Star Trek

Star Trek

Monday, February 23, 2015

Season 3, Episode 68 "Wink of An Eye"

"Wink of An Eye"
Production Order: 68
Air Order: 66
Stardate: 5710.5
Original Air Date: November 29, 1968

Oh, Star Trek. Just when I'm pretty sure I want to unfriend you, you suck me right back in with a ridiculous plot and terrible costume choices. Let's be social media acquaintances with a three-like-per-month minimum.
Speaking of which, I made a Tumblr. It's stayinalivejim and you can follow it if you want. Or not. I'm not here to make your social media choices for you.

*******

See Chekov in his chair on the right? Walter Koenig didn't actually
shoot any scenes for this episode. Wherever he appears in  "The
Wink of an Eye," it's stock footage. Also, check out that fabulous
matte painting behind the Scalosians. I think it's a re-use from a starbase?


Scotty-as-captain Log: 5710.5: "We got a distress call from a city on the planet of Scalos. Kirk, Spock, McCoy and some random Reds beamed down to check it out. The thing is, there's no one actually in the city where they beamed down."

Kirk calls Uhura to ask if they beamed down to the correct coordinates, and she confirms that they did. He's baffled, as the city is deserted. Bones takes some scans and says that there are no animals or people. Kirk bats at a buzzing insect. Behind them, a Red takes a water sample. (Shouldn't a science officer be doing that? Oh, wait. He'll probably be dying later. Never mind. As you were, Reddy.)
Spock approaches to give his report.
"Wherever these people are, they're hella smart. They left behind all kinds of awesome cultural stuff. I can see traces of them living here recently, but there are also places that have been abandoned."

Check out this yummy three-tiered fountain with the bronze Scalosian
statue on top. Don't know where they got the money for this, but it
was worth it.

Behind Bones, the Red has finished his sample-taking, and proceeds to wash his hands in the fountain, then wipe his mouth. I facepalm. Okay, I don't science for real very often, but even I know that that was a dumb move. You don't wash your hands in a substance that you're sampling. Never send a Red to do a Blue's job, kids. It results in shoddy science like this.
Sure enough, there's that insect buzzing sound, and the Red vanishes. Bones kind of loses his shit like Reds don't just randomly disappear every day.
Dramatic music! Credits break!

This is an interesting special effect: they traced the dude's outline,
filled it with an abstract pattern, then vanished it.

Kirk strolls onto the bridge to relieve Scotty. Seems as though there have been some malfunctions happening all over the ship. Little ones that have been corrected quickly or have just corrected themselves. Kirk and Spock re-watch the distress call with Uhura. A blond Scalosian dude explains that their people have been disappearing, that they were once a population of nine hundred-thousand but they're now down to five, and that they've taken refuge in the city. Uhura says that the distress message was pre-recorded and is probably set to broadcast to passing ships. Sulu reports that his station has now ceased to function, and Kirk tells Scotty to get his ass in gear fixing things. Bones pages Kirk to sick bay because Kirk ordered him to have the away team checked out. Kirk tries to worm his way out of it, but Bones reminds him that it was his idea to check them over.
In sick bay, Christine's pre-requisite two lines are used to tell Kirk that someone got into the medicine cabinet and put stuff back in the wrong place. Bones begins his examination, and says that everyone else has checked out fine, and he still has no answers as to why Compton (the sample-taking Red) vanished. Kirk hears the insect buzzing noise and wonders if he is hallucinating. He then says that maybe something followed them onboard when they beamed up. 



Spock tries to call him on the PA in sick bay, but it's garbled. Uhura breaks in to say that the comm system is messed up. Kirk tells her to alert the crew to use hand-held comms and to arm themselves. He then asks Spock to repeat his message. Spock says that he has detected something alien in life support. Kirk agrees to meet him there.
Spock and two Reds catch Kirk coming out of sick bay, and Spock hands Kirk a phaser. Spock scans the area and says he is picking up traces of alien life, but he can't pinpoint where. The Reds run into a force field and get knocked back. They set the phasers for stun, and all four fire at it. It's supposedly gone, but those Reds get knocked back again, where Kirk and Spock seem to be allowed to move forward.

Could be wrong, but I think they filmed sparklers for this effect.
It's cool.

