4/2/12

Star Trek: Asterisk "Operation -- Annihilate!"

Vital Information
Series: The Original Series
Episode: S01E29
Air Date: April 13, 1967
Written by: Steven W. Carabatsos
Directed by: Herschel Daugherty

Premise
The crew encounters plastic puke monsters that threaten civilization as they know it.

Review
Following a string of planets that have gone mad and died, the Enterprise gets to the last one on the list - the one where Kirk's brother lives. When they arrive they find that a ship is on a crash course toward the sun! They try to save it, but whoever's inside is intent on following through. Over the communication channel, he says "I'M FREE!" and dives into the massive star.

They return to the planet to find the civilization has gone mad. They seem to want to hurt the landing party, but at the same time they're warning them to get away. After phasing the welcoming committee, they rush to Sam's house (Kirk's brother), and find him dead on the ground with his wife screaming that something is trying to get them. The son of Sam is also laying on the ground, but he's still alive, so Bones takes him and the wife back up to the ship. And now it's time to figure out what the heck is going on.
She obviously can't handle your sexual magnetism, Jim.
Kirk's sister-in-law ravages in pain and can only talk about these "things" that are using the people as their arms and legs to build space craft. She's in immense pain and eventually succumbs to it and dies. Now the stakes are raised for Kirk. He has to find a cure before his nephew suffers the same fate. He goes back to find the "things" and discovers that they are plastic puke monsters neural parasites that apparently can fly and stick to walls. When they attack the parasites, one of them sticks to Spock, which is really the best thing they could have done, because Spock is the only one with the mental discipline to handle it.

Except it caught him by surprise. While Spock is still trying to figure out what's going on, the parasite's infection makes him try to take over the ship and Bones is forced to sedate him. Eventually Spock wakes back up, though, and appears to be completely under control. He says that pain is a thing of the mind and that, as a Vulcan, he is able to keep it under control. With this in mind, he should be able to go back down to the planet and bring back a specimen without risk of being infected again.
Dude, is this guy serious right now?
So Spock goes and gets a parasite, studies it and finds it to resemble most closely a brain cell. He puts it through a battery of tests based on the fact that that one guy was trying to destroy it by going into the sun. They try radiation, heat, etc, nothing seems to work. And then Kirk suggests the one thing they hadn't thought of: LIGHT. Bones sets up the test, a million candle-power of light blasted at the parasite. And it works. So now it's time to cure Spock. One problem: a million candle-power will totally blind him. A small price to pay, he says, for the salvation of the colony below.

Spock goes through the test, comes out, and says the pain is completely gone, but he is quite blind. And that's when Bones figures out that he didn't have to use the full spectrum of light. He kicks himself for not thinking that just infrared light could work! Well, at least now they can set up a bunch of satellites to bombard the colony with infrared light. So that's what they do and the colony is saved! YAY! And then Spock walks onto the bridge... and he can see! Turns out Vulcans have a second pair of eyelids due to the brightness of the Vulcan sun.
Spock at the end of pretty much every episode.
So the colony is saved, Spock can see, everyone can go home happy. Yay!

Overall Thoughts
This was a pretty great episode. Except for the fact that they killed off Kirk's brother and he seemed to have no reaction to it at the end when the immediate danger is out of the way. I assume the funeral took place off screen? And Kirk's brother's death doesn't have any affect on him from this day forward? Meh. Besides that, the rest of the episode was good. It's the first mention of a hive-mind type of creature.