In which Enseign Joey goes to Science Hell, the crew gets drunk on sweat, and, for no reason whatsoever, time travel. Also, I open a bottle of Glen Garioch Founders Reserve.
Yeah, no research base gets that covered in frost if the researchers are still alive. We’re dropped into the middle of a mystery – all the researchers are dead and this redshirt just took off a hazmat glove to scratch his nose. He deserves whatever he gets, and what he gets is a mysterious goo on his hand that he immediately scratches his nose with. Spock tells us it’s like nothing we’ve dealt with before, primarily because up until now we’ve only dealt with psychic powers.
So it’s pretty clear at this point that there’s some malicious infection that’s going to kill this dumbass redshirt and everyone aboard the Enterprise unless the crew can stop it. Good thing the decontamination procedures in the transporter room and a full-body sweep in medbay didn’t detect anything. I almost hope there isn’t any kind of excuse for this – one of the things that strikes me about The Original Series as opposed to later Star Treks is that so far everyone has been extremely out of their depth, which is wonderful. That’s something that started to get lost in TNG and DS9, and then they had to remake Lost In Space to recapture the feeling. Voyager still fell prey to power creep, the inevitable result of continually having to up the ante for ratings.
Joey the Dumbass, who I mistakenly thought was a redshirt but is actually wearing Sciences Blue and therefore has no excuse for breaking contamination, goes nuts and tries to kill sulu and then himself.
Most of the instruments look terribly antiquated by the standards of later Star Trek, but they somehow have a wireless respirator. Given that replicators haven’t been shown to exist yet and draw an immense amount of power, it must have a small suction motor and an O2 filter, but that’s still pretty impressive.
Okay, seriously, this has gotten to the point where it demands an in-universe explanation. Crewman O’Reilly, even drunk and under the influence, is way too aware of Womens Sufferage. What cataclysm happened to make the idea of a woman taking over the helm worth mentioning as an oddity? It’s not just that O’Reilly is a closeted misogynist, the whole of gender relations in the 23rd century is right out of the 60s.
Yes, I know. Shut up.
For some reason, the intership PA system is set up like a switchboard and Engineering has control, rather than Uhura. One is reminded of the reboot of Battlestar Galactica, where the hardwiring and manual design of the ship proved an asset against information warfare. What enemy did the Federation fight to make them route communications all the way through the other side of the ship as a matter of course, and require manual addressing?
Spock is very uncomfortable trying to let a virus-drunk Nurse Chapel down easy.This is really the first hint we see of Spock’s nature, as well. In an earlier episode, he mentioned one of his ancestors was human, and we don’t yet know that this was his mother, but we see Spock “is that one of your human ’emotions'” breaking down and hanging on to his control by the tips of his ears. Since the pathogen turns out to be a conversion of water to something akin to ethanol, we’re basically seeing Spock drunk.
We know now that the engines run on matter/antimatter reactions and that they need to warm up. Nobody has ever started the engines cold before, but drunken Spock has the answer to a question that, if the decimal point is dropped, will blow up the ship and quite possibly the planet below. Remember, kids – always trust a drunk Vulcan to blow things up the exact right amount. They’re now hurtling back in time, which will come in handy if the crew ever needs to, say, travel back to pick up an extinct species in order to save the Earth from a vengeful eco-terrorist from another galaxy.
Today’s installment of Things That Were A Big Deal Back In The Day But Now Who Gives A Shit: George Takei has been Out since 2005 and with his partner for something around 20 years. He has been a bastion of awesome and fully embraces who he is. Anyone who can be half as true to themselves as George Takei is fortunate indeed.