Daggers of the Mind
It’s mildly distracting that this episode starts off with the Enterprise orbiting a gorgeous looking planet. Stop it special edition’s new gorgeous special effects! You’re making me wonder how ugly the original planet must have looked in the original version of this episode.
The episode starts off with some exposition about how you can’t beam things when the penal colony’s forcefield is up. I have to remind myself that this is the first time they’re establishing this in the rules of the Star Trek universe. Which led me to the train of thought that whoever designed the transporter in the first place for television was a pretty imaginative person. My random meanderings are brought to a halt because the guy at the transporter turns around to take notes from a series of blinking lights behind the transporter console!
What are you doing? We’ve seen this once before when Evil Kirk shows up. When they make a point of showing you how lax security is in the transporter room, something is about to go down! And sure enough, what follows is a reminder to me that long before I started scoffing at how lax security was under Worf’s lead as head of security on the Enterprise D, I’m suddenly reminded that I have no idea who is even in charge of security on this original Enterprise. And they really need someone in charge, because they’re pretty disorganized here. Not as incompetent as in some previous episodes, because Spock does try to isolate sectors as they’re searching for the escapee, and the guy who spots the convict doesn’t first try to report his occupation and duties when he reports to the bridge.
The rest of the episode goes through the motions. Do they believe this convict over an esteemed scientist who Kirk is starstruck for? As McCoy snookers Kirk into investigating, he also assigns a really sassy lady to the away team. She’s got such a smirk on her face at all times. It really bothered me how long they strung that out, keeping from the audience the history between her and Kirk.
And oh my god, she’s an even bigger sycophant towards the man being investigated than Kirk. She’s useless! She’s useless and she’s still smirking.
And yet, even though this man invented this mind manipulation machine, she knows how to work it. And admittedly, despite her little speech that she’s a scientist, it is just two dials. The first dial is intensity and the other is an on-off switch for god’s sake. So don’t cover yourself with too much scientific glory there Missy.
Despite my hostility towards her though, when Kirk is in trouble, she’s the one that comes through. She takes down the security team single handedly through stealth and the fact that she’s a badass. I have to admit, I almost cheered at how kick ass this lady turned out to be. I didn’t even care about the rest of the episode at that point.
Oh, and for the first time we get to see a version of the Vulcan mind-meld. It’s more like a mild form of it here.
Before signing off, I feel compelled to point out one more thing here. For some reason, this episode doesn’t take place on a duplicate of Earth. Huh. Imagine that.
P.S. One final thought. I felt like this was the first time I felt a genuine warmth between the three lead characters. I felt it a little in the Man Trap maybe, and then a little bit last week in Miri. But here it seemed real for the first time to me. These three are starting to develop a genuine affection.