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Tear Jerker / Star Trek: The Original Series

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He knows, Doctor. He knows.

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     Season One 
Charlie X
  • The ending is nothing but pure horror and heartbreak.
    • The episode makes it clear that Charlie could do precisely the same thing to the Thasians that he did to the humans yet his actions would have been harmless to the Thasians — the only race he remembers being around until he was picked up less than a month ago. He makes people disappear, but Thasians disappear and reappear all the time; he changes people into other lifeforms, but Thasians have no set form at all. One is left with the impression that he has only a child's understanding of what death really is.
    • The ending hits hard anyone who ever tried to escape a nightmarish home life only to have the police return one right back into the hands of the abusive parents.

Where No Man Has Gone Before

  • The ending. While the ship and crew survive intact (for the most part), it still feels like a Downer Ending. The fact that Kirk points out that they couldn't save Mitchell somehow makes it worse. Mitchell was essentially Kirk's brother, with both men forced to turn on each other; Kirk to protect his beloved ship and crew, and Mitchell intoxicated and corrupted by godlike power that he never asked for; especially evident during his few brief moments of lucidity near the end of the episode, where both times, all the poor man can say is his best friend's name, unable to express anything more.
    Kirk: He didn't ask for what happened to him.
  • The fight. It isn't hard to imagine John Williams' "Battle of the Heroes" in the background.
  • “Add to official losses, Doctor Elizabeth Dehner. Be it noted she gave her life in performance of her duty. Lieutenant Commander Gary Mitchell, same notation. I want his service record to end that way. He didn't ask for what happened to him.”
  • Kirk’s Thousand-Yard Stare when Gary dies, before going to comfort Elizabeth as she’s dying. The novel versions of the movies bring up Gary, and that Kirk is actively trying to not remember him.
  • Kirk blames himself for letting Gary go as far as he did, and trudges off with the massive gun to try and stop him.

The Naked Time

  • Spock's reaction to the Psi 2000 virus. The incurably stoic Vulcan breaks down in sobs. It's one of the most famous scenes in the entire show, and it was devised by Nimoy himself, with Roddenberry's okay and director Marc Daniels' help. Nimoy described to Daniels how the scene should be set up, the table here, the chair here, and the camera angle like this. The scene was originally written that Spock would stagger down the corridor alternately laughing, crying, and so forth. Instead, as he conceived it, he begins to cry and quickly ducks into an empty conference room, tries vainly to collect himself, and collapses into a chair, sobbing hysterically. You can see his struggle to maintain control right up to the point he is alone, and you can't tell if his Vulcan control slips now that he's alone, or that it finally gave out and, for dignity's sake, he was lucky enough to find a private place when it did. It was all done in one take, and the crew were so involved that when the production manager objected to the time it would take to light it properly, they alerted Nimoy so he could explain why it was important. He was right, too. When "The Naked Time" was aired, Nimoy's mail leaped from a few hundred to ten thousand letters a week.
    • His explanation to Kirk of his regrets might also count, especially since Kirk is too pressed for time to listen.
    Spock: I never told my mother I loved her. An Earth woman, living on a planet where love, emotions, are in bad taste...

    Spock: Jim...when I feel friendship for you, I'm ashamed.
  • Kirk’s own breakdown, how he thinks of himself as just an extension of the ship, masochistically in love with it, and all he wants is a few days rest. It’ll be a long-running trend for him, and when Scotty comes in, he brokenly pleads for help.
  • At the time, Nurse Chapel's confession of her feelings for Spock was more played for laughs, especially considering that she was being introduced in this episode. However, after Star Trek: Strange New Worlds has established that Chapel and Spock have known each other for years, her admission becomes all the more heartbreaking, knowing how long that these feelings have weighed on her, and how long she has kept this to herself.

