Star Trek

Star Trek

Monday, March 10, 2014

Season 2, Episode 32 "Friday's Child"

"Friday's Child"
Production Number: 32
Air Order: 40
Stardate: 3497.2
Original Air Date: December 1, 1967

I'm finding that Star Trek likes to give people messed-up names that have funny spellings (ie, Jame, which is pronounced "Jamie"). I really don't understand why they choose to do that, but maybe some prescient writer decided, way back in the late sixties, that it would be fun times to make a future blogger's job that much harder. So here's the weird editorial note for this episode: the Aliens of the Week feature names with double vowels. There's an unseen stressor there between the vowels, which is not indicated by an apostrophe. So, Akaar is not Akahr, but Akuh-ar. Eleen = Elee-en. Got it? Okay. Also, nowhere in the episode is the Klingon called by name (they just call him "Klingon"), but he actually has a name, Kras, and for description ease, I call him by that name.

*******


We start this week in the briefing room, where Bones is giving a presentation on the Capellans, a warrior race. It seems he spent several months with them, learning their culture. In return, he (and a possible medical crew?) offered the Capellans medical treatments and advice (is that a violation of the Prime Directive, or does that only apply to technology?), but they declined. This race has a "survival of the fittest" ideology. The crew is making use of this info in their upcoming negotiations for a mining agreement on the planet.
I kind of like this idea of Bones running diplomatic missions. He's probably a damn sight better at it than Kirk.
The officers agree that the best course of action is to beam down with a minimum complement: Kirk, Spock, Bones, and Random Red Grant.


Here come the Capellans, and oh, my holy hell, the costumes. The fur. The fringe. The tassels. The hood with the pony tail. The Ugg boots. And because Capellans are supposed to be upwards of 7 feet tall, they selected miniature giants to play these Towers of Tacky.

Chevy Chase, is that you?

So the away team has beamed down, and Bones gives the correct greeting. But then the Capellans part, and up walks an old friend.
"A Klingon!" yells Grant, pulling his phaser. And the next second, there's a Capellan weapon sticking out of his chest, and I burst out laughing.
I may be watching too much Star Trek, you guys.

Kirk's Log 3497.2: The Enterprise is orbiting Capella IV, hoping to talk the natives into a mining agreement. But between their first visit and this one, a Klingon has thrown his own negotiations into the ring.

"The fuck?" asks Kras the Klingon. "You gonna shoot me on sight?"
"You killed my guy!" Kirk rages at the Capellans. "Did you know that the Klingons and the Federation are sworn enemies?"
"Nope," said the Capellan. "But I do know that the Klingon gave us all of his weapons as a sign of good faith."
And now the away team look like dicks. *sad trombone*

This is our Klingon this week. I dunno. I feel like, minus the fu man chu,
he looks more like an angry leprechaun.

"You gonna give us your weapons?" asks Maab (Mah-ob) the Capellan. 
The OT3 reluctantly hand over their phasers. Later, in a tent, Kirk rages about the fact that a Capellan killed a Red who was dumb enough to pull a weapon, rather rashly, on a planet of warriors. A lot of his ire is aimed at Bones. He then surmises that one Klingon on the surface probably means a ship full of them in orbit.
Upstairs, Sulu, Scotty and Chekov have discovered the aforementioned Klingon ship.
"Let's leave it alone," says Scotty. "It's not doing anything right now."
I like it when Scotty is in charge. Nobody dies.


Downstairs, Kirk kisses and makes up with Bones after yelling at him. A woman comes in with fruit and offers it wordlessly to Kirk.
"That's a gesture of friendship," says Bones. "Because you gave them our weapons."
"Cool," says Kirk.
He reaches for the fruit, but McCoy warns him that actually taking the fruit would mean that her male relatives could come kill him. What a lousy friendship gesture. "Here's some fruit. Doesn't it look good? No, you can't have any."



A male Capellan enters and grunts something at Kirk that's obviously not complementary.
"I think he finds you unimpressive," says Spock, and you know, deep down inside, dude is laughing his ass off.
Everyone is taken to see the Teer, the leader of the tribes (Tee-air). A woman comes in, and holy shit! It's Julie Newmar. The fabulous Catwoman herself! Na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na STAR TREK!
Here's the funny thing: the lovely Miss Newmar is known for her hourglass figure, but here they've covered it in waves of fabric and a pregnancy prosthetic. This show is notorious for half-naked women, and when they hire a girl who is frequently referred to as "statuesque", they bury her in a voluminous dress. (Actually, I'm pretty sure that they hired her for this part because the Capellans are supposed to be tall, and at 5'11", Julie Newmar is taller than both De Kelley and The Shat. With the added inches from her tall hairdo, and a bit from the heel of her shoe, as well has having her stand on slightly higher ground, she towers over our heroes.)



