Setting the Stage: I started at 9:45 pm on January 23, 2020, still watching Netflix and using their viewing order. I was traveling today, so I have a different set of viewing companions this evening. Two of my good friends are hosting me tonight and tomorrow before I head back to NC for a friend’s engagement party. They have two cats, that are both currently sleeping and adorable. We ate delicious, authentic, New York pizza and garlic knots, and I am one happy blogger tonight. Instead of music, I am writing to an episode of Murdoch Mysteries.
Quick Summary with my Impressions: “Assignment: Earth” has Kirk on the voice-over explain that the crew is in 1968, great more time travel. In case you didn’t notice, I’m not always a big fan of time travel. Some tomfoolery is happening and all of a sudden a man with a cat beams aboard. He identifies himself as Gary Seven and Kirk is torn – is he lying about being from 1968 or is he there to cause trouble? Spock likes the kitty! All of a sudden, the cat takes the elevator and Seven uses this device that looks like a Sonic screwdriver and sort of acts like a Men In Black neuralyzer. Seven is having computer trouble and the Beta 5 looks a lot like the M5 controls. There’s always a hat for Spock, and a blonde for Kirk. Roberta, the secretary, doesn’t know why the typewriter is typing everything she says or who Gary is, curiouser and curiouser. Kirk and Spock manhandle Roberta while Seven gets away to the McKinley Rocket Base. The cops accidentally get sent up to the Enterprise and now have a story to tell their grandchildren. The cat is the best part of this episode, it’s like “I’ll help dad!” Scotty finds Seven as he is sabotaging the rocket, riiiiight. Roberta breaks into the safe, that’s really some sort of transporter portal, riiiight, and inadvertently summons Seven back so he has to use manual control. Kirk and Spock beam in, Kirk is super paranoid about changing history, and everything is solved by the end of the episode. We also get to hear “Live Long and Prosper” for the second time.
The friends that I am staying with know a thing or two about Star Trek and tell me that this acted as a backdoor pilot to a show that never wound up happening. I could definitely tell that something was up when most of the episode was focused on these two new characters. Maybe if somehow Roberta and Seven were part of Season 3, but I’m assured they are not so it’s kind of a throwaway episode. There’s not much Trek going on, aside from the time travel and making sure to not negatively effect Earth’s past. I have more questions than answers. How does Seven know about Vulcans? What planet was he on and will we ever see it? Does Roberta own anything that isn’t pink? Why do all of the black cats in Star Trek turn into women?
This is not really a Star Trek episode and it’s not really a great way to end the season. I’m a little sad there’s not much more to report – but I am exhausted. I hope to fit some Trek in tomorrow.
Series and Season: Star Trek: The Original Series, Season 2
Episode #,and Episode Name: 24 – “The Ultimate Computer”, and 25 – “Bread and Circuses”
Setting the Stage: I started at 7:00 pm on January 22, 2020, still watching Netflix and using their viewing order. Professor Zoom was in his pen, eating his frozen, pumpkin-filled Kong, and my husband watched with me while we ate dinner. The only difference from yesterday is that we had pasta, wait we had that yesterday too. IS MY LIFE JUST ON REPEAT AND COPY/PASTE? Tempura and Jazz slept while we ate and watched TV. While writing tonight, I am listing to a mix of: Hanz Zimmer (Man of Steel soundtrack) again, more Minus the Bear (again), and some individual pieces by the Foo Fighters, Carlos Santana, and Billy Joel.
My goal this evening was to watch two episodes with dinner and a third while working out… again, my life is on repeat because I was only able to watch two episodes. I am traveling tomorrow and still need to pack and do a whole mess of other things before bed, and it’s already 9 pm, yikes. Looks like I’ll finish Season 2 tomorrow.
