by Gwen Maddison
So this episode is from Season 1 and no where near the weirdness of the later seasons. In fact, it’s a pretty normal episode. It’s got quite a few good things going for it and enough cheese to make the Trek we love. And for once, Kirk is actually in trouble… not for something he actually did though. Which is annoying. I guess we can’t win every battle.
On to the review.
We start off with a Captain’s Log. Good thing, too. Apparently we showed up just in time to miss all the fun shit. Our heroes have just been though an ion storm. The ship has been badly damaged (Scotty must be in tears). And one crewman is dead (I’m honestly impressed there’s only one). Kirk decided to stop in at Starbase 11 to repair every thing and give a report to Commodore Stone.
He’s a little curious why Kirk has been over the report three times (my guess… he’s still trying to sound out the big words). Is there an error? No. Just being melodramatic over killing someone. Again.
Oh, and we need your computer logs to confirm this. We’re not just going to “take your word for it” this time.
Kirk radios up to the ship to find out where Spock is with the computer log but Uhura says he should have been there ten minutes ago. Odd, Spock taking his time. Maybe he needed to stop off at the little Vulcan’s room?
Kirk explains to the Commodore why Spock may have had to make a pit stop on the way.
The Commodore doesn’t seem too miffed. He’s busy talking up the late Lieutenant Commander Finney. Kirk’s right there with him on that one. No wait, he’s just covering his own ass again. Despite having handed in a report and the soon-to-arrive ship’s log which should all say the same thing.
Speak of the devil and there he is… no, just Spock. Kirk wants to know what took him so long but Commodore Stone just wants those record tapes. He’s not wasting any time either. He’s going to watch them right now.
But wait, who’s this? In walks someone about 20 years too old for the “futuristic sailor girl” look she’s trying to pull off. Seriously, honey, that would be cute if you were five. On you, you just look like someone who’s creepily insane mother is still picking out their clothes and keeping them confined to their entirely pink, filled to the roof with stuffed animals, “still thinks you’re a baby” room.
This scene from The Love Boat mistakenly spliced into “Court Martial.”
Oh, it’s Jame (which they keep pronouncing “Jamie”). Who I guess someone will explain later. And she’s plenty pissed (I would be too, if they stuck me in that costume). Kirk killed her father and… oh, I get it, the dead guy. So this is Jame Finney. Well that explains it all. Or not.
Kirk insists he was his friend but Jame seems pretty damn sure he hated him all his life. That’s why he killed him. Murderer.
Yeesh, Jim. Where’s a run-of-the-mill paternity suit when you need one, huh?
Don’t worry, Spock will show her out. I mean, I guess he could have just nerve pinched her. It’s a lot more effective than a smack.
Commodore Stone, however is finished with the record tapes and he does NOT look impressed. Didn’t Kirk just say that he shot his “friend” in to space AFTER the red alert? Who the hell do you think you’re trying to kid? Not Commodore Badass, that’s for damn sure. Go directly to jail, Kirk. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.
All that before the opening credits! Whew! Well better get those over and done with. (The opening credits always seem so weird without De. Silly first season.)
Oh dear, I feel another Captain’s Log coming on. That burrito for lunch may not have been a good choice after all.
So the Enterprise is still in orbit. Repairs are underway. Kirk is still stuck on the planet. And now everyone is caught up. Thank Spock for that.
Seems like Kirk isn’t really “under arrest” as he and McCoy are checking out the local bar. Kirk, being Kirk, knows half of the people there. But none of them seem too thrilled to see him. Commander Coldshoulder and his friend Captain Passive-Agressive make it pretty clear that everyone would like him to piss off as quickly as possible. Apparently killing an old friend is still frowned upon. Bad luck there, Jim. Good thing you guys aren’t making everyone horribly uncomfortable.
Kirk decides to head off and sulk in private like a man (Nearly taking out a Ricky along the way. Isn’t one death enough?!), leaving Bones to drink alone. Don’t worry, Bones, here comes a hot blonde to save the day (although she’s decided to come out wearing her grandmother’s curtains).
Bones is shocked to see his grandmother’s curtains
being worn by one of Kirk’s old “friends.”
Now, Bones… sweetie… Don’t take this the wrong way. You know I love you. But you have really got to work on your pick up lines. Telling her the dude who just left is Kirk? Maybe not the best angle.
But she knew that. She’s an old “friend” of his. (Good luck finding a woman who wasn’t a “friend of his”.)
And Bones is a friend.
And for some reason she repeats herself. She’s his friend too. An old one. (Is this kind of like asking how someone is doing, them asking you and then you asking them again because you’ve momentarily gone insane?)
Bones doesn’t seem to mind (or notice though), he’s too busy being annoyed that all of his old friends look like doctors. All of Kirks look like her. To be fair, I’m sure Bones hasn’t needed treatment for every space STD known to science. And besides all that, being the smooth southern man he is, he gets her to have a drink with him.
