Star Trek

Star Trek

Monday, November 25, 2013

Season 1, Episode 18 "The Squire of Gothos"

"The Squire of Gothos"
Production Number: 18
Air Order: 17
Stardate: 2124.5
Original Air Date: January 12, 1967


Guess what, Trek fans? You can now buy a bottle of George!

No, he's not shitting you. You can buy it on Amazon right now for $40.

They also have one called Red Shirt (though not by Georgie). It doesn't say what it smells like, but somehow I suspect that the underlying scent is blood. And Amazon also sells Pon Farr cologne. Ten Galleons says it smells like Axe Body Spray.


So this happened 45 years ago yesterday.

And still, nobody ships it.

*******

We begin this week's episode with the intrepid Enterprise running supplies to a colony, and they have to cross an empty stretch of space to do so. Our OT3 is on the bridge discussing "space deserts", which of course boils down into another Humans vs Vulcans pissing contest, when the ship suddenly detects a planet in their path. It definitely wasn't there previously. Uhura tries to report it over subspace, but there's interference. Sulu plugs in a course change to go around it, but he disappears from his station before he can hit the Enter key. Kirk shouts and runs to the station, but then he disappears, too.


Ship's Log 2124.5: Spock is reporting because Kirk is gone. They've been orbiting the unknown planet for four hours, doing scans to find our boys. 
I'd just like to point out that this episode takes place almost one full year before the last one. You know, I know they have a doctor on board, but this is not the fucking TARDIS. Get your shit together, Star Trek.

The search is not going well. Scotty puts in a rare appearance to state that they're screwed, and for once he's not talking about the ship. Gold Shirt DeSalle and Bones both want to do a search party on the surface, but geologist Jaeger reports something akin to Hell.. And then, up on a screen above Uhura appears the message "Greetings and Felicitations", followed by "Hip-Hip-Hurrah" and "Tallyho!" I already like this alien, not only because he seems to have a better grasp on vocabulary than the average American, but because I also approve of his font choice.



"Well, shit," says Spock. "Landing party it is."
Scotty wants to go, but Spock says neither of them can be spared. (Why does everybody get this but Kirk?) So our away team will consist of Bones, DeSalle, and Jaeger, both of whom got lines and names, which makes me wonder if one or both of them will die. I kind of want to form a Red Shirt-type Bechdel test for Star Trek. Like if you get a name, lines, and are wearing a red shirt, you're more likely to die. Far more if you have some sort of backstory or are friends with a main character, and especially if you've never been seen before this episode.

No, I'm not your mummy.

Scotty beams Bones down with our two new guys to the place where the greeting originated. They're in the middle of a glade, nothing like what Jaeger described, so now the geologist looks like a liar. None of their comms work. Oops, trapped for life. The away team immediately encounters a stone manor house, because that's what happens on Star Trek: they travel to the farthest reaches of the universe, only to find facets of their own culture. Say what you will about Voyager, at least they tried to make the Delta quadrant look like something other than Earth. Here, the away team has the brains to look unnerved about finding a human dwelling in the middle of Nowhere, Space.


Hey look, you guys! It's the Space Buffalo they offed in "The Man Trap". Isn't it nice to see old friends?


And there's Sulu and Kirk, who appear to have been kidnapped and frozen while doing The Robot.

Why do I hear the Safety Dance when I look at this?

A sort of fruity dude in an awesome pompadour appears and begins playing the harpsichord. He waves his hand and unfreezes our boys, who are baffled as to how they got there. Pompadour Guy apologizes and says he's Squire Trelane of the planet Gothos. Apparently, he's a hobbyist who's been studying Earth, and has set up this house in the 1500's French style.
"If he's looking at earth from this far out, it's like 900 years in the past," DeSalle tells Kirk. 
Wait, was that good science? Holy shit! Good job, Star Trek!


Trelane wants to hear all of their battle stories, but Kirk tells him that they only do peaceful missions. Bullshit, Kirk. Shall I roll film on all of the times you beat the shit out of someone? The fucking Space Buffalo is on display behind you! How the hell did The Shat deliver that line with a straight face? Trelane isn't buying it, either. He sees DeSalle try to pull a phaser on him in the mirror, then freezes him in order to take the gun to examine it. He's immediately taken with it, and proceeds to vaporize several frozen species on display.

