The planet of Gideon has refused anything to do with the United Federation of Planets until recently. The council has agreed to allow a delegation of one...one Captain James T. Kirk. Kirk has himself beamed down to the planet only to find himself beamed aboard his own starship, sans crew. Where is everybody? Kirk searches everywhere, hails everyone he can think of. His voice over the intercom reverberates off the walls of empty rooms. Kirk searches until he finds a rather dippy blonde in sparkly blue and purple PJ's dancing by herself in the corridors. Oh, Donna! No, actually her name is Odona.
She's not sure where she's from, just that it was so crowded it made a Who
concert look tranquil. It isn't long before Kirk is Boldly Coming
. (You can bet they didn't go into that room to play Parcheesi!) Spock, meanwhile, is playing bureaucratic ping-pong for permission to search for the missing captain.
Tropes for this episode include:
- Abusive Parent: Subversion. Hodin is quite willing to make his daughter suffer and die from meningitis. However, she volunteered to do this for the good of the many.
- Adult Fear: Kirk wakes up on an empty Enterprise, all the crew members with whose safety he has been entrusted gone without a trace or any clue to what happened to them.
- Ass In Ambassador: Hodin is quite good at prolonging a crisis and insulting Scotty while he's at it.
- Berserk Button: Do not even hint to Scotty that his equipment is faulty. (Mind out of the gutter! They're talking about the transporter!)
- Curse Cut Short: Scotty bites his tongue before insulting the Gideon council before begrudgingly referring to them as "gentlemen".
- Deathbed Love Confession: Odona makes one to Kirk. Her passions cool when she realize she's not going to die after all, but has the potential to make many others sick so people can get to dying so everyone can be happy.
- Depopulation Bomb: Kirk is kidnapped by a vastly overpopulated planet who wants to use germs in his blood to drop a Depopulation Bomb on themselves. This scheme involves a large amount of Fridge Logic, when one wonders where they found the space to construct a full-scale replica of the interior of the Enterprise. And how they got the specs for the Enterprise. And why they bothered to build it at all when they could have just knocked Kirk out and taken some of his blood right after he beamed down without bothering to trick him. And...
- Distracted by the Sexy: Kirk is going mad with worry until Odona comes along. One germ swapping kiss followed by an off scene lay, and he's back to worrying about them.
- Ill Girl: Odona seeks to become one and succeeds.
- Inner Monologue: Instead of the usual Captain's Log, we hear Kirk's reverberating thoughts about what may have happened to his crew. And why does his arm hurt?
- Literary Allusion Title: A mix of two Biblical myths. Cain killed his brother, reducing the known world population to three and was forever marked for it. Gideon used arbitrary methods to reduce the size of his army.
- Metaphorically True: The Gideons never said their planet was a Paradise. They just said the atmosphere was pristine and no one was ever sick. That's what's making the place unbearable.
- Nightmare Fuel: First, Kirk must cope with the Adult Fear that the people he is responsible seem to have disappeared without a trace. And then those mysterious green faces out in space accompanied by a creepy Scare Chord. So many of them scraping up against the hull of the Enterprise, and in the vacuum of space no less! Captain Kirk hasn't had this many people rush a vehicle he was in since Shatner drove to Comic Con!
- Ontological Mystery: Kirk beamed from his ship...to his ship...or is it his ship?
- Planet of Hats: Kirk is kidnapped by a race whose universal pro-life tendencies had lead to horrible overpopulation, to the point that they tried to start a pandemic with germs from Kirk (who had been exposed to meningitis in the past). Kirk flaunts Humanity's "freedom" hat by stating categorically that he does not want to stay on this planet as their own hemlock dispenser and instead suggests using one of many forms of birth control the Federation had to offer. (Um...you remembered to use one on Odona, right, Kirk?)
- Population Control: the planet's failure to deal with this led to ridiculously extreme overcrowding (though no problems with health or resources, apparently).
- Recycled Set: Apparently a world that is overpopulated with wall-to-wall people has the space and resources to build an entire fake Enterprise just to get Kirk's blood.
- Ridiculously Long Phone Number: Are the proper co-ordinates 875020709 or 875020079?
- Send In The Search Team: Spock wants to do this to find Kirk, but neither Gideon or the Federation will give permission to do so. He decides Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right! and beams down to go In Search Of Captain Kirk himself.
- Tempting Fate: When Spock decides he will look for Kirk by himself (asking another crew member to accompany him would just get him in further trouble with Starfleet) he announces "I will not be long." Scotty points out that Kirk said the same thing. Wonder if he's seen ''Scream (1996)?
- We Will Have Euthanasia in the Future: An extremely overpopulated world is trying to set up a voluntary suicide system, starting by infecting the leader's daughter with a disease.
- What Is This Thing You Call Pain?: Odona is morbidly curious about pain and sickness, having never felt it before.
- The X of Y: The Mark Of Gideon