126: Star Trek Strange New Worlds, “Spock Amok” – Season 1, episode 5


Matt and Sean talk about a comedy of logical manners. This is classic Star Trek comedy hijinks, but does it work or fall flat?

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In this episode of Trek in Time, we’re going to talk about hijinks. Welcome everybody to Trek in Time, the podcast that takes a look at Star Trek in chronological order, according to Stardate. And we also take a look at what our world was like at the time of original broadcast. We’re currently taking a look at Season 1, Episode 5 of Strange New Worlds, Spock Amok, which means we’re also taking a look at the world in mid 2022.

And while that seems recent, we did just have a New Year’s celebration, which means it’s a little bit further in the past than we thought. Who are we? Well, I’m Sean Farrell. I’m a writer. I wrote some sci fi. I write some stuff for kids. And with me as always is my brother, Matt. He’s that Matt of Undecided with Matt Farrell, which takes a look at emerging tech and its impact on our lives.

Matt, how are you doing today?

I’m doing pretty well. Happy New Year

to everybody. Happy New Year to everybody. Yes. We are currently in the midst of a brewing winter storm here on the East coast. It’s going to be the first in a while. And as I say that, I pointed it out because. As Matt and I have been recording this morning, this room has been getting colder and colder


I can feel cold air radiating at me from the door behind me.

So if I start to chatter or look like I’m shaking, I am. It is because I’m cold.

If you start to look like an Andorian, we should get a little

worried. Yes, exactly. Yes. I’ll start referring to you as pink skin and then

Before we get into our conversation, what we’d like to do is revisit your comments on our previous episode. So Matt, what have you found in the mailbag for us this week?

Uh, from two episodes ago, episode 1 24, ghosts of Illyria, um, . It’s the one with the, uh, the big storm that’s full of the, uh, basically the spirits Yes.

Of the Illyrians pJYD wrote. In a planet with huge ion storms, scrolls make more sense than floppy disks, at least. And I was criticizing, why would they store all their, their history of their people on just gigantic scrolls? It didn’t seem like an efficient way to do it. It’s a

very good point. Yes. At least it’s not floppy disks.

Episode 125, which was the last one, uh, called Memento Mori, JC Eggbert wrote, I believe Rebecca’s surname is pronounced more like a lettuce. than a defunct empire.

Um, you’ve typically More Romain as opposed to Roman. Roman. Yeah.


Very good. Thank you for that, Pete. Thank you for that, JC. That’s great.

Good guidance. It was

a great way to write it. And then on that same one, we had one from regular, uh, viewer and commenter Dan Sims who wrote, one of the things I was thinking about when they were going into the brown star and the ship was getting crushed and from the pressure and Pike being sure the ship will hold up.

Is he taking this risk because he knows his future? And would have, have only been so risky if he didn’t know, but he would not have been that risky if he didn’t know. Right. I thought it was a really good question and that didn’t pop into my head immediately, but now it’s kind of like, is he taking risks that he normally wouldn’t take because he knows he’s not going to die in that moment?

My response to that would be no, because he is so empathetic and so worried about his crew, even though he knows I’m going to get through this. He doesn’t, he wants to make sure everybody around him gets through it too. So I would assume he’s not. being risky for the sake of being risky. Uh, cause that’d be kind of a selfish way to look at


I agree. And it’s something that a different program might’ve wrestled with. Like, the focus of this show does not seem to be his pre knowledge. So it is a character element, not a focus of the show, but a show about pre knowledge would wrestle with that exact question. And it would be an interesting thing from a sci fi perspective to deal with.

So thank you, Dan, for the question. Uh, it is a Gordian’s Knot. of a thing to, to, to consider from a, uh, writer perspective, from a creation perspective and from a consumption perspective, as far as us taking on the show. Thank you all for those comments. We’re interrupted now by that noise in the background.

That of course is the read alert, which means it’s time for Matt to tackle the Wikipedia description. Good luck with this one. Oh boy.