Quick Summary with my Impressions: “The Ultimate Computer” has Commodore Wesley beam aboard, we’re going to have some war games against a computer. This means the crew of over 400 is going down to only 20! Scotty is clearly weary of being replaced by a computer. McCoy’s fear that if the computer doesn’t work, there isn’t enough crew on board to run the ship, is totally valid. I see the M5 has the same problem as Babylon 5 had, where the first four didn’t work, oops. Kirk has a bit of a crisis of faith over losing control over the ship, but he allows the M5 to make some recommendations. During the first war game, Kirk is not impressed and although Spock is, he makes a surprisingly sweet speech about loyalty to man and not a machine. During “not a drill”, the crew cannot get control of the ship back, and it destroys an unmanned ore freighter. Unfortunately the M5 does not want to be turned off and murders a red shirt “unintentionally”, sure. Spock butchers the phrase “wild goose chase” and I’m in fits of laughter because I was just talking about the phrase “silly goose” with a friend. Anyway, back to the episode, Spock discovers that the M5 is not behaving logically and that’s due to having some human features programmed in from Dr. Daystrom. Four ships approach for another war game, but the crew doesn’t have control of the ship or a way to contact the other ships, and the Enterprise (controlled by M5) fires for real, yikes. The other ships cannot interact with the Enterprise and there’s a plan to destroyit. Daystrom has a nervous breakdown and Kirk has a plan, surprise surprise. Oh no, Kirk is logicing a computer to death, again. The M5 decides to commit “suicide” and Kirk powers down the ship, and crisis is avoided.
I pushed aside all of the things I know about what happens when you let the A.I. loose on any system, because I was sure the same tropes would be used here… even if this came first or at the beginning. Obviously there’s some repetition of plot devices used by Star Trek; Kirk talking the computer down, the computer trying to destroy everything, Spock liking the computer better but choosing man, etc. What this episode brings that is new is the notion that the Enterprise crew, especially Kirk, would sacrifice their lives for the benefit of a mass of their fellow Federation comrades. There was also the psychological effect of feeling “replaced” by the computer and how the humans felt about it, which hadn’t really been dealt with before. Of course, we’re always okay as long as we can unplug the machine… right? I liked the differences so much, 7 house points are awarded to Gryffindor.
“Bread and Circuses” begins with me yelling at the screen “HOW MANY CLASS “M” PLANETS ARE THERE?” My husband informs me that someone did the math, I bet it was Spock. Also, how many other Earth copies are we going to see? This one is like Ancient Rome, but with guns, some technology, and sassy Spock. Kirk has such a way with words as he explains their situation to the leader of the escaped slaves without giving away that they are from outer space or the Federation. Awww, someone knitted Spock a hat… but they are caught and imprisoned. Merik is the obvious bad guy and sacrificed his crew to have a top spot in the empire, that bastard! Kirk is being blackmailed into beaming down his crew, but Kirk refuses to submit in true Kirk fashion. He really is stubborn. Thankfully they’ve been in this situation enough they’ve created a code to let Scotty know they’re in trouble. Kirk is helped to escape, and our three heroes are beamed up by of Scotty. The Prime Directive was not violated, so Scotty receives a special shout out in the Captain’s log. Uhura schools the men about their understanding of the “Sun” religion, because it’s the “Son” religion, as in Jesus. They muse about being there for Christ as it happens again on this planet and warp away.
I’m so torn on this. On one hand, you have Ancient Rome… but with a twist! This is what they should have done to “The Omega Glory” episode, but that’s a whole other thing. On the other hand, I’m kind of over the whole “oh this is sort of like something from Earth past” thing. I immediately hated Merik, the mark of a good bad guy, and was touched with McCoy was trying to make nice with Spock. McCoy needs a lot more patience, I mean the man is a doctor (pun intended, purposely), but Spock also refuses to acknowledge his human half. I understand he believes Vulcan to be the superior species, but he is half human and that has to count for something. He tries so hard and it’s infuriating at times that he won’t play both sides of his heritage. I give this episode 5 bagel bites, but ones that are full of all the toppings and are heated just right in the oven.
