Review 58 - Episode 59
The One that's a bit like Oceans 11
And we're back. A nice holiday break came at just the right time as I have been toiling through these end days of TOS. It's hard to tell if I'm simply prejudging them as being Season 3 bad or if they just aren't up to scratch - actually, strike that. Season 3 is rough, but I still go in expecting diamonds, and while this is a solid episode, it doesn't quite shine as brightly as I'd like.
Kirk has gone mad with stress and orders the Enterprise into Romulan space, where 3 Romulan/Klingon birds of prey decloak and surround them. Kirk is then killed by Spock (!) and Spock turns towards helping the Romulan empire and gets very close with the female commander. If all this sounds unlikely, it's because it is and I think the episode is weak because it plays out this bluff too long. We know something is up, but not exactly what, but the first half of the episode tries too long to fool us and I can't imagine even 60's audience members believing it.
The second half is better as Spock's relationship becomes surprisingly erotic in a subtle way and Kirk is alive again (surprise), but goes back as a Romulan to nick the cloaking device. I like the idea of the Federation being rather underhand and devious, but the whole gambit is ridiculous and the answers as too why Kirk is acting erratic and strange don't really hold up. The dialogue is slightly disappointing as well considering it's Fontana, which was a surprise.
The rest of the cast are largely anonymous (especially McCoy who you always think will have a big part, but never does), though Scotty has some nice one liners.
It's good and ambitious, but I admire it's goals more than it's actual execution.
Overall Star Trek Franchise Rating so far: 168/290