Recaps, Star Trek

Star Trek Recaps: TOS, “The Man Trap”

Images from trekcore.com

Welcome back to the land of Star Trek recaps! This week, I’ll be taking a look at the second aired episode, “The Man Trap.”

This episode looks a lot more familiar to those who have seen later episodes of the series, or the movies. First off, we are introduced to Kirk, Uhura (aka goddess of my heart), Bones, and Sulu. Spock’s personality is also the one that we’ve come to know and love. We also have the miniskirt uniform (though there are some women in the background who wear the uniforms from “The Cage”) as well as some redshirts (though none of them die).

So we begin with something that will become familiar throughout the franchise: a voiceover of the captain reading out a captain’s log:

Captain’s log, Stardate 1513.1. Our position, orbiting planet M-113. On board the Enterprise, Mister Spock temporarily in command. On the planet the ruins of an ancient and long-dead civilization. Ship’s surgeon McCoy and myself are now beaming down to the planet’s surface. Our mission, routine medical examination of archaeologist Robert Crater and his wife Nancy. Routine but for the fact that Nancy Crater is that one woman in Doctor McCoy’s past.

Of course, this turns out to be anything other than routine. Otherwise this would have been a really short episode.

So Kirk, McCoy, and some random science officer named Darnell beam down to the planet. On the way to the Craters’ home, Kirk grabs a handful of grass and jokingly suggests that McCoy see about picking some flowers for Nancy. McCoy hilariously responds, “Is that how you get girls to like you, by bribing them?” See, this is a big part of why I didn’t like “The Cage” all that much. While there was plenty about the pilot that was unintentionally hilarious, the characters didn’t seem to have a sense of humor. I mean, seriously. Look at this smart ass:

Those aren't flowers, silly!

They then enter the home, which is completely empty.  Looking around for a bit and continuing their conversation about Nancy, the hear singing. This is when the aforementioned Nancy comes in:

Nancy

She and McCoy greet each other, but it soon becomes apparent to the audience that something’s a little bit off. You see, Kirk, McCoy, and Darnell each see Nancy differently:

How Kirk sees Nancy

How Darnell sees Nancy

They, of course, don’t actually realize this until much later. Kirk says that he’s heard a lot about her, to which she replies she hopes it was all good. Darnell points out that she looks exactly like someone he’d met on “Wrigley’s Pleasure Planet,” which has some implications that McCoy picks up on since he basically tells him he should stop talking now. Darnell apologizes, and Kirk suggests that he step outside. Kirk says that maybe he should step outside as well. Nancy says, “What? And let Plum examine me all alone?” After Kirk repeats “Plum?” Nancy explains that it’s her nickname for him. And, of course, Kirk’s going to have a field day with this.

Darnell is waiting outside when Nancy comes out (as Blonde Nancy) and immediately starts flirting with him. She tosses him a piece of cloth she was holding and starts strutting away and giving him come hither looks. Darnell, of course, follows her.

This is going to end so well for him.

After the credits, we switch back to the home. Crater walks in and Kirk introduces himself. He begins to introduce McCoy, but Crater interrupts:

The heroic Captain and the intrepid doctor cross interstellar space to preserve our health. Your sense of duty is overwhelming. Now will you please go back where you came from and tell whoever issues your orders to leave me and my wife alone. We need salt against the heat. Aside from that, we’re doing very well, thank you.

Wow, he seems like a lot of fun to be around. McCoy basically responds that they’re getting examined whether Crater likes it or not. After some more back and forth between Crater and McCoy, Kirk then quotes the regulations stating that all research personnel on alien planets must have an annual exam from a starship surgeon. This essentially ends the argument, and Crater submits to an examination, albeit reluctantly.

