24
Aug
10

Obsession Reviewed

It’s that time again, folks. I know it’s been a while, forgive me.

Obsession come to us from TOS season two and I could keep telling you that these episodes are kind of weird, but I think we can all agree to just accept that. Now, on to the review…

This episode doesn’t spend a lot of time dicking around and gets right down to it. Kirk and Spock are checking things out planet-side and what they’ve found is tritanium. A sparkly rock (like all space rocks) 21.4x harder than diamonds and evidently hollow from the sound of Kirk hitting it with his green chunk of styrofoam (no, that’s not a euphemism).

While Kirk calls up to the ship, someone turns on the fog machine (and I assume the three Ensign Rickys are there to set up the strobe light and disco ball) and cues up the ominous music. Spock, in the meantime phasers of a chunk of tritanium (and by phasers off a chunk, I mean he shoots the sparkly boulder and a bit JUMPS THE FUCK OFF in the most believable fashion).

Kirk, being super careful (and who wouldn’t be after so many space STD scares) gets out his giant plastic tongs to pick up the space rock and hands it to Spock. And thus ends any almost rational action we will see from Kirk for the remainder of the episode.

As soon as he’s passed of his sparkly rock, Kirk is off sniffing around. Literally. A sweet smell in the air is entirely too much like one he’s smelled before. On another planet. Years ago. Spock even points out that it’s the growing season on the planet and that it’s likely just pollen, but Kirk is having none of it.

Cue Ensign Ricky.

Kirk sends all three redshirts off to check it out. Now, this is what Kirk tells them and keep in mind that he suspects that the smell is coming from something dangerous and deadly but hasn’t actually mentioned that to ANYONE.

“Scan for dikironium in the atmosphere. Set your phasers on distrupter-B. If you see any gaseous cloud, fire immediately. You’re on red alert. Make a sweep.”

That’s it. Nothing else. Oh yeah, this is going to end well. Three redshirts and we haven’t even gotten to the opening credits yet.

But wait, that’s not all. Scotty calls down to remind Kirk that the Yorktown is waiting to meet up with them. Uh oh, the pressure is on!

Meanwhile, the Rickys are off looking for sweet smelling gas and the fog machine still wants to party. SPARKLY GAS! It wants to play with the Rickys! But the “sweet smelling” gas (yeah right, Kirk, I’m sure your gas smells lovely) plays about as well with others as Lennie does with mice.

Ensign Ricky and Ensign Ricky hit the dirt choking while Rizzo watches rather than, you know, doing anything. When the fog finally notices our only named redshirt and moves toward him, Rizzo decides making a quick call to the captain is a better idea than, again, doing anything at all.

Kirk and Spock run to the rescue only to find two dead Rickys and one alive Rizzo (surprise, surprise – named guy gets to live… for now). Better beam them up quick. Spock wants to know if Kirk knows what did this (oh yeah, that’s right, because Kirk still hasn’t told anyone anything even when deciding to risk three lives.”

“Something that can’t…” long pause plus mouth squishies “possibly exist. But it does.”

Dramatic music aaaaaaaaaaaand opening credits.

We come back to the Captain’s log explaining pretty much what we already knew. They’re still in orbit, bad shit happened, guys are dead. Rizzo is still unconscious and they’re pumping him full of blood as fast as they can. Spock is all set to go but Kirk wants to stay put. Scotty jumps in again to point out that the Yorktown is still waiting but Kirk isn’t inclined to care.

Now here’s the thing, the Yorktown isn’t just hanging out, waiting to meet them for coffee. They’re waiting to transfer vaccines that are HIGHLY PERISHABLE. Not only are they highly perishable, but they are BADLY NEEDED on Theta VII. All of which is pointed out to Kirk by two of his senior officers including his chief medical officer.

So of course Kirk leaves and heads straight for… oh wait, no. He’s not going to do that. Don’t be silly. That’s not how The Kirk rolls.

No, he’s staying put to investigate two deaths.

Just to clarify, he’s going to risk HUNDREDS if not THOUSANDS of lives to investigate TWO deaths. Everyone clear on that? Because I wouldn’t want that point overlooked at any court martial that may come up in the wake of such incredible stupidity. It’s not even like he’s unaware of what he’s doing either. He actually SAYS that he’s perfectly aware that it might cost lives. You know, to investigate two deaths. And so my headache begins.

Bones tells Kirk what he already knows (wouldn’t it be a whole lot easier if he would just fucking explain what’s going on to everyone already!? Seriously! GAH!) that the dead Rickys are red corpuscle-less which, according to him is… wait for it… medically impossible. Once again, instead of being straight up about everything, Kirk plays secret agent and suggests Bones checks the medical logs.

