Monday, April 6, 2015

Short Treks Season 2.4

Air Date: November 10, 1967
Mom Title: “Cloud Loves Zefram Cochrane”

After a couple great ensemble pieces its back to a Big Three focus, minus a couple of peeks at the usual levels of awesome back on the Enterprise. Scotty’s problem solving and Sulu’s skills always make those moments shine.

The cast restriction is set up by using the shuttle Galileo.  It has the same name as the craft Spock blew up just barely saving everyone with his Hail Mary Flare.   Way to tempt fate guys.

There’s no in story explanation why they have to use a shuttle.  Perhaps it was because no one would allow Ms. Herford and her whiny wench ways on their Starship. 
The emotional stability portion of the Federation Ambassador test must be a cake walk.  Her descent into depression that her career wasn’t enough since she had a life without love indicates she may not have had the abilities in forward thinking and planning that the U.F.P. might need in negotiations of political policies.

McCoy has demonstrated time and time again he can cure darn near anything on his own without computers… unless it’s to save an annoying bureaucrat I guess.

Great safety and planning protocols, by the way. Using an unstocked shuttle instead of a Medical Transport when bringing someone from a newly contacted planet might not be the best way to handle quarantine.

This episode is a rare almost straight Sci Fi tale, about people dealing with meeting a non humanoid life form, with a pinch of Robinson Crusoe thrown in.

It’s kind of the reverse trend of what’s normal on this show for non-corporeal aliens.  The being says it misses love and emotions. Instead of helping humans evolve to the next level, the Companion reverts back to being human.  Considering the number of other cloud and/or energy based aliens the Enterprise crew has met, I don’t understand why the companion is lonely.  It’s starting to look like there are multiple factions of superior beings throughout the galaxy, or this particular cloud has a plan.  Surely in my twisted ravings I’ll eventually hit on a connection. (He added as a plug to get people keep on reading.)

Zefram Cochrane, being from an earlier time, displays strong prejudice against a relationship with the Cloud Creature.  The Federation guys, being more enlightened men from the future, do not. 

Then again, they’re also trying to escape. Jim’s original instinct is (of course) to kill it because he feels since he’s in command, it’s entirely his fault.  McCoy is quick to diffuse that attitude by telling him to not always be a soldier. 
Proving that he’s compassionate but not stupid, he’s also quick to slam down Spock’s search for general knowledge over a way to escape.

Kirk falls back on his classic Type-A, “A species needs obstacles to overcome to survive” argument with the Companion.  He also uses the point,” You can’t love without joining.”
You dog you.

Besides the Captain’s usual arguments, he hands Cochrane a staggering line of chutzpah to convince him that settling down with a sparkly electric fruit filled Jell-O cloud would be in his best interests.

Star Trek can be fantastic when it comes to “show don’t tell” with its primary cast.  The guest star gets a moment this time.  Seeing Nancy/Companion try to look at Zefram through her coincidentally sparkly electric fruit filled Jell-O colored sash perfectly illustrates what’s going through her mind without her saying a word.

The Big Three leave the couple behind, following a resolution that’s eerily reminiscent of The Man with Two Brains.  The line about creating life being “for the maker of all things” may have been thrown in by Standards and Practices, or its an indication that Energy Creatures think convincing humans to have religion is a good idea.  However, the planting a fig tree reference at the end indicates that, contrary to most of the time, the crew are accepting people going into the Garden of Eden is a good thing.


The planet is being maintained in habitable conditions by the Companion.  The Companion is now a non-immortal human like Cochrane, yet supposedly can’t leave.  That could mean Nancy and Zefram will shortly die horribly from exposure once the effects of her cloud powers have worn off.  Since it lasted a while after the transformation, we can assume her powers are still there.

That means she’s not completely changed, possibly lied both about being mortal, and stuck on the planet.  The invading extra galactic energy beings now have a way to take over human bodies, and access to the designer of the Warp Drive.    

Stay tuned to future Episode’s insane guesses to see the whole plan.

“Journey to Babel”
Air Date: November, 17 1967
Mom Title: “Spock’s Parents”

D.C Fontana writing Vulcans!  More please!

Several friends have compared my family to the Cunninghams from Happy Days over the years, and I’ll admit that association has much merit.  However, the married couple on a television show that has a relationship most like my parents is Sarek and Amanda.  I can’t fully explain it unless you know both my folks and Star Trek really well, but trust me; it is absolutely perfect that this one premiered on my Dad’s birthday.

I think he actually used the, “At the time, it seemed the logical thing to do,” line one time.

