Episode 33 – TOS 2×04: “Mirror, Mirror”

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Are you excited? You should be! This week, we embark on one of the Trek universe’s most beloved continuing storylines: The Mirrorverse!

The Mirrorverse. Where real men wear sparkly gold sashes, real women have intimidating She-Ra abs and murderbiceps, and literally anyone of any gender (non-binary murder-bling not pictured) will knife you for a donut.

Uhura in the Mirrorverse
Or, in this case, for getting fresh.













The Mirrorverse has multiple episodes across every Trek series, and the premise is simple: something important in the past went juuuuust differently enough that the Federation never happened. Instead, at least as far as TOS goes, we instead got the Terran Empire, a culture in which humans aren’t the squishy, peace-loving socialists of the prime universe, but something decidedly more Klingon-like, and explicitly the bad guys.

Kirk, Uhura, Scotty and Bones end up there via a transporter accident (originally by switching bodies with their doubles, but later on the alternate-universe travel to the Mirrorverse is just straight-up travel via transporter) and have to act like their bad-guy doppelgangers to buy time to get home. Back in the real world, Spock is not fooled by dark!Kirk, Uhura, Scotty and Bones for a second; they spend the episode locked in the brig, because Spock is a highly competent officer.

real!Spock with dark!Kirk
The “Captain” can stay here until he has his nap.










Later on in the Trek timeline, the Mirrorverse changes drastically as a direct result of Kirk & Co’s visit – he sows a seed of doubt in Spock about the long-term viability of the Empire, and Spock ends up overthrowing and reforming the Empire to something more peaceful and progressive… which is promptly overthrown by external forces. Whoops.

We all three loved this episode, from Imperial Starfleet’s hilarious murderbling to Uhura’s incredible battle-crop-top and washboard murderabs (and literally everything Nichelle Nichols does in this episode, who are we kidding) to dark!Spock’s famous evil goatee. I could list more, but we’d be here all day. The Mirrorverse: the gift that keeps on giving.

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