One more thing Bones, would you mind waking up the critically injured guy so we can have a quick chat? Would that be cool?

Bones basically says that Rizzo is fucked and waking him up wouldn’t make much difference. Dead is dead, right?

Well then, wake him up!

Now, I need to just mention that I love Chapel. But in this episode, I love her x1000. When Bones tells her to shoot up Ensign Deadguy and wake him up, even she looks at them like “Are you out of your goddamned mind?” Her little sigh is so perfect.

But she gives him a shot because, well, orders are orders.

Rizzo wakes up and Kirk starts asking if he remembers what happened. Rizzo is a bit busy worrying about being critically injured and dealing with having been traumatized. But Kirk has no time for his girly whining. He wants to know if Rizzo smelled anything. Well? Did you? Did you!?

Poor Rizzo is almost in tears trying to remember being attacked by something that smelled like being smothered in honey, sucking his blood and Kirk is still badgering him. That’s about all he’s going to get though because Rizzo is out again and McCoy isn’t going to give him another shot.

That’s okay. Kirk got what he came for. Even if Rizzo was just delirious, you know, what with being almost dead and drugged up. By the way, don’t forget to check the medical logs, Bones. No I don’t have time to just explain it to you myself. I’m the goddamned Captain, that’s why!

It’s time for another reminder about the Yorktown, sir.

No time, no time. Call a meeting.

Spock is still scanning the planet and finding nothing (mostly because Kirk hasn’t explained what he should be looking for yet). No life forms here. So Kirk wants him to search for something else. Something so completely different that the sensors wouldn’t register it as a life form (very helpful, thanks Jim).

Nope, no dikironium either.

Well what if it can change what it’s made of?

That face you see Spock make right there. That’s the face that says “you, sir, are an idiot”.

What if it’s intelligent (unlike a certain star ship Captain) and knows you’re looking for it?

You realize what you’re saying is a load of horseshit, right Kirk?

Wait, wait, wait… Kirk just had an idea. It doesn’t happen often, we really aught to make note. But he’s not going to explain it. HEAVENS NO! He’s just going to tell Spock to go look at the medical tapes with McCoy!

And cue redshirt… wait… what’s this? Dramatic music? Close-up on Ensign Ricky? Is this like the Star Trek equivalent of a ringing bell signaling an angel getting its wings? This, folks, is how a Ricky gets his name!

Ensign Garrovick is apparently the son of some other Garrovick that Kirk knows but hasn’t said a damn word about up to this point. Don’t worry though, Garrovick doesn’t want any special treatment. Cool, because Kirk is going to play the jerk card.

Uhura cuts in. Rizzo is dead.

Kirk wants to know if Garrovick knew Rizzo. He did. They were good friends. Graduated together. So does he want a crack at the thing that killed him that Kirk apparently knows all about but doesn’t feel like explaining for some reason? You bet he does.

Cool, then you and a some other cannon fodder… er… security men are going to follow Kirk down to the planet.

Kirk makes the half decently intelligent decision to bring enough Rickys to completely surround him. I can’t help but wonder if he ever considered just doing this all the time. He could assign himself his own personal meat shield… er… body guards.

The Rickys scan and pick up something. So of course, now would be a good time to split up. Garrovick, you take two, Kirk will take the other two. But be careful, this creature is dangerous (too bad you didn’t think to say that earlier, eh Kirk?).

Someone turns on the fog machine again and down comes the evil fog of mystery. After Garrovick stands there for a minute considering his choice of career, he fires in to the fog. Kirk and his team hear the shot and run in to save the day. A little too late however. Two more Rickys bite the dust (well one is dead, the other is pulling a Rizzo). Garrovick it still standing there, looking stupid when Kirk and his Rickys show up.

ACT BREAK!

Kirk is back on his Captain’s log, going over the plot in case you hadn’t been paying attention. Now that another person is dead and one more isn’t likely to make it to the next act break, NOW he’s sure that it’s the same creature that decimated the crew of the Farragut eleven years prior. Wait… did he actually just EXPLAIN WHAT THE FUCK HE’S BEEN THINKING THIS WHOLE TIME? FINALLY!? Oh wait… he put it in his Captain’s log but still hasn’t actually explained anything to anyone on the goddamned crew.

Perfect.

He also says that Spock and Bones are doubtful? You don’t say, Jim. Why on earth would that be?

“Why am I keeping the ship here?”

