In which continuity is preserved, a cultural victory is won, and an invasion is postponed.
Again, the entire command staff beams down to an uninhabited planet on which they have some reason to believe there is danger, as they search for the survivors of a destroyed ship. I believe I detect the rose referred to in the title, and one must remember that they have thorns. She also has something weird going on with her eyes which may be just a trick of the lighting but uh oh they also have stasis boxes that freeze the crew right in their tracks. Except for their eyes. Looks like they’re going to try to conquer humanity, or something. So, bets on robots, god-beings, or just jerkbags? Anyone? Pleasingly, I don’t know what to suspect.
These creatures come from the Andromeda, apparently, from the Kelvin empire. They are long-term thinkers, but either extremely arrogant or not sufficiently tactically aware not to tell Kirk that their paralyzation ray has a central weak point. They decide to monologue and tell Kirk that they plan to conquer the galaxy en masse, using the Enterprise to cross back by modifying its engines to make the journey in 300 years.
Also, t hey are using fairly shitty dialogue, but to expound on some of the differences betweens humans and their true bodies. They appear to actually take on human senses when they’re in human bodies. I also feel compelled to note that I was wrong. In “A Taste of Armageddon” I believe I mentioned that
Spock would never be seen to use his ‘mind meld through a prison wall’ technique again, but in fact he attempts it here. The fact that it doesn’t work does not diminish how pleased I am at the continuity. It also still does the job of getting them one of the paralytic belt buckles. Which apparently have another setting: turn-into-sponge, and when the away team gets captured, the two redshirts get made examples of.
So, next up is the ‘sick prisoner’ routine, because there’s some possibility that they can use medical equipment to jam the paralysis field of the Kelvins, which are huge tentacled monstrosities.
This also makes, like, the second or third time someone or something has upgraded the Enterprise warp engines, which might go some way toward explaining the difference in speed between TOS and TNG-era.
With all other plans moot, they rig the ship to be blown up on Kirk’s orders, unless he can come up with an alternate plan. Like, perhaps hoping that someone aboard his ship has latent ESP and gets posessed by the Barrier energy. This does not, in fact, happen. Kirk does not, in fact, order it. The Kelvins do not, in fact, intend to let the human crew persist in their humanoid bodies, and all non-essential personnel get turned into sponges. Bet you’re wishing you’d blown up the ship now, huh Kirk?
It looks like the key to this is going to be in subverting the Kelvins. One of the ladies appeared fascinated by flowers, and one of the men has expressed
interest in eating food. And with the rest of the crew in sponge form, they’ll need the superweapon and their cooperation. This episode is about cultural victory over potentially superior forces. Beatles and blue jeans, as the saying goes. Scotty’s first instinct is to get them drunk, an endeavor I can get behind. And of course, Kirk is going to try to get it on with one of the ladies, because Kirk, that’s why. And McCoy decides to screw with his mark by injecting him with an agitant and irritating the crap out of him.
After annoying, outdrinking, and seducing their various targets, Kirkgives his speech and promises to dispatch a robot ship to the Kelvin empire with a peaceful offer. I wonder how that will wind up playing out, 600 years down the line? That would put us in, what, the 29th century when the Kelvin empire shows up to stomp on the necks of the Federation?