Original Airdate: October 6, 1966
Did Timothy Leary write this?
Jim and Sulu talk about the temperature going down to 120 below zero come nightfall and break off the conversation when a crewman yells in alarm. His hand is bloody, and he's covered in some strange yellow ore. Jim looks at his hand and tells him to beam back up and get to sickbay.
Crewman Fisher (for that is his name) beams up, but Scotty has some trouble stabilizing his signal at first. When Fisher materializes, Scotty runs some big hairdryer-looking thing over him and tells him the ore is magnetized and he needs to decontaminate the uniform.
Scotty checks the transporter, and the captain requests beaming up. The equipment is apparently ok, so Scotty does so. Jim's a little disoriented upon materialization, and Scotty leaves the transporter room and walks with Jim down the hall a ways to make sure he's ok. Before he lets him go, he tells him to consider having McCoy check him out. Jim agrees to "have his own engines looked to" but instead heads off to his quarters to lie down. He finds Yeoman Janice Rand working there, and she hands him a stack of plastic cards. She tells him that the ship manifests are in order, and before she can continue, he cuts her off with a thank you, effectively dismissing her. She leaves, he hits the sack.
While Scotty is away, the transporter activates on its own and Jim beams in again. This Jim acts strangely, leering, caressing the transporter controls like the ship's his new toy, staring bug-eyed ... OMG IT'S LIKE AN EVIL TWIN. Actually, I'd very much like to know if this very episode was the first use of "evil twin" ever, or if it dates back farther. Scotty's young assistant comes back in and asks Jim if he can help him, and Evil Jim gives him this hilarious drama prairie dog look that turns into a lascivious up and down look. As this is still 1966, I can only assume that the lascivious part was accidental.
In Sickbay, McCoy is running something over Fisher's hand - it looks like a cross between a dustbuster and a gas lighter; what is this, weird prop day? - to heal the cut, when Evil Jim walks in and yells disjointedly, "Saurian brandy!" He then wanders over to the wall and, facing it, leans heavily. McCoy dismisses Fisher, and before he leaves, Fisher tells Evil Jim that his hand's all better. Evil Jim doesn't respond. McCoy walks over and asks how he can help. Evil Jim swiftly grabs McCoy by the back of the neck and yells, "I SAID GIVE ME THE BRANDY!" Wordlessly, the doctor opens the cupboard. Evil Jim grabs the brandy and stalks out.
Evil Jim walks down the corridor, swigging brandy as he goes, and stops at Rand's quarters. (That's cabin 3C 46 for you trivia buffs.) He smiles, evilly, (of course) and walks right in and makes himself at home.
Meanwhile, Good Jim seems to have gotten out of the shower feeling much better. Spock pops in and asks uncomfortably, if there's anything he can do for Jim. "No.... why?" is the answer. Spock goes on, reluctantly, that McCoy said the captain was acting like a wild man and demanded brandy. Jim laughs and tells Spock the doctor's been putting him on again. Now Spock's a little pissy. We haven't seen any onscreen bickering between Spock and McCoy yet, but here's a hint that it started early. Good Jim smiles and says "I'll tell him you were properly annoyed."
Rand walks into her quarters and freshens up her hairdo a little, unaware that she's being watched. Evil Jim, wearing some sexy eyeliner and swigging more brandy, slowly steps forward. She notices him, and startled, calls him "captain;" he replies with "'Jim' will do here, Janice." Oh, crap. "You're too beautiful to ignore. Too much woman." He slams the bottle down and grabs her. She tries pushing him away, but he kisses her roughly. She gets away for a moment, but he wrestles her to the floor. She scratches his face, drawing three lines of blood, and runs across the room. He chases her to the door, it opens, and Crewman Fisher (boy, he's everywhere today) sees them. She screams, "call Mr. Spock, call Mr. Spock!" and he takes off to do so. He finds an intercom in the corridor and gets about half the message out when Evil Jim catches up and knocks him out, then runs off.