We should be less afraid of the phaser, and more afraid of the
fact that this guy likes Rococo art.

Kirk wants to know how all of this shit got here. He takes the phaser, and Trelane explains that he and others have the ability to transfer energy into matter and back, so he made his own 16th century hideout.
"Ugh, let's go," says Kirk.
But Trelane insists that Kirk is being rude, and punishes him by transferring Kirk to a spot outside in the scary atmosphere that Jaeger first reported.


He's transported back a few moments later, hacking up a lung. "Don't fuck with me, or I'll put you back outside again," says Trelane. So he started out as a little kid on Christmas Day, clapping over new exciting toys, but switched pretty quickly into Veruca Salt mode.

Kirk's Log 2125.7: Spock reports that they have no contact with the surface, but have found the little oasis that Trelane made.
Spock tells Scotty to beam up any and all life forms in that little patch. It's fishing in the dark, but they don't have a lot of choice.

This episode we got more Uhura, more Sulu, and more Scotty.
 And no Rand. Let's keep it that way, shall we?

Trelane shows the away team his collection of war flags, which is about as interesting as looking at a book of stamps.
"So I scanned him," Bones tells Kirk, "but he isn't anything."
"The fire is burning, but gives off no heat," says Jaeger.
"He thinks 900 years ago is today," adds Kirk.
Trelane interrupts them to say that they should relax and enjoy his hospitality. Kirk says they have to get back to the ship, but makes the mistake of mentioning that there are women on board the E. The squire gets excited.
"Chicks? Yay! I want to see your chicks!"
See, this is a problem. Because all of the chicks must belong to Kirk all of the time - and how dare you suggest that there might be some at some point that don't! Fuck you, Trelane. The Enterprise is Kirk's private harem.
"I got beam sign!" says Bones.
"Ha!" says Kirk. "This party is over, thanks to Mr Spock!"

I've been singing this for weeks.

The away team beams up, leaving Trelane, who has no life signature.
"Let's GTFO," says Kirk on the bridge, as a random yeoman fawns over him.
Nope, sorry. Trelane shows up on the bridge in a cape. "Who was the rude guy that took my toys?" he demands. When Spock admits that it was him, Trelane notes his alien appearance.
"I'm half-Vulcan," comes the reply.
"And are Vulcans predatory?" asks Trelane.
"Not really," says Spock, "but exceptions can be made," which translates roughly into "Fuck with me, and I'll take you down as though you cock-blocked me during Pon Farr."


Trelane waves his hand, and the bridge crew appears in his drawing room... which subsequently leaves nobody running the ship. The squire encourages them to sit and eat.
"I don't like you," says Spock. "I think you're a dick."
Trelane is thrilled. "You're ill-mannered! I like that." Then he demands to be introduced to the women.
He calls Uhura "a Nubian prize" and says "she has the eyes of the Queen of Sheba". We finally found somebody who acknowledges that Uhura is the hottest chick on the ship! Huzzah! And it only took 18 episodes! Unfortunately, he then ruins it by asking Kirk if he won her in a conquest.
"Dude, fuck you," says Kirk's look.
Trelane decides that he wants to dance with the white yeoman Teresa Ross, because this is 1967, and while he's allowed to admit that Uhura is hot, he's not allowed to touch her. They cover this up by having Uhura play the harpsichord, because she's a musician. But she's never encountered this instrument, so they cover that by having Trelane give her that power. Yeah... nice try, Star Trek. Being able to change matter into energy does not translate into giving someone the magical ability to play the harpsichord. Trelane doesn't care for Ross' ass-bearing uniform, so he magicks her into an empire-waisted dress that's actually pretty cute.

These costumes are great. Why do so many of the
futuristic ones look so awful?

"This food sucks," Bones tells Kirk. "It doesn't taste like anything."
"Makes sense," says Spock. "Everything looks right, but is kind of off."
Nobody seems to have put together the fact that this place is kind of a life-sized dollhouse. Seems pretty evident to me.
"I think he's getting help from a machine," Kirk guesses. "He likes that big-ass mirror." The captain forms a plan, then says loudly, "This guy is a jackass."
Kirk yanks Ross away from Trelane and tells her that he doesn't like her dancing with the squire. Trelane is excited. He says that all human males are jealous, and that they "fight for the attention, the admiration, the possession of women." So I know he's talking about humans in general, but he kind of just described Kirk to a T.
Kirk grabs one of Ross' opera gloves and slaps Trelane with it, demanding a duel. I swear to God Trelane wets himself like an over-excited puppy. He practically skips to the mantle to get a matched set of old-school pistols. Then he announces that he never misses. Dramatic music! 


