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- Spock's smile at Pike when they are looking at the singing plants is terribly sweet.
- After Uhura apologizes for getting snippy with Kirk, he apologizes for being snippy with her first. It takes a big man to apologize like that.
- Kirk's Anguished Declaration of Love for the Enterprise.
Kirk: Never lose you... never.
- Spock's unwavering loyalty extends beyond his friendship to Kirk. The entire episode dealt with his loyalty to his first CO, Captain Chris Pike. The episode ends on a massive Crowning Moment of Heartwarming when the Talosians give their "gift" to Captain Pike.
- And when Spock explains his need for deception instead of revealing everything from the beginning.
Kirk: Even though regulations are explicit, you could have come to me and explained.Spock: Ask you to face the death penalty too? No, one of us was enough.
- Late in the story, Scotty reports that the control room for the ship's phasers is being manned by one person. Lieutenant Stiles, the navigator, volunteers to assist as his first assignment was as a phaser controller. Kirk agrees and asks Uhura to take his place at navigation. What is not stated, or even commented upon, is that with Sulu already at his station, this means the Enterprise is now being operated by a black woman and an Asian man. Nobody comments on this, nobody wonders about that, they just accept it as perfectly natural. With no dialogue or a heavy handed message, the show features just a natural acceptance across gender and racial lines.
- This conversation McCoy has with Kirk.
McCoy: In this galaxy, there's a mathematical probability of three million Earth-type planets. And in all of the universe, three million million galaxies like this. And in all of that... and perhaps more, only one of each of us. beat Don't destroy the one named Kirk.
- After Tomlinson is killed, Kirk goes to the chapel to find Tomlinson's fiancee praying. He tries to comfort her as best he can. Finally, she looks him in the eye and says, "I'm all right," before leaving. Kirk sighs and head back out to the corridor; time to go back to work. It's a Tear Jerker, a Heartwarming Moment, and a quiet Moment of Awesome.
- Kirk and Spock resolve the situation by Shaming the Mob with the revelation that the Horta Monster is a Mommy, and then propose a solution to resolve the situation—which is that the hortas are really good at mining and should help the human miners. It works perfectly, with both populations ending the story living and prospering together in peace. The head of the operation even calls Kirk to tell him how well they're getting along.
- There's also McCoy successfully curing the Horta, despite being a doctor, not a bricklayer.
McCoy: My God, Jim, I'm beginning to think I can cure a rainy day!
- When part of the roof caves in and Spock hears, he tries to contact Kirk. When there's no reply, he instantly moves faster and even drops the formality of calling him "Captain," instead calling out "Jim!" Spock may hide his emotions, but anyone can tell that for that moment, Spock was worried his friend had been killed.
- Kirk and Spock finally find McCoy, who they'd been separated from for the duration of the episode. Jim and Bones shout each other's names and hug—and Spock runs forward at the same moment, shooting his arm out as if to join in the embrace. In the next shot, he's shaking the doctor's hand quite earnestly.
- Spock answering McCoy's "Do you realize what you've done?", because Kirk is too broken to respond at the moment.
Spock: "He knows..."
- The emotional outburst that Spock nearly had after learning that he didn't actually kill the captain is possibly the biggest Crowning Moment of Heartwarming in the entire show. (Watch!)
- It was the one and only time in the entire series where Spock smiles of his own free will and volition. Of course, it was the best.
- Leonard Nimoy hated that scene. He said it was completely out of character, and that Spock would have released those emotions by himself, in private. But it was better than the scene as originally written, where Spock was weeping uncontrollably and was told by Kirk to "be a man."
- Later on, he realized just how effective the scene was and was reconciled to it. He realized it he disliked it because he was looking at it from Spock's point of view, and Spock, of course, would hate having his emotions revealed this way.
- After Spock believes Kirk was killed, his farewell to T'Pau truly shows how much he cares for Kirk:
T'Pau: Live long and prosper, Spock.Spock: I shall do neither. I have killed my captain and my friend.
- Nimoy says this was his all-time favorite line and the one that perfectly exemplified how Spock felt about Kirk. Fans call it one of the best lines in the series.