McCoy examining Crater

They have a conversation while this is going on, where Crater tells McCoy that Nancy’s talked a lot about him. McCoy asks if Nancy told him they were there, and Crater asks if they’ve seen her. Kirk tells him that she went to find Crater. Crater responds by asking if they saw her together. Kirk says they have and wonders why Crater’s asking. Crater rather evasively says he’s just glad that she got to see an old friend. McCoy says that she hasn’t aged since he’d last seen her, and that “there’s not a gray hair on her head.” Kirk responds that she does have some gray. McCoy seems a but perturbed by this, and Crater says that he’s “seeing her with the eyes of your past attachment,” and that the next time he sees her she’ll be a more believable age. Oh, you have no idea.

They continue their conversation a bit, but are interrupted by Nancy screaming. They rush over to hear, to find her standing next to Darnell’s corpse. He has a bit of local plant matter in his mouth, and a bunch of red rings all over his face. Like he lost a wrestling match with an octopus:

We told you to stay out of the aquarium, Darnell.

Kirk asks McCoy to examine the body, and McCoy confirms that he is, in fact, deceased. Kirk asks Nancy what happened. Crater says that what happened is obvious: Darnell, who apparently didn’t know any better than to put alien plant life in his mouth, poisoned himself. Nancy backs this up, saying she’d run into Darnell on her way back, but was too late to stop him from eating the plant. This is, of course, not the case since there’s still about 40 minutes left in the episode.

McCoy says that maybe he can finish the examinations later, and Crater reiterates that they don’t need examinations. Kirk says that they’ll complete them the next day, and orders the transporter room to beam them up. Nancy then asks them about the salt tablets; Crater states that he’ll take care of it. They seem rather hung up on the salt tablets, don’t they? Hmmmmmmm…

Back on the ship, we get possibly my favorite interaction in the episode. And, of course, it’s between Spock and Uhura.

Seriously I love her

Spock points out that there was an error in her last log, in the frequencies column. Uhura responds, “Mister Spock, sometimes I think if I hear that word frequency once more, I’ll cry.” Spock questions this, and Uhura says she’s just trying to start a conversation. Oh, come on, we all know you’re flirting with him. Of course, flirting’s not too effective with Spock and he just says that her reaction to the word “frequency” is illogical for a communications officer. Uhura responds that she’s an “illogical woman who’s beginning to feel too much a part of that communications console,” and asks him to tell her she’s “an attractive young lady, or ask me if I’ve ever been in love? Tell me how your planet Vulcan looks on a lazy evening when the moon is full.” Spock, logically, responds that Vulcan has no moon, and Uhura says she’s not surprised. The whole exchange is just hilarious and adorable, and just cements why I love Uhura so much.

The conversation ends, however, when Spock receives a report that the landing party has beamed back, and one of them is dead. Spock acknowledges this in his typical manner. Uhura, somewhat nonplussed, begins to chastise him, saying that Kirk could be dead, and that he’s the closest thing Spock’s ever had to a friend. Spock, somewhat tersely responds that any expression of concern on his part wouldn’t change anything, and that the transporter operators will call him if he needs assistance. Uhura then turns back to her console, not really having a response to that.

We then cut to McCoy and Kirk in the dispensary, where McCoy has been examining Darnell’s remains. Spock calls down and gives them more information about the plant (called the Borgia plant)he had in his mouth; it turns out that it’s an alkaloid poison, but the red rings on Darnell’s face aren’t a symptom. McCoy comes to the conclusion that the unfortunate crewman was not, in fact, poisoned.

Once again, starring Spock as Max Headroom

Kirk points out that Nancy said she saw him eat the plant (and of course doesn’t have anything to do with his death), and McCoy responds that he knows alkaloid poison and what to look for. Kirk presses the issue, and McCoy basically tells him to shut up, he knows what he’s talking about. You know, what with being a doctor and all.

