Warp Speed to Nonsense

Warp Speed to Nonsense

Monday, March 24, 2014

Season 2, Episode 34 "Amok Time"

"Amok Time"
Production Number: 34
Air Order: 30
Stardate: 3372.7
Original Air Date: September 15, 1967

I feel like the title for this episode should come with an exclamation point: "Hey kids, it's Amok Time! Hooray, time to go amok!" Of course, my mind swiftly follows that thought with one of Sarah Jessica Parker jumping up and down singing "amok, amok, amok, amok..."

It was in searching for this image that I realized that not one person
on the internet knows how to spell the word "amok". My inner
grammar nerd wants to smack a bitch.


We start out casually this week, with Bones catching Kirk as he climbs out of a Jeffries tube.
"Spock is PMSing," says Bones. "He won't eat, and he won't come in for a physical."
Kirk brushes it off with, "Vulcans are weird."
Christine comes by with a tray of plomeek soup for Spock, and when the boys give her shit about it, she trips over her own tongue, mumbling about finding something that Spock might eat. I guess this is supposed to be a continuation of her "confession" from The Naked Now. I still don't ship that.

Unfortunately, when she tries to give it to him, she runs from his quarters as the soup hits the wall.
"Bitch, did I say I was hungry?" he roars. Seeing Kirk, he snaps, "Your ass is dropping me on Vulcan on the way to wherever the hell we're going."

Kirk and Spock are arguing in Spock's quarters after the credit break. Spock is being super-bitchy, and Kirk is throwing fuel on the fire by yelling back.
"Why do you need a vacation now?" he demands. "You've never taken one before."
Sounds like a good enough reason right there. Just give the man his damn leave.
"Just because," says Spock tersely. He's grasping a shiv behind his back.
"Yeah, okay," says Kirk finally. And when he leans over to call the helm to get them to head for Vulcan, Kirk notices the knife.
Spock thanks Kirk as the captain leaves, then turns to his creepy display of serial killer weapons and weird statues.

Kirk's Log 3372.7: "Spock needs Midol, or whatever it is that Vulcans take. Vidol? Anyway, we're taking him home."
No go, actually. A message comes in on the bridge that the inauguration ceremony that they were headed for on Altair VI has been pushed up by a week.
"We won't have time to go to Vulcan first," says Chekov.
"Ah, well," says Kirk. "We can go to Vulcan later. Sucks to be you, Spock."
"That does suck," Spock replies.

Kirk is lying in bed later when he calls the helm to ask Chekov how late they will be in getting to Altair VI if they divert to Vulcan to drop off Spock.
"Dude, we're already going to Vulcan," Chekov replies. "Spock made it so."
Kirk redirects them back to Altair VI, and fetches Spock from the bridge, dragging him into the lift. "WTF? Why did you change my order?"
Spock is confused. "I don't remember giving that order, but if you say so..."

Kirk orders him to report to sick bay. When he gets off the lift, Spock meanders through the halls until he reaches sick bay, where McCoy is ready to examine him. Spock tries to play semantics ("I reported to sick bay, now I'm going back to my room"), but Bones shuts him down with logic, so Spock gets on the exam table.
There's a fun scene in here where Sulu and Chekov bitch about the back and forth of their journey. Chekov thinks he might get space sick. It makes me wonder what kind of barf bags they have on the Enterprise. Are they Red? Shiny? Furry? Draped in fabric? Torn in a sexy way, revealing barf bag nipples?

Bones rushes into Kirk's room and announces that if Spock doesn't get back to Vulcan within a week, he'll die.
Dramatic music! Then The Shat employs one of his world-famous pauses. "Why................... must he die?"
I mean, dude is known for these pauses. There's even a game one can play called "Shatnering", where someone calls out "Shatner!", and you have to immediately overact whatever it is you're doing. But this pause is astronomical. You know what happened during that pause? Spock died. Also, Rome was built. And Europe had time to re-populate after the Black Plague.
So Kirk asks Bones why Spock will die and (years later) Bones replies that he doesn't know, that Spock has a weird imbalance, and is aware of what is causing it, but that he won't tell anyone. Kirk rushes to Spock's quarters.
Spock tells Kirk that it's none of his business, and Kirk swears to keep his mouth shut. Spock tries to dance around a conversation about birds and bees and eagles and salmon, and I have to appreciate the skill of these two actors, because this scene is more awkward than a British sitcom. Spock finally reveals that he has to take a wife and mate with her or he'll die. Kirk pinky-swears to keep the secret and leaves.

