Setting the Stage: Today was absolutely bonkers. It started off by going to the talk of a faculty candidate, which was followed by two sessions of strategic planning, lunch, and one more strategic planning session. I then had a good work session with my work mom and was able to watch this one episode before going on a dinner interview with the faculty candidate from the morning. Having been on one of those all day, 12+ hour interviews myself… I imagine they are sleeping peacefully right now. I watched on Netflix, but it appears that Netflix’s order and production order are the same for the last three episodes of Season 3. Take that production-order elitists! Seriously though, I had no idea production order was a thing, I’ll know better for next time. Okay, there probably won’t be a next time, or certainly not of Season 3 at the very least. Tonight’s writing music is the Star Wars: A New Hope soundtrack performed by the London Symphony Orchestra.
Quick Summary with my Impressions: I find myself asking a lot of questions I never thought I would conceive, let alone utter in this season of Star Trek. One such question is “What on Earth is Abraham Lincoln doing floating in space?!” I think Star Trek has jumped the shark, my friends.
Shatner can’t even keep a straight face. Okay, Our Lincoln look-alike has a pocket watch, now you’ve got my attention. “Lincoln” beams aboard and we are finally given a lesson on the science behind how the transporter works. When Uhura is introduced and “Lincoln” utters a word he then apologies for, she explains society is advanced enough that would do George Carlin proud. If you’ve never listed to the “Seven Dirty Words” skit, it’s a classic and you totally should. It’s absolutely not safe for work, by the way.
McCoy and Scotty think that going down to the planet is a trap while Spock and Kirk are curious as all hell and decide to beam down. As they do, however, their tri-corders and phasers are left in the transporter room and their communicators don’t work either. Curiously, Spock meets Surak, the greatest Vulcan to ever live but who should also be dead, just like Lincoln. All of a sudden a rock comes to life and transforms into this weird looking creature, and I’m totally lost. The rock creature looks like one of the trolls out of Babes in Toyland, starring a very young Keanu Reeves, which was never released on DVD and I still own the VHS because it’s nostalgic of my childhood.
Our rock friend has assembled a handful of “evil” figures from history that it wants to pit against Kirk, Spock, Surak, and Lincoln to see which is stronger; good or evil. This is now the third “Bill and Ted” reference in this episode: Carlin, Keanu, and now dead, historical figures. Looks like we’re also doing the plot of “Arena” again, but this time the Enterprise is in danger of blowing up if Kirk and Spock do not win and the lives of the crew are at stake. Kirk argues that if their enemies are an illusion, there’s no problem with harming them, but Spock asks the important question – what if they are real? Fighting happens, people die, there are all sorts of ridiculous things happening. In the end, however, Spock and Kirk “win” the contest, the Enterprise is back in working order, and we move on to the next assignment as if nothing has happened.
I completely get why Kirk made the decision to go, because their mission is to make contact with other beings, but it seemed a flimsy excuse to justify his curiosity. The same can be said for Spock who clearly let his curiosity get the best of him, and in front of Surak – for shame! I see this as a recycled plot with just a few more elements that should have made it more interesting, but really didn’t. At least Kirk and Spock kept to their diplomacy first and only fought when necessary, and they had two allies on that front with Lincoln and Surak putting peace first, even to their detriment. Even with all these flaws, it is still not as bad as “The Omega Glory” or “The Gamesters of Triskelion”, so I think that earns this episode a 2 pound free weight.
Only two more episodes left, and then we move onto The Animated Series!