7/17/12

Star Trek: Asterisk "The Lights of Zetar"

Vital Information
Series: The Original Series
Episode: S03E18
Air Date: January 31, 1969
Written by: Jeremy Tarcher and Shari Lewis
Directed by: Herb Kenwith

Premise
Scotty falls in love with a pretty young lass who ends up being host to a race of dead aliens.

Review
Lt. Mira Romaine is her name and learning stuff is her game, so the Enterprise is taking her to Memory Alpha, the storage place for all of the Federation's knowledge, so she can get smarter. Along the way, Scotty takes a fancy to her and the two of them end up spending a lot of time together. Spock, however, detects a storm in their path. A storm that's traveling at warp speeds. Which, as we all know, is impossible, since natural things don't travel past the speed of light. That's when the crap hits the fan.

The storm overtakes the Enterprise and causes Kirk to be unable to speak. It causes Sulu not to be able to see and Chekov not to be able to look around. But what's really interesting is that once it leaves, Mira falls to the ground and gets a really bad case of heartburn. Scotty, of course, rushes to her to see if she's alright, but she only responds with odd guttural noises that don't mean anything while strange lights appear in her eyes and face. Bones is able to wake her up with a hypo, but she still just stares blankly around her.
She probably just had some bad weed.
After she's taken to sick bay, the bridge crew speculates on what happened and realize that separate centers of their brain were deactivated during what Kirk would classify as an attack. They track the storm and see that it's headed straight for Memory Alpha. When it reaches Memory Alpha, Mira has a strange vision of aliens laying dead in a lab of some kind. Meanwhile, the bridge scans Memory Alpha and finds that, after the storm passed, anything that was once alive there, had just died. And the storms move on...

They get to Memory Alpha as quickly as they can and find it completely dead. Mira takes a look and finds a scene exactly as she saw it in her head. Which scares the wits out of her. She goes back to the Enterprise and talks it over with Scotty who demonstrates what Nurse Chapel says is a great bedside manner. But he just thinks Mira's going space-crazy, so it's nothing to worry about. What is to worry about is the fact that the storm is coming back their way! And it seems to be attacking the Enterprise like an intelligent being!
The only logical decision is to blow a hole through it.
When they fire phasers at the storm, Mira doubles over in pain. So they do what any self-respecting business would do: they hold a meeting. In the meeting Mira describes everything that's been happening to her and Bones shows a sample of her brainwave activity. Which is odd because when Spock shows a sample of readings from the storm, they match up perfectly. It takes a while, but... give it a minute... she'll put it together... There it is! It finally hit her that she's somehow connected to the storm.

Well, after they figure that out, they believe they can get whatever's in her out by putting her through a pressure chamber. But when they take her there, the storm tightens its grip on her. Disco lights start flashing everywhere and enter into her, causing her face to glow and her mouth to make more of those guttural noises. Finally she's able to speak... as someone else. The 100 survivors of Zetar, a planet which had been destroyed, are inhabiting her body because hers is the only one they had found that was compatible.
Or maybe she just ate some bad shrooms. It's difficult to say.
Kirk and Zetarans go back and forth about using Mira's body and, hot though it may be, it belongs to her and they can't have it. They refuse to relinquish it, so Mira fights her way into the pressure chamber. When she can't go any further, Scotty comes along to help her inside. They turn on the pressure chamber and Scotty is just outside watching through a window and cheering her on. At the risk of killing her, they bring the pressure higher, but in the end, she looks at Scotty and pulls through as the Zetarans say "SCREW THIS, I'M OUT." And they all lived happily ever after and learned a valuable lesson about love.

Overall Thoughts
This is a pretty adorable story about how Scotty won the affections of the hottest girl in Starfleet and then, after this episode, never saw her again. Seriously, though, nothing beats a good love story. Especially when intermingled with some disembodied aliens trying to become corporeal again.