Um… we’ve all been wondering the same thing for a while, Jim. Maybe that should tell you something?

But there’s no time for doubt now any more than there is time for clear explanations. They have to question Garrovick about the incident. How big was it? What did it look like? Was it psychic?

But of course Garrovick was furthest away from it and never really touched it, or he’d be having himself a dirt nap about now too.

So it hovered for a second and moved towards his guys. It hovered and Garrovick didn’t shot at it. You know, at the fog. Because no one would ever stop and think for a second before thinking “Oh yeah, I should shoot my goddamned phaser at the fog.” and certainly no one would ever be startled by a giant fucking psychic vampire cloud.

The punishment for this negligence? For having the gall to be startled by something? Relieved of all duties and confined to quarters. What, you’re not going to have him flogged too? For the the crime of someone dying while under his command because that seems perfectly reasonable… oh wait.

“You were a little hard on the boy, Jim.”

“He froze. One man was killed. Another may die.”

Oh god, when you say it like that… That IS terrible. Who could have done such a thing, Jim? … Oh wait…

Kirk’s off to the bridge again, away from the judgemental eyebrow raisings of Spock and Bones and he gets there just in time to catch another round of “Captain, we really do need to get a fucking move on, what with Theta VII needing those drugs and people dying in larger numbers than… oh, let’s say 3. And did we mention that not only do people need those drugs but if we don’t move our asses the drugs will be fucked before we even get there?”

But Captain PMS is having none of it. We’re not leaving. So there. Fuck you. And just for good measure, I’m going to yell at Chekov for doing exactly what I told him to do before I storm off to eat a pint of chocolate ice cream and have a little cry.

Meanwhile Spock checks in with McCoy. (I’d like to note that I love this scene. Bones is adorable.) Spock wants to know more about obsession – something Vulcans don’t really “get”. He wants to know if McCoy read all the record tapes of the incident on the Farragut. He hasn’t, with the deaths and what not he hasn’t had time to go through the hours of tapes (too bad he didn’t have someone who had been there who could have summed it up for him and saved him a lot of time. Oh wait…). Spock did get the chance.

He explains (SPOCK EXPLAINS, NOT JIM… GAH!) that half the crew, including the Captain of the Farragut were killed. The Captain was… wait for it… Captain Garrovick. Dun Dun Daaaaaaaaaaaaaa! So Captain PMS is not only being extra douchey for no reason, but he’s being extra douchey with a guy who’s dad was killed by the vampire cloud for doing exactly the same thing he did eleven years ago. Awesome.

Kirk, back in his quarters, ice cream eaten, all finished his cry is making another entry in his captain’s log. Am I overreacting? Am I being a dumb ass? Am I making a lot of really shitty decisions? (yes, yes and yes) Bones stops in the chat, but Kirk is being pouty and gives him the cold shoulder while he checks in with Chekov again. Nothing has changed. Kirk might need another cry.

Bones, who is being a total sweetheart, gives Kirk a pep talk. Don’t worry, be happy, stop letting your guilt make you so insane you’re risking a whole world’s health because of three dead Rickys and some decade old deaths. You know, because it makes perfect fucking sense to delay HOURS if not DAYS on a mission to SAVE PEOPLE to make up for feeling guilty for delaying a few SECONDS, even though no one blames you for that (but I have a feeling a few people might be choked if a few hundred drop dead because of your incompetence and negligence).

But you must understand that, being a balanced, intelligent, responsible Star Fleet Captain.

And finally Bones says what we’re all thinking. “Don’t be so obsessed.”

Captain PMS doesn’t like that one bit. But it’s not good. We’re not talking personal any more, Jim. This is professional. This is medical log entry time. Which requires a command grade witness.

I chose door number one!

Spock!

They both want to know what everyone wants to know – Why, if you’re aware that Theta VII needs perishable drugs, are we not headed there at top fucking speed?

Because you think the vampire cloud is the same one from eleven years ago? Because you can tell them apart, can you? Does it have a name? I think I’m going to call this one Gary.

Well he felt its intelligence eleven years ago when he was losing consciousness. Because that is the kind of mind-frame you can really trust.

Dangerous or not… you sound like a lunatic.

Now, I’ve seen this bit numerous times and I’m still not sure how Kirk talks his way out of it without ending up strapped down to one of the sickbay beds. But he does. Just in time for Chekov to call him up and tell him that the vampire fog is headed off in to space.

Well slap my ass and call me Sally.

Ludicrous speed, GO!

Since Scotty has broken free of the infinite Theta VII reminder loop, he’s free to point out to Kirk that if they keep going at their current speed, he’s going to tear the whole fucking ship apart and KILL EVERYONE.

