, I’ll cool it with the Star Wars references. See what I did there, hehehehe, I’ll show myself out) and clearly there were no Tauntauns to keep everyone warm (okay, now I’m done). As they return, Joe thinks he can’t get the damn spot out as Sulu is talking about fencing, there’s a fight over the butter knife, and Joe gets stabbed. Sulu decides to play hookey and go to the gym as the rest of the crew also starts acting strangely. Now Sulu is shirtless, has a rapier, is chasing people around the ship, and apparently no one told Kirk that swords are sharp. Spock makes a very quick “Three Musketeers” reference, and I am all for it! I’ve noticed the uniforms are more in line with what I’ve seen at cons and in media, and I like these the best. Is Spock, crying?!, I didn’t think we did that here. Oh, so everyone is drunk… okay that sort of makes sense, and now we’re going to have a slugfest between Kirk and Spock. The end of the episode, leaves me feeling like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aizCMO-mI1Q

My Impressions: I liked all three episodes for wildly different reasons. I enjoyed “Charlie X” because a lot happened in this episode and I had the most reactions. My interest was held the entire episode. Charlie interacts with the whole crew, and you get to see some more parts to the ship. You can tell that everyone is out of practice in dealing with children, even though that one Yeoman was supposedly around Charlie’s age. The actor who played Charlie really got me invested in him as a character. I’m beginning to see the pattern in all these sad endings, though.

The “crazy eyes” episode, as I’m not referring to it as, really showed how committed Kirk is to to both his duty and those he calls his friends. Do you endanger the whole crew? Well I guess not after there’s NO WAY, but even at the end, Kirk still hesitates. I mean, he did the same thing in “Charlie X” when Charlie had clearly demonstrated he couldn’t be trusted, but maybe there’s still a chance? Oh, Kirk – I did not peg him for the optimist.

“The Naked Time” was just a fantastic display of acting, as everyone had to be their character and then not their character in the same episode. It was a fun episode, while still holding that sense of mortal peril because everyone was going to die if they didn’t come up with something. Scotty says he cannot change the laws of physics, and I’m glad to know that this science fiction show has some standards behind them. Sometimes, a show will make shit up to make things fit, but I like how they are trying to set up some boundaries to make it seem more real. Reminds me of the engineer in one of my favorite YouTube videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg; it’s long but absolutely worth it if you’ve ever been in a meeting with people who have no idea what they are talking about.

January 1, 2020: 2 Episodes

Series: Star Trek: The Original Series

Season, Episode #,and Episode Name: Season 1, Episode 1, “Pilot: The Cage” and Episode 2, “The Man Trap”

Setting the Stage: I started at 1:50 pm on January 1, 2020 with “Pilot: The Cage” and then followed up “The Man Trap”. I’m watching via Netflix, so I’m using their viewing order. With me is my dog, Professor Zoom, and at least one of my cats. I am firmly keeping in mind that these were filmed in the 1960s as I blaze ahead.

Quick Summary: “The Cage” opens to some dude who is later revealed to be Captain Pike and he’s obviously having some sort of mid-career crisis. The doctor looks like he’s a dirty old man, and I truly hope he isn’t a regular. There’s a woman on deck, later found out to be the Lieutenant, and she’s quickly my favorite. I can hear her eye roll as Pike puts his foot in his mouth and later when he “regrets” he has to leave her on the ship in order to have a senior officer on deck. Alien stuff happens, there’s trickery afoot, and then there’s a scene where they all take turns shooting at a rock and I’m reminded “DON’T CROSS THE STREAMS” – oh wait, wrong universe. Pike and a blonde woman are stuck in this illusion, there’s a brief appearance of “She-Hulk”?, and there’s totally a point where Pike is trying to channel the Dark Side (yes, yes I made a Star Wars reference, you’ll be fine). The aliens cede control and everyone makes it back to the ship, except the blonde who I’m sure we all feel sorry for. Cue the music and the tiny flying starship, end scene.

“The Man Trap” opens with almost an entirely different crew, which I am 1000% okay with. We now have Captain Kirk and Dr. McCoy and :cue Chicago accent: “they’re on a mission from God”, and by “God” I mean the Federation to conduct some medical tests. There’s some death, some old flame romance, some talk about salt, and some shapeshifty murder mystery to be solved. Back on the ship, there is some more color on screen – and not just in relation to the skin color of some of the crew, there are red uniforms! Red happens to be my favorite color, but that’s not important. There’s some hint of how Spock is different than his human counterparts, but mostly the episode is trying to keep track of who the creature has become. The salt monster is finally revealed, and killed by McCoy. What is it with two sad endings? More music and more tiny starships flying through 1960s “space”.

My Impressions: Although the Lieutenant (Number One) doesn’t have a lot of air time, she’s absolutely my favorite character of this episode. She’s got some bad ass nails, a kick ass attitude, and is good in a crisis. I’m a little sad she doesn’t make it to the series as a regular, but I’m happy with the changes to the crew from the Pilot to the next episode. For the ‘60s, this was damn progressive. It does warm my computer science heart to listen to unemotional Spock. I think I am going to relate most to him, as I value logic and efficiency. I also think I’m going to love Sulu and Kirk if they continue to eat all the time, I am a food based lifeform as it were. Okay, we’re all food based lifeforms… but it’s my love language. I’m also a bit disappointed that every single red shirt survived, I was led to believe that they are the only ones who die! Okay, I’m not really disappointed… just amused. What I really want to know is, does Jose ever get his peppers?