In which we discover Spock is insensitive to rape victims, Bones has an emergency stash of Saurian brandy, Scotty is incompetent, Sulu is annoying, and Kirk has a good side and a bad side, but both are kinda gay.
Paramount studio, decorated with polystyrene boulders, a blue backdrop striped with pink, and a particularly good-looking Japanese man. Who's only attractive at the moment because he's not grinning like a doofus, and the lighting complements his skin, for once. You know, high def is not going to be kind to George Takei. His face is like the moon, and by that I mean cratered.
Sulu and Kirk are down on a planet's surface with a team of guys in blue bathrobes, who are doing some geological survey or something. They scurry around, setting up partial shelters and stuff as Sulu enjoys the view and cuddles with an adorable space dog. A space dog is like a regular dog, except it has horns and a phallic tail. I wish I knew why they brought the dog with them; maybe he's Sulu's Porthos. (I'm assuming the dog is Sulu's. It's bright pink, to begin with.)
Kirk, Sulu, and the space dog.
Kirk conversationally mentions that the temperature on the planet drops to 120 below after nightfall, though he doesn't specify if he means Fahrenheit or Celsius. Then he starts wiggling the space dog's penis-tail. His and Sulu's penis party is cut off by one of the bathrobe guys take a nasty fall, cutting open his hand and getting yellow paint all over his terrycloth. Kirk orders him to champagne up to the ship, ...
... where Scotty and a handsome black man in a red bathrobe are manning the transporter console. For a moment, it seems like Blue Bathrobe isn't materializing, but he finally appears. Scotty scans the paint stains on his uniform with one of those guns that shoot ping-pong balls, and tells Bathrobe to "decontaminate" his uniform because the yellow stuff is "magnetic." Scotty makes a serious face, thinking, "Aye, if only I had paid attention during engineering school, I could remember what the little symbols on my thingamuscanner mean! Like this one that looks like a fan! Well, they seemed to buy me 'magnetic' story. Thinking in a Scottish accent rilly takes a lot of me energy. Oops, I'd bettah coom up with a tale to explain why the geedismar is gesmooglied!" "That acted like a burnout!" he says aloud, and starts hitting random buttons on the console. As he sends Handsome Black Redrobe to get his copy of "Transporting for Dummies," Kirk calls him and asks to champagne up. Scotty is like, okay, sure ... champagne away ... THEN let's double check the gishiftenator to see if the moogles aren't geshaft! I'm pointing this out because I put the full blame of everything that happens in this episode on Scotty's slightly pudgy shoulders. ["To be fair, if I were on the crew of the Enterprise, I'd use Kirk as a test run on most things." --recapsule]
As before, Kirk stays in a half materialized, half bubbly state far longer than usual. After a few moments, he stumbles off the pads. He's dizzy, and tries to leave the transporter room by walking through the wall. "Oh, no, I've fried the captain's brain!" Scotty thinks, quickly followed by, "Hmm, do ye think anybody will notice? Nay, probably not." Scotty insists on accompanying Kirk as they visit one of only two people aboard who is actually competent in his job. By which I mean Bones and Spock, and to tell the truth, I'm not so sure about Bones. ["Most likely, Bones and Spock spend at least half of their on-the-clock hours trying to think of comebacks and insults for their next argument." --recapsule]
As soon as the transporter room is empty, it begins to glow with evil red champagne, and someone else materializes, standing where Kirk was but facing the other way. He balances for a second on those two-inch-heeled boots that I never noticed Shatner wearing, then turns around. Iiiiiiiiiit's a guy in Kirk's uniform!
This is supposed to be Shatner.
Or you're supposed to yell, "Oh no, it's Kirk!" To tell the truth, the first time I watched this, I didn't recognize Shatner at all, as the director shoved a wide lens under Shatner's nose and lit him from below, so he looks like a kid telling a scary story with a flashlight under his chin. Honestly, it's the weirdest angle I've ever seen on Shatner.
The first log of the episode adds the new information that the planet is called Alpha 177. As the log puts it, the transporter has created a duplicate of Kirk, one that likes to roll his eyes around and creeps instead of walks. I'm going to call him Feral Kirk, or Ferk, just to simplify things. Ferk creeps around the room, and starts making sweet love to the transporter console. Handsome Black Redrobe returns, but Ferk just shakes his head and gives no indication that he can understand human speech. He stares, almost panicked, for a long moment, then looks smug. Ferk is weird.