The Enemy Within

  • Poor Janice, assaulted and hunched up crying afterwards, while “good”/whole Kirk mostly just wants to pretend it never happened, and Spock gets snarky that “evil” Kirk must have had “interesting qualities”.
  • As awful as he is, evil Kirk pathetically sobbing and begging that he doesn’t want to die.

What Are Little Girls Made Of?

  • A blink-or-you'll miss it one from when Clone!Kirk goes up to the Enterprise — Kirk's intentional Out-of-Character Alert works perfectly; it takes about a minute of calm interaction before he snaps "Mind your own business, Mr. Spock. I'm sick of your half-breed interference." Spock's voice goes utterly cold as he retreats into full Vulcan mode. We find out later that this is what he does to avoid embarrassing himself when he's heartbroken. Even though he knows (or at least quickly figures out) that this cannot be his captain functioning normally, it's exceedingly painful to him to hear that.
  • Christine crying as she realises Roger is an android. He begs her to understand that he was dying and it’s still him, pleading with her to let him prove that he's no different — but he can't think of anything non-robotic to prove his humanity. When Andrea hugs him, suggesting that a regular android can feel love, he uses her phaser to kill them both in front of the horrified Kirk and Christine.
  • When he’s being restrained by Ruk, and Andrea is first told to kiss him then slap him, Kirk looks genuinely upset and shocked. Harsher in Hindsight given how much Janice Lester seemed to like being stronger than him and hitting him.


  • It's only several episodes later before we figure out why, but what’s happening - a group of people left alone after a “clean” massacre, food running out, assumes that kids just want protection and comfort - is clearly Close to Home to Kirk. Sure “no blah blah blah!” sounds ridiculous, but in context he’s desperately begging the kids to listen to him, and is losing his mind at the thought of these children reliving similar circumstances to those he went through.

Dagger Of The Mind

  • The ending is a sombre one, with Kirk getting a strong bout of Mind Rape (including being made to believe he had sex with Helen instead of just a dance), and trying to reassure Bones and Spock that he’s okay, but his smile slips when they can’t see.

The Menagerie, Part I

  • Spock has just told Pike that he's going to violate orders and potentially sink his career to get Pike to Talos IV in order to restore him to at least an illusion of health. Pike can only indicate "no" with his chair over and over, and over and over and over again. One can easily imagine Pike throwing himself against the walls of his mind, screaming that word and wanting to protect his friend/fellow officer from such consequences.

The Conscience of the King

  • The ending: Lenore reveals that she killed all of the other witnesses, which horrifies Karidian, because he wanted her to remain free of that part of his past. Then when she tries to kill Kirk, Karidian takes the shot meant for him, and Lenore has a meltdown, weeping over her father's corpse.
  • Kevin Riley in his final scene. When he talks about Kodos murdering his parents, the tone of his voice isn't even angry so much as absolutely heartbroken, and it's clear he's right on the edge of breaking down completely.
  • Kirk himself gets a few of these. While the episode doesn't provide very many details about what he witnessed/endured, it's clear every time the massacre comes up that he's still hurting deeply over it. Keep in mind that while it's not stated in the episode itself, series canon ultimately established that Kirk was thirteen at the time note .

Balance of Terror

  • The final words of the Romulan Commander with Kirk over the viewscreen after an epic battle with the Enterprise and while his ship is coming apart behind him.
    Romulan Commander: You and I are of a kind. In a different reality, I could have called you friend.
  • The final scene is pretty brutal. Kirk goes to the chapel to find Lieutenant Martine, the young woman who was supposed to get married earlier that day... and whose fiance was killed in the battle. Kirk does his best to comfort her, knowing he can't do much. Then Martine gets her own Tear Jerker... combined with a Heartwarming Moment and quiet Moment of Awesome. She looks Kirk in the eye and calmly says, "I'll be all right." And she means it. As agonizing as losing her fiance is, she can take it.
  • Kirk’s Beneath the Mask speech, wanting to be on a long sea voyage somewhere, no frantic dancing or responsibility, and looks so worried and young when he asks Bones what if he’s wrong.
  • In contrast and foreshadowing Kirk’s own scene of being tired, the Romulan commander is exhausted of all his comrades dying, and half-wishes for destruction before returning home.
  • Outpost 4 being disintegrated, and the looks on Kirk’s, Uhura’s and Spock’s faces ranging from heartbroken to horrified (or as much as a Vulcan is willing to show).
  • Kirk’s moment of looking around the chapel, hurting and a little lost (the bio has it as understanding he has to be a Martyr Without a Cause, helping others and never being able to rest), before he too has to go back to work.
  • The death of the man who was about to be married in "Balance of Terror" and his fiancée's reaction at the end of the episode, is probably the saddest death in the series.