The crew go on shore leave while the Enterprise undergoes repairs at Starbase One. Number One and Noonien Singh apprehend two Ensigns conducting an unauthorized spacewalk as part of a game played by lower ranked crew members called Enterprise Bingo.

Learning that they have reputations as fun killers, the pair try to game themselves. Tried the game themselves. The half human Spock Wait, why are they starting with that plotline first, is my question. That’s like the C Plot. Anyway, the half human Spock has grown concerned that T’Pring thinks he is becoming too human.

He plans to spend his shore leave with her, but April interrupts to ask Pike and Spock for help negotiating with the R’ongovians, who are considering allying with the Federation, Klingons, or Romulans. After discussing his relationship with Chapel, Spock undertakes a special mind meld ceremony with T’Pring so they can understand each other better.

This accidentally causes them to switch Katras, effectively swapping bodies. Spock attempts to carry out T’Pring’s work, convincing lapsed Vulcans to return to logic, while T’Pring helps Pike succeed with the negotiations. M’Banka and Chapel later switch Spock and T’Pring’s Katras back to their proper bodies.

That is a very functional description.

It also completely ignores one of the major plot lines, which is the attempts to persuade the R’ongovians to join with a federation instead of the Klingons or Romulans. Like I said,

why did they do it in the order they did? They started with the least interesting plot.

Okay. And while we’re parsing

the Wikipedia description, I like the introduction of Admiral April, who is referred to. So in this description, only by his last name, which you could interpret as a first name. So the description, he plans to spend his short leave with her, but April interrupts. Sounds like love triangle.

This is of course, episode number five of season one, Spock Amok, directed by Rachel Lederman, written by Henry Alonzo Myers and Robin Wasserman, and originally broadcast on June 1st. Sorry. Originally broadcast on June 2nd, 2022, my brain looked at the number two,

literally thought that can’t be right and said, first,

ask Sean how he’s doing in the new year. Our cast, as usual, Anton Mount as Christopher Pike, Ethan Peck as Spock, Christina Chong as La’an Noonien-Singh. Melissa Navia as Lieutenant Erica Ortegas, Rebecca Romaine as Una Chin Riley, Jess Bush as Nurse Christine Chappell, Celia Rose Gooding as Nyota Uhura, and Babs Olusmalkun as Dr.

M’Benga. And this is one of those rare episodes where every name that I just read has a moment. They all get a moment. This is a great ensemble episode. And at this time in history, June 2nd, 2022. Notice I said the second, not the first. The number one streaming program, or sorry, the number one streaming song, Matt, tell me what it was quickly.

You’ll remember. It was N95, say N95. N95. That’s right. By who? Kendrick Lamar. That’s right. Do you want to hum a few bars? Great. And at the movie theater, this is one of those, uh, Memorial Day weekend openings where it opens on a Wednesday or a Thursday, and then has several days of box office intake. And then is also considered.

As far as the number one movie is concerned, as to whether it was number one on Friday. So, this entry had effectively two entries for this period of time. It is the little film that could, Top Gun Maverick, which opened for the Memorial Day weekend with 126 million. And then by that Friday, had earned another 90.

It has a drop of roughly 28 percent from its opening day to the That Friday, which broke Shrek 2’s record for the smallest drop in its second weekend. So it’s effectively, it opened earlier than a full week, but it’s all one massive intake. And with a movie making that much money, do you want to guess whether it was a hit or not?


and on television streaming programs, we’re trying to compare streaming to streaming broadcast to broadcast. So what we’re talking about here are streaming programs. We’ve talked about the most streamed programs of 2022 shows one through four, which we’ve talked about previously were Stranger Things, Ozark, Wednesday, and Cobra Kai.

What do those all have in common, Matthew? Netflix. That’s right. And the number 5 most streamed program at 14 billion minutes viewed was Bridgerton, another Netflix program. And Bridgerton, for anybody who’s not aware, is based on a series of novels. They are set in a Fictional British family aristocracy story, effectively a soap opera set during a, uh, set during the 1800s and largely focused on relationships, marriages, and the will they won’t they of coupling.

