Star Trek “The Alternative Factor” (part 5 of 6)

Kirk and a few redshirts run off, while above them, Lazarus staggers to the edge of the ridge. He starts to climb down, but accidentally dislodges a large rock just as Kirk is walking under it.

He screams, “Captain, look out!” And as he does, manages to fall to the ground. It’s nowhere near as tightly edited as I’ve made it sound. First you see the rock fall, Kirk looks up, and as he does, Lazarus is falling.

Caption contributed by Ed

It’s a little known fact that the biblical Lazarus tended to play pranks on Jesus just like this. The other disciples were pissed off every time he ended up coming back.

Lazarus lands in a heap and unfortunately, after Kirk checks on him, we find ourselves back in Sickbay as McCoy examines him. You know, this episode may be the visual equivalent of “The Song that Doesn’t End”.

This is “The Episode that Doesn’t End”, if you will. It goes on and on, my friend. Apparently some people started making it, not knowing what it was, and then they went on making it forever, just because.

Well, maybe we’re almost at the end. Let me look… Oh god, we’re only twenty seven minutes in? I mean, yeah, a little more than halfway to the end, but still!

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Anyhow, Lazarus is gradually regaining his senses, and Kirk thanks him for saving his life. Kirk has some questions, but McCoy protests. Kirk insists, and Lazarus agrees.

Star Trek "The Alternative Factor" (part 5 of 6)

Kirk presents a report from the first interview that proves Lazarus was lying. The planet he claims to be from never existed, and the music flares up a bit. Sorry, music guys, but as much as I admire your spirit, the simple fact is that you’re more likely to get blood from a stone than you are to wring drama from this shriveled up, stinky turd of an episode.

Kirk demands the truth, and after rambling on for a bit, Lazarus reveals his ship is a time machine, and he is a time traveler. The music comes up again, and I have to say this to the composer: The hard come on? It really doesn’t get me in the mood, fella. Back off. Play hard to get if you must, but at least let me breathe a bit.

Turns out Lazarus’ enemy is also a time traveler (I think), and they’ve been chasing each other throughout time. He suddenly gets agitated again, and Kirk slams him down a bit, demanding to know where the crystals are.

Lazarus says his enemy took them, and McCoy demands Kirk let him rest, also telling him to get the redshirt out of there too.

Caption contributed by Ed

“We might as well let him take a break, these guys aren’t good for shit outside of target practice anyhow!”

He protests that Lazarus is in pain, to which Kirk gives a rather… interesting answer.

Kirk: Sometimes pain can drive a man harder than pleasure. I’m sure you know that, Doctor.

Yeah, I think I’m just gonna leave that one alone. It’s probably for the best.

McCoy states Lazarus isn’t going anywhere… and then promptly leaves with Kirk. Yeah, leave the rather unstable man alone with no guard after he’s already caused trouble on the ship. Good call, guys. Remind me how that worked out for you last time?

Sure enough, as soon as they leave, Lazarus staggers out of bed and everything goes blurry again…

Aaaggghhh! Come up with a new tune, god damn it! Jesus H. Christ on a pogo stick, even Jerry Garcia changed things up a bit on those goddamned endless guitar solos he did! And he could barely do anything besides fucking scales! What the—

Please hold while the author takes a couple Tylenol and a shot of Cabo Wabo… And by a shot, we mean a quarter of the bottle.

Okay, sorry about that. Moving on, things go blurry, but this time, Lazarus is able to fight it off. Elsewhere, Kirk and Spock are going over the evidence they have… as in, nothing. Spock states that it’s really perplexing, since the Enterprise is designed to locate and identify any object in the universe.

Hell, fine. Let’s go with that. Whatever gets us home faster, big ears.

Kirk and Spock go round and round for a moment until Kirk comes to the “obvious one alternative”. The radiation source is from a different universe.

Hang on, let me make sure I still have that bottle of Cabo… Yep, it’s good. We can continue.

Caption contributed by Ed

“Captain, staring into my eyes longingly will not make this episode any more coherent.”

Kirk agrees, saying it “explains a lot”… Whatever. At this point, you can rip your toupee off and eat it for all I care, you frigging Canucklehead!

Kirk and Spock agree that an alternate universe is possible, and now, finally, Shatner decides to give us what we want when we watch the man, if only briefly.

The camera does a rather big move to focus on Kirk, and for some reason, his eyes are key lit. Kirk posits that Lazarus came from a “minus universe” into their “positive universe”, to which Spock adds that this would cause a warp hole that would affect the laws of reality on an immense scale.

Caption contributed by Ed

Natural set lighting, or the DP kissing up to the star? You be the judge.

The supposed invasion theory is brought up, and is downgraded to a small-scale invasion. Also, Kirk and Spock figure out what’s actually fairly obvious, which is there are two Lazaruses (or would that be Lazuri?). One sane (sort of), the other insane. Kirk also suspects the warp hole is actually a door, and right now, I don’t think it’s possible to make sense of this episode. Even Stephen Hawking would say, “Fuck, I’ve got nothing, man!”

After a lot of circular dialogue, Spock finally comes up with the notion that the bad Lazarus wants to do something, and must be stopped. Great, now the walking think tank can’t come up with a coherent sentence!

Spock narrows things down to a case of a “matter universe” versus an “antimatter universe”. Which is funny, because I personally feel none of this matters!

This apparently makes the situation really critical, since matter and antimatter tend to cancel each other out violently. And as luck would have it, the two Lazaruses resemble these remarks.

Cut to outside, where Lazarus is just standing in a corridor next to a big red panel with “WARNING” written on it. He glances down at another panel marked “Warning, high voltage” and he opens it up, removing some pieces of whatever the hell is in there with a blue handkerchief. He places them back in a different order and they begin to smoke.

Caption contributed by Ed

Warning: Watching this episode under any circumstances is not recommended. Side effects will more than likely include running through the streets screaming madly while wielding a Nerf bat.

Caption contributed by Ed

Not that there’s any energy in this episode, though!

Okay, I’m guessing this is the evil Lazarus. Actually, I don’t give a shit, but work with me here!

Caption contributed by Ed

Hey, this scene is really smokin’ eh? …Sorry, I think the episode is getting to me again.

He walks off casually, while back in Engineering, Lt. Masters and the redshirt from earlier are doing whatever the hell it is they do. As they walk out of frame, a large panel begins to emit smoke.

Masters notices almost immediately, and apparently it’s the energizer shorting out… Whatever the hell that does. Pretty sure it’s important, given the music being played.

Caption contributed by Ed

“Crap, Jimmy! This is the third time this week you’ve broken the espresso machine!”

They evacuate, and as Kirk and Spock race to check it out, Lazarus sneaks into Engineering. By the time they get there, the fire is out and Lazarus is gone.

Lazarus makes it to a transporter room with what I would guess are more crystals. A rather dour (or slightly impaired, if you’re mean) redshirt informs him, “Sir, you shouldn’t be in here.” He gets easily subdued after a rather cheesy “Oh, I didn’t know that!” routine punctuated by the knockout blow.

Caption contributed by Ed

“Tell me about the rabbits before you go, Lazarus.”

I’d guess that they issue the red shirts to the crew members of less than average intelligence, but you have Scotty in one, so that doesn’t fly.

Ed Harris

A fan of less than great cinema since childhood, Ed divides his time between writing scripts, working an actual paying job and subjecting himself willingly to some of the worst films society has produced.

Multi-Part Article: Star Trek "The Alternative Factor"

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