4/8/12

Star Trek: Asterisk "Amok Time"

Vital Information
Series: The Original Series
Episode: S02E01
Air Date: September 15, 1967
Written by: Theodore Sturgeon
Directed by: Joseph Pevney

Premise
It's Spock's mating season! And he has to go back to Vulcan and sex up his mate or fight for her before he dies. And Starfleet just wants him to go on some other crap mission.

Review
We open with Kirk sneaking through a Jeffery's Tube to avoid Spock. And then Bones comes up and asks him about Spock. And then Nurse Chapel comes along with some soup for Spock. He just can't seem to get away from Spock. Anyway, when Nurse Chapel brings in her soup Spock gets angry and throws the soup out of his door. Nurse Chapel is distraught and walks away crying... so Kirk has to pick up the pieces.

Spock demands leave on Vulcan, but refuses to explain why. He says it's something that no Vulcan can explain to an outworlder. Kirk is baffled, but Spock seems sincere, so he orders a course to Vulcan. But then Starfleet calls and says, "NO! You're going to Altair VI!" So Kirk thinks about it for about two seconds and decides "Screw that, we're going to Vulcan." Of course, this is after Spock unwittingly changed the course himself in his sex-crazed stupor.
Just give me some Vulcan tail and everything will be fine.
On the way, Spock explains that he is entering into the affliction of Pon Farr in which he must either find a mate, fight for her or die. When they get to Vulcan, Spock is contacted by T'Pring who he says is his wife. Except it's more complicated than that. The state they're in is less than marriage, but more than betrothal. In any case, he has to get down and go through some sort of ritual or else he'll die. Did I mention he might die?

They get down onto Vulcan and Spock brings along his two best friends, which is allowed by the rules of Pon Farr, Bones and Kirk. They're taken to Spock's ancestral lands and T'Pau comes along to get the party started. The rules of the game are this: Spock must stake his claim on T'Pring by hammering the gong, but if T'Pring silences the gong, she must select a challenger and the challenger must fight Spock for T'Pring's hand in sex. T'Pau starts the ceremony and then T'Pring decides she doesn't want Spock.
To be fair, the entire planet is fawning over this hottie.
And then, surprise of all surprises, T'Pring chooses Kirk?! Well, that's unfortunate because the thin air and the heat of Vulcan make it so that Kirk doesn't have a chance. After some pleas for Kirk's safety, it's decided that, for the good of Spock, they should go through with it. And that's when T'Pau decides to tell everyone it's a fight to the death. Well, they're in the thick of it now. For the good of Spock, Kirk fights to the death.

In the middle of the fight, Kirk falls over and gasps. Bones calls for the fight to stop and gives Kirk a hypo full of what's supposed to help him breathe in the thin air. The fight continues. Spock wins. Kirk appears to be dead. Solemnly, Bones takes Kirk and transports back up to the ship.  So Spock confronts T'Pring like "WTF! You made me kill my BFF!" They have a long conversation about what T'Pring wanted (which is some other dude) and how she might find out that it's not as great as it's cracked up to be.
Besides, I can get all the chicks I want.
He transports back up and talks to Bones about what he's going to do next and Kirk, alive and well, sneaks up behind him. Spock turns around and shows a huge burst of happy emotion, yelling "JIM!" Realizing what he'd done, he composes himself and gets back to work. Bones confronts him on his use of emotion, and Spock insures Bones that he was merely expressing logical relief that Starfleet had not lost a fine officer. Pfft. Yeah right.

Overall Thoughts
This is basically the episode that everyone knows if they're into Spock at all. Pon Farr spawned a whole new breed of fan fiction that we need not get into. Suffice it to say, when you create a species that doesn't use emotion, there has to be at least a day where they let it all loose. A+ to the creators of this episode. Well done.