"Me??" Good Jim turns and asks. "I've been resting here since you left me." Spock holds up the bottle; the one McCoy gave to Evil Jim, the same one found in Rand's quarters. Damning evidence. They head to Sickbay to see what's going on, and as the turbolift door shuts behind them, Evil Jim's bloody hand pops in front of the camera. The rest of him slowly follows, and there's something about that vaguely reminiscent of Jerome Robbins' choreography. Stick around, we may get to hear "Gee, Officer Krupke." Anyway, he sneaks into
his Good Jim's Kirk's quarters.
Rand is tearfully recounting the attack to Spock, McCoy, and Good Jim, telling him what "he" did. She's embarrassed, and this whole thing has been uncomfortable to watch, because the acting throughout it has been very good. There's scene-chewing elsewhere throughout the episode, but they took these scenes seriously, and it shows. She tells Good Jim that she scratched his face up, and when she realizes he's not scratched, she gets confused and thinks she must have been mistaken. Jim says he didn't do it, and behind him, Fisher (you again??) walks out of the other room and refutes that. Jim is stunned. Spock dismisses Rand, and tells Jim that there's only one logical explanation - there's an imposter aboard.
Jim is aware his decision-making abilities and strength of will are wafting away, and makes the announcement in a way that won't make him look weak. He stresses that this is an impostor, he is not to be harmed, and he can be identified by the scratches on his face. He starts trailing off again, and Spock briskly but subtly reminds him that everyone's to keep their phasers on the lowest setting. Evil Jim, in Kirk's quarters, has heard the announcement and is enraged. He's screaming "I'M KIRK" over and over again, and knocking books off their shelves and the computer monitor to the floor. It's a delicious little scene. He then walks over to Jim's mirror and dresser and finds foundation there. I'm not kidding. He dabs it on over the scratches and goes to the door, where he happens to find Scotty's assistant walking by (boy, they sure got their money's worth out of those two extras). He asks him for his phaser, and Assistant obviously is uncomfortable handing it over, but it's the captain, so he does. He is promptly rewarded for his loyalty by a karate chop to the shoulder and is knocked out.
Sulu Watch: he is wearing only his normal uniform in 20 below weather. Strangely, he is not sobbing, as I would be in that situation. That's why he's a Starfleet officer and I'm not, I guess. His team is gathering rocks into a pile. Later, they'll heat them up with their phasers and gather near.
Spock and Good Jim try to find Evil Jim in Engineering. Good Jim is truly losing it, because Spock has to tell him to draw his phaser. They split up and wander around while Evil Jim, hides above them on top of the machinery. He drops down silently and sneaks up on Good Jim, but does nothing. Good Jim advances, telling him that he knows he won't hurt him, he can't, they need each other. Evil Jim is about a second away from firing on Good Jim when Spock creeps up behind and deploys the very first Vulcan Neck Pinch of the series. As Evil Jim drops, his phaser fires; it was set to kill, judging by the number it does on the panel it hits.
In Sickbay, McCoy tells Spock that he doesn't dare give Evil Jim a tranquilizer shot, not knowing the effect, and recommends tying him down. Good Jim agrees to it. Then Spock gets very excited about the idea of studying the situation. Good Vs. Evil! Passivity Vs. Aggression! Spock makes some very good points, and I'm with him on it, but everyone else just wants to get things back to normal, so he's overruled.
Sulu Watch: he calls again, and he and his team are wrapped up in pieces of the tent. Sulu asks Jim if he can at least find a long rope and use it to lower down some hot coffee to them. Jim practically chokes up. Scotty tells Jim it will take about a week to fix the ionizer, which might be the problem.
Sulu heats the rocks - it's 75 below and dropping - and calls again a bit later. This time, Jim puts his head in his hands and just can't go on. Before he can weep openly into the communicator, Spock sweeps in and tells Sulu that he and his crew are just going to have hold on a bit longer, following their survival training.
Evil Jim awakens with a scream, vital statistics off the charts. McCoy thinks the split may have weakened both Kirks, and that they are dying. Evil Jim tells Good Jim that he's scared; Good Jim takes his hand and gives him an encouraging talk until he passes out again. McCoy goes and gets the brandy for them both, and he and Jim talk about the essential nature of humanity.
