Star Trek

Star Trek

Monday, January 27, 2014

Season 1, Episode 27 "Errand of Mercy"


"Errand of Mercy"
Production Number: 27
Air Order: 26
Stardate: 3198.4
Original Air Date: March 23, 1967

*sigh*
Nobody hates late posts as much as I do. But between a wrap party, a nerd con, volunteer work for a cat sanctuary, and being sick, my post is once again late. And once again, I apologize. Here are some con pics.
This guy attempted to do all three days in his Data make-up and
gold contacts before discovering that it sucked tribble balls.
He showed me his cell phone selfie of the completed
costume, though. It was pretty impressive.

I stalked this girl half-way across the floor to get a shot of her Enterprise ball gown.
That hoop skirt must suck at times, but I have to give her props for not dressing
like Harley Quinn.

*******


Hot dog, you guys! It's Klingon time!
The Enterprise is headed to Organia to keep our war-minded friends from using the planet as a base of operations. The planet is Class M, inhabited by humanoids whose culture seems to be of throw-away value to Spock, and it's sitting in a good spot for take-over by either the Klingons or the Federation.
But oh, crap! Now we're being fired upon, and everybody does controlled falls to the floor.


You know, every time they do those controlled falls, all I hear is Austin Powers saying, "Oh no! I fell over! Oh no, I fell over again!"


The E returns fire, and Sulu reports that all he's picking up is debris. They decide that they destroyed the other ship, and Starfleet calls to tell them that the slap-fight they just engaged in was considered an act of war.
Kirk's Log 3198.4: They're orbiting Organia, which is peaceful.
Uhura reports a fleet of Klingon ships nearby. Kirk tells Sulu that he and Spock are going downstairs (big shocker there), and that Sulu is in charge. How nice of Kirk to perpetually leave the ship in order to provide lower-ranking officers with the opportunity to prove themselves. After a five-year stint under Kirk, everyone on the bridge should have enough experience to skip straight to admiral.


Kirk tells Sulu that if the Klingons try to engage them, Sulu should turn tail and run. Sulu objects, but Kirk has 1 1/2 extra stripes on his shirt, so the helmsman has to cooperate.


Kirk and Spock beam down onto the set of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, then remark that none of these backwater ignoramuses bowed down at their feet for being technological gods. They're welcomed graciously by a guy named Ayelborne. I can't decide if he looks more like the dad from Family Ties or Count Rugen from The Princess Bride.


"Take us to your leader," says Kirk.
"We don't have leaders," says Ayelborne. "But I'm chairman of the council."
He offers to take them both to the council to chat, but Spock declines in the name of science, wanting to get in his scan quota for the day.


Look at these goats, you guys. I'm torn between laughing at the fact that they thought, "The green hair and purple polka-dots indicates an alien goat", and awarding points for effort: somebody had to dye those goats those outlandish colors. Let's go with both.
Getting back to to the story - Kirk meets with the council and tells them that the Klingons want to make Organia their base of operations. One of the council members astutely repeats back what Kirk just said from their point of view - he wants them to choose the Federation over their enemies. Kirk goes into a spiel about how the Klingons are bad. He sounds like an intergalactic insurance salesman. He's totally up against a wall, trying to convince the Organians that the Federation members are the good guys. They aren't buying it. They want to see what the Klingons are peddling first.
Dude, I love this. I love it when Star Trek takes on the idea of "what if our protagonist isn't right?" This right here is what makes this show worth watching.


Ayelborne insists that Kirk is the one who is in danger, and suggests that they leave. Kirk is fighting a losing battle with these guys, and he admits that he is not a diplomat. No shit, Benedict. They ask him to leave so they can consider what he has to say.
Spock comes in and quietly tells Kirk that the Organian society has been on a slow train to Nowheresville, and that they haven't made any technological progress for tens of thousands of years. Twenty bucks says Kirk will violate the Prime Directive by offering them advanced tech to use against the Klingons. He's basically courting the Organians in the Federation's war against the Empire.


The Organians finish their talk and thank Kirk and Spock, then politely tell them to GTFO. Kirk gives an impassioned plea to the council about how he'll solve all of their problems in exchange for buying their loyalty. He's interrupted by a call from Sulu, who says that Klingons have arrived and are opening fire. He can't beam them up while the shields are in place, so Kirk and Spock are trapped on Organia for the time being.


