I started by wanting to do a little Tarsus IV research in TOS, which is essentialy 1x13 The Conscience of the King, where Kirk is being an ultimate asshole to Spock the whole episode while he openly flirts with the lady on the bridge and elsewhere, which is one of the things leaving Spock strangely uncomfortable (to say at least.) But then I went a bit deeper.
I briefly considered Kirk’s motive about this particular woman, we know better than thinking he’s just a ‘womanizer’. I might assume it was about the combination of a) as said ‘using her as a tool’ to get to this Kodos directly in order to convict him, which is what the plot suggests, and b) he sees comfort in her presence and it keeps his mind off the painfully personal case at the same time, and c) simply his romantic, charming nature and personal attraction, which as we can see is usually only a tiny bit of his whole “”promiscuous”” behaviour.
Spock might be hurt seeing it, confused, but also concerned, because he notices something strange in Kirk’s behavior.
He is slowly finding out about Kirk hiding(?) and trying to act brave about being a witness on Tarsus IV but it does not escape Spock. It might be the worry about his captain with a subtle undertones of jealousy that makes him seek relief and comfort in McCoy. So we get like first(?) scene with McCoy consulting personal matter with Spock while offering him a drink, while Spock is nervously walking circles in the sickbay, anticipating some kind of reassurement from someone who knows Kirk well in slightly different way.
Later Kirk’s own life is in danger as he is the target of the murderer onboard and Spock is admitting his concerns and trying to help in a very formal manner and Kirk does not accept it, as it makes him look vulnerable, perhaps, and importantly because of dealing with his own feelings about past which he can’t share, he keeps distancing from him while McCoy defends Spock on that, in the harsh and strict tone being the only thing making Kirk actually listen.
The fact that it is the first season is important because it says a lot about the dynamic of the relationship between them three. Spock genuiely cares about Kirk and McCoy cares that he cares, in his way.
Anyway, this episode was one huge angst to me, for both; Kirk’s case with Kodos and Tarsus finally resolving and pardon my little spirk-driven heart, but the amount of neglect and underappreciation of Spock on Kirk’s part. But that were primarily my first thoughts. Also,
On the other hand, it is nothing new to see Kirk express his affection and gratefullness, and in general many of his feelings, in a different, sometimes (at least to me) unsatisfying way. People called him inhuman in this episode. There are so many, easily made misconceptions about him, and about Spock as well! Comparing to Kirk, he actually feels and expresses his emotions very colourfully.
Spock would go, swallow his pride willingly, and say Jim is his friend, his soul-mate, he clearly would die for him. While Kirk does the same in such an invisible way, pushing Spock away from the room when there was the over-charging phaser, he might not even realize just how very much he treasures Spock until later, maybe? I’m not saying he did not, but he might not have known. I feel like paradoxially he went longer way admitting it to himself.
And this is why I rewatch the show over and over. I always notice something new and every rewatched episode becomes my new favourite.
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Remember in “Errand of Mercy” when the flirty Klingon kept bragging about his fancy new interrogation device called the Mind Sifter? And he kept threatening to use it on Kirk but never actually did and it was kinda anti-climatic?
Turns out some fans decided to film the interrogation scenes we were so tragically deprived of and created a fan film called Mind Sifter.
This is the only image from it I’ve found:
I happened to glance at that photo when looking through Google images and honest-to-God thought I had stumbled upon some gay porn.
“The child was named Leonard James Akaar?”
“Has a kind of a ring to it, don’t you think, James?”
“Yes. I think it’s a name destined to go down in galactic history, Leonard. What do you think, Spock?”
“I think you’re both going to be insufferably pleased with yourselves for at least a month… sir.”