I’m trying a new thing. It’s like “Kirk out” but with my name instead. Wait, why am I explaining this to you? For the four people who read this, I know you’re all avid Trek fans and would get it without an explanation. Oh well, maybe there’s someone out there reading this who needed this paragraph.
Series and Season: Star Trek: The Original Series, Season 2
Episode #,and Episode Name: 22 – “By Any Other Name”, and 23 – “The Omega Glory”
Setting the Stage: I started at 6:30 pm on January 21, 2020, still watching Netflix and using their viewing order. Professor Zoom was in his pen, eating his frozen, pumpkin-filled Kong, and my husband watched with me while we ate dinner. Tempura was on his lap for most of the evening and Thor attempted to put his butt in my face several times, oh cats. While writing tonight, I am listing to a mix of: Hanz Zimmer (Man of Steel soundtrack), John Cage, and more Minus the Bear.
My goal this evening was to watch two episodes with dinner and a third while working out. Unfortunately my desktop decided to have hardware issues (glares at electrical engineering husband who just “upgraded” the hardware), so I instead went for a walk around the neighborhood AT 8:30 PM IN THE FREEZING COLD WITH NO SIDEWALKS. I did, however, have a nice chat with a beloved friend and we talked about Star Trek so that counts, yes?
Quick Summary with my Impressions: “By Any Other Name” opens with another fake distress call, didn’t we just do that? Wait, what the hell just happened when she pressed that button? More women without bras in space, sigh. Kirk is trying to use diplomacy, but this dude Rojan is not having it. I BIG TOUGH MAN, MUST CONQUER. We have encountered yet another entity who is using the human form as a shell, ugh haven’t we seen this a lot too? Oh, more Vulcan mind tricks, now this I like… because, Science (fiction)! Oh the poor red shirts have been turned into tiny objects. Okay, so we’re re-using the “Spock becomes comatose” thing from a few episodes ago where he was shot and we’re also deploying the “get help” shtick from Thor. Yes, I know Star Trek came first. Kirk doesn’t seem to have his same gusto, not sure if he’s playing it to throw the Kelvans off or what. They’re instructed to go to “Warp Eleven” and I immediately think of This Is Spinal Tap. If you’ve never seen it, there’s your homework assignment for the week.
Scotty and Spock come up with a way that works, the only problem is the whole ship would have to explode, so Kirk decides against that. After the Enterprise goes through the energy barrier, the Kelvans begin to neutralize the bridge personnel AND UHURA IS LOST, nooooooo. Chekov too, sad face. Kirk, McCoy, Scotty, and Spock are the only “essentials” on the ship. One of the Kelvans begins to eat some food in the mess hall, and Spock realizes they are responding like humans. Scotty’s idea – get them drunk! McCoy goes for shots of the medical kind. Kirk, to no one’s surprise, is flirting. Spock, also to no one’s surprise, is paying chess and using logic. Seeing Scotty emotional over the old-ass bottle of scotch whiskey is the most adorable thing I’ve ever seen. The smile Kirk shows means he’s got his mojo back, and Hagar has gotten himself confined to quarters. Spock is REALLY good at manipulating emotions, for someone who doesn’t have any. In the midst of a fight, Kirk resumes diplomacy, and this time Rojan hears him and agrees the proposal.
I started off not liking this episode, but ended up really liking the last half of it. Each of our four remaining leading men takes a Kelvin and manipulates them the way they know best, they all play to their strengths. I also found the Scottish music playing when Scotty was triumphant not as in awful taste as the Irish music playing from Season 1’s Episode “Shore Leave“. Kirk eventually was able to have the Kelvins see reason, but only after they were humanized a bit. This episode deserves 7 flamingos, of various sizes and colors.
