Star Trek

Star Trek

Monday, December 1, 2014

Season 3, Episode 57 "Elaan of Troyius"

"Elaan of Troyuis"
Production Order: 57
Air Order: 68
Stardate: 4372.5
Original Air Date: December 20, 1968



So friend and reader Pink Dork linked me this article about season 2, and despite the fact that I'm an IMDB whore, I didn't know most of them. Some of these made me gag on my Coke, specifically, the first one mentioned: "Desilu's Herb Solow told Nimoy's agent that it doesn't matter who plays the role. "It's the pointed ears that count; they're the star."" What? NO. Leonard Nimoy or GTFO.
This also had me coughing up cola: "Also nixed for season one: the Vietnam war allegory "The Omega Glory," which Roddenberry considered a brilliant script and which he did manage to film in season two. (Roddenberry kept trying to get the network to promote "The Omega Glory" for Emmy consideration, to no avail.)" Are... are you shitting me, Gene? Did you watch that episode? It's awful. Act three is a completely different story from acts one and two. It's heavy-handed and racist and illogical. What's more, Star Trek has produced some really great episodes that are far more subtle allegories for the Vietnam war. "Omega Glory" is crap on a cracker. And not a good cracker, either. Like, an off-brand Cheez-It.
You can read the rest of this crazy crap here:
http://io9.com/the-weirdest-things-you-never-knew-about-star-trek-seas-1662774616

This article also explains why Eleen went from hating her baby to strangely being just fine with him, which had been totally bugging me.




(While searching for an appropriate image to go with this first section, I stumbled across this image. It actually came up when I told Google that I wanted "generic crackers white box". I laughed that something TOS had popped up, and out of curiosity, clicked the link. It's a blog dedicated to archiving the author's ST collectibles. One of my favorite screencaptures of Kirk is used to illustrate how awful the candy was. That's a Trek fan after my own heart. Link below if you're interested in visiting that blog.)
http://mystartrekscrapbook.blogspot.com/2009/03/1977-star-trek-candy-boxes_22.html

*******




Kirk's Log 4372.5: "We're on some secret mission where we pick up a dude from one planet, a chick from another, and deliver them both to a third place."

The OT3 and Scotty get into the lift from the bridge on their way to the transporter room, and they discuss one of the species that they are involved with in this episode, the Elasians. Spock says that the reports he read say that men are vicious, and because he's Spock's contrarian buddy, Bones says that the women are supposed to be "something special" and that "they posses powers that drive men wild." He looks like he'd like a hook-up with an Elasian female. Everyone in the lift rolls their eyes at him.
Our boys greet the green Troyian ambassador in the transporter room, and he tells them that they are waiting to beam up the Dohlman, his people's most feared enemy. Three dudes dressed in Fruit Roll-Ups beam onto the pads. IMDB says that these costumes are made from cheap plastic placemats. Points for trying, Budget. Sometimes I wonder if the makers of Star Trek costumed their actors, stepped back, frowned, and then shrugged it off with "Fuck it, they're clothed."


First, they're pissed to see Petri, the Troyian ambassador. The Troyians and Elasians don't like each other. Then they insist that everybody kneel for the Dohlman, Elaan. Elaan beams onto the pad. She is the grape Fruit Roll-Up Cleopatra.


Congrats, Star Trek. This is one of your worst costumes. It's like a purple plastic version of Shahna's costume in "The Gamesters of Triskelion". It's a bikini with a kind of skirt but also a high collar and a matching headband, plus gladiator sandals and gloves that go up to her armpits. That hair? It's braided. Oddly. And her make-up would make drag queens sit up and go, "OMG! Cuuuute!" (A quick note: drag queens are rad. But only they should wear drag queen make-up.)
So Elaan is a stone-cold bitch. Kirk tries to tell Elaan that Spock will show her to her quarters, and she barks at him that she didn't give him permission to speak. He tries to get all up on her case, and Petri begs Kirk not to fuck up all the shit, because this is delicate, dammit. So Kirk allows Elaan to hand out some demands, and she agrees to follow Spock. Kirk drags Petri into the hall to find out what the hell is up with this assignment.
Petri of Troyius is taking Elaan of Elas to his home planet. Oh, fuck me. Is this a giftwife episode? It is. Goody. You know the drill: Troyius and Elas hate each other, so a giftwife from Elas is being sent to Troyius to force an uneasy truce between their people, blah, blah, blah.


