ST:TOS — 1.6 Mudd’s Women

Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the writer Alice. Her five-year mission: to recap every episode of Star Trek: The Original Series, to post them to this blog, to boldly go where no man has gone before.

And as she goes, she’ll keep her eyes open for the following items:

  1. Kirk Fu wouldn’t actually help you; it’d probably get you killed instead.

  2. Roddenberry predicts SCIENCE!

  3. Space Husbands (Spock/Kirk), Space Boyfriends (Spock/McCoy), and Space Biffles (Kirk/McCoy), oh my!

  4. Doomed Crewmen Aren’t Always Redshirts (but they usually are)

  5. Someone actually does their assigned job.

  6. Social issues are addressed.

  7. Bones is adorable/grumpy (which is the same thing to me)

  8. WTF?! moments are my fav.

  9. WTF?! aliens are also my fav.

  10. They referenced this in the reboot films!

  11. Mark Jefferies was a genius!

  12. Catchphrase running tally:
    Bones – He’s dead
    Chapel – Doctor!/Doctor McCoy!
    Chekov – anything regarding Russia
    Kirk – Kirk out
    Scotty – the laws of physics
    Spock – Fascinating
    Sulu – repeats an order
    Uhura – Hailing frequencies open
  13. The Prime Directive doesn’t matter because Kirk knows best.

  14. Omg, costumes!

  15. The sexism is rampant and makes me feminist rant.

  16. Kirk is Best Captain.

title card

I’m not even sure what to do with this episode, to be totally honest. We’re introduced to one of the most ridiculous characters to ever come out of TOS and I think I kind of love him? I really don’t know. But, I do know this one has a few good messages for those of us who pay attention. I didn’t pay enough attention to this one when I was a kid.

Also, this whole episode is referenced in Into Darkness when Sulu says, “Acting Captain Sulu to Shuttle Bay 2. Please have the trade ship we confiscated during the Mudd incident last month fueled and flight ready.” Which made me giggle like a loon in the theater until my mom poked me in the shoulder. #10

Captain’s Log, Stardate 1329.8. The U.S.S. Enterprise in pursuit of an unidentified vessel.

So right away, we’re thrown into the thick of things. I love it when the Enterprise gets to play with the action, too. She isn’t just a pretty ship, you know.

They’re chasing this little ship, probably a cargo ship, and they’re not sure if it’s an Earth ship since they’re not getting a registration beam from it. So, obviously, stolen. And the captain of the mysterious little ship is pushing it too far and he’s going to overload his engines and probably explode soon.

Kirk has Sulu stay on the little ship and asks Uhura if she’s made any contact with the captain. She reports she’s tried every frequency and either he isn’t receiving them or he refuses to answer. Kirk is pretty sure the guy just doesn’t want to talk to them.

This is so weird. #14

This is so weird. #14

At this point, it isn’t entirely clear why they’re chasing the guy to begin with. My only guess is that because they’re not getting a registration beam from him, they know it’s a stolen vehicle and Starfleet’s pretty much the space police, because duh.

But they approach an asteroid belt, throw on their deflector shield, and follow the little ship into the belt. Spock reports he’s finally got a sensor reading on the ship. It’s a small class J cargo ship and his engines are super-heating.

Kirk’s like, warn him because if he loses power in the asteroid belt—But the engines fail and the ship begins drifting in the belt! Which is super dangerous, if you weren’t catching all the tension the writers were throwing in our direction.

This little ship is done for unless the Enterprise can stretch out her deflector screen to surround him, which will overload her engines. But Kirk makes that command anyway and sends Scotty and Spock to the Transporter Room.

Soon, the Enterprise‘s engines start to superheat and they lose a lithium crystal (which is kind of important since it powers the ship) and their deflector shield is beginning to fail. Kirk orders the Transporter Room to try to beam over the crew of the little ship, but Soctty reports they’re not answering his signal and there’s nothing for him to lock onto. They lose another lithium crystal and Uhura receives a distress call from the little ship.

Scotty manages to lock onto something and beams over the captain.

Space pirates do exist! #14

Space pirates do exist! #14

Mudd: Meaning no ingratitude, gentlemen, but just where is it I find meself?