A council member named Trefayne says that there are 8 Klingon vessels in orbit, and that men are beaming into the citadel. He knows this just because.
"I guess we should protect the human and the Vulcan," says another council member. Kirk thinks the Organians are nuts for thinking that he and Spock need more protection than the natives do, and he is baffled as to how Trefayne knew about the Klingons.
Kirk's Log 3201.7: There are Klingons on the surface, and Kirk and Spock have been given native clothes as a disguise.
Ayelborne admits that he took their phasers to prevent violence, which pisses off Kirk. The captain will pose as Baroner, an Organian citizen, and Spock shall poses as a Vulcan merchant, which should fly under the radar of the Klingons. Kirk, count yourself lucky that you look like these aliens.

It took me a shockingly long time to realize that they dressed Spock
in blue and Kirk in gold. Way to observe, blogger.

The Klingons come in, 12 kinds of shiny, and bathed in bronzer. Ayelborne graciously welcomes them, and the head Klingon introduces himself as Kor, the Military Governor of Organia. Wow, presumptuous. Bet he has his toothbrush on him, too.
He notices Kirk right away, and after a brief exchange where the captain gives clipped answers to his questions, Kor decides that Kirk is sassy, and that he'll use him as a liaison between the too-smiley Organians and the Klingons. They take Spock into custody, because Vulcans are part of the Federation, then Kor tells the Organians that they had better behave or they'll be punished with death.
"Cool," says Ayelborne. "We just want peace."


Kor takes Kirk to his new office and gives him the regulations that he's set forth for the Organians. Kirk is supposed to present them to the council.
"You're responsible for making sure that no one steps out of line," says Kor.
A Klingon underling comes in with Spock and says he's just a merchant. Apparently, they have this "mind-scanner" thing that goes through your brain and extracts info. If they push it too hard, they can strip the person of all recognition. Geez, does everyone in the universe have a neural neutralizer? Spock, ever the professional, has played his part well, and they buy that he is just some merchant.


Kirk and Spock walk through the citadel, openly discussing the mind-scanner. Kirk bumps into a Klingon and a fight almost breaks out, but Spock smooths things over between them. Then he calls Kirk "captain" in front of a bunch of other Klingons, who are either deaf or oblivious. Way to be inconspicuous, guys.

"Bitch, don't be lookin' at my human boyfriend."

They move on and begin plotting to make trouble using the Klingon weapons pile outside of Kor's new office. Again, they're lucky no one caught them. After dark they sneak over to the office in their tights and leg warmers.


Kirk takes out a Klingon guard while Spock uses a sonic grenade to blow up a pile of corrugated cardboard boxes that are supposedly full of chemical reactors. Then, because they're dressed for it, they perform selected scenes from Flashdance in celebration.



Back in the council chamber, the Organians are upset with Kirk and Spock for disrupting the peace. The captain and first officer try to convince the others to be wolves instead of sheeple. Kirk tells Ayelborne to grow a pair, and gives another speech about fighting back. Too bad Kor bugged the council chamber like an episode of Big Brother.



He and his entourage bust into the chamber to arrest Kirk, telling everyone how he is going to use the mind-scanner on him to find out who he is before he kills him. Obviously, this sucks for Kirk, because the Klingons will find out about his torrid affair with the Enterprise.
"Be cool," says Ayelborne. "You don't need to probe him. He's James Kirk of the Enterprise."
Kor pretty much does a dance of excitement, because he's got the Federation's Golden Boy.
"Ayelborne, you dick!" says Kirk, and the Klingons drag him off to Kor's office for a coffee date.

Kor wants to chat. He says that Kirk and the Federation are like himself and the Klingon Empire: predators.
"Screw you," says Kirk, who is still butthurt about Ayelborne.
Kor asks for the Federation's plans, and Kirk smiles before telling him to go fuck himself. The Klingon threatens to kill his Vulcan boyfriend and turn the captain into a vegetable before throwing Kirk into the brig with Spock. Kirk has twelve hours to change his mind.



Um, why does this cell exist? The Organians are pacifists and wouldn't need it. And the Klingons wouldn't have thrown one together because they shoot on sight. Way to pay attention, writers.



Kirk and Spock have been hanging out in their cell for five hours when the door opens. They plan to jump the Klingon guard, but look! It's Ayelborne!




"The fuck?" asks Kirk.
"They were going to hurt you," says Ayelborne. "We don't roll like that here."
He takes them to the council chamber.

Meanwhile, a guard reports to Kor that the prisoners are gone. Nobody saw them leave. Kor gives the order to punish the Organians.

In the council chamber, Kirk yells at the guy that just rescued him. Okay, Ayelborne landed him there in the first place, but still. Kor gets on the intercom to say that because the Organians probably helped Kirk and Spock escape, they'll be punished. There comes the sound of disruptor fire, and Kor says that he just killed 200 Organians. There's no budget to clothe 200 extras and then kill them with special effects, so we'll just take his word for it, shall we? Kor says he'll keep at it until they turn over Kirk and Spock. Kirk flips out while the council just chills in their chairs.