- A slightly fridgey one: Spock's Please Spare Him, My Liege! moment when T'Pring selects Kirk as her champion. He wasn't even supposed to be capable of coherent thought at the moment. It gets better when T'Pau demeans him for his human behavior and Spock doesn't stop. As much as he fears being humiliated in front of "his" people, he feared more to let Kirk die without attempting to save him.
- Kirk's behavior adds extra heartwarming to the above. Spock gives up his chance of being accepted as a Vulcan, something he's wanted and worked at for years. What has Kirk been working at and wanting for years? The captaincy—the same thing he gives up. Not only does the Vulcan have someone he cares about more than his heart's desire, but also that person returns that friendship deeply enough to be worthy of it.
- Spock asking Chapel to make him plomeek soup. Having vehemently (and very publicly) repudiated her for the same gesture earlier in the episode, knowing she has feelings for him that he can't share, he still sees that his illness is upsetting her and is able to accept her mercy and call her by her first name.
- There's another, smaller one later on. Spock explains that the groom's 2 best friends are allowed to witness the wedding, and invites Jim and McCoy to come along. Really shows how much he considers McCoy a friend. And Bones, ever the Southern gentleman, answers with a sincere, "I shall be honored, sir."
- Early on in the wedding, T'Pau gives Kirk and Bones the option to back out of their participation in what is sure to be a very gruesome ceremony. They opt to stay and support Spock instead.
T'Pau: Spock chose his friends well.
- Although she does end up becoming the Girlofthe Week, and it is a little cheesy, there's something about Chekov and Yeoman Landon together in the moonlight being all loving with each other is a little aww-inducing, especially when it leads to two snooping aliens to imitate them and introduce them to love.
- The Companion giving up its non-corporeal self to become mortal, just to be with Zefram.
- That it's played so deadpan makes it even more Crowning Moment of Heartwarming.
Spock: Emotional, isn't she?Sarek: She has always been that way.Spock: Indeed—why did you marry her?Sarek: At the time, it seemed the logical thing to do.
- Sarek and Amanda's two-fingered embrace is Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other.
Amanda: I love you anyway. [Sarek looks mildly exasperated] I know—it isn't logical.
- A young ensign Garrovick freezes upon seeing a hostile alien that subsequently kills the rest of his landing party. Even though Garrovick already blames himself, Kirk comes down unusually hard on him, but only because Kirk himself faced the same creature eleven years before and also froze, getting many of his own crew mates killed. When Kirk discovers that the creature is immune to phaser fire, he seeks out Garrovick to deliver absolution:
Kirk: I'm asking for your military appraisal of the techniques used against the creature.
Garrovick: Ineffective, Captain. I realise, Captain, you did everything you could do. I know that. It's just that nothing works against a monster that can do the things that thing does.
Kirk: And Ensign, what is your appraisal of your conduct on the planet?
Garrovick: I delayed firing.
Kirk: And If you hadn't delayed firing?
[Garrovick shakes his head and looks away]
Kirk: No difference, Ensign. No weapon known would have made any difference. Then... or eleven years ago. Report for duty, Ensign.
Garrovick: Yes, Captain. [beat; smiles] Thank you, sir!
- Kirk also tells Garrovick to seek him out if he wants to hear some of Kirk's experiences with Garrovick's father (Kirk's former captain, killed in the previous encounter).
- Spock and McCoy are having another discussion before Spock leaves. Spock suggests that since McCoy can't accept his way of dealing with the situation, he could "Wish me good luck." McCoy doesn't. Then, when the Vulcan is out the door and can no longer hear him, he says, "Good luck, Spock."
- Spock and Kirk both praising the crew of the Enterprise in their personal logs.
- The exchange between Spock and McCoy near the end. May double as a Crowning Moment of Funny.
McCoy: Shut up Spock, we're rescuing you!Spock: Why, thank you, Captain McCoy.
- Also McCoy's visible excitement when he realizes Spock is alive, and the ear-to-ear smile on his face when the Vulcan asks to come back on board.
- This scene, when Captain Kirk reads out the preamble to the US Constitution. It doesn't matter if you're not American; the scene, Kirk's absolute intensity and honest belief in the words and most of all the music that plays makes it so very heartwarming.
