Clickerbox: Star Trek 1×03 “Mudd’s Women”

Enterprise takes on four new passengers in the form of a space pimp and his hos. Hilarity ensues.

It’s Trek time.

As we open on episode three, the camera move’s past Stupid Bailey’s replacement, Ferrel, who clearly has FAS. Enterprise is chasing a small unregistered cargo vessel into a dense asteroid field.

3720 to 1 odds, boys.

The cargo ship is going so dangerously fast it’s starting to burn out its engines. Enterprise expands its shields to protect it, and beam the crew to safety just before an asteroid hits is dead on. The strain destroys three of Enterprise’s lithium crystals, whatever the fuck those are.

Any time something goes wrong with the ship, the bridge always fucking sparks or explodes or the power goes out…this doesn’t make a whole hell of a lot of sense, given the fact you’d want your command centre as insulated as possible from shit like that. Hell, if Scotty’s such a god of engineering why does the fucking ship break every other episode?

As Scotty beams the cargo ship’s crew aboard, the world is introduced to Harcourt Fenton Mudd, probably one of Star Trek’s largest hams, but you can’t help but love him. He has probably the worst fake-Irish accent I’ve ever heard, and dresses like a gay pirate cowboy. He’s got a necklace of hair for fuck’s sake. It’s not chest hair protruding from the top of his shirt, it’s a fucking ring of it around his neck. There’s a visible gap between necklace hair and chest hair. GOOD GRIEF! On top of that, the motherfucker is a space pimp.

*swoon*

It’s interesting that McCoy seems distrustful of transporter technology. Maybe it’s just personal preference, but it’s not like the transporter is a new thing. I can’t remember if they’re consistent with this.

Mudd’s space-hos are also beamed aboard, and the immediately set to work slutting up the place, much to the enjoyment of the crew. McCoy and Scotty are rendered speechless by them. Spock just has this look on his face like he could not give less of a fuck and I love him for it.

I sort of hate how derp-tastic the crew gets around women. It’s not like this is a boys-only crew. There are plenty of women aboard, and besides, given what I’ve seen these past few episodes, I’m almost certain they’re all gay. The music hits a new low as the camera lingers on the women’s asses as they waltz down the corridors, with Mudd deliberately trying to get the crew interested in his hos, who leer to the point of sexual harassment, and the whole merry bunch escorted by an annoyed Spock. Maybe I wouldn’t hate this quite as much if I hadn’t just recently seen the abysmal Enterprise episode “Bound”, which features similar sequences involving some Orion women.

In the turbolift on the way up to see the Captain, Mudd remarks that Spock is immune to the charms of the Space Hos because he is “part Vulcanian”. I think you mean “Vulcan”, motherfucker and I have no idea he guessed that Spock is only half-Vulcan. He’s not visibly different from other Vulcans we see, so who knows.

They talk to Kirk, and Mudd tries to interest him in some Space Pussy. It’s just mean, tempting Captain Kirk like that, homie, you know what he’s like. Kirk surprisingly refuses women and confines Mudd to quarters pending a hearing. I’m surprised at how sensible he’s being. Usually he’d fall prey to the feminine wiles of Space Pussy.

Scotty reminds the captain that the ship’s one remaining crystal is cracking under the strain, and that they need to stop off at the nearest mining colony, Rygel XII to get more. This just reminds me of Farscape and makes me wish that series was still around. Sigh.

McCoy keeps trying to get Mudd to let him perform a “medical exam” on the women, which Mudd wisely refuses. I’ve seen enough porn to know what you’re up to Doctor. Good try.

Kirk, Spock and Scotty discuss what to do with Mudd, and to my surprise they keep referring to him as a jackass. A jackass he certainly is, but I didn’t know they could say that in 1966.

The hearing begins, and it’s quite a nice little scene. I love Mudd’s little back-and-forth with the talking lie detector. It’s some of the best comedy in the series so far. I have to facepalm when one of the Space Hos wonderingly breathes:

It can read our minds?

Yes, I’m sure, sweetie.

I love that Mudd’s record states that he was sentenced to psych treatment, which was ineffective. The man’s totally full of shit. It’s wonderful.

Kirk’s mad because Mudd was flying around without a flight plan, which I find really bizarre. I wasn’t aware galactic travel was so strictly regulated in the Trekverse. I remember reading somewhere that before Enterprise left on its five-year exploration mission, it was used primarily for law enforcement and judicial hearings, so maybe this sort of thing makes sense to them.

Mudd sells wives to Space Settlers you see, collecting women from colonies without many men (which sounds like a sexy lesbian paradise. Why would you want to leave) and selling them to lonely creeps, much like eHarmony. I don’t really like the implication here that in order to feel fulfilled what women really want is husbands to cook for.

Space pimping makes total sense, I mean, if there’s Earth-pimping, there’s no reason it wouldn’t expand outward. While I have no problems with prostitution, it’s kinda sleazy how this isn’t so much a service as it is Mudd selling people. It’s human trafficking, not sex work. I don’t like it.

The final crystal fails and Kirk orders the ship to Rigel XII as soon as possible. Mudd overhears this and decides to sic his Space Hos on the miners, and then use the money from that to take over the Enterprise. It’s quite a hammy speech, and Mudd even kicks back in his chair, laughing loudly to himself. That’s all well and good, but there’s like two security officers standing right there, buddy.

As Enterprise is in orbit around Rigel XII, Kirk updates his Captain’s Log without even moving his mouth. Not only is he a legendary starship captain, he’s a wicked ventriloquist too!

In the meanwhile, the Space Hos slut it up amongst the crew. One goes to medical to hit on Bones, who basically tells his male assistant to GTFO. He then asks the Ho to walk past his “panel” again as she made it “beep”.

