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Recap / Star Trek S3 E11 "Wink of an Eye"

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See? The camera is tilted. That means something wonky is going on.

Original air date: November 29, 1968

The Enterprise answers a distress call from planet Scalos, only to find there's no one there. No life forms detected, though there are signs of a great civilization- and a strange buzzing sound, though not even insect life has been detected. Then Crewman Compton breaks rule one of visiting a foreign land. "Don't drink the water!" However, instead of getting a case of Montezuma's Revenge, Compton just vanishes into thin air. Don't worry, this Red Shirt isn't dead...yet.

The rest go back to the Enterprise to find that the life support system has been infiltrated and surrounded by Some Kind of Force Field. Kirk, Spock and two Red Shirts investigate. Said force field refuses to let anybody but Spock and Kirk near. The Red Shirts breathe a sigh of relief as Kirk and Spock investigate. They don't learn much as it seems whoever is letting them in will allow them to look at the system, but not touch.

A crewman is missing. The life support system is being threatened. There's an annoying buzzing sound in the air. What's a captain to do? Why, have a cup of coffee, of course!

And that's when Kirk's troubles start getting really strange...

Wink of a Trope:

  • Affectionate Pickpocket: The first time Kirk starts going along with Deela's attempts to get snuggly with him, it's an attempt to steal her phaser, but she realizes this in time to stop him getting it and is even amused by the attempt. Later on he's able to grab it when going to take her hand, after she's let her guard down.
  • The Air Not There: Not even an attempt at explanation.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Kirk gets his ship back but Deela points out that the Federation will now quarantine the planet, condemning the Scalosians to extinction. In fairness Kirk did offer all the scientific resources of the Federation to Deela earlier, but she didn't think they would be any good.
  • All There in the Manual: Semi-canonical blueprints of the Enterprise (such as the Star Fleet Technical Manual) have the bridge equipped with a stairwell or emergency floor hatch, which explains how Kirk could get to the rest of the ship after being hyper-accelerated without having to wait a subjective week or two for the turbo-lift.
  • Artistic License – Nuclear Physics: The only thing radiation poisoning will accelerate is the time of your own death.
  • Beam Spam: Kirk, Spock and a couple of redshirts sweep a corridor on stun in an attempt to flush out the intruders.
  • Boldly Coming: It's episodes like this that gave Captain Kirk the reputation he has today! However in this case it's justified, as Kirk needs to spin things out with Deela so his crew can rescue him. Deela in turn wants a fertile male and is also trying to seduce Kirk to their side.
  • Bottle Episode: Almost the whole episode takes place on the Enterprise. The scenes on Scalos only required a city backdrop and a fountain.
  • Blasting It Out of Their Hands: After sidestepping Kirk's phaser blast, Deela produces her own weapon which she says can also stun or kill. However it instead does something to make Kirk's phaser launch vertically out of his hand.
  • Bullet Time: Predates The Matrix! OK, so it's a phaser blast rather than a bullet, but it's the same principle.
  • Captain Obvious: "You seem to be moving very slowly." Spock points out twice. Granted, it only seemed that way, as Spock was actually moving really fast.
  • Captain's Log: Recorded by Scotty in the big chair, as Kirk is planetside at the time.
  • Doctor's Orders: Kirk really doesn't want to drop everything to have a physical, but Bones name drops the trope and points out that a physical for everyone in the landing party was Kirk's own order.
  • Duel of Seduction: Kirk is trying to delay Deela, while Deela is trying to seduce Kirk into accepting his situation. Both are well aware of the other's agenda but enjoy it regardless.
  • Dutch Angle: The Dutch angle is used as a general indicator for when we're watching someone in the accelerated time stream. When Kirk and Spock start to hyper-accelerate, the picture tilts as the people around them slow down.
  • Fashionable Asymmetry: Hey, Will, you forgot to give Deela's costume a sleeve and a pant leg!
  • Foe Romance Subtext: When Kirk demands "Who Are You?", Deela responds with "The enemy" and gives him a Big Damn Kiss. She fully enjoys his attempts to break free of her control and the Duel of Seduction that follows.
  • Fragile Speedster: The accelerated state the Scalosians, et al., operate at means that any kind of cellular damage (particularly that resulting from physical trauma) would lead to an injured person going into rapid aging and subsequent death. Presumably, Deela asked Kirk off-screen to be gentle...
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: Deela seems to consider herself a queen, albeit of a planet where she has only four subjects. It would be folly to argue with her.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Rael is jealous of Deela's overt affection for Kirk, and at one point tries to kill him.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: Compton starts out as an ordinary loyal crewman. After being hyper-accelerated, he takes the Scalosians' side and tries to keep Kirk away from their alterations to the ship's environmental controls. Then when Kirk fights his way past him and is stunned by the other Scalosians, he instinctively attacks them.
  • Hell Is That Noise: Kirk is bothered by what seems to be a buzzing insect on Scalos, but when he hears it again on the Enterprise, and Bones assures him he's not imaging it, he realises it's an intruder who has followed them up from the planet. Spock realises what has happened when he speeds up the tape of the Distress Call and gets the same sound.
  • Human Popsicle: The device the Ekor have installed on the Enterprise will freeze the crew, so the Scalosians can use them as needed.
  • I Know You Know I Know: Deela knows that Kirk sabotaged the transporter to buy time, but has no problem pretending otherwise.
  • I Love You Because I Can't Control You: Deela seems disappointed when Kirk seems to have "accepted" the situation, saying she liked him better when he acted independent and exasperating.
  • It's the Only Way: The only way to find out if the antidote works is to drink it.
