Did I miss something, or did Spock get demoted to Lieutenant Commander for this ep? I always thought he was a full Commander. There's definitely evidence for S/Pike here: OK, he's a Vulcan, and super-loyal to his commanders, but would a Vulcan risk *everything* for a guy who was once his captain - and nothing more? It's not very logical, is it. But John Hoyt! I love John Hoyt! He was great as the bad guy in When Worlds Collide.
I think this is the first ep where we see
Kirk really turn on the charm with a woman he's just met - like
he & Lenore leave the party early just to "go for a walk".
She does get the great line "All this power, surging, throbbing,
yet under control...Are you like that, Captain?" (Yes!) Spock
and McCoy get some good screen time together as they discuss Spock's
obsessive concern for Kirk's safety: McCoy: "Did it ever
occur to you that he just likes the girl?" Spock: "It
occured to me. I dismissed it." (And why is he so sure, hmmm?)
Spock also gets to rifle through Kirk's dresser as they search
for the overloaded phaser, something he probably does often while
Kirk is off on Shore Leave.
Please also note when Uhura sings "Beyond Antares" to Riley, she's playing Spock's Vulcan lyre. How did she get hold of that? Either Spock gave her one of her own, or he left his in her quarters after a long night of entertainment.
Oh no! Spock's father is really a Romulan - and so is his fiancee's boyfriend. As McCoy once remarked, "Terrible having bad blood like that." Notable use of the word "sorcerer" to describe Kirk, a term which has since turned up in Spock's mouth in millions of K/S stories. Stiles is another sociopath who never would have made it on board the Enterprise-E - openly hostile towards the First Officer, insubordinate to the Captain on the bridge, and can't even fire a phaser when the entire ship depends on it. It is satisfying to see Kirk rip him a new one in defense of his best friend.
In which we meet Kirk's Academy-days girlfriend,
Ruth, and his Academy-days fuck buddy, Finnegan. What *is* it
with these guys beating the snot out of each other, anyway? Further
proof that Kirk likes it rough. It's certainly nice to see McCoy
getting some - it sure would have been neat to see the fantasy
partners that Sulu and Uhura came up with! As for Spock - well,
when Kirk & Spock are running from the airplane, they are
grabbing each other rather urgently and more familiarly that one
would expect for men who merely "serve" together. Kirk's
shirt gets ripped, but he's dirty, so there's not much to see
- but please note lots of glimpses of white underwear and socks
when he & Finnegan are lovin' it up.
This the ep which begins, famously, with Kirk thinking Spock is giving him a back massage ON THE BRIDGE. It's all the more incredible when you see that the yeoman who's actually servicing him has her hand all the way down the back of his chair, probably in the waistband of his trousers - and he thought *Spock* had his hand down there? Oh my.
OK, I just have to say that although this ep is redeemed by the fact of Spock's looking gorgeous throughout, it is really hard to watch the other (male) crewmen act like such total assholes around him (Scotty excepted). Who let these guys in Starfleet? Rather than, say, following orders or offering helpful analysis, they want to argue about giving a proper burial to a guy while monsters are attacking! Crikey. But please watch for the final scene on the bridge, where Kirk teases him about acting logical. Kirk sits on the control panel (must be where Riker learned it) next to Spock, putting his arm on Spock's chair, and then he keeps moving closer, and closer, and closer till their faces are just inches apart and I was screaming "Why don't you just KISS HIM instead of talking him to death??!?!??"