skyfyre: Sumeragi Hokuto from X/1999, Smiling (What is this fuckery?)
skyfyre ([personal profile] skyfyre) wrote2011-08-15 05:34 pm
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Let That Be Your Last Battlefield

So, a few weeks ago, I was catching up on the most recent season of The Big Bang Theory, because I love me some geeky sitcoms. I'm cheerfully watching next to my twin brother when this happens:

Sheldon: Do you remember what happened in the Star Trek episode "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield?"
Me: Wait. That's the next episode that I'm watching.
Leonard: Uh, Captain Kirk activated the self-destruct sequence and threatened to blow up the Enterprise and kill them both unless he gave in?
Me: DUDE. They totally just spoiled Star Trek for me!
Twin: It's been off the air for, like, forty years.
Me: Yeah, and I haven't watched it yet. I am not amused*

The moral of the story is that you're never safe from spoilers, and you'll get them in the most random places.

Anyway, I watched "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield," and I demand to know what the third season has against decent television. I kept having to pause to psych myself to keep watching, because I kept getting so bored. I've realized that being really boring is the general theme of season three.

I miss season two. Things were good in season two.

The episode opens with Captain Kirk in his chair, doing his report. There's something about a bacteria and a mission to decontaminate a planet. I wasn't paying that much attention to what he was saying. I was too busy wondering why he was giving the report to a tricorder instead of the main computer. Don't even pretend his chair can't do that. It's the captain's chair.

Then they pick up something on their scanners, which turns out to be be a Star Fleet vessel. In fact, a stolen Star Fleet vessel. Apparently everyone is aware of this stolen vessel, except for Chekov, who is never in the loop for any of these things. I'd say poor dear, but I still don't like him very much.

The stolen ship apparently has some structural failure, and the one life form aboard is suffocating. They pull the ship in and bring the life form to sick bay. This life form, as it turns out, has some odd coloring. Half of him is black and half of him is white. For some reason, everyone is kinda weirded out by this. How did this happen? There's no way everyone on his planet is like that. Maybe it's a mutation! They talk briefly about how skin color can range from black to brown to yellow to white. Which completely leaves out the green and blues that I know aliens can be in Star Trek, which is kinda speciest of them.

I just don't understand what they're freaking out about. It's a big universe, weird things happen. There's an alien species that resembles pigs, for heaven's sake.

So Bones does his best to heal the man, despite not knowing all that much about his physiology beyond "human and funny colored."

Spock: I'm sure you'll do a very good job, pumping him with your noxious potions.
Bones: Those noxious potions have saved your life more than once.
Me: IS ANY OF THIS REALLY NECESSARY?

The nice alien wakes up, and is immediately accused of stealing the ship and he's called a specimen to his face AND WHY DO YOU LOOK SO FUNNY, HUH?

Kirk: I do know that you made off with a ship that didn't belong to you.
Me: Actually, no you don't. You know he was found in the ship. You don't know how he got there. Back off.
Lokai, the funny looking alien: My need allowed me to have the use of it.
Me: It's cool. Don't help your case at all. See if I care.

At this point, I'm eight minutes into the episode, and I hate everyone in it. This is funny in light of the moral of the episode. And the moral will be abundantly clear. Because Star Trek does not believe in subtlety.

Report from the bridge says that there's a ship approaching the Enterprise on a collision course. Kirk is going to have to come and yell at Lokai some more later.

It turns out that the ship that is fast approaching the Enterprise is invisible. This is probably because they didn't have a the budget for a new alien ship. They'd already had the Star Fleet shuttle craft, which is why Lokai stole it. Let's hear it for the season three budget cuts!

The ship disintegrates or something before it can actually hit the Enterprise. Really, it's for the best that there was no impact, since so one ever braces for it.

Random officer: BRACE FOR IMPACT.
Everyone else: I think I'm cool just standing here.**

So now we've got an alien named Bele. He's black and white, too! Which throws mutation theory out. It's okay, that was a stupid theory to begin with.

It should be pointed out that Lokai and Bele are black and white on opposite sides of their bodies. This will be important later.

Also important is the fact that Bele called Lokai cargo. Because that's not terrible at all.

Bele demands to see Lokai, who he claims is his prisoner. He backed up on the whole "cargo" thing. When Bele and Lokai are in the same room as each other, everyone starts yelling at each other. They were talking faster than I was typing my notes, but what I got was:

Sold us as slaves
Savages! Love!
Product of love.
SLAVERY MASTER RACE YOU'RE FREE
POWER POWER POWER

I think this episode might be about racism. I don't know, though. I think I might need more evidence.

Bele demands that the ship go to his home planet so that Lokai can be put on trial for treason. Lokai wants to claim political sanctuary. Kirk just wants to do his mission and take Lokai back to a star base for trial. He did steal a Star Fleet vessal, after all.

