History buffs, get your Napoleon hats on, because this episode is for you and you can watch along right here!
Every time I hit “play” I feel like I’m hopping onto the Magic School Bus. I know that Captain Kirk aka Ms. Frizzle is about to school me on some aspect of tech, history, literature or philosophy.
Hey, That’s a Neat Magic Trick
While they’re out driving through space, a large planet goes *poof* and appears out of nowhere. Uhura notices that it’s jamming up their communicators by emitting radio waves. Dun dun duuun.
Sulu suddenly stands up, looking confused. I was gonna say that Sulu looks like he forgot to turn off the stove or something. But then I remembered that there are no stoves on the Enterprise and that Sulu also works as a botanist.
Then *poof,* Sulu has disappeared from the bridge! Oh myyyyy!
Kirk looks alarmed, but then *poof,* he’s gone too!
One of the cool things about Spock is that pesky emotions don’t cause him to hesitate. Or maybe his love for the Captain just makes him all the more effective.
The split second after Kirk disappears, Spock cries out, “Emergency!” The Enterprise goes into Red Alert. Omg, what’s happening?!
Texts from Last Night
Bones is ready to lead the cavalry down to the planet, but Spock’s like, “Hold up, cowboy, we gotta do this shit rationally.” They run some tests and discover that the planet’s surface is super deadly. The landing crew will need life support systems before they go down.
Suddenly Uhura intercepts a whole bunch of drunk Texts from Last Night that look like this:
This gibberish worries Spock, so he texts Bones: PLS HURRY UP AND SAVE MY BF.
Fifty Shades of Nightmare Decor
Bones and his landing party beam to the planet’s surface. Strangely enough, it’s just like Earth’s atmosphere, so they remove their life support systems.
Also their communicators don’t work. Can I just say — it seems like these cheese graters NEVER work. Time to change your mobile carrier, people!
They find a totally unexpected old manor just sitting in the middle of the wilderness, and it’s full of antique statues and artistic displays. I’m pretty sure they’ve actually just wandered across time/channels and onto HGTV.
What do they find inside? Well. Do you remember the gender-shifting creature from The Man Trap?
This building is like some kinda wax museum. And guess who they find?
Meet Peeping Tom
Suddenly, the room is filled with harpsichord music! There’s a strange fellow sitting there, pulling a Liberace.
The musician introduces himself as General Trelane, (retired). The Squire of Gothos. He unfreezes Kirk and Sulu with a fabulous snap of his fingers. Magical!
Trelane has been spying on Earth using an ultra telescope, Marvin the Martian style. He’s trying to mimic everything he sees with his fashion and environment.
Kirk points out that Earth is 900 light years away, so uhhh, Trelane’s been watching events from 900 years ago. Like a live stream of 18th-century reality TV. Whoaaa.
When his mistake is pointed out, Trelane bursts out with one of my favorite lines in this episode, “Oh, how fallible of me!”
He’s got such unusual speech habits — I gotta find a way to get this phrase into daily conversation.
Like if I stumble while walking: “Whoops, how fallible of me!”
Trelane decides to hold the landing party captive, so that he can demonstrate his god-like abilities to rearrange matter at will.
DeSalle, one of the crew members in the landing party, tries to sneak behind Trelane to stun the guy with a phaser. This might have been a great strategy, but silly DeSalle tries to shoot him in front of a mirror!
Trelane uses his powers to get ahold of the phaser and set it to “kill.” He gets all scary, like a kid with a dangerous weapon. He shoots the creatures being displayed in his manor.
Right when Kirk, Sulu and the landing party start to get really worried, Spock beams them up to the Enterprise. He basically hacked the transporter so that it would beam up ALL living creatures within a certain area. Hmmm.
Bones couldn’t find any traditional life signs when he used the medical scanner on Trelane, so they assume that he’s been left behind. No such luck.
Throwing Some Shade
Trelane uses his annoying powers to toss the crew back onto his planet. Looks like he’s asking them to dinner.
He brags about how tasteful the decor is, and Sulu responds with “No.”
Spock jumps into the Diss Battle with, “I object to power without constructive purpose.”
No one there actually eats or drinks anything. Except for Bones, who seems to drink every episode.
Bones, Spock, and Kirk try to strategize their way out, while the women are being manipulated by Trelane. Uhura doesn’t know how to play the harpsichord, so he does this creepy thing – he turns her into a musical puppet. He’s so amused because he’s never encountered women before! In fact, Trelane describes human motivation as the “fight for the possession of women!”
Ughhhh. What a creep!
Kirk doesn’t buy the whole “god” thing. The food doesn’t have any flavor, and the fireplace gives off no heat. It’s like Trelane’s just copied everything from what he’s seen on Earth. They’re convinced that he’s using some kind of technology to do this. Trelane keeps standing in front of his mirror and posing dramatically — so everyone figures the control panel is behind the mirror!
Kirk challenges Trelane to an old fashioned duel with guns. Cuz this totally makes sense.
He shoots the crap out of the mirror. Seven years of bad luck! The interference with their transporter clears up, and they beam away.
We DON’T Wanna Hang Out, Trelane!
This dude has a hissy fit when the crew escapes. Turns out his ENTIRE PLANET is his ship, and he follows them at high speed. Kirk gets so irritated that he beams back to the planet to confront Trelane and give him a smack.
Too bad he didn’t anticipate this freaky / kinky roleplay.
Trelane is very upset and demands that Kirk suffer capital punishment.
Kirk knows that he’s gotta get outside and away from this power-hungry maniac! He tells Trelane that simple murder is too easy — he needs to enjoy the sport of hunting Kirk!
I dunno where you’re going with this Kirk, but it seems like a bad strategy.
Kirk agrees to give Trelane an exciting chase, if the omnipotent being lets go of the Enterprise. Basically, Kirk is sacrificing himself for the crew, since Trelane’s clearly got too much power. What a captain!
Kirk runs outside and gets a head start. He desperately tries to contact the Enterprise with his communicator, demanding them to flee. But he can’t get through to them.
Trelane comes after him like a deranged serial killer.
But his killing spree is interrupted by… his parents?! That’s right — little Trelane’s ma and pa are omnipotent beings as well, and this kid has CROSSED THE LINE!
He’s going to time out — hopefully with that other brat, Charlie X.
There’s an awkward moment when Trelane’s parents apologize to Kirk for their psychopathic son. Yeah, well maybe you should take away his driving and god privileges. They release him, and Kirk beams back onto the Enterprise.
Spock greets him and asks how they should describe Trelane in their upcoming report.
Kirk starts comparing Trelane’s behavior to that of a small boy, except with much greater power.
He reminisces on his own childhood. “Dipping little girls’ curls in inkwells. Stealing apples from the neighbors’ trees…”
Spock just gives him this look:
Growing up, I had never watched a Star Trek episode all the way through. My family members weren’t huge sci-fi fans, and they’d flip the channel whenever Star Trek came on. Now I am embarking on an epic nerd rite of passage, chronicling my reactions to every episode of Star Trek: The Original Series (TOS).
Header by Rory Midhani