Kirk, Spock, Bones and Galloway
find that the entire crew of the Exeter
has been reduced to dust and uniforms. An Apocalyptic Log
left behind tells them that if they are hearing this, they are doomed. They are now infected with the same virus that killed the crew and the only possible hope of surviving is to beam down to Omega IV. Kirk and co. beam down in search of a cure and find Ronald Tracey, the former captain of the Exeter
, ruling among the Kohms, who are at war with the Yangs.
Tracey has developed a taste for power and immortality, and he's not going to let petty things like the Prime Directive
, basic morals or a certain charismatic Starfleet captain stand in his way.
Tropes for this episode include:
- All for Nothing: That's what Tracey finds out when Dr. McCoy tells him that the extreme lifespan of the natives is a product of natural evolution and there is no serum to isolate.
- Apocalyptic Log
- Ax-Crazy: Literally. When the phaser doesn't work, Tracey comes after Kirk with an ax.
- Big Damn Heroes: Sulu and two Redshirts who don't have time to die beam in in the nick of time.
- Bizarre Alien Biology: Tracey tries to use the fact that Vulcan hearts are not located in the chest as a way of convincing the Yangs that Spock is a demon.
- Crowning Music of Awesome: The fight music from "Amok Time" returns. We also get a few bars of "The Star Spangled Banner" when the Yangs bring out their flag- which looks familiar....
- Deadpan Snarker: Spock is so deadpan in this ep, it's hard to tell if he's being snarky or serious.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: Yangs = Yankees, Kohms = Communists
- Forgets to Eat: A comely Kohm lady reminds a hard at work Bones he has to eat.
- The Good Guys Always Win: Lampshaded.
- Genre Savvy: The natives know The Good Guys Always Win.
- A God Am I: The mere prospect of immortality has given Tracey one hell of a Messiah complex.
- Hey, It's That Guy!: Tracey looks a lot like that guy from "Dagger of the Mind" who Spock mind melded with.
- Immortality Immorality: Tracey is willing to kill for the immortality he believes he will have on this planet, only for Bones to tell him that it's an evolutionary trait of the natives. All the atmosphere did was eradicate one virus.
- Jail Break: The concrete is old and weak.
- Large Ham: Kirk orders a large one in his impassioned speech on the rights of man.
- Moral Event Horizon: Tracey was already tap dancing on it, but he crossed it when he killed Galloway.
- New Powers as the Plot Demands: Spock has never been able to mentally compel someone to do what he wanted before, and never does again.
- He uses similar powers in "By Any Other Name" and "A Taste of Armageddon".
- Redshirt: Come on, did you really think Galloway was getting out of this episode alive?
- Sacred Scripture: The "Worship Words", which are based on the Pledge of Allegiance and the preamble of the Constitution.
- Send In The Search Team: How the episode begins.
- Skeleton Crew: The crew of the Exeter has been completely dehydrated to dust due to a virus.
- Tattered Flag: The one at the end held by the Yangs.
- Trial by Combat: It is written that good always overcomes evil, so Tracey and Kirk have to prove who's right by fighting over a knife stuck in the floor. Kirk wins, but spares Tracey's life.