Meanwhile, the other Kirk – let's just call him Dork, for Docile Kirk – has not been taken to the doctor, because people in general are stupid in Star Trek. Instead he goes to his room, dismisses Yeoman Rand without any resentment-filled lust, and takes a nap. Yeoman Rand (can I call her Randi? I want to call her Randi!) looks surprised at the lack of sexual harassment and leaves to put a few dozen hairpins in her amazing hairdo.
Sick bay. Bones tends to Blue Bathrobe's hand wound by spritzing it with a futuristic spritzer. By "futuristic" I mean it's about half a dollar at Wal-Mart. Ferk - and you can tell it's Ferk because he's weaving back and forth like a drunken sailor - enters and says, "Saurian brandy." No, that's Bones. Do you need your eyes checked? Bones doesn't get what Ferk's talking about, so he returns to accusing Blue Bathrobe of hurting himself to get out of duty and dismisses him. "Hand's much better, sir!" Blue says. Ferk is busy making sweet love to the wall and doesn't answer, so Blue leaves without any affirmation from his captain. Aww.
Bones asks Ferk to clarify the whole cryptic talking thing, and Ferk grabs him by the neck and demands the Saurian brandy already. To me it looks like Shatner was actually pretty rough with Kelley there. Bones unlocks a semi-transparent cabinet that features some odd-looking dishes and, again, a futuristic spritzer bottle. Ferk stalks out with the booze as Bones gives him a look of pure hate. Whoa. Bones doesn't even hate Spock that much. ["It's a look saved for those who come between Bones and his alcohol." --recapsule]
"I said, gimme the brandy!"
Ferk strolls down the hallway, being all, "Look at me, I'm chugging alcohol from this phallic bottle!" when he spots Randi's nameplate. It's still not apparent if Ferk has the normal Kirk's knowledge or not. Wouldn't Kirk know where Randi sleeps? He walks right in, and, oh hell. The setdressers just put a couple of bad abstract paintings into the captain's quarters. Yes, we notice when you reuse sets.
Shatner's contractually obligated shirtless scene.
REAL Captain's Cwarters. Shatner is shirtless. Yeaaaaaah. Let's just move on. A perplexed Mr. Spock comes in. No, he's not just wondering why Dork can't put on a damn shirt already, he's confused because Bones has just told him about Ferk demanding brandy and acting even more of a douche than usual. I imagine that Bones also let loose and complained about every douchey thing Kirk has done in the past several years, and I feel cheated that I missed a scene wherein Bones shores up his pride enough to confide anything to Spock. Dork laughs and tells Spock it was what we humans call a leg-pulling, or, more simply, "dicking around." Spock sighs and wonders why he didn't join the Vulcan military. ["I'd like to point out that Spock begins this scene by asking a shirtless Kirk, 'Is there something I can do for you, Captain?' Millions of fangirls have rewritten the reply to death, I'm sure." -- recapsule]
A little later - you can tell because Dork has put on a green shirt - Dork and Spock meet Scotty in the transporter room to discuss the fact that it is so totally broken. When they champagned up the space dog (how much time has passed here?), he split into two, one dog sweet and cuddly, the other totally nuts. They daren't transport Sulu and the redshirts up. Dork looks like he's going to cry.
Randi's quarters. She enters, takes off her portable tape deck, and starts primping. Ferk creeps up from the shadows. Oh my god, Randi, he totally stole your eyeliner! He probably went through your underwear drawer as well. Randi sees him, and after her initial fright, just stares at him like she's Cindy Lou Who and he's the Grinch.
Yeoman Rand and Cindy Lou Who.
After a pregnant pause and some booze drinking, Ferk says, "'Jim' will do here, Janice." "... Oh," Randi says. "You're too beautiful to ignore. Too much woman," Ferk says. Yes, almost 98.7% woman! He slams the Saurian brandy bottle down, then moseys on up to Janice. "We've both been ... pretending too long," he says. Randi: "..." Then he grabs Randi by both shoulders, and tells her to stop pretending, and ...
Well, he tries to rape her. If you think I'm going to describe all the sordid details, you're mistaken. Let it be said that Shatner is the world's worst stage kisser, and Grace Lee Whitney and her space hairdo are real troopers. Randi manages to fight Ferk off, scratches his cheek, and yells at Blue Bathrobe (who witnesses part of the assault) to call Spock. Blue Bathrobe runs towards the intercom, but instead of yelling "SPOCK! KIRK IS TRYING TO RAPE JANICE!" he begins his message with his name, rank, and location, giving Ferk more than enough time to run up and bean him. What a moron Blue is.