Kirk's Log 2126.1: Kirk is going to duel Trelane. Just in case you were in the bathroom, and missed the last 10 minutes.

"I get to shoot first!" says Trelane. When Kirk objects, he shouts "My game, my rules!" I'm surprised he didn't stamp his foot on the floor. Instead, he aims the pistol at Spock, until Kirk acquiesces. When he takes his shot, he shoots the ceiling. Kirk shoots the mirror, which sparks and smokes. The lights flicker, the fire goes out, and the whole thing is cheapened by the sound effects of the malfunctioning mirror computer, which includes slide whistles and "boing" sounds.


Trelane yells at them to get off his planet, and that he intends to destroy them, then he walks into the busted mirror and disappears. The away team beams back to the E.
Upstairs, the ship gets the hell out of Dodge, preparing to go to warp, but what's that up ahead? Gothos, the planet they just sped away from. They attempt to fly around it, but it keeps moving into their path, so that they end up playing evasive maneuvers with a planet.
Instead of hailing Trelane, which would be smart, Kirk elects to beam back down. 
And oh, look! Trelane has decided to put Kirk on trial, assigning himself as judge! What fun!


Trelane accuses him of treason against a more-intelligent being and sentences him to die by hanging.
"Fine, just let my ship go," says Kirk.
They trade barbs and we go to commercial again.

Captain's Log 2126.3: Spock reporting again. Kirk told him to take the ship and go if the captain didn't report back within the hour. Time's almost up.

Downstairs, Trelane is giddy that he got so wound up and furious with Kirk. He's really excited about getting the full experience here.
"Hanging is lame," Kirk objects. "It's over quickly, and there's no sport in it. We could go outside and hunt each other for a more lasting death experience."
Trelane practically claps at this idea. The rules are that they get to try to kill each other, but the Enterprise goes free.
Outside, Kirk attempts to call the ship while Trelane tries to run him through with a sword. This guy has no form. He should talk to Sulu. Kirk gets a hold of the sword, and slashes at Trelane, but dude disappears and reappears around the slashing motion. They re-used that boing sound effect again. Seriously, get rid of that. Nothing says "low-budget" like the sound boing.

I get the feeling that Trelane plays a lot of Fruit Ninja.

"You scored first!" says Trelane excitedly.
They run around the "outdoor" set some more, and eventually, Trelane corners Kirk by building a cage around him.
"I win!" he says, and Kirk snaps his sword in half. Then "You broke my sword!"
A woman's voice calls Trelane's name, and they both look over to see a pair of floaty blue blobs.


"Time to come in," says one, with a male voice.
"No way," says Trelane. "I was winning! You said I could make a planet, and play. I never get to have any fun!"
"That's not true," say the blobs. "One day you'll grow up. Until then, you need to take better care of your pets."
Trelane protests heavily, but fades away.
"Sorry, captain," say the blobs. "Our kid is kind of spoiled, and we'll punish him for trying to kill you."
"Hey, thanks," says Kirk, and he beams up.

Later, he and Spock attempt to categorize Trelane for their reports.
"How about naughty little boy?" laughs Kirk, who seems awfully cheerful for someone who has just found out that he's spent the day playing Buzz Lightyear to Trelane's Sid.
He then suggests that Spock got up to the same kinds of shenanigans as a little kid. As examples, he offers "dipping little girls' curls in inkwells, stealing apples from the neighbors' trees, and tying cans to stuff". I know he's teasing, but did Kirk just compare 24th-century Spock to Huck Finn?

"Just stop talking, please."

*******

So I really like this episode. It kind of follows the same premise as last week's "Shore Leave" in that it features an unusual beginning, a sense of danger, and an ending where the characters find out that the danger was minimal or non-existent. But unlike last week, this episode does a better job. There's plot here rather than a series of experiences linked together, and I do think that there were times when Trelane could have seriously hurt one of them (or worse), so there was some element of danger after all. What's more, "Shore Leave" lacks an antagonist, whereas "Squire" provides a surprising one. I'm not sure who first came up with the premise of "the villain is actually a little kid", but it works. You walk away laughing, because the adults were genuinely afraid at times. They have reason to be, as kids are frequently fearless and take their games very seriously. Though he's kind of a jerk, Trelane turns out to be a very likeable character after all. You almost kind of want him to win, because he so enchanted by everything around him.