- When Kirk thinks he's been rendered superfluous as a captain, Spock and Bones, each in his own way, rally round him. First Spock tells him firmly that "a starship ... runs on loyalty to one man, and nothing can replace it or him," then McCoy brings him a drink, and when Kirk bitterly toasts to "Captain Dunsel," the doctor puts a hand on his arm and quietly corrects, "To Captain James T. Kirk." What follows is an iconic Kirk speech that's a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming in its own right:
Kirk: Do you know the one: "All I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by..."? You could feel the wind at your back in those days, the sounds of the sea beneath you. And even if you take away the wind and the water, it's still the same. The ship is yours, you can feel her... and the stars are still there.
- This is followed up years later in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier as they approach the Enterprise-A in the shuttle, where Spock and Bones, bickering couple that they are, argue over who the author of the poem was. It's called back even later in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, as the dedication plaque of the USS Defiant actually bears the same John Masefield quote.
- Flavius and McCoy's reluctance to hurt one another in the gladiatorial arena.
The Tholian Web
- There's the scene where, after having rescued Kirk, both Spock and McCoy deny having reviewed Kirk's final taped orders to them.
- Kirk's taped orders were a pretty Crowning Moment, too. He knows his friends so well he was able to predict their actions and mediate between them even from beyond the grave. Well, sort of.
- Also, this line from Spock after McCoy, who between Kirk's death and the effects of the space they're in, has gotten snippy with him and had to apologize:
Spock: I believe [Kirk] would have said, "Forget it, Bones."
- Uhura tells Kirk that anytime she felt afraid, she would calm herself by reminding herself that Kirk was in charge so things wouldn't go completely wrong. Then he kisses her.
- Kirk tells Alexander, who had been picked on and enslaved by the Platonians for being a dwarf and lacking telekinesis, "Alexander, where I come from, size, shape or color makes no difference." Later, Kirk keeps his promise and takes Alexander with them when they leave the planet, where he can finally live his own life as a free man.
- After the landing party has been told that one of them will be subjected to torture that will leave them either near-death or insane, McCoy knocks out both Kirk and Spock so that he will be chosen.
- While McCoy actually gets to perform the Act of True Love for this episode, it's implied or outright stated that Kirk and Spock would have done the same thing if they hadn't been knocked out.
- This episode was just filled with heartwarming. First there's McCoy rasping "You've got a good bedside manner, Spock," as Spock tenderly cradles his face. Then when he regains consciousness to find Gem absorbing his injuries, he tries to push her away, physician to the last:
Bones: Don't let her touch me. She'll die. Jim... I can't destroy life, even if it's to save my own. I can't. You know that. I can't let you do it.
- Also, earlier in the episode, after McCoy has drugged an injured Jim to sleep, Gem watches Spock, who is looking worriedly at his sleeping captain. Not quite understanding the emotion, she reaches out and touches Spock's shoulder, before finally realizing why. The smile on her face afterwards says it all.
- This exchange:
Kirk: They had a dream, a dream that became a reality and spread throughout the stars. A dream that made Mr. Spock and me brothers.
Garth: Mr. Spock! Do you consider Captain Kirk and yourself brothers?
Spock: Captain Kirk speaks somewhat figuratively, and with undue emotion. However, what he says is logical, and I do, in fact, agree with it.
- Another example from the same episode. Kirk tries to talk down the maniacal Garth by reminding him of what a hero he is to the Federation and to Kirk, personally, for being the model for all other starship captains. For an instant, Garth looks and sounds normal. "I do remember that. It was a great responsibility, but one I was proud to bear." Unfortunately it does not last, but after Garth is subdued and cured of his insanity, he acts as if he is waking from a dream and the first thing he does is offer a handshake to Kirk.
Garth: Should I know you, sir?
- Spock's extreme Vulcanness is implied to be a sign that he's worried about Kirk. Then, later in the episode, he refuses to take Scotty's The Needs of the Many offer to jettison a malfunctioning part (and him with it).
