In which the Enterprise reaches the edge of the galaxy and is not the first ship to do so, nobody questions or navigates around a mysterious ribbon of purple energy, and Kirk has a fight with Edward Taserhands.
Kirk and Spock like to play chess while they watch briefings. Spock is wholly engrossed in the game and Kirk is more focused on the briefing, so apparently Spock takes this as his cue to be snarky and condescending to his captain. If Kirk only knew that he would be remembered as the captain that punches his problems until they become solutions, he’d be popping Spock one from day one. In that sense, the Chris Pine Kirk does a very capable job of encapsulating the essence of William Shatner.
Oh good, we’re getting specifically introduced to several female crew members. Given the precedent set in Charlie X, I’d be willing to lay good odds that they are not going to have a good time over the next hour, even if I wasn’t vaguely familiar with what’s about to happen.
Funnily enough, the new Doctor Dehner tells us that ESP is a recognized and proven phenomenon in Federation science, and to the best of my knowledge this is never mentioned again. Granted, she tells us that this is always quite a limited faculty and mentions it in a rather derogatory fashion, but this is a thread that nobody really ran with.
Has this been remastered? The effects as the Enterprise is threading its way through the intergalactic barrier are actually quite good. Well, on the outside of the ship, anyway. The question we should really be considering, though, is whether this barrier is natural or artificial, and if the latter, who put it there? This is addressed in some TNG novels featuring Q. Q is excellent.
Gary Mitchel has diamonds for eyes. ESP is, apparently, really well cataloged in humans at this point, but apart from having the information available in medical records, nothing much seems to be done about it. Compare and contrast to the planned breeding program that the Psi Corps of Babylon 5 got up to.
So it seems we’re going to be treated to another episode about a person getting powers they’re not ready to handle and everyone suffering for it. Specter of the Cold War looming over everything, I suppose. It’s just getting monotonous – can we have some political intrigue soon? Only ten more seasons until the Deep Space 9…
I’m not sure what to make of the fact that Gary Mitchell is referencing a poet from another planet in 1996. Even a slowship launched in 1968 would have had a difficult time making it to a nearby colonial prospect by 1996 without breaking the light barrier. Maybe an alien? Regardless, he’s concerning enough that Spock decides to be genre-savvy – maybe he remembers dealing with Charlie and doesn’t particularly want to repeat the experience. Regardless, there’s only one way to deal with someone who finger-tasers your first officer, and that’s to give them the old kidney-elbow. I need to start doing that more in daily life – static electricty? KIDNEY SHOT.
So apparently, protocol when dealing with budding god-beings is to strand them on a barren planet and bathe them with ionizing radiation until their DNA unwinds. This seems like a rather terrifying capability for a starship to just be carrying around. “Mr Sulu, reconfigure the phasers to ‘acute radiation sickness’ just doesn’t fit the kind of Federation we want to believe in.
Here’s our first real anti-transhumanism debate. Kirk makes a valid point – that humans aren’t ready to handle power thrust upon them, but nobody seems willing to make the suggestion that Mitchell just use his power to eliminate his ‘human frailty.’ Surely the message here can’t be that humanity will never be ready for the big leagues, can it? Maybe it just didn’t cross their minds, so I’ll say it for the rest of you.
If you’re granted the powers of the god, the first thing you should do is grant yourself the wisdom to use them properly. That way, nobody will shoot an avalanche onto your head.
God-like Beings That Are Really Petulant Children With Too Much Power Count: 2