Star Trek (TAS) “How Sharper than a Serpent's Tooth” (part 2 of 4)
Spock confirms Walkingbear’s explanation. Kirk speculates that they could be dealing with the basis of certain Earth myths. Meanwhile, McCoy is treating a yeoman in Sickbay (I know, weird, right?) when he suddenly gets transported away. Soon Scotty is whisked away as well, as is Walkingbear. Kirk stands and wonders what’s going on, and naturally, he too is snatched. Spock rushes to where Kirk just stood, and his expression becomes… let’s say “concerned”.
The four captives find themselves on a barren landscape. Wait a minute. Gold shirt, blue shirt, red shirt worn by Scotty, and… Walkingbear.
Yeah, Walkingbear’s a dead man. Kirk figures that despite appearances, they must be on the alien ship, but that’s okay, because even though they don’t have phasers or communicators, McCoy points out he has his medical kit. So they’ve got drugs. That means everything is cool.
Kirk asks Walkingbear for more information about Kukulcan, but the guy doesn’t know much more, only that long ago, Kukulcan promised to return to Earth. Kirk suggests the space probe must be his. Walkingbear is too polite to say “duh”.
Kukulcan speaks to them, saying he’ll show them “the seeds that he had sown before” and provides them with a puzzle, saying they have to solve it if they want him to appear before them. The landscape becomes an alien jungle. At least, I assume it’s an alien jungle; if it’s supposed to be an earth jungle, then the artist has never seen one.
Maybe this is supposed to be Kukulcan’s home world? I dunno. It changes to an ancient city.
In its center, they find a golden pyramid.
Scotty says he’s never seen anything so beautiful. So, is he seeing something different from everyone else? Like maybe a pyramid made of booze?
Meanwhile on the Enterprise, Uhura asks Spock if they shouldn’t be trying to figure out what happened to the captain and the others? Spock verbally slaps her down, telling her their first duty is to find a way to break free. Then he basically tells her to turn her ass around and keep monitoring the alien vessel. I know Spock is supposed to be cold and logical, but damn! Spock also seems really on edge, for some reason. Hmmm…
Back on the alien vessel… in the alien city, the four note different architectural styles. There are obelisks like the Egyptians made, only with funky new hieroglyphs.
They see an arch, but no one can identify the culture.
C’mon, it’s Chinese! There’s one just like this in Frisco’s Chinatown!
I don’t understand why the writers couldn’t have said that. Why does the arch have to be unidentified? Did they need to make it a mystery? Why? It’s just, I dunno, stupid.
Okay, so Walkingbear explains that Kukulcan gave the Mayans an accurate calendar, and instructions to build a city according to its cycles, then it turned out Kukulcan never appeared.
Kirk thinks “Kuklacan” (why he pronounces it that way is never explained; then again, this is Shatner, who says “sabotage” funny) gave instructions to a bunch of cultures, and that they all got it wrong. And as a result, all their cities were messed up. Kirk thinks there must be some sort of signaling device… because obviously, primitive peoples would design signaling devices that could summon aliens from sp—
…huh. Okay, granted, not as crazy a theory as I thought. Walkingbear notes a snake-topped column.
He says it’s odd, because he’s never seen anything like it before. You never saw the Chinese arch before either, Walkingbear. The column could be Irish for all you know.
Kirk thinks the pyramid is at the center of things, so he climbs it while the others surround it. Walkingbear really starts becoming a Wesley Crusher here, when he notices there are snake-columns at all four corners of the pyramid. I’m shocked Scotty is the one that figures out the head can be turned.
Kirk finds a kewl piece of stained glass on the top of the pyramid, sees what the others are doing, sees the sun, and makes another huge leap of logic. He says they all need to turn the heads inward. So the three do so, and they light up the stained glass.
Kirk explains it’s an energy amplification system (and really, shouldn’t Scotty be saying this? The poor guy does dick-all in this episode). So… the only important parts to this thing were 1) the pyramid and 2) the snake-headed columns. The rest of this city could have looked like Detroit, and the signaling device would have worked just as well.
Kukulcan himself then shows up.
And again, we see how potentially cool a cartoon series can be as opposed to live action. Imagine trying to make Kukulcan look like this with puppetry or Claymation.
Kukulcan dares them to shoot him. Kirk says they don’t have any weapons. Kukulcan is upset they shot at him before, but the humans point out he shot at them first. Kukulcan says he’s their master, and he “may do with them what he will”. Bones asks Kukulcan if he thinks they (humans) belong to him.
Ah, I see we have the return of stoopid Bones.