Kirk and Spock enter Environmental Engineering (they zoomed in on the name plate as the boys passed), and are shocked to see -- I dunno, what? I see one of those standard Star Trek cardboard box computer units, with some silver exhaust tubing and another little computer box on top. I'm briefly confused as to why we're getting dramatic music and surprise from the boys. I guess the little box and tubing are alien installations added to the life support machine. Spock says the installation seems incomplete. They attempt to touch the box and get electrical shocks. Then they try to shoot it with phasers, but their weapons vanish. They are physically pushed back against the wall by something invisible. They hear the insect buzzing again. Kirk yells at thin air.
"Who are you? Get off my ship!"
Now our boys do something stupid. You know the experiments that have been done where scientists attach some kind of electrodes to some small mammal, and then they offer that mammal something awesome like a treat, but then the scientists fry their nads every time that mammal reaches for the treat, and eventually their nads explode or something because they just keep going for the treat anyway? This is like that. Spock and Kirk reach for the alien attachment again, and are shocked again. I mean, come the fuck on. I expect this out of Kirk. Kirk is a dumb mammal. But Vulcans are supposed to be smarter than this. Go to your room, Spock. 

Back on the bridge, Spock talks to the computer. They now have Majel Barrett using a super-fakey "computer voice" instead of the smoother one she was using earlier when she would answer back as the computer. I don't like this new stilted voice. It's annoying. Anyway, the computer confirms that the E has been invaded, and that the invaders' ultimate goal is to control the Enterprise, but it doesn't seem to have enough information yet to form more conclusions about the situation.


It tells them that they are not in a position to resist the take-over at this stage, and recommends negotiation.
"Psshh, yeah right," says Kirk. "I don't negotiate."
"Well then, what the hell are we doing?" asks Spock.
"Dunno," he replies. "I'll pull something out of my ass that will totally work. Don't worry."
He grabs a cup of coffee from the tray of a passing yeoman then flops in his chair to form a plan. But he can hear the insect buzzing again, and the camera tilts at funny angles as the rest of the bridge crew slows way, way down around him, and finally stops.
And now there's a girl on the bridge.


Kirk walks up to her and starts to ask what the hell is going on, but she plants a giant smacker on him instead.
"The fuck?" he demands. "Who are you?"
"Deela, the enemy," she replies.
Oh, good. That clears things up. Always nice when your enemy identifies herself right off the bat.

Me, I'm an enemy of her outfit. Once again, we're treated to what can only be described as "female character on Star Trek." It's the traditional all-or-nothing combo, a bathing suit that's open on the right side, but turns into a full-bodied costume on the left. A sort of skirt-cape thing covers her bare ass in the back, and the whole thing is made from a fabric that appears to be illustrating cell mitosis. She's wearing a brooch at her collar that seems to be made from pony beads and oven-baked plastic. Hair is big and fake but okay. Make-up is long, dark lashes and mod nude lipstick: okay. But costume is standard TOS fair: weird as hell.

When we come back from commercial break, she admits that he was correct in guessing that he beamed her aboard when they returned to the ship. He asks her what she's done to his crew, and she replies that she hasn't done anything to them. They're moving at a normal rate of speed, and she has changed him to move at an accelerated speed. Now he sounds like an insect to them as well. She says that she is the queen of her people, who are on the ship making some changes, and that she is going to make Kirk her king. He asks what will happen to his ship.
"They'll notice that you're gone," she says. "Because now you move so quickly that they can't see you anymore. You can't ever go back to being with them, but they'll move on and so will you."
Kirk pulls his phaser on her, which is interesting, because it vanished in the life support room. She just laughs, but she can out-move the phaser's line of fire. When he tries to stun her, she steps out of the way.



Okay, Star Trek, you're doing iffy science again. Kirk and Deela and her underlings all move at the same accelerated pace, which is faster than "the wink of an eye." Phaser fire moves at the speed of light. Are you really trying to convince me that Deela and her cohorts move quicker than light? How the hell does that even work? But throughout this episode, Kirk will use equipment that works just fine for crew members, and it'll move at the same pace for him as well. Like the lift doors. They move at the same pace whether he or Spock is stepping from them. Also, seriously, he just shot a phaser on the bridge. You're telling me that no one is going to notice that?

Deela reveals that she also has a weapon like his, which moves at her pace (which is still the speed of light). She manages to shoot the phaser from his hand. Then she pretty much tells him to suck it up, because "they always react like this at first, and then they learn to like it." He pushes around her and gets on the lift. She pushes the brooch thing and tells someone that Kirk is on his way to see him. So the ugly brooch is a comm device.
We return to normal speed, and Uhura gasps that Kirk is gone. Sulu agrees with her story that Kirk was kicking it in his chair drinking his coffee when he disappeared. Spock decides that the coffee is the culprit.
Kirk goes back to the life support room and runs past those two security Reds who were barred from entering Environmental Engineering with himself and Spock. Why are they still there? Were they assigned to stand guard just outside the "force field"? Because they look like they did when Kirk and Spock first entered that room: surprised because they couldn't get around the "force field." 
Kirk encounters Compton, the Red who disappeared next to the fountain. Compton has been left to guard the door, I guess. He tells Kirk that he's not allowed in, that he fought the speeding up thing until he met this super-awesome girl, and now he's on their side. He has a Scalosian weapon. Kirk fakes him out by agreeing to back off, then he does this round-house kick thing and knocks Compton out.