“The Omega Glory” has Sulu back again! Unfortunately there’s another ship that only has the uniforms and no people on it, strange. McCoy explains the crystals around the uniforms are what became of the crew. They beam down to the planet where they find the captain of the other ship, who turns out to be the bad guy. Apparently the inhabitants of this planet don’t get sick and live for quite some time. Unfortunately the Yang doesn’t help Kirk but does go back to warn his people. Tracy and Kirk get into a screaming match, McCoy jumps in, and Spock is knocked out. They are all captured by the Yangs. Okay, there’s an American flag and what the what did I just watch? Apparently the white folks are similar to the American Indian culture of North America circa 1990 (well, what 1960 thought would happen in 1990) and the Asian folks are communists. I can’t even deal with the end of this episode, Tracy is ridiculous. Kirk is equally as ridiculous, gambling everyone’s freedom on the assumption that good conquers evil. Spock tries using some Vulcan mind tricks. And then we have the Constitution, and a parallel world? This is ridiculous. I just can’t even with this episode.
So this episode started off good with a medical mystery, some local drama, and a heel turn (wrestling fans know what’s up). But then it went downhill very quickly at the end. I have no words, well other than the ones I’ve already written, about how awful this episode turned out to be. In fact, this is worse than “The Gamesters of Triskelion“, which I wrote about a few days ago. That means “No Rating For You!”
I hope to finish out Season 2 tomorrow, but who knows what the future will hold? Until tomorrow, get some sleep!
Series and Season: Star Trek: The Original Series, Season 2
Episode #,and Episode Name: 19 – “A Private Little War”, 20 – “Return to Tomorrow”, and 21 – “Patterns of Force”
Setting the Stage: I started at 6:30 pm on January 20, 2020, still watching Netflix and using their viewing order. At first, I was all alone! Not a soul was within my line of sight for at least the first episode. Later, Professor Zoom and my husband watched at bit while we all ate dinner. While writing tonight, I am listing to a mix of: El Ten Eleven, the Brobdingnagian Bards, and Joe Satriani. There was also a rendition of “Jessica” by the Allman Brothers.
Also, I’ve recently updated the My Rankings page (linked above) now that I have things to compare. I’ve also started collecting my favorite episodes. Is there anything else I should add? Let a blogger know!
Quick Summary with my Impressions: “A Private Little War” opens with Kirk finishing a not-so-short speech about how peaceful the inhabitants are, when they see men with guns about to shoot men with arrows, so naturally Kirk interferes. Spock is shot, his phaser is lost, and the party beams up. Uhura sounds the alert, it’s Klingons! I like Kirk in command gold, the green just doesn’t look as great. Okay, what was that white creature? Oh snap, Kirk was bit. I mean we all know he’s not going to die, but the scene is quite dramatic. Okay, so things between the leader and his wife get all hot and heavy, and quite scandalous for the 1960’s. Back on the Enterprise, Chapel is holding Spock’s hand… my, my this episode is just steaming up. Kirk is healed, after another steamy scene, and McCoy is mystified at the technique. The wife, Nona, seems to be on the same page as Kirk, but Tyree puts up a big “MEN ONLY” sign to join the meeting, sigh. Of course the Klingons are involved in helping some of the tribe to gain knowledge about weapons. Spock asks Chapel to hit him… “harder”, seriously what’s with all the innuendo in this episode? So Kirk falls under the spell of Nona and the parsley leaf, Tyree sees this and gets mad, and then they get attacked by that weird white creature again. Nona steals the phaser and tries to defect to the other side, but the men just want a piece of her. I’m kind of over the rape-like scenes, it’s just not okay. She gets stabbed, McCoy gets shot, and a fight ensues. Although Tyree eventually agrees to the guns, Kirk decides it would be better to leave them as is, even with Klingon interference.
So there were parts of this episode I really liked, and parts that I really didn’t like. I totally get the decision of Kirk to stick to his orders and let things play out, but there didn’t seem to be any repercussions for the Klingons that were clearly interfering with the society that had existed previously. I liked the character of Nona, she just wanted what was best for her husband, until she went and tried to switch sides. I can’t justify giving this episode any other rating other than the 5 of clubs.
