Recap: Star Trek S3E2 "The Enterprise Incident"

Spock and the Romulan Commander, engaging in what's considered in their respective cultures to be "doin' the nasty."
It's another day on the Enterprise, and Kirk's acting like he had an extra helping of bitch flakes for breakfast. This becomes especially evident when he orders the ship to fly straight into Romulan space, a direct violation of the peace treaty. Of course, they soon find themselves surrounded by Romulan ships demanding their surrender. Kirk tries to B.S. the (female) Romulan commander by saying it was all a big mistake due to equipment failure. Spock rats him out, saying it was deliberate, resulting in Kirk doing a passable impression of Achmed the Dead Terrorist. Bones comes aboard just in time to see Kirk attempt to carry out his threat, only to be thwarted by the Vulcan Death Grip (tm). "You're dead, Jim!"

...Or is he?

This episode is notable for marking the on-air debut of the Klingon D-7 Battle Cruiser... being flown by the Romulans! In-story, this is briefly explained by Spock relaying a Starfleet Intelligence report that confirms that Romulans now have Klingon ships in their fleet. Although the ship was designed and used in "Elaan of Troyius", which was the second episode produced for the third season ("The Enterprise Incident" was the fourth), "Elaan" would be the thirteenth episode aired, after the D-7 appeared again in "Day of the Dove". The 2006 remastered series would retroactively add D-7s to earlier episodes such as "Errand of Mercy" and "The Trouble with Tribbles".

Tropes for this episode include:

  • 2-D Space: The Enterprise is surrounded by three ships, which should still leave them free to go up or down.
  • Cannot Tell a Lie: Discussed. The Romulan Commander asks Spock if it's true that Vulcans are incapable of lying, and he replies that they are incapable of making statements that they know to be untrue, but are capable of selectively withholding the truth. He then proceeds to lie like a rug for the rest of the scene.
  • Captain's Log: The opening narration is a medical log read by Dr. McCoy, deviating from the norm.
  • Chair Reveal: My God, the Romulan warbird is piloted by...a beautiful woman!
  • Corpsing: Kirk breathes awful deeply for a dead man. Then again, he's not yet dead....
  • Department of Redundancy Department:
    "Execution of state criminals is both painful...and unpleasant."
  • Duel of Seduction: Oddly, it's not Kirk trying to seduce the Girl of the Week this time. It's Spock!
  • Eye Awaken: Nurse Chapel is shocked when the supposedly dead Kirk suddenly opens his eyes.
  • Face Death with Dignity: After announcing what he's really been up to, Spock calmly ask the Romulans what their preferred method of execution is.
  • Faking the Dead: Kirk. Even his own crew isn't in on it. Dr. McCoy lampshades a real danger with this kind of trick that most people don't think of, "You're lucky they didn't do an autopsy on you."
  • Fate Worse Than Death: The Romulan commander hints that their interrogation methods would leave Kirk either dead or worse.
  • First Name Basis: The Romulan commander whispers her first name to Spock. He comments on the name's beauty, but it is never revealed.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: Romulan!Kirk gets past three of them. Granted, each one is more competent than the last, but still...
  • Holding the Floor: Spock stalls for time by invoking the Romulan tradition of "Right of Statement", i.e., the last words of a condemned man.
  • I'll Kill You!:
    Kirk (to Spock): I'll KILL YOU! KILL YOU!
  • Intertwined Fingers: For Vulcans, this is practically sex. Romulans get off on it too.
  • Jerkass: Kirk acts like one as per his Sealed Orders.
  • Leave No Survivors: The Romulan Commander demands that everyone on the Enterprise be destroyed, including herself.
  • Look Behind You: Kirk pulls this on a Romulan trying to stop him from taking the cloaking device.
  • Never Give the Captain a Straight Answer: McCoy calls Scotty, who's in acting command of the Enterprise, to sickbay, and refuses to explain in advance why. Justified in this case because he's being called down so he can be let into the conspiracy surrounding Kirk's fake death, which McCoy can hardly tell him over the intercom.
  • No, Mr. Bond, I Expect You to Dine: The Romulan commander invites Spock to dinner in her personal quarters. She tries to get to him Through His Stomach by offering him traditional Vulcan fare.
  • No Name Given: The Romulan Commander. Not even in the script is her name revealed.
  • Obfuscating Insanity: Kirk pretends to go off the deep end to explain why he ordered the ship into Romulan space.
  • Plug And Play Technology: The Romulan cloaking device is compatible with a Federation ship? Maybe Scotty has an adapter in his bag of tricks.
  • Sealed Orders: Kirk receives them from Starfleet, explaining his erratic behavior.
  • Some Kind of Force Field: The doorway of the brig on the Romulan ship is covered by a forcefield that's invisible except when Kirk tries to get through it.
  • Staged Shooting: There's no such thing as a Vulcan Death Grip! They can stun the neural system to simulate death, however.
  • Take Our Word for It: Spock's reaction to the Romulan Commander's name.
  • Taking You with Me: Scotty threatens this if the Romulans try to capture the Enterprise.
  • Two of Your Earth Minutes: The Romulans initially give the Enterprise "one of your hours" to surrender.
  • Unfinished, Untested, Used Anyway: Scotty hooking up the cloaking device. It doesn't work immediately, but he still makes it happen.
  • We Will Not Use Stage Make-Up in the Future: Starting a tradition that will be followed in the next generation, Kirk has himself surgically altered to look like a Romulan and ends the episode by going to have his ears bobbed.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The two Romulan guards that were beamed over in exchange for Kirk and Spock are presumably still in the brig at the end of the episode (one in his skivvies, since Kirk needed to borrow his uniform to sneak around on the Romulan ship).
  • Worthy Opponent: The Romulan Commander. She also views Kirk this way.
  • You're Insane!: The Romulan Commander says "You must be mad!" to Spock after he betrays her. He denies it.