Kirk runs into Environmental Engineering, and he's immediately dropped by a Scalosian weapon being fired by some guys in more ridiculous Star Trek couture. Compton recovers and stumbles in.
"WTH?" he demands. "That was my captain!"
He runs at the Scalosians, but then one steps forward and there's a brief tussle. Compton falls to the ground with a small-ish cut on his neck.
"Ooh, damn," says a Scalosian to the others. "Dead man walking." He turns to the girl and tells her that he'll buy her a new one later.

After Dorothy left Oz, the Tin Man joined a cabaret in an iffy
neighborhood in the Emerald City. It was the sort of place with
a $2 all-you-can-eat buffet and sketchy bathrooms.


Back on the bridge, Spock examines everyone's coffee. Scotty and Sulu are freaked out that they might disappear after having coffee too. Spock decides to take it to the lab, and leaves Scotty in charge. 
Down in EE, Kirk is sprawled on the floor, while Deela talks about how sad it is when "one is damaged." The guy with the short blond hair, Rael, is annoyed with her for forming an attachment to Kirk. She tells him not to be jealous, and that she'd like to keep Kirk for a long time.
Kirk wakes up and demands an explanation. He is invited to check out the mostly-operational add-on to the life support machine, but he is warned not to touch it. Guess what he does? I swear to Zod, this guy should be smacked with a rolled-up newspaper. He then grabs it and hangs on for dear life. Bad Kirk! No!
Deela pulls his hands off the machine and chides him like the child he is. He then spots Compton on the floor, very old and very dead.
"When you got into the fight in the corridor, you scratched him," lies Rael. "When people like you are sped up to the same level as people like us, you become susceptible to cell damage. Then you age rapidly and die."


Kirk storms out, and Deela gets all up in Rael's face for lying about who damaged Compton. She says that she likes Kirk and the human race. She touches her brooch, and somehow information comes to her that we can't hear, but now she says that he has gone to the med lab to try to talk to Spock. Maybe it's telepathy that she knows that. Maybe she planted something on Kirk that allows her to read his thoughts. Maybe other Scalosians overheard him in the corridor talking to himself about his plans, then contacted her, and it's broadcast into her ear or brain or something. Maybe it's just a quick, easy way for her to know where he's gone, and the writers can claim that it's the future, or she's an alien, as to why she magically had that information. Rael kisses her. She smiles and tells him not to be jelly before she saunters out.

Deela finds Kirk in the med lab. Spock, Bones and Christine are working there in their own time, which means that they are standing still here. Kirk makes a sort of captain's log in a recording device, telling his crew or whoever hears it that the Scalosians have taken over the ship and installed a machine that cannot be uninstalled. He thinks it is putting the ship into a deep freeze, but he doesn't know why. He also says that both he and Compton were taken, and that it seems like after being sped up, that newcomers become docile and go along with the Scalosians, but then he explains what happened to Compton. He recites all of this with Super-Deluxe Dramatic Pauses. Deela then explains that  these things are happening because the water on Scalos became polluted and sped everyone up there. It also made them sterile (towards each other, anyway) and killed the children, so now they trap passing ships, speed up a few of the crew members to their own speed, and take those people as breeding studs. They're deep-freezing the Enterprise so that they can "save them for later." Yaaaay, sex slaves.
He tries to convince her that, if they let the E go, then their scientists will figure out a way to fix the situation and move them back into regular time, but she says that they tried, and those people died. Don't worry, lady. This is the USS Mary Sue, and even though everyone else who has tried it previously has died, we'll do it with no problems.


Rael calls Deela on her Easy-Bake Oven brooch, and we hear him to tell her to go to the transporter room with Kirk so they can beam down. But Kirk has put the tape he recorded into the computer next to Spock, and slipped out. Even though she's supposedly queen, and he's just the chief science officer, he orders her to go after him. I'm pretty sure that Deela is not so much royalty as full of shit.
She finds him in the transporter room, where he just barely has the time to remove a part from the transporter before hopping up again. She tries to transport him to no avail, then she calls Rael to report a malfunction. He accuses Kirk of sabotage, but she insists that he didn't have time. 