The Return of the Archons

  • The "death" of Landru is surprisingly sad in its own way. While Kirk is right in destroying it, hearing Landru cry out for its creator to save it as it explodes makes one wonder if perhaps the alien computer was sentient after all.

Space Seed

  • When Khan cuts off the air to the bridge, Kirk is the last to go, commending all his officers and taking full responsibility for underestimating Khan and putting them all in danger before passing out.

This Side of Paradise

  • Spock says about Omicron Ceti III that, for the first time in his life, he was happy. Awww, Spock!
  • As funny as Spock curb stomping Kirk is, he’s hurt by all that was said, and is saddened that he doesn’t belong anymore. Kirk seems to realize this, given that he said delivering that speech hurt, and not just because it drove Spock to use him as a punching bag.
    Spock: If there are self made purgatories, then we all have to live in them. Mine can be no worse than someone else’s.
  • Kirk after being mutinied against, realising just how big the ship is when you’re alone (and with the camera’s long shot, looking so small), and after a whole episode of not being affected by the spores, lets himself be taken after not knowing what he can offer against paradise.

The Devil in the Dark

  • Spock's second mind-meld with the Horta, which reveals its motives. The utter brokenness in the Vulcan's voice as he channels the Horta's grief and her resignation to death now that she's failed her children and her species sells it. It doesn't help that this is not so different from the reactions of the episode's humanoids to what they perceived as an unprovoked attack on their people.

The City on the Edge of Forever

  • The Bittersweet Ending. What makes it even more effective is that as Spock says the words below, the camera pans to Kirk, who is completely breaking down in tears. He does not come anywhere close to tears again until Spock's death in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.
    McCoy: I could have saved her! Do you know what you just did?
    Spock: He knows, Doctor... he knows.
  • Kirk's solemn last words of the episode just put the cap on it. He sounds gutted:
    Kirk: ...Let's get the hell out of here.
    • Let's not forget that, for its day, Kirk using the word "hell" on screen was a Precision F-Strike, an emphasis of just how much he is hurting.
    • Kirk is in such a quiet Thousand-Yard Stare state that Uhura and Scotty, initially excited to see the trio back so soon, cotton on fast that something is wrong, but neither push it.
  • The original screenplay by Harlan Ellison was even more of a tearjerker, especially thanks to the inclusion of a legless World War I veteran called Trooper who is murdered as a result of the Enterprise crewmembers' presence in the past. Unlike Edith Keeler's survival, Trooper's death doesn't affect the time stream, and Kirk's reaction to the idea that the poor guy's life didn't matter is wrenching.
  • Kirk’s bio decides to drive in the knife even harder, showing a photobooth strip of him and Edith looking very much in love.

Operation: Annihilate!

