In which I’m sorry. I’m so, so sorry.
I did warn you that this was going to happen.
The first time we encountered Harcourt Fenton Mudd, he was selling chemically enhanced women to dilithium miners. The next time we ran into him, he was prisoner-king of an android commune populated mainly with RealDolls. No, I am not linking to RealDolls on Amazon, mainly because I don’t want to find out if Amazon sells them. Let’s see what scam he’s peddling today. Probably more sex stuff.
In fact, the Enterprise is specifically looking for Harry Mudd, probably because he violated some law. He’s selling a love potion to a rabble of miners. In fact, love potions are super creepy, a fact which has only started to get play in the modern deconstructionist era. Prior to that, the potential of such a compound to short-circuit consent is either impossible (The Genie in Disney’s Aladdin can’t create love) or is played for laughs (Like whem that girl in Harry Potter accidentally drugs Ron). Mudd’s miracle demonstration seems to involve a fairly obvious shill that nobody could possibly be so gullible as to… oh well.
In fact, the miners do fall for it, and tell Kirk to go screw when he tries to arrest Mudd. Spock fixes this by revealing the beautiful woman in transparent clothing to be some sort of hypnotic lizard which Mudd has trained somehow. I don’t even begin to want to know how that works. Rather than let the miners throw rocks at him until he dies, he surrenders to Kirk, but also threatens to sue Kirk.
Mudd recalls his daring escape, a series of frauds and thefts. He does, however, pick up on the way Chapel pines after Spock, and gives her a dose of the love potion to use on Spock. Chapel is initially resistant to the idea, as she should be as a Starfleet officer but winds up taking it ‘for experimentation.’
She tests it, though, and briefly goes wobbly as it’s absorbed into her bloodstream, while Harry steals her phaser and forges himself an ID. Armed with a phaser and a fake ID, he goes to steal a shuttlecraft, but is accosted by an angry Chapel.
Meanwhile, the love potion seems to simply have taken a little time to sink into Spock, because now he’s sighing over her. Harry tries to talk his way out of Chapel’s wrath, and winds up dropping some crystals near an air vent. Because it totally makes sense that there would be an air vent in the shuttlebay that circulates to the rest of the ship. It’s not like there’s a huge door that opens to space there, or anything.
With Chapel as a hostage, Spock demands to go charging to the rescue in the most melodramatic way possible. It is not long thereafter that the love potion vapors make their way through the air vents to the bridge. Even with Spock going kind of nuts, Kirk still seems not to believe that the crystals worked.
Okay, so in no particular order- Kirk and Spock have a kind of creepy buddy moment, a pair of rock monsters wake up and smash the shuttlecraft, McCoy chats up a young woman who looks remarkably like the widowed lieutenant from “Balance of Terror,” and Kirk and Spark start sniping at each other. Seems like the hangover from the love potion causes potent acrimony, but the effect lasts long enough on Humans, Vulcans, Cat-people, whatever the hell Arrex is, and rock-monsters for everything to work out eventually.
Hopefully I won’t have to do more of these until I get to the TNG movies.