2011.12.19 in Meta
Captain Christopher Pike is injured and unable to communicate, so Spock kidnaps him and hijacks the Enterprise. Kirk, abandoned at a starbase during the hijacking, catches up to the ship and begins a court-martial. We see most of the pilot episode again.
Stardate 3012.4 – I had to look it up on Wikipedia, because I never heard it in the episode. That stardate puts this episode after all prior episodes; with any luck, this chronology won’t revert again.
Kirk, Spock, and Bones arrive at Starbase Eleven unexpectedly. Kirk says they received a subspace message, but no one at the base seems to know about it. The folks there are wearing a different insignia, something I’m glad they let go for the films and later series.
They’re introduced to Captain Pike, the pilot-only captain of the Enterprise. He’s horribly disfigured, trapped in a wheelchair and only able to flash a signal light, once for yes and twice for no. The accident was so terrible that he’s played by a different actor.
Spock wants to do something for Pike, who refuses. Kirk and Commodore Mendez (the starbase commander) argue about the mystery message, contacting the computer center lackey in charge. The server admin reassures his commander, and as he begins to triple-check the “record tapes” he’s nerve-pinched by Spock, who enters stealthily.
Now we meet the Attractive Lady of the Week – “Miss Piper,” who’s heard of Kirk and smiles with a flirty look. Because no episode would be complete without an ALotW. Of course. Every lady wants to git wit Jim.
Spock is fiddling with a room-sized computer and some plastic cards. He contacts the Enterprise using these chips, which contain other voices including Kirk’s, to order the Enterprise on a new mission. He’s a-plottin’ something, but we’re left to guess what.
Kirk and McCoy argue about Spock’s involvement with the missing message. Bones says Spock can’t lie, he’s Vulcan by birth and training. Kirk points out his human half, but McCoy insists, which gives Jim the chance to insult him. I won’t lie, I laughed at Bones there.
Mendez offers a top-secret file to Kirk, marked Talos IV, as Miss Piper watches Pike on a monitor. At least now we’re starting to get some sense of what this is all about; Spock is plotting something Pike doesn’t want to be involved with, and Talos IV, the planet from the pilot, is involved. So: Spock wants to take his injured, life-trapped former captain back to Talos IV, where he can live out the fantasies in his mind. I don’t think he learned anything from the pilot, frankly. Not to worry, though, he’ll get another chance starting later in this episode.
Piper turns her head for a moment and when she looks back to the monitor, Pike is gone. What are the odds on that kind of timing actually happening? Still, she apparently had one job to do, and she didn’t do so good. Who took Pike and where did they go? Answers, Piper, we need answers! The Enterprise warps out of orbit, which at this point on top of all the rest just pisses off Jim past the hilt.
Spock is on the bridge, insisting the ship knows what to do and that radio silence must be observed. He addresses the P.A. and tells the crew he’s in command and that Jim is on medical leave at the starbase. Bones objects, and Spock takes him to Pike, in some quarters somewhere. Pike flashes “no” repeatedly, as Spock plays a tape of Jim’s voice commanding Bones to obey Spock on some secret mission, most likely faked like his other chips. No one has reason to contest it, though, because we keep being told that Spock can’t lie.
A shuttle chases the Enterprise; it’s got Kirk and Mendez aboard. They keep hailing, but radio silence means they won’t get an answer. Spock has the computer calculate when the shuttle’s fuel will run out, and it tells him the shuttle is already too low on fuel to return to the base. Cut to the shuttle, now out of fuel. Kirk and Mendez are down to two hours of oxygen, and assure each other that Spock is finished, if not sentenced to death for mutiny. He seems to agree, halting the ship to tractor in the shuttle and ordering a security team to the bridge to arrest him. He reveals his transgression to Bones, who instructs the security team to confine him to quarters.
Kirk and Mendez beam aboard, and the ship begins to move again. Spock has crosswired computer control of the helm with life support, holding the entire crew hostage while he’s under arrest. Clever fella, as we all know; he’s now being put on unofficial trial. Kirk explains that there aren’t enough command officers to hold a true court martial, but Spock insists that Pike is available and on active duty. They begrudgingly accept his demand for immediate court-martial, and Spock now gets to play back the pilot episode for everyone’s …enjoyment? No, that’s not the word I’m looking for.
The fancy dress uniforms for the court martial look more cheaply-made than the actual uniforms. The medals pinned to chests look cheaper than anything else on set, made of wrinkled cloth and attached haphazardly without much idea of pattern or arrangement. Spock has surprisingly few medals, considering how long he’s been involved with spaceflight; Mendez has the most because he’s a Commodore, I suppose.
The pilot took place thirteen years ago, according to Spock. Pike and crew intercept an old distress signal and yada yada. Seriously, they just basically hit play on their future version of a DVR, sit back, and watch that episode.
Mendez has no intention of being forced to submit to the recording he invited Spock to introduce. I get it, Mendez, I’d rather not watch this again so soon either. He issues my favorite quote of the episode: “This is a court of space law, not a theater.” Still, Pike agrees that what we’re watching is some kind of recreation of the events in the pilot exactly as they happened; Mendez is outvoted by Kirk and Pike and watch we must. Back to the tape!
According to the report about the pilot episode, submitted to whatever they were calling Starfleet back then, Talos IV is never to be approached or contacted. It’s revealed that the pilot replay is being transmitted from Talos IV, putting the ship and Kirk in violation of orders from home base. Uhura relays a message relieving Kirk of command and instructing Mendez to take over and return the ship to the base. Spock refuses to accomodate, begging Kirk to let him continue. Kirk just throws him back in lockup and the trial is put on hold for the nonce, because the hour is up.
It’s unfair to interpret a two-part episode on the first part, so I won’t.