Have a seat and let me tell you about the universe’s worst psychiatrist.
(Also, as a side note, whenever I hear “(blank) Of The Mind,” the first thing I think of is this.)
We open with a shot of the Enterprise in orbit around a ringed planet, before cutting to the transporter room. A large box labeled “infra-sensory drugs” is about to be beamed down to the planet, which houses the Tantalus Penal Colony, and one of the operators places it on the pad. The other operator in the room tries to beam it down, but it isn’t working for some reason. At this point, Kirk walks in and asks if they’re having problems.
The operator, who is apparently named Berkley, says that he doesn’t understand why they can’t beam it down. Kirk, somewhat smugly, responds to this by pointing out that they’re trying to beam stuff down to a penal colony, and Berkley remembers that there’s a force field in place.
Kirk calls down to the planet to ask them to open a window in the field so they can beam down their cargo. They comply, and the infra-sensory drugs (whatever those are) are finally beamed down to the planet. Kirk then asks Berkley if the colony will be beaming anything aboard the ship; Berkley says that they’re going to be taking on a crate of research materials headed for the Central Bureau of Penology (heh, penology).
Berkley manages to get said crate beamed up while Kirk kind of looks at him like an idiot. He then starts to head out, but before leaving he turns to Berkley and says, “You might refamiliarize yourself with the manual on penal colony procedures.” Berkley says that he’ll do so immediately, and Kirk reminds him that he might want to take care of the new cargo first. Kirk then heads out as Berkley goes to get a vault assignment, leaving the transporter operator alone with the box. This is not a good thing, as there turns out to be a dude in the box.
Box dude leaves his box and, as I’m sure you may have already guessed, immediately attacks and incapacitates the transporter operator. He then tries to leave the room, but comes up short as a couple of crew members pass by.
After the credits, we then cut to the bridge. Kirk expresses some disappointment that he wasn’t able to meet Dr. Adams, the director of Tantalus Colony, to McCoy. He then asks McCoy if he’s ever been to a penal colony since they started using the aforementioned doctor’s methods. McCoy is less than impressed, and responds that “a cage is a cage,” and Kirk responds that he’s behind the times, telling him that “they’re more like resort colonies now.”
Uhura interjects to report that there’s an incoming message from Tantalus, before putting it through. A woman from the colony tells that there they seem to be missing an inmate who they think may have ended up the Enterprise, and warns that he may be violent. Great security there, guys!
The scene then shifts briefly to the transporter room, where box dude has divested the unlucky transporter operator of his uniform.
Suitably attired, he then leaves the room.
We go back to the bridge, where the colony employee tells Kirk that the inmate most likely snuck aboard the ship in the box that they beamed up. Again, great security! Why wouldn’t you check it before letting them beam it up? Anyway, Kirk acknowledges this statement, and tells Uhura to go to security alert 3.
We then cut to the corridor, where box dude is sneaking about and I just noticed how incredibly sweaty this man is.
He’s stopped short by a shout from a goldshirt, and then immediately runs off. Because that doesn’t look suspicious. The goldshirt then goes to an intercom and calls an alert tot the bridge.
On the bridge, Uhura reports that Deck 14 is reporting some trouble. Spock says that he’s on it, and closes off said deck. The scene then cuts back to box dude in the corridor, looking for somewhere to hide as the alarms go off. He locates one just before a security detail turns the corner, then proceeds to ambush one and get him in a choke hold.
Back to the bridge. Spock reports that box dude isn’t in the deck area and may have escaped to somewhere else, and expands the search. Kirk reaches out to the colony again, and this time the elusive Dr. Adams answers.
Kirk tells him that they seem to have picked up one of his inmates, and Uhura cuts in to report that they found the transporter operator sans uniform. Kirk amends his previous statement to say that they definitely have one of his inmates on board. Adams apologizes for the inconvenience, and tells them to take all necessary precautions in dealing with said inmate. Kirk lets Adams know that he’ll keep him posted, and ends the call. At this point, a security guard enters the room and takes position near the door. Kirk then moves somewhere offscreen, and McCoy moves towards Spock.
