random observations from re-watching the first AOS Star Trek film:
people always characterize Kirk & McCoy’s dynamic as pure ‘IM GONNA DO THE THING, BONES” vs “DAMNIT JIM DONT DO THE THING”
but it’s incredibly significant to me, that it’s Bones who makes the decision to smuggle him onto the Enterprise.
Jim finds out that he’s under academic suspension, and can’t go with the rest of the fleet, and he doesn’t argue.
He stands there, looking a little bit lost, sure.
But he tells Bones to go without him, lies to Bones’ face and says that he’s fine, he’s ‘good’, even though it’s absolutely killing to say that.
Except he knows Bones’ needs that lie, that reassurance, because Bones is the one who is scared, not him, and if it’s the last thing they say to each other, Bones needs to know that Kirk will be okay.
And then Bones is the one who decides to say “screw regulations, screw the entire academic board of Starfleet and the Medical Code, I’m going to misappropriate medical supplies & inject you with them, to falsify a medical dispensation that will get you on board once I bullshit my way past security. Risking, if we get caught, at a minimum some form of academic penalty, and possibly the loss of my license. But I’m not doing this without my friend by my side.”
It’s then you remember that Kirk isn’t the only last-minute sign-up that day in Iowa.
Bones wasn’t at the bar with the rest of the cadets, or he would have probably met Kirk there, instead, & checked him over for a concussion, at the very least.
He was the only one other than Jim to show up for the shuttle without a uniform, which all of the rest of them had, at a minimum, the night before.
Which means, given what we heard, Bones’ divorce proceedings finally went through, and the next day he woke up, started drinking, and thought to himself. ‘you know, I just got divorced, I’m flat broke, but hey, let’s sign up for STAR FLEET. Because it’s a new start! I’m definitely not signing up for an organization that operates almost exclusively in space, when I’m afraid of flying. that would be a terrible life choice, who would do that? Right. It’s settled, then. I’m gonna do that.”
tl:dr Bones isn’t impulsive as often as Kirk, but when he is:
A. it’s a doozy
B. it probably winds up saving the entire galaxy, somewhere along the way