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  Episode Epilogues 4: "The Enemy Within"

 

Spock walked into McCoy's office, where the doctor was seated behind his desk, writing notes in the records of the patients who'd beamed up from the planet's surface. McCoy looked up from his work. "What do you need?"

Spock surveyed the doctor. "You have finished the preliminary care of the affected members of the landing party?"

McCoy looked curiously at Spock. "Yes. I explained their prognosis and treatment when you and Jim were in here earlier, and nothing's changed — we got them in time, and they'll make a full recovery."

Spock shook his head. "I do not doubt your initial report; I asked if you had completed their care because I have another task for you."

McCoy leaned back in his chair. "Something about Jim, then?"

Spock inclined his head. "As you deduced. I believe it is unwise for him to be alone at this time, and he may find your statements on the nature of humanity more comforting than my own."

McCoy laughed. "That's true any day of the week!" The doctor considered the Vulcan. "But don't you and Jim have a meeting right about now?"

Spock stood stiffly, his hands clasped behind his back. "We do. I am inviting you to attend it with me."

McCoy frowned. "Jim'll brood if we leave him alone, and I don't imagine that a Vulcan's much comfort!" He rubbed the back of his neck. "Normally, I'd bring a bottle of brandy with me, but the duplicate drank a lot of brandy, and that may put Jim off the stuff for a couple of days. Coffee isn't a good idea, though; Jim doesn't need caffeine increasing any anxiety he already feels about what happened."

Spock tilted his head to one side. "Might I suggest chamomile tea?"

McCoy nodded. "That's a good idea, Spock. Jim's not usually big on tea, but it does seem like the best bet at the moment." He looked shrewdly at the Vulcan. "You've been thinking about this, haven't you? How to make Jim okay with what happened." He shook his head. "I wouldn't worry too hard, Spock. I mean yeah, we want to keep him company for the next couple of hours, but Jim rolls with the punches better than anybody I've ever seen. If anyone can handle seeing his negative side split off and given life, Jim can." He chuckled. "Listen to me, trying to comfort a Vulcan!"

Spock raised a brow. "I do not, of course, require it." He inclined his head gravely. "But the effort is appreciated, nonetheless."

McCoy was surprised. Huh. That sounded like Vulcan for "thank you," and it was tempting to make an issue out of that, but Jim was the real worry at the moment. He could always needle Spock later, but it'd probably be a good idea to call a truce while they both worked to help Jim deal with the trauma of the past few hours.

Spock and McCoy walked into Sickbay proper, where McCoy went to the food synthesizer and dialed up a pot of chamomile tea, on a tray with several cups. They walked quickly to the captain's quarters and pressed the annunciator for admittance.

"Come," Kirk's voice called from inside the room, and the two blue-shirted men entered the cabin. Kirk smiled when he saw them. "Well. Double trouble! To what do I owe the honor, Bones?"

McCoy set the tray on Kirk's desk and busied himself pouring three cups of tea. He handed one to Kirk. "You've been through an experience that would have left a lesser man bawling on the floor, Jim. I thought maybe you could use a drink and a friend."

Kirk peered into the teacup. "Tea? Hardly your usual prescription."

McCoy took a teacup and sat in the chair next to Kirk's. "I thought maybe you'd had enough brandy for the time being. It's chamomile tea, which has a mild calming effect on the human nervous system, which I thought we could all use right about now, me included." He took a sip of his tea. "Of course, I don't know what it does to the Vulcan nervous system; for all I know, it makes 'em swing from the chandeliers."

Spock took a cup of tea and sat down in a chair across from Kirk and McCoy. "It has no noticeable effect on the Vulcan nervous system, but the flavor is pleasing." He sipped his tea. "Jim, now that your two halves are reintegrated, do you retain the memories of both halves?"

Kirk sighed. "Yes. It's a bit surreal, to remember resting quietly in my room and remember trying to rape my yeoman at the exact same time." He set down his tea, stood up, and began to pace. "But that's not even the worst part. The worst part is that I remember what I thought and how I felt while I was trying to rape Janice. I remember the predatory feeling, the complete self-centeredness, the mindset where she wasn't a person to me but just a prey animal to be caught and taken." He broke off and turned away, unable to face even his closest friends while in touch with this memory.

McCoy walked over and stood behind Kirk, putting a hand on his shoulder. "That sounds like an upsetting memory, Jim, but remember, that part of yourself is usually controlled and channeled into better behavior. Having thought and felt those things while you were split into two parts doesn't make you a bad man; that kind of thing is inside all men, but most of us also have enough good in us to control it, as you do."