  • The scene where, in an attempt to cure Spock of the parasitic infection, McCoy exposes him to intense light, comparable to that of the system's sun. The cure works... but leaves Spock blind.
    • What's worse, McCoy receives test results shortly thereafter that clearly show he didn't need to, that the parasite would have died without Spock having to be blinded in the process. McCoy is gutted, and Kirk looks at his old friend with barely-contained fury:
    Kirk: Bones. . .!
    • Kirk then just quietly mumbles to McCoy to take care of him and storms off, unable to even look at him. It's only after a little time that Kirk can call McCoy and say that it wasn't his fault, but McCoy doesn't answer... leaving both men to their own guilt.
  • There’s a case of mass insanity on Deneva, and Kirk tries desperately to get there before his brother succumbs to it or dies. He’s too late, and he only has time to slump against the wall before duty calls again. The bio has the twofer of Edith’s death and his brother’s death breaking him, making him more co-dependent on Spock and Bones.
  • In a deleted but still deemed canon scene, Kirk talks to his nephew Peter about his future, and tells Scotty that he actually hopes Peter doesn’t enter the academy, not wanting him to have to make the choice of killing everyone like Kirk would have done as a last resort. You get the sense (even more so than the original episode) that Tarsus comparisons are on his mind.

     Season Two 
Amok Time
  • After Spock thinks he's killed Kirk:
    T'Pau: Live long and prosper, Spock.
    Spock: I shall do neither. I have killed my captain...and my friend.
    • This exchange is even more tearjerking when you consider the Fridge Horror factor of Spock's first sentence. He fully expected either to commit suicide or to essentially waste away from griefnote  (it's not certain which).
  • Spock's horrified expression when he comes out of the blood fever and realizes what happened. You can easily imagine what the poor guy is thinking as he shuts down. Dealing with Kirk's death under normal circumstances (say, if a mission went wrong) would be heartbreaking enough, but Spock wakes up to find himself standing over his best friend's lifeless body, the weapon that killed him still in his hands. At least it turns out that McCoy gave Kirk a shot of what turned out to be a neuroparalyzer to fake Kirk’s death.
  • Spock's background potentially makes everything even more heartbreaking. The guy has already gone through an amount of discrimination and bullyingnote  that has driven some people to villainy or to suicide, and his only response is to close himself off and work harder for acceptance. But when he realizes he's killed one of the only people to accept him (even if it's not really his fault), he breaks instantly, shutting down and wanting to die.
  • Leonard Nimoy loved this episode and threw himself into it, doing some of his greatest acting ever. He later said that in the "I shall do neither" scene, he was holding back tears and could barely speak the lines. Although he denies he or Shatner did anything deliberate to suggest the Ho Yay some fangirls insist is canon, he says that the "I shall do neither" line best defines Spock's attitude towards Kirk.

Who Mourns for Adonis?

  • While he certainly isn't very likeable, Apollo's death at the end is surprisingly sad, with his final moments making him out to be less a ruthless tyrant than a Jerkass Woobie who just wanted to be loved. In the end, it's easy to empathize with Kirk and McCoy when they lament being forced to fight him.
    McCoy: I wish we hadn't had to do this.
    Kirk: So do I. [The Greeks] gave us so much. The Greek civilization, much of our culture and philosophy, came from the worship of those beings. In a way, they began the Golden Age. Would it have hurt us, I wonder, just to have gathered a few laurel leaves?

The Changeling

  • While luckily it's quickly fixed, NOMAD zapping Uhura. According to the James Blish novelization, it messed up her ability to communicate. Seeing the ship's poised linguist reduced to such a state that even being able to read "the dog has a ball" is an accomplishment jerks at the heartstrings.

The Apple

  • It's a small moment, but when Kirk finally catches the strange figure following the crew around the Everything Trying to Kill You forest, he grabs him and punches that sorry bastard right in the face. And the poor guy is horrified and starts crying because, as it turns out, violence just isn't a thing on this planet. An apologetic Kirk immediately reassures him that they come in peace.
  • Even worse, this is the episode where Kirk loses three Red Shirts in rapid succession, one of whom Kirk knew very well. Spock tries to reassure Kirk, but he's just heartbroken.
    Spock (trying to reassure): You are under orders to investigate this planet and this culture.
    Kirk: I also have the option to disregard those orders if I consider them overly hazardous. This isn't that important a mission, Spock. Not worth the lives of three of my men. I drop my guard for a minute because I like the smell of growing things, and now three men are dead.
  • Under Vaal's instruction, the people gather in a circle and are taught how to kill the crew. Needless to say, it's pretty horrifying to watch the most innocent of people become corrupted just like that.
    Spock: The good doctor was concerned that the Vaalians achieve true human stature. I submit there's no cause for worry. They've taken their first step. They've learned to kill.
  • While obviously it ends up okay, Kirk sways and looks like he’s going to pass out when he hears from Scotty that after all the attempts, the Enterprise won’t be able to save herself.
    McCoy: Jim…
    Kirk: [quietly]: 400 people. They'll die because I couldn't see a warning sign. I had to follow orders, always orders.