McCoy also states that Darnell shouldn’t be dead, since none of his tests picked up that there was anything wrong with him. Other than the whole being dead thing, of course. McCoy sighs as Kirk goes over and pulls the sheet from Darnell’s face, and says that he’ll have the tests double checked, as he may not be seeing clearly. He goes on to say that he could have sworn that Nancy looked the same to him as she did 10 years before when he first saw her, though he “could have been looking at her through a romantic haze.” Kirk is not amused by this digression, and points out that he’s lost a crewmember and he wants to know how. McCoy simply responds “Yes, sir,” and Kirk leaves the room.

The scene fades out, and we get another captain’s log about how Darnell was killed by unknown causes. On the bridge, Uhura has received a message from Commander Dominguez on Caren 4, wanting to know what’s delayed them, since they’re carrying urgent supplies. Kirk responds that she should tell him he’ll get his chili peppers soon enough, and he won’t die if he doesn’t get them for a few days. Uhura smiles and says she’s got it.

Kirk and Spock then converse about their current situation. Spock reiterates that the only thing deadly about the plant in Darnell’s mouth is an alkaloid poison, and that there wasn’t anything unusual in the Craters’ background to indicate that they may have killed him.

Spock take the butt plug out of your ear.

He does, however, note that the Craters have been making fewer shipments of artifacts and reports for the past year than they had previously. At this point, McCoy calls in to tell Kirk that they’ve found something, but he’d rather not say what over the speaker. Kirk and Spock go down to the dispensary to hear what McCoy has to say.

What McCoy has to say isn’t terribly encouraging. It turns out that all of the salt in Darnell’s body was somehow extracted. Which makes sense as that actually would kill the shit out of you, though I’m not sure how scientifically sound the methods presented in this episode are. McCoy says that he can’t explain it, and Kirk says that he doesn’t have a mark on him. Except, as McCoy points out, the red rings all over his fucking face. Get with the program captain, Jesus.

Kirk says that McCoy had said the marks where skin mottling, which McCoy says was another error on his part. Kirk says he’s not counting them, and offers McCoy an apology for his earlier behavior. McCoy admits that he was probably spending too much time mooning over Nancy. Kirk points out that the Craters kept mentioning that they needed salt tablets, which, of course, raises some suspicion. Kirk orders Spock to outfit a landing party, so that they can go have another chat with the Craters.

He looks so happy to see Kirk.

On the planet, Crater asks Kirk if he has anything better to do than to harass him. Kirk responds that he probably does, and asks where Nancy is since he’d like to talk to them both. Crater tells him they just can’t come down and interfere with their work, but Kirk is quite insistent. Crater says that she’s probably at another dig, and Kirk orders a goldshirt named Green to go and find her. Yeah, this does not end well for him.

Kirk gets on his communicator and asks the ship to transport a plant sample to Spock so he can check to see if it’s actually the Borgia plant or something else. Crater continues to complain that they’re trespassing. Kirk says, “Your complaint is noted.” And then probably promptly ignored. Kirk points out that something killed one of his crew, and it could be dangerous to the Craters as well. Crater points out that if there was anything hostile on the planet they’d know.

McCoy points out that Darnell died of salt depletion, and Kirk continues that it’s a little too coincidental that the Craters keep bringing up salt tablets. Crater says that, duh, it’s because they’re almost out of salt tablets. He brings out what they have left, and McCoy confirms that they’re indeed salt tablets. By putting one in his mouth.

If only they had tools that scan and determine the chemical makeup of objects.

Kirk seems to buy this, but says that he’s going to have the Craters stay on the Enterprise until everything’s sorted out. Crater is very much against this, saying that it would interfere with their work. Kirk disagrees, saying a couple of days wouldn’t make a difference.  It’s almost like Crater knows more than he’s letting on, doesn’t it?

Kirk gets back on the communicator and orders Spock to arrange quarters on the ship for the Craters, and asks for Spock’s analysis. Spock confirms that the plant is the Borgia plant, and, as such, was not the cause of Darnell’s death. However, as McCoy notes, Crater ran off while they were distracted. Who could’ve seen that coming?

Outside, Crater comes across the corpse of an unfortunate, blotchy crewman.

