TOS Episode 2x16 A Private Little War – Parallels and Contrasts
This episode introduces a number of cool aspects to the Star Trek TOS verse:
-there’s Dr. M'Benga
-there’s the Vulcan healing trance
Of interest to me, though, were the parallels between Kirk and Spock in this episode along with the strong differentiation of Spock’s behavior towards Chapel versus Kirk.
Early on, Spock is hurt and must enter a Vulcan healing trance in order to have any chance surviving. Kirk is distraught over this and is focused on repeatedly as he checks in with Bones to see how Spock is doing. Not only that, but Kirk snaps at the crew for questioning him (although he does apologize) clearly indicating his concern. Later on, Kirk himself is injured on the planet when he and Bones go to investigate whether the Klingons have interfered (spoiler: they have). Interestingly, the episode seems to parallel their states of vulnerability.
For Spock, in particular, this episode is especially interesting in light of The Motion Picture. Spock almost died down on the planet, so it’s not surprising that Chapel (who is in love with him) takes his hand as he is helplessly in his trance (though aware of his surroundings). When he recovers, however, he rebuffs her advances.
Contrast this with Spock’s behavior towards Jim in TMP. He not only grasps Jim’s arm and then shifts to his hand, but at no point during their contact does Spock want to pull away – they gaze at each other with love and adoration, with Spock a full participant.
Honestly, look at all the raw love in Kirk’s gaze as he stares at Spock – the level of affection and devotion.
Those two…I swear they drive me crazy.
That last picture isn’t really relevant – I just thought William Shatner looked adorable there! :D