This episode, as far as I can tell, points more than any of the others so far to Spock being in love with Jim. There’s tons of meta here, but let me start with Spock’s reaction to Rayna.
At first, Spock is intrigued and even pleased by Rayna for her enthusiasm in his field of study. When the conversation turns to other things, however, he falls back into his usual state of polite disinterest. Just look at him when McCoy is smooth-talking the girl:
All in all, not really bothered by her.
We don’t see Spock’s reaction to Jim’s very obvious interest in Rayna when the two are first introduced—in fact, the next time we see Spock is right after Rayna offers to show Jim her billiard move:
Spock has clearly been skulking on the sidelines, with his arms crossed no less, while Jim and Rayna interact, and as soon as the suggestion of physical contact between the two comes up, he gets out of there and goes to do something completely different.
Do you mean to tell me that the romantic sweeping strings theme that is usually reserved for love interests coming on at the end of “Requiem for Methuselah” as Spock is doing a mind meld with Kirk at the end of the episode has no romantic implications??
Even though it happens just after McCoy made that huge speech about love “not being written in Spock’s book”?? After Rayna (Kirks love interest) was clearly paralleled with Spock when her emotions literally were brought to the surface and killed her (something that was mentioned could kill Vulcans if they didn’t control their own emotions in a previous episode)??
In an interview for Edward Gross’s Trek Classic, writer Jerome Bixby said of “Requiem for Methuselah”:
“I always wanted to do a story about a Neanderthal who found himself gifted with immortality, who lived up through the present day. Learning, learning, learning throughout his enormous lifetime, mastering the arts and science through philosophy. I wanted him to have been Beethoven because Beethoven had a kind of neanderthal cast to his face. So, I had that story kicking around which I had never done before. Why not do a story about a virtually immortal man for Star Trek? It’s pleased me very much when I wrote it. I pulled out all the stops.”
A fan musical of the book Carry On by Rainbow Rowell using songs from many musicals (and a few non-musical songs). Each song is annotated with a quote or reference to the book to demonstrate where in the book the song is taking place. Sadly, the annotations are not available on mobile. :( (Please suggest any songs and/or quotes you feel need to be added!) Incredible cover art by @ddoale ! Go check out their blog; their art is fantastic and they are a really cool person!! (And so talented!!! Like holy s m o k e s)
Since the songs have annotations that don’t show up on mobile, I’ll put them under the cut! Hope you enjoy!!
During the Five Year Mission Bones had to put up with a lot of shit. But
I’m pretty sure the mutual pining that permeated the air whenever his captain
and his favourite frenemy were even in the same quadrant of the galaxy is among
his personal top three.
Witnessing Jim’s desperation when Spock is in danger is something that
happens actually quite frequently, all things considered. And it probably cost
Bones a few years of his life whenever the Vulcan considered himself expandable
and put himself in harm’s way. But it was to be expected. Jim always liked Spock, however one wishes to interpret this, the “affection” was definitely there.
BUT to witness Spock going bat-shit crazy when Jim is in peril is something
else altogether. Bones probably enjoyed it the first time it happened, just to
see Spock showing an emotion at all. And this, too, happened more than once over the course of the mission.
So yeah, Bones was DEFINITELY in the known on this one! While his best friends were still pining for each other from afar. HE KNEW. And he had to listen to them for the the entirety of the mission. (And the second mission, too, if we count TAS here.)
But there is one thing that always puzzles me. It’s the well known scene from “Requiem for Methuselah”.
MCCOY: Well, I guess that’s all. I can tell Jim later or you can. Considering his opponent’s longevity, truly an eternal triangle. You wouldn’t understand that, would you, Spock? You see, I feel sorrier for you than I do for him because you’ll never know the things that love can drive a man to. The ecstasies, the miseries, the broken rules, the desperate chances, the glorious failures, the glorious victories. All of these things you’ll never know simply because the word love isn’t written into your book. Goodnight, Spock. SPOCK: Goodnight, Doctor. MCCOY: I do wish he could forget her. (McCoy leaves. Spock goes over to Kirk and initiates a mind meld) SPOCK: Forget.
Sometimes I am almost convinced that Bones was trying to needle Spock into admitting something, ANYTHING at this point. Maybe because the mission was almost ending and no one knew where they would be stationed next. Or maybe because Jim’s loneliness drove him slowly but surely mad. I don’t know. I have no explanation for this scene other than calling it “the one scene where McCoy’s observation skills failed him”.
I also keep thinking about the permanent raincloud over his head during the
Motion Picture Movie. He seems really pissed at the beginning. And I don’t think it’s because Jim “drafted”
him just as he sat down with a mint julep on his porch in Georgia or beamed him right out of his work on Fabrini medicine.
I think it’s at least partly because
he had a front row seat for the big “whatever-happened-between-Jim-and-Spock”
at the end of the five year mission. He had to watch everything fall apart. No matter what he tried, the crew still drifted apart without their center. And he didn’t forgive Spock for running
away to Vulcan. And he certainly didn’t forgive Jim for just accepting the promotion
and letting Spock go.
One of the BEST PARTS of the TMP Novel may just be the bit where we, the audience, witness
the confrontation scene (the one before the Sickbay SceneTM) between
Kirk and Spock from Bones’ point of view. He watches Jim despair over Spock’s
apparent lack of emotion. And his not-so-lowkey frustration about this entire situation shows it’s ugly head in the most entertaining way possible: biting sarcasm. (It’s peppered throughout the book, and a few scenes are shown in the movie as well.)
And the neat little tidbits of information we get by courtesy of Bones’ medical knowledge are fucking priceless! Because even IF Roddenberry didn’t tell us how
madly in love those two idiots were, you can bet your last cookie that Leonard
McCoy had to suffer through it all and he will shout it from the rooftops.
This scene broke my heart. While sharing his thoughts about love, Bones asserts that Spock is incapable of understanding and experiencing the feeling, and he pities the Vulcan for that. I’m sure Bones doesn’t intend to be cruel, but his words cut deeply. Spock’s expression says it all. That's not indifference or irritation on his face–that’s pain. The doctor’s careless assumption grieves him, and grieves me, because it is simply untrue. It is so untrue.
Spock knows love. He can recognize it in other people, as he did in this episode, but more importantly he feels it himself. It may not be the same kind Kirk and Rayna experienced, but it is as genuine, as deep, and as meaningful as theirs. He has shown his love multiple times, to multiple people, with Kirk being the most frequent recipient. In this episode alone, he tries to protect his captain from emotional pain, not because it is the logical thing to do but because he cares so much. Spock has even shown love to Bones himself, yet the doctor cannot see it. Hearing Bones’ words must be like a slap to the face. To realize your love isn’t recognized or considered valid–that must really hurt.