- In the otherwise clunky "Requiem for Methuselah" after Kirk is emotionally devastated by the events of the episode, Spock and McCoy come to his quarters. McCoy, after delivering his final report, proceeds to upbraid Spock for his lack of "love". As McCoy departs, Spock leans over his captain's sleeping body and performs a mind meld with just one word: "Forget." Truly, this is the moment where we see just how deeply Spock cares for his captain... and his friend.
- Also, fun with Ho Yay!
- As cheesy as the episode is, Spock delivers a wonderfully uplifting line near the end:
Spock: Miss Galliulin. It is my sincere wish that you do not give up your search for Eden. I have no doubt but that you will find it, or make it yourselves.
- Uhura and Abraham Lincoln shake hands.
- The I Will Only Slow You Down/No One Gets Left Behind moment between Spock and McCoy. What makes it even more heartwarming is that the person on each side wasn't who you would think.
McCoy: I can't go on. Go without me.
Spock: We go together or not at all.
McCoy: Don't be a fool! My legs and hands are frostbitten; I can't feel my feet. Alone, you have a chance. Go, try to find Jim.
Spock: [pulling McCoy to his feet] We go together!
- "The Devil in the Dark," when you know that William Shatner received news of his father's death the day before filming, and was scheduled to ship out later that day. Spock's personal space bubble is as small as it ever was in this episode, as Leonard Nimoy lends Shatner his support. Shatner later recounts his gratitude for the support of the other actors, particularly Leonard Nimoy and DeForest Kelley, likening it to the way elephant herds will converge around the bereaved, offering silent comfort.
- Kirk and Uhura's kiss in "Plato's Stepchildren"—not the first integrated kiss broadcast on Television note but still a big deal. The best part about this was two versions of the scene were supposed to be filmed; one with the kiss and one without. But both Shatner and Nichols purposely messed up every take of the second version so it couldn't be used.
- Some people might not know from watching the show, but James Doohan felt a great deal of animosity toward William Shatner for many years. However, while writing a book on the original Star Trek, Shatner asked Doohan if he'd like to collaborate with him on the project. Doohan agreed, and both men appeared to walk away from the experience on amicable terms.
- After the first season, Nichelle Nichols decided to leave the show and turned in her resignation to Gene Roddenberry. However, that weekend she met one of her biggest fans, who told her how important her role as Uhura was and convinced her to stay on. The fan's name? Martin Luther King Jr.
- Her role, as Dr. King predicted, was extremely inspirational. Whoopi Goldberg tells the story of when she first saw Uhura as a little girl, and ran to tell her family, "Mama! Mama! Come quick! There's a black lady on TV, and she ain't no maid!" She credits this for inspiring her to become an actress. She, of course, later went on to appear as Guinan on Star Trek: The Next Generation, having asked for the role because of her love for Star Trek.
- Another Black woman to credit Nichols with inspiration is astronaut Dr. Mae Jemison, who became the first woman of color in space. Before her first space mission in 1992, she telephoned Nichols, now a close friend of hers, to thank her for the inspiration, and she began her shifts aboard Endeavour by saying, "Hailing frequencies open." Jemison also went on to make a cameo appearance on Star Trek: The Next Generation, the first real astronaut to appear in the franchise.
- Nichols collaborated with NASA on a campaign to recruit more women and people of color as astronauts.
- James Doohan received a letter from a fan that he recognized as a suicide note. He invited the fan to the next convention, and the one after that, and several more. After a time he lost contact with her, and had also lost her address. He had no idea what happened to her until she showed up at a convention again, thanking him for his support and telling him she'd just finished her Master's in electrical engineering.
- As detailed on the Awesome page, Nichelle Nichols was in a car wreck on her way to the set, and later fainted on set from the anaesthetic. William Shatner promptly pulled rank and brought filming to a screeching halt so he could take her home before they resumed shooting.
- There's just something unutterably beautiful about the fact that, nearly fifty years after the show began airing, William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy were still the best of friends, hanging out together and even inviting each other to dinner on Twitter until Nimoy's death in 2015.
- George Takei has said that early on, at a time when he was still otherwise mostly closeted, Walter Koenig noticed him checking out some guy on the set and figured out he was gay... and proceeded to be completely supportive. Years and years later, Koenig was the best man at Takei's wedding after gay marriage was legalized.