McCoy: You’re aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise.

Mudd: It’s really a darn beautiful ship, isn’t it? Really a beautiful ship. Oh, the name, gentlemen, if Walsh, Captain Leo Walsh.

Spock: How many more in your crew?

Mudd: Just a few more.

Scott: Your vessel’s breaking up, man. If we don’t get them over here right now—

Mudd: We couldn’t be sure you was a friendly vessel, now could we. Ah, but the three will be in position about by now.

This guy is super shady, all right? Really super shady. I don’t like how he’s not concerned with getting his people to safety. And he’s totally unconcerned with the state of the Enterprise, either. They’ve lost pretty much all of their lithium crystals and have to run on battery power.

But Scotty’s a boss and manages to beam over the remaining three off Mudd/Walsh’s ship despite only having battery power to work with, which isn’t meant to be used for the Transporter. And he gets them to the Enterprise right as the little ship is hit by an asteroid and is exploded.

#14 I want the purple one.

#14 I want the purple one.

I love how Scotty and McCoy react to the ladies, btw. It’s adorable.

transfixed Scotty

transfixed McCoy

But I love Spock’s reaction to Scotty and McCoy even more.

Spock, your boyfriend's checking out a chick! #3

Spock, your boyfriend’s checking out a cute chick! #3

Little things like this make me happy.

Meanwhile, Kirk’s trying to get a response out of the Transporter Room about how many they managed to save and once Scotty snaps out of his little trance, he tells him. Kirk orders Mudd/Walsh to meet him in his cabin, though I think they go to the Briefing Room instead, whether he can walk or not, because Kirk is annoyed as all get-out. Also, we’re gifted our very first “Kirk out.” So, #12.

On their way to meet Kirk, the dudes in the crew pause in their duties to check out the ladies and we’re given a gratuitous shot of their bums as they walk. They certainly know how to work it, I must say. Mudd/Walsh is extraordinarily pleased by the attention his ladies are receiving.

In the turbolift:

Mudd: You’re part Vulcanian, aren’t you. Ah, well then, a pretty face doesn’t affect you at all, does it? That is, unless you want it to. You can save it, girls. This type can turn himself off from any emotion.

Eve (pink dress): I apologise for what he said, sir. He’s used to buying and selling people.

Mudd: I’ll handle the conversation, darling.

Rude. But we do learn that Vulcans (they use the term Vulcanian a bit in TOS and it’s so awkward to me, like saying they originate in volcanoes and are the children of the Roman god, Vulcan, which is weird so I just call them Vulcan, which is less awkward) can enjoy something pretty if they choose to do so. But they have to make a conscious decision to enjoy it. This is probably the basis for a lot of Vulcan character-centric fanfics.

And they actually go to Kirk’s quarters instead of the Briefing Room. It’s really weird for him to have this meeting here. I think it’s regulation to meet in the Briefing Room, but when this was written/shot, I don’t think all the regulations were set down yet. We’re still in very early days of the show so a lot of what happened in these episodes changed over the course of season one.

Anyway, Spock introduces Mudd/Walsh—sort of— with a little bit too much enthusiasm, really, and Eve and the other girls kind of interrupt, catching Kirk’s attention. Which isn’t entirely difficult to do, considering how they’re dressed and behaving. Kirk looks at Mudd/Walsh with an expression that clearly reads, “Wtf, dude?” and asks if the ladies are the crew, to which Mudd/Walsh replies:

Well, no, Captain. This is me cargo.

What.

The.

Hell. (#8)

Suddenly, I feel like this might plunge into a huge debate regarding human trafficking and whatnot. But we’re sort of spared that for two minutes, because commercials. Unless you’re watching this on Netflix or are like me and have the DVD collection. But we’re spared it anyway because they don’t talk about it.

Captain’s Log, Stardate 1329.1. We’ve taken aboard from unregistered transport vessel its captain and three unusual females. These women have a mysterious magnetic effect on the male members of my crew, including myself. Explanation unknown at present.

I love that Kirk knows what’s going on even though he wasn’t present for it.

After the Captain’s Log, we get this lovely conversation that makes me giggle because I’m totally siding with Kirk on it.