I bet you noticed that Petri is mint green. I bet you also noticed that his hair looks like caramel-drizzled pastry. We haven't quite reached the subtlety of Next Gen's facial-skin-ridges-means-aliens, so overall, this isn't too bad. It's kind of exotic without being too ridiculous. And his costume doesn't suck, unlike the Fruit Roll-Ups that the Elasians are wearing. For Star Trek, Petri ranks about a 4. But for TOS, I'd put him closer to 6 or 7.
So Petri is concerned about Kirk fucking up all of the shit. He's been sent on ahead here to teach Elaan about Troyius, and to soften her lousy manners so that his people will more readily accept her.But he doesn't want things to go badly on the voyage over. He also asks Kirk to pretty much crawl to Troyius so he has time to give Elaan the Princess Diaries treatment. He comes off as pretty patient. He knows that this job is going to suck but it has to work so peace can be made.
Kirk goes to the bridge to give the orders to head to Troyius, and Spock comes in to tell him that Elaan is dissatisfied with her quarters. Uhura is fucking pissed. Elaan is staying in her crew quarters. Kirk leaves to find out what kind of bug is up Elaan's ass while Uhura mad-dogs the back of Spock's head.


Elaan is in Uhura's quarters throwing shit at Petri. She doesn't want any of his royal gifts. It's more fun to break all of Uhura's stuff. She orders Petri out of the room after yelling that she doesn't want his gifts. Kirk sarcastically tells her that if it would make her feel better, he could have her quarters filled with breakable stuff. Elaan is pissed, and rightfully so. She's being prepped and given away to one of her enemies. Also, I'm guessing those placemats are uncomfortable. Kirk tells her to go fuck herself, then leaves.


In the corridor, Petri has had a complete change of heart, and now yells that his job is going nowhere, and that he'd like to kill her. Kirk tells Petri to do his damn job, but to dispense with the diplomacy and be a bit of an asshole. The Elasians seem to respect assholes.

Kirk goes to the bridge, where Spock tells him that he's picked up some kind of thing on the sensors, probably a ship, but he can't tell what kind. Scotty pages Kirk to bitch about the fact that there are Fruit Roll-Ups in engineering. Kirk agrees to come talk to the Elasians. When he arrives, Elaan is busy insulting Scotty. Kirk asks what the hell they're doing in the engine room, and Elaan barks back that she's allowed to roam the ship.
"Scotty showed you the engine room," Kirk answers. "You best thank him, bitch."
She gives him a snotty look and leaves. She's got a lot of nerve acting like that, on top of dressing like a tacky streetwalker.


Spock calls Kirk back to the bridge, and I'm starting to think that that's all Kirk does all: get paged to one part of the ship or another. On the bridge, Spock and Chekov confirm that the mysterious ship is actually a Klingon warbird. (SuperDoula and I were not able to make our swap for season three DVDs, so we're stuck with CGI ships rather than cool little models. I'm sorry. Especially because this is the first time we see a Klingon ship.)


Guess what? Kirk is paged to Elaan's quarters to sort out a "disturbance." You can skip the gym today, Kirk. Gonna get all your cardio in on duty. When he gets there, Elaan reveals that she has stabbed Petri in the back. Dramatic music and commercial break!