Anyway, where were we? Oh, yeah. The Teer, Akaar. He introduces Julie Newmar as his wife Eleen, "a young woman given to an old man to provide him with a son to rule the tribes". Oh, she's a vessel. Lovely.
"How come you killed my guy?" demands Kirk.
"He pulled a weapon on our guest," says Akaar. "Anyway, if he was your guy, he should be proud to die for you."
"Humans are afraid of death," says Kras, snidely. (Sidenote: I love that they named this dude "crass".)
Bones uses his knowledge of the Capellan turn of phrase to basically call Kras a liar, and Akaar chuckles.
It's obvious that Maab likes Kras better than Kirk. He gives an argument as to why the Klingons would make better partners in the mining agreement, namely that the Klingons are also a warrior race.
Kirk tells Akaar that the Federation will allow Capella IV to remain in the hands of the Capellans, while the Klingons would most likely try to subjugate them.
Maab makes it clear that he would like to kick Akaar's ass, and then he and Kras leave. Then the OT3 leaves so that Akaar can think about who he'd like to side with.


Upsatirs, Chekov notices that the Klingon ship has moved out of range. Uhura gets a faint distress call from an Earth vessel.

On the surface, the Capellans have decided to illustrate the phrase "well, that escalated quickly". They are running between the tents stabbing one another in a coup. The OT3 rushes to the main tent in search of their weapons. They stumble upon Kras, who is also looking for his weapon. There's actually no need for him and Kirk to get into it, but it's Kirk, so... 
Maab catches them, and holds a sword on Kirk. He announces that he has killed Akaar and is now Teer. Kras encourages him to kill the OT3 right away, but Kirk, who has finally figured out the Capellans, says that Maab should let them fight, as it would amuse the Capellans.
"That could be fun," says Maab. "I kind of like you, Earthman."
Kras looks worried.

On the bridge, Uhura finally gets the distress call in it's entirety. It's from the USS Deirdre, a freighter who says they are under attack from a Klingon vessel. Scotty asks her to contact Kirk, and has Sulu set a course for the location of the Deirdre.

Back in the tent, Eleen enters. She has been summoned there.One of the douchey Capellans trips her. She starts to fall, and Kirk catches her. According to the laws, Eleen has to die, as she is carrying the child who would be Teer. But Kirk must die first, as he touched the wife of a Teer, and Eleen says it is her right to see him die.


Up top, Scotty finally hears the full distress call, and decides to go to their rescue. In this case, ship in distress trumps Kirk in trouble (again). He makes a log explaining the situation, taking full responsibility.

Downstairs, the OT3 is stuck in a tent with Eleen. Spock guesses that Scotty is busy, since they missed their check-in, and Scotty hasn't come down to get them. Also, Scotty is a competent bridge officer.
Bones tells Kirk that he's going to fix the injury on Eleen's arm, with the sarcastic remark "they can only kill me once for touching her". When he moves to look at Eleen's arm, Kirk and Spock easily overpower the guards.
"Come with me if you want to live," Kirk tells Eleen.
They all escape together.

Upstairs, the E has made it to the freighter's last recorded position, but there is no trace of it. Frustrated, Scotty barks at Sulu.

Kirk's Log 3499.1: "We got our comms back, but not our phasers. We're gonna go hide in the hills. Also, Eleen hates her baby."
Kirk and Spock scout out the terrain for defense purposes, and Eleen grudgingly allows Bones to fix the rugburn on her arm. He then scans her baby bump, rattling off the info he's getting from the device. She's pretty impressed with his knowledge until he actually puts his hands on her belly. She slaps him. Twice. Then he slaps her. I suppose I could complain about battery and stuff, but honestly, it comes off more like a bitch fight than anything else. She finally acquiesces, and he determines that the baby is coming soon. Again, she's impressed. But then Spock comes by and sees McCoy touching Eleen. He makes this face:

"Really, Doctor? You're groping a woman? I expected better of you."

which prompts Bones to make this face back:

"Fuck you, Spock. This is more tail than you've ever gotten ever."

and I laugh my ass off. It's like Lemon-Matthau in Space, y'all. What the world really needs is a Golden Girls-type sitcom with Nimoy, Kelley and The Shat. I would marathon that shit on Netflix for weeks.

Can we talk about Eleen's costume? It doesn't suck. It's simple, it's flattering, and it's not ridiculous. Her hair, while unusual, isn't obnoxious, and I kind of like that shimmery cloth that's attached to the back. I feel like we could have done without the blue fur cuffs on the sleeves, but it's not the worst thing ever. Good job on clothing the women lately, costume guys.