Kirk turned around and faced McCoy. "I'm aware of that, Bones; that's not what's so upsetting about the memory."

McCoy blinked. "What is it, then?"

Kirk turned away from the doctor and walked further away, remaining silent.

Spock said, "What dismays the captain is how pleasurable he found those emotions."

McCoy scoffed. "You're way off base, Spock. Don't try to use that Vulcan computer of yours to understand human feelings."

Kirk turned around and faced them. "Unfortunately, Bones, he's exactly on target. I remember how I felt when I tried to rape Janice, and there's an intensity to the feeling, a purity of intent, even a delight in feeling powerful and predatory." He shuddered. "I don't want to like that memory, but I can't put this to rest unless I'm honest with myself." He stared bleakly at his friends. "It felt good to be that selfish, that single-minded, to take whatever I wanted, without regard for consequences."

McCoy thought about this. "That's what we give up when we become civilized: that selfishness, that single-mindedness, that purity of focus."

Kirk sighed. "Yes, I suppose it is. But most of us become civilized young enough that we don't remember what it's like NOT to have the veneer of civilization limiting our actions, complicating our motivations, making us second-guess ourselves."

McCoy looked searchingly at Kirk. "But YOU know. For better or for worse, you now have the memory of what it's like to be an adult without the influence of civilization."

Kirk grimaced. "I'll always know just how necessary civilization is, just what I would be without that training, without that veneer." He looked at McCoy. "But I'll also always know just how heady an experience it is, to be without it."

Spock said, "The desire for uncivilized behavior will call to you, more strongly than to most men, because you have experienced the power and intensity of life without civilization."

Kirk looked at his first officer. "You knew. McCoy has the training in psychology, but you were the one who knew what I was feeling." He stalked over to his first officer and stood looking down at him. "How did you know?"

Spock looked up at his captain. "The Vulcan veneer of civilization is generally ... thicker than the human veneer; Vulcans pride ourselves on how thoroughly civilized we are." He looked away, and there was an undertone of shame in his voice. "However, Vulcans do not expend effort needlessly or to no purpose." He looked back at Kirk. "Do you understand?"

Kirk spoke gently. "You're saying that Vulcans' basic nature is more savage than humans' basic nature, that you're more civilized because you NEED more civilization to control you."

Spock inclined his head but did not speak, then fixed his eyes on the floor.

Kirk sat down in the chair across from Spock and reached out to clasp his hand. "And you told me this — shared something Vulcans usually keep private — so that I wouldn't feel like the only savage on the ship."

Spock looked back up and swallowed. "Affirmative."

Kirk released his hand and sat back in his chair. "But how do you do it? How do you make it okay to repress that much of your nature? How do I make it okay, now that I've felt what the other side is like?"

Spock said, "The Vulcan way is to view all emotions as anathema, both the negative ones and those that humans regard as positive. That is not the human way, Jim, so Vulcan tactics will not apply to you."

McCoy sat back down next to Kirk. "The human way is to think about other people's emotions besides your own. You don't think about how strong and powerful YOU felt; you think about how frightened and betrayed JANICE felt. No matter how good it felt to be free of the constraints of civilization, the whole Jim Kirk could never rape Janice, because you could never hurt another human being that way."

Kirk smiled sadly at McCoy. "No, of course I never could. Empathy is the answer to restraining my behavior, and I have no problem with that. It's restraining the thoughts and the feelings, those newly seductive thoughts and feelings..."

Spock looked at Kirk and spoke tentatively. "I could, perhaps, teach you Vulcan meditation techniques. Meditation involves detachment from problematic cognitions and emotions; one observes the thoughts and feelings without actual involvement in them."

Kirk smiled. "I don't know if I have the patience for meditation, but after today's events ... I think I need to try."

McCoy snorted. "Well, count ME out, if it's gonna get Vulcan in here." He stood up and prepared to leave.

Spock raised an admonishing brow. "Meditation is also a human practice, one that is often recommended by physicians, as you well know."

McCoy smiled. "I know, Spock. But I thought y'all should have some privacy for this." He left the room.

Spock exhaled just softly enough that it could not quite be called a sigh, then looked at Kirk. "The first step in meditation is to relax the physical body so that it does not intrude."

Kirk shifted slightly in his chair, finding the most comfortable position, then smiled at the Vulcan. "You know, I think this is the first time all day that I've managed to relax."

