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Recap / Star Trek S2 E11 "Friday's Child"

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Dumb ways to die, so many dumb ways to die.note 

After viewing some footage and receiving a briefing on the people of Capella IV from Dr. McCoy, who was on the First Contact team, Kirk, Spock, Bones and a Redshirt with the shortest career ever beam down to negotiate with the locals. It seems the Klingons have gotten there first and the Capellans seem to have more of a rapport with them than they could ever have with Starfleet. Bones has been well versed in Capellan etiquette, but things still manage to go to Hell when Kirk saves High Teer Akaar's extremely pregnant wife from being murdered. (There is a strict taboo against men touching the wife of a Teer.) Kras the Klingon capitalizes on this, turning the rest of the Capellans against Kirk and co. Meanwhile, a Klingon ship is playing a Cat-And-Mouse game with the Enterprise.

Kirk, Bones and Spock escape into the wilderness with Eleen, the High Teer's widow, who is about to give birth any minute. After the baby is delivered, Eleen knocks out Bones and returns to the Capellans, telling them the Enterprise landing party and the baby are all dead. Her people take her at her word, but Kras demands proof. Kirk and Spock are forced to attack him with handmade bows and arrows, having surrendered their weapons. Maab decides that this is all his own fault and demands that Kras kills him. Kras is all too eager to comply and is soon killed himself. The baby is named Leonard James Akaar and pronounced the new Teer. Kirk and party succeed in arranging diplomatic relations with the people of Capella IV.


Tropes for this episode include:

  • All There in the Script: Kras' name only appears in the credits and is never spoken in the episode; he's always referred to as "the Klingon" and addressed as "Klingon".
  • Babies Make Everything Better: Aw, nothing like a newborn baby to make everyone forget the three brutal murders that just happened!
  • Baby Talk: Bones makes some "oochi-boochie-goochie!" noises for little Leonard James. Spock is completely mystified.
  • Big Damn Heroes: The day is saved by Scotty and a team of Redshirts.
  • Blatant Lies: Kras tells Kirk he just wants peace all the while trying to stab him.
  • Clean, Pretty Childbirth: Not only are McCoy's hands, sleeves, and shirt not spattered with all kinds of bodily fluids and solids, Eleen's clothing doesn't even look any worse for the wear. She's climbing freaking mountains within hours of giving birth, which any mother will tell you is reality being very unrealistic. This was supposed to illustrate the Capellans' enormous strength and stamina.
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  • Deadly Disc: The Capellans utilize these.
  • Death Seeker: Maab's demand to be killed by Kras has shades of Ritual Suicide.
  • Expospeak Gag: this conversation between Kirk and Spock.
    Spock: It is fortunate indeed that this bark has good tensile qualities.
    Kirk: You mean it makes a good bowstring?
    Spock: I believe I said that, Captain.
  • I'm a Doctor, Not a Placeholder: "I'm a doctor, not an escalator!"
  • Imperiled in Pregnancy: A usurper named Ma'ab kills Aka'ar, the Teer (tribal king), in a successful coup. (Kirk wisely takes this in stride, saying only "If you lead these people now, be sure you make the right decisions.") He then demands Aka'ar's pregnant wife Eleen and her unborn son killed, as the unborn son is Aka'ar's heir of succession, and Kirk, Spock and McCoy have to go on the run with Eleen to keep her safe.
  • Improvised Weapon: Kirk and Spock make primitive bows and arrows out of wood they find in the wild.
  • In the Original Klingon: Chekov claims that the saying "Fool me once, shame on me, fool me twice, shame on you" was "inwented in Russia". On this occasion, at least, he's obviously kidding.
  • Lampshade Hanging: At the end of the episode Spock mentions the potential complications if the Capellans ever realize Eleen's son is technically Bones', not Akaar's, by their cultural rules. When Scotty asks how that could possibly be true Kirk admits they have no idea.
  • Last-Minute Baby Naming: At the end of the episode, Eleen decides to name her son in honor of McCoy and Kirk. The decision happens offscreen, so it's not clear whether she hadn't already picked a name (perhaps that would have been Akaar's privilege if he'd lived) or the events of the episode made her change her mind.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: At the end, after the baby is named "Leonard James Akaar".
    Kirk: Yes. I think it’s a name destined to go down in galactic history, Leonard. What do you think, Spock?
  • Madness Mantra: Eleen explains that "Here, child belongs to husband," a rule that McCoy dismisses as "poppycock!" He tells her to say "The child is mine." She insists on "The child is yours." When he thinks it's a language problem, she looks at him seriously and says "Yes, McCoy, it's yours." Uh oh.
  • May–December Romance: Akaar praises Eleen for giving an old man such as him a child.
  • Not So Stoic: Spock's reaction to the baby's name is priceless:
    Spock: (shocked) The child was named Leonard James Akaar?
    Bones: Has a kind of a ring to it, don't you think, James?
    Kirk: Yes. I think it's a name destined to go down in galactic history, Leonard. What do you think, Spock?
    Spock: I think you're both going to be insufferably pleased with yourselves for at least a month… sir.
  • Pregnant Badass: Eleen has her moments. She's able to go rock climbing while in labor and Bones is more tired than she is after the delivery.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: The Capellans. Kras paints the Klingons this way, and utterly fails to live up to that description himself.
  • Redshirt: Grant doesn't even survive The Teaser.
  • Sacred Hospitality: The Capellans take this seriously. Kras breaks it and dooms himself. It's also how the Redshirt gets killed, by pointing his weapon at the unarmed Kras while he's their guest.
  • Schmuck Bait: Scotty thinks it a bit odd that a distress call from a freighter would specifically ask for the Enterprise.
  • Strange Salute: The typical Capella greeting is holding one's fist over one's heart, then showing an open hand. "We come with open hearts and hands."
  • Three-Month-Old Newborn: Little Leonard James.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The episode's redshirt draws on the unarmed Kras while the latter is under the Capellans' protection. When Kirk gets upset at them about it Spock actually points this out. SF Debris sums up the stupidity of the whole incident perfectly:
    Kirk: He was young...and inexperienced!
    Chuck!Kirk: And that's why I brought him on this mission, where the utmost care was required, because I'm an idiot!
  • Translation Convention: One of the few episodes where it's plain the Capellans are speaking their own language, which McCoy understands. When the Klingons and Earthmen each state their case before Akaar, Kras speaks of Terrans as weaklings who are afraid of death and offer nothing of value; McCoy then says "What Maab has said is true; our ways are different. What the Klingon says is unimportant, and we do not hear his words." Amid general laughter, McCoy steps back, muttering to Kirk "I just called the Klingon a liar."
  • Unobtainium: The only reason they're on this planet of towering hats in the first place. How are these substances "vital" when they're so rare?
    • They were there to negotiate the dilithium crystals that were on the planet. They were considered a form of Worthless Yellow Rocks to the Capellans, since Maab talked about the Klingon and the Federation people offering trade items for their "stones."
  • Would Hit a Girl: After Eleen bitch-slaps him twice, Bones returns with a slap of his own. He later calls it a "right cross". While it wasn't that violent, it did garner some respect from his hitherto reluctant patient. Maybe that's why he did it in the first place.


Example of: