Recap: Star Trek S1 E24 "This Side of Paradise"
AKA "The One Where Spock Got High On Spores And Smacked Kirk Around".
The Enterprise arrives in orbit of Omicron Ceti III, planning to recover the bodies and record the destruction no doubt left by the deadly, flesh-destroying Berthold rays. Our Power Trio plus Sulu, DeSalle and Kilowitz beam down to find, surprise! Everyone is alive and well. A little too alive and well. A quick check up by Bones shows the leader of the colony is healthier than he was when he left earth. Apparently, Elias has been taking appendix growing lessons from David Lister. Oh, and yet another blonde bombshell is head over heels for Spock.There are unusual things about this farm. On this farm they have no animals, e-i-e-i-o. With no chick-chick here, no moo moo there, not an oink, not a baa, nowhere a quack quack. And Kirk is so disappointed there's no horsies to ride! Well, he can always look at all the hoes...that the men are using to tend the fields with. According to DeSalle, they have grown just enough to sustain themselves.Leila talks Spock into going flower picking with her. She shows him one particular flower. Leila, She's got Spock on his knees, Leila. Then he tells her "I love you."
Tropes for this episode include:
- Blondes Are Evil: Leila is a bit Yandere for Spock, tricking him into inhaling will-sapping spores to make him love her. She is perhaps not completely evil. She was influenced by the spores herself and showed concern when Spock showed unexpected pain when exposed to the spores. Also it helps that she'd had an unrequited crush on him years before, which the spores' influence brought out fully. In the end, she realizes that she has no choice but to let Spock go.
- Bling of War: Kirk has some that he looks at while he's packing. It snaps him out of the spores' influence.
- Blunt "Yes": Kirk warns a red shirt lined up to beam down against orders he's committing mutiny. "Yes, sir. It is" the crewman calmly replies.
- Break Her Heart To Save Her: Spock breaks up with Leila, causing an emotional reaction in her to overcome the influence of the spores.
- Crapsaccharine World: The Omicron Ceti III colony.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Kirk gets his ass handed to him by Spock, only surviving because Spock shook off the spores.Kirk: Anyhow, I don't know what you're so mad about. It isn't every first officer that gets to belt his captain...several times.
- Deadpan Snarker: Bones gets a couple. Of the living and walking Elias, Bones says that it's his professional opinion that this man is alive. When Elias tells him they don't need a doctor, Bones responds "Oh, no? Would you like to see how fast I can put you in a hospital?"
- Dramatic Downstage Turn: Appears in a conversation between Leila and Spock near the end of the episode.
- Dramatic Irony: Sulu comments that he knows so little about farms he wouldn't know if anything was wrong if it were just 2 feet away from him. Just 2 feet away from him are the spore-producing flowers.
- Everybody Must Get Stoned: Something was in the air that made an irradiated planet inhabitable, but made everyone happy and wanting to stay forever—except Captain Kirk.
- The Final Temptation: The spores make people happy, at the cost of giving up any ambition to accomplish anything beyond personal comfort.
- Forgotten Phlebotinum: In a pretty standard Trek move; a planet where you can send people to restore them to perfect health (including regrowing internal organs) is never considered as a potential solution to future health based problems.
- In fact it bears a striking resemblance to the effect of the later "metaphasic radiation" in Star Trek: Insurrection.
- Gaussian Girl: When Leila shows up, the camera lens is suddenly smeared in Vaseline and the romantic flutes start playing.
- Half-Breed Discrimination: Kirk invoked this, insulting Spock's parentage to anger him so he snap out of the spores' influence.
- I Am What I Am: Spock tells Leila "I am what I am, Leila. And if there are self-made purgatories, then we all have to live in them. Mine can be no worse than someone else's."
- Kirk Summation: "Man stagnates if he has no ambition, no desire to be more than he is."
- At the end, with a whole bunch of cliches too, the page quote for No Challenge Equals No Satisfaction. Spock points out that such poetic talk is 'nonregulation.' What else is new?
- Lawful Stupid/Loophole Abuse: Invoked and averted during Kirk and Spock's discussion after their fight.Spock: Captain...striking a fellow officer is a Court Martial offense.Kirk: Well...if we're both in the brig, who's going to build the device?Spock: ...Quite logical, Captain.
- No Challenge Equals No Satisfaction: Page quote.
- OOC Is Serious Business: Spock's flippancy concerns Kirk. The spores soon make everyone act OOC. Even the reliably cranky Bones becomes an easygoing good ol' boy (with thick Georgia drawl to boot).
- Product Placement: Kirk's suitcase is a Samsonite (TM), a luggage so durable it can take a beating from a grown Mugato!
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Kirk has to deal a vicious one to Spock in order to piss him off enough to get over the spores' influence. An unusual case in that he didn't actually mean it.
- Send in the Search Team: How the episode started.
- Settling the Frontier: The Enterprise on a rescue mission to a Federation colony, supposedly endangered by deadly radiation.
- Space Amish: No motorized vehicles. Either We Will Use Manual Labor in the Future, or the spores make you forget how to drive.
- No animals either-since the spores couldn't affect them they all died from the radiation.
- Stepford Smiler: Everyone under spore influence, but especially Uhura, who cheerfully tells Kirk how she disabled the communications systems.
- That Cloud Looks Like: Spock (under the influence of spores) and Leila go cloud gazing. Spock remarks that one looks very much like a dragon (in this universe, dragons are real, but all live on the planet Berengaria Seven). Unfortunately, to see what this scene looks like, you have to get the DVD!
- The Unpronounceable: Leila asks Spock if he has another name. He tells her she couldn't pronounce it. Of course, you'll have to Take Our Word for It
- Spockanalia, a late-60's fanzine, established Spock's last name as "Xtmprszntwlfd." Unpronounceable, indeed.
- Another fanzine suggested "Spock" is his last name, and his first name is something embarrassing, like "Harold."
- Your Mom: When trying to anger Spock, Kirk tells him his father was a computer and his mother an encyclopedia.