Spock nodded gravely, then continued to instruct his captain in Vulcan meditation techniques. The mind constantly produced thoughts, just as the limbic system constantly produced emotions, but those things could be observed in a detached way. It was tempting to feel excitement at the idea of introducing Jim to Vulcan practices, but Spock was too disciplined to allow that to occur, and the human and the Vulcan sat together, observing, taming, and controlling the inner savages that helped to make them the men they were.

 


 

Chapter End Notes:

Author's Notes

1.
In the episode "Court Martial," we learn that in addition to being a physician, McCoy is also an expert in psychology. In that episode, the prosecutor says to him, "Doctor, you are, on the record, an expert in psychology, especially space psychology — patterns which develop in the close quarters of a ship during long voyages in deep space."

2. The most obviously problematic part of this episode is Spock's line to Yeoman Rand, but I chose not to address that in this epilogue. Why? Well, I'll tell you. :-)

I'm old enough (just barely! :-D) to remember what the world was like in 1966 and what the worldview of the time was. Mainstream American culture has changed ENORMOUSLY in that time. Really, if you haven't lived through it personally, you would not believe what a huge cultural shift there has been in only fifty years. (The cultures and mindsets of other countries have changed, as well; I mention American culture because Star Trek was mostly written and produced by Americans, so that's the culture whose attitudes influence what we see on the screen in the TOS episodes.)

One of the things that has changed a lot is in cultural attitudes towards rape. Things still aren't where they should be in our culture's attitude towards rape, in my opinion, but we have a MUCH more enlightened attitude today than we did in 1966. In 1966, it was a truism that "all women secretly want to be raped."

Yes, yes, I know that's stupid and sexist and pernicious and WRONG. But it's what people thought back then. Star Trek was forward-thinking in many ways, but it was a product of its time in many other ways, and to modern eyes, it is extremely sexist. The line assigned to Spock, about the "imposter" having interesting qualities, was a product of that mindset; Spock was saying, "It excited you that Evil Kirk tried to rape you, because we 'know' that all women secretly want to be raped." It's a horrible attitude to attribute to so ethical a character as Spock, but the mindset of the time was so pervasive that the writer probably didn't realize what a terrible thing he was having Spock say there.

It's clear with the benefit of modern attitudes that Spock wouldn't say any such thing. This episode was written by Richard Matheson, but it was edited and rewritten by both John D. F. Black and Gene Roddenberry, so we don't know who, exactly, is responsible for that egregious line. But the "real" Spock, if there is one, never said any such thing; it was clumsy writing that put that line in the poor guy's mouth.

One of the interesting things about TOS is that it's a time capsule from fifty years ago. Some things have changed very little in that time, and other things have changed hugely. When something in TOS seems completely bizarre, it's often that time capsule element at work. While it hurts to watch so beloved a character as Spock speak such a horrible line, if we take a step back and view it as a bulletin from the past, we can see how much attitudes have changed in fifty years ... and rejoice that they have.

3. Many (most?) Star Trek fans know that the Vulcan neck pinch was created during the filming of this episode and that it was Leonard Nimoy, himself, who invented it. Here's what he has to say about it in his second autobiography, I Am Spock, published in 1995 (pp 58 - 59 hardcover first edition); everything in italics is quoted from that book:

In preparing to play the character, I had already done some thinking about Vulcan culture and customs, and had made the decision that Vulcans were a touch-oriented society, that the fingers and hands featured prominently, as they were touch telepaths.

Based on that concept, the Vulcan neck pinch was created. It came about during the shooting of "The Enemy Within," an episode wherein Captain Kirk was confronted by the "evil" half of his personality—his own "Mr. Hyde," if you will. In one particular scene, this "evil" character had confronted the "good" Kirk and was about to destroy him with a phaser blast. The original script called for Spock to steal up behind the "bad" Kirk and strike him over the head with the butt of a phaser.

The scene jarred me when I first read it; it seemed more appropriate for the Old West than the twenty-third century. I could practically hear the Vulcan whispering in my ear:

SPOCK: Barbaric. A Vulcan would avoid unnecessary violence at all costs. We have, after all, made a thorough study of the human anatomy, and utilize more scientific methods, which render the use of force obsolete.

In keeping with the Vulcan emphasis on touch, I spoke to the director, Leo Penn, about my concern. Leo agreed that it was valid, and asked what alternatives I might suggest. After explaining the business about Vulcans and how they were no doubt familiar with the anatomy of recalcitrant humans, I suggested that they were capable of transmitting a special energy from their fingertips. If applied to the proper nerve centers on a human's neck and shoulders, that energy would render the human unconscious.