For a guy who has as much sex as has been implied, Kirk is sure
squidgy talking about it.

On the bridge, Chekov looks at Sulu and says "This job, dude. Dude, this job." Uhura attempts to call Spock with ship's business, and he crushes the communicator screen. In sick bay, Kirk tries to convince Starfleet command to let them go to Vulcan before going to Altair VI. The admiral he speaks with tells him that it's an important diplomatic mission, and that they're not going to Vulcan. Kirk turns off the monitor.
"Fuck that noise," he tells Bones. "Two other ships are going to Altair. We won't be missed. Pack your sunscreen, dude. We're going to Vulcan."
Overhearing, Christine runs to Spock's quarters to tell him the good news. He's in a weird mood, just getting out of bed, and he says that he was just dreaming that she had something to tell him, but that he couldn't hear her. Then he says that it would be illogical for them to protest against their natures. She cries. he asks her to make him more plomeek soup. Overjoyed, she agrees, and runs off as semi-creepy bass music plays.
No, seriously: who ships this?

Kirk, Bones and Spock get into the lift, and Spock asks his boyfriends if they will both be best man. They agree and hop off the lift at the bridge. The E is orbiting Vulcan, and they've been acknowledged by the planet. The screen comes on, revealing a female that Spock calls T'Pring. They exchange ritualistic greetings of "Parted from me and never parted. Never and always touching and touched." The first half of that sentiment is alright, but the second part is kind of creepy. They agree to meet at a pre-determined place, and T'Pring signs off.

"Who was that?" asks Uhura.
"Um, my wife," says Spock, and Kirk and Bones give him their best WTF faces. Christine does too, because remember, the writer of this episode ships that. We don't see Uhura's reaction, because who cares if Spock-Uhura is slightly more canon?

"Dude, you got married, and you didn't even let me throw you
a stag party with Vulcan strippers? Come on, pointy ears and
shapely rears!"

The OT3 beams down to the surface, and I guess the Vulcan Mardi Gras just occurred, because there's glitter all over the ground. They go inside a sort of smallish outdoor arena, and Kirk explains to Bones that in the distant past, Vulcans would fight for and win mates. Their word for "marriage" also means "challenge". (I feel like it means the same thing in English, too.) The Vulcans kind of lose their minds a bit, take a mate, and then everything goes back to normal. Bones surmises that the Pon Farr madness may be the price they pay for being emotionless most of the time.
Okay, I have to ask: if Spock knew this was coming, why did he not prepare better? Could he not have alerted Kirk that he needed leave ahead of time? Does he not own a calendar?

Anyway, Spock rings a gong to start the ceremony. He tells Kirk and Bones that his parents arranged his marriage when he and T'Pring were 7 years old. They did a little mind-meld thing.
The wedding party comes in with T'Pring and a tiny old woman on a litter.
"Holy shit," says Kirk. "That's T'Pau, the only person who has ever refused to sit on the Federation council. If you look up Vulcan in the dictionary tapes, there's a picture of her. Spock must be hella important if she's here." 
Not gonna lie, you guys. T'Pau totally looks like Rita Repulsa from Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.

Also, T'Pring is a fox. Kirk would totally bang her if she wasn't engaged to his friend. Cuz that's the kind of stand-up guy Kirk is: "I like you so much, I won't sleep with your fiance."

Admit it. You would hit on her, too.

