Recap / Star Trek S3 E19 "Requiem for Methuselah"
Our usual Power Trio
beams down to Holberg 917-G in search for ryetalyn, the antidote for the disease ravaging the Enterprise
crew. It seems now everyone has trouble sitting still and focusing on...no, wait, that's what they'd need Ritalin
for. Sorry. Actually, the disease is Rigellian fever and has already killed three crewmen off screen. (We are to assume they all wore Red Shirts
.) It was assumed from previous scans that the planet was uninhabited. However, not only is Spock's tricorder picking up life signs, but they are greeted by a flying robot that resembles a two foot tall metallic Mayor McCheese.
They are soon introduced to a man who only gives the name Flint. He brings Kirk and co. to his well appointed home and tells them to help themselves to brandy. No, Brandy is not the name of the blonde bombshell watching them on closed circuit TV (on a very snazzy flatscreen, no less). Her name is Rayna Kapec, however, Kirk
will indeed help himself to her.
While Bones inspects the promised ryetalyn
, finding it to look remarkably like sno cone syrup, Spock inspects the paintings, writings and sheet music in Flint's home. He concludes that these paintings don't just look like the work of Leonardo Da Vinci, they are
the work of Leonardo, even though they were made recently. Same with the sheet music: it doesn't just sound like Brahms, it is
Brahms. Kirk, meanwhile, inspects Rayna, a young lady that Flint has introduced him to.
Tropes from this episode include:
- Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: Leonardo da Vinci, Brahms, and many other historical artists were actually the same person, a human gifted with immortality.
- Can't Hold His Liquor: Bones jokingly accuses Spock of being like this.
- Characterization Marches On: Rayna is the last Girl of the Week for Captain Kirk in the series proper and even for the rest of his tenure in the movie era. Given the Downer Ending and his reflection on his behavior, it might be somewhat appropriate.
- Conveniently Timed Attack from Behind: Flint's guardian robot catches Kirk and Rayna together and prepares to fire. Kirk moves Rayna away and prepares for the attack. Then, pow! The robot explodes with sparks, and we see Spock standing in the doorway, phaser in hand.
- Dance of Romance: Kirk and Rayna waltz while Spock plays the piano.
- Dumb Blonde: Subverted, then played with. Flint boasts that Rayna is the smartest woman in the universe, having enough intelligence to hold seventeen different degrees. She is, however, lacking in even the basest practical experience due to being cut off from the universe. Of course, her high IQ is due to being an android. She's not even a real blonde! All of the Rayna series are bald and wear wigs.
- Famous, Famous, Fictional:
- Spock identifies the artworks in Flints' collection as "the works of Leonardo da Vinci, Renaissance period, some of the works of Reginald Pollack, 20th century, and even a Sten from Marcus Two."
- Five of the names Flint credits to himself are historical or mythological; the sixth is "Abramson."
- Fate Worse Than Death: How Kirk views suspended animation.
- Hikikomori: An unusual case. Flint keeps an entire planet to himself without interacting with the universe. Well, after a six thousand year life span, maybe he's just tired of it all.
- Hands-On Approach: How Rayna shows Kirk how to play billiards.
- I Have Many Names: Flint lists many of the people he has been over the years.
- I Need a Freaking Drink: Bones needs one when Spock says he believes he is experiencing an emotion. The ultra rare Saurian brandy will do.
- Julius Beethoven da Vinci: Flint claims to have been, among others, Johannes Brahms, William Shakespeare, Leonardo da Vinci, Merlin, Lazarus, Alexander the Great, King Solomon, and Methuselah. His birth name was Akharin, a Summerian soldier.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: Kirk is so upset over what happened, Spock Mind Melds with him and says "Forget." Let's hope Kirk doesn't say "Oh, crap, we forgot the ryetalin!" and turn back to start things all over again.
- Little "No": Rayna gives one in protest to Flint harming Kirk or his crew.
- Logic Bomb: For a change, Kirk didn't mean to drop one and in fact dropped one on himself. When he realized the truth about Rayna, he told himself he couldn't love her, and yet he did. As for Rayna, the strain of having to decide between two men she loved caused a mental breakdown.
- Magical Security Cam: When Rayna and later Flint are watching the away team on the security monitor, it zooms, pans, and changes angle just the same as the bits where the camera is showing the audience the away team directly.
- May-December Romance: The romance between Flint and Rayna would be an extreme version of this. He is over 6000 years old. She's maybe not even a year old.
- Mayfly-December Romance: Avoiding this is what drives Flint to create a Robot Girl as a lover.
- Metaphorically True: Flint said at first he lived alone. Of course, he meant alone except for his family.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Rivals: Flint created the Robot Girl Rayna Kapec to be a companion for himself. He guided her and James T. Kirk into falling in love with each other to awaken her emotions, then planned to take over. He and Kirk end up in a fight over her, and during the fight she is so stressed out over having to choose between them that she malfunctions and dies.
- No, Mr. Bond, I Expect You to Dine: Flint invites Kirk and co. in for brandy and later, dinner.
- Reality Changing Miniature: Flint reduces the Enterprise to a tiny model, which puts the crew into suspended animation.
- Recycled In Space: It's The Tempest in space — except when it's Bluebeard in space.
- Robotic Reveal: Spock tries to prevent Kirk from finding out the truth, knowing what it will do to his fragile human mind. Kirk soon finds the Rayna duplicates, revealing the truth.
- Shout-Out: Rayna's last name Kapec is a reference to Karel Capek, the sci-fi writer who coined the term "robot" with his play R.U.R..
- Title Requiem: The episode is called "Requiem for Methuselah", an allusion to the Biblical Methuselah, who was reported to have lived for 969 years.
- Warts and All: Not only was Flint once Solomon, Alexander, Merlin, Leonardo, Lazarus, and several other beloved historical figures, he also rubbed elbows with Socrates, Moses, Jesus, Galileo and William Shakespeare. It's somewhat heartbreaking to see this same man shun humankind as well as threaten the Enterprise crew, exploit Kirk's attraction to Rayna, intentionally withhold the antidote that Kirk needs to save his crew, all for some manipulative game he was playing, and then resort to a fistfight with Kirk. But in the end, Kirk ended up pitying him far more than hating him: "an old and lonely man..."
- What Is This Thing You Call Love?: Rayna does not understand love. All she knows about lonliness is that Flint tells her it is "Thirst, a flower dying in the desert." Spock feels a pang of envy for the first time in his life.
- What Measure Is a Human?: Kirk admits that Rayna's only flaw is that she's not human. Seconds later, he is defending her right to individuality and free will as he would any sentient being.
- Who Wants to Live Forever?: Flint has gathered the experience and knowledge of the finest minds in history. He has read every available book, studied every art and science until he mastered them. And yet, he must deal with unbearable loneliness.
- Wife Husbandry: Appears this way at first. Flint claims to have raised Rayna. In reality, he built and programmed her.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Flint says as much when Kirk finally gets Rayna in touch with her emotions. Imagine The Tempest if Prospero were an incestuous bastard.