Episode number: 12th episode aired, 17th episode produced
Written by: some dude named Gene Roddenberry
Directed by: Robert Butler, who actually directed The Cage and not The Menagerie. He also directed the pilots of Moonlighting and Hill Street Blues
Captain’s Log: Hey, remember all the boring blah blah blah in the first part of this? Well, that’s over and this episode is, thankfully, mostly the original pilot, The Cage.
After Captain Kirk rehashes last episode in a Captain’s Log entry, the court martial reconvenes. Spock says that the Assheadish have taken over the ship’s viewscreens, so everybody best settle in while Gene Roddenberry makes sure that original pilot wasn’t wasted.
Pike wakes up in a plexiglass enclosed cell in an underground bunker. Three Assheads begin observing him and taking notes about how primitive he is, but they don’t talk – they use telepathy, which is signalled by gross pulsating veins on their sac-like craniums. And to be honest, from behind their noggins look like a face on view of a penis. These guys are all sorts of ugly.
That broad Vina is in the cage with Pike, and suddenly she and he are transported to Rigel 7, from which the Enterprise just came. They’re in front of a big medieval looking castle and Vina is dressed like a princess; Pike notes that this is exactly like his Rigel 7 experience (which didn’t go well) except for her. She runs to the castle and he follows and then this huge, bucktoothed Russkie looking motherfucker comes out and starts attacking. At first Pike doesn’t want to fight, knowing this is all an illusion, but Vina tells him that he’ll feel the pain of a wound just as badly in the illusion as he would in reality.
When Pike gets knocked around by the Cossack he comes to the conclusion that she’s right. As the Cossack is about to reenact the the Russian Revolution on Vina’s private parts, Pike throws a big ass, cardboard dagger into the beast’s back. The big dude either tries to jump down on Pike or just falls down, but either way he ends up impaled on a stake and dead.
Upstairs the Enterprise has beamed down a huge cannon, and they fire it at the elevator, but it seems to do nothing but create pretty sparkly colors. Number One says that the blast should have taken the top off the hillside and the doctor is all like ‘Bitch, I’ve been telling you – these mofos have mind powers, and maybe we did tear the roof off this mutha but they’re not letting us see that.’
They’re back in the cage and the Sacboys show Pike how they treat dissenters by making Vina writhe in agony and then disappear. Then the aliens try to get Pike to eat; when he refuses to do so they make him think he’s in a lake of fire – hell. They refer to it a myth he knew from childhood, which sounds pretty ballsy for a TV show in the 60s.
Next the DickSkulliacs put Vina and Pike in a forest glade near his home for a picnic. Pike’s horse is there, and everything is nice, but he won’t fall for it.Throughout all of this, Pike is learning about his captors – they can’t read his mind through hate, and they want him to bang it out with Vina to create a colony of humans. They are the descendents of an ancient race that wiped out the planet’s surface in a war; retreating underground they turned their attention to developing mental powers, and then they became addicted to creating illusions. Over time they forgot how to use most of the machines their ancestors left, just like Idiocracy, and they want a slave race of humans to help them out.
At this point they realize they can’t win Pike by showing him where he’s been, so they show him what he wants – a hedonistic life away from all the Starfleet rules and regulations. He finds himself in a semi-Roman court on an alien planet and Vina is a green skinned Orion slave girl, totally fuckable and explaining my childhood masturbation to the Jolly Green Giant’s little buddy Sprout.
We cut back to the modern day, where Mendez and Kirk are all excited about these Orion slave girls. ‘Yo, I heard they’ll suck the color out of your irises,’ Mendez says.
Pike is getting pretty bonerfied, so he tries to get out of there (so ironic – before he knew aliens wanted him to bang this chick he probably was going to rut with her behind a rock, but as soon as somebody is trying to be his telepathic wingman, he’s choosy about where he wets his wick) but he just ends up back in the cage again.
On the Enterprise the new plan is to beam into the cavern complex, despite the danger that they might end up in the middle of solid rock. Spock, Number One, an adorable yeoman and two other dudes go on the transporter pad, but only the yeoman and Number One beam down… right into Pike’s cage.
Pike now has three bitches at his disposal, and he gets to choose which ones he likes the best. This makes Vina pretty jealous, and Pike is now starting to get some ideas. He throws some mental hatespeech at the Talassholians, who explain that Number One may be frigid and would only do it in the missionary position but would pop up some smart kids. The yeoman, though has ‘unusually strong female drives,’ which means she’d be a demon in the sack.
