Enterprise hauling medical supplies to Makus III when they pass Murasaki 312 ("quasar-like formation"). Galactic High Commissioner Ferris oversees transfer of medical supplies and opposes delay. They have two extra days, and are required to investigate. Shuttlecraft Galileo available to explore. As they experience radiation, they try to stop momentum but ionic concentration interferes with communication.Summary:
Flash on Ferris who smiles.
A planet in the center of Murasaki 312, Tarus II, seems capable of sustaining human life. Enterprise to enter.
Analysis with spoilers:For some reason, it would be like finding a needle in a haystack even though shuttlecraft could not alter its momentum. Perhaps they needed Spock, the science officer, who is on board the shuttle, to explain Newton's first law of motion.
There must have been a crash landing, but the worst damage appears to be a bump on the head and a bloody nose. Their speed was "multiplied geometrically" due to "magnetic potential of the effect," so they are lucky indeed.
The shuttle needs to lose 500 lbs., but they cannot lose equipment, so that's the weight of three men. Who is to go? Classic "Cold Equations" [Tom Godwin] scenario.
Two officers are to scout (not red shirts), and they encounter strange noises in the fog all around them that make them want to retreat. One ends up with a spear in his back. Whew! No ethics scenario to face. One down, two to go. Crew gang up on Spock's logical analysis: Men are not machines.
Columbus shuttle ordered to sweep planet in search, but they will miss areas of search.
Shuttle loses all fuel. Gaetano and Boma now become "logical" as they propose to strike the mystery tribe first. Spock believes he has frightened tribe members without killing them. He abandons Gaetano to stand guard (of what? in one location? alone?). Surely, this is not one of Spock's more logical moments.
Scotty decides phasers are to be used as an alternate fuel. Transporters working, but where do they beam search parties?
Tribe members become poor lobbers of spears as Spock transports Gaetano's body back to shuttle.
Suddenly, we viewers are informed that the ions were part of a storm.
Boma insists on burials of dead crew.
High Commissioner insists on abandoning search, recalling all parties. Twenty-odd minutes to go before the Enterprise must leave. No sign of missing crew.
Spock ejects and ignites fuel as a flare, ending chances of safe orbit and landing. But Spock is hailed by crew as illogical and human, which seems an illogical conclusion. They get spotted and beamed aboard. Captain Kirk and crew rib Spock over his "human" decision.
Very much an attempt to raise the human flag over the logical.
- Scotty: "It's dangerous, but it might work."
- McCoy: "A little less analysis and more action."
- Spock: "I, for one, do not believe in angels."
- While not one of the highlights of the series, it does focus on Spock's "human" vs. logical nature.
- Expendables die even though they are not wearing red shirts.
- The ideas expressed here are far more interesting when contrasted with the next episode, "The Squire of Gothos".