Star Trek/Recap/S1/E02 Charlie X

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Series: Star Trek: The Original Series
Episode: Season 1, Episode 2
Title: Charlie X
Previous: The Man Trap
Next: Where No Man Has Gone Before
Recapper: Memorize Pi


The Enterprise takes on a passenger, being that they are commonly in the habit of ferrying civilians. The boy is Charlie, an orphan with a Mysterious Past and really bad social skills. The people dropping him off seem in quite a hurry to leave.

Charlie becomes infatuated with Yeoman Rand, stalking her and delivering presents she doesn't want. In the rec room we get to see Spock and Uhura make music together, which annoys Charlie.

The ship Charlie arrived on blows up mid-transmission, with Charlie making a snide remark. Everyone is somewhat concerned, especially as odd things continue to happen upon the ship. For instance, Charlie loses chess and causes the chess pieces to melt. Nobody connects this to him (yet). Kirk is given the responsibility of talking to the boy and attempting to explain how to be normal.

Which he does by teaching him to wrestle. (Obviously) When Kirk’s training partner laughs at Charlie, Charlie vaporizes him. Kirk is upset and orders him to his quarters, where he goes after making several threats. Charlie goes on a rampage when Kirk refuses bring him to the human colony he was planning on going to. The aliens that taught Charlie his powers appear to take him back, apologizing for the damage he's caused. He is brought back to live with them and the people that were attacked are brought back to normal.

Tropes used in Charlie X include:
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Charlie doesn't want to go back with the Thasians, as they aren't physically real like Kirk or Rand. Kirk evens argues for a chance for Charlie to stay if he can be rehabilitated. But the Thasians point out they can't undo the talents they'd given Charlie to survive on their world. Charlie begs to stay... stay.... stay.........
  • The Blank: Charlie erases several random crew members' faces while having a tantrum.
  • The Cast Showoff: Nichelle Nichols. The musical rec room scene was entirely unnecessary, but entertaining.
  • Killed Mid-Sentence: The entire crew of the Antares.
  • Psychic Powers: Charlie can do lots of things, including transmogrification and making people involuntarily recite poetry.
  • No Social Skills: Charlie has insufferably poor social skills.
  • Stalking Is Love: That's what Charlie thinks, anyway.
  • The Stoic: Spock doesn't think having his legs broken is worthy of mention until Kirk asks him to stand up.
  • Sufficiently Advanced Aliens: The Thasians, who put everything right - except for the fate of the Antares - in about two minutes.
  • Wild Child: Everyone assumed Charlie took care of himself from a very early age, explaining his horrible social conduct.