Scotty & Spock think they've figured out the transporter issue and want to try sending the puppy through. I thought it was going to take a week to fix? Whatever. They put both snarling puppy and cuddlebug puppy next to each other on the transporter pad and beam them out. A few beats later, they beam in a whole puppy! But the reunited puppy is dead. Spock's convinced it's shock. McCoy's not so sure and wants to do an autopsy before they shove the Jims onto the transporter. Spock gets very weird here and insists that HE KNOWS it was shock BECAUSE HE LIVES EVERYDAY with his two halves fighting and through THE INTELLECT HE WAS GIVEN, HE OVERCOMES IT ALL and Jim's intellect will carry him through too DAMMIT HE KNOWS THIS, NOW JUST GET IN THERE AND MAN UP. McCoy's viewpoint can be summed up as "Are you out of your damn mind? Let me finish the autopsy, jackass, before we kill the captain." They go back and forth, in that uniquely Spock/McCoyian way of theirs, until poor indecisive Jim doesn't know what to do. He actually says, "somebody make the decision for me" and McCoy, of all people, asks if he's really sure he wants to cede command. No, of course he doesn't! That (and another call from Sulu, near death now) make up his mind. They're going through the transporter! In he goes to unbind Evil Jim, but Evil Jim fakes him out. Then he knocks him out.
Evil Jim meets up with Yeoman Rand and ickily asks her if he can't come to her quarters later to explain and apologize. She says it's not necessary, and you can tell she's freaked out, poor thing. He insists, and she agrees, frightened. Next stop, the bridge, where he swings into the big chair and orders Farrell to leave orbit. Everyone's shocked and appalled that he'd leave the freezing men below, but he says there's nothing they can do anyway. Behind him, McCoy and Good Jim step out of the turbolift. Evil Jim goes batshit, trying to pass off that he's Good Jim, but it's pretty apparent who's who. Especially after he grabs the helmsman's head and throws him out of his chair. (All things considered, I'm sure Sulu still wishes he were at his station right now.)
Good Jim pulls Evil Jim over to him and hugs him. They get to the transporter room, and Spock beams the two Jims out ... then beams in one and only one James T. Kirk. He's a little wobbly, and McCoy's concerned. He needn't be, because firmly, decisively, Jim steps forward and says, "Get those men aboard fast!"
They're put on stretchers and taken to Sickbay, but the doctor thinks they'll make it. Jim heads to the bridge, and before we fade out, another episode over, Yeoman Rand has Spock sign something. As he does, he says something to her that makes me want to hold him down and smack him. He says suggestively that "the imposter had some interesting qualities, wouldn't you say?" She looks rightly appalled and angry and pivots on her heel and leaves. What the shit was that supposed to be about? Spock, you kind of suck today.
Best Line of the Episode
McCoy to Jim:
You're no different than anyone else. We all have our darker side. We need it. It's half of what we are. It's not really ugly, it's human. God forbid I should have to agree with Spock, but he's right. Without it, you couldn't be the captain. Your strength lies mostly with him.
What do I have?
Goodness, intelligence, logic ... perhaps that's where man's essential courage comes from. He was scared. You weren't.
Sex Appeal Moment
Mid-century Design Moment
The first, in Jim's quarters. Check the little tiki figurine on the shelf to the left!
The second, the mesh panel in everyone's quarters. I love these things.
The colors of the tent and the color coming off the heated rocks work nicely. I'm telling you, the most mundane scenes come off looking great. What kind of film were they using?
I See You've Managed to Get Your Shirt Off
She Canna Take Anymore Captain
A week to fix the transporter? Are you barking mad?
You may have noticed that Capt. Kirk and Spock are close. Closer than you might think a human and a Vulcan would comfortably be. They're the best of friends, and their bond only grows stronger as the series (including the movies) goes on.
Some fanfic by several women, written and published in 'zines in the '70s, worked on the theory that Kirk and Spock were lovers, and was called "Kirk/Spock" fanfic, or "slash" for short (as in "Kirk slash Spock.") As far as I know, it was the first "slashfic" in any fandom.
Anyway, countless millions of jokes have been made about it, (and I'll make a few myself) so we might as well broach it now. For some more info on it, you can go here.
For the record, I can go either way. (Ba-DUM-bum.) I can go with the "just friends" point of view, or the "longtime companions" one. Either one works logically within the context of everything we're shown throughout, as far as I'm concerned.