Down in sick bay, Petri tells Kirk that he tried to to take Kirk's advice, but it backfired, and he now blames Kirk for getting stabbed. This guy has made a complete one-eighty. He started out kind of hopeful, knowing that his job was going to be difficult, but that it was necessary. Now, he's acting like a giant dick.
Uhura comes into sick bay and pulls Kirk aside to say that she got a coded message from Starfleet. Some hoity-toity bigwig is coming to the wedding on Troyius, so they better have their shit together by then.
Christine scans Petri and, for her one-line-per-episode, asks him what kind of magic powers the Elasian women possess that makes men crazy for them. He says it's a biochemical thing, that when the tears of an Elasian woman touch the skin of a man, he becomes smitten with her forever. Of course Kirk overhears none of this, even though he's standing two feet away. The message from Starfleet was to draw him off so he wouldn't hear what Petri said to Christine.


Kirk tells Petri about the bigwig, and Petri tells him to fuck right off, because he won't have his ruler marry that bitch Elaan. Bones says that Petri will be down for the count for a few days, so someone else will have to teach Elaan how to be a decent person. Hmmm, guess who?
Kirk goes to talk to Elaan, who is eating grotesquely and talking with her mouth full. I think some scenes got swapped around here. She's wearing the sheer-silver leaf get-up here, like she was down in engineering. But she was wearing the purple placemats when she stabbed Petri.
Anyway, he tells her that he's going to be her new teacher, and she laughs in his face. They get into one of those Star Trek slap-fights. When he goes to leave, she throws a knife at him, and he gives her the finger.


While Kirk is on the bridge attempting to hail the Klingon cruiser, a Fruit Roll-Up goes down into engineering to Disable the Ship. He's caught as he's finishing up, and he grabs the head of the Red who has intercepted him. We're supposed to believe that his putting his hands on either side of the Red's head actually snapped his neck, because the Red goes limp and the Fruit Roll-Up drags him out of sight. Red down!


Kirk shows up at Elaan's quarters the next day and the Fruit Roll-Ups guarding the door give him crap. They start a fight, but the guards are knocked out when Spock comes down the corridor and stuns them. He congratulates Kirk on knowing that Elaan would refuse him passage, but he wants to know how Kirk figured it out.
Kirk's response: "Mr Spock, the women on your planet are logical. That's the only planet in this galaxy that can make that claim."
Mmm, sexism. Thanks, Kirk.
He goes in and catches Elaan laying in bed, but poised with her knife out. He disarms her. There's a brief struggle, and she locks herself in what I can only assume is the bathroom, to scream at him through the door. He yells back that she's a spoiled brat, and that he's going to spank her.
I... just... stop it, Star Trek. STAHP.


He stomps away, grouching that a bunch of people need her to do this one thing, and she can't even get her shit together to do that, so she comes flying out of the bathroom, crying that no one likes her.
"Well, yeah," says Kirk gently. "It's because you're fucking unpleasant." 
And of course he wipes her tears away, because remember that conversation a few minutes ago that Kirk conveniently did not hear? Yeah. So of course they make out. And of course she asks him about spanking because, even though she has no idea what that is, she of course can put two and two together and guess that it's a sexual thing. Of course.


Uhura pages Kirk from the bridge. She and Spock have picked up some signals being beamed from inside the ship to the Klingon cruiser. Kirk manages to disentangle himself from Elaan, and goes down to engineering. Apparently, many Reds have apprehended the Fruit Roll-Up and found the body of the dead Red. Kirk demands to know what he was doing, and the Fruit Roll-Up says that he'll never tell. When Kirk goes to the comm to tell Spock that he needs to do a mind-meld, the Fruit Roll-Up pushes a button on his belt and disintegrates himself. Kirk tells Scotty that he has to break everything down and figure out what the Fruit Roll-Up sabotaged.
Kirk returns to Elaan's quarters to talk to her about it. She says that the Fruit Roll-Up in question was in love with her (yeah, you had nothing to do with that, honey), and that he was jealous when he heard that she was getting married, most likely bringing in the Klingons to break things up. She suggest that she and Kirk use the Enterprise to destroy Troyius, then they can be together, and the Federation will have control over the star system.
"That's dumb," says Kirk, but he makes out with her anyway. The door opens, and there stand his boyfriends. Oops.