  • Lampshade Hanging: It's a Gene Coon show so it has a sense of humor about itself, even though Kirk's pissed off with the whole thing, with Della having an almost refreshingly honest excuse for kidnapping Kirk (he's pretty) and Shatner's dramatic pauses getting teased.
  • Large Ham: Kirk's slow and deliberate diction marked with...several...dramatic pauses, gets spoofed with Deela hurrying him and finishing his sentences for him.
  • Magical Security Cam:
    • When Spock reviews the events to confirm his theory about the buzzing noise, he watches footage of the landing party on Scalos which is recycled from the teaser. No indication is given of who is supposed to have taken this footage in-universe, though it was presumably recorded on their tricorders.
    • When the crew play the recording that Kirk left behind, it even includes the dramatic zoom in to Kirk's face when Deela reveals You Are Too Late.
  • Meaningful Background Event: Having finished taking samples, Compton can be seen splashing his face with water from the fountain.
  • Must Have Caffeine: Even with the Enterprise under threat, Kirk still wants his coffee! A need for caffeine must be a constant for Starfleet captains.
  • Never Give the Captain a Straight Answer: Justified; Bones doesn't want to announce over the intercom that someone has been rifling their medical supplies; instead he has Nurse Chapel tell the captain directly.
  • Not Brainwashed: Kirk pretends to have 'adjusted' to the situation, but it's just a ploy so he can make a grab for her weapon again.
  • Nothing Up My Sleeve because We Will Not Have Pockets in the Future: Deela carries her handweapon in a fold in the single sleeve of her dress. Kirk is eventually able to wrest it off her by reaching over to hold hands.
  • Only You Can Repopulate My Race: The condition that causes Scalosians to live at hyper speed also causes male infertility, so the Scalosians lure starships with a false distress call and then kidnap the male crew for breeding purposes.
  • Plot Hole: So no one on the bridge noticed that phaser shot coming out of nowhere and apparently aimed at no-one?
  • Pun: From the last person we'd expect:
    Spock: I found it an incredibly accelerating (exhilarating) experience.
  • Rapid Aging: When Compton is slightly hurt during his scuffle with Kirk and the Scalosians, due to having been only recently accelerated the cell damage causes rapid aging and death.
  • Red Shirt: Compton is the classic Red Shirt who beams down with the main characters and suffers an unfortunate fate, though in this case it takes a while for him to actually be killed. Also a Sacrificial Lamb to demonstrate why Kirk can't resort to Good Old Fisticuffs.
  • Resistance Is Futile: Spock runs the situation through the Master Computer, which recommends negotiating for terms with their unknown intruder. Kirk says bluntly that they won't negotiate, with Scotty's hearty approval.
  • Schmuck Bait: Kirk is told by the Ekor not to touch the life support system. He touches it, and gets shocked. So what does he do? Puts both hands on it and keeps getting shocked. In justice to Kirk the device in question is putting his crew into deep freeze to be preserved as potential breeding stock for the Alien. Naturally he's willing to endure some pain if he can only switch it off.
  • Sex Dressed: We cut away from Kirk and Deela in his quarters; when we next see them, she's brushing her hair and he's putting on one of his boots.
  • Slow Motion: Whenever someone starts to adjust to Scalosian time, the first signs are everyone else moving slowly.
  • Some Kind of Force Field: The Scalosians keep the crew away from the environmental controls with an invisible force field that makes a red flash when someone walks into it.
  • Space Brasília: In the remastered episode, Habitat 67 in Montreal Canada appears in the background matte painting of the Scalosian Shining City.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Compton disappears in front of McCoy's eyes, as does anyone else who is adjusted to Scalosian time.
  • Stalker with a Test Tube: Deela mentions kissing Kirk while he was still at normal speed. She does genuinely want him to like her and enjoy himself, but it's not like she gives him any choice in the matter.
  • Stock Footage:
    • The first shot of the bridge, with Scotty in the command chair, is recycled from "The Empath". Dialog from that episode can be slightly heard under James Doohan's log-entry narration. Also, this shot shows an unnamed woman at the communications station instead of Uhura, who appears there in the rest of the episode.
    • Although Walter Koenig does not appear in this episode, a brief recycled shot shows him on the bridge neverthless.
  • Stockholm Syndrome: Compton seemed to accept the Scalosians' plan to use him as breeding stock pretty quickly; then again, from his viewpoint there was an indeterminately long period of time between his capture and his confrontation with his former captain.
  • Super Speed: Deela gives Kirk this power so he can keep up with her. Spock takes advantage of his new super speed to do some repairs on the ship.
  • Time Stands Still: This episode features the Scalosians, who move so fast that they're invisible to the naked eye and everyone else appears frozen to them. (Interestingly enough, so long as none of the aliens or the people they abducted into their 'timeframe' by means of a drug are actually around to watch, both they and the crew seem to function in parallel and on the same timescale just fine. This point is never addressed.)
  • Title Drop:
    Deela: We move in the wink of an eye.
  • Travelling at the Speed of Plot: Needless to say those fans who have done the math for this episode find that it doesn't work timewise.
  • We Can Rule Together: Deela's the queen of the Scalosians, and she wants Kirk to be king.
  • Wife Husbandry: Rael is jealous of the affection Deela has for Kirk. She tells Kirk "I adored him as a child."
  • You Can't Go Home Again: Deela tries to convince Kirk that he is permanently time warped and might as well get used to the idea. She doesn't know Kirk very well....
  • You Are Too Late: Deela allows Kirk to leave a recording warning the crew of her intentions, and even helps him spell out her plan, but says that by the time the crew play the tape it will be too late to stop her. However while Deela is distracted, Kirk places the tape directly in the computer that Bones is using, then slips out and sabotages the transporter to buy time.