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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Star Trek Season 2: My Top 5 Favorite Episodes

Posted by Charlene // Tags: ,
I am boldly continuing with my Star Trek marathon!  By now I can repeat the opening credit speech with Captain Kirk, I have more than a little crush on Spock (He's so adorably logical.), and I am checking out Star Trek related items on Etsy and Amazon.  So it's official that I'm a fan.  After finishing season 2, I feel like I'm not as devoted to my top 5 episodes as I am to my top 5 of season 1, but the whole season overall had so many entertaining episodes (ones that had less to do with hard science fiction and felt more gimmicky -Greek gods! Nazis! Romans! Gothic manors!) that I was happy to see them try new things, and to get a better perspective of what this show has to offer.  Where I think with Doctor Who's format they can do anything plausibly - I'm beginning to see that Star Trek also has a way of making any idea work despite the Prime Directive.  Even to having the last episode of season 2 mention that the Enterprise can travel in time at will. (That seems like it would be a big deal!)

There are a couple episodes that I would like to mention as runners up - "Mirror, Mirror" where we see a parallel universe where the world and the Enterprise are evil, greedy and backstabbing and "By Any Other Name" which has the fun idea that these superior aliens can by undone by human emotions.  These were really great episodes, but these are my top 5 favorites:

5. The Deadly Years


I think the main reason I loved this episode so much was because of the insidious terror in having this unknown ticking time bomb in the main characters.  They are aging rapidly for an unknown reason and they need to find the solution before they die of old age.  It was poignant to see Captain Kirk lose his memory but still fight to retain his position as Captain and to see how Spock reluctantly proves the case that Kirk is unfit.  While the solution to the aging problem is a little bit too easy (and I don't think it explains reversing the aging process) this was still a very thoughtful and entertaining episode.

4. Amok Time


This episode is the first time we get to see anything of the Vulcan planet and their customs and their planet is pretty unusual!  Especially when we find out more about this special time every Vulcan goes through when they are basically in heat.  (By the way, poor Christine!  I'm sure I understand her unrequited feelings for Spock, but I would really try to suppress it if I were her!)  The real charm in this episode is in seeing Spock so uncomfortable and out of character and fighting Kirk!  Although why wouldn't you just check before accepting the challenge if the fight is one to the death?  Just a thought, Kirk.  However, there is one moment that put this episode near and dear to my heart and that is when near the end Spock finds out that Kirk is alive and shows some emotion (although he tries to deny it).  That scene was the best - bromance for the win!  I was hoping we would see more of the Vulcans in this season (and also seeing Spock's parents was awesome) because there's lots to explore with them especially because they are so similar to Humans, yet not.  I do find it interesting (or odd) how ritualistic they are for a race that values logic above all else.  

3. Bread and Circuses


A Roman culture on an obscure planet?  Sure that makes sense.  I mean maybe not really but I loved the idea of the Enterprise crew having to deal with these sadistic men to find out what happened to a previous Starfleet scouting party.  And when I saw that the Romans televise their gladiator competitions, I immediately thought - OMG Hunger Games!  Although the real highlight of this episode for me is probably the antagonistic tone and the constant jibes between Spock and McCoy.  I wondered at first at their relationship - because McCoy seems so unfair to Spock really - but I love that they do have respect for each other, but also find it enjoyable to ridicule each other.  And hearing some of the things Spock says with such a deadpan delivery is hilarious.  I also liked seeing the crew get out of trouble by just beaming out because really they should do that all the time.  Haven't they gotten into enough situations where they beam down and are immediately beset by people with weapons?  Wear a concealed phaser and have a code to Scotty or Sulu or whoever (like "vatican cameos"!) which means beam me up now asap!!  At least Kirk did have a code for Scotty in this one.

2. A Piece of the Action


The planet in this episode features highly imitative aliens who are corrupted because another visiting Starfleet left them a book on Chicago mobsters and the aliens have modeled their society on that book.  Any opportunity to see Kirk and Spock out of Starfleet regulation is a treat so I was already well on my way to liking this episode.  And while (again!) I can't believe Spock would beam down to the planet with no precautions - completely ready to trust the mob leader because he said so - I loved that there was a tipping point for Kirk and he decided that if he can't beat 'em, he'd join 'em (to a certain extent).  I'm sure William Shatner had fun acting the mob boss (as I had fun watching him do it!) and that made this episode one of the most enjoyable to date.  Seeing Spock uncomfortably adapt and Kirk revealed as a terrible driver were also moments of pure joy. 

1. The Trouble With Tribbles


Welcome to my not-original pick for top episode of season 2!  I had heard about the tribbles episode before I started watching the series, so I already had high expectations for this one and I was not disappointed!  As I mentioned in a previous post I love the funny episodes, and this one had a wonderful understated ridiculousness to it - understated because it was paired with a great A story - that the Enterprise had to protect a crop of special wheat and also keep an eye on those troublemaking Klingons.  The tribbles steadily become more of a problem in the background while our attention is focused on what the Klingons might be up to.  The two stories tie in well together and seeing how the tribbles gradually take over the Enterprise was hilarious.  As was the scene where Kirk opens the wheat storage container and is deluged with furry tribbles!  I feel like the crew must have taken a fiendish delight in throwing those things at him from above.  

**Note:
STARDATE  2014.2.3
I had to delay posting this so I've already finished watching Season 3 and have my top 5 post for that ready to go!  It should be going up within a couple of weeks! 

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12 comments:

  1. Ah Star Trek! I started watching the first season of the original series an age ago, I really should pick it up again. It's good fun! And I really want to get to The Trouble with Tribbles *g*

    - Wattle @ Whimsical Nature

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    1. It is so much fun! I've started the Next Generation and I'm already missing the 1960s sensibilities of the original series! The Trouble with Tribbles is a great episode too - I would just skip to it if you wanted to watch it right away! :) Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. The Trouble with Tribbles!!!!!!! I'm glad you loved it; that one's so fun! And just wait until you see the Dssp Space 9 throwback episode "Trials and Tribble-ations"! A Piece of the Action is also a fun episode, and I love how much you love Spock! He's my favorite of the original series.

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    1. I do love it when they call back the TOS! From TNG there's a couple references and it made me giddy! :D So I look forward to that Deep Space 9 ep! Oh and I didn't know Spock is your fave from TOS! Awesome, glad we both have such great taste. :D

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  3. The Trouble with Tribbles is a classic. I must confess I haven't seen A Piece of the Action, though. Looks like a very fun episode. Now I'm feeling like watching TOS .

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    1. It is so fun! I was even thinking it would disappoint me because I've heard so much about tribbles, but I'm glad that wasn't the case! I feel like watching TOS too, even though I'm trying to get through TNG now. :)

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  4. I loved A Piece of the Action and The Trouble with Tribbles! Fantastic choices :)

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    1. Oh yay, I'm glad you are a fan of those eps - especially A Piece of the Action since I didn't know if it was very popular!

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  5. Great choices there - as you say, lots to choose from there! Can't wait to hear your Season Three list. Things definitely take a trippy turn that season. :)

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    1. It was pretty hard to pick episodes for Season 3! I went mostly for episodes that featured moments that I really loved - and there were a few of those. TOS is a lot of fun in general though, I'm so glad I finally watched the series!

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  6. Trouble with Tribbles is so silly and fun.. I enjoy that one every time I watch it!

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    1. Yeah, I probably will have to get the series on DVD so I can watch it anytime instead of relying on Netflix. I'm so glad I started watching this show!

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