Elsewhere, Commodore Stone starts the inquiry against Kirk to see if they should get on with the court-martialing. He’s got a lot of questions, so hold on to your seats.
Did Kirk know Finney for a long time? Yep, knew him from the Academy. Hell he even named his daughter after Kirk. You remember the one? She was yelling “Murderer” and crying that Kirk hated Finney. Okay… so maybe that wasn’t the best example.
What the hell happened then? We worked together. Finney fucked up. I reported his ass. Finney was a whiney bitch.
And that storm? What the hell happened? There was an ion storm. I sent Finney in to the pod. It was his turn. Prissy bitch or not. Everything was a-okay but that shit sneaks up on you. I signalled a Red Alert and Finney knew to get his ass out of there. I waited and he took his sweet time. So long, Finney.
So why does the computer say you shot his ass in to space before you were even in trouble? What about that, smart guy?
Dunno, Spock’s looking in to it.
After Kirk answers two questions incorrectly, Commodore Stone gives him a red card.
Stone’s heard enough. Kirk must be washed up and he knows it. If Kirk doesn’t put up a fuss he’ll just say that he’s incapable of running a starship (true). Possibly… even… mental collapse (symptoms may include random and awkward pauses, irrational behaviour and extreme overacting). But only if Kirk shuts up about the whole thing. Stone will bury it. You know, to protect the service. We wouldn’t want people thinking that a Starfleet Captain killed someone. We’ll just make this all go away. (Maybe Commodore Stone was a member of the Vatican in a past life?)
Kirk’s not gonna put up with this bullshit. No way. He’s a busy man with Rickys to send to their deaths. Just get your damned court martial together and get this shit over with. Do you realize there are chicks out there to bang while I’m stuck here?
Ah the sweet gentle goodness of another Captain’s Log. The folks for the court martial are on the way. The Enterprise is almost fixed. And Kirk is headed to the bar. He’s got an “old friend” to catch up with. Good thing Areel is still wearing those curtains, she sticks out like a cold sore. McCoy pointed him in the right direction but, even without help, I’m sure he would have sniffed her out on his own.
One thing though, Jim—if a girl can tell you down to the day (don’t let the ambiguous “odd number of days” fool you, she knows), run. She jumped over the crazy line.
Aw, crap. She knows you killed that guy. I mean, you probably should have guess that. She’s a lawyer. Kirk, you have got to start paying more attention to these things. But it’s okay because Kirk is gonna smooth talk his way out of this one. He didn’t do anything wrong, remember. So nothing to worry about, right? Except maybe those nasty rumours that say otherwise.
Jim, this could ruin you.
Shhh, baby. Don’t you worry your pretty little woman brain. I’ve got it covered. But okay, if you insist. Let’s hear the silly thoughts going through that girly head of yours.
Seems simple enough really. It’s Kirk’s word verses the computer. So you probably don’t want your lawyer trying to fight that one. Because the computer can’t be wrong. No, she doesn’t have other options. Just don’t use that one. That one is balls. Maybe check out this Sam Cogley guy, he’s a lawyer. Oh, and one more thing, she can’t help Kirk. Mostly because she’s prosecuting against him.
Now that’s gotta burn. he better head back to his quarters to drink it off. But what fuckery is this? The place is full of books! And none of them look like skin mags! The Kirk does not look impressed.
Cogley’s moved all his stuff in. Stuff being books. Kirk thinks a computer takes up less space (and allows you to search for porn) but Cogley is unmoved. He’s a book man. With his own personal library. Which actually sounds awesome until you realize they’re all law books.
All this leads Kirk to one conclusion. He’s either a lunatic or Cogley. Cogley assures him both are true. This aught to be good.
Cogley was hit with severe excessive baggage fees at Starbase 11.
The bell rings and it’s time for class… uh… no, Court Martial. Commodore Stone has brought along a couple of friends and they’re ready to get this party started. The computer rattles off everything Kirk is charged with (but not, unfortunately, everything he’s actually done). Then Spock is up on the witness stand. Well, the witness seat, anyway. The computer even gives us a handy little reminder of who we’re dealing with here (I will never not be miffed that Spock isn’t, at very least, a full Commander).
Through the questioning Spock says he knows all about computers and that, yes, they don’t always work. But the Enterprise computers are working just fine. He still figures the computer is wrong. Working fine but wrong. It’s impossible for Kirk to have shot Finney in to space before the red alert. You don’t need to watch MC drop the Hammer to know he’s just another has-been now.
Okay, I’m gonna stop you right here, Sweetie. “It is impossible for Captain Kirk to act out of panic or malice. It is not his nature.”? I’m sorry, are we talking about the same person? Panic maybe but malice? I know Vulcans don’t drink but I have to ask, are you drunk? And I’m not the only one who’s not buying it. (I’m sorry, it hurts me to have to disagree with you but I couldn’t walk away from that one.)
Cogley doesn’t need any question.
And I see Jame is in the audience, still sporting her space sailor girl outfit.