As the four of them chill out in the cage, Pike sees a Talosian come by to feed them. He grabs the dude through the feeding hole and starts choking him. The alien turns into a delightful looking pink gorilla pig, but Pike won’t let go. He has a theory – their phasers actually DO work, but they’re seeing illusions that indicate they don’t. He offers to test it out on the Talosian’s head, and voila – they’re out of the cage.
The transmission ends. Kirk is like, ‘You’re bringing Pike to Talos IV to live the rest of his days in fantasy while in a zoo?’ Spock says, ‘It’s more than that,’ but it barely is, so I don’t know what the fuck he’s even talking about. Or why he doesn’t just explain himself. Anyway, the transmission does not continue and Mendez calls for a vote. Everybody votes that Spock is guilty.
By now the Enterprise is in Talos IV’s orbit. A commercial break successfully cleared, the Talosians get back in touch and start sending transmissions. Pike and his angels make it to the planet’s surface with their hostage. Sure enough, the cannon blasted the FUCK out of that elevator shaft. But they still can’t get in touch with the ship, and the Talosian is like ‘Whatever, this is what we were going to do anyway. We wanted you on the surface because you’re going to repopulate our planet.’
But Number One is like fuck all y’all and she sets her phaser to overload, which will make an explosion that will kill everybody. Pike sends Vina away to not die, and he sends Asshead away too to prove how cool humans are. But Vina decides that she’d rather die with them and it looks like this is the end, but then the other two Buttheads show up saying that they’ve been away all this time reading the Enterprise’s records.
They’re shocked that humans would rather die than be in captivity, which means that humans are too violent to repopulate Talos IV. They’re free to go, including Vina – but she wants to stay because it turns out that she’s really ugly. She actually was a crash survivor, and the Talosians put her together the best they could… but they had never seen a human before. Nevermind that Talosians are humans with big heads so why would they think she would have a huge hump on her back…
And so ends the pilot. Kirk is all like, oh well maybe we should let Pike go down, even though nothing’s really changed. But then Mendez… disappears! He was a Talosian illusion all along (remember that Spock only ordered Kirk beamed off the shuttle). Why? Who knows! It makes no sense! The whole thing was relayed by the Talosians to Starfleet, and they watched the pilot and thought, well, there’s only like four minutes left in the episode, so we’ll let Spock off the hook and allow Pike to go to Talos and live in fantasy. But why the fuck couldn’t they have just done this instead of making Spock commit mutiny at all? It’s so goddamned stupid.
Review: The dumbness of the wrap-around renders all of Part I moot. I’m especially annoyed by the fact that we never get an adequate reason for the death penalty being in play here – the Enterprise will encounter MANY planets that would fuck your shit up in an even worse way than Talos IV, and as far I know they’re not leaving a trail of banned worlds behind. It’s a cheap plot device to add tension to the episode.
Thankfully most of the episode is The Cage. Pike is very much a proto-Kirk, but with a different, sterner approach. It’s hard to imagine Pike getting mixed up in science lab Christmas party shenanigans. I’m not wild about the conclusion of the pilot – ‘Oops, it was all a misunderstanding! We thought you’d be cool with staying here!’ – but that’s not a huge blemish on an episode that otherwise manages to show lots of imagination.
Kirkin’ Out: Kirk has jack shit to do except get half stiff when he sees an Orion slave girl.
Spockmarks: Spock also has nothing going on this episode! His best moment is captured in today’s quote below.
Redshirt: Death toll none.
Dilithium Bullshit: There’s all that bordering on fantasy Talosian mental power stuff, and the idea that the illusions they construct could be so strong as to mask every sensation of an exploding hilltop is pushing it.
Support Staff of the Week: Healthy Captain Pike is a total badass. It’s hard to imagine Jean Luc Picard harnassing the power of hate to defeat an enemy.
Continerdity: Most of the continuity stuff happened last time. The big thing this week: in Star Trek V Kirk mentions a song called ‘Moon Over Rigel VII;’ that song is inspird by the Rigel VII matte painting in Pike’s illusion.
Set Phasers to Quote: “THE WOMEN!!!!!” – Spock
Three Positive Baby Clint Howards Out of Five
Star Trekkin’ – Introduction
Star Trekkin’ Day 1 – Where No Man Has Gone Before
Star Trekkin’ Day 2 – The Man Trap
Star Trekkin’ Day 3 – Charlie X
Star Trekkin’ Day 4 – The Naked Time
Star Trekkin’ Day 5 – The Enemy Within
Star Trekkin’ Day 6 – Mudd’s Women
Star Trekkin’ Day 7 – What Are Little Girls Made Of?
Star Trekkin’ Day 8 – Miri
Star Trekkin’ Day 9 – Dagger of the Mind
Star Trekkin’ Day 10 – The Corbomite Maneuver