Production Number: 14
Air Order: 16
Original Air Date: January 5, 1967
So most of these episodes I've seen at least twice, once when Roomie brought them home and we watched them marathon-style; and a second time when I was building puzzles and needed something on in the background. Somehow, I barely remember it. I think I might have nodded off the first time. The second time around I was probably wrestling with this stupid kitten-in-a-flower-garden puzzle that made me want to punch baby dolphins. So I'm kind of coming at it with fresh eyes. FYI - it takes about 200 completed, resin-covered puzzles to build a dance-floor.
Kirk's Log 2821.5: The Enterprise is on route to Makus III with medical supplies when they pass a quasar and decide to investigate. They have some dick named Galactic High Commissioner Ferris on board who is babysitting them while they do this medical run. He seems like the sort of guy who would get the part of the high school principal with the high blood pressure who is tortured by the carefree main character in teen movies. You just know this guy's whole role is going to involve a strict adherence to the rules, getting pissed at Kirk for not doing so, then grudgingly admitting that the captain is awesome when Kirk brazenly breaks all the rules in the heat of a crisis and his crazy-ass stunt works.
So Kirk has ordered Spock & Co into the shuttlecraft Galileo to check out the quasar and of course Ferris has his frilly manties in a wad because it takes three days to get to Makus III, and they only have 5 to get to their rendezvous. Apparently, there's a plague in New Paris that needs those meds. But Kirk reminds the commish that their mission is to drop everything and
look at pretty shit in space explore astronomical anomalies. Really, they both have a point, but Ferris should just chillax because confirmation bias tells us that the USS Mary Sue will deliver the goods a few hours before anyone dies. Geez, Ferris - don't you ever watch this show?
They launch the Galileo, which is the first time we've seen a shuttlecraft. There's immediate trouble when the shuttle is pulled into the gravitational draw of the quasar, which is putting out a ton of radiation and ionization. Kirk is pissed because he can't find the shuttle or it's complement, and also he looks like a giant asshole for sending people into a quasar and losing them within 5 minutes, all in front of the commissioner dude. Ferris seems pleased because now he gets to hand Kirk a big fat "I told you so." But who cares about that? Both the Comm Goddess and the fabulous Mr Sulu are back on the bridge! It's so much better when all of the key players get lines and screen time.
Another log in case you missed the opening scene. A different Snack Bitch brings Kirk and Ferris drinks for whatever reason, and the men bicker about the situation. While they're busy yapping, Uhura has been diligently doing her job and now reports back that there's a Class M planet nearby, unexplored, in the middle of the quasar.
The Galileo has managed to land on the planet (Taurus II) and Mr Spock takes inventory. Everyone is fine, but the craft needs work. Spock orders two gold shirts outside and Scotty pulls out his duct tape and Sonic Screwdriver.
|This is your Galileo Seven: three regular characters, and four possible casualties.|
Upstairs, Uhura reports zero communications ability with Galileo, Sulu can't find them with scanners, and the transporter can't get a lock to beam the away team off of the surface. Kirk orders the launch of the shuttlecraft Columbus to search for the away team, and Ferris spouts off some regulation at him. "Dude," says Kirk, "shut the hell up. I don't ditch my friends in space unless they've got Spice Eyes, and sometimes not even then." I can say this for Kirk - at least he's a good friend.
On the surface, Bones tells Spock that he thinks the Vulcan has always fancied being in command, using logic to run things, and that now he has his "big chance" to do so. "Meh," says Spock. "Not really interested in leading."
Scotty reports an extreme loss of fuel. They'll have to lose 500 pounds to make it into orbit. Spock points out that that's like three guys. Bones suggests ditching equipment, but they need it all. Boma, the other blue shirt, demands to know who will be left behind and who will choose who stays. Spock says he'll choose, as he is in command, and Boma and Bones look mildly annoyed at this conclusion.
The gold shirts are off exploring with phasers when they encounter a growling noise. They can't figure out where it's coming from in the rocky terrain, and a furry upright thing throws a primitive spear, catching one of them in the back. He screams and falls, prompting Spock and Boma to go running. There's a weird kind of split-screen thing going on that I guess is supposed to denote fog or something, and the other gold shirt fires off his phaser randomly into the mist.
Spock and Boma arrive and the science officer examines the spear, saying that it isn't a terribly efficient weapon. Boma goes off on him, Bones-style, about how Spock is being insensitively illogical about how a man died. You know, maybe it's because I'm pretty much the love child of Spock and Hermione Granger, but I'd like to point out that Spock is being remarkably level-headed in the face of a crisis, and if Boma shuts his mouth, his ass may get off this planet. The remaining gold shirt (Gaetano) gives the science officer some flak as well, and together, he and Boma carry Latimer's body back to the Galileo.
