SCORE: (1/5 stars)
Kirk and Spock beam down with absolutely no backup security to an asylum for the criminally insane. I wish I had something snarky to say about this, but the stupidity of their actions has broken me. Anyway, it turns out that the warden they meet is really the infamous Captain Garth, former Starfleet officer, renowned explorer whose illustrious career was cut a bit short when he tried to wipe out an entire species and his crew rightly decided to not follow that order. Somehow while in lockup he managed to get his hands on a device that allows him to disguise himself as anyone else, and with Kirk and Spock locked away as patients in the asylum, he’s free to beam aboard the ship disguised as Kirk and continue his megalomaniacal rampage across the cosmos…
Except for this pesky little thing that Kirk set up before beaming down. Scotty asks the response for “Queen to queen’s level four.” Garth, not being Kirk, doesn’t know the passcode, and so he can’t beam up. He tries all sorts of ways to get Kirk to tell him the code: torture, seduction (with a green-skinned Orion girl, no less), and even killing other inmates unless he acquiesces (again, said green-skinned Orion girl). Kirk still won’t do it. But eventually Spock manages to break out and together they sneak to the transport room… except that Kirk is still suspicious, and rightly so, when he asks Spock to give the response for “Queen to queen’s level four,” and Spock doesn’t, revealing it’s actually Garth all this time.
When Spock actually does come out of his cell, he finds two Kirks, and attempts to quiz them, gauging their answers to see which is the real one (he’s got his hands on a phaser now, so he can decide who to shoot). Of course, were I in his shoes, I’d simply stun them both and see which one’s disguise drops. With Garth incapacitated and security forces beamed down to control the rest of the unruly inmates, they are finally able to test out the medical procedure they brought to the planet. Garth’s insanity is removed after a quick treatment in a chair, and he has no memory of Kirk or of the things he’s done. Well, this would certainly be a handy thing for them to keep in Starfleet medical databases forever, which is why we never see any Federation character be insane ever again.
- One would think that after “Dagger of the Mind,” they would have learned not to beam down to penal colonies, especially not without a strong armed presence, due to the recurring risk of the prisoners taking over.
- If the treatment was so revolutionary in curing mental illness, why do we ever have future plots involving Federation citizens who are mentally ill? Why don’t they use the treatment?
- Garth: Gentlemen, courtesy for the performer.
Marta: Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate. Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, and summer’s lease hath all too soon
Garth: You wrote that?
Marta: Yesterday, as a matter of fact.
Garth: It was written by an Earth man named Shakespeare a long time ago!
Marta: Which does not alter the fact that I wrote it again yesterday! I think it’s one of my best poems, don’t you?
- Marta: No, you mustn’t stop me. He’s my lover and I have to kill him.
[Spock nerve-pinches her]
Spock: She seems to have worked out an infallible method for assuring permanent male fidelity. Interesting.
- Kirk: Tell me something. Why was it so impossible to tell the difference between us?
Spock: It was not impossible, Captain. Our presence here is proof of that.
Kirk: Yes, and congratulations. What took you so long?
Spock: The interval of uncertainty was actually fairly brief, Captain. It only seemed long to you. I was waiting for a victor in the hand to hand struggle, which I assumed would be Captain Garth. Because of your depleted condition. Failing a resolution to the struggle, I was forced to use other means to make my determination.
Kirk: I see. Mister Spock. Letting yourself be hit on the head, and I presume you let yourself be hit on the head, is not exactly a method King Solomon would have approved.