Production Number: 47
Air Order: 42
Original Air Date: December 15, 1967
We start this week on the surface of a planet, where Kirk, Spock and a contingent of Reds is doing scientific stuff. They've found a bunch of some stuff that's 20 times harder than diamond, which I guess the Federation wants, so they phaser off a sample to take back home.
An ominous cloud drifts into their vicinity, but then the film is reversed so that the cloud gets sucked back behind a rock again, supposedly retreating because of the phaser.
"Do you smell that?" asks Kirk, panicking for no reason. "It smells like honey."
Is it a stroke? Like, a space-stroke? Sounds like a space-stroke. You should lie down in sick bay for the rest of the episode.
Kirk dispatches the Reds to look for a cloud, and tells them to phaser it on some special setting. I gotta stop you there, dude: you really want them to fire weapons into a cloud? Should they surround it first? Kirk tells Spock that he last smelled that smell on another planet, 11 years earlier.
Meanwhile, the Reds are bein' vewwy, vewwy quiet, cuz they're huntin' clouds. But now it comes from behind a rock and covers them and two of the Reds choke to death amidst animation.
It tries to take the third as he comms for help. Kirk and Spock come running, and Kirk points out that the two dead Reds are vewwy, vewwy pale because the Scary Cloud drained them of their red corpuscles. The third Red is not dead, just knocked out. Kirk comms for a beam-up, and we go to credits break.
YOU GUYS: nothing for weeks, and then we get two dead Reds before credits!
Kirk's Log 3619.2: "Scary cloud. For serious."
Down in sick bay, Christine uses her two sentences per appearance to tell Kirk that the surviving Red is still unconscious and receiving transfusions to replace the blood he lost. Then we get a series of Disable the Ship plot points from Spock, Scotty and Bones through the side-story of the E taking perishable vaccines to some planet that desperately needs them, and they have to rendezvous with another ship to get said vaccines. This is pitted against Kirk insisting that they stay to investigate the Scary Cloud. He doesn't give a shit if some people die on Theta VI without the vaccines.
Bones reports that the Reds died without any exit wounds, which is weird. Kirk tells him to check the medical logs from the USS Farragut from 11 years ago, then he requests that the surviving Red, Rizzo, is revived so he can ask him about the cloud. A groggy Rizzo says that he did indeed smell honey and sense a presence before he passed out. Rizzo falls asleep again, and Kirk stalks out.
"That was fucking weird," says Christine.
Kirk goes to the bridge, where Spock has been scanning for life-forms and finding none on the surface.
"What if it's disguised as something else?" asks Kirk.
The lift opens, and a Red steps out. I guess he's supposed to be dreamy or forbidding or something because we get a close-up. Dude looks to be about 18.
He's Ensign Garrovick, and Kirk knew his dad. He's the new security officer. Uhura reports that Rizzo is dead, and Garrovick is upset because he and Rizzo were friends.
"Grab your gun," Kirk barks at him. "We're huntin' clouds today."
Man, no deaths for weeks, then I get a Red massacre. Sweet.
We go back to the surface, and Kirk tells a whole bunch of Reds to circle around some rocks, to be on the look-out (smell-out?) for a honey scent, and to fire if they see a Scary Cloud. Then they split up. Like that ever works.
Garrovick takes two Reds with him, and they're ambushed by the Scary Cloud. Garrovick fires his phaser, and the rest of the away team comes running. Garrovick fired too late. One Red is unconscious, and one is dead.
It's Christmas in July, you guys!
Kirk's Log 3619.6: "Recap and stuff. One more Red down. Hamlet-like self-talk and doubts. Everyone wants to know why I've decided to stay and fight the Scary Cloud."
Kirk, Spock, and Bones gather to interrogate Garrovick. The kid says he saw the cloud, smelled honey, but felt no intelligent presence. He says he hesitated for a split-second before firing. Kirk relives him of duty and confines him to quarters.
"That was dickish of you," remarks the good doctor.
"Fuck off, Bones," Kirk replies before storming out.
Garrovick walks into his quarters and looks around. I'm pretty sure he's gonna smash stuff, but instead he throws himself on the bed like a heart-broken teenage girl.
Kirk stomps onto the bridge, where he's reminded that they still have a ship to meet, and peeps need vaccines, and he blows up at everyone and accuses them of conspiring against him, which only makes his tinfoil hat all the more visible.