Kirk convinces Ayelborne to give them their phasers back, and he and Spock head out, hell-bent on playing revolution.
"So that's gonna suck," says Ayelborne, and the others nod.

Kirk and Spock wait until dark to stun a pair of guards, then Kirk uses his rope belt to choke info out of another. They end up in Kor's office.
Back in the council chambers, Ayelborne and the council make like the Mystics from The Dark Crystal. Ohm, muthafuckas.



"Your guards are no longer in perfect operating condition," says Spock to Kor, which is Vulcan for, "Yeeeah, boi! We opened a can o' Starfleet Whoop-Ass on yo' lackies!"
"S'all good," says Kor, and he gives a speech about how the Federation and the Empire are going to clash, but that the Feds will fall. "By the way, my office is bugged."
Klingon guards burst in, and Spock and Kirk rush forward, but everyone yells and drops their weapons. Upstairs, the bridge crew leap out of their chairs.



"Everything is too hot to touch!" says Spock.
Kirk and Kor circle each other, but they are also too hot to touch.
Ayelborne and his friend Claymare come in and apologize for stopping the war and Disabling All the Ships. Kirk and Kor call their fleets to find that power is off and their weapons systems are dead.
"The hell?" Kirk yells at Ayelborne. "You have no right to stop our war! The Klingons are evil!"
He and Kor bicker like an old married couple (or, you know, Spock and Bones), and Kor ends up telling Kirk that together, they could totally destroy the Organians for ruining all the fun.
"You'll be BFFs in the future," says Ayelborne, "but you'll kill a million people first. In the meantime, not in my backyard."
Then Ayelborne and Claymare become throbbing balls of light and disappear.



Apparently, millions of years earlier, the Organians were humanoid, but had gradually evolved into pure thought. Kind of surprised that Spock's initial scan didn't pick that up, but I guess that would have ruined the surprise twist.

The Klingons didn't kill 200 Organians because there was technically nobody to kill. And the forms the Organians took, as well as the buildings, their culture and everything else, was all for the benefit of the Federation and Klingon "visitors".
"So that sucks," says Kor. "I was looking forward to fighting you."
"Oh, well. Next time, I guess," shrugs Kirk.
This "respect for your enemy" thing is pretty chivalrous, but I have to wonder how often it occurs outside of Star Trek.

You know how you get to be Head Klingon in Charge? By growing the
best Fu Man Chu. Just show up on the Klingon homeworld with your
quasi-stache, bark a little, and you'll be issued a bat-leth.


Upstairs, Kirk seems to be feeling kind of craptacular.
"What's wrong, little buddy?" asks Spock.
"That was humiliating," says Kirk. "We were advocating war, and we got rushed to the burn unit by smarter life forms. Humans are dumb."
Though he obviously agrees with that last sentiment, for once Spock is not a dick about it. "It took them millions of years to reach that kind of enlightenment. None of us is arriving there tomorrow."
Kirk feels better, and they get the hell out of Dodge.



*******

This week's tea selection was a bit of a gamble. A BuckSlave recommended their tea lattes to me, especially the Vanilla Rooibos Latte. Then, a few days ago, out of the blue, my cousin Agent K messaged me: "Ugh, never get the Vanilla Rooibos Latte at Starschmucks! It tastes like anise!" One dose of high praise, one of disgust, and now I was curious. I knew that drinks from Starschmucks could vary quite a bit between locations and baristas, but how could rooibos taste like licorice? "They listed licorice root in the ingredients," she typed. "My kid agreed that it was gross."
When a friend suggested that we get together for a catch-up at Starschmucks, my fate was sealed.
Honestly, mine tasted like cranberry bread. It was tangy rooibos, steamed milk, and simple syrup. I thought it was pretty good. Just to be safe, though, I only ordered a tall. No need to tempt said fate.


Agent K surmises that her teabag may have been sitting for quite some time, as she lives in an area where she suspects very little tea is consumed, and that might have lead to the weird taste.
But if you're still hesitant, don't worry - if they make it, and you hate it, they'll make you something else.


Moe's eyes keep following me...

3 comments:

  1. My experience was in line with Agent K's. Only I don't spell it "anise."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Weird. I didn't taste licorice in mine at all.
      Okay, so that's two ticks for "Oh God, why?"

      Delete
  2. I know it's childish, but I snicker every time you call them boyfriends. Kirkerprise is definitely the real ship though. Nothing can come between them.

    ReplyDelete