6/19/12

Star Trek: Asterisk "The Enterprise Incident"

Vital Information
Series: The Original Series
Episode: S03E02
Air Date: September 27, 1968
Written by: D. C. Fontana
Directed by: John Meredyth Lucas

Premise
Kirk goes crazy and enters the Romulan Neutral Zone without provocation!

Review
We open this episode with a log from Bones instead of Kirk, which should be our first clue that something strange is up. Bones says that Kirk has been acting strange and restless. He's barking out orders and being generally a big meanie head. WHEN SUDDENLY: Kirk orders Sulu to set a course straight into the Romulan Neutral Zone. Which is totally against the treaty! WTF, Kirk!? Despite his illogical order, the crew is forced to follow. And once they're in the Neutral Zone, they are overtaken by several Romulan ships. Now he's gone and done it.

Instead of immediately firing on the Enterprise, they hail Kirk and attempt to enact the "Finders Keepers" rule where the first ship to enter the Neutral Zone is immediately the property of the other team. Instead of following that rule, Kirk negotiates a hostage trade. They send over a couple of centurions, we give them Kirk and Spock. So the trade happens and the centurions are sent to the brig. When Kirk and Spock meet the superior officer of the Romulan contingent, they are surprised and delighted to find that she's a sexy, sexy female.
Hello, boys...
She interrogates them for a while, first taking Spock away from Kirk to question him separately. Kirk insists that a navigational error took them into the Neutral Zone before they realized it, but when Spock comes back he spills the beans. He tells the commander that Kirk entered with no provocation and no orders, essentially betraying his captain. But a Vulcan is nothing if not loyal, right?? Well, Kirk is enraged and taken away. Meanwhile the Romulan Commander hails the Enterprise and tells them to come along to Romulus. Scotty, however, refuses. He'll take no orders but those that come from Kirk.

So the Romulan Commander tries to get Spock onto her side. And she seems to be doing very well in that goal. Spock is literally being seduced. Which, to be fair, should have tipped her off a little more quickly. Meanwhile, Kirk is thrown into a brig and immediately injures himself while trying to escape through the force field. Because of this, they allow Bones to beam over to care for him. While he's there, Bones declares Kirk mentally incapacitated, the Romulan Commander declares Spock captain of the Enterprise, Kirk fights Spock over it and Spock "instinctively" uses the Vulcan Death Grip on him.
Can I pronounce him dead? It's my specialty!
Back on the Enterprise, Bones has Kirk on an operating bed and Nurse Chapel comes in to mourn or something. But then Kirk wakes up! Later, Bones gives Kirk an operation to make him look Romulan and then Scotty is brought in on the fun. It's now revealed that this whole charade has been a plot to get their hands on a Romulan cloaking device. Scotty takes a uniform from one of the Romulans in the brig and Kirk is all set for infiltration while Spock is keeping the Romulan Commander busy in her quarters.

While the Romulan Commander is away to change into something more comfortable, Spock contacts Kirk. Well, the Romulans track down the signal and Spock's espionage is over. Thankfully, Kirk gets away with the cloaking device just in time. But while Spock is still in Romulan hands, the Romulan Commander takes his statement. This is just another stalling tactic for Spock, though, because while he's in the middle of recording this statement, the Enterprise finds him, locks on and beams him up. That is... beams THEM up.
These Starfleet vessels are so bright!
While Spock was being transported, the Romulan Commander grabbed onto him. With her on board the Enterprise, now the rest of the Romulan ship will be hesitant to fire. Except that when Kirk calls over to them, she orders them to fire. So the Enterprise runs away and the Romulans give chase. In the mean time, Scotty is in engineering trying to get the cloaking device to work. It takes a while, but after a few breath-taking minutes, he makes it work, the Enterprise disappears and the Romulans just fly right on past. Bones reminds Kirk that he still looks Romulan, so he has to go into surgery. And then Spock escorts the Romulan Commander to her quarters. And the day is saved!

Overall Thoughts
Any episode with a Romulan is bound to be a good one. Espionage, secrets, cosmetic surgery, all the while exploring Spock's ability to seduce a Romulan female. This episode is flawless!