Spock goes into sick bay to ask Bones what the fuck Kirk thinks he's doing. He reveals to Bones that, 11 years earlier, half the crew of the USS Farragut died at the hands of the Scary Cloud, and that Garrovick's father was the captain, and Kirk was on board.
Jim's Log 3620.7: "I may have fucked up all of the shit. Hamlet, Hamlet, Hamlet."
Kirk is being melancholy, lying on his bed, when Bones comes in. Kirk ignores him and calls the bridge. But there's nothing new to report, so he flops onto the bed again.
"So I read in those tapes of the Farragut that you hesitated before firing on the Scary Cloud, and that you blamed yourself for 200 deaths," says Bones."Yeah, well, it was my fucking fault," replies Kirk.
"Dude, you're acting weird," says Bones.
"Fuck you very much," Kirk answers. "Why don't you get the hell out already?"
"Because I'm the ship's surgeon, bitch. And my medical report is gonna say that you're acting weird. What's more, I have back-up." The door slides open, and guess who comes in to stand next to Bones?
"He-e-e-yyyy, Spock, old buddy." Kirk can tell that he's being tag-teamed by the Blue Crew.
"Dude, you're acting weird," says Spock.
"Don't give me a bunch of bullshit regulations," sneers Kirk.
"There's no reason for us to be here," they argue with him. "You're all Ahab right now, and we have to be somewhere like yesterday, only you won't let us leave because of this thing that's kind of like this other thing that you ran into 11 years ago."
The bridge calls. They found the Scary Cloud, but now it's heading into space. Kirk orders Red Alert, and he and Spock rush to the bridge. Kirk immediately orders his crew after it, even though they have someplace to be and the engines can't keep up with the Scary Cloud.
Garrovick is pouting in his room when Christine brings in his tray.
"Dinner," she says cheerfully.
"I don't want any," he pouts. "I fucked up all the shit."
"Self-pity is not a good first course. You should try the soup," she suggests, and I didn't make that up. It's just a really good line. He acts like a toddler, scowling at her and lamenting about what a rotten human being he is, when she loses patience, and holds up one of those colored tiles that's supposed to be an information tape. "This is the doctor's medical report for you. It only says one thing: eat. If you don't, he's going to drag your ass, caveman-style, into sick bay and feed you in a way that you won't like at all."
Oh, my fuck. They allowed Christine to channel Number One! YES. She turns and leaves, and he's kind of like, "yes, ma'am."
Christine returns the tile to sick bay, where it turns out to be some random report on some planet somewhere.
"Applied some psychology," she smiles.
On the bridge, the Scary Cloud has slowed down, and they are catching up. It kind of turns and comes at them.
In his quarters, Garrovick picks up the lid of the covered plate that Christine brought him, and when he sees that he's being served those colored cubes of space rations again, he gets mad and flings the cover at the wall, knocking a vent open. Kirk calls for Red Alert, and Garrovick rushes to the bridge to ask if he can take his command again.
Kirk ignores him, ordering Chekov to fire the phasers. Chekov does so, but the phasers go right through BECAUSE IT'S A GASEOUS CLOUD, YOU FUCKING MORON. Then he orders Chekov to fire photon torpedoes, and guess what just goes gliding through space, not hitting anything? I wonder how many space bucks Kirk just wasted firing weapons into clouds.
Oops. The Scary Cloud just opened some hatches or something and got into the ventilation system, and now it's inside the ship. Good job, Kirk.
Kirk angrily marches into the briefing room to talk to Bones and Spock. There's one dude from engineering who is now in sick bay, and another who is dead. We'll go ahead and guess that he's a Red as well.
"Sooo, it turned and attacked us, so it's actually a creature," says Spock. "I'm just wondering why it stopped here."
This question is asked purely to make you think that there is something special about this stretch of space. The Scary Cloud probably has a nest of baby clouds that it's protecting nearby.
"Yeah, so... sorry," says Bones. "I guess it was a creature."
"Dude, fuck you," says Kirk.
"The creature is one-second out of sync with time," Spock tells Kirk. "This is why phaser fire always goes through it. Even if you had fired at the right time 11 years ago, it would not have made a difference. It's because nothing on this show makes sense, and we have to make up stupid reasons why you can't destroy a cloud of gas with WMDs."
"Yeah, fuck you, too," replies a sullen Kirk.