The Doomsday Machine

  • Decker's anguished description of how he lost his entire crew.
    Kirk: Matt, where's your crew?
    Decker: On the third planet...
    Kirk: There is no third planet!
    Decker: [looks up at Kirk in horror and shame] Don't you think I know that? There was, but not anymore! They called me, they begged me for help—four hundred of them! I couldn't... I—I couldn't...
  • Kirk begging Decker to come back and let them find another way besides a Heroic Sacrifice to destroy the creature. He doesn't listen.
    Kirk: Matt, we're stronger with you than without you!
  • After Decker dies, Spock tries to offer his condolences, and as in common with him in a Heroic BSoD, Kirk goes quiet and can’t even seem to talk at first.
  • When Kirk plans to self destruct to kill the machine and beam out at the last second, Spock has the very real worry that Kirk is suicidal like Decker. Already known complete lack of self-preservation aside, Kirk doesn’t plan to kill himself, but muses later that dying to save others isn’t the worst way to go.


  • Even without the movies having him act like Spock is a part of him, and the noblest half of himself, Kirk’s face during the “is he though he were a part of you” speech looks unbearably like a heartbroken puppy.

Journey to Babel

  • The argument between Amanda and Spock. recounting his painful childhood, her storming out in tears, his raised hand at the door, unable to do anything more...
    Amanda: Spock, you must turn command over to somebody else.
    Spock: Mother, when I was commissioned, I took an oath to carry out responsibilities which were clearly and exactly specified.
    Amanda: Any competent officer can command this ship; only you can give your father the blood transfusions that he needs to live.
    Spock: Any competent officer can command this ship under normal circumstances. The circumstances are not normal. We're carrying over one hundred valuable Federation passengers. We're being pursued by an alien ship. We're subject to possible attack. There has been murder and attempted murder on board. I cannot dismiss my duties.
    Amanda: "Duty?" Your duty is to your father.
    Spock: I know, but this must take precedence. If I could give the transfusion without loss of time or efficiency, I would. Sarek understands my reason.
    Amanda: Well, I don't. It's not human. That's not a dirty word. You're human, too. Let that part of you come through. Your father's dying.
    Spock: Mother, how can you have lived on Vulcan so long, married a Vulcan, raised a son on Vulcan, without understanding what it means to be a Vulcan?
    Amanda: If this is what it means, I don't want to know!
    Spock: It means to adopt a philosophy, a way of life, which is logical and beneficial. We cannot disregard that philosophy merely for personal gain, no matter how important that gain might be.
    Amanda: Nothing is as important as your father's life.
    Spock: Can you imagine what my father would say if I were to agree, if I were to give up command of this vessel, jeopardise hundreds of lives, risk interplanetary war, all for the life of one person?
    Amanda: When you were five years old and came home...stiff-lipped, anguished...because the other boys tormented you, saying that you weren't really Vulcan. I watched you, knowing that, inside, that the human part of you was crying. And I cried, too. There must be some part of me in you, some part that I still can reach. If being Vulcan is more important to you, then you'll stand there speaking rules and regulations from Starfleet and Vulcan philosophy, and let your father die. And I'll hate you for the rest of my life.
    Spock: Mother—
    Amanda: Oh, go to him. Now. Please.
    Spock: I cannot.
    [Amanda slaps him across the face and storms out]