Spock greets T'Pau with the Vulcan hand gesture, which I think may be the first time that we see that. Leonard Nimoy made it up - it's part of a traditional Jewish hand gesture. T'Pau makes it back at him, which is to say that the actress held up her taped fingers because she couldn't make that gesture on her own. Heh.
"The hell, Spock?" she asks. "You brought humans with you?"
"I'm allowed," he says sulkily, and introduces his friends.
Kirk is awed by T'Pau. She tells the humans that they are witnessing something special. T'Pau uses the pronouns "thee" and "thou". Incorrectly. Multiple times.
Spock attempts to ring the gong again to start the ceremony, but T'Pring stops him, choosing the Challenge. Spock retreats to the corner like a naughty kid, attempting to control his blood fever.

While T'Pau explains everything to Kirk and Bones, T'Pring keeps glancing at another Vulcan dude. She readily accepts that she will become property of the victor. But when she goes to select a champion, she chooses Kirk instead.
The other Vulcan is pissed, but T'pring has made her choice. T'Pau says that kirk is allowed to leave because he doesn't practice their belief system, and this is another one of those moments when it becomes obvious that the people who make this show are Jewish. Go, Judaism!
Kirk decides to stay.

Had to grab this screenshot. Spock is supposed to be off to the side,
deep in his blood fever, but instead the camera caught him hanging out
next to the wall, herpaderp, waiting for his next cue.

Spock objects because Kirk doesn't know their ways. He's kind of growling his lines now. T'Pau insults him by questioning his Vulcanhood. She says that Kirk and Spock will fight, but she once again offers Kirk the option of backing out. Bones tries to talk Kirk out of it, saying that the heat and thin air will do him in.
"No way," says Kirk. "I'll let him knock me out, he can get the girl, and all will be well. Besides, I don't want to look like a little bitch in front of T'Pau." Careful, dude. If you admire her too much, she'll guest-star again on another episode as a villain.
Kirk accepts, and the guards bring out the weapons, a pair of Vulcan lirpa. Oh, my holy fuck. Have you seen this weapon? It's like a farming tool mated with a writing implement and had a beautiful, deadly baby. Fuck decorative swords. I want a pair of crossed lirpa hanging over my fireplace.

"Beeteedubs," says T'Pau, "this fight is to the death."
So much for your grand plan, Kirk. Maybe you should have asked that question first.
The fight starts, and right away Kirk takes a swipe to the chest from the sharp end of that lirpa. Welcome back, Ripped-Shirt Kirk! It's been a while.

Kirk and Spock move around the arena, making slicing movements with one side of the lirpa, and blunt-force strikes with the other. Jeebus. Both ends of this thing are the business end. The pair seems evenly matched, and when both lirpas are out of commission, T'Pau calls a time out. Bones calls bullshit on the fight, saying Kirk can't breathe in the thin air.

"Too bad," says T'Pau.
"Can I give him a hypo so he can breathe easier?" he asks.
"Cool," she grants.
So Bones hypos Kirk, and the new weapon is brought out, the ahn-woon. It's like a rope with two heavy balls on the ends.

Kirk has just enough time to make a "how the fuck do I use this?" face before Spock lassos his ass, and it's on again. There's more hand to hand combat, and Spock succeeds in choking Kirk with the ahn-woon. Bones rushes forward and pronounces Kirk dead.

"You're dead, Jim."

Bones calls Uhura for a beam-up, then turns to Spock. "You're in charge now, asshole. Orders?"
"We need to go to the nearest starbase so I can turn myself in for killing my CO," says Spock, who seems less murdery now.
Kirk and Bones beam up.
"T'Pring," says Spock, "what the fuck?"
"There's this other dude, Stonn," sys T'pring. She means the dude with the ears, which is saying something on Vulcan. "I wanted him, and I didn't want you, because you had become kind of a legend. If you fought Kirk and he won, he wouldn't want me. If you fought, and you won, then you would divorce me for choosing Challenge. If you won and didn't divorce me, then you would be gone all the time on your ship, and I could fool around behind your back. In all of those scenarios, I still get Stonn."

