So, I may have been a wee but hard on season three at times. True, pretty much all the episodes I don’t care for, with one or two noteworthy exceptions, all come from season three, but when they do one right, they do it right. Plus, more of the episode titles actually seem to reference the events of the episode in question. Many of the early episodes have these vague titles that sound like they were pulled from random poems.
So, yes, season three’s episode titles are a lot more on-point. You know, like “Spock’s Brain”.
That said, there is something else I’ve taken notice about season three too: Captain Kirk seems to find more single episode love interests. Kirk has, in the past, generally been treated as something of a romantic lead, but his one true love is always the Enterprise. Additionally, we were more likely to see other members of the crew have something of a romantic subplot, even if most went to Kirk. But not every attractive woman was necessarily there to make or get goo-goo eyes from Kirk. Season three, with a few exceptions, seems to be going all out. It reminds me of one of my biggest criticisms about the aforementioned “Spock’s Brain”: it seems like someone who only knows Star Trek from its reputation is making the show now.
How does that come up here? Well, the Enterprise is answering a distress signal from what seems to be a deserted planet. There’s a weird insect buzzing noise, but then a crewman disappears right in front of McCoy’s eyes. There’s some weird stuff happening on the ship, ending when Kirk and Spock find some sort of machine attached to the ship deep in Engineering. Any attempts to pry it off or shoot it don’t work. The machine can depend itself, and phaser go flying when they try to shoot it. And Kirk and Spock were the only ones who even got to see the thing. Two redshirts kept running into a forcefield.
But then during a coffee break, Kirk notices everyone and everything around him is slowing down. When everyone seems to come to a stop, he spots Deela, one of the people from the distress call. She is, of course, an attractive blonde woman in a dress that looks like it’s barely there and held on with human sweat and good intentions. Who is she anyway? She’s one of the last survivors of the planet, and something happened that sped up their personal time. As such, they move around time fast enough that she can easily dodge Kirk’s phaser blast, but she has some weapons of her own. And as Kirk soon learns, the process will eventually make him docile and from there, any cellular damage will cause accelerated aging. That’s what happened to the redshirt McCoy watched disappear.
It seems these Scalosians found themselves in this state with most of the children dead and the surviving women sterile. The only way to reproduce is to kidnap other people, accelerate them, and then go from there. Kirk was selected because Deela thought he was hot or something. They’re planning on deep freezing the Enterprise crew and thawing them out as needed. Kirk won’t sit for that, but he doesn’t have too many options. He’ll just have to stall for time by using his sultry seductiveness to keep Deela busy, sabotage whatever these people did to speed up the transporter, and hope he buys Spock and McCoy enough time to find him a cure and fix everything.
And that is more or less what happens. Spock notices Kirk is missing and figures the thing to do is check the coffee. Sure enough, Kirk’s cup shows traces of the same water from the planet. McCoy comes up with a cure, allowing Spock to speed his own time up and give Kirk some much-needed back-up.
You know, because Kirk by romancing one woman in the group somehow slows down the whole process. Sure, she can defend him when a guy comes in to whack him one, something that could lead to accelerated aging, but really, Kirk doesn’t have to do much here that season three Kirk wouldn’t do anyway.
So, yeah, with Spock as back-up, Kirk rather easily saves the day, and Deela even realized she didn’t like Kirk as a docile man. After dealing with the Scalosians, Kirk takes the cure and Spock spends a minute fixing the Enterprise at high speed before taking the cure himself. Should they offer the cure to the Scalosians? I would think so, but they don’t.
You know, this whole thing reminds me of a Next Generation episode I barely remember where a similar society needed Enterprise crewmembers to keep going, but they just took genetic material to clone Riker and Dr. Pulaski without asking. The arguments were similar, but I’ll need to see that episode again at some point to judge for myself.
As the ship leaves, Kirk lingers on the image of Deela because, well, he was smitten? I don’t know why he would be. He showed no signs of actually being smitten with her by that point. I guess he felt bad for her, but Kirk falling in love isn’t anything new. And like other such moments, he’ll forget about it in another episode.
I know I will.