Kirk stumbles drunkenly into the corridor.
"Did you touch her tears?" demands Bones.
"Jim, you've fucked up all the shit," says Spock.
"You have to make me an antidote!" Kirk tells Bones.
Sulu pages Kirk and Spock to the bridge, because the Klingon ship is now bearing down on them. Kirk starts to order Sulu to go to warp, but Scotty calls just in the nick of time (of course) to tell Kirk that the ship is rigged to blow up when it goes to warp, reverse Speed-style. Kirk decides to play chicken. The Klingon cruiser flies past them, without firing weapons.
"They wanted us to go to warp and blow ourselves up so they could have this sector without starting shit with the Federation," guesses Spock.
Elaan has come onto the bridge.
"Bitch, get your ugly mug out of here," says Spock.
Kirk starts to argue, then changes his mind, and says he will escort her to sick bay, the best-protected part of the ship.


Elaan's third wardrobe change is one that I like. It's a gold chiffon-type fabric with silver sparkly patterns, made into a halter-style top. There's a crystal thing that dangles down her bare back, and the skirt is slit all the way to the white belt on both sides. It shows just enough skin to be Star Trek, but it isn't obnoxious.
In the lift, she tries to snuggle up to him and tell him that she loves him, but that she is confused as to why he didn't fight the Klingons. He says that his mission is to get her to Troyius to be married. She tries to guilt-trip him about marrying some other guy, but he doesn't take the bait. Scotty calls in to say that the dilithium crystals are fused and useless. No warp drive. Kirk sends Elaan to sick bay and goes back to the bridge.
In sick bay, Petri tries once again to get Elaan to cooperate and offers her the same necklace that he offered her before as a peace token. For some reason, he happens to have it here in sick bay.
Kirk hails the Klingon ship and tells them that the E is here on Federation business, and is running a peaceful mission.
The Klingon hops on the screen long enough to say "Fuck you, pinky," then charge them again.


The lift doors open, and here comes Elaan (again). She's changed her clothes (again), but she's wearing the necklace.
"WTF?" Kirk asks. "How is this sick bay?"
"I want to die with you," she says.
No, bitch. Give me back my space bucks, cuz I'm not buying it.
The Klingons make some passes and take some shots, and the ship rocks. There's a pause in the fight.
"There's a weird energy source," says Spock, who starts scanning stuff with a tricorder. "It's Elaan."
Turns out her "sacred" necklace is made of dilithium stones, which are common in this system, and which is why the Klingons want it so badly. Spock takes the necklace to Scotty.

Bypassing the fugly necklace, this dress is not bad. Another halter,
and she's fully covered front and back. The drop-waistline belt thing
doesn't need those square jewels, but it's nothing fatal. The Star Trek-
shocking part of this dress is that it's fully open on both sides, tying off
at the rib cage and hip. The fabric is nice, too. 

The Klingons make another pass, and Kirk attempts to deflect with maneuvering. Trying to stall for time, he hails the Klingon and asks for their terms of surrender.
"Bitch, please," says the Klingon. "No terms. Just fucking do it."
Spock and Scotty warn Kirk that the unprocessed dilithium is in weird shapes, and the ship will either have warp or blow up, but we've got another 20+ episodes of this show left, so you can guess what the outcome of that might be. They have the crystals in place, and Kirk orders them back to the bridge. So... you don't think it might be easier for them to fix it if something goes wrong with those crystals? No? They should be on the other side of the ship with you where they'll have limited control over the situation? Alrighty.
Kirk does this maneuver where he does a quick warp jump, and they fire photon torpedoes. It damages the cruiser enough that it limps away. Good ole USS Mary Sue, she can take a bunch of hits, but when she doles out the torpedoes, everyone else loses. Looks like the rule about Kirk always winning a fight applies to his ship as well.
Elaan is all sad that Kirk isn't going to finish off the Klingons.

