Saturday, June 1, 2013

Star Trek: The Original Series - Episode 5: The Enemy Within

Episode 5 - The Enemy Within
  • Written by Richard Matheson
  • Sulu: Dog-in-Costume Handler
  • EVIL CAPTAIN KIRK!!! (A strange alter-ego? Captain Hyde!)
  • A savage, ferocious opposite. 
  • Note to self: Ok... must learn about the green shirt. I get that green is captain related, but why does he fluctuate between green and yellow. More research is needed.
  • Extra Eyeliner for Evil!
  • If you look anything less than perfect in the eyes of your crew, they lose faith in you. 
  • No...... I'M CAPTAIN KIRK! 
  • Vulcan Neck-Pinch #2!
  • Rapidly losing the power of decision? Spock, logically, strives to observe this anomaly. Makes me think of the recent Hannibal episode where Lecter chooses to hide from Will that he has a extremely advanced case of Encephalitis, just so that he can study it and have the notoriety of publishing case notes about it (Episode 10, "Buffet Froid"). Lecter and Spock.... could a friendship be formed?
  • Logic verses Knowledge (Spock vs. McCoy)
  • Sulu NEEDS COFFEE!!! -41 and they're needing only coffee? 
  • OH NO SULU!!!!!! He doesn't have a week Mr. Scott!!!
  • PHASER TO THE RESCUE!!! You heat that rock. You heat is real good. That is really a seriously awesome tool.
  • Sulu keeps spirits high in a crisis. Good man!
  • Kirk: "I can't go on without you!"  (The Sensitive Kirk.)
  • There is a thoughtless brutal animal in all of us. It's called "being human." Without the negative side you couldn't be the captain. You need the black and white.
  • Great philosophical conversation between McCoy and Kirk about the essence of being human.
  • Space Federeation PETA's gonna pissed with your treatment of that.... dog-like-creature.
  • Your intelligence is controlling your fear. 
  • MCCOY: Suppose it wasn't shock, Jim. Suppose death was caused by transporter malfunction. Then you'd die. They'd die, anyway. Jim, you can't risk your life on a theory!
  • SPOCK: Being split in two halves is no theory with me, Doctor. I have a human half, you see, as well as an alien half, submerged, constantly at war with each other. Personal experience, Doctor. I survive it because my intelligence wins out over both, makes them live together. Your intelligence would enable you to survive as well. 

  • Bones? Is this a first? 
  • Which one is the real Kirk? (omg!!! classic reference!!! I am freaking out!)
  • You know who I am! (Yes, I wear less eyeliner, because I'm not evil!)
  • Can half a man live? (see further down for discussion about whether half a woman can live.)
  • I've seen a part of myself that no man should ever see.
  • Soft filter on Yeoman Janice. She's so ethereal and angelic. 

The first thing I latched onto with this episode was that it was written by Richard Matheson. I had a bit of a squealing girl moment, because he wrote I am, Legend, which I had read and consider one of the foundational apocalyptic monster novels. An additional attachment to Matheson comes from another one of my geek-loves. . . Stephen King. He tauts Matheson has a master of horror. My one problem with Matheson, or when I was reading I am, Legend, was that it was very masculine. I'm very sensitive to writing styles and Matheson is very masculine, to a point where I almost felt incapable of continuing on with the story. While I land more in a masculine mindset to begin with, sometimes the author's voice is so strong that it is difficult to fully participate in the story as a female reader. While I love the story and the world that is created, I struggle slightly with the delivery of the story.

So I was eager to see this episode due to the fact that I love Matheson's stories and the delivery would not be as prominent an issue as it was in I am, Legend. And I was not let down. This was an amazing episode. It was also the first time I was really sucked into an episode, because it felt like, finally, a real solid episode. The others were still finding their groove or hadn't found a direction yet. Just further proof that networks needs to give shows at least 8-10 episodes before canceling them. Sometimes a show has to find it's footing before it really sucks in viewers. If I had been watching this on television for the first time, I might have tuned out due to pure inconsistency and lack of connection to me as a viewer during the first few episodes. They're cool to me now, because I'm investing outside knowledge to them and I have an infinite desire to understand Star Trek. 

The other thing I thought was interesting about this episode is that it is the first one where Spock and McCoy are REALLY distinguished as having two different philosophical/worldview mindsets. I've seen things about their epic mind battles and how, clearly, McCoy is the mental romantic. I love it! I have a feeling that, like Kirk, I appreciate Spock's logical mind, but I'll gravitate more towards McCoy for his humanity. That's if I'm remember things correctly. Thank goodness Spock is half-human.

Finally, Kirk's line about "can half a man live?" made me think of my Master's Dissertation on nuns in film. The title is "Half a Woman." This episode, from a philosophical standpoint, addresses the classical Greek idea that the human soul is a two-part entity. There is the rational side of the soul and the animalistic side. The rational side can clearly understand reason, which is why Kirk is so torn in the scene where Spock and McCoy are arguing their two sides. He sees the reason in both of their arguments and cannot act on it. The Animalistic Kirk is driven by his passions and desires. He attacks Yeoman Janice and, in his final crazy moment, is declaring that it is his ship!  Two things he has desires and passions for (see Episode 4 and his need for a romantic beach walk). Neither can exist without the other, because in each other they find balance. Kirk finds the will to act on his reasons, only with the desire and passion that drives him.

So in my dissertation I addressed the idea that a woman is not considered whole is she does not have children, so a nun is always considered half a woman. In reality, maybe it was more about a woman, like a man, cannot only exist with reason and rationale. There needs to be passion. When a nun takes her vows, she removes desire and pleasure from her life, thus cutting off the animalistic part of her soul and only prescribing to the reasoning part of her soul. As we saw with Kirk,  he cannot make decisions. Within the Catholic church, the nuns were ruled by the male patriarchs. Decisions were already made. In films that use nuns, it is usually a struggle to unit the two parts of the soul and find the balance of being a women, in terms of society and a devotee to God.

Woah... that was deep. I think it's time to sign off for now, because that took me to a much deeper place than I intended to go. But maybe that's what my college philosophy teacher was talking about. He was a Trekkie through and through and I just didn't understand it till now. What a shame that it took me this long to make those connections.

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