In which plants are smarter than people, I have no idea what Walter Koenig was on at the time of writing this, and a thing we’ve already seen is foreshadowed. Hindshadowed?
I know, I said we were done with the original cast, but I didn’t want to leave “Encounter at Farpoint” on a cliffhanger week, so deal with it. Also, huh. This episode was written by Walter Koenig.
While exploring a new planet, Sulu finds a mobile plant that’s following him home, but stings him when he tries to pick it up, because handling strange fauna on strange planets is well-documented by the Enterprise crew to be the fastest way to nearly get everyone killed. I’m going to amuse myself in this episode by ascribing everything I possibly can to Koenig’s resentment towards the rest of the cast for all the jokes at his expense. I have fabricated the existence of said resentment out of thin air, and have nothing but the deepest respect for Mr. Koenig. The Corps is Mother. The Corps is Father. Please don’t mindwipe me, Mr. Bester.
Anyway, it’s not long before Sulu collapses from being poisoned while exploring the ruins of some ancient building. This is clearly because Sulu got to captain the Excelsior and Chekov never got the prototype of a brand new class of starship.Forget the fact that this was done well before any of the movies, that’s not relevant. McCoy, true to form, starts randomly injecting Sulu with things to try to save him, and then a walking Hops flower with fallopian tubes for eyes shows up to save him.
Yeah, you thought I was kidding, didn’t you? You should know better. Anyway, this is clearly because Walter Koenig loves beer. Which, I mean, who doesn’t? Anyway, Agmar saves Sulu with a fast-acting antidote, which works on humans because the inhabitants of the planet have met humans and humanoids before. Tragically, it seems that most of the older generation were killed by a benign-to-humans infections that jumped not only species, but kingdom and planet-of-origin barriers. They don’t seem to bear ill-will toward humans, since the plague-bearer apparently tried very hard to cure the plants of his infection, but nonetheless, it did little good. Suddenly, a noise, like the screeching of a thousand gulls. Okay, one gull. Okay, not a gull, a tentacle dragon also made of plant.
Several dive from the skies and hold down Kirk, McCoy, and Sulu before they take Spock and then fly away. “The Master” has been searching for years to find someone like Spock. At that point, a giant dude wearing an incredibly unfortunate skirt shows up. I say unfortunate because really, the last thing you should be wearing if everyone else’s head barely makes it past your ankles is a knee-length kilt. This is Doctor Stavos Keniclius Five, who tells us Spock is ‘the perfect specimen’ That bodes well.
Ha! Gotcha. This time, I was lying. It doesn’t bode well at all!
They do some research and test the ships weapons against the planetside site. Apparently there’s a ‘weapons neutralizer’ rather than simply a deflector shield above the site, but Scotty appears to be working on something special, and McCoy talks about his granddaddy’s garden. They’re probably whipping up some Ortho Weed B Gon or something.
Keniklius appears to be a cloned refugee from the Eugenics wars, who planned to clone a Master Race of peacekeeping forces and sweep across the galaxy in the name of peace. The computer research banks contain no trace of irony. The crew beams down and sees the native plantlife clearing some native plantlife off of an invasion fleet. Kirk puts Agmar in a full nelson to interrogate him for Spock’s whereabouts. And when I say a full nelson, I mean like all six Nelsons. Agmar regretfully exposits on all the things – their species is now sterile because of the plague. Spock is the perfect specimin because he’s half-human and half-Vulcan. They once had a great mission. He takes Kirk and company down through some tunnels and then screws off to let them get attacked by tentacle dragons again, but they make it to the lab in time.
Keniclius presents Spock II: The Gianting. Apparently, either by accident or design, something about his cloning process makes people giant. I’m really completely unsure of why you would do that, since every starship ever is built for people around the 2-meter scale. But hey, at least Scotty’s sprayers and McCoy’s Graddaddy’s weed killer and bourbon recipe work when the tentacle dragons show up. But it looks like Spock’s mind is gone.
Well, transferred. Apparently this is one of the machines that are hanging out in the galaxy capable of moving mental patterns from one brain to another, like the relic in “Turnabout Intruder.” In fact, we don’t know that it’s different in principle – it moved active thought patterns from Little Spock to Big Spock, and, one could argue, transferred null thought patterns from Big Spock to Little Spock. But as Big Spock blinks in the light of his new consciousness, Kirk throws logic bombs at him, desperate to maintain a Spock that will actually fit in the Enterprise.
So it seems like Keniklius was really pissed off about how much war was in the galaxy when he landed on this planet two and a half centuries ago. He calls out the Romulans, the Klingons, the Eugenics Wars, and the Kzinti. Yes, those Kzinti. Um, okay. We get some pretty good conflict resolution dialogue, where Kirk basically keeps screaming “you idiots, we have peace, fuck off and give me my friend back” and then convinces Spock that an army of Spocks couldn’t possibly work throught he principles of the IDIC.
Which is a really good point, actually. So Big Spock does the Mind Touch on Little Spock and they talk Keniclius down from Peace Jihad, and then from suicide, and all is well. Sulu even gives us a big ol’ wink for some reason I don’t even what.