Wow, it's almost like you're wife's been killing people.

He starts calling for Nancy, trying to lure her over with salt. Nancy, who is crouching over Green’s dead body, almost goes for it, but is halted by the arrival of Kirk and Company. He leaves the scene as Kirk and McCoy come across the dead blueshirt (apparently named Sturgeon). Kirk starts calling for Green and Nancy, naturally, takes Green’s form.

Nancy-as-Green goes over to their position. Kirk asks the imposter if he knows anything, and Greenancy says that Sturgeon was already dead when he found him, and was trying to find whatever had killed him. McCoy points out that Sturgeon has the same red rings on his face as Darnell. McCoy asks if he’s seen Nancy, and Greenancy states that she is nowhere to be found. McCoy says that he’s worried, as she could be in trouble (as opposed to, say, being the cause of it). He goes of to look for her, and Kirk say’s they’re leaving. McCoy objects, and Kirk says they can’t search the planet on foot, and McCoy needs to stop “thinking with your glands.” Towards the end of the exchange, we get a shot of Greenancy looking rather creepy.

Yet another thousand yard stare

They beam up, and after a lovely shot of the Enterprise, we go to the transporter room. Kirk hails the bridge, and orders Spock to start scanning for the Craters. He points out that there’s a body on the planet that needs to be beamed up, and the transporter operator acknowledges.

We spend a little time with Greenancy. He spots Yeoman Rand who has a tray with food on it that she’s delivering. Which she rather blatantly takes a bite out of.

Really Janice?

Greenancy approaches her, pretty focused on the salt shaker on the tray. She asks him what went down on the planet, and chastises him when he goes for the salt shaker. Continuing to eat someone else’s food, she gets on the turbolift while glaring at him. He lunges through the doors just as they’re about to close.

Back on the bridge, Spock advises Kirk that he’s getting a reading on one person, not two. Stating that it’s most likely Crater, he says that the reading is circling like he’s looking for someone.

We cut back to wacky Rand adventures. Greenancy is still following her, and she tells him to go chase an asteroid. Another crewmember approaches and flirtatiously asks if the foods for him. She responds, “Don’t you wish it was?” before continuing on. The crewmember and his friend start talking about how they’d like to have her as their own yeoman, and I threw up in my mouth a little. They notice Greenancy staring at them (again, creepily) before following Rand.

It turns out that she’s delivering the food to the botany department, to Sulu. They greet each other, and Rand greets one of the plants as Beauregard (Sulu correcting her saying it’s name is Gertrude). The plant is moving, and that makes it really, really obvious that it’s a dude’s hand in a glove.

It's way more obvious when it's actually moving.

Rand states that she can tell it’s a male plant, and Sulu begins musing on why people refer to inanimate objects as “she,” like ships and the like. I’m with Sulu on this one. Rand says that Beauregard isn’t inanimate, and that she keeps expecting a plant to grab her. At this point, Greenancy walks in, and Sulu greets him as he stares at the salt shaker. Rand says he doesn’t seem to be talking today, and implies he’s probably wasted. At this point, Beauregurtrude starts freaking the fuck out. Greenancy leaves as Sulu comforts the plant. Is…is the plant sentient? I have so many questions. Sulu says to Rand that it’s sensitive, and Rand suggests that Greenancy may be going crazy.

Greenancy is now in the hallway, when Uhura enters the scene. Seeing her, he transforms into a rather attractive gentleman of African ancestry.

Hello, handsome.

He approaches Uhura, who seems to be pretty into him. They even speak Swahili to each other a little bit. Then he has to get all creepy in a way that’s honestly pretty uncomfortable to watch. Uhura is ordered to the bridge by intercom. He backs her up against a wall and moves toward her, and she is obviously very, very freaked out. Fortunately, Rand and Sulu leave from the room across the hallway which gives her an opening to escape. I know he just wants her for her salt, but the connotations here are…problematic, to say the least.

