TOS: S3E19: “Requiem for Methuselah”

In which McCoy searches for space-penicillin, Kirk meets space-Wolverine, and Spock compromises his captain’s mental integrity. 

That appears to be a halogen lightbulb shield and a colander wired to each other and hung from the studio lighting. Why is it when I do that, the result isn't a robot that can shoot lasers?

That appears to be a halogen lightbulb shield and a colander wired to each other and hung from the studio lighting. Why is it when I do that, the result isn’t a robot that can shoot lasers?

Three crewmen are dead from the Space Flu, which only has one known cure that the Federation doesn’t keep in stock in case of Space Flu. So Kirk, Spock, and McCoy have to collect and process this resource from an uninhabited planet. Well, I say uninhabited, but what I mean is that there’s a kitchen robot shooting lasers at them and setting the rocks on fire.

The local human, Flint, is not impressed by Kirk and wants them to leave. Given that their phasers don’t work, Kirk’s negotiating skills (“Give us the Ryetalyn or we’ll take it. ‘Cause we need it. So give it.”) are not up to his usual standard. As a side note, I had to look up the transcript because my first guess at spelling the name of the medical MacGuffin was ‘ritalin’ which, just no.

And tights.

And tights.

McCoy tries to appeal to Flint’s sense of humanity by explaining that the Rigelian Fever, which I shall continue to call Space Flu, is similar to the bubonic plague in sympoms and virulence, at which point Flint has a small PTSD episode. Almost like he was there, which might explain why he’s wearing a cape.

Also, there’s a blonde in a sparkly dress who’s anxious to meet the crew and discuss physics with Spock. Hur hur hur. Also, his house is full of apparently original Da Vinci paintings, but not aged. Sounds like Flint is going to turn out to be Leonardo Da Vinci and Shakespeare and possibly a couple of other brilliant artists and scientists throughout history. At his adoptive daughter Rayna’s requesdt, he invites them to stay for dinner. Spock plays a waltz while Kirk slowdances with her while her father watches, because that’s in perfect taste.

He doesn’t seem too put out, possibly because the medical MacGuffin is contaminated and useless. He goes with McCoy to find some that isn’t and Kirk goes snooping in the lab. Rayna shows up to look at The Only Door She Is Forbidden To Open. M4 shows up to menace Kirk ineffectively by physically chasing him instead of just lasering him, and Spock vaporizes it. Flint seems remarkably unperturbed by the destruction of his butler-bot, probably because he already welded a colander onto a light fixture.

Spock’s readings show Flint is six thousand years old and has no history, under that name. He’s also chessmastering Rayna into seducing Kirk, and his robot disappears with the second batch of Rytalyn. They go into the lab to get it and find a corpse labeled Rayna 16. and another several labeled 15 and 14, each with different hair.

"Thank you, Santa! It's just what I always wanted!"

“Thank you, Santa! It’s just what I always wanted!”

So, turns out Flint was born in 3834 BC with a mutant healing factor, for no other reason than fuck you, that’s why. He also has a remote control that, once he’s explained all this, puts the crew of the Enterprise into stasis and shrinks the ship and its contents down to desktop size. Kirk looks with disbelief into the viewscreen to see this, which tells us that the viewscreen is just a window.

At least that answers the age-old question of why the command center of a starship designed to see combat is a hood ornament. Well into the 23rd century, networking and display technologies is either so unreliable or so usecured that it’s safer or cheaper to put the captain of a ship basically outside of it rather than rely on CCTV.

Anyway, Rayna shows up and says she’ll hate Flint if he keeps the Enterprise trapped. Kirk and Flint fight over her love, and she dies from loving both of them. The plot resolves and they cure the plague, Flint turns out to be dying since Earth is no longer sustaining his mutant healing factor. And then McCoy taunts Spock about being unable to love, which kind of shows that McCoy doesn’t remember the beginning of season two, and makes me wonder how he remembers medical school. He makes an offhand comment about wishing Kirk could forget the pain, so Spock mind-rapes Kirk. The end.

 

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