Two important things to notice about this ep. One is that in all the scenes in Trlelane's castle, Kirk either has a hanky in his left pocket or all his Starfleet boxer briefs were in the laundry - he's showing some pretty impressive basket. Two (and more interesting) is this sequence: When Trelane brings the whole bridge crew down for dinner, he makes a point of telling Spock that he's there only to make Kirk happy. Then, after Kirk challenges Trelane to a duel, presumably over the honor of Yeoman Cheesecake, Trelane forces Kirk into continuing by threatening to shoot - not the Yeoman, but Spock! Even Trelane knows who Kirk really cares about.
You go, boy! Kick that Gorn's butt! Woo-hoo! Better than professional wrestling. I finally noticed that when he's down on the planet, Kirk is wearing funky lace-up boxing booties, which magically change back to standard Starfleet issue go-go style when he gets back to the ship. Note how lovingly Spock smiles (a huge grin, for him) at Kirk during their last exchange of dialogue - K: "There's hope for us yet, Mr. Spock." S: "I was beginning to have my doubts." You could read volumes into that.
Another plot-heavy ep with little in the way of slash potential. But I missed the first 15 mintues, so if something interesting happened, somebody please fill me in. Kirk does get a nifty fight scene, and it's nice to see Sulu get off the bridge to do some sleuthing. Was it just me, or was this a really, really boring ep? It was fun, though, to see the cast throw themselves around the bridge as the Enterprise does the time warp.
I don't know if I really buy Areel Shaw as Kirk's old girlfriend - I dunno, I think I've been reading too much Brandt-smut lately. Anyway, McCoy is irresistibly charming when he first runs into her; no wonder Dax had such fond memories of him. If Kirk & Shaw were together 4 years ago, as they say, where does this fit in the chronology? Somewhere between Carol Marcus and Gary Mitchell, I think. Spock (and McCoy) seemed suitably put out when Kirk kissed her on the bridge. And once again, Uhura very ably takes over the navigator's position when necessary - this woman has no end of skills.
While I was watching this ep, my SO walked in and said, "Is this this one with the Nazis? Or the big dragon thing [Vaal]?" And I said, "No, but it's one exactly like them with a different computer." So much for the plot. Things to notice: Spock is looking *extra* fine in that black hooded robe - yes, black is the color for this man, and that hood is soooo sexy. (It reminds me of when I saw ST:TMP in the theatre, when Spock first came on the bridge in his black cape and every person in the audience sucked in their breath at once. It was great - a huge collective sexual thrill.) I like the way Kirk looks in those Wild Wild West clothes. Also notable for being the first ep in which Kirk says "Prime Directive? Fuck that!"