You know, this seemed like a perfectly good screencapture...
until I realized that Spock and Kirk were holding giant knives.

I don't know what you were on when you designed the male costumes. The Capellans look like first graders in a play whose outfits were made by moms who couldn't sew... but Julie Newmar doesn't look stupid, so kudos to you.


Okay, back to the show. Kirk and Spock decide that if they use their comms to create a sonic disruption, it will cause a rockslide in the canyon. I kind of feel like this is wonky science again. Maybe it might cause a bit of loose rock to fall, but the kind they want... I don't think you could get that with just comms. They climb out of sight and turn the devices on. Then here comes the Rainbow Brigade, up the canyon in their fur and tassels. The comm rockslide is simulated with obvious explosions, and rubber rocks crush a bunch of extras in Capellan finery, though not Kras, who steals his phaser off of a dead warrior. He, Maab, and the survivors continue up the rocks.


Kirk finds a cave for them to hide in, but Eleen is struggling to get up the rocks. Kirk and Spock attempt to help her, but she refuses help from anyone but Bones. He tells her that he's not an escalator.

http://www.entertainmentearth.com/prodinfo.asp?number=TRCBS218++++SMALL#.Ux1aUz9dXqE

Once in the cave, Kirk starts a small fire for light, and Bones tends to Eleen, who is in labor. Kirk asks "How did you arrange to touch her? A happy pill?"
"No," replies Bones. "A right cross."
You know, when this show sets out to be humorous, it's actually pretty funny.
I'm fairly certain that Eleen is flirting with Bones here, which is a rather difficult feat when one is giving birth.

This is the weirdest blocking ever. Why did they shoot this scene from behind two rocks?

Eleen insists that she doesn't want the baby, as all babies on Capella belong to the men.
"Just say to yourself the child is mine," Bones advises her.
"He is yours," she answers.
"Wait, what?" he asks.
Kirk and Spock, who are outside building primitive bows and arrows, hear a baby cry, and go in to see.
Bones, smiling, tries to hand the baby to Spock, who looks like he'd rather swallow a tribble whole than hold an infant. Eleen asks Bones to bring her "their" child, at which point both Spock and Kirk give the good doctor spectacular WTF faces.

WTH? Getting it on with beautiful alien chicks is my thing, Bones.

Out in the great wide open, Scotty has decided that the distress call from the Deirdre was a hoax to draw them away from the planet. Uhura gets another distress call from the USS Carolina.
"Fuck it," says Scotty. "We're going back to Capella IV."



In the cave, Bones has fallen asleep. Ellen gets up and smashes a rock into the back of his head before taking off. Now, I'm no expert, but I'm calling bullshit on giving birth, then immediately running through some rocky terrain. Pretty sure that when you squeeze another human out of your girl parts, the only thoughts on your mind are "That kind of sucked" and "Shit, I could use a nap".
Bones wakes up, realizes what happened, and calls his boyfriends. They agree that she'll probably go back to the Rainbow Brigade, and Bones says something about helping to defend their position.
"Sorry," says Kirk. "But you can't come out to play. You have to watch the kids."



The E heads back for Capella IV, and finds the Klingon ship blocking their way, getting ready for a pissing contest to open fire. Sulu gets a cool new toy this episode, an attack scanner, which pops up next to his station as they go to red alert.




The Rainbow Brigade comes up the canyon. Kirk and Spock are hiding in the rocks with their little bows and arrows. The Capellans know they are there, and Maab remarks on the cleverness of Earthmen. I don't get this. Everyone on this show is some kind of noble warrior, and they all appear to admire Kirk, who seems to always scrape by on sheer luck.
Eleen stumbles out of the canyon and tells Maab that the baby is dead, and that she killed the Earthmen while they slept.
They know this is crap, as the scout reported Kirk and Spock behind the rocks a moment ago, but Maab accepts it because she is the wife of a Teer. Kras calls her on it, and Eleen verbally bitch-slaps him before announcing that she will die with dignity in her own tent.

That's a straight-up kali-ma stare, dude. She's going to eat your heart.
Probably with chianti and fava beans.


They are all leaving when Kras yells that he's going to verify Eleen's story. Poor Kras. He was an adventurer, but then he took an arrow to the knee.