The Deadly Years

  • Kirk's descent into senility and paranoia is made more painful by the reactions of those around him—especially Spock, who looks sadder and sadder as the episode progresses. When, after the competency hearing, Kirk calls him a traitor and adds he never wants to see him again, Spock leaves looking, by Vulcan standards, like he's about to cry.
  • The competency hearing itself, with Kirk in denial and humiliating himself, everyone’s pain at having to do this, and McCoy’s apology to Kirk for having to agree with the fact he’s not fit for command, followed by a look of complete hate at Spock.
  • The last of the dying from old age patients goes, and Kirk tries to console with “you did what you could”, but Bones morosely responds “which adds up to absolutely nothing”.
  • Kirk is clearly hurt by Janet, the fact that their relationship ended and trying again won’t solve anything, plus how she’s into him when he’s rapidly aging, something he’s already not dealing with well.


  • When Garrovick is reprimanded by Kirk (himself lashing out because of a huge walloping of Survivor's Guilt) for freezing for a second and is relieved of all duties, he slumps down on his bed and cries quietly.
  • McCoy tries to tell Kirk that the executive officer on the USS Farrugut didn’t blame him and called him brave, but Kirk is too deep in It's All My Fault to accept it.
  • Kirk’s heartbreaking puppy eyes when he lets Bones know about the USS Farrugut. Bones knows the situation is serious, because he actually calls the other man “Captain” instead of Jim.

A Piece of the Action

  • Travis Mayweather's whole family died in mysterious circumstances, and the last thing they are known to have done is accidentally screw up a culture.
  • Kirk’s bio mixes some Arc Welding with a Cerebus Retcon, with Kirk not sending David a both sad and eager to please letter about how he met a little boy who reminded him of his son that he’s never met.

The Immunity Syndrome

  • After Spock is chosen over Bones for the dangerous mission, Bones argues with him down to the hanger deck and Spock tells him, with just a touch of sarcasm, "Wish me luck." Bones just bitterly closes the door on him (with Spock looking surprised and more than a little hurt), once the door is closed, Bones sadly wishes him luck. Later, when Spock's mission seems to have turned into a suicide run, Spock calls over the comm, "Tell Dr. McCoy he should have wished me luck." The look on Bones's face...

Return To Tomorrow

  • Kirk having to give the order to kill Spock. At this point no one other than Sargon, Spock and Christine can be allowed to know the plan, so for all Kirk knows, he has to cold-bloodedly kill his best friend to destroy the being inhabiting his body. Not to mention this is the second time in the Five Year mission that he has had to make such a choice. The doctor's reaction doesn't help.
    McCoy: You've killed a loyal officer, your best friend.

By Any Other Name

  • Rojan decides Kirk’s punishment for trying to escape is killing the red shirts, because Kirk cares less about his own life than those under his command, and Kirk just looks so anxious and helpless.
  • Poor Yeoman Thompson, the only female red shirt to die onscreen in TOS, who was turned into a mineral cube by Rojan and crushed. While most of these one-shot characters who are killed off aren't portrayed in a sad way, she and Shea were slightly fleshed out as characters, and her death was more impactful on the main cast than the typical Red Shirt death.

The Ultimate Computer

  • When M-5 goes haywire and begins attacking several Federation starships that are unprepared as they think this part of a war game exercise, a clearly-agonized Kirk pounds his chair and can only watch helplessly as the computer that has hijacked control of his ship proceeds to destroy one Federation ship and severely damage three others, causing the deaths of hundreds of officers and crew.
  • Daystrom’s plight is tragic as well. A prodigy at a young age, his early successes became a noose around his neck, because, as McCoy points out, where do you go from up? The whole reason he built the M-5 was to preserve lives, yet, in his desperation to create something that could even begin to match his prior breakthrough, his creation proceeds to kill the entire crew of a starship.
  • Kirk's feeling of being useless is made worse by being called "Captain Dunsel" (a Future Slang for something not needed), an insult that he quietly walks out on. The movies also make this Harsher in Hindsight.
  • After Bones finds out what “Dunsel” means, he comes to Kirk with drinks, and before he cheers the man up, Kirk is heartbreakingly accepting of the apparent fact that he’s been deemed useless and it’s not his ship anymore.