Bele decides that this is not on, and decides to drive the ship to his planet through sheer force of will. This pleases exactly no one. Even the camera panics when we go into red alert. You do not need to track forward and back, camera. The flashing light and loud siren is enough to let us know that this is an emergency situation. All you do is give me a headache.

Everyone panics. I'd say that they run around like chickens with their heads cut off, but that would be visually interesting, so that didn't happen. Instead, none of them even think to send a quick memo to Star Fleet Command to let them know what's going on. If you all end up reported Missing In Action, you will have deserved it.

Bele gives this talk about how he's been waiting 50,000 years to bring Lokai in, and he's not going to have anyone stop him now. I'm wondering, what's a few more days on top of 50,000 years? There are people on that other planet dying Bele. Selfish prick.

Bele and Lokai then get into a fist fight, which no one can interrupt, because apparently they have special force fields on themselves. I'm surprised that Spock didn't just nerve pinch someone. Or Kirk could have punched them in the face. Those are always an answer.

Instead of doing either of those things, Kirk decides to set the ship to self-destruct. Because that's not an over-reaction at all.

When The Big Bang Theory spoiled this for me, I thought it would be more exciting. But, no. This is the most boring self-destruct ever.

Seriously, Kirk, Spock, and Scotty recite some codes, really slowly, while the camera does some extreme close ups of everyone's mouths and eyes. I am not kidding and I am not impressed.

Finally, Bele agrees that he'll relinquish control of the ship, which was going Warp 10, which can't have been good for the ship. Isn't Warp 10 extremely dangerous? Did I make that up in my head?

Anyway, it turns out that Bele is just having them go in circles now, still at Warp 10.

...

YOU AND ME, WE'RE GOING NOWHERE SLOWLY
AND WE'VE GOT TO GET AWAY FROM THE PAST
THERE'S NOTHING WRONG WITH GOING NOWHERE, BABY
BUT WE SHOULD BE GOING NOWHERE FAST

Sorry.

Kirk tries to explain how it works in the Federation, with the proper procedures and everything.

Kirk: We've moved past the need for violence. It's why we're armed with photon torpedoes, and are at constant war with either the Romulans or the Klingons, depending on what episode it is.

I could go look up every episode where violence was an answer. But I don't want to spend my entire day here.

In my notes here I have "WHINE WHINE WHINE" and I'm honestly not sure if that's Bele pouting because Kirk's gotten his way, or me because I seriously hate this episode.

Anyway, the ship is now heading to the original, dying, planet. Lokai takes this time to start proselytizing the crew. In case it was clear that this is about racism in the 60's, Sulu makes it explicit when he mentions social termoil in Earth's own past. We got over it, though, and now only read about social upheaval in history books.

Meanwhile, Bele is with Kirk and Spock, trying to explain his point of view. His point of view being, basically, that Lokai is black on the wrong side of his face and that's terrible. Spock tries to explain that this is just like this one time when the Vulcans were angry. Then they cut that shit out. True story.

Star Fleet denies Bele's request to extradite Lokai, so after the Enterprise finishes her mission (which we did spend a couple of minutes doing, even though that was really boring, too), he uses his will power to control the ship again.

Somewhere in here, I spend something like half an hour avoiding the last twelve minutes. This included standing in my kitchen ranting to my parents about what a stupid episode it is. Because this is a really, really stupid episode.

Apparently Bele has destroyed the self-destruct mechanism. When demonstrating, it looked pretty psychedelic. It's a wonder no one noticed his blatant sabatoge. You'd think they would teach "Notice Bright Flashes Of Color On the Bridge: 101" at Star Fleet Academy. I bet they'll add it to the curriculum after this. This is just plain embarrassing.

We finally arrive at Bele and Lokai's home planet. I would look up the actual name of it, but it doesn't really matter because everyone on the planet is dead and has been for a while.

Whoops.

So, after finding out that everything they ever loved is dead, Lokai and Bele fly into homicidal rages. Like you do. They fight each other, and Lokai runs off to his dead planet, with Bele hot on his heels, so that they can fight and hate the rest of their existence on their destroyed planet. Apparently neither of them care that hate is what got them into that mess.

And that's the moral of the story. Hate consumes and hate kills and you should try to avoid it of at all possible.

See, it's not that I disagree with the message. I don't. Hate is a terrible thing that shouldn't be allowed to take hold. Especially if you're judging people by how they look.

So let me tell you, that I am judging these characters not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. They are all terrible people and if I never have to watch this episode again, it'll be too soon.

I miss the thrilling space heroics. I miss the costume dramas. I miss the ridiculous antics that made me laugh. Now I just glare and judge and hate everything.

The third season would be so much better if it had space gangsters. Space gangsters make everything better.

I'm going to go watch Glee now. Because at least when Glee tries to hit me over the head with a moral, it sings me a song while it does it.

*Actually, I was kinda amused. But whatever.
**And that's how Star Trek: Voyager happens.

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