The Enterprise heads for the colony on Deneva where a form of madness has broken out. They detect a Denevan space ship heading for the planet’s sun and just as it burns up the ship’s occupant declares that he is free. We learn that Captain Kirk’s brother Sam and his wife and son are on Deneva. And when the landing party reaches Deneva they find that the inhabitants have gone crazy and that Kirk’s brother is dead. Kirk’s sister-in-law and nephew are beamed up in critical condition. Interestingly enough Deneva looks just like a 1960s college campus in California for some reason. Meanwhile the landing party discovers an amorphous parasite that infects the inhabitants by biting them on the back. One of them bites Spock and he becomes possessed by the creature. Eventually Spock learns to overcome the pain and he helps Dr. McCoy find a cure for the infection. Finally, they figure out that the extremely strong light levels near a star is what destroys the parasite. To test it out they expose Spock to an extremely high light level and it works. The parasite is gone but Spock is made blind. But then McCoy realizes that ultraviolet light would have destroyed the parasite without blinding the host. With this knowledge the Enterprise is able to cure the population of Deneva. And it turns out that Spock’s blindness is temporary because Vulcan anatomy includes an inner eyelid.
Well, this is the last episode of the first season and comparing it to the rest of the season I’d say it was just about an average story. The parasite plot is actually sort of a rip-off of Heinlein’s “The Puppet Masters.” Spock being infected and fighting off the effects is slightly interesting and the blinding was a nice little twist but honestly there isn’t a lot here. And just to make sure there was a curse on the episode they dragged Nurse Chapel into the story to add her patented boredom to the mix. The best description for this one is meh.
6 // 1 That’s the most I can give it.