Leo asked for a demonstration; since Bill Shatner was the other actor in the scene with me, he was the most available victim. I quietly briefed Bill on what I had in mind, and the two of us made our little presentation for the director. I applied pressure to the juncture of Bill's neck and shoulder, and he most convincingly and cooperatively fell into an "unconscious" heap on the floor. Thus the famous neck pinch was born, in part because of Bill Shatner's talent for fainting on cue.


Gene Roddenberry did NOT like it that Mr. Nimoy had invented something new for Spock without discussing it with him first, and he sent Nimoy a memo telling him not to do that again. (Luckily, Mr. Nimoy did not listen, and a year later, he invented the Vulcan salute for "Amok Time.")

Eventually, the neck pinch became such a well-known and frequently used device that it was referred to in scripts simply as "FSNP," which stood for "Famous Spock Neck Pinch." :-) And aren't we all glad that Mr. Nimoy invented such a useful maneuver!

You can see from Mr. Nimoy's description that the neck pinch depends not just on Vulcans' understanding of human anatomy and physiology but also on "special energy" — perhaps related to telepathic energy? — transmitted through the fingertips. So humans shouldn't be able to do the neck pinch, though this aspect of it seems to have been lost by the time they made The Next Generation.

4. A lot of fans who've seen the episodes on cable TV or who watch DVD, blu-ray, or streaming video of these episodes think that William Shatner overacted when playing the "evil" Kirk. But remember that what you're seeing today is NOT what people saw in 1966, when this episode was first broadcast. Consider these facts:

a. In 1966, the average television screen was 19" - 21". A really BIG television screen was 25". Many of you probably have computer monitors bigger than that now. :-)

b. There was no cable television in 1966, no DVD's, no blu-ray, no streaming video. People watched these episodes on broadcast TV, and broadcast TV was rarely all that clear. Sometimes the focus was just a little fuzzy, sometimes the picture was overlaid by little dots that were called "snow" (because it looked like it was snowing, even though it wasn't), sometimes there were wavy lines ... in 1966, we could only DREAM of the nice, clear pictures that people take for granted today.

c. In 1966, most television sets were black-and-white; color television sets were luxury items, and only the relatively well-to-do owned one.

d. At the time, people thought that sitting too close to the television was bad for you, that they emitted some sort of radiation that would damage your body. So most people sat 6 to 8 feet away from these small, fuzzy, black-and-white images.

Conclusion: Bill Shatner's acting was intended to make it clear when audiences were looking at the "good" Kirk and when they were looking at the "evil" one, even though they were seeing small, fuzzy, black-and-white images from far away. It's to his credit that we're always sure which Kirk we're seeing, and if you take into account the size and lack of clarity of the television pictures of the time, his performance is actually very good, even brilliant.

Evil Kirk Comparison photo EvilKirkComparison_zpsfpkeyrnz.jpg



5. Kirk's green wrap shirt was created for this episode, to help audiences distinguish between the good and evil Kirks. Because on small, fuzzy, black-and-white sets, it wasn't so easy to tell.

6. Richard Matheson is given sole credit onscreen for the writing of this episode, but Gene Roddenberry actually added a considerable amount to the script. He added the "B" plot about the landing party freezing on the planet's surface over Matheson's objections, since Matheson thought the landing party's plight was a distraction from Kirk's. Roddenberry was also responsible for the "good" Kirk's becoming weak and hesitant; Matheson was thinking in Jekyll-and-Hyde terms, so he was thinking of "real" Kirk and "evil" Kirk; it was Roddenberry who decided to make it not real and evil but good and evil. (If the script sometimes seems inconsistent, with the characters calling the "evil" Kirk "the imposter," that's why.) Roddenberry is also responsible for adding the bit about much of Kirk's decisiveness and drive coming from the "evil" side.

John D. F. Black left Star Trek after just a short time, partly because he thought it was horrible of Roddenberry to rewrite other writers — especially big-name SF writers like Matheson — to do anything more than smooth out inconsistencies with the characters. And yet this episode is all the more powerful for NOT being just a simple re-telling of the Jekyll and Hyde tale but a musing upon the value of the negative side of a person. I also think the plight of the landing party helps to illustrate just what the stakes are when Kirk loses the power to make decisions. Kirk's ability to command isn't just a theory or an abstraction — the lives of actual people depend on it. Matheson's original script may have been a good story, but Roddenberry's was better Star Trek.

