Friday, September 17, 2010

The Enterprise Incident

From Wikipedia:

"The Enterprise Incident" is a third season episode of Star Trek: The Original Series, first broadcast September 27, 1968 and repeated December 27, 1968. It is episode #57, production #59, written by D.C. Fontana and directed by John Meredyth Lucas.

Overview: The crew of the Enterprise are on a secret mission to steal a Romulan cloaking device.


Watch it

Notes and pics:

* They set the tone right away, with the breakneck pace that typifies truly great episodes, and a nice voice over of Dr. McCoy's medical log, which establishes Kirk's state of mind as over-the-top stressed out.

* Nice. The Enterprise is surrounded by Romulans before we even get to the credits. This is going to be good.

* Good briefing room scene, with nice tension because everybody's pissed at the Captain for getting them into this situation.

* Cool. The Romulan commander is a

* Kirk to Spock: "I'll kill you!" Spock to the Romulan commander: "He is not sane." This is so fucking great.

* Scotty on the bridge, using attitude alone, facing down the superior Romulan force, this may very well be his finest moment in the command chair.

* Shatner clearly gave himself permission to outdo himself in this one and it definitely shows, again and again. Like this hardcore moment in the Romulan brig.

* The Romulan cougar continues her seduction of Spock in the corridor.

* It's a shame that the "Vulcan death grip" is just a part of the subterfuge; I'd love to see Spock using it for real.

* Fabulous moment right before the commercial break. "The Captain's dead."

* Actually, the Captain's not dead at all. Really, the choice to keep viewers in the dark about the whole intelligence operation up until this point is pretty brilliant. You're confused but thrilled watching Kirk behave like a mad man, and thrown for a big loop to see Spock selling out to the Romulans. Then you see that it's all a ruse, and are forced to completely reconstruct the entire narrative before this scene. Hitchcock did this shit all the time.

* Scotty: "You look like the Devil himself...but as long as you're alive, what's it all about?" If doing these posts on Trek has changed anything about how I relate to the series, it's that I love Mr. Scott far more than I used to.

* Softening Spock up with delicious Romulan ale.

* Is that
tranya they're drinking? You know, the stuff Balok serves the landing party back in "The Corbomite Maneuver." Oh well, they don't really say. At any rate, I totally dig their groovy mod cocktail glasses.

* Spock does impromptu romance waaaay better than Kirk.

* She really does throw herself at him.

* Subcommander Tal is a very nicely understated presence, especially as a contrast to Kirk's pumped up theatrics. But he joins in the 'roid rage for a brief moment when he says, "I must know the source!!!"

* Now she's wearing motel room curtains. Okay, it doesn't look half bad.

* There wasn't a good screencap available, but this is a great moment. Kirk, when confronted by a Romulan security guard outside the cloaking room, suddenly shouts "Over there!" which allows him to knock his adversary out when he is distracted.

* Oooooh. Cold. Spock reveals that his Barry White thing was all an act. And he does it so subtly, simply holding up his communicator to indicate that he was the source of the alien transmission. You can't help but feel a little sorry for the Romulan commander. She's made a fool of herself. And destroyed her own career.

* Admit it: you love it when Kirk kicks some ass.

* Look! It's
Nomad's head sitting on top of Sargon's ball! Small world.

* Classic exchange on installing the Romulan cloaking device on the Enterprise.

Kirk: "Can you do it?"
Scotty: "I don't know, sir!"
Kirk: "You've got fifteen minutes."

* Man, Spock is cool as a cucumber: "What is your present form of execution?"

* I totally love Spock's use of the Romulan Right of Statement as a delaying tactic. Or is it the Romulan rite of statement? Whatever. It's cool.

* Chekov, on trying to get a reading on Mr. Spock aboard the Romulan ship: "Got him, sir!" That's kind of a catch phrase for him. Is this the first time he says it?

* Escaping at warp nine. Like I said
last week, I fucking love it when they go to warp nine.

* Spock doesn't like Kirk's ears.

* Five stars. It's got balls.