Bread and Circuses

  • Poor Flavius getting shot while trying to save Kirk from public execution.

     Season Three 
The Paradise Syndrome
  • The ending. Kirk loses his unborn child and his wife within minutes of one another.
  • Amnesiac Kirk admitting that this is the first time he’s felt happy and peaceful, but is certain he doesn’t actually deserve it.

And the Children Shall Lead

  • Maybe it isn't the greatest episode, but it does have a couple of tragic moments, most notably the happy smiles from the children looking at footage of their parents, which turn to horror and tears when they discover their parents are all dead.

Spectre Of The Gun

  • After Chekov’s death, Kirk (as ever) blames himself, while Bones tries to reassure him that they all knew what they were signing up for when they joined the service, and Spock nearly comes to blows with Bones and Scotty when they accuse him of not feeling anything. Kirk tries to break it up, but Spock passes off their reactions, saying evenly that they forget he’s half human. Cue regretful looks from Scotty and Bones.

Day Of The Dove

  • Spock’s reaction to Scott freaking out on him with slurs is Tranquil Fury, but when Kirk starts to call him half human, he looks heartbroken.

For The World Is Hollow And I Have Touched The Sky

  • Bones admitting he’s led a very lonely life, even when he’s divorced with a daughter and a crew who care about him.

The Tholian Web

  • When Kirk is assumed and later declared dead, Spock and McCoy argue without him as a balancing presence, and one crewmember is completely hysterical at the memorial service and has to be sedated. Later, they review Kirk's video will where he tells Spock to trust McCoy's intuition and McCoy to trust Spock's logic, and they both apologize to one another before trying to move on.
    Kirk: Spock, you have control of the ship and are probably making the most difficult decisions of your career. I can offer only one small piece of advice, for whatever it's worth. Use every scrap of knowledge and logic you have to save the ship. But temper your judgment with intuitive insight. I believe you have those qualities, but if you can't find them in yourself, seek out McCoy. Ask his advice. And if you find it sound, take it. Bones, you've heard what I've just told Spock. Help him if you can. But remember he is the Captain. His decisions must be followed without question. You might find that he is capable of human insight and human error. They are most difficult to defend, but you will find that he is deserving of the same loyalty and confidence each of you have given me. Take care.

Plato's Stepchildren

  • Kirk, Spock and McCoy all act like they’ve been abused after the first bout of Mind Rape. They’re angry and hurt and very quiet about it, especially Spock, who needs reassurance that Kirk is alright and says he has to control his rage — right before breaking a vase he's holding. Alexander’s rage after realising it’s not him to blame but the Platonians, is also affecting.
  • The Platonians force Christine and Spock to kiss, who apologise to each other for what’s about to happen, and then Uhura and Kirk, the former of whom felt safer when the Captain was around, until now.

The Empath

  • Kirk offers to let the Vians have him for their "experiment" if they let the others go, insisting on it against McCoy's protests. Then, as Kirk watches the three walk off, secure in the knowledge that they'll be safe even though he will probably die, they vanish. Kirk helplessly demands what the Vians did with "[his] men" and yells at them that they said they needed one test subject .
  • Of course Bones wasn’t actually going to die, but Kirk and Spock (in his own way) are desperate to save him, especially when Bones refuses to let Gem kill herself for him, that going against his oath as a doctor.

Elaan Of Troyius

  • When Kirk falls under Elaan’s tears, he initially tries to get away, straining that it must be a problem with the ship and he needs to go, before he ends up failing and kissing her. Even after they have sex, he just looks so distressed whenever she touches him.
    Elaan: Remember me.
    Kirk: I have no choice.