7. The network (NBC) did NOT like this episode. They thought it would be hard for audiences to like Kirk and identify with him if they'd seen him behaving badly, and they thought that the attempted rape of Rand was something that didn't belong on network TV. So they only broadcast it once; it was not given a summer rerun. (Of course, it was broadcast many times in syndication; I'm talking only about the initial run in 1966).

8. I have a chronic illness that leaves me non-functional more days than not. I will try to update regularly, and I will try to respond to any comments I receive. Unfortunately, my good intentions are frequently thwarted by my poor health.

9. I'm going to borrow Ster J's wonderful disclaimer, because it fits me so well: I don't own Star Trek; IT owns ME. :-)

10. Thanks for reading!

11. My summaries of the episodes' plots are followed by character notes and world-building notes. Some people have told me that those are worth reading, even for those who remember the plot well, so if you don't generally read the episode summaries, you might want to skip past the plot summary and see if there's anything of interest in the character and world-building notes.

The episode summary is below:

Plot

Kirk and several crewmen are on the surface of a planet, looking at rocks. Kirk comments to Sulu that it gets down to 120 degrees below zero at night. Geology technician Fisher falls down a small hill, cutting his hand, and Kirk orders him to beam up and go to Sickbay.

Fisher beams up, but it takes awhile to beam him up; the transporter seems sluggish. Scotty thinks that the yellow ore that Fisher was covered in may have done something to the transporter, and he tells transporter technician Wilson to go get some equipment to double-check the transporter. Scotty does a quick check of it while Wilson is gone, and it SEEMS okay.

Kirk asks to be beamed up, and Scotty beams him up. Kirk seems a bit woozy as he steps off of the transporter, and Scotty grabs his arm and starts to escort Kirk to Sickbay. Kirk tells Scotty not to leave the transporter room unattended, but Scotty says Wilson will be back any minute.

As soon as they leave, the transporter activates itself, and ... Kirk beams aboard again. But this Kirk doesn't look woozy. He also doesn't look sane. :-) He glares around the transporter room, while dramatic music informs us — just in case we're stupid or weren't paying attention — that Something Is Wrong.

The first Kirk goes to his quarters and lies down on his bed, as is reasonable for someone feeling woozy. The scene shifts to Sickbay, where McCoy is using a dermal regenerator to fix Fisher's hand and joking with him. Kirk bursts into Sickbay and demands brandy. McCoy sends Fisher away, and Kirk grabs McCoy by the neck and demands brandy in a roar.

Kirk takes the brandy and drinks some in the corridors, then goes to Janice Rand's cabin and waits for her there, drinking brandy while he waits.

Next we see Kirk's quarters, where Kirk is still lying on the bed. Spock shows up and asks how Kirk is. Kirk says he's fine, and Spock says that McCoy contacted him, saying that Kirk was acting like a wild man and demanding brandy. Kirk says that McCoy must have been playing a practical joke on Spock, and Spock leaves.

Next, Kirk — now attired in a green, wrap-around shirt, instead of his usual shirt — and Spock show up in the transporter room. Scotty shows them a creature from the planet, a dog-like creature with a single horn on its head. The unicorn dog is resting quietly in Scotty's arms, and then Scotty leads them over to a cage where an identical animal is barking fiercely. Scotty says that a few minutes after they beamed up the unicorn dog in his arms, the other one beamed up spontaneously. He says that if this should happen to a person, that would be terrible, so they can't beam up Sulu and the landing party. (But of course, this is a big problem, because of that "gets down to 120 below zero at night" weather that they mentioned in the beginning.)

The scene shifts to Janice Rand's quarters, and we see her enter the cabin and fiddle with her hair. Kirk comes out from where he's been hiding — a Kirk wearing the usual crew-necked command gold shirt, not the green vee-necked shirt that the Kirk in the transporter room was wearing — and Rand is startled. She asks Kirk what he wants, and he drinks brandy out of the bottle in front of her, then says, "You're too beautiful to ignore. Too much woman. We've both been pretending too long." He grabs her and tells her to stop pretending, then kisses her roughly, while telling her not to fight him. Janice struggles against him, and he throws her to the ground and lies on top of her. She manages to get a hand free and scratches his face hard enough to draw blood. While Kirk is distracted by the scratch, Janice gets up and runs to the door, which opens. Fisher is passing by in the corridor. Kirk grabs Janice at the door and throws her across the room, while she shrieks "Call Mr. Spock!" to Fisher. Fisher goes to the intercom and starts to call for help, but Kirk runs out of the room and clubs him unconscious.

