The Entire Star Trek Universe at High Speed

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Star Trek: The Original Series: A Piece of the Action; aka Kirk Goes Crazy Acting the Gangster and Takes Spock With Him

TOS: Episode 46: A Piece of the Action

Strangely, our episode opens with the discovery that the Star Fleet exploration vessel, the U.S.S. Horizon, has been missing for a hundred years. It's last known point of contact was a planet now being visited by our own U.S.S. Enterprise. However, it's a planet that has not been seen by Star Fleet since the Horizon’s departure, that is, over 100 years ago. The situation is confusing to even our trusty bridge crew, but Kirk promises to explain as he beams down with both McCoy and Spock.

It turns out the planet's population has evolved in an altered manner since the visit of the Horizon. Further, materials left behind by the Horizon have effectively contaminated the otherwise expected cultural trajectory of the planet and it is now our away teams job to "de-contaminate" their culture of the Horizon's untoward influences by determining the artifact left behind as cause of the unanticipated change. Apparently, before the Horizon's visit the planet was a pre-industrial civilization not yet ready to develop technological advances on their own. Spock, McCoy, and Kirk beam down not knowing what they may find, and so too not knowing what could possibly be the source of contamination they must correct. Our officers find themselves ready to study the since changed culture, only to discover a very Chicago gangster looking, utterly humanoid, earth-like city state. Our crew is greeted by zoot suit wearing, machine gun wielding dominators.

Gangsters approach our Captain and their lead man, equipped with enormous tommy gun croons, “I wanna see you turn to stone. Put your hands over your head.” And so it begins.

Kirk and Spock really playing the part

The Let’s Pretend We Can Travel Back in Time Star Trek Drinking Game

Since this episode doesn’t appear to be sci-fi anyway (it’s just another revisiting of the U.S. recent past with a lot of brilliant over acting by our beloved William Shatner) let’s not bother reviewing the socio-political commentary. Let’s get straight to the business.

Drink whenever:
  1. Spock asks a question that pisses off “the boys.”
  2. There’s a drive by shooting.
  3. McCoy gets called "blue eyes."
  4. Kirk is dumbfounded by the conditions of the situation (careful you'll be blind drunk quick on this one).
  5. Someone refers to the boss.
  6. You ask yourself, “Wait a minute, how do these people on a distant planet look just exactly like humans?”
  7. A weapon gets referred to as "a chopper."
  8. Someone mentions “Kracko.”
  9. You ask yourself how one book written in 1992 left behind by the Horizon has become the bible of an entire world.
  10. You realize women are dealt with as only decorative.
  11. Spock remarks on the horrifying circumstances being, “Interesting.”
  12. You realize, “Wait, this isn’t sci-fi.”
  13. You recognize that Kirk is simply incapable of lying, and you’re irritated by the obviousness of it.
  14. The away team is sent to "the warehouse."
  15. Scotty acts confused.
  16. The life of the Captain is threatened (again, plain tar loaded drunk).
  17. The crew acts completely incapable of dealing with the violent tendencies of this alternate culture.
  18. You think, wait a minute. “What the hell? The writers think that a Chicago Mob culture on a distant planet is going to offer Americans of the early 1970’s a lesson on allowing the bible to dominate their entire culture?”
  19. You realize your thought from drinking point 18 really is the writers' entire goal with this episode.
  20. Kirk pulls on challenges of masculinity to get what he wants.
  21. Kirk talks total nonsense (very drunk by now).
  22. Kirk demands Spock to participate in nonsense.
  23. Spock uses his Vulcan pinch.
  24. Kirk proves he is barely able to breathe.
  25. As Kirk gets pushed into the backseat of an old black car you suddenly think of the Matrix and wonder if he’ll have a giant metal bug pulled out of his abdomen.
  26. McCoy and Spock get all cute and smart-man flirty with each other (this won't happen enough to get you drunk, but it will make the episode for you).
  27. Spock utilizes the earth-like radio system to contact Uhura.
  28. Krako turns out to be far less mob-like leader than you expected or hoped for.
  29. Someone plays either darts or pool.
  30. You realize Krako is actually a well-known actor.
  31. You think, “Boy, Kirk’s shirt doesn’t really fit that well.”
  32. One of the decorative women turns out to be wearing macramé ruffles while rubbing Kirk’s back.
  33. You think, “Boy, the way these guys are talking must make their throat hurt quite a bit. I bet he wants some water. Do mobsters really talk that way?”
  34. McCoy says, “Wow.”
  35. Spock references logic and the idea of a moral inversion in the same sentence.
  36. The crew is confused by slang such as “the bag,” “heaters,” “spring,” or “palee.”
  37. Spock is suckered into going along with a proven liar.
  38. Spock uses the word “Indigenous.”
  39. Kirk acts like he has ingenuity.
  40. Kirk engages in a fight scene that turns out to not make any sense.
  41. A woman is chewing gun (super dooper big time drunk from this one).
  42. Someone calls Spock a dummy.
  43. Spock uses grammatical analysis to try and reason with a gangster.
  44. Kirk plays tough guy (call ahead before the episode starts to have a friend check on you and take you to the emergency room to have your stomach pumped from this one).
  45. Kirk and Spock play dress up.
  46. Spock gives Kirk driving lessons.
  47. A kid appears on screen.
  48. Kirk plays daddy.
  49. Really bad special effects appear on the screen in flashing red lights.
  50. Spock and Kirk get tricked.
  51. You start to suspect this whole episode was written just so that Shatner could play some old acting dream mob part, kind of like how Brett Spiner gets to play Sherlock all the time on The Next Generation.
  52. Kirk gets a little too into his gangster part (you're having your stomach pumped now).
  53. Spock goes along with Kirk as he’s able, though it’s clearly a strain for him.
  54. You realize Kirk is wearing a Panama and wonder if he and Carmen San Diego would get along.
  55. Kirk and Spock beat people up.
  56. Scotty tries to smartly use local slang and says the wrong thing.
  57. Kirk and Spock leave their guns behind and yet find them in exactly the same place when they return.
  58. Spock starts playing gangster too and goes so far as to talk funny while doing it.
  59. The Enterprise uses the transporter to beam an Indigenous person to a new location.
  60. Kirk gets fancy with the communication device.
  61. The Enterprise stuns everybody from space.
  62. Spock and McCoy brood.
  63. Kirk turns logic back on Spock.
  64. You realize Star Trek really is just incredibly cheesy.

1 comment:

Anna said...

I actually teared up a little laughing at this one.