starlady: don't fuck with nurse chapel (nurses are awesome)
[personal profile] starlady
Only three two none left, hooray. My motivation to write these up is dying by inches.

2x01, "The Pirates of Orion"
Aren't the Orions supposed to be…greener? And is it really pronounced "ORE-ee-on"?

Whatever. This one's notable mostly for the fairly textual Kirk/Spock overtones, as well as for McCoy being an awful doctor: the Enterprise is recovering from an outbreak of a disease which is fatal to Vulcans, so when Spock catches the disease, McCoy, so prepared, has…none of the treatment stockpiled, necessitating that the Enterprise rendezvous with a Federation freighter in time to get the drugs to save Spock's life. Naturally Orion pirates steal the freighter cargo (dilithium crystals) and the drug along with it, and naturally Kirk flips out. Also, the pirates leave the freighter crew unconscious but alive, which is such bullshit as far as the practice of piracy goes. Eventually saving Spock's life necessitates Kirk agreeing not to report the Orions' treaty violations to the Federation and letting them keep the dilithium. He loves Spock just that much, srsly. News at 11.

2x02, "Bem"
So this is the episode in which David Gerrold, of all people, introduced Kirk's middle name Tiberius. I expected it to be a throwaway line, but instead Kirk is addressed as "James Tiberius Kirk" by various aliens at least three or four times, which in a twenty-two minute episode is quite a lot.

Gerrold and snark go together like PB&J, and there's plenty of it to go around in this episode; my favorite line has to be, when they're sitting in a native stockade, Kirk asking plaintively, "Why do we always end up like this?" and Spock replying "Fate, Captain." FTW! Although the Prime Directive is bogglingly MIA until the absolute end of the episode, which at least lets Nichelle Nichols voice a sentient cloud that has taken the primitive native culture™ under its wing. Actually I was a bit reminded of Diane Duane's Doctor's Orders. Also, the alien liaison officer Bem is completely incomprehensible even before he starts detaching self-propelled bits of himself. But it makes total sense because Bem is a colony organism! WHAT!?

These things being said, definitely a highlight of the second half of the series here.

2x03, "The Practical Joker"
One challenge in watching TAS is that I don't know how I'm even supposed to be interpreting it half the time. What do these random tracking shots of the ship mean!? Do they have some time-relation I can't catch? Why are people's eyebrows so mobile? Augh!

This episode at least proves that physical comedy hasn't changed in 40 years. Also, the Romulans are virtually a red herring (and have a male commander again, le sigh). But after the Enterprise goes through a random cloud in space to escape them, things start going awry aboard: the ship's computer has developed an independent intelligence and a taste for practical jokes. No, seriously, it's actually laugh-out-loud funny at points, which is not unusual for TAS, but I'm pretty sure it's the only time that I laughed and the writers meant for me to be laughing. Although definitely when Kirk and Spock were rolling around on the corridor floor together I was laughing because I was shouting, "Keep it PG!" at the laptop, not because of the inherent comedy. Actually, those of you who've seen the first run of Bleach filler, do you remember in episode 63 when Renji shows up at Ichigo's school dressed like a rock star and he and Ichigo roll around on the floor and it's the slashiest thing ever? Yeah, it was like that.

Also, this episode invented the holodeck.

2x05, "How Sharper Than A Serpent's Tooth"
This episode brought to you by William Shakespeare, the American Indian Movement, and the letters W, T, and F. Also, Queztacoatl has an uncredited guest appearance.

No, I'm really not making this up.

At some point in the latter half of the series I realized that we can see in TAS Trek belatedly trying to react to feminism--the female characters actually disagree and do things and get to be awesome on occasion. And for this Very Special Episode, Trek acknowledges AIM and Sulu is replaced at the helm by Ensign Dawson Walking Bear, who immediately recognizes the alien being off the bow as the ancient Mayan god Kukulkan. Kukulkan is a winged serpent, and he's pissed that humanity has forgotten about him, and transports our heroes to Tenochtitlan-on-the-Nile (yeah, I mean that exactly) to teach the humans proper respect. With the help of a Capellan power cat, he's shown the error of his ways. All this is to set up a Shakespeare joke, I kid you not. But Ensign Walking Bear, despite wearing a red shirt, didn't die for the white guys, so I count this a victory. He is the first of three Native American characters in Trek, the second being an uncredited extra in Star Trek I and the third being Chakotay.

2x06, "The Counter-Clock Incident"
We thought this was going to be good for the first five minutes, and then it rapidly became painful. To wit, the Enterprise follows a strange ship through the remains of a dead star at warp 32 and transits into a universe where time runs backward. The pilot of the ship they followed, Karla Five, helps them get back to their own universe, but not in enough time to prevent the crew from becoming children. But not to worry, 75-year-old former Enterprise captain Robert April and his wife Dr. Sarah April (whom everyone addresses as "Mrs. April," grr, I COULD KILL SOMEONE) are on the bridge, so they're able to pilot it back, and Starfleet says he doesn't have to retire after all. I did like that the Aprils didn't want to live their lives over because they didn't regret anything, and that Dr. April, the ship's first CMO, is introduced as having invented tons of medical crap, but these were quickly swallowed up by AUGH OMG THE PHYSICS IT BURNS. Actually, that's sort of a fitting summary of the whole series.

So, in order, the TAS episodes you really should watch:

1x02, "Yesteryear"
1x04, "The Lorelei Signal"
1x05, "More Tribbles, More Trouble"
1x07, "The Infinite Vulcan"
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