Mudd: Well, how the devil am I supposed to know this is a starship, Captain? Here I am with a cargo of young lovelies. A strange ship comes up alongside. Well. Naturally I did my best to evade you. And starship Captain or no, you exceeded your authority when you drove me and mine into a shower of asteroids.

Kirk: Your name, please.

Mudd: Walsh. Leo Walsh. You destroyed me ship, Captain.

Kirk: Mister Walsh, I’m convening a ship’s hearing on your actions. Mister Spock will supply you with any legal information you may need for your defence.

Mudd: You’re a hard-nosed on, Captain.

Kirk: And you’re a liar, Mister Walsh. I think we both understand each other.

This makes me so happy, you have no idea. Obviously, this Mudd/Walsh guy is up to no good. It’s really not that difficult to find out if the ship that’s behind you is a Federation starship or not. Because they’re registered as such. This is basic, going-out-into-space stuff here.

And Kirk didn’t force him into the asteroid belt. He could have navigated around it, but he went in there intentionally to try to outmaneuver the Enterprise. And he’s the one who pushed his ship too far. This is really all Mudd/Walsh’s fault. Kirk was doing his job and he wasn’t taking unnecessary action.

So I love it that Kirk’s caught this guy in a lie.

Back on the Bridge, Scotty and Spock discuss the dire straights the Enterprise finds herself in:

Scott: We’ve got trouble, Mister Spock.

Spock: I’m well aware of that, Mister Scott.

Scott: One lithium crystal left, and that with a hairline split at the base.

Spock: Better rig a by-pass circuit.

Scott: Can’t. We blew the whole converter assembly.

This is so not good. The Enterprise is currently running on battery power, which won’t last and won’t get them very far. They can’t access warp drive, they’re barely going anywhere on impulse power. Essentially, they’re pretty well stranded unless they can get more lithium crystals in a hurry.

Meanwhile, down in the Briefing Room, the ladies are freaking out a little.

Ladies: Harry! Where were you? Etc.

Mudd: Shh! Calm down now, darlings. [to Security] Would you mind waiting outside?

Security: Sorry, sir.

Mudd [to ladies]: Well, now, answer every question they put to you. Don’t lie. Well, you’ve no need to, have you, and don’t submit to a med. [to Security] That is, being so healthy, they’ve no need for a medical exam, have they?

Ruth (green dress): What if they ask about—

Mudd: They won’t. [to Security] Have you no place to go, lads?

Magda (purple dress): They’ll notice we’re different.

Mudd: No, no, no, they won’t. Just let Leo take all the hard questions. Now don’t be panicking, loves. We’ll get to—

Eve: Get to where? We don’t have a ship and we’re headed the wrong way, Harry.

Mudd: Leo! Leo Walsh is me name, darling. Don’t forget that. [to Security] So lovely. Lovely, aren’t they? If they only think lovely thoughts, if they smile, they’ll come out right some which way, won’t they? My personal guarantee on that.

This guy could not get any shadier. I want it known right now that I love this guy because he’s ridiculous and shady and behaves like a pirate. I do not love what he’s up to, though, because I will always support my Bridge Crew.

Speaking of, back on the Bridge:

Spock: The entire ship’s power is feeding through one lithium crystal.

Kirk: Well, switch to by-pass circuits.

Scott: We burned them all out when we super-heated. That jackass Walsh not only wrecked his vessel, but in saving his skin—

Kirk: If it makes you feel better, Engineer, that’s one jackass we’re going to see skinned.

Scott: But it’s frustrating. Almost a million gross tons of vessel depending on a hunk of crystal the size of my fist.

Spock: And that crystal won’t hold up, not pulling all our power through it.

Kirk: Well, Mister Spock?

Spock: There’s a lithium mining operation on Rigel 12. High-grade ore, I’ve heard.

Kirk: Location and distance.

Spock: Mister Farrell has the course. Less than two day’s travel.

Kirk: Make for Rigel 12, Mister Spock.