The two of them proceed to have a bit of a philosophical discussion. Spock comments, “Interesting. Your earth people glorify organized violence for forty centuries, but you imprison those who employ it privately.” McCoy, not down with this horsehit, retorts, “And, of course, your people found an answer.” Spock then goes into the whole “Vulcans have no emotions” thing.
At this moment the door opens, and who should it be but our good friend box dude.
He rather easily takes out the security guard with a karate chop to the neck, and starts demanding to see the captain. Kirk says that he’s the captain, and box dude (with some difficulty) introduces himself as Van Gelder before demanding asylum. Kirk points out to him that requesting asylum at gun point isn’t a good look. Van Gelder basically tells him he’ll put the phaser down if Kirk gives him his promise that he’ll grant him asylum.
Kirk tells him he can’t make any such promises, and tells him again to put his weapon down. Van Gelder then starts screaming about how he’s not going back to the colony, and threatens to destroy the ship’s main control panel. He then notices Spock, who has been slowly approaching him this time, and turns the phaser on him. This gives Kirk an opening to kick the phaser out of his hand, and Spock gives him the good ol’ Vulcan neck pinch.
Van Gelder crumples to the ground, and Kirk tells Spock and McCoy to take him to sick bay before ordering the helmsman to set a course back to the Tantalus colony.
The scene then shifts to sick bay, where McCoy and Kirk are standing over a sedated Van Gelder. McCoy says that his readings are abnormal, but not in any way that he’s seen before. He then adds that it took 3 doses of sedative to knock him out.
Kirk says that the report he received says that Van Gelder was “quite talkative,” and McCoy responds that while that’s the case, he hasn’t been able to get any useful information out of him: “He claims one thing, then he seemed to forget, and then he’d claim something else. But always with just the ring of truth in it.”
He then adds that he’d like to study Van Gelder some more, but Kirk tells him that he isn’t their problem before turning to leave. Before he can go, however, Van Gelder sits up and hisses, “You smart, button pushing brass hat” at Kirk. I’m pretty sure that’s supposed to be insulting, but I’m not really sure how. Anyway, he continues ranting about how they always sweep things under the rug instead of actually dealing with him. Kirk asks him what he said his name was and, again with a struggle, he says that he’s Simon Van Gelder and that he was Dr. Adams’ assistant.
He also goes on to indicate that there’s something else he knew, but “they’ve erased it.” McCoy asks him to clarify his last statement, but he goes back to ranting about how he’d rather die than go back to Tantalus until McCoy sedates him.
We then switch to the bridge. Kirk walks over to Spock, who’s looking at something on the console. He asks him how far from Tantalus they are, and Spock responds that they should be there in just under an hour. Kirk then takes a quick peek at what Spock’s looking at and asks what’s so interesting. Spock tells him that he’s found a record in the ship’s database about Dr. Van Gelder, and confirms that the guy in sick bay is who he says he is. Kirk asks when he was committed, and Spock responds that he was assigned there, as Adams’ assistant about six months ago. Kirk, thinking something may be up, has Uhura open a channel to Tantalus, and asks to speak with Adams.
When Adams comes on, Kirk starts to ask about the escaped inmate, but Adams interrupts him by asking if Dr. Van Gelder is all right, before asking if he’d injured any of Kirk’s crew. Kirk, surprised, responds that there haven’t been any casualties, and asks Adams to confirm that their guest is Van Gelder. Adams does so, and adds that they’ve been quite concerned about him.
At this point, McCoy walks onto the bridge as Adams continues. Adams says that they had an experimental beam that Van Gelder, not feeling right about using something untested on the inmates, decided to try it on himself and scrambled his brain. Kirk calls this a tragedy. McCoy, not buying this, tells Kirk that what Adams’ is saying “doesn’t quite ring true.”