Whom Gods Destroy

  • Kirk begging Garth to remember how great of a Captain he was, and how important that responsibility was. He sounds like he's going to cry, and for a moment the Large Ham in Garth is gone.
  • Marta was a yandere, and technically assaulted Kirk, but her death for essentially man-torture points is still awful.

Let That Be Your Last Battlefield

  • The Downer Ending. Lokai and Bele lose their home planet and entire species, and even then they still hate each other...because that hatred is all they have left.
    Sulu: But the cause they fought about no longer exists. Does it matter now which one was right?
    Spock: All that matters to them is their hate.
    Uhura Do you suppose that's all they ever had, sir?
    Kirk: No, but that's all they have left. [dejected] Warp factor 4, Mr. Sulu. Starbase...4.
  • Kirk's helpless pleading with Bele to stay on board than pursuing Lokai. Kirk quietly saying "Bele" in a tone of absolute helplessness is heartwrenching.

The Mark Of Gideon

  • The end after “Requiem For Methuselah” The latter had Kirk break down after being used yet again, so when Odona complains how he can look at her and he dismisses it, it makes him look like a Stepford Smiler.

That Which Survives

  • Losira turns out to be a Sole Survivor, with her people dead from an illness and waiting for a ship that never came, apologising that all that is left is a recording. The boys mourn her, calling her remarkable.

Requiem for Methuselah

  • Despite the actress in question claiming she only took the role for the money and considered the show cartoonish and silly, Rayna's agonized indecision over which man to choose, and how to do so without hurting the other, is palpable and heartbreaking, as is her overall struggle in that scene to articulate, claim, and act on free will. When she cannot resolve the conflict and dies, it's not hard to see why both Flint and Kirk rush to her side, or why they grieve for her.
    Spock: The joys of love made her human, and the agonies of love destroyed her.
  • The Bittersweet Ending: Kirk loses a woman he fell hard for, even though she was an android, and ends the episode facedown at his desk in sadness, before finally succumbing to exhausted sleep. Not only is this the most broken-up we've seen him over a Girl of the Week (to the point that this could well be the reason he's never seen pursuing women again in the rest of the series, the animated series, or the movies), but seeing this plus hearing McCoy's speech compels Spock to Mind Meld with him so as to wipe away the memories of his grief. Whether or not Spock can feel love (or desires to), it's quite clear he feels sympathy...and that his friendship with Kirk holds enough power that he'd do anything to soothe his friend's pain.
    McCoy: You see, I feel sorrier for you than I do for him, because you'll never know the things that love can drive a man to: The ecstasies, the miseries, the broken rules, the desperate chances, the glorious failures...and the glorious victories. All of these things you'll never know, simply because the word "love" isn't written into your book. Good night, Spock.
    [McCoy leaves, and Spock quietly walks over to a sleeping Kirk and gently applies a mind-meld]
    Spock: [Beat] ...Forget.
  • The reason why Kirk falls so hard and fast for Rayna is mentioned a few times: he’s lonely. And even in this episode, the falling is exacerbated by someone coercing him for their own gain. With the amount of times that’s happened this season alone, poor man can’t seem to catch a break.

The Savage Curtain

  • It's pretty damn sad when Abraham Lincoln (yes, Abraham Lincoln) is attempting to console Surak, assuming Surak is simply too overwhelmed with self-recrimination to respond. But the heel team killed him already when he approached them unarmed to negotiate for peace, and then they left his dead body sitting tied up.
    Lincoln: It was a worthy effort, Surak. Worthy. No need to blame yourself before its failure.

All Our Yesterdays

  • Kirk is able to get Spock and McCoy back to the present, but Zarabeth, the woman who helped them and whom Spock has come to love, has to remain behind, condemned to live out the rest of her life alone in Sarpeidon's ice age.
    Spock: It happened, but that was five thousand years ago and she is dead now. Dead and buried long ago.