After the commercial break, we head over to the Briefing Room for Mudd/Walsh’s hearing. Guys, the computer gets to talk in this scene. I love it when the computer talks. Well, I love it when it’s Majel’s voice for the computer and right now I can’t really tell if it’s her, it sounds like her, but I’m not certain, but still. The computer’s one of my favorite characters because she’s so no-nonsense. So I’m just going to give you the transcript of the scene because I don’t want to miss out on the computer’s awesome:

Spock: State your name for the record.

Mudd: Leo Francis Walsh.

Computer: Incorrect.

Spock: Your correct name.

Mudd: Gentlemen, surely you’re not going to take the word of a soulless mechanical device over that of a real flesh and blood man.

Spock: State your correct name for the record.

Mudd: Harry Mudd.

Computer: Incorrect.

Mudd: Harcourt Fenton Mudd!

Spock: Any past offenses, Mister Mudd?

Mudd: Of course not. Gentlemen, I’m simply an honest businessman.

Computer: Incorrect.

Mudd: Blast that tin-plated pot.

You’re not helping your case here, Mudd, by calling the computer names. They love their computer on this ship.

Computer: Full data coming on screen.

Ruth: If it can read our minds, too—

Mudd: It can’t, darling. It can’t. Just what’s on the record.

Computer: Offense record. Smuggling. Sentence suspended. Transport of stolen goods. Purchase of space vessel with counterfeit currency. Sentences, psychiatric treatment, effectiveness disputed.

It’s like Mudd’s trying to be Han Solo before Han Solo existed. He’s not very good at it. For one thing, he keeps getting caught. For another, he’s not Harrison Ford.

Kirk: Mister Mudd, you’re charged with galaxy travel without a flight plan, without an identification beam, and failure to answer a starship’s signal, thus effecting a menace to navigation.

Those are the best charges I’ve ever heard and I want to use them in my scifi saga now. I mean, really, how is traveling without a flight plan a criminal charge? I would drive without a destination all the time, just kinda wandering around the hills by my hometown for hours. Other than wasting gas (and therefore a small fortune), I wasn’t harming anything.

Mudd: What? My tiny ship in this immense galaxy a menace to navigation?

That’s the charge you’re going to dispute?

Kirk: You’re also charged with operation of a vessel without a master’s license.

Mudd: Untrue! I have a master’s ticket.

Computer: Incorrect. Master’s license revoked Stardate 1116.4.

Mudd: All right. Well, very simply, Leo Walsh, who was to be my captain on this trip, passed away suddenly. Well, I had no choice but to take out me ship me own self. I assumed Leo’s name out of courtesy to him. In memoriam, as it were. A fine, fine man, alas, gone to his reward.

What. How is the computer not calling him out on this weirdo story? Who does stuff like that?

Kirk: Destination and purpose of journey?

Mudd: Planet Ophiuchus 3. Wiving settlers.

What.

Kirk: Come again, Mister Mudd. You do what?

Mudd: I recruit wives for settlers, a difficult but satisfying task.

He… collects mail-order brides? Please tell me this isn’t legal in the 23rd Century.

Kirk: Data on witnesses. [the ladies]

Computer: No data.

Kirk: Computer, go to sensor probe. Any unusual readings?

Computer: No decipherable reading on females. However, unusual reading on male board members. Detecting high respiration patterns, perspiration rate up, heartbeat rapid, blood pressure higher than normal—

Kirk: Er, that’s sufficient. Strike that from the record.

Aw, Kirk, you don’t want the record to show that your men are attracted to pretty ladies? It’s understandable they would be. Hell, I would be. Did you see the legs on Magda?

Scotty, you're looking a little sheepish, dude.

Scotty, you’re looking a little sheepish, dude.

Seriously, though, if I were on the crew and present for this hearing, I’d be a little peeved by the computer’s report. Just a bit.

Mudd: You see, gentlemen, just as I told you. Three lovely ladies destined for frontier planets to be the companions of lonely men, to supply that warmth of a human touch that’s so desperately needed. A wife, a home, a family. Gentlemen, I look upon this work as a sacred public trust. I’ve devoted me whole life to it.

Computer: Incorrect.

Mudd: Well, I’m about to start devoting my entire life to it.

Harcourt Fenton Mudd, you’re kinda skeevy.