The scene changes to Kirk's quarters, and it's the Kirk in the green wrap shirt. I guess we can start calling this one Good Kirk. :-) Kirk responds to charges that he took brandy from Sickbay and tried to rape Rand by saying that he's been resting quietly in his quarters all this time (as indeed this Kirk has). Kirk and Spock go to Sickbay to find out what's going on. They find a very distressed Rand there, sitting in a chair. Kirk, Spock, and McCoy all stand over her while she courageously tells the truth about what happened in her cabin. When she gets to the part about scratching Kirk's face, Kirk displays his unscratched face and says it wasn't him. Fisher chimes in at this point and says that it WAS him. Spock says, "There's only one logical answer; we have an imposter aboard."

Close, Spock. :-)

They go to the transporter room to consult with Scotty, and at this point, everybody's clear that Kirk's been duplicated by the transporter. Spock asks what Kirk wants done about this, and Kirk suggests search parties. He's tentative, though, and he hesitates (not Shatner's normal weird-line-readings hesitations). It takes him a long time to say that the search parties should have phasers set to stun, since they can't take a chance of killing the double.

Then Kirk and Spock have this exchange, which I'm reproducing word-for-word because it's so important.

KIRK: Yes, I'll make an announcement to the entire crew, tell them what happened. It's a good crew. They deserve to know.

SPOCK: Captain, no disrespect intended, but you must surely realize you can't announce the full truth to the crew. You're the captain of this ship. You haven't the right to be vulnerable in the eyes of the crew. You can't afford the luxury of being anything less than perfect. If you do, they lose faith, and you lose command.

KIRK: Yes, I do know that, Mister Spock. What I don't know is why I forgot that just now. Mister Spock, if you see me slipping again, your orders ... your orders are to tell me.

Again, Kirk is tentative and hesitant; it seems hard for him to think about this or to give Spock an order. If gold-shirted Kirk is an animal, green-shirted Kirk seems as if he doesn't have quite enough animal to keep him alive.

Good Kirk makes a captain's log, which says, "Something has happened to me. Somehow, in being duplicated, I have lost my strength of will. Decisions are becoming more and more difficult."

Good Kirk makes an announcement about an "imposter" aboard ship, which can be identified by the scratches on his face. He knows there's something else but can't think of it, and Spock reminds him to tell the search parties to set their phasers to stun.

In Kirk's quarters, Evil Kirk is there, and he hears the announcement. He covers the scratches on his face with make-up. (Kirk always wears make-up? He filched it from Janice to cover the scratches? We don't know.) He opens the door and sees Wilson walking by, part of the search party. He greets Wilson by name and asks for his phaser, and Wilson gives it to him. Evil Kirk then knocks Wilson out.

Good Kirk and Spock are in the briefing room, using the intercom to talk to Sulu, who's leading the landing party. It's already twenty degrees below zero on the planet's surface, and Sulu's reporting that things are not going well for the landing party. Spock reports that they transported heaters to the planet, but they duplicated and didn't work.

Then they're contacted by a crewman who reports that Wilson was attacked by "the imposter," who called him by name. Good Kirk and Spock realize that the evil Kirk isn't just a dumb animal, that he has all of Kirk's knowledge of the ship and her crew. Spock suggests that they use Good Kirk's knowledge of himself to find the duplicate and asks Kirk where on the ship he would go if he had to hide. Kirk says that he'd try to lose himself in Engineering, so Kirk and Spock go to Engineering.

Once there, they split up and search for the duplicate. Good Kirk finds him, and the duplicate threatens Good Kirk with his phaser. Good Kirk says, "You can't hurt me. You can't kill me. You can't. Don't you understand? I'm part of you. You need me. I need you." Evil Kirk attempts to shoot Good Kirk, but Spock neck-pinches him, and the shot goes wide ... further damaging the transporter, as if they needed any more problems with it.

In Sickbay, Good Kirk, Spock, and McCoy gather around the diagnostic bed on which is the unconscious Evil Kirk. They decide to strap Evil Kirk to the bed, so he can't get away. Then they have this exchange, which is important enough to reproduce word-for-word:

GOOD KIRK: What's the matter with me?

SPOCK: Judging from my observations, Captain, you're rapidly losing the power of decision.