Unfortunately, Trelane's parents force me to categorize this adventure under "humans are dumb". It seems that there are only two kinds of aliens in the Star Trek universe - those that are at the same level as humans, and have matching egos, so that both parties think they're the shit for inventing space travel; and then there are the more-intelligent variety that ultimately end up stating that humans are stupid, violent, and have zero reason to have inflated egos. These are usually the kind of alien that Spock sanctimoniously agrees with. While Trelane was clearly not more intelligent than the Enterprise crew, he did have access to more advanced technology, and then his parents nailed the coffin closed on the matter when telling Trelane that he didn't care good care of his "pets". Kirk then becomes the ant on the sidewalk, and the squire the kid with the magnifying glass.

This episode lends itself heavily to the Futurama season 4 episode "Where No Fan has Gone Before", which features a floating blob which orders the cast of TOS around on a desert planet. It's worth checking out if you haven't already.



*******

Today's tea is out of the Adagio Juicy Slices sampler pack, and it's the Earl Grey tea. I... want to like Earl Grey so much, I really do. Each time I see Earl Grey I think "This time. This will be the time that I try it and like it." And it never is. (Sadly, I have that problem with Steinbeck as well. But no Steinbeck novel is ever the one that I don't hate.) I mean, I appreciate that the bergamot orange oil gives it a distinct tang, but it always ends up finishing like a watermelon Jolly Rancher, and never in a way that I would enjoy. I'm sorry, Jean-Luc. This is not my cup of tea.

However, if it's yours:





And the Juicy Slices Sampler Pack, which appears to be in stock again:


Monday, November 18, 2013

Season 1, Episode 17 "Shore Leave"

"Shore Leave"
Production Number: 17
Air Order: 15
Stardate: 3025.3
Original Air Date:  December 29, 1966

So some of you may be thinking, "What the hell has this blog become? I just read two weeks' worth of entries about how this chick ships herself with the TOS budget! That's not funny unless there's badly-written fic about it!"
Fear not, my friends: I hate this week's episode. I hate it like I hate Rand's stupid basket-weave, and I hate it like I hate bacon. (Yes, I know. You can fill the comments section with reasons why I should luuurve bacon, but you'll never convince me. It's gross. Really, you should look at it the other way - if I get a portion of it served to me, the chances are good that I'll give it to you. Really, this just means more bacon for you. So shut your craw and just eat my portion, will you?)
I hate this episode because it's starts out promising, goes nowhere fast, and falls flat on it's face in horse manure at the end. And what's perhaps most insulting about this episode is that this is the crap that they filmed after the brilliance of "The Menagerie". Gah.

*******

We open over a green planet, where the Enterprise is orbiting, waiting for a report from the away team. Kirk complains of a kink in his back, and without waiting for a request, the yeoman behind him begins massaging his back. He leans forward and gives direction - "higher... harder". Then "really dig in there, Mr Spock", as Spock steps forward. Kirk has an "oh, shit" moment while the head of every Spirk shipper on the planet explodes with the delightful thought of Kirk urging Spock "higher and harder". The yeoman suggests that Kirk needs sleep, and Spock agrees, saying everyone on board does.
"Except me, of course. Vulcans are the shit, unlike weak-ass humans."


Downstairs, Bones and Sulu are wandering around what is actually outside. I shit you not. No fake-ass rocks, no sand, no artificially-lit skyline. Actual trees and grass! The whole cast took a field trip!


Sulu and Bones chat excitedly about Kirk possibly giving the okay for them to take shore leave there. Bones makes an off-hand comment about this planet being like Alice in Wonderland (it's not, but that line is important, so whatever). Sulu gleefully runs off to collect plant samples. Bones walks away and is surprised to see the Easter Bunny, who declares that he is late before galloping away into the foliage. No, seriously. Dude gallops. Of course a little blonde British girl comes by and asks if he's seen a white rabbit in a waistcoat. Bones points silently into the foliage, and she follows before the good doctor bellows for Sulu.