Kirk asks if the ladies are going voluntarily, to which Eve kinda flips out. Only because she and Ruth and Magda come from places where there’s no men for them to marry, only their own families and they’re not appreciated there. And she’s actually tired of the Enterprise‘s crew staring at them like they’re “Saturnius harem girls or something.” What is a Saturnius harem girl and where can I find that costume?

The hearing closes and Kirk decides to just hand Mudd over to the legal authorities first chance he gets. Before he can make a decision regarding the ladies’ fates, Scott reports the last lithium crystal is gone and Sulu reports the entire life-support system is now running on battery power.

Kirk tells Spock to contact the miners on Rigel 12 and all the officers leave the Briefing Room. Mudd is overjoyed at the news of their heading to Rigel 12:

Oh, you beautiful galaxy! Oh, that heavenly universe! Well, girls, lithium miners. Don’t you understand? Lonely, isolated, overworked, rich lithium miners! Girls, do you still want husbands, hmm? Evie, you won’t be satisfied with a mere ship’s captain. I’ll get you a man who can buy you a whole planet. Maggie, you’re going to be a countess. Ruth, I’ll make you a duchess. And I, I’ll be running this starship. Captain James Kirk, the next orders you’re taking will be given by Harcourt Fenton Mudd!

And I’m sitting here thinking, “Dude. The Security guys are still there. You should probably make your evil plans elsewhere. Or at least later.”

Seriously, dude. They're right behind you.

Seriously, dude. They’re right behind you.

After the commercial break, Ruth stops by Sick Bay to flirt with McCoy, because who wouldn’t flirt with McCoy? I’d flirt with McCoy every chance I’d get. It’s clear he’s my favorite, right? Oh, good.

Holy glob, that smile. #7

Holy glob, that smile. #7

Ruth passes by a biobed scanner and it starts going off, making weird noises that we’ve never heard it make before. Which puzzles McCoy sufficiently enough that I’m not totally concerned for his mental state.

He asks her to walk by the scanner again and she asks if he’s going to give her an exam. And he tells her no, he wouldn’t trust his judgment. So at least he realizes he’s kinda compromised here. That’s good. But the scanner still is behaving weirdly and it doesn’t make any sense. So something’s up with the girls, but we already knew that.

Ruth asks him if he’ll be giving the miners on Rigel 12 a medical exam and he’s like, “Only if they need it.” And he mentions there’s three of them before asking if she’s wearing some unusual perfume or something radioactive. Seriously, McCoy? Radioactive?

Confused McCoy is cute. #7

Confused McCoy is cute. #7

Elsewhere, Eve stops by Kirk’s quarters to flirt with him. Kirk’s like, “Ehhh, you probably shouldn’t be in here.” But she says she needs somewhere to hide because the crew won’t stop staring at her.

Kirk: I’ll have to talk to them about that. They, er, they don’t do that ordinarily, Miss McHuron, but somehow, in your case, and the ladies with you, its, er…

Eve: They’re probably just lonely. I can understand loneliness.

Kirk: Yes. Yes, er, now, Miss McHuron—

Eve: I, I suppose you understand it even more, having to run a huge ship like this with so much responsibility every minute and having to be so careful with all your men looking up to you.

Kirk: Well, it probably appears more difficult than it is.

Eve: Hmm! I read once that a commander has to act like a paragon of virtue. I never met a paragon.

Kirk: Neither have I.

#16, everybody, #16.

Anyway, so Eve’s laying it on pretty thick, really pulling out her charm, and alllllllmost kisses Kirk, but stops. And she’s suddenly mad. At herself, at Mudd. Because she honestly does like Kirk and doesn’t like to trick him like this. It’s weird, but what isn’t weird with these ones?

In Mudd’s quarters, Ruth and Magda are reporting what they’ve found out about the lithium miners. There’s three of them, they’re young and pretty healthy, and their names are Childress, Gossett and Benton. They continue making plans when Eve comes back to yell at Mudd.

Eve: I don’t like you, and I’m not very happy with myself, either.

Mudd: Well, I’m not really surprised. I’ve seen you noticing the Captain.

Eve: We’re supposed to notice them!

And then she starts to feel ill and mentions that it “must be near the time.”