That's not rapey at all.

We cut to McCoy’s quarters, where he’s trying (and failing) to sleep. He calls up to the bridge, where Kirk tells him they haven’t found Nancy yet. He asks McCoy if he can’t sleep, and suggests he take “one of those red pills you gave me last week.” McCoy takes out a small bottle of pills and looks at it.

Pictured: candy

I’m pretty sure those are actually red hots.

We cut to a brief scene of Creeper stalking a crewman, then to the bridge. Spock states that unless there’s something wrong with the ship’s instruments, there’s only one within a 100-mile radius. Kirk says they’ll focus on in him, and see if they can get Crater to explain what’s going on. He orders Uhura to keep a tight fix on the landing party, so they can beam an armed party down if there’s any trouble.

We cut to another scene of Creeper, who has located McCoy’s quarters. He shifts back into Nancy and enters. McCoy is quite relieved to see her, and tells her he’s been worried about her, and wonders why Kirk didn’t say she’d been found. Nancy says that she doesn’t relate to the others as well, since he has “such strong memories of me.” If I were McCoy, I would be running for the hill at this point. McCoy is somewhat bemused by this, and she asks if he’s worried about her husband. She says he likes McCoy much better, and points out that he needs to sleep. McCoy tells her she’s as bad as Kirk, and about how he suggested he take sleeping pills. Nancy concurs.

While all this is going on, Rand and Sulu stumble upon a dead crewman. Sulu, rationally, calls for a medical team.

I think this is the highest non-redshirt body count we see in this series.

We cut back to McCoy’s quarters, where McCoy is in bed and stoned out of his mind, and Nancy is caressing him in this really creepy fashion. There’s a call over the intercom for medical personnel, and McCoy starts to get up, but Nancy pushes him back down and says, “Nancy will take care of everything.” Before wiping some sweat off of his face and licking her hand.

Mmmmmmmmm

Just when I thought Nancy couldn’t get any creepier. Anyway, you all probably know what’s coming next. Yup, Nancy disguises herself as McCoy and heads up to the bridge.

After yet another captain’s log where Kirk says they believe whatever’s killing the crew paralyzes its victims somehow, we go back to the planet. Kirk and Spock have beamed down and run into Crater, who isn’t so much hiding behind a rock as standing behind it.

They can still see you, dude.

Kirk tries reasoning with him, asking where his wife is and pointing out they’re concerned for her safety. Crater, not willing to be reasoned with, says that he’s armed. Their conversation, however, is interrupted by Kirk receiving a message from Sulu that a crewmember was found dead aboard the ship, with the same symptoms as before. Spock goes behind a nearby rock and finds Green. He calls Kirk over, saying there’s something there he needs to see. Kirk is surprised by this, since Green had beamed up with them earlier, and Spock replies that “something did.”

Kirk gets back on the horn with Sulu and tells him that there’s an intruder on board the ship who may be masquerading as Green (of course, not anymore) and that they should go to “security condition three.” Sulu confirms, and makes the announcement.

Back on the planet, Uhura tells Kirk that “GQ three” is secure, and asks if he needs any assistance. Spock says that Crater obviously knows the creature, and that they should probably take him alive. Kirk tells Uhura that they don’t any help right now, but that she should keep a lock on him. At this point, Crater starts shooting at them (though I have to wonder why he’d waited until now to get trigger happy).

That was a bit of a delayed reaction, don't you think?

Kirk and Spock take cover while Crater starts ranting about how they want to be left alone and he’ll kill them if they don’t leave. So, I think that pretty much confirms that Crater’s gone around the bend. Spock says that “obviously taking him alive is going to be difficult.” Kirk orders Spock to increase the power on his phaser, while he keeps his on stun. Spock points out that Kirk would be risking his life for Crater’s, and Kirk responds that Crater’s trying to scare them off, “and he’s doing a pretty good job.” I don’t know about that, since Crater with a gun still isn’t that scary. Also, he kind of has that old man “get off my lawn” vibe to him.

