Mar 1, 2018
Star Trek (TAS) “Mudd's Passion” (part 4 of 7)
Cut to Spock, flatly dictating his log. He gets to the part where he says he’s going to append the medical summary from Nurse Chapel. As soon as he mentions her name, you can almost hear something snap in his brain. He lowers his recording device, and kicks off what might be the single most hilarious subplot in the entire Star Trek franchise.
|Spock: Ahhhh. Nurse Chapel’s sweet summary. [!!] Oh. Dear.. lovely.. Christine.|
And then, to make it all the more priceless, Spock’s look of near-rapture almost immediately switches to a look of anger. Oh, man. That was insane. I just now googled “what the fuck?” and saw a picture of this scene. You can listen to it by clicking here.
Spock seems to know that something’s up, but then it’s back to the shuttlebay. Chapel gets the drop on Mudd, karate chopping him on the shoulder (and doing Shatner proud). She takes back the Flask Phaser and says she’s “come to collect on [his] guarantee!” And you really have to wonder about the specifics of that guarantee, since it’s obvious no money changed hands.
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Cut to the bridge. There’s a panoramic, static pan around the bridge, just like we get on every other episode of TAS. During this, we hear Spock’s disconnected voice hovering over it all: “Captain…. umm, Doctor… I.. wish to report a, um… a number of very strange, um… emotions.” The static shot of the bridge ends, and cue Kirk and McCoy’s disbelieving responses. I love how we’re supposed to believe everyone on the bridge just sat there, not looking at Spock, or so much as twitching a muscle during that lengthy, stuttering stammer of a line.
Anyway, back in the Happy Funtime Shuttlebay, Chapel is yelling at Mudd for causing her to make a fool out of herself. Well, sorry to break it to you, Christine, but that was all you. I mean, is there an outcome here that would have left her not looking like a fool? Suppose the love potion worked? She would’ve been using chemicals to make somebody fall in love with her. That’s not foolish? Sorry, Christine, but if you want someone to love you, you have to do it the old fashioned way: Buy them lots of expensive things.
Anyway, Mudd theorizes that it takes longer to work on Vulcans, because of how “cold” they are. And indeed, we the viewers know that’s what happened, but Chapel doesn’t want to hear about it. She points the Flask Phaser at him, telling him it’s set to stun.
So Harry holds up three fingers [??] for no apparent reason, and continues to try to talk his way out of this predicament. Is he trying to do the sign for “V-dub, in deh hauuuuse!”? At first, I was completely bewildered by this gesture, but then I re-watched the opening scenes of Harry on Motherlode. He uses this exact same gesture when he tells the Heavy Metal Minors that the crystals are “300 credits”. Only here, his facial expression is completely different, meaning that they only reused the drawing of his arm, and possibly his torso. I really couldn’t tell you why.
He suggests that the crystal she used was “defective”, and pulls out a whole handful of love crystals and offers them to her. But Chapel ain’t havin’ that. Abruptly, she fires on him, and he runs away. Wow, Christine, aren’t you little miss Itchy McTriggerfinger today?
I mean, what the hell? You’re pissed off about Spock, so you decide to take a shot at Mudd? Come on! The guy isn’t even armed, unless you consider a handful of Dentyne flavor crystals to be lethal weapons. And when she fires on him, she doesn’t even take her hand off her hip. That’s hot. It’s most likely the result of lazy animation, but still hot.
Anyway, this causes Mudd to drop the crystals. We don’t see him drop them, of course. That level of detail would require effort. No, instead we simply cut to him running away from the phaser fire, with the crystals already sitting on the floor. And of course, they’ve landed right next to a air vent. Uh-oh! What could this foretell? Sure enough, a curlycue of wind whooshes out of the vent and sucks up the crystals.
Chapel sets off the Red Alert klaxon, and this causes the stock Filmation action Dah dah dah dah dah, bwah! Bwah, bwah! music to blast in the background. Mudd eventually gets the upper hand on Chapel by… running directly at her. Shrewd personal combat skills, Mr. Mudd. He grabs her arm and she shoots high and then she just… collapses into Mudd’s arms [?]. Okay, what happened there? Damn. This show is even making the Ruby-Spears stuff seem coherent. I can only conclude that all that excitement was just too much for little ol’ Christine to handle. Let that be a lesson to you, Nursie: Stick to handing McCoy his salt shakers.
On the bridge, the crew reacts to the Red Alert, and Kirk has Lt. Arex put the shuttlebay on the viewscreen. There’s a shot of Spock as he watches Mudd slip into a shuttlecraft. “And he has Christine!” Spock cries. “She’s in danger! My love!” Wow. Who even talks like that, potion-influenced Vulcan or not?
Hilariously, they insert shots of everybody in the bridge crew just staring in disbelief. Well, okay, it’s probably just the same static “looking forward” drawings they use for any other scene, but the way they edit them in is pretty funny. It’s all in the editing, folks.
To top it all off, when we cut to Lt. Arex, he whistles [?!?]. Okay, whistling? I could see maybe a “huh” noise or a Scooby Doo “broo?” or even a boi-oi-oing, but a catcall? Um, well, I’m willing to grant that maybe he misheard what Spock just said. After all, he doesn’t seem to have any noticeable ears.
Kirk notes that Mudd is headed for the Class M planet below, and who would have guessed, huh? Spock yells, “No! Not with my Christine!” Coming this summer to the Lifetime Network: Leonard Nimoy and Sally Field star in Not Without My Christine!
After some shots of the shuttle cruising through space, we cut to inside the craft. Mudd declares his intention to put Chapel down somewhere “safe” and then, “I’ll be off, discreetly!” What then, pray tell, was the purpose of taking a hostage in the first place? He was already in the shuttlecraft bay. He had already subdued Chapel. He could have easily hopped in a shuttle by himself and been on his merry way. But, no. He had to go and get Sex-Crazed Spock all mad. And let me tell you, Sex-Crazed Spock is the one guy you don’t want to fuck with. Unless you want a bowl of plomeek soup hurled at your head.