Kirk's Log 2228.3: Kirk is still looking for the shuttlecraft, and Ferris is still being a bureaucratic dick. They have 24 hours to find the shuttle before they have to leave to meet their rendezvous.
Downstairs, the yeoman and Bones have been pulling out non-essential equipment to lighten their load, but they are still 150 pounds short. Spock is helping Scotty with repairs. Boma pops his head in the shuttle to say that they're ready to have a burial for Latimer, and Spock politely declines the duty of heading it up, suggesting Bones do it instead. Bones argues that Spock, as captain, must do it. Dude, Bones is mostly doing nothing, while Spock is helping Scotty. They have zero time left. Let the man work.
|Spoilers, sweetie: being as concerned as they are with weight, you'd think they would ditch those big-ass chairs, but they don't. The chairs stay, and they think about who they might leave behind instead.|
Scotty declares that the fuel is depleted, and he and Spock are trying to consider what to do about it when Bones bursts in and alerts them to danger outside. They can hear that funny noise surrounding them, and Boma suggests that they pre-strike. The others agree, and Spock states that it does seem logical, but he is concerned about the action of killing off another life form without knowing about it first. He suggests an alternate plan, where he, Boma and Gaetano fire their phasers to scare off the unknown inhabitants. Gaetano is pissed but Spock is the CO, so they follow him into the fog.
In the rocky outcroppings, they hear the sound again and a huge spear is thrown, followed by a massive shield, big enough for them to camp under.
Spock checks their position then directs the others to fire into the mists. He then declares the creatures as being scared off. Boma and Spock go back to the Galileo, leaving Gaetano to stand guard. As he and Spock go, Boma pats Gaetano as if to say, "Sorry you're gonna die, buddy."
Back at the Galileo, Scotty has a plan. He can convert phaser energy into fuel, but it'll eat up the only defense they have against the Taurusians. Bones and the yeoman reluctantly hand over their phasers.
Up top, the transporter crew has successfully beamed up and down some objects, rendering it safe for people. The funny thing is, the stuff they beamed up are re-utilized equipment that Bones and the yeoman removed from the Galileo a few scenes earlier. We're supposed to believe that the ttransporter techs just scrounged up some stuff to beam. I momentarily thought that they had beamed this up from the crash site, until Kirk indicated otherwise. You're clever budget, but it would really behoove you not to re-use things in such a way as to confuse your audience.
Anyway, Kirk decides to beam a team to the surface to look for the crew. They're really operating on luck, as they have no idea where the shuttle landed, but I guess when both of your bromances go missing, you kind of throw caution to the wind.
Downstairs, Gaetano loses his phaser to a thrown rock, and his life to the creatures with the furry backs.
|Behold the Spacesquatch!|
Spock, Bones and Boma come across the phaser and Spock asks Bones to take it back to Scotty for conversion before handing his own over as well. He's going off to look for Gaetano alone, and wants them to convert it if he doesn't return. He finds Gaetano, and spears randomly thrown in his direction follow him back to the shuttle.
|Seriously: those over-sized spears had zero aerodynamics. I feel like after several takes, the director said, "Just kind of toss them. And try not to hit Nimoy, okay?"|
While Scotty converts phasers, Spock tries to rationalize why the spacesquatch on this planet were not afraid of the away team's superior weapons and didn't respect their space. Bones barks back that respect is a rational reaction and these things are too primitive for that.
Well, yes. But here's the thing - it's not a question of respect. It's a question of fight or flight, which originates in the "animal hind-brain". They would either see that you had better weapons and take off, or they'd get pissed off that you fired on them and decide to stand their ground.
As an argument heats up in the shuttle, with everyone vs Spock and Spock vs his own rationalization, the squatch closes in and beats the Galileo with a rock. Before you were tiny squishy creatures with lasers. Now you're tiny squishy creatures in a tin can. Om nom nom. Spacesquatch smash!
|I'm pretty sure that's the worst font ever for a scientific space vehicle. That's the font they use for up-tempo Broadway musicals whose reviews utilize the phrase "rollicking good fun!"|
Kirk's Log 2823.1: A search party is on the surface, and the scanners are slowly returning as the ion storm dissipates. Ferris the High Asshole tells Kirk that he has less than three hours and Kirk tells Ferris to eat a bag of dicks.
Downstairs, Spock asks Scotty if the batteries will electrify the outside of the ship. Everyone grounds themselves and Scotty throws the switch. It buys them time while the squatches move off, and Boma insists on burying Gaetano. There's another argument, and Spocks tells Boma that he can have the burial at his own risk. This whole thing seems ridiculous to me - wouldn't they have a service for both of those gold shirts back on the Enterprise? You know, later... when they weren't being hunted?
