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Recap / Star Trek S2 E18 "The Immunity Syndrome"

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What the hell is that?
Kirk and the Enterprise are due to go on shore leave soon, but are interrupted when they get a hail from Starfleet asking them to investigate the disappearance of solar system Gamma 7A. They also get a garbled message from the Vulcan science vessel the Intrepid consisting only of the ship's name and co-ordinates. After they lose contact with the Intrepid, Spock feels a great disturbance in the Force, as if 400 Vulcans suddenly cried out in terror, then were suddenly silenced.

It is soon revealed that the Intrepid and the missing solar system were all devoured by a giant space amoeba. This amoeba is likened to an infection upon the universe and the Enterprise are the anti-bodies to take it out. Just one question: Who's going to fly a shuttle straight into the maw of an energy devouring mass?

The Fan Nickname for this episode, as immortalized in Melonpoolnote , is "The One with... the Giant Space Amoeba".


Tropes for this episode include:

  • All There in the Script: Although the name was cut from the final draft, the captain of the USS Intrepid was named Satak.
  • Anti Matter: When you absolutely, positively have to kill every motherfucking space wedgie in the universe, accept no substitutes.
  • Bottled Heroic Resolve: Bones gives stim shots to any one who's had their energy sapped. He warns Kirk that he's going to pop if he takes any more.
  • Bottle Episode: Almost all of the action is on board the star ship Enterprise with a few scenes of Spock in a shuttle craft.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: Kirk's annoyance at Spock's refusal to speculate about what they're up against produces the seemingly redundant statement, "'Insufficient data' is not sufficient".
  • Eureka Moment: Kirk and McCoy's conversation about the Enterprise being one of the galaxy's antibodies inspires Kirk to try antimatter against the amoeba.
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  • From Bad to Worse: The idea that the giant, energy-sucking space amoeba can reproduce, meaning that the galaxy could end up overrun with giant space amoebae.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: Scotty apologizes to the captain after letting loose a "What the devil...?" Granted, he was still yelling at his captain.
  • Hell Is That Noise: Bad enough the amoeba has to steal your energy, it has to subject you to skull numbing noise while it's doing it!
  • Lost in Transmission: Spock's final transmission from the shuttlecraft cuts out just as he's about to explain how the thing can be killed, leaving Kirk to have to come up with the solution on his own.
  • Martyr Without a Cause: Spock accuses Bones of having a martyr complex, perhaps being a bit hypocritical while he's at it as he is also volunteering for a Suicide Mission.
  • Mega-Microbes: The space amoeba.
  • A Million Is a Statistic: Spock cannot fathom why humans are more upset over one death than several deaths.
  • Minimalist Cast: This is one of the few episodes with no guest cast whatsoever. Recurrer Lt. Kylenote , usually the transporter chief, fills in for the absent Sulunote  at the Helm.
  • More Expendable Than You: There is scientific knowledge to be gained, but Spock and McCoy are still fighting each other for the chance to die.
  • My Significance Sense Is Tingling: Spock sensing the deaths of everyone on the Intrepid.
  • Negative Space Wedgie: The space amoeba.
  • No OSHA Compliance: Why aren't there any seat belts on the Enterprise? No less than 3 incidents on this episode alone (plus a near Panty Shot from Uhura) proves that they are very needed.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Spock finally gives one to Bones, calling him out on A Million Is a Statistic.
  • Rousing Speech: The amoeba has been sapping personal energy as well as the ship's energy. Kirk has to give the tired and disoriented crew a pep talk.
  • Sadistic Choice: Kirk has to decide which of his two best friends have to go into a situation that could very well kill them.
  • Send in the Search Team: The Enterprise is sent to find out what happened to solar system Gamma 7A, and to the previous ship sent to investigate.
  • Snarking Thanks: Spock takes a shuttlecraft inside the giant space amoeba, but falls out of contact. When the Enterprise is leaving the amoeba after planting a bomb, it passes by the shuttlecraft and Captain Kirk decides to use a Tractor Beam to save Spock. When Spock protests, Dr. McCoy says "Shut up, Spock! We're rescuing you!". Spock replies "Why thank you, Captain McCoy".
  • Snark-to-Snark Combat: Bones and Spock always have a little of this, but it's particularly acidic in this episode.
  • Suicide Mission: Whoever flies a shuttle into the amoeba to find its weak points might not come back alive.
  • Time Bomb: The Enterprise fires a probe into the ameoba's nucleus. It's fitted with an Anti Matter bomb equipped with a delayed detonation feature, giving the ship time to get away before it goes off (they hope).
  • Video Wills: Kirk and Spock simultaneously record them while preparing to destroy the amoeba.

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