Star Trek Diaries #2 – Star Trek: Episode 2 “The Man Trap”

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All the familiar faces are finally here.  Kirk, Bones, Uhura, Sulu, Yeoman Rand!  So, let’s jump into the first proper episode of Star Trek, “The Man Trap”!

– literally 10 seconds into the episode, we get our second installment of “Spock is In Charge of the Enterprise!”

– This is already so much more charming of a show than “The Cage” was and I haven’t even hit the opening credits yet.  The characters we’ve known for 3 minutes already have a ton of character and depth.

Blue Shirt Death #1 – Crewman Damell, the first guy to ever die on an episode of Star Trek.

– Uhura should know better than to try and flirt with Spock…

Blue Shirt Death #2 and Yellow Shirt Death #1 – Crewmen Sturgeon and Green.  More sudden salt loss. Red Shirts rejoice.

– “Stop thinking with your glands” a fucking ironic line from Kirk.

– Whatever shapeshifty monster that was impersonating Bones’ old girlfriend is now impersonating Crewman Green is bothering Yeoman Rand. You stop that.

– First Sulu appearance!

– Just get this thing some salt so it can stop harassing women and killing dudes in weird metallic suits (who sadly don’t count in my “shirt death” count).

– Dude in the weird metallic suit blinked when Sulu checked his face.  Amateur hour.

– The crazy Dr. Crater is excellent.  Dude just wants the Enterprise to leave him alone.

– Second half of this episode where it turns into a manhunt on the Enterprise is just super compelling television.. holy crap.

– Spock was very nearly Blue Shirt Death #3, thank goodness his species evolved on another planet.  The weird Dr. Crater wasn’t so lucky…

– Ended kind of abruptly… that was weird.

Most Valuable Player: Dr. Leonard McCoy (DeForrest Kelly) – 1st MVP – This could have gone to a few people, as it was a really strong episode all around.  Kirk was really great and Dr. Crater was freakin’ superb.  But Kelly not only had to play McCoy (who had a great episode on his own right), but also the monster version of McCoy, which was excellent.

Least Valuable Player: Nancy Crater/The Shapeshifting Monster (Jeanne Bal) – 1st LVP – This was a tough one to pick out as well, as it was such a good episode.  I felt like Crewman Green (while he was the monster) was especially terrible, but he wasn’t really in it much.  Nancy at least had a ton of screen time and over-acted through nearly all of it.  The part also wasn’t as interesting as it could have been, considering how well Kelly did with the other half of the love story.

Final Grade: I hope this isn’t just a mediocre episode and I’ve set the bar far too low, but this episode is wonderful.  Weird performances by Uhura and Sulu reveal that the show still has some growing to do, but overall it felt like a show that had already found it’s stride and was just out to tell interesting stories with these characters.  A genuinely terrifying monster let loose on a defenseless Enterprise is one hell of a way to kick off this series. B+

Next: “Charlie X” A Yeoman Rand-heavy episode.  Huzzah!

(Editors Note: This was first posted on my tumblr on January 19th, 2015)

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