On the Bridge, Kirk’s had to repeat an order, which understandably irks him. Then he goes to talk to McCoy, who’s hanging about. Seriously, McCoy spends more time on the Bridge than in the Sick Bay over the course of the series. My only conclusion is that unless they’re in the middle of a space battle, Sick Bay is boring.

Anyway, Kirk and McCoy discuss the ladies because they don’t make any sense. And they speculate that perhaps it’s because the ladies are beautiful and the crew’s tired, or maybe the ladies are “actually more lovely, pound for pound, measurement for measurement, than any other women,” or maybe they just act beautiful. Kirk wonders if they’re not Human at all, but McCoy’s like, “Yeah, no. If it’s an alien smart enough to pull this off, they would know to not make the medical scanner go wonky.” And Kirk’s like, “What?” And McCoy, “I don’t know, either.” #3

Meanwhile, back in Mudd’s quarters, he makes contact with Mr. Childress on Rigel 12 and begins his negotiations.

And after the commercial break, we see what Eve meant by “it must be near the time.” Because these girls no longer are what they were. Which is a sentence that doesn’t make any sense and I apologize, but look:

Sad Ruth

sad Magda

sad Eve

So Ruth and Magda are flipping out a little because they clearly enjoy being beautiful. Eve just seems tired. And Mudd’s ransacking his own room, looking for something that he hid for safekeeping in case he was searched. He finally finds a little tin containing red pills that he hands out, one each, to the ladies. Ruth and Magda pretty basically shove them into their mouths and soon they’re super pretty again. Eve hesitates and Mudd tells her it isn’t a cheat, but a miracle for any man who can appreciate such things.

Elsewhere, in Kirk’s quarters, Spock and Kirk are discussing the damaged and useless lithium crystals when Security escorts Childress and Gossett in. Kirk wants to begin negotiations for replacement crystals and he’s offering to pay an equitable price for their worth, as per the prior arrangements made with Starfleet. But Childress says he’s only going to accept Mudd’s women and he’ll only deal with Harry Mudd. And to top it off, he refuses to see any sort of reason from Kirk.

And then suddenly Mudd appears with his ladies and Ruth starts to glom on Gossett. Childress is impressed with how the ladies appear and is pleased with his agreement with Mudd, but Kirk isn’t going to accept it because Starfleet doesn’t buy and sell people.

Captain’s Log. Transporting down to surface of planet Rigel 12 to acquire replacement lithium crystals. Expect further difficulty from miners.

Down on the planet, the miners and ladies are having a little bit of a party when Kirk and Spock enter. Eve’s watching the dust storm out the window and Childress tells her it’s like that all the time on the planet and that it’s really easy to get lost. She doesn’t want to dance with him when he asks because she’s having a coughing fit because of the dust (a truly reasonable reason to refuse to dance, I think) and he goes to cut in on Ruth and Gossett instead. Gossett goes to cut in on Magda and Benton, which starts a fight. The fight upsets Eve because she feels like because the men are fighting over Ruth and Magda that she’s not wanted. She runs out the door into the storm, and Kirk heads out after her, telling Spock to have the crystals when he gets back. But he can’t find Eve in the storm.

Captain’s Log. Have transported aboard the Enterprise to implement search with infrared scanners and sensing system. Magnetic storms on the planet’s surface are cutting down speed and efficiency of our equipment. Search now in progress for three hours, eighteen minutes.

Captain’s Log. Have expended all but forty-three minutes of power. Ship’s condition, critical. Search now in progress seven hours, thirty-one minutes. Magnetic storms are easing.

With the storms easing up, they’re able to find a heat source on the planet surface where Childress’ quarters and Kirk has Mudd meet him in the Transporter Room so they can go down to investigate.

#14

#14

Childress had found Eve out in the storm and took her back to his quarters to keep her safe and she’s now in his spare shirt and making breakfast. And they have the best banter of the episode:

Childress: I had things where I wanted them.

Eve: I ate some of your food, so I paid with some chores.

Childress: And I do my own cooking. I’ve not laid a hand on you. Remember that.

Eve: Oh, the sound of male ego. You travel halfway across the galaxy, and it’s still the same song. There. You going to eat or talk?