Kirk tells Adams to stand by, and asks McCoy to explain himself. McCoy says that he can’t quite explain why, but the more he examines Van Gelder, the more he thinks Adams may be lying about what happened to him. Basically, the only one to notice all of the red flags currently is McCoy.
Kirk, however, is not impressed, and cites all of the things that Adams has done to improve the quality of life for inmates in penal colonies. McCoy tells Kirk he needs to listen to him, and Spock intervenes before it can turn into a full-blown argument by suggesting that they ask Adams if he wants Van Gelder back.
The situation defused, Kirk gets Adams back on the horn and asks him what he wants them to do with Van Gelder. Adams asks them if there are any facilities on their route that would be superior to Tantalus, and Kirk says that he’d have to ask the ship’s surgeon to be sure. He puts Adams back on hold and asks McCoy if he can recommend a better facility. McCoy, somewhat heatedly, responds that there aren’t any better facilities in the area and Adams know this. He adds that he still thinks there’s something wrong with this entire situation.
Kirk tells McCoy that he’s making assumptions, but McCoy counters by saying that he has to enter any doubts he has into his log, which Kirk would then be required to answer in his own log. Kirk, none too pleased about this, gets Adams back on and tells him that he’ll have to investigate the colony so he can fill out a proper report. Adams doesn’t seem to mind this, and in fact says he’d see it as a favor if Kirk came down himself to take a look.
Adams then tells Kirk that he’ll have to beam down with minimal staff, and Kirk says that he’s been to penal colonies before and knows the drill before ending the transmission. He then tells McCoy to find him someone on board with psychiatric and penology (heh) experience to beam down with him.
A little bit later, we cut to Kirk recording a captain’s log on the bridge. He finishes and goes over to Spock, who reaches out to McCoy for a report. McCoy says that Van Gelder is still extremely agitated, and Kirk guesses that he’d like to keep him on board while Kirk conducts his investigation. Spock says that this is actually a good idea. McCoy then says that he’s found someone to go down to the planet with Kirk, a psychiatrist named Dr. Noel. Kirk thanks him, and then he and Spock head down to the transporter room.
In the transporter room, the operator says that they’re ready to go. At this point, he meets Dr. Noel. Who turns out to be a woman.
Kirk doesn’t seem super happy to see her, indicating that the two of them have some kind of history with each other. Because of course they do. Anyway, Noel doesn’t seem to pick up on Kirk’s displeasure, and reminds him that they had met at the staff Christmas party. It seems kind of weird to me that in this religion-less future they still celebrate Christmas, but I’ll just roll with it. Spock gives the captain a quizzical look, and Kirk rather curtly says that he remembers. At this point Spock pipes up to ask if there’s going to be a problem. Kirk steps off the transporter pad and tells Spock to tell McCoy that “she had better check out as the best assistant I ever had” before stepping back on the pad and beaming down. Real professional there, captain.
The two beam down near an elevator into the colony. Kirk says, “In here, I presume, doctor,” to which she responds by telling him he should just call her Helen. Kirk refuses, telling her basically that this is a different situation than the one in which they had met. They then enter the elevator, which starts way more quickly than they had expected it to, and Kirk grabs Noel to keep her from falling.
Kirk notes how quickly the elevator is heading down, and Noel adds that she “wouldn’t recommend it for weak hearts.” The elevator then slows down and eventually stops, and the two are greeted by Dr. Adams as the door opens to his office. Kirk introduces himself and Noel, and the two men shake hands. He welcomes them to what he calls “Devil’s Island,” and Noel asks him to call her Helen. He agrees, since throwing “doctor” around all the time would get rather confusing.
Kirk takes out his phaser, pointing out the protocol stating he should leave his weapon with the staff. Adams brushes this off, saying that won’t be necessary, and just tells him to keep it out of sight, quipping “I know you people feel as naked without a weapon as we do without a medkit.”
