SCORE: (5/5 stars)
After negotiations over dilithium mining rights prove fruitless, the away team of Kirk, McCoy, Scotty and Uhura (because you totally need a doctor, an engineer, and a communications officer when entering into trade negotiations) beam back up to the Enterprise. But there’s problems with the stream as they attempt to pass through an electromagnetic storm, and by the time they materialize on the pad, everything’s subtly different. Uhura has a bare midriff. Spock has a goatee. Everyone has knives. Sulu is straight. MY GOD. SULU IS STRAIGHT. WE MUST BE IN…. THE MIRROR UNIVERSE.
Kirk quickly catches on and starts playing his role. Obviously, they’ll have to find their way back to their ship, but in the meantime they can’t arouse too much suspicion or they’ll be cut to pieces. That being said, it looks like the mirror universe Enterprise was also here to obtain dilithium mining rights, but the peaceful residents of the planet want nothing to do with the violent Terran Empire. While the Federation of Planets would just bid them good day and be on their way, the Empire conquers what it needs, and Kirk’s orders are to obliterate the people of the planet if they won’t cooperate. Kirk clearly doesn’t want to do this, so he stalls by giving them a 12-hour ultimatum.
But even this is seen as a sign of weakness by the crew, and the ambitious Chekov attempts to assassinate Kirk in the hallway. Kirk’s luckily saved by “his” own men, but clearly he’s a marked man now. While Scotty and McCoy work on a plan to rewire engine power to the transporter to recreate the conditions of the magnetic storm, Kirk has to deal with the goatee’d Spock questioning his motives, while Uhura has to fend off Sulu’s oddly heterosexual advances. Mirror Spock is very much like his prime counterpart, logical and measured and loyal… though his loyalty is to the Empire. He has the courtesy of letting Kirk know that if he doesn’t carry out the Empire’s orders, Spock will kill him.
Kirk discovers as he returns to his quarters that being captain has its… other perks. There’s a pretty sexy babe in his bed waiting for him. Apparently Hoshi Sato set a precedent a hundred years before, and every captain gets his captain’s woman. Her name is Marlena Moreau. She serves both as eye candy, and as Miss Exposition. Through her we learn how Captain Kirk was able to rise to power (you see, he got the command by killing Captain Pike). He has a deadly weapon called the Tantalus Field. It can monitor anyone anywhere on the ship, and with just the press of a button, they get vaporized. Kirk refuses to use it, of course, he’s no murderer, but the knowledge is there.
Mirror Spock is able to put things together fairly quickly, and catches the four crew plotting in sickbay. He attempts to carry out his orders to kill Kirk, but the four of them manage to subdue him (after a lengthy fight in which Spock fails to use his nerve pinch) by smashing something over his head. This buys them the time they need to get to the transporter… except that McCoy refuses to leave Spock to die from his head wound, and lays him on the biobed. As this happens, Sulu and his security guards burst in, ready to finish the job that Spock failed to do. Well, luicky for Kirk, his salt wife (woo Game of Thrones reference) has been watching with the Tantalus Field this whole time, and wipes out Sulu’s red-shirted team, leaving Kirk to beat the crap out of his straight ass.
While McCoy works to save Spock, the other three head to the transporter. McCoy is further delayed when Spock awakens and immediately seizes him, forcing a mind meld to learn the truth. Once he knows what’s really going on, he’s more than happy to let them return to their own universe. Before leaving, Kirk urges him to try to change the Empire, that it’s not sustainable, and that there’s a better way. Spock says he’s just one man, but Kirk says he’ll find a special weapon in the captain’s quarters that ought to solve all his problems.
Back home, they are greeted by Spock, who’s quite happy to have his crew back. He was able to immediately ascern that the four people they had beamed up were not from this universe and kept them locked away in the brig. The three of them rib each other on observing their counterpart’s qualities, and then Kirk attempts to hide his boner as he realizes that a certain Lieutenant Marlena Moreau has just been transferred to his ship a week ago. With that settled, all is well for both universes… we think. Come back in about a hundred years to find out what Spock’s reforms do to the Mirror Universe.
- Why would they beam into the mirror universe’s clothes?
- Wilson: Mister Chekov was gonna make me a Chief, sir; you could make me an officer.
Kirk: All right, you’re working for me.
Wilson: A commission?
Kirk: You’re in line, you might even make Captain.
Wilson: Yes, sir!
Kirk: [punches him out] Not on my ship.
- Kirk: Scotty, can you do it?
Scotty: Not by myself, I’d need help. And you’d be too conspicuous.
[They both look at McCoy]
McCoy: I’m a doctor, not an engineer.
Scotty: Now you’re an engineer.
- McCoy: Jim, if we’re here, what do you suppose our counterparts are doing back in our universe?
Kirk: On our Enterprise…
Mirror Kirk: [being taken to the brig] I order you to let me go!
- Kirk: You would find me a formidable enemy.
Mirror Spock: I am aware of that, Captain. I trust that you are aware of the reverse.
- Mirror Sulu: I hope you succeed, because the order would fall on me next. And you know how Captain Kirk’s enemies have a habit of disappearing.
Mirror Spock: If I am successful, you see yourself a step nearer to the captaincy. I do not want to command the Enterprise, but if it should befall me, I suggest you remember that my operatives would avenge my death, and some of them are Vulcans.
- Kirk: You’re a man of integrity in both universes, Mister Spock.
- Kirk: I submit to you that your Empire is illogical because it cannot endure. I submit that you are illogical to be a willing part of it.
Mirror Spock: You have one minute and twenty-three seconds.
Kirk: If change is inevitable, predictable, beneficial, doesn’t logic demand that you be a part of it?
Mirror Spock: One man cannot summon the future.
Kirk: But one man can change the present.
- Spock: May I point out that I had an opportunity to observe your counterparts here, quite closely. They were brutal, savage, unprincipled, uncivilized, treacherous, in every way splendid examples of Homo sapiens. The very flower of humanity. I found them quite refreshing.
Kirk: I’m not sure, but I think we’ve been insulted.
McCoy: I’m sure.