“Return to Tomorrow” shows us that Sulu is back, but only for like 5 seconds. Oh, a disembodied voice is talking to Kirk, nifty! It is very specific with the people it wants to beam down, and it’s only four of the six that Kirk thought he was taking. The disembodied voice is a flashing, glowing ball, that inserts himself into Kirk. Spock and Mulhall are required for the other two survivors. They need mechanical bodies in order to leave the planet, and McCoy is not at all about it. I don’t understand why Kirk is making this ridiculously long speech, I mean it goes on forever, but eventually they all decide to do the body swap. Kirk, Mulhall, and Spock all get a being from one of the three receptacles, but only the one in Spock’s body can handle the stress. Oh man, the dude in Spock’s body is trying to get Sargon and Kirk killed, and then Kirk dies… or does he? And wait, Sargon isn’t dead yet either, interesting. Kirk is ALIVE but all three receptacles are now gone, including Spock’s. Okay, I hate listening to Uhura scream, but that woman has PIPES! Chapel kills Spock’s body, but Sargon saves the day and Spock lives too, because he was just unconscious. Chapel looks ALL TOO HAPPY to have shared consciousness with Spock, and Kirk and Mulhall grant the others one last goodbye. Awww, how sweet.
I kinda liked this episode. It had a lot of elements that make a good story. We have the benevolent overlords who just need a body, in exchange for advancement. We have two people in love, and one with nefarious intentions, and we have the one who is cynical of the whole project. I now know I can lure Scotty into any trap by dangling engineering advancements in his face, I’ll file that away for later. The only thing I didn’t believe was how trusting Kirk was, as he usually isn’t, but he did get taken over first and who knows what he saw that convinced him. For some reason, I truly loved this line by Thalassa (sharing Mulhall’s body): “Oblivion together does not frighten me, beloved. Promise we’ll be together.” This episodes get 8 tacos, 8 burritos, and 8 orders of chips, salsa, and guacamole from me.
“Patterns of Force” starts off promising, there’s an unmanned probe with a warhead? My goodness! Let’s blow it up. Beaming down, it turns out that this will be the Nazi episode. The Nazi’s are scandalized by Spock’s ears. Turns out the guy who the Enterprise came looking for became the Fuhrer, uh not cool bro. Spock begins to understand the appeal of gambling, in the midst of crazy Nazi shit. The Chairman from earlier appears to not recognize Kirk and Spock, but I believe something is going on. That’s the only part of the episode that I like, when it might turn out that a high ranking official is trying to be the “good guy”. Turns out Gill’s been drugged and his second in command has been taking over and is the real evil behind the throne. Both top men get shot, and our three heroes beam back to the ship with the promise that the inhabitants will clean up and show their people a better life.
I think we all know that “good” and “bad” are relative terms, but we can all agree that discrimination is in the bad category. I’m giving this episode a combo #3, mostly because of Nimoy’s hairy chest, the magnificent use of red and green “blood” makeup, and for the Nazi’s being defeated. Oh, and that one scene where Spock was standing on Kirk and kept pausing to ask Kirk questions, that was comedy gold. At least this time we got to see bare-chested Spock more than bare-chested Kirk, but not by much. If I ever do a re-watch I’m going to devise a drinking game and take a shot every time Kirk is missing an item of clothing. I don’t think I’ll make it to Season 3, haha.
Series and Season: Star Trek: The Original Series, Season 2
Episode #,and Episode Name: 17 – “A Piece of the Action” and 18 – “The Immunity Syndrome”
Setting the Stage: I started at 7:30 pm on January 19, 2020, still watching Netflix and using their viewing order. Professor Zoom was ever present, as was the husband, although he was playing video games. Jazz and Tempura also joined us this evening, and Thor stopped by at least once. Loki seems to have zero interest in anything Trek related, and will stay in the dining room or on the cat tower anytime I’m watching television. While writing tonight, I am listing to a mix of: The London Symphony Orchestra (Star Wars), Ramin Djawadi (the Ironman soundtrack), and Tool (specifically, Lateralus).