Down in the transporter room, Kirk has come to see the party off. Petri and the remaining Fruit Roll-Ups climb on the pads while Elaan says goodbye to Kirk. Despite the fact that her necklace was dismantled and used to fly a ship, it seems to be back in one piece and around her neck. She asks Kirk if he is coming down to see the wedding. He says no. They say that they'll never forget each other, and she gives him her dagger. Then she beams down with the others.


Everything is easy-peasy on the bridge when Bones bursts out of the lift.
"I found an antidote to the tears thing!" he tells Spock excitedly.
"Too late," says Spock. "The captain is fraternizing with the ship again, and apparently, the Enterprise is a really great rebound girl."
Bones smiles, because he likes the idea of fraternizing.
The end.






Let's take this one apart, shall we? "Elaan of Troyius" is meant to be a combination of two things: Helen of Troy, and "The Taming of the Shrew" by Shakespeare. The Helen of Troy thing - okay, I see it. But I have issues with this episode being loosely based on The Taming of the Shrew. Mainly, the shrew here is not likable. I mean, not at all. If you're going to have a difficult heroine, she has to have some sympathetic qualities, and Elaan has none. When she comes onboard, she is rough around the edges and rude as hell. Okay, I can see where this might have potential. She's pissed about her lot in life, about being fed to the Troyians as a giftwife. She also comes from a rougher culture. But instead of softening toward Kirk and the others while gaining some manners, she chemically sucks Kirk in. At no point in time does she appear to actually return affection to him. She just seems to be using him for her own gains. Toward the end, we're asked to believe that she has come to care for Kirk, but I saw no moment of change in her. She simply stepped onto the bridge supposedly different. Accepting that necklace off-screen didn't do it. What's more, Kirk never seemed to care for her, either. He seemed drunk and overwhelmed by her at times, but care for her? Nope. Didn't buy it. It's one thing when a show goes to the trouble of hooking up two people and the acting is good enough that I buy it, even if I don't like that couple well enough to ship it. But here, we are being asked to ship a couple that never had anything to begin with, and then they are supposedly upset enough at the end of the episode that their departure is a sad one. There wasn't anything to mourn. And they never made Elaan likable enough in my eyes that I was sad when they parted ways. I wasn't anything but indifferent toward her, start to finish. That's a pretty damn difficult thing to do when we're talking about giftwives. Because I abhor the concept, I can typically find something that I like about that kind of girl. Here, she went to her arranged marriage with a pouty lip, and the most I could give her was "meh."
Interestingly, this story was revamped for Next Gen, but they tweaked the characters and situations in just such a way that it works. The giftwife is charming, you believe her relationship with Picard, and you are bittersweet when they separate. Storytelling done right.



Death Toll:
Red deaths this episode: 1
Red deaths this season: 1
Gold deaths this episode: 0
Gold deaths this season: 0
Blue deaths this episode: 0
Blue deaths this season: 0
Total crew deaths this season: 1
Total crew deaths thus far: 45

Our first Red death of season two! Huzzah!

*******

I think I've had Berry-Kiwi Colada mixed with other teas before (mostly likely a green), but I don't think I've had it by itself. I couldn't find any strainers so I just steeped it loose in the cup. It's a lot of bits of different plants and fruits. I wasn't sure if I would like it or not. I don't really care for the fakey taste of strawberry-kiwi flavors, and I didn't know how much strawberry would be involved. It turns out that the answer is "some", but I tasted more blackberry than other berries, and it blended nicely with the kiwi. (Oddly enough, the ingredients don't list blackberry as being part of this mix. Phantom blackberries, I guess.)  There were largish chips of shavings of something off-white, which I assumed to be coconut, but which turned out to be apple. It was good. Probably make a nice iced tea, or be good in a tea daquiri.






Miss Oolong

1 comment:

  1. Funny review. Watching Elaan of Troyius now. And from what I saw, Spock was scanning her necklace, but with Dr. McCoy's spinning "saltshaker" scanner - watching it to verify that. And Elaan was cute but one fucked up freak. Purple fruit roll-up. Just wow!

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