Spock goes to talk to Garrovick in his quarters, reminding the ensign that hesitation in the face of danger is a human trait, but Garrovick basically tells Spock to go screw himself. Uh-oh, here comes the Scary Cloud through the vent, and Spock yells, "I'll try to block it," pushing Garrovick into the hall and closing the door.
The cheap-ass vent knob comes off in his hand, so Spock stupidly tries to cover the vent with his hands. Come on, Spock. You're smarter than this.
Everyone rushes to Garrovick's quarters. Engineering has done reverse-pressure on the room, and we see the film backed up again to show the cloud getting "sucked back" into the vent. The Blues want to break into the room to rescue Spock, but Kirk stops them: what if they let it loose in the ship?
Dude, are those doors air-tight? Because if not, it'll just creep around the doors into the hall, and then everyone is dead.
The doors open, and Spock walks out. Kirk is all surprised, because he's the only one that's forgotten that Spock's copper-based blood has no red corpuscles.
Scotty calls to say that the Scary Cloud has left the ship. Everyone goes back to their stations, and Kirk pulls Garrovick aside to tell him that neither of them is a fuck-up, it's just that you can't actually fire a weapon into a cloud of gas and expect anything to happen. He sends a beaming Garrovick back to his station, secure in the knowledge that he was all mentor-y today.
Kirk decides that they should follow the cloud to the place where it attacked the Farragut 11 years earlier.
"Why there?" asks Spock.
"Because before it smelled like honey, but when it was in Garrovick's quarters, it smelled different, like home," explains Kirk.
"That doesn't make any fucking sense," says Spock.
"I know," Kirk replies. "But the writers couldn't come up with anything better than my feeling intuitive about this home thing, so I'm dragging you guys across the universe in pursuit of it just based on that bullshit."
"Is that better or worse than the we-can't-shoot-it-because-it's-out-of-sync-with-time thing?" asks Spock.
"Dunno," says Kirk honestly.
Kirk formulates a plan: the Scary Cloud is here to spawn, and he needs to kill it, so he's going to put a vat of blood on the planet's surface to bait the trap, then blow it up with anti-matter. Of course someone has to set the trap off in person, because the blast will destroy half the planet, and the E has to get away. Kirk decides to have Garrovick help him set shit up, then Garrovick will beam back, the E will move away, and maybe they'll be able to beam Kirk back. But you know something will happen, and Kirk will attempt to sacrifice himself, because after some malfunction there won't be time for him to beam back.
They beam down. There's this cutesy shot where Garrovick lets go of the handle of the anti-grav and it just hangs there. "Look! It's anti-grav, see? We're so clever." It's not actually badly done, just kind of obvious.
So, guess what happens? The Scary Cloud approaches as they're setting up, and it eats the bait. Kirk tells Garrovick to get back to the ship, as he's going to make himself the new bait. A gratuitous fist-fight is started in the dust, but Kirk says he's not sacrificing himself. They're just going to beam at the last second. So the Scary Cloud comes closer, and the transporter gets a lock, and Kirk gives the command to "transport and detonate!"
There's some explosion animation, and a minute or so of Spock and Scotty dicking with the fidgety transporter controls because they can't get a good lock. All the while, Bones is bitching about how they're not doing enough to get Jim back, and how much it sucks that this travel mode involves scattering a man's molecules across the universe - same old, same old. But then they get Kirk and Garrovick back, and everyone is happy because they probably killed another space buffalo. Hooray!
Kirk tells Garrovick that he wants to tell him some stories about his dad, and Garrovick smiles.
Sooooo... no one's going to talk about how this is pretty much the same episode as the cement windsock? No? Okay then.
Red deaths this episode: 5
Red deaths this season: 17
Gold deaths this episode: 0
Gold deaths this season: 6
Blue deaths this episode: 0
Blue deaths this season: 1
Total crew deaths this season: 24
Total crew deaths thus far: 41
Dude, five Reds in one show. Excellent!
Seriously, why do I root for this shit? What is wrong with me?
So a few weeks ago I reviewed the hot version of the Blackberry Sage from The Republic of Tea. It was pretty good hot, but I brewed a pitcher of iced tea with it this morning, and it was even better. It's light enough to drink on an effing hot day in July, but it's still flavorful enough that it doesn't taste like watered-down juice or something.
do not answer the scratching at the back door.
A film by Maeby Funke