In slow time, Spock and Bones hear the buzzing sound in the med lab. Spock says that he has been hearing it since they came back on board, that he knows what it is, and that he is now going to the bridge.

Deela and Kirk are now in his quarters. He's clearly decided that it would be best to just seduce her like always, so he's playing nice. At one point, he tries to kiss her, but she cottons on that he was going for her weapon.
"Oh, well," he fake-laments. "You caught me."
They make out some more. She notes that he ships Kirkerprise.

Spock returns to the bridge to re-watch the distress call. He speeds up the recording until there is no picture, and the sound becomes the insect buzzing noise. Then he compares it against footage from the away team, and the sound is heard there as well.
Again, Star Trek: who took this video? Did you set up a tripod to record your away mission? Was it that other Red that we've never heard or seen again?


Down in the lab, Bones has found the tape that Kirk made. He puts it in and gets that whine, then takes it to Spock. On the bridge, they watch what turns out to be a tape, which is actually just footage of Kirk talking to that recording device, and Deela supplementing information off-screen.
Star Trek: WHERE THE HELL IS THE CAMERA?
Spock asks Scotty to go down to the transporter room.
Scotty does, and he's shown as being frozen in the doorway. The Scalosians walk around him. Rael is angry because he's found where Kirk has removed a piece from the underside of the transporter. He tries to call Deela several times, but she is not answering.
Why is she not answering? Because she's brushing her hair while Kirk re-zips his boots. Now, there are a number of reasons why Kirk could be re-zipping his boots while sitting on the bed in his quarters while a girl brushes her hair. Maybe she wanted to try his boots on. Maybe she asked how high the quality was on Starfleet-issued socks. Maybe he had a space rock in his boots. Maybe... no, No, that's it. There is no other way for you to explain to your space-enthusiastic kid that Kirk did not take off his boots to have ball-slappy sex with Deela. 


Rael busts in (I guess Kirk forgot to hang a tie on the doorknob), and he tries to attack Kirk with what I can only guess is a bobbing pool thermometer. Kirk defends himself with a pillow, then a chair. Surprisingly, they cut to commercial then, in the middle of the fight, which I haven't seen on this show before. When we return, Rael appears ready to bash Kirk's face in with that thermometer, but Deela zaps him in the back with her weapon.



Subdued, he starts a lovers' spat, and she barks at him that she's allowed to like her selected sex slave if she wants to, despite how he feels. She tells him to get the hell back to work and fix the transporter. Once he leaves, Deela apologizes to Kirk for Rael's behavior, and he decides that it's best to play dumb and obedient.
"That's awesome that you're onboard with all of this, even if I did like you better when you hated it. Rael and I were in love before, and your real personality reminds me of him." A sex slave owner with a type. Okay.
She calls Rael on her Dollar Store comm to tell him that Kirk is totally down with being her consort. I'm sure Rael is thrilled.

We go back to the med lab, where the Blue Brigade has found out what to add to the Scalosian water to make it like Kirk's coffee. It's untested, but Spock takes a swig anyway. It elicits a raised eyebrow and the word "stimulating," and I can't help but wonder if these two things comprise his O face.


There's the buzzing sound, and he notes that Bones and Christine have frozen. He walks away. As soon as he is out of frame, the buzzing stops and Christine grabs Bones' arm. "He's gone!"

Down in the transporter room, Rael has finished the repairs and beams down the other Scalosians. Scotty is still standing in the open doorway. He lets Deela know that she can beam down at any point, and that he is going to EE to turn on the freezing device. She apologizes for being a giant bitch about her sex slave. He says it's kind of okay.
Kirk and Deela go down to the transporter room, but Kirk manages to snake her weapon away from her and escape. She warns Rael that he's loose and armed. That's actually a great description for Kirk - "loose and armed."
Anyway, Kirk encounters Spock in the corridor outside of EE, and gives him the briefest of smiles before they set to work defending themselves from Rael's gunfire. Rael takes a hit and collapses because apparently, he's a Stormtrooper. Another shot, and the freezing device melts. This shit is too easy, but I suppose they only have five minutes left to wrap this up, so we'll let it slide. Deela runs in and goes to Rael.
"You tricked me. You were clever," she tells Kirk.
I can't believe she fell for that crap.
"What are you going to do with us?" she asks.
"I could put you in suspended animation," he muses. Then he asks what she thinks he should do with them.
"You could leave us alone," she suggests. "But I think you'll tattle on us to Starfleet, who will quarantine the area so we can't trap passing ships anymore. So then we'll die, which will solve both of our problems."
Kirk considers this. "Yeah, I'm okay with that."