And They came out as a program on Netflix and became kind of a sudden whirlwind experience of capture, capturing audiences because of their mixture of basically romance novel steaminess. It’s a lot of. Sitting out on a lawn, having a tea, and then two people, after they get married, are able to have the steamy sex scene that they were hoping to have for the previous seven episodes.

And in the news, on this day, June 2nd, 2022, there were major news stories about the Ukrainian war, Putin, Russia, and the evolving nature of what it meant to have a nuclear threat. We had left behind, in the 1990s, the Cold War idea of Two massive, powerful, nuclear armed nations staring at each other in a Cold War standoff.

We’ve now entered a current conflict where one of the parties is armed with nuclear weapons, raising the question, will they use them? To shorten the war when things are not going their way. And that has continued to be a pressing threat of that war. There was also a story about the trend in mass shootings of young assailants.

This is in the weeks after the Evalde, Texas. Shooting, in which a young man went into a school and shot people during an hour long massacre. And as we record this, we are now just days after another shooting in Iowa, in which a young man went into an elementary school, killing a sixth grader and injuring a number of students and faculty.

So this is not a trend that has been ended. It is sadly continuing. Only in America and sadly only in America and in other news with a more positive spin. There was a news story on June 2nd, 2022 about something that Matt literally has an example of to hold up in front of the camera. There was a human, sort of, there was a human ear transplant made with a human ear that was created by a 3d printer.

That’s incredible. Pretty remarkable. Very, very Star Trek. If you were to go back to an audience member of the original series in 1969 or 1970 and say, you know, what’s going to happen in 2022, somebody is going to have a ear that’s going to be created by a computer creating a three dimensional ear.

That’s going to be sewn to somebody’s head. How would they receive that information? How would they We’re going to have replicators. We’re going to have replicators.

Yes, we have replicators. It’s exactly what we have.

And in that vein, Matt, do you want to? Yeah,

it’s not a human. It’s not a human ear. It’s a little tugboat.

I, this Christmas, I got myself a little gift. I bought myself a tiny little, um, 3d printer because I, I’ve been getting things 3d printed more often and I have to go to like 3d printing services. Like I need a special mount made for something. So I kind of get a custom designed and then I have to have it printed somewhere.

So I just got my own printer and the little test print was this cute little tugboat. I love this little thing. It’s so cute. I’m so excited. I have a little three, I have a replicator in my laundry room. So I’m very excited about this, Sean.

It’s wild. It’s wild times. If you like, like you said, when you showed me the tugboat before we began recording, I have a replicator in my home.

And 10 year old me is just so jealous. On now to our discussion about this most recent episode. This is Spock, Amok, which is of course pulling directly from the original series. Amok time being the episode in which Spock is undergoing extreme stresses. He is beginning to exhibit what looks like a psychological breakdown.

It turns out he is entering the period of Pon Far. And if he does not return to Vulcan, he may die. And so the Enterprise goes to Vulcan where it turns out that the Kirk and crew meet T’Pring Spock’s betrothed. And it turns into a Vulcan tradition of a battle to the death. Regarding whether or not the marriage will take place, with T’Pring having selected a different champion to oppose Spock, she picks Kirk, and we get the classic Kirk Spock fight with the Vulcan weaponry, and that classic music, which is I love that.

I was thrilled that they included that music in this opening dream sequence in which we get all these very clear notes right from the beginning of this episode. Buckle up for original series hijinks. And Before we get too deep into plot analysis and looking at what it means for the characters and what the bridges that they’re building, both to the original series and with these new characters to us, the viewers, big picture, did this hit a nostalgic note for you that was like, would you say, okay, this is.

The Trouble with Tribbles. This is Mudd’s Women. This is that type of Trek. Or did it fall into a different area that was more or less enjoyable for you?