Kirk and Spock fire more homemade arrows, and of course their aim is awesome and none of the Capellans' throwing star-type weapons hits the "Earthmen". All of these Capellans are just badly-dressed Stormtroopers. Kras enters the fray with the phaser, and attempts to kill Spock. Spock attempts to call the E, but receives no answer.
"The cavalry doesn't come over the hill in the nick of time anymore," Kirk sarcastically remarks to Spock. Dude, do you even watch this show? Quit jumping the phaser.
Kras phasers one Capellan and threatens the others with the same fate. Eleen chastises the men for pausing before taking on Kras.
"Screw this," she says to Maab. "I'm leaving to go kill myself in my tent."
Before she can do so, Maab says that he is going to sacrifice himself, and that she is allowed to live. Then he presents himself for sacrifice. Kras phasers him. Another Capellan kills Kras with one of those throwing stars.

Come at me, bro!


Scotty and a complement of Reds show up, and there's actually a bit of bugle reveille added to the music, which is a nice touch. Told you, Kirk. The Mary Sue never fails to show up.
"Sorry we're late," says Scotty. "The Klingon ship tried to take us out, but they were total pussies. So we tracked you down here."
Bones comes down the hill with the baby and hands him to Eleen.
"Oochy-woochy-koochy-coo," he says to the baby, and I facepalm. Really, Bones? Oochy-woochy-koochy-coo?



You know they only had him say that so that Spock could repeat it in confusion. Because wouldn't it be hilarious if a Vulcan said "oochy-woochy-koochy-coo"? No... not really. Trying a bit too hard there, Star Trek. However, Kirk's response to Spock that it's an obscure Earth dialect, and that he should consult linguistics, was actually pretty good.

Back on the bridge, Kirk tells Uhura to inform Starfleet that the mining rights have been secured by the High Teer's regent, Eleen. The newborn Teer's name is Leonard James Akaar.
"You guys are obnoxious," Spock tells Kirk and Bones.
And they grin at him, because they are.








*******

This episode wasn't too bad. It was certainly entertaining, and I like it when they play up the humorous aspects of the trio. These characters work together well, achieving their goals even when they do manage to get in each other's way. We also had a nice balance of good costume (Eleen) and laughable costume (every other Capellan). That's also helpful. I like to give credit where credit is due, but it's also good when I have plenty to mock. One thing that was missing was the Hmm Moment. I couldn't really find an ideology behind the story here. Maybe it was "you'll learn to love your unwanted kid eventually."Or, "giving Scotty the ship means you'll get it back in one piece." Or possibly even "those darn Klingons ruin everything." Oh, well. I got one good costume and a couple of laughs, so I guess I can't be picky. (Also, in case you were wondering, Leonard James Akaar shows up in numerous Star Trek novels later on. What? I don't read Star Trek novels. Okay, maybe one. Maybe a few omnibuses. And the Excalibur series. And every one with Imzadi in the title, but that's only because my cat was named Imzadi. But that's it.)

Death Toll:
Red deaths this episode: 1
Red deaths this season: 1
Gold deaths this episode: 0
Gold deaths this season: 1
Blue deaths this episode: 0
Blue deaths this season: 0
Total crew deaths this season: 2
Total crew deaths thus far: 18

First Red Death of the new season! Woot!

*******

Roomie went to Teavana again. I've never actually been in there with her, but I imagine a scene a bit like the "The Candyman" musical number from "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory". She returned home with all of these neatly-wrapped packages of loose-leaf tea, and of course, another giant jar of German rock sugar. "Let's mix some!" she suggested, and she pulled out her fancy-pants pot. She tossed in Strawberry Grapefruit Xue Long (a green) and Jasmine Oolong, along with rock sugar, as though she were an expert potioneer.
It came out a deep red-orange color, and I sipped it as I sewed doll clothes for my niece and watched Scott Pilgrim for the thousandth time. It prompted this weird conversation:
Me: Hmmm, what does this taste like?
Brain: Candy.
Me: What kind of candy, though?
Brain: Fruity candy.
Me: That's not helpful, brain. There are lots of fruity candies. Can we narrow it down?
Brain: Candies that have more than one flavor.
Me: Narrower.
Brain: Strawberry, orange, and citrus.
Me: That's like everything, dammit!
Brain: Toys.
Me: What?
Brain: Toys.
Me: You're not making any sense. This tea tastes like candy and toys?
Brain: Yes.
Twenty minutes later...
Me: ...Pez?
Brain: Yes. Candy and toys.
Me: *facepalm* Brain, you might need a visit to the Neural Neutralizer.

So...yeah. I'll probably try these separately at some point, but now we know - this combo tastes like liquid Pez. Not really my cuppa, but it is for somebody, and now they know how to get it. (Beeteedubs, the strawberry grapefruit blend smells amazing.)








Sink not work so good with Cone of Shame.

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