Recap / Star Trek S2 E23 "The Omega Glory"

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The One Where Kirk Reads The Constitution.
The Enterprise discovers its sister ship the Exeter in orbit around Omega IV, not responding to hails. Kirk, Spock, Bones and Redshirt Galloway beam straight on over without taking any isolation precautions, and 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.

Of all the TOS episodes, this is the one that was made into a ViewMaster set.

Tropes for this episode include:

  • Alien Non-Interference Clause: Kirk gives a very clear summation of the Prime Directive, and is shocked to find that Tracey has abandoned it.
  • 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.
  • All There in the Manual: In the shooting script, the main characters mention the Yangs and Kohms are too close to human to be a coincidence. They speculate they're a remnant of the early space program, setting up the ending where Kirk realizes the Yangs still have a copy of the Constitution. It's not hard to see echoes of the McCarthy era in Kirk lecturing Americans who have lost their way on what the nation's founding principles mean. But the scene was cut (possibly because it clashes with the timeline), and most viewers just rolled their eyes at the coincidence of an alien planet independently developing the US Constitution.
  • Apocalyptic Log: The Exeter's Chief Medical Officer leaves one, which cuts off as he screams in pain and collapses.
  • 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.
  • Cargo Cult: The Constitution and the American Flag are holy relics to be worshiped, while "freedom" is a holy word that Cloud William says should not be spoken by others.
  • 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.
  • Eagleland: The entire episode is built on this trope, culminating with Kirk reading the Constitution aloud.
  • Forgets to Eat: A comely Kohm lady reminds a hard at work Bones he has to eat.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: After Tracey learns all his evil deeds are All for Nothing, you can see him snap at the news and proceeds to threaten Kirk for weapons for a pointless fight on a planet they by now can leave any time.
  • The Good Guys Always Win: Lampshaded - McCoy even says that sometimes evil can triumph unless good is very careful.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: Averted. McCoy thinks his guard is not paying attention and starts to reach for a communicator. As his hand gets near the guard's very large sword stops him.
  • A God Am I: The mere prospect of immortality has given Tracey one hell of a Messiah complex.
  • 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.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Spock being able to mentally compel someone to do what he wants; the only other episodes in which he used similar powers to those were "By Any Other Name" and "A Taste of Armageddon".
  • Redshirt: Galloway survives the expedition to the Exeter, but is later murdered by Tracey to prevent him warning the Enterprise about what Tracey's up to.
  • 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.
  • Shoot the Messenger: After Kirk and company tell him that his crimes were All for Nothing, part of the reason Tracey is goes literally Axe Crazy on Kirk has got to be for telling him that bad news.
  • Skeleton Crew: The crew of the Exeter has been completely dehydrated to dust due to a virus.
  • Space Western: Both visually and in terms of the story, it resembles the genre.
  • 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.
  • Zerg Rush: Tracey says that the Yangs overpowered them with sheer numbers, and that despite draining four phasers they just kept coming.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Recap/StarTrekS2E23TheOmegaGlory