Episode: Season 1, Episode 20
Previous: Tomorrow Is Yesterday
Next: The Return Of The Archons
Recapper: Insert Witty Name Here
This episode contains examples of the following tropes:
- All There in the Manual: A scene in the script, but cut from the episode, would have revealed Jamie Finney's change of heart was due to reading her father's old letters and realizing he might pull something like this to get revenge on Kirk.
- Caught on Tape: Captain Kirk is brought up on charges of causing the death of a crewman. The main evidence against him is the Enterprise computer log. It's later determined that the log was altered to frame Kirk for the crewman's death.
- Character Witness: Spock and McCoy both try to act as these, but it does no good.
- Clear My Name: Kirk attempts to do this, but it does no good. It's up to Spock to do it for him.
- Courtroom Episode: Captain Kirk is accused of negligently causing the death of a crewman and perjury.
- Eureka Moment: It's Kirk's offhanded comment that Spock "may be able to beat [his] next captain at chess" that sets the Vulcan on the right track.
- Faking the Dead: Finney, to get revenge on Kirk.
- Famous, Famous, Fictional: Cogley's list of famous declarations of rights — the Magna Carta, the US Constitution, a Declaration of Rights from the Martian Colonies, and the Statutes of Alpha III.
- Fan of the Past: Samuel Cogley seems to be an amateur historian. During his closing arguments, he refers to fundamental declarations of rights made in the Magna Carta, the US Constitution, a Declaration of Rights from the Martian Colonies, and the Statutes of Alpha III. Also, references are periodically made to Colonel Green (a dictator from the 21st century) and World War III, as well as the fact that mankind avoided an all-out nuclear war.
- Fighting Your Friend: Areel Shaw has to take on the role of the prosecution despite being Kirk's ex-lover and friend.
- Frame-Up: You didn't think Kirk was actually guilty, did you?
- Good Old Ways, aka Technophobia: Kirk's "brilliant" defense counsel has access to all legal precedents from history catalogued on his computer system, but casts it all aside for....books! Books which could be, and surely are, ON that system, with the addition of indexing and annotation...
- Informed Ability: Samuel T. Cogley is, based on his actions in the episode, an idiotic Luddite who would have spectacularly lost Kirk's case without the timely interference of Spock. But everyone spends the whole episode talking about what a brilliant lawyer Cogley is.
- Insult Backfire: When McCoy discovers Spock playing chess during the latter stages of Kirk's trial, he calls him, "the most cold-blooded man I've ever met." Spock's response? "Why, thank you, Doctor."
- No, Except Yes: This exchange when Spock is trying to defend Kirk.Shaw: Are you disputing with the computer?Spock: I am not disputing with the computer; I am merely stating that it is wrong.
- The Resenter: Finney. Ben Finney and James T. Kirk were friends when they were younger, until Kirk logged a mistake Finney had made aboard the Republic that could have blown up the ship had it not been discovered. This caused Finney to be reprimanded and dropped to the bottom of the promotion list. Years later Finney, still burning with resentment of being denied the captaincy he believed Kirk had taken from him out of jealousy but pretending to have forgiven him, faked his death and framed Kirk for it. When discovered, Finney breaks into a tirade about how he has "killed" the Enterprise (by causing the ship's orbit to decay) and that he doesn't care about the people he'll kill as they are "officers and gentlemen, Captains all...except for Finney, and his one mistake!"
- Scare Chord: The prosecuting attorney badgers McCoy into admitting, "Yes, it's possible" — whereupon we get one of the series's trademark overly-dramatic musical stings.
- Self-Serving Memory: Finney blames Kirk for his not getting a promotion, conveniently forgetting that all Kirk did was inform their superiors of an act of negligence by Finney that could have destroyed the ship.
- Simple Country Lawyer: Cogley has elements of this.
- This Is No Time for Knitting: McCoy is aghast at seeing Spock playing chess while Kirk is losing his trial, but of course our favorite Vulcan knows exactly what he is doing. Namely, Spock was playing chess to confirm that the computer has been tampered with.
- Villainous Breakdown: Finney has one at the end when Kirk confronts him.
- We Will Not Use Photoshop in the Future: This episode was ahead of its time considering Spock finds out that the damning security cam footage had been deliberately altered to implicate Kirk.
- We Used to Be Friends: Kirk and Finney were apparently on good terms as lower-level officers... until Kirk logged a dangerous negligence that Finney committed.
- Wham Line: In-Universe. "I submit to you that Benjamin Finney is not dead!"
- Writers Cannot Do Math: On the Bridge, Kirk says they will be employing a sound amplification that will magnify all sounds aboad ship on the order of "one to the fourth power"—which equals...one (and somehow the system only registers heartbeats).