They share a laugh as Noel smiles rather uncomfortably. Adams then moves over to a bar and offers them a drink, since they don’t get too many visitors to the colony. Kirk pulls out his communicator to check in with the ship, but Adams points out that he won’t be able to get through the security field. He then goes over to a console, presses a button, and tells the captain to try it again. He does, and tells Spock that the landing coordinates were spot on and they’ve arrived without incident. At this point, a woman in what is quite possibly the ugliest dress I’ve ever seen arrives.
Adams introduces her as Lethe, a name that’s a little on the noise considering what’s actually going on at this colony. He goes on to say that Lethe had originally come to the colony for rehabilitation, but decided to stay on as a therapist. She adds, slightly monotone, “I love my work.” Kirk asks her about her life before she came, but she responds by simply telling him that she was a different person then. He pushes a bit, asking her why she was committed, but she just asks him if it matters, since “that person no longer exists.”
Adams explains a bit further, saying that a part of their method is to “bury the past,” and asks why a person should “go on living with unbearable memories” if there’s no need for them to. He asks Noel if she would agree, and she does, adding, “A shifting of memory patterns is basic to psychotherapy.”
Adams decides that they should continue from where they were interrupted and goes back to preparing their drinks. He proposes a toast:
To all mankind. May we never find space so vast, planets so cold, heart and mind so empty that we cannot fill them with love and warmth.
During the “mind so empty” part, the camera shifts to a closeup of Lethe. So, how about that foreshadowing?
The scene then shifts back to the corridor, where Kirk is complimenting Dr. Adams on the tour. Adams thanks him as they go past a room with a man at a console. Kirk stops Adams at the doorway, and Adams says he had hoped Kirk wouldn’t ask about that particular room, since “one doesn’t like to talk about personal failures.” He explains that it’s an experiment that went wrong, and Kirk asks if he can take a closer look at it. Noel advises against it, but the captain (in a rather condescending tone, I might add), brushes her advice off. Adams adds that Noel’s “fighting over [her] weight,” as they enter the room.
At this point, the scene transitions to sick bay, where Spock and McCoy are still trying to question Van Gelder. Van Gelder is shouting about how he’s not a criminal and doesn’t need something called a “neural neutralizer.” Spock picks up on this term, and asks him what that means. Van Gelder then, somewhat disjointedly, brings up a room, a door, a control panel, and a light. He then starts screaming about the light, and Spock asks him what happens in this room. This causes him to just start screaming, as Spock motions McCoy to sedate him.
We cut back to the treatment room, where Kirk, Noel, Adams, and the operator are all now in the room. Adams explains that the device in question is a neural neutralizer, and he says that it’s experimental, so they don’t plan to get too much use out of it. The camera angle shifts a bit, and we see that there is a chair with a guy sitting in it, staring up at a light. This begs the question of why they’re still using it at all if it was such a failure. Adams goes on, explaining that the device neutralizes certain brain waves, which sounds like a really good and healthy thing to do. He then says that it’s harmless, which I think we should know by now is really not the case.
Kirk then asks basically the same question I did above, basically why they’re still using this thing. Adams replies that it’s basically because there’s always a chance that it might do some good in the more violent cases. Noel backs this up by saying that it’s better than pumping people full of tranquilizers, and Adams concurs. The two doctors then leave the room, but Kirk stays behind to ask the operator how it works.He demonstrates it, and Noel and Adams come back into the room to get him.
Adams, not liking the way Kirk has been questioning his methods, compares him to a skeptic “who demanded of the wise old sage to be taught all of the world’s wisdom while standing on one foot.” Noel goes on to say that they’ve been experimenting with something like this back on Earth. Kirk points out that he hadn’t intended to suggest Adams as up to anything nefarious, but also state that Adams has yet to tell him where Van Gelder’s brain got zapped. Adams says that it was in the very room they just left, and that Van Gelder was basically negligent in that he didn’t have someone standing by in case something went wrong.
