skyfyre: Sumeragi Hokuto from X/1999, Smiling (What is this fuckery?)
skyfyre ([personal profile] skyfyre) wrote2010-06-03 03:13 pm
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And The Children Shall Lead

Well, that bored me to tears. In fact, I think I'm going to blame the headache I had on it. Boo.

So, Kirk, Spock, and McCoy beam down to this largely deserted planet. I'm going to assume that this is how it's going to be for the rest of forever. The three of them beam down first without any sort of security, despite being a few of the most highly ranked people on the ship. I mean, if they were just there to pick up some stuff for transport, then surely they could have sent some ensigns down to do it? And why do they even need a doctor?

Unless he's there to stand around and be awesome. If that's the case, then carry on, Doctor.

Though it turns out that it's for the best that they brought the Doctor, because there are all sorts of corpses around.

One of the corpses turns out to still be alive. Don't worry, he's only alive long enough to gibber and die in front of the audience. This gives McCoy a chance to show off how good he is at his job by pronouncing the man dead by only feeling his pulse. Because he's bad ass. They figure out that all these people killed themselves. According to the most recently dead guy's tricorder, they were worried about the enemy within.

Kirk: Well, this whole thing is as surprising as it is unpleasant.

All is not lost, though. The children are still alive. And creepy.

I'm thinking that there's a law that says that if there's a child in a dramatic show, then that child has to be creepy. At one point Supernatural poked fun at the fact with this guy complaining that it's always creepy children. Said creepy children then kill his ass.

Because children are creepy.

Anyway, the children come, disregard the bodies of their parents around them and start playing ring around the rosy around Captain Kirk.

Because they feel that they're not creepy enough on their own, they need to add a couple of layers.

So they bury the children's parents and Kirk is creeped out by how much the children don't care. The children go off and play and show no regard to the tragedy around them.

Kirk: Dude. Has it been mentioned how creepy these kids are? 'Cause they are so creepy.
McCoy: They are also potentially traumatized. You know, dead parents and all.
Kirk: They are playing tag over their parents graves!
McCoy: Repression: it's the name of the game. Do you see what I did there? They're repressing and they're playing a game....
Kirk: Just take them and their crazy up to the ship, will you?

Bones actually said something about psychology and was trying to sound like a, you know, Doctor. I'm not exactly sure what he said, since I actually stopped caring about this episode around the time the kids showed up. Captain Kirk thinks that they're creepy, I find them unimpressive. Anyway, Bones gives the reason that they can't just question the kids about what happened outright.

Bones does follow orders and takes the kids up to the Enterprise. After he's gone, Kirk and Spock explore again and follow a weird energy reading into a cave, where Kirk has a minor freak out.

Spock: What?
Spock: I am so glad I don't have "feelings".

So there is something weird going on. Other than the mass suicide corpses outside. And Shatner's acting. Does he really move like that when he's anxious? That was just weird.

So the kids are up on the Enterprise and Nurse Chapel is giving the children ice cream. They, of course, do not say please or thank you, because creepy children never do. I'm not sure why she gave that look to the kid who wanted chocolate, pistachio, and peach ice cream. It's not like she didn't have the card for it.

So while the children eat ice cream, Doctor McCoy tries to explain to Kirk again that these kids might be psychologically scarred and maybe he shouldn't poke their emotionally wounds. Kirk disbelieves.

Kirk sits down with the children and Chapel grabs him an ice cream, too. Really, Captain Kirk is just another child to babysit. Kirk talks to the children about the planet they left behind and the kids let him know that that planet blew. Only adults like that planet. The children also express disregard for familial ties. They don't miss their parents, their parents don't really matter, blah blah blah it's play time.

So the kids run around some more and Kirk is still creeped out. Nurse Chapel eventually leads the children to bed, leaving only the oldest boy, Tommy, to prove right everything Eric Cartman ever said about gingers.

Finally the children are alone in their room and, left to their own devises, chant and summon an evil spirit. Of course, they call him the friendly angel, but the children are evil and can't be trusted. This spirit is wearing a giant cloak thing and has green light all around him. This evil guy tells the children that together they can take over the universe. They have to get to some planet to kill/convert its inhabitants, but first they have to take over the Enterprise, which shouldn't be too hard. Then the spirit can control the universe and they can play forever. The children bang on the table and smile. Creepily.

I am still unimpressed.

So Spock and Kirk go through what Tommy's dad recorded before he died. They watch the recordings and just as they are about to get to something really relevant, Tommy comes in and makes a gesture to turn the screen off. This gesture that Tommy makes is meant to be like pounding the table before, but without the table and done right in front of his chest, it looks dirty and unfortunate.

So Tommy is left on the bridge of the Enterprise while Kirk, Spock, and Bones go to Kirk's room. They're there to look over the rest of the dead guys report. No hanky-panky, there are creepy children around. I forget what, exactly, they learn from the video, but McCoy maintains that it could be trauma.