"You look like a deranged Easter bunny."

Kirk's Log 3025.3: The Enterprise is orbiting an uninhabited planet in the Omicron Delta region, which is similar to Earth. Kirk admits that he won't be going down, and Spock says he won't either. Bones calls them.
"Um, so I think I've lost my marbles," says Bones, and he explains about the rabbit.
Kirk shuts off the comm and laughingly tells Spock that this is McCoy's way of getting him to go on shore leave - by presenting him with a mystery. Spock lets Kirk know that they have a stressed crew member whose reaction time is down quite a bit, and who refuses to take shore leave. He builds it up, and Kirk finally declares that he's going to order that this crew member take leave.
"It's you," says Spock, and the music they play right then lets you know that Spock's human half is laughing internally, adding "Haha, suckaaaah!" 

Down on the surface, the camera discovers a pistol under a rock. Dramatic music!
Nearby, a blue shirt (Rodriguez) scans a plant, and a gold shirt chastises him for working when he should be admiring the scenery. It took me a second to figure out, but the gold shirt is Angela Martine, the girl in Balance of Terror who is kinda-sorta widowed on her wedding day. She seems terribly smiley for someone whose fiance died in battle not that long ago. Actually, Balance of Terror aired right before this episode. Probably because of Christmas, there was a two-week pause between the two episodes, but according to the stardates... wait.... WTH? Somehow, we managed to lose a year and a half in that two week time period? So I guess Martine is free to move on. Still... for fans that are not paying attention, she sure seems to have gone on the rebound quickly.


The captain and the cuter brunette yeoman beam down. They meet up with Bones, who shows them giant tracks. All scans so far have shown that there are no animals on this planet, and a suspicious Kirk puts a halt on the shore leave beam-downs.
A gun goes off repeatedly, and they all go running. It's a trigger-happy Sulu, who found that old-school pistol and is using it for target practice. He's super-stoked and says he "just found" the gun. Dude, you never "just find" a gun on an uninhabited planet. The yeoman (Barrows) points out more giant bunny tracks. Bones confirms again that the scans showed "no birds, insects, or animals". What? Hold the fucking comm badge. Are they serious? How the hell do you have an ecosystem without insects? You don't, that's how. Shoddy science, Star Trek. That's like, third grade biology.
So Bones and Kirk go off on their own to track the rabbit, and a television aerial pops up in the foreground. Oh no, you guys! This mysterious planet is going to gift them cable!


As they're walking along, Kirk reminisces about a guy at the academy who picked on him, a jerk named Finnegan. Kirk and Bones spot the rabbit tracks, this time where they meet up with the prints of a little kid. They decide to backtrack. 
"You take the rabbit," says Kirk. I'll follow the girl." No surprises there.
Kirk takes like 10 steps away from the footprint rendezvous, and guess who randomly shows up on this uninhabited planet?
Finnegan says, "What up, Kirk?" and promptly punches him.

Seems like every Irishman on Star Trek has been a douchebag. What does this how have against the Irish?

Without stopping to think about how or why Finnegan is here, Kirk gleefully starts duking it out with him. Yeoman Barrows screams in the distance, and Kirk abandons his fight so he and Bones can go running to her rescue.
Barrows' dress has been ripped. "Damn," says Roomie. "Starfleet really needs to look into uniform fabric with better textile integrity."
The yeoman says a guy with a cloak and a jeweled dagger attacked her.
"It's Don Juan!" says Bones. Um, I don't recall Don Juan attacking women, but okay.
"Yes!" says Barrows. "I was daydreaming about meeting Don Juan. "Sulu ran after him."


Kirk runs after Sulu, but instead of finding him, stumbles upon some pretty flowers. He forgets about Sulu and the dude that attacked Barrows, and - hooray, it's Ruth! Don't know who she is? That's okay, none of us does. She's some girl from Kirk's past. She's standing in front of him in one of the ugliest Star Trek outfits ever. It's like, a two-toned body stocking, and half of it is covered with a white dress overlay, and the other is like a black romper accented with flowers. I feel like two costumers were arguing over what to put her in, and decided to do both, half and half... with two different-colored shoes. Friend Dubs suggests that it might be Heaven and Hell, like those angel-devil Halloween costumes that have become so popular. Whatever it is, it's a #fail. Anyway, Kirk and Ruth kind of make out before commercial break.

