Star Trek – The Original Series – Complete Series Review – Season 3 Episode 13 – Elaan of Troyius

Finally!  Something bearable.

In this episode the Enterprise is conveying a royal bride from her own planet to a neighboring planet where she will wed the neighboring planet’s king.  But the inhabitants of the two planets hate each other viscerally.  The ambassador who is supposed to tutor the princess in the manners of her new home is stabbed by her for his trouble.

So, Captain Kirk decides to take over the job.  But when she throws a knife at him, he decides that coddling her is a mistake and so he threatens to spank her.  She starts to cry and he gallantly wipes the tear away.  But unknown to Kirk the women of her planet have a biochemical agent in their tears that ensnares the man contacted with them to a permanent state of love with that woman.  So, of course, Kirk starts pawing her and slobbering over her which she encourages.

Meanwhile a Klingon ship is waiting for word from a member of the princess’s entourage on the Enterprise.  He sabotages the dilithium crystals and informs the Klingons.  The sabotage is an act of jealousy because of the princess’s upcoming marriage.  The Klingons order the helpless Enterprise to surrender.  The plan is to destroy the wedding and thereby discredit the Federation in the eyes of the planets in the system and leave it open to Klingon hegemony.

Luckily the princess has a wedding gift of a necklace made of dilithium crystals (the reason for the Klingons’ interest in the system).  She gives it to Kirk who has Scotty and Spock install them in the matter-antimatter engines just in time to save the Enterprise from destruction and damage the Klingon ship enough to send it limping away.

The princess and Kirk sadly part ways as she beams down for her wedding.  In the final scene McCoy arrives excitedly on the bridge and tells Spock that he has isolated a cure for the love potion.  Spock informs McCoy that he is too late.  Apparently, the Enterprise already has an unbreakable lock on Kirk’s heart that has allowed him to get over the princess.    McCoy replies that he doesn’t think there is an antidote for Kirk’s love for the Enterprise.  And Spock seems to agree.

So, that’s the plot.  Very hokey, very silly.  But surprisingly funny.  Kirk’s annoyance with the arrogance of the princess and his decision to treat her as a spoiled brat are entertaining.  And the show ends off with a space battle between the Enterprise and a Klingon war ship so the episode is well into the acceptable range of Star Trek episodes.  And once Kirk has been infected by the princess’s tears, Shatner does indeed ham it up with his patented facial expressions of confusion and emotional turmoil.  It reminds me of the expression some people have when they’re trying to remember where they left their car keys or maybe are suffering from gas.

I’m so glad this episode didn’t suck quite as bad as the last few.  I was losing the will to live.

I’ll give this a  7  // 6.