Oh no, for me it fell right into that sweet spot of It’s a goofy episode. There’s no way to put it. It’s just, it’s just goofy. It’s just lighthearted fun.

It’s just a way to kind of like have a little bit of a decompression between maybe some weightier episodes. I thought it was great. I thought it was, it, it hit that mark, especially with the humor, like the whole opening sequence with the music. They got the music that da na na na in there. I just was like giddy.

You know, I got all excited. I actually yelled out to my wife as we were watching and I was like, the music, like yelled it out. I forgot that this scene existed. I forgot about it from the first time I watched it years ago.

This is to me,

you need episodes like this. Some of my favorite TV shows, not even Star Trek.

Have episodes like this where they just kind of like take a little bit of a breather like nothing weighty is gonna happen here We’re just having a good time. Just get to know the crew have a few laughs Just hang out. This is a great hangout episode

Yeah, this for me, I, like I, the episodes I mentioned, Mudds Women, Trouble with Tribbles, this falls neatly in that camp of, uh, basically camp.

It’s just, and the fact that you get great lines, like a couple of Vulcans saying, I despise hijinks. Like, you get lines that are just.

On that note, it doesn’t take, the show doesn’t take, part of the reason it works, the show doesn’t take itself seriously. That, as well as, that opening sequence, where Spock’s human half is fighting his Vulcan half.

And it’s like, you’re watching this, and the thought that went through my head was, This is not subtle metaphor. This is like Yeah. On its face. Yeah. And then literally like 15 minutes later, Spock is talking to Nurse Chappell and tells her I had a dream of my human half fighting its Vulcan half. And she goes, well, Vulcan, Vulcans aren’t known for their subtlety.

She said the thing I had thought in the beginning moments of the show. So the show is just totally on its surface, just like letting you know, we know this is corny. We know this is like above and beyond. Yeah. Just go with it. They’re like, we’re having fun. Yeah. You should have fun. And the fact that they’re acknowledging it all along the way, especially with the Vulcans going, I don’t, this feels like hijinks.

I don’t like hijinks. And they say this numerous times throughout the episode. This is getting closer to hijinks. Yes. Perfect.

Absolutely. It is a comedy of manners, effectively. It is like a classic Oscar Wilde. The importance of being earnest. The humor can be built out of conversation and dialogue and.

Misunderstandings of meaning, misunderstandings of who people are. Pike walking into the room, talking to Spock, realizing he’s talking to T’Pring. The fact that they pull that moment to the place where logically we should tell him, yes, I agree, and then inform him. So it is not a comedy of errors built around Pike continuing to rely on T’Pring, but not knowing it’s her, giving him the opportunity to say like.

Are you serious right now? Like giving Anson Mount that opportunity to share that. I think that for the filming of the episode, I would love to know what the filming sequence was, because from a character perspective and from an actor perspective, I think this kind of breather episode is critically important.

Think about the episode that preceded this. The Gorn, unseen on camera, they are monsters lurking in the dark. One of the major characters, La’an Noonien Singh, is given multiple opportunities during that episode to be the focus of the episode, and it’s all dark and heavy about survival. They plant their eggs in us.

They let their children eat us. We are hunted. We are prey. We are nothing but food. Now in this episode, she gets to play Enterprise Bingo. We get. Number one, who all we know of number one from the original pilot is that she is described as being kind of Vulcan like. The captain says, you are extremely efficient and logical in your approach to problems.

I need you here. Here we get to see her play Enterprise Bingo. You get to see Captain Pike kind of scratching his head and rolling his eyes at the idea, like, my first officer and his betrothed have just switched bodies? Like, how, what am I going to do here? You get to see Admiral April, like, going to moments of panic over like, you can’t talk to these people this way.

You get to see these moments again and again for every single character who has just gone through the turmoil of all of this. And the ship itself, the perfect setup of, they almost got destroyed by growing into the brown dwarf. And the end of that episode, you see the Enterprise leaving that episode against the Gorn.