The two doctors then leave the room again, and Kirk thanks the operator for the demonstration before following them. Of course, as soon as he’s no longer in the room, operator cranks the machine up and tells the dude in the chair to forget everything he heard or experience horrible, horrible pain if he tries to remember.
Back to sick bay, where Spock is talking to the captain via communicator, asking for his current location. Kirk says that he’s in Adams’ study, and asks why Spock wants to know. Spock then asks if Adams is in the room, and Kirk says that he is. Treading lightly, Spock says that Van Gelder had spoken of a certain room in the colony.
Kirk responds that he’s seen said room, and that Adams told him that’s where Van Gelder’s “injury” took place. Spock and McCoy give each other a little look at this, and Kirk asks if there’s anything else Spock wants to say. There’s no response for a moment, and Adams tells Kirk that Spock sounds like an excellent first officer and that he should say whatever’s on his mind, since he has to leave to attend some other matters anyway. After he leaves, Kirk lets Spock know he’s gone, and asks what he was about to say. Spock says that Van Gelder is still highly agitated, and seems to believe that the captain is in danger.
Noel angrily refers to this accusation as foolish, and Kirk, somewhat more diplomatically, tells Spock to let McCoy know that Noel believes that Van Gelder’s concerns are unjustified. Noel continues, explaining that Van Gelder’s experiencing delusions because of the damage that was done to his neural synapses. McCoy acknowledges this statement, but still has some doubts and asks McCoy if he’s found any other info. Kirk replies that he hasn’t, and Spock asks when he plans to beam back aboard.
Kirk replies that they plan to stay the night. As I’m sure you have all figured out already, this turns out to be terrible idea. At this, Van Gelder starts shouting again, prompting concerned looks from McCoy and Spock. Spock goes back to conversing with the captain, asking that he continue checking in every 4 hours in case something goes wrong. Kirk says that he will before ending the transmission.
This prompts another outburst from Van Gelder, who’s now shouting that they have to warn Kirk about something and can’t let him stay on the planet. McCoy moves in to sedate him again, but stays his hand when Van Gelder asks him not to and tells him he’ll try to stop fighting them if they listen to what he has to say. He, in a rather fractured and disjointed manner, tells them to warn Kirk about Adams, but can’t tell them exactly why.
The scene fades out, then fades back in. We get an acting captain’s log from Spock, saying that he now has to use an “ancient Vulcan technique” to try and get something coherent out of Van Gelder. Anyone who knows anything about Star Trek probably knows where this is going: we’re about to see the Vulcan mind meld for the first time in the franchise.
Spock, however, seems a bit reticent about doing this; McCoy tries to convince him by saying they should try if there’s any chance that it could help. Spock points out that he’s never used this technique on a human before. They go back and forth on this for a bit, until McCoy asks him if this will work or not.
In lieu of answering, Spock goes over to Van Gelder and tells him that what he’s about to do might be dangerous. Van Gelder, who at this point doesn’t have too much to lose, is down with it. So, Spock proceeds, which naturally involves grabbing Van Gelder’s face.
With the mind meld underway, we cut to the planet, where Noel walks into either her or Kirk’s quarters, I’m not sure. Either way, Kirk is there and the two greet each other. Kirk then asks her what she thinks about the inmates that they’ve seen. Noel replies that he could have waited until the morning to ask her this, but Kirk insists on an answer. She tells him that she thought they seemed happy enough, but Kirk adds that they looked “a bit blank.” Noel accuses Kirk of questioning Adams’ methods; he cuts in and tells her that he wants to take another look at the treatment room.
He then asks her if she’s familiar with the theory behind the neural neutralizer. She replies that she is, at least somewhat. Noel continues from this, saying that they should bring any concerns about this to Adams first. Kirk points out what should be obvious to everyone: if Adams is lying to them now, he’d just keep on lying to them. He then says that the only way to be sure is to see how the neural neutralizer works, and asks her, “or is that too impractical and unscientific of me, doctor?” before heading out of the room. Noel, somewhat tight-lipped, follows.