Back on the ship, Fake McCoy comes to the bridge and stares at everything, while other crewman are reporting in. One report was that Green wasn’t in his quarters, and Rand expresses disgust that the creature had followed her. Sulu tells Uhura that it must have been the crewman that Uhura encountered earlier. Uhura concurs, saying that she would’ve recognized someone like him. Fake McCoy says, “The creature leading you a merry chase, Mr. Sulu?” Sulu is all like, “what?” and Fake McCoy backpedals and asks Sulu to fill him in.

Back on the planet, Kirk and Spock circle around to Crater’s position. Spock calls to him, and Kirk shoots him while he’s distracted. They move over to his position and go to interrogate Crater, who’s a little out of it.

Stunned Crater

Kirk asks him again where his wife is, and Crater mumbles something about her being the last of her kind, much to Kirk and Spock’s confusion. Crater corrects himself, saying “The last of its kind,” before going on to talk about the passenger pigeon and the buffalo on Earth. Spock asks what the buffalo has to do with anything. Crater explains that buffalo used to be extremely plentiful, but are gone now, “like the creatures here.” He goes on to say how Nancy (the real Nancy) understood how lonely the last creature was. Spock points out that he keeps referring to her in the past tense, and Crater reveals that the creature killed Nancy about a year or two earlier.

Kirk, quite obviously uneasy with this news, hails Sulu and tells him that the intruder can assume any shape, and he should go to “GQ four.” Crater says that the creature was trying to stay alive, and that it has that right. He compares it to the buffalo, saying that it’s no different. Kirk points out that there’s actually a pretty important difference: buffaloes aren’t killing his crew.

SPAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACE

Back on the ship, the crew and Crater have a meeting to discuss their intruder. Uhura says that she’s checked all “the faces aboard the ship,” but her mystery crewman wasn’t one of them. Kirk asks Rand how long “Green” was with her; she responds that it was as long as it thought it could get at the salt shaker. Spock reports that they’ve put out salt on all decks to lure it out, but it hasn’t taken the bait. We know why that is. Fake McCoy’s all like, why don’t we just give it salt, and Crater points out that it’s not dangerous when it’s fed. He compares the creature’s shapeshifting abilities to a chameleon, and Fake McCoy points out the creature’s intelligent and there’s no need to hunt it down. Spock dryly calls Fake McCoy’s hypothesis interesting. I love how sassy Spock can be sometimes.

Sulu hails the briefing room to report that everything has been secured, but they don’t have a lead yet on the intruder. Kirk thanks him and orders him to continue searching. Kirk turns to Crater and says that they need his help. Crater points out that he basically begged them to leave, and Kirk asks him if he can recognize the creature if he sees it. Crater doesn’t respond, and Kirk says he’ll forego pressing charges for now, but Crater needs to tell him where the creature is, or “I’ll have it, or I’ll have your skin, or both.” Crater goes on to talk about how he loved Nancy, and how she lives in his dreams. Kirk asks, “And it becomes Nancy for you?” Crater says the creature doesn’t trick him, and that it “needs love as much as it needs salt.” He says he almost killed the creature after it killed Nancy, but couldn’t bring himself to do it.

Pictured: Crater knowing where the creature is.

Kirk then says this next part:

You bleed too much, Crater. You’re too pure and noble. Are you saving the last of its kind or has this become Crater’s private heaven, here on this planet? This thing becomes wife, lover, best friend, wise man, fool, idol, slave. It isn’t a bad life to have everyone in the universe at your beck and call, and you win all the arguments.

Crater says he doesn’t understand, and Kirk asks again if he can see the creature for what it is. Crater says yes, but that he’s not going to help them find it. Spock suggests using truth serum, and fake McCoy says he usually resists using it, but that it would be useful in this case. Kirk orders Fake McCoy to take Crater, and Spock says he’ll go with them

This ends about as well as could be expected.