It is torn apart. The gravity of the Brown Dwarf has pulled panels out of it. It is extremely damaged. They then go back to space dock, where they get to have this light hearted episode. It is a perfect balance. It’s necessary for us as an audience. You can’t have nothing but non stop darkness. I am reminded of a show like X Files.

Which had the chef’s kiss ability to balance humor and darkness. They would have an episode where you would see the Fluquor man eating people alive. And it would be followed by an episode in which Mulder would be dropping deadpan one liners that would make you, you know, hold your sides because you were laughing so hard.

This episode for me did that Star Trek version of that perfectly. And I really, really appreciated it. So, on the plot levels, and this is the antithesis of last week’s story, everybody was surviving last week. Everybody, everything was knotted up with, we’re being pursued by the Gorn, things are going wrong with the ship, the ship might blow up, everything was tied in intimately together.

This one is the opposite of that. You could pull any one of these plot lines out of this episode, it wouldn’t impact. Anybody else’s story, you know, the other one, if you pulled out the Gorn, the ship being in danger stops happening. So everything else becomes moot. But this one, you can remove any of these, but it doesn’t feel bad to have that kind of back and forth sort of journey.

You get to see Spock with Nurse Chapel, you get to see the beginning of her attraction to him, which we know where that leads. We’re given the very early. Symbolism of the Amok Time episode, so that we know exactly where we are with Spock and his relationship with T’Pring and the two of them coming at it from a perspective of how do we balance a relationship and our work, which lends a really nice insight into that later episode, I look forward to taking a look at Amok Time with this in our rearview mirror, because I think it will be doing nice things to our analysis of T’Pring for that episode.

What of these plotlines was the one that stood out to you as the most I’m not going to rank them like good to bad, but the most humorous versus the most surprising. Like those, those being two takes, like which, which ones do you think you’re like, Oh, I wasn’t expecting them to go in that direction with this.

And which one was the one that you thought, okay, they keep doing this here clearly for laughs and it’s working. For me, the funniest

one was number one. It was Una.

And, uh, uh, I’m blanking on her name. What’s her first name? La’an.

La’an. La’an. La’an and Una. I thought theirs was probably the funniest. Like, the whole introduction when the crew is getting beamed down to go on vacation and the doctor has his little fishing cap on.

And one of them makes, somebody on the, on the, on the transporter makes a joke about Ortegas. Kind of like an inside joke. Yeah. Yeah. That’s what it’s about. Uh, Una, and, uh, La’an, and then the doctor goes, oh yeah, the nickname, and he kind of gets this look on his face of like, oh, oh, crap, I, I don’t, okay, I don’t know what I’m talking about.

And he was like trying to backpedal as quickly as he could. But does it with a smile. Right. That whole instigation of what happens with the two of them over the course of the episode, I thought it was a, like, chef’s kiss set up, and then the two of them desperately trying to prove to themselves they’re not fun killers.

They know how to have fun. Yeah. Yeah. They know how to have fun. And what was so great about it was you get to see why the two of them are friends. They’re very similar to each other. They have similar interests. And so suddenly it’s like, okay, I get why these two are friends and you see how their friendship is really tight.

This is like not to keep bagging on discovery, but it’s like, it’s doing exactly what discovery didn’t. And it’s like the entire time you’re seeing them doing things and the whole. Shooting each other with phasers in the hallway. It’s like all the stuff that they’re doing. It’s getting weirder and weirder and more out there.

And then, but in the end, it ends with them on the surface of the ship with that like little force field bubble signing the deck like all the cadets do. Yeah. And it’s a beautiful moment with the two of them. Yeah. Kind of. Coming to terms with the fact of, no, they are, they can have fun. They’re, they’re comfortable with who they are.