Kaptain's Kwarters. Dork is like, my yeoman said I was in her room drinking what and then I put what in her what and stole her what? Without getting defensive, Dork explains that he's been napping in his room. Spock holds up the Saurian brandy bottle, which he found in Randi's quaters, that Bones swears he gave to Kirk. "Not true, I haven't been to the sickbay," Dork says, again without being defensive, just as if he's stating fact. "Let's find out what's going on," he says, and as he and Spock get into the elevator ...
... Ferk sticks his red-nail-polish-covered hand in front of the camera! He skulks down the hallway, nursing his wounded hand, dances into his cabin, and makes sweet love to the doorjamb. He licks his wounds. Literally. Gross.
Sickbay. Randi is forced to tell of her rape in front of Bones, Spock, and Dork, and look - I expect no less from Dork, because Kirk is a chauvinist pig, but Bones? Spock? Neither of them realize that it's not the best idea to have the accused rapist standing so close to the alleged victim? Especially if it's her boss? Poor Randi keeps turning her head away, hiding her tears and trying not to look at Dork's face. This is especially distasteful if you consider that Grace Lee Whitney left the show because she was raped by a producer. (Allegedly.) When Randi mentions scratching Ferk, Dork tells her to look at his face: it's unmarked. Randi is confused; she's sure that she drew blood. If this was the real future, they could take some of that skin under her fingernails and do a DNA test on it, but maybe these guys don't watch as much CSI as I do.
Dork insists on his innocence, and Randi, thinking that he's accusing her of lying, says that Blue Bathrobe corroborates her tale. "I can understand – " Randi sobs. "I don't want to get you into trouble – I wouldn't have even mentioned it – " Aw, hell. She's breaking my heart. "It wasn't me," Dork repeats, and Blue Bathrobe drags himself from his sickbed to contradict that it totally was him! Thank you for that new information, Blue Bathrobe. ["Well, it's more important because a *man* said it." --recapsule] Bones takes Blue back to his bed and Spock dismisses Randi to repair her hairdo, leaving Dork in Spock's logical, long-fingered hands. And what is Spock's logical solution? "We have an imposter aboard." "Imposter?" Shatner mouths. Commercial break.
Captain's log. In the transporter room, Scotty is giving them the lowdown.
Dork, holding the good space doggy: "How did all this happen?"
Scotty: "I don't know, sir. Can't tell. Not yet."
Dork: "Does the transporter work at all?"
Scotty: "Gee, I dunno."
Dork: "How long will it take you to find the trouble?"
Scotty: "Can't say, sir."
I might be slightly paraphrasing, but that's the gist of it. Scotty wants to make sure he has enough time to play tetris. Dork hugs the doggy and says that they can't leave the men on the planet because "[i]t's getting dark! They'll die!" Dork needs a hug. After Spock's prompting, Dork, who is having trouble concentrating, decides to send a search party after Ferk. He's worried about what might happen to him if Ferk dies, so, after much belabored thinking, Dork says they should keep their phasers locked on "stun." Spock knows Dork can't just issue an order to find and capture himself, or that'll cause some awkwardness and the shortest search ever, so Dork says he'll make a ship-wide announcement explaining that they are currently playing host to his evil twin. Spock is like, that's madness! If the crew thinks you're less than perfect, they won't respect you! But really, this is Star Trek. Transporters probably make evil doubles all the time. It's better than having the crew think that Kirk is a drunken rapist, or are they covering that up as well?
Anyway, Dork dumps the dog into Spock's arms (adorable!) and sadly orders Spock to let Dork know when he's about to make a dumb decision. And, honestly, that should be a standing order for all time.
Captain's log. Dork complains that he is losing his power of concentration and decision. Still, that's not going to stop him from doing exactly what Spock said not to do. He gets on the comm. "This is the captain speaking."
Alone in his quarters, Ferk drops a brick. He stares in horror at viewscreen-Dork as Dork continues that there's an imposter about, blah blah, scratches on his face. And he's wearing buttload of eyeliner. Dork orders search parties, but he's starting to lose his train of thought. He hits pause, and looks expectantly at Spock. Spock is like, the phasers have to be on stun? Remember? We had a long talk about this? It was actually your idea? Dork is like, oh, yeah, and resumes his speech. So what about those watching him on the viewscreen? Did the screen go blank for a moment, and wouldn't that be confusing, as if the talk was over? Or did Dork freeze onscreen for a moment? Or did he just mute it? Is this a big problem on the Enterprise, where people are never really sure when a speech is over? Is this why they say "So-and-so out" all the time? Why am I thinking about this?