Kirk is ordered down to the dispensary, where he finds that the creature beat the shit out of Spock (which is pretty impressive, as Spock’s no pushover) and ran.

Ouch.

Spock lays all this out for Kirk, and how he had doubted that was the real McCoy (insert groans here). Rand goes into the other room and finds Crater’s corpse. Of course, he was killed by the creature. Kirk asks why the creature didn’t kill Spock, and Spock points out that his physiology is different so it couldn’t really affect him.

We now go back to McCoy’s quarters, where Fake McCoy turns back into Nancy. She goes over to McCoy and wakes him up in a panic, screaming that he needs to protect her because they’re coming to kill her. McCoy tries to reassure her that no one’s coming to kill her, when Kirk enters the room.

Kirk tells McCoy to step away from Nancy, that she’s not what he thinks she is. McCoy, who doesn’t have the faintest clue what’s happened up to this point, asks Kirk if he’s insane. Kirk responds that it’s killed four crewman and professor Crater. McCoy responds, “It?” and Kirk says that it kills to get the salt it needs to survive. He orders McCoy to step aside, but he isn’t buying it and refuses. Kirk turns to Nancy and shows her that he has salt in his hands. She looks at it, and McCoy says he’s frightening her. Kirk responds that look is hunger, not fright, and Nancy asks McCoy to make Kirk go away. Kirk continues to move forward with the salt in his hand, asking Nancy if she wants it.

McCoy and Kirk have a back and forth where he tells McCoy to get out of the way, and McCoy asks if Kirk’s lost his mind. McCoy gets to him and tries to wrangle the phaser out of his hand. In the distraction, Nancy takes the salt tablets and gulps them down. Kirk knocks McCoy out of the way, and Nancy goes after him in one of the most comical ways ever.

Oooooo, I'm a scary ghost, ooooooo

McCoy stands there dumbfounded, and Spock walks in. He sees what’s happening, and tells McCoy to shoot Nancy. McCoy refused. Spock pulls her off the captain, and tells McCoy to shoot her. McCoy says he won’t shoot Nancy, and Spock says that it’s not Nancy. To prove it, he start smacking her around. I mean, he’s just wailing on her. Of course, because she’s not human, she gives pretty much no reaction to Spock’s pummeling. McCoy tells him to stop it, and Nancy responds by backhanding him across the room. Spock’s not having a very good day.

Spock asks McCoy if that could possibly be Nancy, as Nancy starts to go after Kirk again. We now get to see what the creature looks like. And it’s very silly.

Reminds me of the Horror At Party Beach MST3K ep. Which also involved sodium.

I know, we do see sillier things as the series progresses, but this is still pretty ridiculous. Anyway, McCoy watches in horror as the creature puts its weird sucker-fingers on Kirks face, and Kirk starts screaming. This prompts McCoy to finally just shoot the fucking thing. It turns back into Nancy and begs McCoy to stop, but he shoots it again and the reign of slightly goofy terror is over.

Kirk says, “I’m sorry, Bones,” to McCoy as sad music plays over the scene. It cuts to a shot of the Enterprise in orbit, then back to the bridge. Sulu says that they’re ready to leave orbit. Kirk seems rather pensive, and Spock asks if there’s anything wrong. Kirk replies that he was thinking about the buffalo. Kirk and McCoy look at each other, and Kirk orders Sulu to head out at warp one.

So, this is actually one of the few episodes of TOS that I remember seeing as a child. It’s certainly one of the ones that people remember the most (usually as “the one with the salt monster”). I do have to say that, despite how goofy the monster actually looked, this episode was actually pretty tense. It was certainly better paced than “The Cage” was, at any rate.

While this was the sixth episode that was filmed, it was the first one that was actually aired. So far as introductions to a new series go, they certainly could’ve done worse.

Next week I take a look at “Charlie X,” which is basically a Trekified version of that Twilight Zone episode where the kid wishes people to the cornfield.

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