Yeah. And that’s wonderful. And then with the sailing ship that goes by, they have this moment that’s like a once in a lifetime moment between the two of them with the ship going over. It was. Not only humorous, but it was also a nice, surprising, very touching moment at the end. So I, that for me was the one that I kind of resonated with the


What about you? For me, that one incorporated some of the funniest moments, the moments that I was just like, they had a comedic take on how to set up a good joke. Uh, the doctor’s hat. I love the doctor’s hat. The doctor’s hat, Dr M’Benga wearing that hat. And then he’s on the, he’s on the transporter pad and it’s just like, okay, I’ll take it off.

And then takes it off reluctantly. But then later you get to see him putting his Lure on the line and very happily looking back at a group of people looking over the river. And he is so excited to be casting into that river to catch whatever fish they’ve got in that star base pond. The, um, one line in this that stood out for me.

as a true like a laugh out loud line is when they find the two ensigns who are conducting enterprise bingo and they have their good cop bad cop scenario with the two of them where La’an is is breaking one of them down into tears and number one is effectively Uh, having looks like hot cocoa with the other one, and the two of them are just laughing about Enterprise bingo.

And then they wrap up the scene with number one saying, okay, the two of you have broken regs. You need to be punished. You’re losing your shore leave and you’re going to be assigned. Duty with Mr. Kyle, and we have seen Mr. Kyle in the original series and in this series, and he is always depicted as one of the gentlest of characters.

He is not depicted in a, it’s a little bit like Admiral April. There’s a more diverse cast built in the current. Scenario in Trek, so you have a different type of person playing Mr. Kyle, but he’s portrayed effectively as the same person. He is good at his job, he’s always on station, he’s the transporter chief, he is there to make sure people get on and off the ship safely, and he, that is his primary goal.

And in the original series, he is shown in several episodes having some lines where he gets to do things as strange as prepare a bowl of soup for a 20th century person who accidentally gets beamed aboard the ship. So he’s not a threatening person and here we get the line you’ve been assigned duty for the next two days with Mr.

Kyle and the response is, Oh God, not him. He’s so mean, which I thought that’s, that’s perfect for this show to take those names of characters that we know of to show the, uh, It’s almost a Lower Decks style joke. It’s, and it’s coming from a program that is being made concurrently with Lower Decks. And I couldn’t help but wonder if there might’ve been a little back and forth between the writers of like, joke setup.

How do you do that? Because Lower Decks does it beautifully. Um, and here we have some nice payoff in those, in those same way. But there’s also

elements of the directing I thought was funny. Near the end, near the very end. With Admiral April, there’s some things that he does that are hysterical and he’s not saying a word.


just barely on screen. He’s barely in shot in some of it and his face acting is fantastic. There’s a

scene where, uh, the captain with the Rigelians, is it

Rigelians? No, R’ongovians. No,

R’ongovians, where he’s basically They, they ask him, so why should we join Starfleet? And the captain goes, you shouldn’t.

And he starts to go into the, all the things that are like, yeah, the reasons why they shouldn’t do it. And the Admiral leans over and goes, what are you doing? And like, the captain’s is like, I’m going on a hunch. And as he’s going and just going through the solitany of all the reasons they shouldn’t join Starfleet, the Admiral is sitting there and he just is like slumping over his chair more and more.

At one point, he’s got this look on his face, it’s like. Oh my God, what is happening right now? He’s got this look on his face where he’s letting it happen because he trusts Captain Pike. But on his face, there is no hiding the fact that he thinks things have gone completely off the rails. So you have the captain acting serious, saying what he’s saying, but then right off camera, just in the background, you have this one guy kind of going, Oh my God, what’s happening right now?

It is so perfectly directed and acted. I thought April was fantastic in this episode, even though he didn’t have a lot of dialogue.

He, he left a big impression. Yeah. I wanna, I wanna specifically point out again the name of the director, Rachel Lieman. I think she did a great job. And the writers, Henry Alonso Meyers and Robin Wasserman did a great job in this episode.