Ferk isn't pleased to hear that he is to be captured unharmed, and screams "I'M CAPTAIN KIRK!" in a hissy-fit that ... well, has to be seen. And then it can never be unseen. He shakes with some internal rage, and screws up his face worse than a constipated chimpanzee. "I'm Captain Kirk!" he snarls. He pushes Kirk's collection of dictionaries off his shelf. After hyperventilating, he does the face thing again and snarls, "I'm Captain Kirk!" He knocks the viewscreen down with one blow (and it shatters like glass, from the sound of it), and grabs the support behind him with both hands. This time it's a moan: "I'm Captain Kirk!" Full-on Khans it: "IAAAAAAAAAAAAAA'MMMM CAPTAIN KIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIRK!" This is what Kirk would look like if he were a murderous ventriloquist's dummy. There's really no way to describe it.
Ferk is upset.
Pleased with his emoting, Ferk runs over to the dresser and covers up the scratches with some foundation. Now, let's consider this, now. The only way I can tell Randi's room from the captain's is by the modern art, and the camera angles weren't right for me to see them. I figured that he was in his own room because he was holding a couple of Kirk-style shirts in the beginning of the scene, and I don't think Randi has those in her rooms, therefore it must be Kirk's. I mean, any way you look at this, either Ferk has moved his stuff into Randi's room and he's stealing her makeup again, or Kirk regularly wears makeup. And has a little mirror with roses carved into it.
Ferk sneaks over to the door, pounds on a button to open it (!), and asks the first passerby for his gun. Low and behold, it's Handsome Black Redrobe. In this scene we learn that Handsome Black Redrobe either was not listening to the announcement earlier, or he's too dumb to notice Ferk's odd behavior, eye makeup, facial wounds, and the fact that he's not on the bridge. We also learn that phasers are attached to utility belts with Velcro.
Planet Annoying Subplot. Remember how the temperature drops after the sun goes down? Well, there's no noticeable change in the lighting or the sky, but Sulu is complaining already. Sheesh. It's just going to get worse. Sulu's method of whistling in the dark is to be even more annoying than usual while talking to Dork on the communicator, and showing a lot of false optimism. Dork hits mute - at least I hope he hits mute - and asks Spock if they can do anything. Apparently they tried beaming down generators, but they duplicated and half because evil generators that refused to produce heat, and the other half became kind, goodly generators which half-heartedly worked for a few minutes, then gave up for good.
They're interrupted by the news that Handsome Black Redshirt was beaned and robbed by Ferk. Spock and Dork are a little put out by the news that Ferk knows the crewmen by name. Spock points out that Ferk must know everything that Dork knows about the ship - so where would Dork go to hide? I'm guessing somewhere he can nap and have some hot cocoa, but Dork says ...
Engineering! Spock takes out his phaser. "Set and locked on base cycle - to stun, not to kill," Spock as-you-know-Bobs. I don't think even Dork needs an explanation of the stun setting. Dork almost doesn't take out his weapon, but I think that's pacifism, not forgetfulness. Spock and Dork are down here without backup, despite Spock's misgivings, so they don't embarrass Dork further with his over-acting doppelganger who is currently pretending to be Batman and crawling around the ship's huge computer bank. Spock and Dork split up so they'll be easier to kill, and suddenly - thanks to a well-place screen and Shatner's stunt-double - Ferk and Dork come face to face. Dork is like, "I look like that? Awful!" Ferk is like, "Mmm, pretty. Me kiss." They don't seem intent on harming each other. Indeed, Dork advances on Ferk without extending his weapon, apparently trying to love him into surrender. He's all, you can't hurt me - we're a part of each other! "You need me. I need you." Aww! "I don't need you," snarls Ferk, and tries to fire - but he's hindered by Spock giving him the ol' neck pinch. (Apparently Nimoy came up for the pinch in this scene, as he felt that Spock wouldn't phaser-whip Ferk.) Ferk shoots the wall and collapses in pain. ["I know Redcoast doesn't think much of Scotty, but I'd like to point out that Spock and Kirk shoot something in the engine room, and then *don't tell the engineer*. Were they just like 'well, that can't be too important, let's get back up to the bridge and blame it on Scotty when it doesn't work!'?" --recapsule] ["Yeah, especially since Scotty knows all about the duplication and everything." - Redcoast]
Dork (right) contemplates Ferk.