Ensign Rickette is up to bat. (I will say seriously though, that I always appreciated the effort to make the cast and extras diverse. It may seem ham-handed, but they were trying.) The records officer and she’s familiar with ALL the service records of the crew (impressive). She even knows about Finney’s fuck up and Kirk ratting him out. That guy, over there. Kirk. That one.
Cogley’s still good. Questions are for suckers anyway.
Bones’ turn. Areel wants to make sure that on top of being a good ol’ country doctor and a surgeon, he’s also an expert in space psychology. But Bones is being modest. But she wants to know if it’s psychologically possible for Finney to have blamed Kirk (duh). Maybe even hated him (you’re getting warmer). So now isn’t it possible that Kirk hated him back? If the guy was such an asshole, wouldn’t he?
Not Kirk. He’s not like that. Hating things or people for little or no reason. It’s just not something you’ll see from him, ever, no matter what. (*sigh*)
Cogley is still maxin’ and relaxin’. But Stone is getting a bit annoyed by his unwillingness to play. Cogley is just gonna hang out until Kirk is up on the stand. He’s even going to make them listen to his whole file… or most of it anyway.
So Kirk, there was a Red Alert when you pressed the button (we all know how tempting buttons are to push). But Kirk is holding to his story, which he goes over again. (He hasn’t had a chance to make a Captain’s Log lately, he’s probably getting twitchy.) And he’d do it all over again.
But Areel’s got video. Oh snap. And it shows him pressing the button early. Double snap. It’s not looking good, Kirk.
Could Kirk’s obsession with making Captain’s Logs
have led him to press “eject” instead of “record”?
Kirk’s still sticking to his guns. (I know. We’re all stunned.) Spock hasn’t found anything wrong with the computer. And hey, maybe the new guy will suck at chess (like the old captain).
Just then Jame shows up again. As we prepare ourselves for more screaming and crying she decides to go with something else. She wants Cogley to talk Kirk into a ground assignment and to get the charges dropped. It wasn’t his fault. She won’t make a fuss. Which is a little weird coming from the girl who was screaming “murderer” earlier.) See, she read some old letters and papers and now she knows how close they were. He couldn’t possibly have killed him. (Unrelated fact: About half of people murdered are killed by someone they know, are related to, or are close to.)
At least Cogley looks like he might have an idea.
Back on the ship, Spock is playing chess. Bones isn’t impressed (obviously). The Captain is going down fast and Spock is playing games. And not only is he immune to insults but he’s beaten the computer four times.
Wait… what the what?
The best he should have been able to pull off is a stalemate. Someone’s been fucking with his chess program! And that person is surely going to pay! Oh yeah and it shows that someone was screwing around with stuff. So the Captain’s probably saved or something. So down to the planet they’ll go.
Court is already starting up though so they’re gonna have to haul ass if they want to get there in time. And it’s barely the knick of time. It’s starts Cogley off on a flowery speech about rights and wants to move the court on to the Enterprise to show off his new evidence.
The court gives in and they all head up. Spock shows them his faulty chess game. And that might indicate that other things have been messed with. Oh yeah and Finney could have done that. Weird. Because they searched the whole ship for him. Kirk checked the ladies quarters and everyone else checked the rest. They didn’t find Finney.
But they were looking for him like he wanted to be found. They didn’t use the “Hide-and-go-seek” style of search. Maybe Finney is just this year’s “Hider of the Year.” Maybe he’s not dead!
To prove it, everyone but a few people and the court need to get off the ship. Once they’re all gone, Spock hit’s the Techno music and it’s time for the rave… wait… no, that’s just their heart beats. Bones has a fancy mic that will cancel out the sound of everyone’s heartbeat. Then there’s the guy in the transporter room.
“Spock, eliminate his heart beat.” Interesting choice of words, Kirk.
But there’s one left. Finney. Dun dun dun! Kirk’s gonna find him too, while Cogley goes to get his daughter (I love fun family reunions).
Sure enough Finney is alive and Kirk tries to talk him down. Finney seems plenty pissed though. He’s got a phaser and crazy beard, this could get ugly. He’s tapped out the power and the ship is going down. Be careful, Kirk, he’s rambling.
Oh, Finney, did we mention that your daughter is on the ship you’re going to crash? Ain’t that a bitch.
Kirk… we’re almost through this episode and your shirt is not yet ripped. I can fix that.
It’s time for those stunt doubles to earn their money and for Kirk to rip his shirt. I can only imagine how long he’d been waiting for that to happen. He’d probably been pouting for days. Ripping it himself back at his quarters.
Finney gives up and tells them where he sabotaged things and the ship is saved. Hurrah. And Kirk is saved. Goody. Everything is back to normal, Kirk even gets in a kiss AND a “don’t call me, I’ll call you.”
And off they warp, in to the big black yonder.
Well, I hope you had a good time. I certainly did. Until next time, Live Long and Prosper.