We then cut back to sickay, where the mind meld is still ongoing. Here we learn exactly what Adams was really doing with the nutralizer. Basically, he was using it to erase people’s memories and replace them with his own suggestions, and it’s implied that he did this to Van Gelder because he questioned his use of the device. So this confirms what the audience already knew: that the captain is in some really deep shit right now.
The scene then shifts to the treatment room, with Kirk and Noel standing at the console. He asks her if she can operate the machine somewhat safely, which she says she can. He follows up by asking if she can tell if it’s frying his brain, and she says she can do that too. He then sits in the chair as Noel says that she’s going to try it on the lowest setting for a few seconds first.
She does so, and Kirk loses all expression on his face for a moment until she shuts off the machine. Kirk tells her to start whenever she’s ready, and she says that she’s already done it. He says that nothing happened, and Noel responds that “something happened,” and that his face went totally blank. Kirk tells her to give it another try, and this time to suggest something to him.
Noel turns the neutralizer back on, tells Kirk that he’s hungry, then turns it back off again. When Kirk snaps out of it, he turns to her and tells her that when all this is done with, he’d like to “find and raid a kitchen somewhere.” Noel tells him that she planted that suggestion, and Kirk comments that this machine seems to be pretty effective for something that Adams was planning on scrapping. Noel suggests that they give this another go, and Kirk agrees and tells her to try a more unusual suggestion this time.
And here is where things really start to go horribly wrong, as Noel suggests that instead of just dancing and talking about the stars, she and Kirk hooked up after the staff Christmas party. We then get a Vaseline-coated scene of what it may have looked like if that had been the case.
So we cut back to the treatment room, where Kirk has a goofy look on his face, and Noel is then grabbed from behind by one of the colony’s staff. Adams then walks into the room, and rather ominously says that Kirk’s now going to get a “complete demonstration” of the device before cranking the beam up. He then plants the suggestion in Kirk’s mind that he’s madly in love with Noel, before telling him to drop his phaser on the floor. After a struggle, he does so, and Adams tells him to do the same with his communicator. Kirk takes it out, but instead of dropping it, he opens it and tries to call to the ship. Adams cranks the beam up some more, but Kirk struggles and keeps trying to call before collapsing.
There’s a scene transition, and we cut to Noel tending to an unconscious Kirk in his quarters. He wakes up and she tells him that he fainted and they brought him here. He responds to this by trying to make out with her. She tries to get him to remember what happened in the treatment room. He manages to snap out of it a little bit, and moves towards a grate on one of the walls and points out that there’s a duct. With Noel’s help, he manages to get the grate open and points out that it should lead to the power supply. He asks her if she has any training in power circuits, which she does not, and warns her that if she touches the wrong wire she’ll die. Noel heads into the duct anyway, saying, “Anything’s better than Adams’ treatment room.”
Kirk boosts her through the grate then closes it just as the door opens up to show two security guards with phasers. Kirk quips, “Time for another treatment?” as they escort him from the room. The scene then shifts briefly to Noel making her way through the duct.
The scene then shifts back to the treatment room, where Adams is having another go at Kirk. During the session, Lethe comes in and tells Adams that Noel has gone off somewhere. He tells her to have security fan out and search for her, then turns back to Kirk. He starts grilling him about Noel’s whereabouts, but he just keeps telling him he doesn’t know where she is before collapsing again.
The scene shifts back to Noel, who’s still crawling through the ducts. She comes across another grate, which she opens before dropping into the power room, where she comes across a switch. Unfortunately, she cannot get the switch to budge.
We then go back to the transporter room, where Spock is urgently trying to get a hold of the captain. Unfortunately, the security screen is currently up, and the operator can’t break through it. Spock tells them to keep trying.
We go back to Noel, who closes the door and runs somewhere offscreen. It turns out that the security guards have made it to the power room. One of them motions for the other two to fan out, then goes to a panel on the wall, pressing some buttons. Noel moves from her hiding spot, and the guard from earlier motions another to come with him as they search. They pause for a moment in a doorway before moving on, and they clearly have no peripheral vision as it turns out Noel was “hiding” right next to the doorway.