Medical bay. Ferk will wake up soon, but Bones doesn't dare drug him. Dork stands up. Get Shatner a different pair of pants. Please. I can see far too many buttock contours in these. Bones goes to restrain Ferk, noting Dork's oddly submissive behavior with a crook of his eyebrow. I love Bones. Spock points out that Dork's losing the power of decision. "Do you have a point, Spock?" says Bones. "Yes! Always, doctor," Spock replies, sounding surprised. Heh.
Spock sees this is as a great opportunity to study the duality of character and the role of good and evil in a single person. He says - he's the first one to point this out - that Ferk is Kirk's "evil" side, his lustful and violent side, and Dork is the "good" side, all unicorns and rainbows. Kirk gets his strength as a leader from his "evil" side, and without it, he will be unable to continue as captain. Bones is ... well, I'd say he's outraged, but he was angrier when Jim stole his brandy, so let's say "miffed," at Spock's analysis and he tells Dork to fight his indecision with his intellect. "For how long?" Dork says, in a tone that makes it clear that it can't be for long. "If I seem insensitive to what you're going through, Captain, understand – it's the way I am," Spock says. Aw. Actually, he was showing a lot of emotion. Dork is grateful, but mostly he needs a nap. And a hug. And some cookies.
I don't want to linger too much on this, but I don't think Spock's explanation is quite complete. Probably the transporter wouldn't split everyone between "good" and "evil." It probably splits whatever the greatest duality is in them, so if Spock had gone through it, he'd split into human Spock and Vulcan Spock, and if it were Bones, he'd be split into ... I don't know, one cheerful hyper fellow, and one who drowns the bitter ironies of his life with beer and finally ends it all in one last ironic move with a scalpel beneath the medical scanner. Honestly, wouldn't you rather be watching that than this crap, for no other reason than that Kelley and Nimoy can actually act? (ILU, Shatner!)
Doesn't it disturb you that Kirk's biggest dichotomy is evil and good? Isn't it also disturbing that only his "evil" side has a sex drive, and that side is also a friggin' rapist? What does that imply about Kirk's character? Spock and Bones can pretend that Dork is the "real" captain, but Ferk is as closely related to Kirk as Dork is. To top it off, Ferk is the stronger side. I think this episode is saying that if Kirk were not a slightly repressed rapist, he would be a sucky leader, and I hate to reuse this word, but that's disturbing.
Scotty calls the medical bay, reporting that he's found a problem with the transporter: the huge friggin' hole that Ferk blew in the wall. Scotty might sound concerned, but he's thinking, "Aye, I'm lucky that the problem was so obvious! For a moment I thought I'd have to do some work! Hmm, just some wires that need to be repaired. It's a fifteen minute job, so I'll call them and make up some big words so they'll think it'll take all night to fix it. Mebbe all week. I don't want tae cut into me valuable drinkin' time."
Planet Annoying Subplot. Sulu and his non-speaking-role friends pretend it's very cold. It's hard to believe that it's already 41 below. I guess those uniforms could be a lot warmer than they look, but Sulu's face and hands are exposed. Wouldn't he be passing out or something? I wish I knew more about cold temperatures. I'm from the South, you know. ["They'd be dead, I'm almost positive." --recapsule] Sulu and Dork make with awkward bantering, awkward because Dork isn't being honest with Sulu about the problems with the transporter and because Sulu is kind of a terrible leader. He jokes about the Enterprise lowering down a pot of hot joe or sake (because Sulu is, in case you forgot, Japanese). Honestly, I don't see why they can't beam down simple objects like hot food. Sure, they'll duplicate, but so what? More sake! Evil, yet still edible!
Dork weakly jokes with Sulu as the camera pans over to Bones and Spock standing beside the unconscious Ferk, their body language conveying what they think of Dork's leadership. Sometimes this show surprises me with its subtlety. Dork pages Engineering to hear more about the transporter, and Scotty claims that since the doohicky is shot, it'll take a week to repair it. Yes, thanks to Dork's reluctance to shoot Ferk (and Scotty's incompetence), Sulu and his guys are really stuck in the molasses swamp.
Captain's log. I love it when Dork mentions his "indecisiveness" by name, because my Internet name used to be "Indecisive." I chose it because I couldn't decide on a name. On Planet Annoying Subplot, it's 70 below. This is indicated by baby powder in Sulu's hair. He heats some boulders with a pretty rad phaser that shoots multiple beams, saying, "I think we ought to give room service another call. That coffee's taking too long." SULU. YOUR MEN ARE AFRAID THAT THEY WILL FREEZE TO DEATH. This is no time to be joking around. They need real reassurance and honest appraisals of the risk they face, not humor. Jesus.
