Star Trek TOS: Kirk Is a Thief. Spock Falls in Love.
Star Trek: The Original Series
Season 3, Episode 2
The Enterprise Incident
McCoy began the episode with a speech about Kirk’s current personality. The captain was becoming increasingly on edge — as in nervous — and it concerned the good doctor. McCoy’s theory was confirmed when Kirk ordered Enterprise in a neutral zone, portraying an aggressive attitude by Kirk’s crew toward Romulans. Enterprise was promptly surrounded by enemy ships.
In a Klingon vessel, a Romulan leader issued an ultimatum to Kirk — surrender or be destroyed. Therefore, Kirk’s ambitious and reckless posture now had consequences.
Kirk and Spock opted to board the Romulan ship while two Romulans beamed about Enterprise. On the Romulan ship, a female commander greeted the two men. She wasn’t named, but Kirk and the commander engaged in a fiery discussion on why Enterprise entered the neutral zone. The woman explained to Spock she was a distant relative of Vulcans, an explanation for her oddly shaped ears.
Point of order: McCoy was correct — something was up with Kirk. He was not himself.
Spock revealed the truth about Kirk’s personality change — spilled the beans, so to speak — and Kirk flipped out. He threatened to kill Spock after the Vulcan ratted him out.
The Romulans charged Kirk with espionage after Spock told the truth about Kirk’s brash explorations tactics. Kirk was ordered to confinement while Scott was instructed to submit to Romulan demands. But Scott was defiant. He informed the Romulans the Enterprise would self-destruct before bowing to Romulans.
Meanwhile, Spock was trying to diagnose Kirk’s malfunction. After Kirk was jettisoned off-screen, the Romulan lady interrogated Spock, offering him lures of leadership with her guidance. Spock also determined the woman was thirsty for power — and the best way to achieve it was by snatching the Enterprise vessel under her control. Too, it was apparent the woman was romantically interested in Spock.
Kirk — the maniacal version — attacked Spock, but he thwarted the advance with a palm to Kirk’s face. And that evidently killed the captain. Unsurprisingly, Kirk quickly resurrected — this was quickly turning into a ruse strategically executed by Kirk and Spock. A swerve, of sorts.
The tomfoolery continued when Scott was called to sickbay for a meeting, only to find Kirk decked out in Romulan ears and eyebrows. This was a first. In the backdrop, the woman and Spock conducted their date, bartering a role for Spock in the Romulan regime. The emotional atmosphere for the talks between Spock and her were markedly different knowing that Kirk and Spock cooked up the plan that was unfolding. The two consummate the date with an erotic rub of Vulcan hand salutes.
No matter how this installment of Star Trek climaxed, it seemed Spock was potentially smitten with the Romulan lady — ruse or no ruse.
Kirk stole the Romulan cloaking device and vamoosed back to Enterprise. The woman realized the charade was a plot and slapped Spock. She then scheduled Spock for execution.
But Kirk and the crew were able to retrieve Spock — and the woman — back to Enterprise. The other Romulan leader gave orders to blast Enterprise to smithereens, but Kirk’s theft of the cloaking device prevented the destruction. Enterprise vanished just as the Romulans opened fire.
Spock and the woman chatted at the end of the episode, revealing that Spock was indeed romantically intrigued. It just didn’t work out. The Enterprise Incident was a vehicle to illuminate Spock’s human side.
Also, the Federation wanted the cloaking device. This episode was a straight-up jack move.
Themes: Vulcan Emotion, Espionage
Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. His odyssey with Star Trek starts from beginning to finish, watching ‘The Original Series,’ all the way to the present day. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).