Clickerbox: Star Trek 1×05 “The Man Trap”

Enterprise stops off at yet another planet with a boring name full of meaningless numbers to deliver supplies and perform routine medical exams on a belligerent archaeologist and his waifu. Meanwhile, members of the crew keep popping up dead covered in strange marks.

My question is, with a title like this, where are the trannies?

To begin with, I’m already fucking bored with the scenery because here we are on yet another fucking desert planet. Sand dunes and rocks, oh boy! Oh, and there’s this thing in the background that looks like Stonehenge. Maybe that’s what Dr Fuckhat is here studying. I don’t know. Either way, this series needs to start switching up the types of environments we visit.

So the good Doctor and his wife are the only inhabitants of the planet and they’ve been studying…fucking dirt, I guess, for five years. The wife, Nancy was once involved with McCoy years back. Kirk has clearly brought McCoy with him because he feeds off awkwardness and pain. No, really, Kirk fucking taunts him like a huge ginormous asshole.

Why are we here doing this, anyway? For a ship that’s supposed to go where no man has gone before, they seem to be puttering around colonized areas an awful lot.

Things get even weirder as Dr Crater keeps trying to refuse medical treatment, and when Nancy finally arrives, she just waltzes up to the house randomly singing some sort of hideous opera piece. What the fuck is with that?

Each of the three Starfleet officers (they brought a redshirt along) sees Nancy as a different woman. To McCoy, she looks the same as when he last saw her, to Kirk, she appears more mature, and to the redshirt, she’s all sexy like one of Mudd’s Space Hos.

OH AND I AM SO SICK OF THE FUCKING SLEAZY SAX EVERY TIME THERE’S AN ATTRACTIVE WOMAN. FUCK OFF.

While McCoy and Kirk argue with Dr Crater, Nancy lures the redshirt away. This can’t end well. Why are we having two episodes out of three being about deceptive hotties. You know this won’t end well, and so do I.

Dr Crater continues to be a dick to McCoy and Kirk. He says the only supplies he wants are salt tablets and that he doesn’t want a check up and could they please fuck off? Kirk argues with him until he consents to a physical. He also very oddly refers to McCoy as “Plum” during this scene. THIS SERIES IS TOTALLY STRAIGHT.

Anyway, Nancy screams, everyone runs outside, and the redshirt is dead, bringing our count to two. His body is covered in what looks like hickeys. Nancy claims he ate a poisonous local plant, which looks an awful lot like a sour apple gumball.

Meanwhile on Enterprise, Spock is all chillin’ in the Captain’s chair like a pimp, while Uhura keeps trying to unsuccessfully flirt with him. I have to wonder if JJ Abrams got the idea for putting those two together from this scene. She seems to have a hard time dealing with his lack of emotion. When Kirk and McCoy beam up with the body all he says is “Acknowledged”. Uhura’s kind of appalled by this.

After an autopsy, McCoy says that the redshirt was not poisoned, and that aside from his hickeys, there’s nothing wrong with him at all. Kirk petulantly tries to argue with this because apparently he knows better than the trained medical professional.

Kirk, surprisingly does show some emotion over the death of his crewman. This is only #2, however. I guess he’ll get used to it.

McCoy checks the body again and discovered that all the salt is missing. Gee, I wonder where this clever twist could be going?

Kirk, McCoy, and two more redshirts beam back down and try to get Crater to come the fuck up toEnterprise with his wife until they figure this shit out, just to be on the safe side. Dr Crater predictably puts up a fuss. This guy. This fucking guy. I hate him so much. He genuinely seemsto think that he fucking owns the whole planet. He’s a douche.

Kirk says he hates mysteries because they give him a bellyache. I’m sorry, but that might just be the cutest thing ever.

Crater goes to find Nancy, but finds the corpse of one of the redshirts instead (3),also covered in the Red Rings of Death. Then we see Nancy kill the other redshirt (4), and then fucking shapeshift to look just like him.

Kirk and McCoy don’t see this, and they beam up to the Enterprise with the impostor in tow. Loose on the ship, Nancy begins to wander around in search of more people to kill.