Sulu calls Dork and there is more weak banter between the freezing man and the depressed half-man. Sulu adds the ominous information that one phaser has stopped heating rock. Extreme cold or running out of battery power? Dork tries to be cheerful, but he ends up with his face in his hands.
Spock pops out of nowhere, and cuts in the conversation. He tells Sulu he'll have to wait for a couple of hours and reminds him to follow survival procedures. Now, that's leadership. Direct and to the point. Remind me why they need Kirk again?
Sick bay. You know the Kirk cumshot from the Nine Inch Nails Spirk video? Well, it's from this scene. Ferk is having some mighty orgasms. Bones says that Ferk's lovebursts are caused by weakened bodily functions due to the duplication process. Dork is like, you mean there could be centipedes in my vagina? Bones says yes. And Ferk is dying.
Dork tries to comfort Ferk.
Ferk asks for help like he's asking for his check, please. Dork sits by Ferk's bed, takes his hand, and, for the love of all that is holy and smells of strawberries, please, please, please get Shatner a different pair of pants! I can see the outline of Bill Junior. Nobody needs to see that. Gaah. So Dork grabs Ferk's hand kinda gayly (or is it onanisticly?) and urges him to uuuse his mayiiiiind, and for once sounds like the Kirk we know and tolerate. Ferk connects with him, and his vital signs return to normal. "Jim, he is back!" Bones exclaims. Dork is pleased as punch that he actually did something, but he's also exhausted from all that emoting. Bones runs off to get the celebratory booze, as Dork proceeds to perform this monologue to the camera:
I have to take him back ... inside myself. I can't survive without him, I don't want to take him back. He's like an animal, a thoughtless brutal animal, and yet it's me ... me!Honestly, hearing Shatner say "I have to take him back inside myself" is pretty priceless. I'm not sure who Dork is supposed to be talking with here, because Ferk is the only one who can hear him (and he looks surprised, but most of the time Ferk comes across as preverbal). Bones returns with the booze and reassures Dork that having a darker side is what makes people human, and they need this part of themselves. "A lot of what he is makes you the man you are," he says, gesturing to the restrained patient. Ferk looks downright insulted. "Your strength of command lies mostly with him!" Dork asks what he has, then. "You have the goodness," Bones duhs. Well, the rest of this episode seems to be telling me that goodness is overrated. "The intelligence, the logic - " Bones continues. "It appears your half has most of that. And perhaps that's where man's essential courage comes from. For you see, he was afraid, and you weren't." That's very nice. That could be in a novel or something. Spock comms them. He wants to show them something in the transporter room. Ferk laughs and laughs at the Ringling Bros. Circus in his mind.
Spock and Scotty approach the space dog.
Transporter room. Spock and Scotty say that "they" have fixed the transporter, but you know it was all Spock, and this isn't even his job. Spock technobabbles for a moment, then tells Dork they're going to engage in a little animal testing. We get a cool Tarantino angle on them opening the feral dog's box. It's a crazy animal, all jumping around, and it takes a man and a Vulcan to tranq it. Or actually it takes a Spock to tranq it, and a Scotty to get in the way. I swear, you don't need a crew, you need Spock. Dork, I should mention, is only concerned for the crazy dog's welfare. They put the unconscious, vicious dog next to its sweet double. The dogs are there, the dogs dissolve into champagne bubbles, Bones walks in (where the hell was he?), a dog reappears, the dog is dead, Jim. Whoops! Dork will never get over this. ["Note that he was more concerned for the spacespaniel than for Rand after her near-rape. That's what I call priorities." --recapsule] ["Well, Dork doesn't appear to be that into Randi, IYKWIM." - Redcoast]
Captain's log. Spock has to do the log for Dork, he's so upset over the dog's death. Am I imagining it, or is Spock's log far more logical and succinct that Kirk's? I'm probably imagining it.
In the medical bay, Bones gives the dead dog to a redshirt and tells him to autopsy it. Hey, why isn't the science department doing the autopsy? Why is engineering? That's weird. Bones, Spock, and Dork confer. Spock claims, without a shred of evidence, that the perfectly calm animal died of the shock of being reunited with itself and Jim's intellect will protect him from such, and I'd argue but it's Spock and he is always right. Dork says that sounds reasonable. Bones counters that they have no freakin' clue what killed the dog, and they should at least wait for the autopsy results. Dork thinks that's good too. Spock snaps that they're forgetting about the forgettable subplot of the freezing dudes on Planet Annoying. Dork is like, oh, right, we have to risk it. "They'd die anyway!" Bones says, shockingly insensitive to poor ol' annoying Sulu, and tells Dork to wait it out and let the suckers freeze. Honestly, I don't know why they don't just transport the guys up, let them duplicate, and deal with it later. Death by cold is inevitable, but they might eventually figure out how to solve the duplication. Alternately, they could call the guys on the planet and explain the risks to them, but that would involve informed consent and all that outdated jazz. Dork thinks Bones's callousness to Sulu is also good. Spock testifies that he totally knows what it's like to be split in two and he knows, from personal experience, that intellect can deal with it. He does Kirk a mighty favor to insinuate that their intellects are equal. "Help me! Somebody make the decision," Dork moans, wringing his hands. Spock does the Vulcan neck pinch on him, declares himself commander of the ship, and orders Bones to toss Dork and Ferk into the transporter.
