- Winona and George Kirk have an Awful Wedded Life, having not thought things through having kids and getting married, and she leaves for work on Tarsus IV, lying to nine year old Jim that she’ll still be around often.
- Thirteen year old Jim meets his mom after a few years, and can’t help but be angry at her, even though she tries to show him affection.
- The details of Tarsus IV are as bad as “The Conscience Of The King” implied them to be, adults trying to hide the horror from their kids, the sweet Leighton parents dying together and afraid, and afterwards Winona ends up using her teenage son as a therapist because she has nobody else left. For his part, Kirk feels like he can’t trust anyone to look after him anymore, and needs some control, going from having a childish fantasy over joining Starfleet to making it his entire identity.
- Kirk buries the lede somewhat, but the Kobayashi Maru test isn’t just about Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!, he takes it personally, and would rather die than take the fail.
- Finney, one of Kirk’s best friends, confronting him on the report. He does this in front of everyone, dragging Kirk from a closet where he was sleeping shirtless, and Kirk can only apologise weakly. If that’s not enough, Finney gets everyone to hate him, and he has a miserable few months until Scotty looks after him.
- After the vampire cloud attacks the Farragut, the CMO has to tell Kirk that 200 people have died, including the captain who was kind to him since the Republic, and all he can do is apologise while crying.
- Similar to Kirk and Picard in “Generations”, Pike’s Passing the Torch is telling Kirk that the job will rip his guts out. Not long after, Kirk has to kill Gary, who haunts his nightmares for the rest of his life.
- Kirk’s attempt to not be like his mom and balance a career with family obviously fails miserably, and after he attempts to have Carol and David on the Hotspur, she tells him she’s had enough.
Tear Jerker / The Autobiography of James T. Kirk