4/15/12

Star Trek: Asterisk "Mirror, Mirror"

Vital Information
Series: The Original Series
Episode: S02E04
Air Date: October 6, 1967
Written by: Jerome Bixby
Directed by: Marc Daniels

Premise
After a transporter accident, Kirk, Bones, Uhura and Scotty find themselves in an alternate universe. One where everyone is evil... EVIL!

Review
It begins with the landing party trying to pick up some dilithium. There's an ion storm on the way, so they need an answer soon. Then suddenly, the leader in control of the dilithium says "THERE WILL BE NO DILITHIUM, NO TREATY AND NO LIEUTENANT YAR!" ...Wait... wrong series. He says he doesn't trust the Federation enough to give over his dilithium since it is so powerful and could be used for evil means. Well, then Kirk decides not to force his hand, and leaves gracefully before the ion storm rolls in. And for his efforts, he is rewarded with a transporter malfunction.

Beaming onto the ship, the landing party finds themselves in different uniforms and looking at a stylish goatee on Mr. Spock. Clearly this is a different universe and they have inadvertently taken their duplicates' place. After Mirror Spock punishes the transporter operator for screwing things up, Kirk decides that the best plan for now is to try to fit in and delay things for as long as possible until they're able to find a way back.
Is that a black man hailing Hitler? Does... does he know?
So apparently, the Mirror Enterprise was doing the same thing our Enterprise was doing: trying to get dilithium. Met with the same resistance, however, their orders were to destroy the inhabitants below and take what they want. So Chekov and Sulu are busy preparing planetary targets while Uhura walks onto the bridge. Another thing that's different in the Mirror Universe: Mirror Sulu really has a thing for Uhura. After she comes in, he immediately sets about pursuing her, and she shoves him off like the rotten meat he is. Well, then Kirk comes in and everyone gets back to work. When the planet's ruler contacts them, Kirk shows mercy. Which is totally not the right thing to do in the Mirror Universe. After that, Kirk leaves and Chekov follows him. The poor sap thinks he can assassinate Kirk and take his place. Unfortunately, one of the thugs Chekov hired to help him was loyal to Kirk so... plot foiled!

So this place has become seriously dangerous for all involved, so Kirk, Scotty, Bones and Uhura meet up in Kirk's quarters to sit down and figure this all out. They discover that with the right calculations they can recreate the transporter accident and go back to their own universe. They also look through the record of Mirror Kirk and find that he's done a lot of killing in his time. His savagery is confirmed when we snap back to the Prime Universe for a bit to find that Mirror Kirk is having a very difficult time getting along with Spock Prime. So now the plan for Kirk Prime and his crew is to distract Sulu while Scotty reroutes some power to the transporters and gets them back home.
Meanwhile, Mirror Chekov checks out the legacy of Mirror Phlox.
So guess whose job it is to distract Sulu. That's right! Uhura plays a vital role in this plan. But before she gets to work, Kirk goes back to his quarters to find a woman asleep in his bed. She is Marlena, the "Captain's Woman". They talk for a while and she basically starts to suspect he's "different". Then she brings up the Tantalus Field. Kirk obviously doesn't know what she's talking about, but she activates it anyway. It's an alien device that Mirror Kirk plundered from an unknown scientist. This is how all of Mirror Kirk's enemies have "disappeared".

Meanwhile, Scotty and Bones go to make the alterations to the transporter. But before they do, they signal Uhura to distract Mirror Sulu, because once they begin, a light will blink on Sulu's board. So Uhura starts to seduce Mirror Sulu. Scotty and Bones get to work and when they're done, Uhura is suddenly disinterested in Mirror Sulu. She backs away slowly with her knife drawn. And Mirror Sulu doesn't like it one bit. In the transporter room, Kirk tries to unlock the controls, but is stopped by Mirror Spock. Mirror Spock takes him away and everyone meets up in sickbay.
A good old fashioned space showdown.
Aaaaaaaaaaaaand FIGHT! Before Mirror Spock can figure out what's going on, the four Prime characters fight him and knock him out. But before they can go and execute their plan, Mirror Sulu comes in with a group of thugs and threatens Kirk's life. But Marlena to the rescue! She uses the Tantalus Field to make Sulu's team disappear and then Sulu is easy to take out. Kirk, Scotty and Uhura rush off to the transporter, but Bones holds back for a while to make sure Mirror Spock is alright. Not Mirror Sulu. No one cares about him. But then Mirror Spock gets up and mind melds with Bones.

In the transporter room, Marlena shows up and begs to be taken along with Kirk. Unfortunately, she can't. Kirk says there's only enough power for the four of them. And then the fourth shows up. Along with Mirror Spock. Tension builds for a while, but then Mirror Spock starts to help them with the transporter. He just wants things back to normal. But before he leaves, Kirk pleads with Spock to be the man in this universe that makes a difference. Find a logical reason to make things better and leave behind the barbarism and tyranny.

When they get back home, Spock Prime comments on how the Mirror counterparts acted as prime examples of humanity. So he basically trolls Kirk again by insulting his race. Then Marlena walks up to Kirk, ready for duty. This is Marlena Prime. Someone who Kirk says he'll probably get along with... just fine.

Overall Thoughts
::Applause!:: This is the first instance of the Mirror Universe and it is brilliant. To all who don't want to get on board with the Alternate Universe in Star Trek (2009), I refer you to this episode. Alternate Universes exist in canon since season 2! But besides that, "Mirror, Mirror" is a great example of how things might have been if everyone was just a bit more evil.