Tommy, while they are away, has used his evil mind powers and ridiculous hand movements to take over the Enterprise. He makes everyone think they're still orbiting the boring planet when they are in fact going to wherever it was that the Friendly Angel wants them to go.

Another of the children takes over Engineering to make them not notice the change in course. Scotty is ready to knock some heads together before the child puts the whammy on him, too.

Kirk and Spock go to the transporter room to beam up the exploration party on the planet and beam down some redshirts. He beams the redshirts down first, but when Spock goes to beam the party back up, he can't lock onto their signals. The console reads that the place Spock wants isn't there. They go check out the bridge monitor in the corner of the room. This screen that has never been there before and probably won't be there later. This slap in the face of continuity tells them that, in fact, the planet isn't there.

Kirk: But. Wait. If the planet isn't there, then I just sent those two redshirts to their deaths.
Spock: Whoops?

Really, you'd think they'd have safe guards against that sort of thing.

Transport Technician: I would like to transport this person here!
Computer: You sure? 'Cause there's nothing there.
Transport Technician: Really? Oh, wow, that could have ended in tears.

So Kirk and Spock go up to the bridge. The children call the Friendly Angel, who tells them to rule through fear. Kirk and Spock try to get the crew to listen to them and change course, but Tommy and the creepy girl make them all live their fears. Sulu is piloting through knives and Uhura is old and diseased. Spock can't follow commands and Kirk is no longer in control. Spock and Kirk leave the bridge and break out of the evil thrall. They go to engineering, only to get beat up by Scotty and his underlings. Engineering doesn't take shit from anybody, commanding officer or no. Checkov and some security guards try to arrest Kirk and Spock, but Kirk could kick Checkov's punk ass in his sleep with one arm tied behind his back. Spock takes the goons to the brig and Kirk returns to the bridge, because it worked out so well the last time he was there.

Tommy and the girl are still there and Kirk does some smooth talking to at least get his chair back. Spock comes in and they play back a recording of the children chanting to summon the Friendly Angel. The other children arrive, I assume lead there by the siren call of their satanic master, and Kirk proceeds to do what he's been dying to the entire episode.

Traumatize some damn kids.

While the children watch, he plays back a video of the kids and their parents laughing and playing and having a grand old time. The kids are really into this and smiling. Happy memories! Then the video cuts to the bodies strewn around the same place they'd been playing (possibly for dramatic effect, more likely because they only had the one set).

Kirk: See, kids? This is what being part of an evil cult will get you. Corpses.

The kids are crying and start blaming the Friendly Angel, who starts to melt without their support. Thus, the Friendly Angel is defeated and Kirk emotionally devastated some kids. At this point, Bones comes in and, seeing that the children have broken out of whatever emotional thing held them, smiles and chuckles a bit.

In conclusion: Doctor McCoy enjoys the suffering of the innocent.

[identity profile] 2010-06-03 07:38 pm (UTC)(link)
There's never been any doubt in my mind that this was the worst episode of classic Trek ever, though The Empath and another whose name just escaped me fought really hard for that dubious distinction.

Give yourself something better as a reward for surviving this experience.

[identity profile] 2010-06-03 07:55 pm (UTC)(link)
"Return of the Archons." That was the third of the super-stinkers.

If NBC executives had chosen scripts so they could justify canceling the series, these are the ones they'd have selected, IMHO.

[identity profile] 2010-06-03 08:27 pm (UTC)(link)
Really? I heard that the Empath was one of the... okay ones of the third season. Differing opinions makes me want to see it. Hopefully it won't hurt me like some episodes have.

Personally, I am never going to forgive Bread and Circuses. Boring episodes I can forget, silly episodes I can laugh at, but that one went and snapped my suspension of disbelief. I was cool with Earth like planets with native who speak English until they went and made a big fuss about it.

[identity profile] 2010-06-03 09:31 pm (UTC)(link)
Hey, "The Empath" has some primo angst and hurt-comfort in it, even if the plot doesn't make all that much sense. (But when does it ever, in Classic Trek?) On the other hand, if angst and h-c don't float your boat, there isn't that much else in "The Empath" to hold your attention.
ckd: small blue foam shark (Default)

[personal profile] ckd 2010-06-03 08:00 pm (UTC)(link)
It gets even better when you know who played the Friendly Angel. Cracktastic casting!

[identity profile] 2010-06-03 08:33 pm (UTC)(link)
I think this just goes to show that stunt casting always seems like a better idea than it actually is.

It also proves that lawyers are evil and want to destroy us all.

[identity profile] 2010-06-03 08:54 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh, I'm SO saving this for later. Right now, it's just too hot to sit in front of the computer.

[identity profile] 2010-06-04 02:53 am (UTC)(link)
That was the CREEPIEST episode ever. Bleh.

Of course, your rendition made it less creepy, more funny. For that, I thank you, otherwise I'd be going to bed hearing that little-kid chant in my head!

[identity profile] 2010-06-04 04:57 am (UTC)(link)
See, to me, this episode tried so hard to be creepy but just fell short every time.

Though, to be fair, I'm used to Buffy and Supernatural, both of which do creepy children right.