Me: Okay, I’ve discovered my threshold for consecutive Stark Trek episode watching. Two! More than two, and I get a little stir crazy. As a result, I didn’t appreciate this episode as much as I should have because it really is a smart entry that reflects some of the themes the show will come back to over the course of its three year run.
Cookie Monster: Monster like dis episode too but, halfway thru it, me tink: Hey, dis de same story as last episode! Kirk have to deal wit guy wit super godlike powers! Again!
Me: Well, it’s interesting to note that this episode was actually the show’s second pilot (after The Cage), so its placement as the third episode was not the original intent. In retrospect, it would have made a great premiere episode. Lots to like here.
Cookie Monster: And some tings not to like so much. Like Yeoman Smith getting much-needed support during from Mitchell during rocky re-entry…
Cookie Monster: By de way, dat’s some cutting edge microfiche technology. Dey must have de entire original Library of Congress stored in dat computer!
Me: There’s a great creeping sense of foreboding throughout this episode as Mitchell demonstrates some increasingly unnerving behavior. One of my favorite moments comes while Kirk is remotely surveying his old friend and, suddenly, Mitchell turns to look at the camera as if…he sensed Kirk was watching! It’s a great build as Mitchell’s powers grow and the crew become increasingly concerned. Meanwhile, Kirk is torn between the practical demands of being a starship Captain and the emotional pull of a longstanding friendship. Great stuff.
Cookie Monster: Except when dey get down to de planet, Mitchell not so torn. He tell Kirk: “Me have been contemplating death of an old friend” and show him grave wit James R. Kirk gravestone. R? Everyone know he be James T. Kirk! Me guess he not such an old friend after all.
Me: Middle initial confusion aside, it builds to a great climax pitting the two former friends against each other, man vs. god!
Cookie Monster: Yep, Kirk demonstrate some nifty moves in de fight sekwence. He like poetry in motion.
Me: Despite his inadvertently knocking over a giant boulder (!) and giving away his position, Kirk emerges victorious, but only with some much needed help from the powerful Dehner.
Cookie Monster: Me sorry to see her go. Monster have soft spot for blonds. And chocolate chips.
Me: Overall, a solid episode.
Finishing up my whirlwind tour of the east coast. Flew into Montreal this morning to spend a day with mom and sis, then I’m back in Vancouver tomorrow night. I’ll have one day to decompress and then Paul and I will start going over the season one game plan for our new SF series. The writers’ room gears up the week after. But I’ll hopefully have more information about all this in the days to come…