Oh T'Pring, you clever girl. That's kind of evil, but still logical. I'm sorting you into Slytherin. Good job.
"That makes sense," nods Spock. Then he gives T'Pring and Stonn the polite Vulcan version of "Well, you're stuck with each other now, so fuck you both", and he goes to T'Pau, who gives him a Live Long and Prosper.
"Yeah, fuck you guys," he replies. "You made me kill my friend. You can all bite me."
He beams up.

"No, T'Pau. I really do NOT want a high five right now."

On board the E, Spock makes his way back down to sick bay, where he tells Bones that he will be putting Scotty in charge. 
Kirk walks up behind him. "You giving my ship away, bro?"
Spock is ecstatic. "Jim!"

"Bones shot me with something to simulate death," laughs Kirk. "Something to help him breathe, my ass."
"What about T'Pring?" asks Bones.
"Meh, she was a bitch," shrugs Spock. "I ship myself with you guys."
Uhura interrupts over the comm to say that Starfleet has granted the E permission to go to Vulcan for as long as they need, as per T'Pau's request. T'Pau has a lot of clout with Starfleet.
"Better late than never?" asks Kirk. He calls Chekov to set a course for Altair VI, but the navigator is busy barfing.
"Are we not going to give Spock some shit for fangirling when he found out that you were alive?" Bones asks Kirk.
Spock brushes it off with, "I was just glad Starfleet didn't lose a good officer."
Wait, who... oh, he means Kirk.


So we didn't really get a Hmmm Moment this week, unless it was "always carry neural paralyzer hypos" or "sometimes arranged marriages suck". BUT we did get some cool character development with Spock, and our knowledge of Vulcan culture was enriched by quite a bit, so no complaints here.
Let's look at our costuming choices for the Vulcan guards:

I thought they were kind of flashy at first, but they're not too bad. A simple, structural tunic in silver, with a colored sash, black leggings, and ... sort-of sandals? Notice the helmets. The Romulans were wearing helmets as well. It's because the make-up involved with getting those damn ears on was such a pain in the ass. Putting on a helmet eliminates the need to craft more ears.

Then we have this dude, the executioner, who came to a wedding dressed as the Vulcan Bane. I really have no idea what that mask is about. Maybe he thinks it'll keep him from getting SARS or something.

Death Toll:
Red deaths this episode: 0
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


Can one say that a tea smells like a Chinese restaurant? I mean, you know that smell, right? Very lightly floral, a tiny bit sweet, but very fragrant? I want to say that it tastes like a Chinese food restaurant as well, but that makes less sense. It definitely made me hungry for Chinese food, anyway. This week, Roomie blended two green teas, both from Teavana: the Jasmine Oolong and Jeju Island Green. I really feel like, out of all teas, greens smell the best. This one did, anyway. And I'll be drinking this blend again. Maybe right now, while Roomie is asleep. DRINK ALL THE TEAS!


  1. I could have sworn this was the episode where Spock stole a riding mower. Was that cut out of syndication or something?

    "Their word for "marriage" also means "challenge". (I feel like it means the same thing in English, too.)"

    Try the veal!!

    1. Zod dammit, Schmitter. I may have to draw Spock stealing a riding mower now, just for my own amusement. You punk.

  2. I always felt bad for Christine. She was written to have a long-standing, unrequited thing for the one guy on the ship who wouldn't have her. Even though she was engaged. Well, I guess she was high the first time and later her fiancé was dead so she was a free woman, but still. At least they were consistent in that she always seemed to have a thing for freaky science types. Spock considering using her as a booty call in the event they didn't make it to Vulcan was pretty icky, but the worst part is how she cried when he suggested it, because she knew he was just using her. Okay, maybe the worst part is that she probably would have gone along with it, knowing all the facts. It's just sad that she knows she has no chance but can't seem to get over it. Ugh, she deserves so much better. The writers need to hook her up with the next not-evil scientist of the week already.

  3. I've just downloaded iStripper, so I can watch the best virtual strippers on my taskbar.

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  5. Very few things bug me more than messing up "thee" and "thou" and -est and -eth.