All joking aside, there really is a panel, looking like HAL 9000’s inbred hillbilly cousin which goes berserk when the Ho walks by it. McCoy asks her if she’s wearing radioactive perfume. Um, what the fuck? Do women of the 23rd century slather themselves in uranium on a regular basis? McCoy continues being weird by telling the Ho, almost lovingly, all about the miners. If I didn’t know what kind of miners he meant, I’d think he was a pedophile.

Kirk discovers the Lead Space Ho lying in his bed, which is a dangerous place for a woman to be. Kirk actually resists seduction in this case, but as soon as he does, he looks a little confused as to why. Queen Ho complains that she’s never met a paragon, which I’m sure sent all the men in the audience scrambling for some Renegade actions.

Queen Ho says Mudd put her up to it but she just can’t go through with it. For some reason her dialogue in this scene looks like it’s been dubbed over by someone else. She then flees back to Mudd’s quarters with a stolen communicator, saying “it’s time”.

Did you just make a menstruation joke, Star Trek?

Kirk encourages McCoy to give the Hos his perverse medical exams, and McCoy very unnervingly says he’ll have to cut them open.

Wat.

Despite this weirdness, I have to say there’s quite a lot of nice dialogue in this episode between all the regular cast and especially Mudd. The Hos, not so much, but you can’t win them all.

Mudd uses the communicator to contact the miners and offer them the Hos. The man might be sleazy, but he’s all business. Every day he’s hustlin, etc.

The Hos are looking all aged and wrinkly like they’ve been hit with too much force lightning or some shit, and Mudd gives them “Venus drug” pills to restore them to womanly prettiness. I guess they’re naturally ugly women resorting to pharmaceutical extremes to attain beauty….OH MY GOD THEY’RE TRANS. THEY ARE ALL TRANS. THEY TAKE PILLS TO MAKE THEM FEMININE HOLY SHIT THIS IS MY LIFE.

In the briefing room, Spock is playing with a huge rock of crack, which apparently powers the ship. Kirk tries to barter with the miners, but they don’t want money. No sir, they want them the pussy Mudd has offered them. I really don’t like the way people are treated as a commodity in this episode.

Not to mention, fuck these miners. They are creepy hill people who threaten the lives of everyone on board so they can get their dicks wet, even as the ships systems start shutting down. What the fuck, people?

Kirk, Spock, and Mudd beam down to the surface, where the Hill People are partying with the Space Hos. The house looks like Mr Freeze’s lair or some shit, and the miners don’t make a very good case for the Hos wanting to stay there, going on about how  hard and inhospitable and tough it is.

BUT FUCK IT LET’S DANCE

They way the miners bicker and fight over who gets what Ho is pretty scuzzy too,; the treat the Hos like they’re disposable, interchangeable people. Which they are, so fuck it.

Queen Ho is feeling huffy, and so the Hill People kind of ignore her. Out the door she runs into the inhospitable alien waste. She’s a genius, this one.

Kirk goes out after her, and King of the Hill People goes out after him. All three of them lean against the same rock in the same pose, peering through the sandstorm. Just how many people are gonna go out a-wandering in the desert? Goddamn it.

Kirk beams his people back up to Enterprise to scan for the missing ho on infrared. Which is kinda what he should have done in the first fuckin’ place.

I found them, repeat, I found them.

The King of the Hill people finds his Ho and takes her back to his lair, and surprisingly, doesn’t rape her in the night. The next morning, the Ho cooks him breakfast and in return, he just acts like a real asshole and tells her she’s a shitty cook, and what with all the sodomy, he don’t need no woman. Hell, the Ho is a lot more sensible than he is to boot.

The Hill Person continues to berate the Ho for being ugly as she reverts back to her natural looks. He complains that she’s a bitch. When Kirk and co. burst in his first instinct is to insist he never touched her. What a charming man.

Mudd explains to the miner that his Hos take the Venus drug, which enhances whatever positive looks you already had, men more manly, muscly and aggressive, women more curvaceous and docile. GEE SEXIST MUCH. Apparently femininity is just submission. SHEESH.

So, then we all learn about how ideal beauty isn’t real and blah blah blah. What undercuts this message is that the Hos, despite being uglified, stay with these assholes. They clearly want trophies and sex objects, not a partner.

Queen Ho takes a Venus pill from Mudd to demonstrate the effects to the King of the Hill People and gets all pretty again. Kirk reveals it was a placebo, and that he confiscated Mudd’s real drugs and everyone was beautiful all along if you believe in yourself you too can marry and abusive pig!

Kirk and Spock beam up with Mudd, to take him to Space Jail. Spock and McCoy have some wonderfully catty dialogue and Spock remarks:

An annoyingly emotional episode

You’re not far off buddy.

I think for me this one just kind of breaks even. The overall message doesn’t really make sense given the resolution of the story and the overt sexism just rubs me the wrong way. That said, the dialogue in this episode is the best so far, the acting has improved noticeably, and Mudd, while certainly a hammy slimeball, just has something watchable about him. His second episode is a fair bit better.

Also I think he’s bi-curious.

RED SHIRT DEATHS: 1

UNNECESSARY ROLLS: 1

SHIRTLESS SHATNER: 2

Next time: Star Trek 1×04 “The Enemy Within”

About Random Assault

Random Assault is a collabaration of nerds who get together every Sunday to talk about whatever they want on their show Random Assault Podcast. What makes us unique is that we bring on guests from all walks of life who are just as passonate about entertainment as we are, guests including you! Just drop us a line and we'll put you on the list of guests, it's that easy!
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