MCCOY: You have a point, Spock?

SPOCK: Yes, always, Doctor. We have here an unusual opportunity to appraise the human mind, or to examine, in Earth terms, the roles of good and evil in a man. His negative side, which you call hostility, lust, violence, and his positive side, which Earth people express as compassion, love, tenderness.

MCCOY: It's the captain's guts you're analyzing. Are you aware of that, Spock?

SPOCK: Yes, and what is it that makes one man an exceptional leader? We see indications that it's his negative side which makes him strong, that his evil side, if you will, properly controlled and disciplined, is vital to his strength. Your negative side removed from you, the power of command begins to elude you.

GOOD KIRK: What is your point, Mister Spock?

SPOCK: If your power of command continues to weaken, you'll soon be unable to function as captain. You must be prepared for that.

Sulu reports in and reminds the captain that things are getting steadily colder on the planet's surface, and the transporter situation is critical. Good Kirk doesn't know what to say to him, and Spock replies to Sulu, telling him that they're working on the transporter, and the landing party should use the "survival procedures" that Spock taught them in his training program.

In Sickbay, Evil Kirk is screaming, and McCoy says that Evil Kirk's body is weakening, that the duplication seems to have harmed him. Good Kirk holds Evil Kirk's hand and speaks gently to him, telling him not to be afraid. Then another important exchange takes place:

GOOD KIRK: I have to take him back inside myself. I can't survive without him. I don't want him back. He's like an animal, a thoughtless, brutal animal, and yet it's me. Me.

MCCOY: Jim, you're no different than anyone else. We all have our darker side. We need it! It's half of what we are. It's not really ugly, it's human.

GOOD KIRK: Human.

MCCOY: Yes, human. A lot of what HE is makes you the man you are. God forbid I should have to agree with Spock, but he was right. Without the negative side, you wouldn't be the captain. You couldn't be, and you know it. Your strength of command lies mostly in him.

GOOD KIRK: What do I have?

MCCOY: You have the goodness.

GOOD KIRK: Not enough. I have a ship to command.

MCCOY: The intelligence, the logic. It appears your half has most of that, and perhaps that's where man's essential courage comes from. For you see, he was afraid and you weren't.

Spock calls from the transporter room and says they might have fixed the problem. Good Kirk and McCoy go to the transporter room, and Spock and Scotty put both unicorn dogs on one platform, beam them down, then beam them back up again. The good news is that there's only one unicorn dog on the transporter platform when he's beamed back up. The bad news is that the dog is dead. Spock thinks the dog died of shock and fear.

In Sickbay, McCoy hands the unicorn dog off to another guy and tells him to do an autopsy. McCoy says that the chances are good that the dog died of shock, but they don't know for sure, and they won't know for sure until the autopsy is complete. Spock says they can't wait for the autopsy because the landing party is freezing on the planet's surface. He says that the dog didn't understand what was happening, so the shock killed it, but Kirk WILL understand what's happening, so it won't be a shock to him.

McCoy says that killing Kirk won't help the men, and they won't know for sure if the transporter is safe for Kirk to use for hours yet, by which time the landing party will be dead. When Spock is talking, Good Kirk agrees with him. When McCoy's talking, Good Kirk agrees with him. When they both finish, there's this exchange:

GOOD KIRK: Help me. Somebody make the decision.

SPOCK: Are you relinquishing your command, Captain?

GOOD KIRK: No. No, I'm not.

MCCOY: Well then, we can't help you, Jim. The decision is yours.

Sulu calls from the planet again. Several of the landing party are unconscious, and Sulu's so hypothermic that he has trouble finishing a sentence. It's clear that time is running out for the landing party.

Evil Kirk asks Good Kirk what he's going to do, and Good Kirk says he's going to put both of them through the transporter. Evil Kirk pretends to be a lot sicker than he is, catches Good Kirk off-guard, and knocks him out.

On the bridge, a green-shirted Kirk with scratches on his face tells the navigator to prepare to leave orbit. The navigator is shocked that they're going to run off and leave the landing party, and Kirk says that the landing party can't be saved. Spock protests, and Kirk speaks sharply to him. At this point, the turbolift doors open, revealing McCoy and a green-shirted Kirk with scratches on his face. Wait, so they're wearing identical shirts and identical scratches now. The Kirk in the captain's chair says, "Grab him; he's the imposter," and McCoy shouts, "No!"

