3/27/12

Star Trek: Asterisk "Errand of Mercy"

Vital Information
Series: The Original Series
Episode: S01E26
Air Date: March 23, 1967
Written by: Gene L. Coon
Directed by: John Newland

Premise
After starting a war with the Klingons, Kirk tries to take the Organians out of the line of fire, but they say "HARRUMPH" and try to shoo them away.

Review
When last we saw the Organians, they were studying the crew of the Enterprise NX-01. They were non-corporeal beings who inhabited the bodies of the crew in order to get a better look at how they interacted with each other. Now they have apparently acquired permanent bodies and settled down on a planet of their own. And had we not watched Star Trek: Enterprise first, we would have no clue that they were actually super-powerful energy people.

And Kirk had no idea about them either because they made Archer and his crew completely forget about them, so there was no report. So, when the Klingons start firing and a war is declared, he thinks he has to continue on to Organia to warn them of the impending war and suggest that they side with the Federation. It's an errand of mercy to save them from the militaristic Klingon Empire. Surely such a helpless and primitive culture would jump at the chance to be protected from a military dictatorship!
NOPE.
The Organians tell Kirk to just leave them alone and that they'll be fine. Kirk insists that they have no idea what they're up against with the Klingon Empire, but without any further explanation, Ayelborne says they'll be fine and that they should really just go. While they're arguing, a Klingon force surrounds the Enterprise and Kirk tells the Enterprise to just go and take care of herself. Now he and Spock are stuck on the planet just waiting for the Klingons to come and take over, so they do their best to fit in. Kirk passes as an Organian, but Spock poses as a Vulcan merchant.

When Kor, the Klingon commander, beams down with his men, he immediately finds the hall of elders where Kirk and Spock were meeting with Ayelborne. Kor demands that Ayelborne and the Organians submit to Klingon rule and Kirk does his best (which is no good at all) to contain his disdain for Klingons. Kirk gives in to his rage, but this only leaves Kor with the idea that Kirk is a man he can deal with. An Organian with an attitude? Rare and beautiful in Kor's eyes. He turns to Ayelborne and gives him one more chance to submit to Klingon rule.
NOPE.
Mind you, after all this time, Ayelborne still has not given anyone any reason to believe that the Organians will be safe on their own. He just refuses any help and insists that no one understands them. He's like an emo teenager, except more confident in himself.

Taking matters into his own hands, Kirk conspires with Spock to blow up a store of Klingon weapons. When they do this, they get caught and imprisoned. Afterward, in retaliation, Kor orders that 200 Organians be killed. Kirk is furious, and Kor confronts him. After threat of death, Ayelborne outs him as James T. Kirk, captain of the Enterprise, and a fine prize for any Klingon. Kirk is enraged by the betrayal, but does Ayelborne care?
NOPE.
So Kirk and Spock are sent to prison and, wouldn't you know it, Ayelborne comes along and saves them. This completely confuses Kirk, but he goes along with it. They end up back at the council chambers and there's Kor waiting for them. This BLOWS KIRK'S MIND. First he outs him, then he saves him, and now he's betraying him again??

Well, apparently Ayelborne has had enough. Suddenly everyone's weapons, including those on the Enterprise, become too hot to handle. And then Ayelborne says he's on Earth and on Qo'noS stopping the war for good. Ayelborne and the rest of the Organians reveal themselves to be highly-luminescent non-corporeal beings that can take care of themselves and really have no time for this hogwash. Both Kirk and Kor are annoyed that they stopped the war, though. I guess Humanity has a little more to learn about not getting what they don't want. But does Ayelborne care?
NOPE. NOW GET THE FRAK OFF MY PLANET.

Overall Thoughts
I gotta say, it's really annoying that Ayelborne tells Kirk to leave but gives him no indication that that will do any good. "You just don't understand us," he says. Well, then explain it to him! What is he, a dog that can't understand what you're saying?? Despite this, "Errand of Mercy" teaches a valuable lesson about pacifism and not getting involved in wars. Kind of appropriate for the time, eh?