Anyway, with the guards gone, she moves back to the switch, noting a different switch the a “high voltage” sign above it. She pulls it, shutting off the base’s power. At that moment, on of the guards reenters the room and grabs her from behind.
The scene transitions back to the treatment room, Adams tells an assistant to put Kirk back into the chair. He also adds that they need to find Noel. Kirk, who’s come around by this point, attacks and subdues Adams and his assistant before leaving the room.
Back to the power room, Noel and the guard are still tussling. He manages to through her off and goes to turn the power back on. He then goes back to grab a stunned Noel, but it turns out that she was faking and kicks him into the cage with the switch. He is then promptly electrocuted.
This also manages to short out the power.
Back in the transporter room, the operator notes that the force field has been interrupted, and that he can beam Spock straight to the source of the interruption. Spock tells McCoy to have a security detail follow him down before stepping on the transporter pad.
Back at the colony, Noel gets up to leave, retrieving the deceased security guard’s phaser on the way. She heads back to the grate, opens it up, and leaves just as Spock materializes in the room.
He checks the security guard before moving towards the control panel that the one guard was fiddling with earlier. He pushes a bunch of buttons on it before calling up to the ship to let them know he’s deactivated the force field. Spock then turns the power back on. We get a brief shot of the treatment room, where Adams regains consciousness just as the neural neutralizer comes back on.
Meanwhile, Kirk makes it back to his room just as Noel arrives. She calls out to him, and he opens the grate and helps her out of the vent. He asks if she’s all right, but doesn’t really give her a chance to respond before he starts trying to make out with her again. She pulls away slightly, saying that this isn’t right since he’s not really in love with her; Adams has just made him think that he is. Right at that moment, Spock walks into the room, looking at the captain like he’s thinking, “oh god, not this shit again.”
Kirk snaps out of it, and remembers that he’d left Adams and his assistant in the treatment room. He runs off, with Noel and Spock in tow.
In the hallway outside of the treatment room, the security detail Spock requested is hard at work, rounding up the colony’s staff. Kirk runs into McCoy in the hallway, and he follows him into the treatment room.
Once there, Kirk realizes what happened: the power in the room came back on with Adams still in. He turns off the neutralizer and McCoy confirms that Adams is dead. Noel points out that it wasn’t on a high enough setting to kill him, and Kirk counters with:
But he was alone. Can you imagine a mind emptied by that thing? Without even a tormentor for company.
Noel says that she understands, and no. No. I’m sorry, but this is some Star Wars prequel “died of a broken heart” level bullshit, and I am not buying it.
Anyway, after that bit of introspection, they leave. We then cut back to the bridge, where the crew is in the midst of preparing to leave orbit. Kirk enters, and Uhura tells him that there’s a message for him. Spock adds that it’s from Van Gelder, who wanted to let him know that they’ve destroyed the equipment in that treatment room. Kirk, still somewhat subdued, thanks him and sits down.
McCoy goes over and comments that it’s hard to believe that someone could die of loneliness. Kirk responds, “Not if you’ve sat in that room,” before ordering them to go ahead at warp factor 1.
So, I mentioned that Kirk’s kind of an asshole in this episode. When I said that, I was mostly referring to his treatment of Dr. Noel. Mostly, he’s extremely dismissive of her and cuts her off at every opportunity. Which is kind of stupid, because why ask for an advisor if you’re not going to take any of her advice?
On the other hand, Noel is portrayed as being sort of bad at her job. One instance is the scene where Kirk asks her about the inmates. As a trained professional, I really think that she should have been the one who noticed something was off before Kirk did. There’s also the part where she makes him think that they hooked up, which opens up a number of ethical questions.
She did end up being more useful than Kirk in the end, so there’s that, I guess.
Next up is “The Corbomite Maneuver.”