As the redshirt she walks up to Rand, who’s carrying a lunch tray and tries to steal the salt off it. Rand swats her away before munching down on some veggie sticks. I really, really like this character. She’s just…awesome. The crewmen she gets into the elevator with are fucking goons though, as usual.

Rand delivers the tray to Sulu, who apparently has like five thousand fucking plants in his quarters, one of which is quite clearly a frilly pink hand puppet. Nancy wanders in and tries to be natural, but the glove-plant snaps at her.

She then sees Uhura, whose hair is done up like Mickey Mouse ears, and morphs into a sexy-ass black man and tries to turn on the charm. Nancy-as-black-dude keeps going on about how he’s been watching Uhura for a while and they’re meant to be together and backs her up against the wall ….I guess we have to sound the ol’ Rape Alarm again, don’t we? They speak a bit of Swahili to each other and Uhura swoons, but manages to get away. Nancy is clearly getting desperate for more murder.

Also in the corridor, there’s some random guy dressed in tin foil. No, really.

So, this is like the second episode in a row with murderous doubles wandering the ship. IMAGINATION!

Nancy morphs back to herself and sidles up to McCoy. She tells him she beamed up on her own for safety and convinces him that he has to defend her from…certain accusations. McCoy actually falls under the sway of pussy and I must say I am disappoint. Kirk, yeah, but McCoy’s smarter than that. Nancy convinces him to take a sedative, and then she wanders off.

She actually manages to kill another redshirt (5). When it’s discovered, Sulu cradles the body. What is with this guy and holding corpses? It’s a little fucking weird. And is there a reason the ship’s intercom whistle sounds like a wolf whistle?

Kirk and Spock beam back down to the planetagain to confront Crater, who is hiding behind a rock. He’s got a gun, and starts shooting. There’s quite a nice little action-y scene where Kirk and Spock are pinned down and try to out-think Crater and get the drop on him. Shat even manages to sneak without rolling around in the dirt!

So, they stun Crater and he reveals that Nancy’s been dead for years and what’s loose on the ship is the last survivor of this planet’s native species, a shapeshifting monster than feeds on salt. It has a sort of hypnotic power where it renders its prey docile by reading their memories, shifting shape to appeal to that, and then inducing a sort of trance. The monster killed Nancy and Crater let it since it was “only trying to survive”.  Crater’s been coexisting with this creature. The monster takes Nancy’s form so he can be with his “wife” again, and in return, he fed the creature salt. It will die without it, hence its desperation.

That said, the salt-sucker monster is a pretty cool idea! I quite like this turn of events and it nearly single-handedly saves the episode.

Back on Enterprise, the creature’s killed another redshirt (6), this time one with a really nice ass.

Kirk holds a meeting with the various department heads and Crater, while the creature sneaks in disguised as McCoy, who is also wearing eyeshadow. Crater fills them in on how to kill it. He at first tries to keep his history with the monster a secret, but Spock’s real good at seeing through bullshit. Nice try, though.

Kirk gives him a sternface and threatens him with truth serum. ENTERPRISE HAS TRUTH SERUM? That’s kinda fuckin’ scary, you guys…

The creature returns to its Nancy-form and kills Crater, then goes and wakes up McCoy begging him for protection. Spock and Kirk barge in to kill it, but McCoy defends it. He and Kirk have a really well-written and acted argument over it, until Spock shouts at him to snap him out of it. Cause that like never happens.

Then Spock just starts slapping the shit out of the creature and it’s fucking awesome. It fights back and throws his ass clear across the room, giving us our first glimpse of that famous green Vulcan blood.

The creature reveals its true form, but McCoy shoots it dead, and you can tell from the look on his face it really, really hurts him to do it.

At first, I was concerned this episode was too much of a rehash of previous stories, and while many of those criticisms still stand, the last half really picks up and becomes awesome. I really like Uhura’s attempt to flirt with Spock and the way his emotionlessness can rub people the wrong way. I think the nature of the monster is quite a clever idea, and that final scene is probably the best of the series so far.

REDSHIRT DEATHS: 6

UNNECESSARY ROLLS: 1

SHIRTLESS SHATNER: 3

Next time: Star Trek 1×06 “The Naked Time”

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