I like her hair and her earrings. Everything else has to go.
Why do I get the sudden urge to add, "That's what Kirk said!"?

Kirk's Log 3025.8:  Kirk is weirded out by the fact that unexplainable shit keeps happening.
However, he seems to actually have no fucks to give as he is clearly most interested in banging Ruth.
Bones calls him to ask if he's found Sulu.
"No," says Kirk vaguely. "I'm sure he's fine..."
Rodriguez calls him to say that, despite the initial readings of no birds, he just saw a flock fly overhead. 
"Whatever," says Kirk.
Somehow, he manages to gather his wits about him, and excuses himself from Ruth.
Spock calls to say that something under the planet's surface is fucking with communications and draining the ship's power.


The tv aerial follows Bones and Barrows, and she wishes out loud for a princess costume. Ta-da! One appears. There's a weird romantic moment between them that I really don't ship.
"You'd look so hot in that," he tells her.
She runs off into the bushes to put it on, and Rodriguez calls Bones. Communications suck, but Kirk wants everyone to meet back at the white rabbit glade.


I initially wondered why Rand wasn't in this episode, but it's clear that she wasn't so that Kirk could mack on Ruth. But we needed a yeoman to objectify, so they put in Barrows instead. Then we needed to have someone hit on Barrows, so they added in that awkward massage scene right at the beginning to let us know that she didn't belong to Kirk. They hooked her up with Bones instead. There's even color-coordination: Kirk gets all the blondes, so Bones have can have the brunettes. What, you didn't think they'd try to set her up with Spock, do you?

So Rodriguez and Martine are screwed. Surprise! It's a tiger! Martine clings to Rodriguez, all damsel-y. In the Star Trek world, you can either be a damsel or a badass. I had Martine pegged as a badass, sadly.

I bet tiger rental is expensive. Instead, they bought some footage of one and spliced it in with shots of Martine clutching at Rodriguez.

Kirk finds Sulu when the helmsman comes running out of a canyon yelling "fuckfuckfuckfuckfuck". But the samurai that was chasing him is gone now.
"My phaser doesn't work," says Sulu. Neither does Kirk's.


Spock beams down and tells them that they're essentially trapped, as he's used the last of the beaming energy to deliver this message. All three hear Rodriguez's tiger and go running, but instead find Bones and Barrows. A black knight charges at Bones, who declares that hallucinations can't hurt them. The knight stabs Bones with his lance, and he falls down, wounded.
I'm dead, Jim.


Spock shoots the knight with Sulu's pistol and the knight dies. They scan him.
"Everything on this planet is made from the same thing," declares Spock. "The plants, the animals, the people - it's all being manufactured."
So... I'd like to issue a formal apology to ST on my earlier rant vis a vis the lack of insects and ecology of the planet. Turns out it was just a plot point, and not another instance of them completely ignoring how science works. My bad.

Rodriguez and Martine are now being chased by old bomber planes. They run and Martine gets knocked out when she runs into a tree. Nearby, the others look up as the plans fly overhead, and when they look back, Bones and the knight are both gone.
Right on top of it, Detective Spock asks Kirk what he was thinking about just before Finnegan and Ruth showed up, and Kirk admits that he was thinking about his time at the academy.
Hey, guess who shows up, you guys? It's fucking Finnegan again. He's back to perpetuate the stereotype that anyone with an Irish name will have an Irish accent, and is looking for a good fistfight. He takes off, and Kirk goes after him, stupidly thinking this douchenozzle has the answers to this mystery. We waste a bunch of time following this pair as they run across the terrain, then another fistfight starts, and Ripped-Shirt Kirk shows up.
You want definitive proof that Auntie Archon is a girl? I hate fight scenes. They bore me. Really, you only have to throw one punch, and then enter the next scene slightly battered to let us know there was a fight. There are pretty much two kinds of fight scenes that don't bore me: scenes from the first Matrix movie, which had action scenes mixed with cool effects, but which got boring in the sequels because we had seen all that in the first film; and scenes from another awesome show, which I will emulate here for my own amusement.







Na na na na na na na na na na na -- Star Trek!

You know what really kills me? At one point, Kirk gets knocked out, and we go to commercial. Before commercial, his shirt is intact. When we come back, and he wakes up, and his shirt is shredded.