Childress: I guess I’m supposed to sit, taste, and roll my eyes. Ooh, female cooking again. I’ve tasted better, by my own hand.

Eve: Well you’re tasting some of it now. I couldn’t scrape three layers of your leavings out of that pan.

Childress: You find me a well, some decent water, then talk.

Eve: Well, why don’t you hang your pan out in the wind and let the sand blast it clean. Or hadn’t you thought about that?

When Childress comes back inside from hanging his pots on his clothesline, Eve’s playing double jack and they argue about how to play, but by now he’s also noticed that whatever drug Mudd had given her has worn off. So they argue about that for a moment before Kirk and Mudd come barrelling in.

Kirk forces Mudd to tell Childress about the Venus drug, which “gives you more of whatever you have.” So it makes men more masculine and burly, like the transformation of Steve Rogers to Captain America, and it makes women curvier and feminine. And apparently it increases self-confidence like whoa.

Childress is annoyed that he and his partners were sold a lie, but that annoyance turns into anger when he hears Benton and Gossett married Ruth and Magda the night before with subspace radio marriages. But seeing as it was fraud, they can get annulments fairly easily.

Mudd: You can’t condemn the women.

Childress: I can! A man goes out and fights, almost dies. We all almost die. We should have, but we didn’t. And now that we’ve got the good life in our hands, you bring us women for wives that–

Eve: You don’t want wives, you want this. This is what you want, Mister Childress. I hope you remember it and dream about it, because you can’t have it. It’s not real! [takes Venus pill, changes] Is this the kind of wife you want, Ben? Not someone to help you, not a wife to cook and sew and cry and need, but this kind. Selfish, vain, useless. Is that what you really want? All right, then. Here it is.

Then Kirk reveals he switched out Mudd’s pills for colored gelatin and that Eve made herself gorgeous all on her own because she believed she would change. “There’s only one kind of woman, or man, for that matter, either you believe in yourself, or you don’t.” And I love this overall message, #6, because this was something I needed to hear everyday in high school.

So Kirk’s like, you know the truth, can I have the crystals now and I’ll take Eve and Mudd away from here and they’ll leave you alone? Childress hands over the crystals, but asks Eve to stay for at least a day so they can talk and get to know each other, and in my headcanon, they get married and snark at each other for the rest of their lives. On their way out, Mudd asks Kirk to just leave him on Rigel 12 because that would be punishment enough, but Kirk says, “No, I can’t. I’ll be a character witness for your trial, if you think it’ll help.” Mudd despairs and says they’ll throw away the key if Kirk does that.

Back on the Bridge:

McCoy: That must have been quite a talk you made down there. Ever try considering the patent medicine business?

Kirk: Why should I work your side of the street?

Spock: I’m happy the affair is over. A most annoying emotional episode.

McCoy: Smack right in the old heart. Oh, I’m sorry. In your case, it would be about here. [points to his liver]

Spock: The fact that my internal arrangement differs from yours, Doctor, pleases me no end.

So we end the episode with some fantastic ot3-ness, #3.

Space BFFS

What I loved about the episode:

Really, it was a full episode of McCoy being a cute flirt and Spock being annoyed about that, so I’m just pleased all around.

What I would change:

I probably would have made Mudd less of a skeeve and more of a clever pirate, closer to Captain Jack Sparrow.

What I hated:

How much emphasis was placed upon the men’s reactions to the ladies’ beauty. If they had balanced it with reactions from Uhura, Rand, or Chapel, it probably would have made for a better episode overall. But I hesitate to suggest that because at this point in history when it was written, it might have devolved into the women being petty and jealous and whatnot.

Headcanons I developed because of this episode:

Oh, just that Spock’s in love with Kirk and McCoy and doesn’t like seeing them make fools of themselves around pretty ladies because that’s illogical of them.

Catchphrase Tally for this episode: 2

We’re at 11.5 for Season One.

And that’s all for this week’s Stardate: Dammit. Next Wednesday, we get to examine Christine Chapel’s character in What Are Little Girls Made Of?

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About alicegracey

Writer, Actor, Advice Nerd. At least, that's what it says on my business card these days. Mostly, I just write in order to try to get my brain to shut up. I like to share what I write, but be warned, I don't do happy.
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