Being true to character. The characters consistently are who they are. It’s like a well-written, comedic episode of Next Generation where data is always data. The, the, the episode where, um, Mr. Barkley is introduced and there’s this constant push pull between the characters of like, this guy won’t get out of the holodeck.

He’s addicted to this thing and he’s using it in inappropriate ways. And you have the scene where Picard accidentally refers to him as Mr. Broccoli. To his face, which is of course, the nickname that he has been given by other people in the engineering team and data turns around and begins to say, Oh, that kind of, you know, misnomer is, is understandable because sometimes there’s bot to brought and some algorithm in his brain is like the captain doesn’t care.

And without missing a beat data. Cuts himself off, turns away, and begins typing furiously at a computer keyboard. That kind of comedy, where the comedy comes from who they are, not from them not being who they are, is well done in this episode, where you have dialogue between Spock and T’Pring, and when they switch bodies, they sound like each other.

That’s Not easily done, uh, and the directing, like Matt pointed out, background character slowly sinking into his chair and the kind of jaw on the table of Uhura in the same scene where she’s kind of like, what is the captain doing? She’s like, there is a learning exercise and she’s learning more than she ever expected as she’s watching the captain practice.

What he describes is. Extreme empathy. The acting and directing of the R’ongovians, I think is equally good. When they first walk in, when you know where they’ve come from at the end of the episode, it’s interesting to rewatch the episode because when they first walk in, they are Officious and combative. I believe that they were directed and written in a way that they would be reflecting La’an, Noonian Singh.

Yes. So we don’t know that initially. We just know that these two people have shown up and they appear to be officious and aggressive. But when you know what they’re. Position is where they come from with empathy, and they tell us at the very beginning, we have had a difficult time because people don’t seem to understand empathy plays an important part in our culture.

So we’re given the key right at the beginning. So they’ve picked up on La’an. They’ve now mirrored that. They immediately shift when they meet Pike into a Pike like openness and reasonableness. They very clearly like Spock because there’s something about the logic that they feel like that can help them cut through the layers.

So you have the nice scene between who is we know T’Pring. With them having a logical debate, which leads to Pike’s introduction of extreme empathy. When he comes in to defend, knowing it’s to Pring, he has to defend Spock. And he picks up on the fact that this defense resonates with them. It opens a door that had previously been closed.

The humor and directing that comes out of the R’ongovians is so subtle. Because they almost seem like unimportant, but as you get toward the end of the episode and you realize, Oh, this is, they are the linchpin to much of the episode. Empathy being what Spock and T’Pring are going through. What Nurse Chappell and Spock are going through.

What Nurse Chappell is going through with herself. Because she has not understood. Why do all my relationships end with dramatic breakups? It’s because she’s not able to practice what she preaches. She doesn’t put herself in the other person’s shoes and realize she’s an attractive person who these people want a long term relationship with.

She can objectively help somebody else, but she can’t help herself. The episode ends on a beautiful note. Of her realizing, I think I need the right sort of guy. And I think that guy might be Spock and we can read it on her face. And we also have the advantage of knowing if we know the original series, that long distant longing that we see in Nurse Chapel in that show.

So we’ve seen the beginnings of it here and empathy again and again and again is hammered. On as it is critical in relationships, big and small. And it is something that is sadly lacking too often. And I think it’s a timely episode. We talked about it at the beginning of, of this recording, the news stories we’re talking about school shootings, a war in the Ukraine, the inability to have conversation.

to get through before violence erupts. It’s, we’re living it. And I feel like politics, I feel like this episode was written in the same spirit as the first episode of the series was. The first episode of the series was about this, but it was written from an action and political perspective. And now we have it again, but it’s from a humor perspective, but the same overriding message of empathy.

Looking at the other, questioning what it’s like from their position and understanding when am I closing a door and when am I opening a door in order to allow that communication to take place. I think this is an important, it’s an important show from that perspective. I really appreciate the importance and the depth of what it’s talking about and why it’s doing it with humor as well as from a political or an action or a sci fi perspective.

