And me Cookie Monster.
And we’re your co-hosts for this Star Trek: The Original Series re-watch. Today’s episode under discussion: The Enemy Within!
Me: As I said when we started this re-watch, I haven’t screened these episodes since I was a kid so I’m expecting to have some of my naive childhood small screen delights quashed by the logic-driven perspective of adulthood – BUT this episode was a pleasant surprise. I was expecting a straightforward tale of good vs. evil, but the episode turned out to go much deeper, offering a study of humanity’s dual nature and how we are much more than the sum of our parts. William Shatner offers a tour de force performance here, ranging from powerfully subdued to outrageously hammy.
Cookie Monster: Speshul guest star alien dog also give Emmy-worthy performance. Monster surprised he not do more fan cons.
Me: Yeah, what the hell WAS the deal with that alien dog. We’re supposed to assume Sulu happened to rescue it from this inhospitable world where the temperature drops below freezing every night?
Cookie Monster: Speaking of strange animals, what dat Scottie wearing on his head?
Me: It looked like a plastic toupee. I look forward to seeing his hair develop, over the course of the series, into the stylish do we Scottie fans know and love. T.V. hair, like wardrobe, is an evolutionary process.
Cookie Monster: At one point, Scotty having trubble wit transporter tell other guy to get de “syncratik meter” so that he dubble-check the system. And, presumably, help him keep time when he play piano.
Me: By the way, kudos to director Leo Penn who serves up a wonderfully creepy realization of Richard Matheson’s script. That reveal of evil Kirk is terrific.
Cookie Monster: Also terrific be Scotty’s conclusion dat de two dogs he beamed up aren’t duplikates, dey be “opposites”. Based on de simple fakt one be relaxed and other one angry. If McCoy ever get sick, he could step right in and offer check-up free diagnostic. “Off de top of my head, you got loopus!”
Me: Kirk continues to show off his impressive fighting skills. In this one, after a crew member interrupts him in Yeoman Rand’s quarters, Evil Kirk chases him down and…jumps on his back!
Cookie Monster: But he de captain. Me sure crew give him piggybacks all de time.
Me: Later, when Kirk is informed of the attack on Yeoman Rand, he
puts two and two together and realizes he has an “opposite” on board simply shrugs his shoulders and denies any knowledge of the incident. Uh, dude, didn’t you just have that conversation with Scottie about the dog opposites?
Cookie Monster: By the way, monster appreciate fakt dat everyone gets chance to hold cute doggy. Even Kirk do extended scene, walking around, petting de cute little guy.
Me: When he FINALLY puts two and two together, Kirk makes a big announcement over the ship’s P.A. system, informing the crew that there’s an evil version of him onboard. I couldn’t help thinking that this would be a great opportunity for him to fob off guilt for past transgressions on the convenient “Evil Kirk”.
Cookie Monster: Atttenshun! Attenshun! Evil Kirk responsible for attacking Yeoman Rand and crew member. In hindsight, he also responsible for doing number two in mess hall sink after drunken stupor last week!
Me: Later, when the Evil Kirk is spotted, Kirk decides to bring him in – by himself. He tells Spock: “If I’m going to be the Captain, I’ve got act like on.” Uh, like, say, delegating responsibility so as to ensure the threat to the ship is contained?
Cookie Monster: Part where Kirk battle his evil twin my favorite becuz “twin” not look anything like him. At some points, he be a foot taller and have completely different hairstyle. At another, me pretty sure double be an Indian woman.
Me: I mentioned William Shatner’s inspired performance, but also feel the need to commend James Doohan for his breathtaking turn as “nervous guy who almost gets bitten by off-screen dog”. Brilliant.
Cookie Monster: Me feel very sad for dog. Transporter turn it into stuffed animal.
Me: But, in the end, our heroes figure it out, addressing the twin Kirk issue AND beaming a delightfully sarcastic Sulu back up to the ship.
Cookie Monster: Overall, pretty good episode. But monster going to miss dat dog!
Okay, the plan is to continue our Star Trek(!): The Original Series rewatch with the next batch of episodes (Mudd’s Women, What Are Little Girls Made Of?, Miri, Dagger of the Mind, The Corbomite Maneuver) starting Wednesday – BUT the reviews may be a little sporadic of late as I’m looking at a fairly busy July schedule. Also Cookie Monster has his annual summer trip to Ibiza which he can’t cancel as he’s already ordered his glow sticks and pacifier.