Okay, he doesn't, but he should. He puts up with far too much of Kirk's shit. No, instead he asks permission to take command, and Dork says no. Dork orders Spock to ready the transporter and Bones to do the damn autopsy. Once he's alone, he puts his hand on his forehead and makes a strangely compelling crying face.
Dork fights tears
The thing that makes Ferk so ridiculous is that Shatner does a decent job with the gentle, indecisive Dork. Okay, I guess Ferk would be ridiculous under any circumstances, but still. If I had a time machine, I would find the first person who said to Shatner, "It's good, but it needs more!" and slap him.
Help. Baking. Soda. Every. Where.
Dork gets a call from Sulu. On Planet Annoying, it's very very cold! This means lots and lots of baking soda and .... long ... pauses ... between ... words. Also ... lack ... of ... articles. When ... freeze ... Sulu ... talk ... like ... Tarzan. The communicator abruptly cuts off. Dork is far more impressed by their hardship than I am. "What are you gonna do?" Ferk asks. I knew he was listening! Dork is like, we will once more be united in the bonds of brotherly togetherness! And he unties Ferk's restraints. God, call some backup, Dork. Sure 'nuff, Ferk feigns faintness, and quickly knocks Dork out.
Hallway. Hey, it's Randi! Hi, Randi! Sorry about your rape! You should transfer! Ferk strolls up to her and says he owes her an explanation. For some reason, Randi starts to say that he doesn't, but Ferk interrupts and quickly explains everything that's happened. The only thing he lies about is pretending to be Dork instead of Ferk: "He even scratched me to make us look more alike!" So, what, Kirk's evil side is more forthcoming than his good side? What gives? Ferk offers to "come" to Randi's "cabin" and "explain" it to her. Run the other way, Randi!
Bridge. Ferk plops down in his chair and demands that they leave orbit. The hideous abomination manning the navigator's chair is shocked to hear that his captain is resigning Sulu to a popsicly fate. Spock is like, WTF? Ferk tells him to STFU, and he would have gotten away with it if Bones and Dork hadn't entered the bridge just then! Ferk insists that he's Dork and that Dork is Ferk, but Spock calmly indicates Dork and says, "We'll let the Captain handle this." Although, as I said before, I don't see how Dork is any more the captain than Ferk is. Did they only decorate Kirk's good side? Ferk points out that Dork has scratches on his face, but Spock isn't fooled: he can see the eyeliner from here. Ferk freaks, Dork is weak but unleashes his love-fu, and the Florida Supreme Court declares the recount over and gives the election to Bush. Ferk ends up sobbing into Dork's shoulder. The crew is embarrassed.
Ferk (left) versus Dork. Not so hard to tell the difference, is it?
Transporter room. Dork has to support Ferk. I don't know if Ferk's unconscious or just being dramatic. Dork tells Spock, if this doesn't work .... Spock nods. "Understood, captain." Well, I don't understand. Does he mean for Spock to kill them? Take over command? Restrain Ferk? What? Spock sends Dork and Ferk away in a cloud of bubbles.
Long silence. ["Spock does nothing for at least a few seconds longer than necessary. I think he's just messing with Bones." -- recapsule]
"Well, Mr. Spock?" Bones snaps. Spock turns the transporter on and takes a long breath. I wonder where Ferk and Dork are. Interspace? Hyperspace? Limbo? Spock rematerializes a lone Shatnerian figure on the stand. He stumbles a bit, like Dork did. Spock and Bones watch with bated breath. "Jim?" Bones whispers. "Get those men aboard fast!" Kirk orders. Yay, he's back! I'll miss Dork, I think.