One search party returns to the Enterprise with two wounded and one dead, an Ensign O'Neill. The leader says they were attacked by spacesquatches, similar to ones found on another planet, but these were 10-12 feet tall. Ferris says that Kirk is SOL, and that under his authority, Kirk must leave orbit and go to Makus III. Silently giving Ferris the finger, Kirk beams the other parties up and orders the Columbus to return.
On the Galileo, Scotty tells Spock that they can leave in 10. Spock calls Boma and Bones forward to say that they have that long to bury Gaetano, that the coast is clear for now, and that he will help them.
The Columbus back on board, Kirk directs Uhura to do sensor sweeps out of the back of the ship, and that Sulu should set course for Makus III at "space-normal". Sulu seems as confused as I am - what the fuck is "space-normal"? Apparently, it's the equivalent of half-blind 80-year-old man in a Cadillac, in a two-lane highway on a Sunday. Kirk intends to crawl to Makus III with his blinker on.
The trio of blue shirts finishes the burial and are attacked. Spock's leg gets trapped under a boulder, and even though he tells Boma and Bones to leave him and take off, they roll the foam rock off of him and everyone climbs on board. They can't take off with squatches hanging off the ship, so Spock is forced to engage the boosters to shake them loose. This does, of course, severely shorten their fuel because there just wasn't enough drama at this point. Then, to pile on, Spock lectures Bones and Boma about how they should have marooned him there. "Bro," says Bones, "shut the hell up and fly the stupid plane."
They have enough fuel for one orbit, then the odds are good that they will burn up on re-entry. Everyone starts bitching at Spock again, this time for using the boosters. He thinks for a moment, then flips the switch to jettison and ignite the fuel. "WTF?" yell the others. Now they have six minutes until the orbit decays and they fall out of the sky in a fiery ball of death.
But what's this? Hawk-eyed Sulu notices a weird glowing streak against the backdrop of Taurus II, and Kirk excitedly tells him to turn around and fire up the transporter.
On the Galileo, Scotty says, "Oh, it was like a flare! That was hella smart, Spock!" Finally, a damn compliment.
"That was rather human," smiles Bones. Nope, spoke too soon.
"Meh, nobody saw it, so it was actually kind of stupid," admits Spock.
The shuttle starts to lose orbit. But then they all shimmer and are beamed off the Galileo, just as it burns up in the atmosphere. Uhura reports to Kirk that they snatched 5 people from the jaws of death.
|They're being beamed off the ship, I promise. They're not on fire.|
Later on the bridge, everyone gathers to give Spock shit.
"You used emotion," accuses Kirk gleefully.
"The situation was hopeless," says Spock. "And logistically the response to that is to do something desperate."
"You're not going to admit that you acted in a human way?" they ask.
"Yo' mama," he replies, and he goes back to work while they all laugh.
So Ferris' involvement here makes little sense to the story other than to provide extra urgency for getting their butts to Makus III. He would make more sense if he had been stuck on the ship to evaluate Kirk's reckless command style, or if he was being used to illustrate logic vs gut-reaction and emotion in reference to command styles. But he was just some inflated brass hat. I don't think he was necessary.
I feel like the moral of this story is logic = bad, which is weird because Kirk frequently sides with gut-reaction over logic. We see Spock in charge for a change, and everyone flips the hell out on him for ...I dunno, lack of bedside manner? Sure, it sucked that two people were lost under his command, but they had a limited amount of time in which to try to get off that planet, and I think most good commanders would set aside emotional feelings for the task at hand. Solve the issue first, then grieve on your own time. I feel like Kirk would have actually handled it in a similar manner, so I don't see why everyone got all bent out of shape.
|Gold Shirt Latimer|
|Gold Shirt Gaetano|
|Mystery Color Ensign O'Neill|
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So Adagio has me pegged. The ads that run down my FB page have been adding in tea, and I clicked on one to find that I could get a little sampler for $4, no shipping. Nine teas, two of each. Hell, yes!
This week I tried the Rooibos Vanilla, which was in the sampler. "That must be rather subtle," remarked Roomie. Nope. Heavy on the vanilla. Like sipping vanilla extract or eating a spoonful of vanilla bean paste. In other words, awesome for people like me who enjoy that flavor a lot, but not so much if the the thought of drinking a bottle of extract makes you gag. Okay, maybe it isn't THAT strong. But it's a strong vanilla flavor nonetheless. Can warm be a flavor? It tastes warm. And it rates highly among reviewers.
The Republic of Tea has my number, too. "Hey, kids! Learn awesome shit about tea! We'll send you info about tea every day for a week! Tea 101!" Yup, I was all over that one as well. I'm such a sucker for information, and now I know how to say "rooibos" (ROY-boss, and don't you try to tell me that it's REEE-O-boss, because that's not even close).
Aw, crap. I just noticed that Republic of Tea has a Downton Abbey blend. I'm totally screwed.