This was the longest scene ever. Seriously. I timed it. Most scenes on this show are like one or two minutes long. This scene was seven and a half minutes of punching and trading barbs. I actually got up to pee and came back to find them still fighting. This scene is the drum solo of this episode.

Kirk is also sporting what has come to be known as The Sexy Lip Cut.

Here's a bit of bonus ridiculousness: later, when we see Kirk in his ripped shirt, we can see the place where it was cut and re-stitched in place. A few shots later, Shatner has tucked that hem back into place behind the shirt to hide it. Hooray for the miracles brought to us by better-quality video!


Spock shows up at the fight and they just kind of forget about Finnegan.
"If you think about it, it will appear," says the science officer.
The tiger appears. Who the fuck thought about that? Then, instead of imaging that it's a kitten or something equally harmless, they run from it. They run from the planes and the samurai.

Back at the glade, Barrows has swapped out the princess dress for her ripped uniform... and when she puts it back on, it's ripped on the wrong side.


A dude with a sword (presumably Don Juan) tries to snatch her, but feels the might of the mighty Enterprise away team. He takes off, and Kirk and Spock rush back into the glade, lining up the crew members and keeping them at attention.
"Don't think! We'll be screwed!"
So here comes this old dude in flowing robes, and he tells Kirk that this is his people's amusement park, and that the planet provides fantasies to live out based on one's thoughts. (Talos IV, anyone?) He invites the Enterprise crew to stay for shore leave.


"Who are your people?" asks Kirk.
"Humans are kind of too stupid to understand us," says the old dude.
"Agreed," says Spock.
Guess who shows up then? Nope, not Finnegan. Bones. And he has Vegas showgirls on his arm, and because this is Star Trek, their costumes are extra-ridiculous.
"I didn't die! They have a super-cool facility underground where they patched me up!"

Looks like Dr Seuss porn.

"Who they fuck are they?" demands Barrows, who is clearly not pleased that he spent all episode chasing her tail, then ditched her for furry britches. She has conveniently forgotten that her fantasies included Don Juan ripping her clothes off of her, and a black knight who "killed" Bones. Seems to me that one of the requirements for Starfleet is the ability to not only think on your feet, but with your glands as well. Spock can pass this test with flying colors, but sadly, can only have it administered every seven years.
"Yeah..." says Bones, and he pawns off the showgirls on Rodriguez and Sulu so that he can snuggle Barrows. 
Somehow, no one has noticed that Martine has magically shown up in the interim.
Spock announces that he's really just fucking done with this planet, and now that they have communications and beaming back, that he's leaving.
"You should stay," says Kirk. "I'll go."
But here comes Ruth again, and Kirk remembers that he was supposed to bone her.


And that's it. A lot of smoke and mirrors, Kirk trying to hit some asshole whose Irish accent kept slipping, and three women in terrible 60's costumes. The plot for this episode was reminiscent of Scooby-Doo. There was some perceived danger, weird shit went down, and then they figured out that there was never any real danger at all. There was even an old man at the end to explain everything. All that we're missing are the antics of one stoner and one talking dog.

Go home, Star Trek. You're drunk.


*******

This week's tea is Red Velvet Cuppa Chocolate Tea by The Republic of Tea. A friend gave us a tin of these bags, and we've been skeptical of them, mostly because he tried them, and decided that he would not end up drinking any more. Tea + chocolate can be a weird combo. So it's a rooibos base, with chocolate and beet used for flavoring, and the first thing that I noticed was the scent - a bit like a chocolate scratch-n-sniff sticker. It wasn't the worst thing ever, but I feel like making something that is chocolate-flavored without adding any actual chocolate is tricky. The ingredients listed included "natural chocolate and vanilla flavoring", so maybe they used oils? Not sure.
The taste was okay. Lighter than cocoa for sure, because I didn't mix mine with milk, as was suggested. (I just don't care for milk or cream in my tea.) I can taste the vanilla and chocolate, but also the tea. It was lightly sweetened, but I added a little more.
I checked out the online reviews as well. Very mixed. While it averaged 4 out of 5, people either seemed to love it or hate it. Some people were touting it as being a dessert tea, others as a diet tea, as they drink this when they get sugar cravings and don't want the calories.
Bottom line: it's pretty good, but it probably won't make my regular rotation.