The men are unconscious, but Bones will be able to brush the baking powder off of their clothes with little trouble. Bones wants to know how Kirk is. "How? I've seen a part of myself no man should ever see." Or, rather, two parts. I mean, Ferk was a little out there with the raping and overacting and all. ["And now that he's back in one, shouldn't Ferk have as much to say of the incident as Dork?" --recapsule]
Bridge. The reconstituted Kirk thanks Spock "from both of us." Apparently Ferk liked the neck pinch. Spock asks if this thanks applies to the entire crew, and Kirk replies, loudly, "The imposter's back where he belongs. Let's forget about him." So apparently Kirk is getting away with attempted rape by pretending it wasn't his evil self. I hate this show.
Speaking of rape, Randi approaches the captain and says that the imposter told her everything and – Kirk cuts off whatever she was going to say with "Thank you, yeoman." What? Thank you for not reporting me for trying to rape you? Or is she trying to say that she knows he has feelings for her, rapey though they may be when expressed by Ferk, and he's thanking her for not hating him? Is everyone absolutely crazy? ["No, that's in two weeks!" -- recapsule] Randi gives Spock something to sign and he teases, "The, uh, imposter had some interesting qualities, wouldn't you say, yeoman?" Wait, what? What what what? I don't want to see Randi teased! I want to see justice done for her! God damn every one of you! Yeah, even you, Spock, you were the most insensitive one of the lot!
Fire Scotty! Unfreeze Sulu! Justice for Janice!
>< Oh man. Such a sixties show. I'm debating on whether or not to add it to my Netflix queue now, since it appears to be so blatantly sexist.
However, Spock's just cool, and one of my friends is obsessed with Star Trek. Hm....
I need to add this LJ to my f-list so I can keep up with the updates.
Incidentally, I was in a craptastic mood going into this, and this thing made me feel a whole lot better. Thanks for that.
I think Scotty is slightly less irritating and slightly more competent in the movies. At least, he seemed to be in Star Trek IV. Although he didn't know how to use a computer mouse.
Also, I feel sorry for that dog. That costume looks rather uncomfortable.
I could see Bones splitting into the drawling, easygoing, mint-julep-sipping Georgia homeboy from This Side of Paradise and the angry, angsty paranoiac nutjob from City on the Edge of Forever. In any case, I agree it would be a helluvalot more interesting to watch. I'm rapidly becoming a huge fan of McCoy and De Kelley (have you seen any of his westerns? Some of them are on YouTube).
Fantastic recap, as always--I do hope y'all do some more of these in future. What you have so far got me hooked on TOS, and I'd love to see your take on some of the later episodes now that I've seen them.
I'm glad you liked it. I haven't seen City on the Edge of Forever. Is This Side of Paradise the one with the spores that turn Spock into a hippie? I really don't know much about Star Trek.
I'd like to write more recaps myself. I was having issues with Internet access and my computers keep breaking.
Oh, you should see City! It's probably the most popular TOS episode with the possible exception of the tribbles one, and all three stars listed it as among their favorites--they put in some damn good performances, too. And yes, This Side of Paradise is the one with the spores that turn Spock into a tree-climbing hippie, and McCoy into a Southern country boy--Kelley was obviously having so much fun with it. :D It's great.
Honestly, I'm no hardcore Trekkie either; I haven't seen near all of the TOS episodes yet, I've just been skipping around the seasons following various suggestions, and other than that I've only seen an episode or two of Voyager. I can tell that I'm going to have a ton of fun getting into it, though. Are you planning to see the new movie in May?
I might, if someone loans me five bucks. I like Zachary Quinto, but I'm like ... unexcited about it, I guess. They're rebooting Star Trek. Yawn. If they made it all primary-colorish and cracktastic like TOS I'd love it, but I think it's going to be pretty serious and boring.
I loved Paradise then! But it's more about Spock's weird-ass girlfriend than Bones. (I like his gen-yoo-wine accent though. Very nice.)
Yeah. I'm kind of apprehensive, but, well, Leonard Nimoy'll be in it and I hear from the previews that Karl Urban isn't half bad as Bones, so I think it might be worth a look. I missed out on all the fan excitement over earlier Star Trek; it's kind of nice to be getting into it at a time when some of that interest is being revived, and between this and the remastering of the original episodes, hopefully more people are being inspired to watch TOS.
That's true, but the Bones bits were still some of my favorite parts of the episode--the accent, and his confrontation with the colony leader ("Would you like to see how fast I can put you in a hospital?"). The whole thing was a good time, though. I just saw it last night. (Speaking of Spock's weird-ass girlfriend, apparently the actress's boyfriend insisted on being around the set the whole time to make sure Leonard Nimoy's sexy Vulcan ways didn't win her over for real. :D)