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Episode 68 – TOS 3×13: “Elaan of Troyius”

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So this week’s episode would best be described as Taming of the Shrew, But in Space, but with the caveat that in no universe would any acceptable version of Kate have tolerated the spanking threats heaped upon her counterpart by our heroic captain. If you, like us, prefer Taming of the Shrew adaptations where the nonsensical “oh you menfolk were right about everything” (basically Ten Things I Hate About You and then… okay, the list stops there), you’re likely to have the same conflicted experience with this episode that we did.

That is, one moment you’re annoyed with our female guest star for being a heinous wretch and totally feeling Kirk’s frustration, and the next you’re rooting for Elaan to stab everyone to death, take over the Enterprise, and take to the stars in a life of piracy where no one will ever force her to marry for political reasons again.

Elaan yelling at Kirk, the ambassador, and some security guys.
I mean, the decor is ugly, I’ll give her that.

 

That’s not to say that this episode doesn’t have its funny moments. There are, for sure, scenes where you are right there with this young woman’s complaints about her situation, but since the show paints her as a spoiled brat (and there was definitely some discussion amid the NSMTNZ crew about how uh, she’s royalty, sacrificing personal desires for the good of the state is what royalty does; it’s how we justify allowing them to continue existing?), her reactions so utterly over-the-top, it’s difficult to maintain the ire.

Elaan in one of her MORE insane wardrobe choices.
That said, Elaan’s outfits are 100% amazing-bananas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not to mention the late introduction of romantic subplot where, after whammying him with her magic love-potion tears (uhhhhh…), Elaan immediately falls in love with Kirk and refuses to be parted from him, even though failing to carry out her arranged marriage will plunge not only her planet and their sworn enemies into war with each other, but the entire Federation into war with the Klingons.

Elaan caresses Kirk after whammying him with her magical tears. Yes. For real.
I feel very strongly that “don’t let them cry on you, lest you cause the mother of all diplomatic incidents” should have been included in the briefing packet for this one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s… confusing. But all that aside, France Nuyen is frankly amazing in this one, almost enough to excuse the absurd writing and characterization. So… enjoy, I guess?

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