The Kirk in the chair starts telling everyone they know who he is. The navigator asks what they should do, and Spock says, "We'll let the captain handle this." The Kirk in the chair freaks out and starts shrieking that he's the captain and attacking the crew. He makes it pretty clear which one he is. :-) He pulls a phaser and points it at Good Kirk, who slowly walks towards him, lurching as if he can barely stand upright, and they have this exchange:

EVIL KIRK: I'll kill you!

GOOD KIRK: Can half a man live?

EVIL KIRK: Take another step, you'll die.

GOOD KIRK: Then we'll both die.

EVIL KIRK: Please, I don't want to. Don't make me.

Good Kirk reaches out and covers the end of the phaser with his hand, then takes it away from Evil Kirk.

EVIL KIRK: Don't make me. I don't want to go back. Please! I want to live!

GOOD KIRK: You will. Both of us.

EVIL KIRK: I want to live!

Good Kirk reaches for Evil Kirk and hugs him, clutching his head to his chest and cradling his face against him like a child.

In the transporter room, Evil Kirk is unconscious. Good Kirk holds him clutched to himself as both of them stand on a single transporter pad. Spock beams them down to the planet, pauses for a moment, then beams Kirk back up. A single Kirk is standing on the platform, alive. He steps down from the platform, and in his commanding, decisive, Kirkian voice says, "Get those men aboard fast."

The poor landing party is FINALLY beamed back aboard. They're unconscious, and McCoy says they have hypothermia and frostbite, but they'll live. As the landing party is wheeled out of the transporter room, McCoy turns to Kirk and asks him how he feels. In a line that tears my heart out, Kirk replies, "How? I've seen a part of myself no man should ever see."

Back on the bridge, we have this exchange:

SPOCK: All sections report ready, sir.

KIRK: Good. Thank you, Mister Spock, from both of us.

SPOCK: Shall I pass that on to the crew, sir?

KIRK: The impostor's back where he belongs. Let's forget him.

RAND: Captain? The impostor told me what happened, who he really was, and I'd just like to say that ... well, sir, what I'd like is...

KIRK: Thank you, Yeoman.

SPOCK: The, er, impostor had some interesting qualities, wouldn't you say, Yeoman?

KIRK: This is the captain speaking. Navigator, set in course correction. Helmsman, steady as she goes.

And that's the end of the episode.

Character Notes

This is the first episode (in production order) in which Kirk calls McCoy "Bones."

It's also the first episode (in production order) in which McCoy says, "He's dead, Jim." It will certainly not be the last. :-)

Spock makes a captain's log entry in which he calls himself "second officer Spock." This appears to be a confusion between second in COMMAND and second OFFICER. The second in COMMAND is the FIRST officer. They'll get it right from here on out.

Spock is more emotional in this episode than he'll be later on, but in contrast to the sassy, snarky attitude he had in "Mudd's Women," in this episode, he seems more annoyed or irritated. Leonard Nimoy is still feeling his way into the character, and while this Spock seems more like the one he will become than the one in the previous episode, he's still not all the way there yet.

While Spock and McCoy are discussing whether Kirk can chance the transporter, given that it did put the two halves of the unicorn dog back together, but the dog died, Spock says, "Being split in two halves is no theory with me, Doctor. I have a human half, you see, as well as an alien half, submerged, constantly at war with each other. Personal experience, Doctor. I survive it because my intelligence wins over both, makes them live together." (to Kirk) "Your intelligence would enable you to survive as well."

The entire episode is about the tension between the "good" and "evil" sides of Kirk, so I've mostly addressed those aspects in the plot summary. But I think it's a fascinating episode, for suggesting that Kirk needs his "evil" side, that much of his strength as a commander comes from it ... properly guided and controlled by the good side, of course. Put this episode with "The Corbomite Maneuver," and we have an awful lot of information about who Kirk is already.

World-Building Notes

They hadn't yet built the shuttlecraft or the shuttle bay hangar — those were created for "The Galileo Seven" — so they couldn't send the shuttle for Sulu's landing party because that aspect of the ship hadn't been created yet. One does wonder why they didn't send down more blankets, though.

In the beginning of the episode, when Fisher cuts his hand on the planet, Kirk tells him, "Get back to the ship. Report to the Sickbay." In most of the series, they just call it "Sickbay," without the definite article, but this is an early episode, and they're still figuring things out.

During the questioning in Sickbay, Kirk tells Janice that he was in "my room" at the time of the attempted rape. During most of the series, they'll call it the captain's "quarters" or his "cabin," not his "room."



 

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