In the transporter room, Deela says she is concerned about them.
"Bitch, worry about your own damn business," says Spock.
She tries to convince Kirk to come with her, as he can't get back to his own speed. Kirk glances at Spock, who looks away. This is apparently code for "My giant brain has figured out in a few hours what their fairly advanced society has missed for years."
"No thanks," says Kirk. "You're cute and all, but I'm in love with my ship and I'm having a torrid emotional affair with my first officer."
Spock beams down Deela and Rael, then presents Kirk with a little vial of yellow liquid.
"We didn't have time to test this first, so I guess you're guinea-pigging."
Kirk throws it back, and starts to move more slowly as the buzzing noise comes up. He pops into reality just as Jimmy Doohan finally, finally walks through the door to the transporter room. (I didn't show it, but dude has been standing mid-step with his foot raised this whole time. That's dedication, yo.) Kirk and Scotty rush to the bridge.

Kirk's Log 5710.9: "We didn't discuss it at all, but Spock has stayed behind in accelerated speed to carry out repairs so we can get underway sooner."

The lights on the bridge flash, and everyone reports that things are being fixed very quickly. Spock pops back into existence and returns to his station.
The Scalosians are on the viewscreen, most likely live this time. They don't actually say anything, but they look super pissed off. Uhura apologizes and says she must have turned the recording back on, but Kirk says that it's not a recording.


He says "Goodbye, Deela," and the E leaves orbit, and Kirk is smiling because his science officer figured out how to get them back to normal speed, but he didn't bother to give it to the Scalosians because... I dunno, skewed Prime Directive?



Also, if it's not a recording, and just a live shot of Deela & Co, then does that mean that they have been "fixed"? How else can we see them unless they've slowed down or everyone else has sped up? Is that why they don't talk? So we're left wondering whether or not it's a recording or a live feed?
This episode has all kinds of problems. Supposedly, the Scalosians are so sped up that no one can see them, yet they are able to use machinery and other tech just fine. They should be living several days to one of the Enterprise's, yet this all seems to take place in one time frame. Scotty spends the last half of the episode trying to put his foot down in the transporter room, but in that same amount of time, Spock and Bones figure out what is going on and develop a drinkable cure. Even if he stopped to boink Deela and fight with Rael, they still should have left the ship long before our boys in blue figured out how to fix everything.
I also want to know why there are still five Scalosians. Do they have more someplace else on the planet that weren't showing up on scans? Because it sounds like they've been doing this siren distress call thing for a while, and they seem pretty practiced at it, which means they've done this before. Sooo, they're stealing random ships' crews, supposedly pairing them off for mating, and then what? Does it work? Presumably it does, or they wouldn't keep trying. Where are all of the half-alien kids? The other ships that were being held in stasis? It's an interesting idea, but the plot has more holes in it than your average block of Swiss cheese.

Death Toll:
Red deaths this episode: 1
Red deaths this season: 4
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: 4
Total crew deaths thus far: 46




*******

I've been trying to drink more water lately, which is not my thing, because it doesn't taste like anything. Like I know it's good for me, and vital to my well-being and all that jazz, but it's bland. I like the flavored ones, but not the ones that are just watery juice. The actual water with flavors, like lime and grapefruit and crap. They're usually carbonated. I also really like black cherry so I decided to try this one. Why was the Arrowhead Black Cherry Sparkling Water on sale? Because it tastes like cough syrup. It's not thick like cough syrup, but it tastes just like red Nyquil. "Hey, friends! Do you want the nasty taste of cough medicine without the benefits of it soothing your throat and stopping your cough? Drink this!"
No. No thank you.







Dear Tanner,

You started out in an abusive home, and when your first mom moved out, she took you with her, and found you a good foster home with two moms who loved you very much. Though that first mom didn't return, she had left you in good hands. You were kind to people and other dogs, enjoyed the outdoors and water play, and were kind enough to stop barking when told to shut your yap. You put up, and made friends, with the other dog in the family, who is an asshole. You were unfazed by two cats, and when your moms opened a cat rescue, you remained unfazed by twenty cats. When you got sick, your moms were determined to make your last weeks good ones. You'll be missed by your human friends, your cat friends, and that other asshole dog.

Good boy, Tanner. Good boy.




2 comments:

  1. The scene where Kirk is pulling on his boots, you can see Deela is flushed and a bit out of breath. I wonder how many orgasms Kirk squeezed out of her during their tryst?

    ReplyDelete