What did you think about it as a theme of the era? Oh, no, I,

I would actually say for me, this is one thing that I would actually personally just knock it just a little bit because it hammered that point home so much. I thought they were kind of overstretching their hand just a little bit because it felt a little too obvious.

I prefer a little more subtlety. And because it was, oh, the Una and La’an storyline, it’s all about empathy and understanding what these cadets are doing. Oh, now they’re understanding themselves. It’s like every storyline was so clearly tied to this one theme. And then it’s literally stated at the very end.

Like they just come out and say it. Essentially at the very end, it’s like, you didn’t need to come out and say it. It’s like, we, we got it. I got, I got the message. It was loud and clear from all the storylines. Um, so for me, it was like, It wasn’t a big knock. It was just a small knock, but it was, it felt like they just kind of stretched it a little too far for me.

I think I agree with you while also understanding why maybe they did that. Um, I think that this is a show that sees itself as potentially being family viewing, where you could have audiences of all ages. And I think maybe putting too fine a point on something is sometimes useful with your youngest audience members who maybe need the moral stated and having that moment of the captain almost looking at the camera and saying it’s important that we think about other people’s perspectives.

Um, I think that that may be the, the Mo of this kind of program when it’s looking at itself and saying like, we’ve gotta entertain like, people above 50, but we also have people below 12 who might be joining their family and watching this. So, um, I kind of forgive it for that reason. So that’s, but I think you and I, it didn’t,

it didn’t make it bad episode at all.

It’s, it was just one of those ooh, like hitting one wrong key in an entire piece. It’s like, okay. All right. That was fine. It’s fine. Overall, it’s okay.

So, I think what we’re proving is that Matt has a big heart in his willingness to forgive.

So, viewers, what did you think about this episode? Did you agree with Matt and me that this stands, uh, in the, in good company with the other humorous episodes of Star Trek, like the aforementioned, you know, like Mudd’s Women or the episode from Next Generation I mentioned where it’s Mr. Barkley in the holodeck?

Uh, let us know in the comments. And Next time we’re going to be talking about episode 6, episode titled Lift Us Where Suffering Cannot Reach. I’m a huge fan of big, long, cumbersome Trek titles. Uh, I have touched the sky and it is, you know, the sky is, the world is hollow. Um. Titles like that always get me going.

So I’m looking forward to that. Before we sign off, Matt, is there anything you want to remind our viewers and listeners about that you have coming up in your main channel? Nothing new. I mean,

we took a break for a few weeks for the holidays and we’re just getting back into the swing of things now. So by the time this episode’s out.

My next Undecided episode should be coming out. It’s all about wind turbines for your home. So just stay tuned.

As for me, if you’re interested in finding out more about my books, you can go to seanferrell. com. You can look for them wherever you buy your books as well. If you want to go directly to Amazon, Barnes and Noble, bookshop.

org. or your local library. My books are available in all those places and on my website and in some of those locations if you’re interested in seeing the new cover for book two of the Sinister Secrets, which is the Sinister Secrets of the Fabulous Nothings, uh, the cover is now available so you might be Seeing it online, and if you want to see it, you can go to seanferrell.

com, check it out there. If you’d like to support the show, please consider reviewing us on Apple, Spotify, Google, wherever it was you found this program. Go back there, leave a review, don’t forget to subscribe, and also tell your friends. All three of those things are great ways to support us, and if you’d like to directly support us, You can go to trekintime.

show, click on the Become a Supporter button. It allows you to throw some coins at our heads, and it automatically makes you an Ensign, which means you will be signed up for our spinoff show, Out of Time, in which we talk about non Trek related stuff, like maybe some sci fi, maybe some horror, maybe some fantasy, whatever is catching our eye.

All of that really helps support the show. Thank you so much, everybody, for taking the time to watch or listen, and we’ll talk to you next time.

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