Quick Summary with my Impressions: “A Piece of the Action” has the grand trio of Kirk, Spock, and McCoy beaming down to a place that looks like the set of Johnny Dangerously, complete with three piece suits and machine guns. Apparently the Horizon left a book about Chicago mobsters over 100 years ago, and the culture became a direct imitation. Kirk and co. get held hostage, so Kirk makes up a card game to distract their captors and steal the guns. McCoy and Spock reach Uhura, while Kirk gets a meeting with the other boss. Kirk escapes his second captivity and devises a plan, since logic is not helping and Spock has no ideas. It’s quite funny to watch Kirk try to drive a car, oh that poor clutch. Spock likes the kid that’s trying to help them because he’s logical, of course he does. Kirk figures out the society quickly and tries to make a deal with one of the bosses, he steps into character quite well while Spock is a little slow but eventually gets it. Kirk has Oxmyx call all of the other bosses and they’re all transported to the same place so they can have a sort of war council. Kirk fixes the situation as much as he can and Scotty is totally adorable when he does not understand a thing that is going on, which is pretty much the entire episode.
As an Italian-American, I’ve always had a great affinity for mobster movies. Johnny Dangerously is one of my favorites and I quote it often, for the sheer comedy value. This episode does not disappoint in harnessing the stereotypes of the 1920’s mobsters of Chicago. It was a silly episode, and one that showed how quick Kirk really is on his feet. I genuinely enjoyed it, but I’m sure it’s not an important episode in the grand scheme of things. Aside from trying to fix a mistake another starship made years ago and establishing “WE DO NOT MESS WITH THE DOMINANT CULTURE” as a rule, I’m not sure what else it brings to the table. I give this episode 8 maids a milking and a partridge in a pear tree.
“The Immunity Syndrome” starts off rather somber as everything is dead, including a whole ship of Vulcans and an entire star system – what is going on? And what is that black hole up ahead? Okay, that noise was ANNOYING. Spock is quite handsy with Uhura, in the name of helping her back up of course, I definitely think something is going on with them, well as much as they can show in the 1960’s that is. Kirk and Spock cannot come to a consensus on what the energy cloud is. After the second really annoying noise, Chekov exclaims that the stars are gone – and by golly, he is right. Kirk is getting annoyed with his science officer not knowing any science that will be helpful, and his chief engineer not knowing how or why things are happening in engineering. McCoy is equally as unhelpful regarding the medical end of things, until the life monitors show the entire crew is dying. Kirk is now super annoyed and super tired, as the energy drain is affecting him as well. As they try to get out of whatever hole they are in, some strange multi-colored entity approaches the ship. Kirk, McCoy, and Spock have an argument over who is going to go investigate. Kirk chooses Spock, who gets stuck in the creature while the rest of the Enterprise tries to figure out how to destroy it. Kirk and Spock both give their last will and testament, while Kirk attacks the crap out of the creature using anti-matter. They find Spock in the creature, sassy Spock is extra sassy, the explosion kills the creature, and everyone makes it out alive! I don’t think a single person dies in this episode, great Scott!
This episode was very similar, in my opinion, to The Doomsday Machine. There’s a thing destroying planets and ships, oh no it’s attacking us, oh we’re going to ram something in it and blow it up and escape unharmed! I think I liked this one a bit better, because no one knew what was going on and it annoyed Kirk. I’m torn between a 6 and a 7 on this one. I mean nothing overtly sexist happened, all three of our leading men were willing to risk themselves to save everyone else, and no one died. Let’s go with 6.75 gallons of Bojangles sweet tea.