What’s that, Scotty? Oh, nevermind – make it go faster.

What the actual fuck…

See? See!? It flies really fast! It must be intelligent, Spock!

Um… not quite, Jim.

Oh and by the way, if we keep going this speed WE’LL BLOW UP! I mean, it’s sweet that you’re so concerned about those three guys who died before, but umm… you’re jeopardising 400 people right now. Just saying.

Oh fine then, you fucking whiner. Slow down. Jerk.

Off the bridge, Garrovick is still hanging out in his room. While this doesn’t seem entirely interesting or even necessary, it is one of my favourite scenes ever and by far the best Chapel scene EVER.

I’d explain it, but you really just need to watch it. Just try to ignore Garrovick being all emo and irritating.

Back on the bridge Chekov tells Kirk that the fog is slowing down. Must be getting puffed out. Maybe it should give up smoking (get it? get it?). Maybe it just wants to fight. Good thing the phasers are ready.

Garrovick finally decides to check out the food Chapel brought him. Soup and a covered plate of… neon marshmallows. Marshmallows? MARSHMALLOWS!? GARROVICK HATES MARSHMALLOWS! They make him so mad that he throws things at vent switches! ARG! Until the Hulk anger wears off and he needs a little nap.

Red alert sounds and Garrovick isn’t going to just sit around. Off to the bridge to ask to go back to work.

But Kirk is too busy firing at the vampire fog to answer stupid question.

Oh no, the vampire cloud has outsmarted Kirk (which still doesn’t prove it’s intelligent) but getting in to the ship thru the number 2 vent and then got in to the ventilation systen in the ship, but not before attacking two people. One dead, one not quite dead (noticing a pattern here?). Good thing they didn’t leave to help out Theta VII like everyone wanted, eh? Because the whole crew is going to be just fine with its two hours of remaining air.

But at least they’re now sure it is in fact a creature. A creature that can throw itself out of time synch making it impossible to kill with a phaser.

Did you catch that, Captain PMS?

But he doesn’t want to hear it. Tell it to someone else, Spock. This dude doesn’t have time for it.

Garrovick it is then.

Hey Garrovick, humans hesitate. It’s kind of a thing with you guys. And I’m not just being nice, that’s not really a Vulcan thing. (One thing, Spock, Kindness is NOT an emotion) See we have this whole logi…. do you smell that?

And on comes that damned fog machine again.

Spock tosses Garrovick out in to the hall and does his best impression of a Dutch boy and the dam, which works about as well as you’d expect with a fog monster and a giant goddamned air vent.

Oh god! Spock must be DEAD… oh wait…

Copper based blood, FTW!

The vampire fog is on the run now. Kirk is praising Garrovick for disobeying orders. Oh yeah, this is great.

So you’re going to apologise, right Kirk? For being a douche earlier? Right? Right? No? good…

Up on the bridge Spock’s lost track of the fog. But Kirk knows where it’s going. Don’t ask how, just trust him. Even if your precious logic tells you that he’s out of his damned mind. See, the voices in his head said “home”. Which is, of course, the planet where the attacks took place eleven years before.

Tell the Yorktown and its perishable meds we’ll be there in TWO DAYS.

Great.

Kirk has a plan to deal with the fog. He’s gonna blow it up with anti-matter and attract it with hemoplasm. I can’t see how that could go wrong.

Oh and the blast will blow away half the planets atmosphere. The planet with living shit on it. Which I’m sure isn’t totally against the prime directive, especially when trying to kill an alien creature you know almost nothing about.

One more thing… we might lose whoever we send down to set all this shit up.

Great plan.

Garrovick and Kirk head down to the planet to set the trap. Unfortunately the fog is a little faster than they thought and screws up their plans. Kirk orders Spock to beam them up and detonate the bomb, allowing for a long moment of suspense wondering if Kirk and Garrovick are dead.

Unfortunately for everyone, they’re not. But at least the ship can get a fucking move on to Theta VII.

And so ends another episode.

In the end, I do like this episode. It makes my head hurt and Kirk is all kinds of awful, but Spock, Bones and Chapel have some awesome scenes. Totally worth watching.

Until next time, Trek Fans.

-LateFines.

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2 Responses to “Obsession Reviewed”


  1. 1 Erik
    August 24, 2010 at 3:53 pm

    Oh. My. God. That was THE BEST plot summary / commentary I have ever read! Now I really want to watch it! You could write a newspaper column! Oh, wait. You have a blog. Never mind.


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