This Episode is simply draped in greatness.  It’ll be hard to look at it without geeking out constantly, so I won’t try.

It’s a medical drama, human interest story set in the background of military espionage.  Star Trek can do anything!

Nice to see the dress uniforms used for a happy occasion.  Honoring the delegates must have gotten tiresome considering there were a hundred and fourteen of them. That’s a quarter of the crew, not counting their entourages.  I’m pretty sure there are other stories that could have been much shorter if the Enterprise just transported everyone on the planet onto the ship and drove them somewhere safe.

Just look at all those aliens, and not a single rumpled nose.  It’s a shame make up and ship models were pricey, more Andorians, Tellarites and Orions could have added some cool cultural crossovers.

Whether they beamed in or not, you’d think the Enterprise would have security equal to our current airports and be able to spot that fake Andorian.  
Based on Shras’s general jerkitude and the blue skinned ambassador’s phony sounding, “I know nothing of him,” I bet he was in on it.

Congratulations to the Redshirts for finally pulling their heads out of their behinds and figuring out safe security practices.  One searches Thelev while the other keeps a phaser on him FROM A DISTANCE.  I’m sure we’ll be seeing a rapid decline in the deaths of Operations Division personnel now that they’ve improved.

BWA HA HA HA!  Sorry, couldn’t keep a straight face for that one.

It’s time to look at Sarek and Amanda now, because they’re awesome…

And isn’t that little two fingered hand hold the actors improvised adorable?

Mark Lenard, in spite of being close to Nimoy’s age, portrayed an older Vulcan perfectly.

Always calm and controlled, it made it all the more terrifying when literally pig headed Tellarite Ambassador Gav tries to start something and Sarek’s excessive strength is revealed without a single emotion showing.

Speaking of emotions, “offense” may be one, but apparently being a stubborn butt isn’t. That must just be part of being a man.

Sarek is the main suspect in Gav’s death, partially due to their altercation, but also because Mr. Piggy Face was killed by Tal-Shaya, a merciful execution technique. Is it me, or does that sound an awful lot like a “Vulcan Death Grip?”  I feel that may be important some time in the Third Season.

Jayne Wyatt as Amanda Grayson is the emotional core of this family that has a heck of a lot more feelings than it pretends to.

She expresses enough for the three of them, but it always comes off as completely real, whether its joy, outrage, or pride.

Over and above his accomplishments, what makes her the most happy to hear is that her son has friends.  Awwwwww.

She then wastes no time telling those friends about Spock’s “teddy bear.”
Anywhere in the galaxy, a mom is still a mom. 

Oh, and even though the surname’s the same, I don’t think we can add Dick Grayson to the list of Spock’s famous ancestors.  (Either Sherlock Holmes or Arthur Conan Doyle)  As both Robin and Nightwing, he always took much more the “Kirk” role than the “Spock” one.

Nimoy, who is normally fantastic, out does himself this time.  What he says is the most unemotional and cleanly logical of any episode.  However, his subtle glances and expressions betray his control and reveal each sentiment Spock is desperately trying to keep below the surface.

Spock almost never goes down to Engineering, nor does he have any reason to. He must have short cutted there to make sure he ran into his Mom.  Awwwwww.

Kirk supplies the drive as always.  The Captain’s professional wrestling skills are at the fore once again.  Physically, um, interesting though his fighting style is, he saves the day through his tremendous bluffing ability.  First he fools Spock into going to help his Dad, and then immediately pulls his stuff together to bleed all over his command chair for a bit and bluff the Orion ship into defeat.  YAY!

Doctor McCoy gets a rare win, despite some questionable medical lapses.

Talking about Sarek’s malfunctioning valve being “similar to a heart attack?”
Similar in that it’s a heart issue that could kill him, I guess.

Telling Kirk the stab that punctured his lung would have gone through his heart if it were a little lower?
Maybe he meant when Kirk was upside down from one of his patented drop kicks?

His gloating grin aimed directly at us is awesome enough to earn him forgiveness.

It is possible, if one is paying any attention at all, to notice I have veered from the initial intent of these posts, and that they have started to expand uncontrollably.

I could force myself to continue watching and only note observations that would occur to a first time watcher.


A) The bizarre threads that keep popping up require more analysis as they all seem to tie together.

B) I’m having far too much fun pointing out the awesome stuff in this show that has wormed its way into so many parts of my life.

Therefore, each episode will continue to get longer and more detailed comments, and there will be a smaller number per post, especially with the extra fantastic ones.

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