Star Trek/Recap/S1/E23 A Taste of Armageddon

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Series:Star Trek: The Original Series
Episode: Season 1, Episode 23
Title:"A Taste of Armageddon"
Previous: Space Seed
Next: This Side of Paradise
Recapper: Synjo Deonecros

The episode opens with the Enterprise shuttling a douchey ambassador to the planet Eminiar VII, in order to negotiate a diplomatic agreement with the planet. However, after several days of non-communication with the planet, Eminiar finally responds with a universal code ordering the ship not to enter their space for any reason. For once, Kirk is willing to respect the wishes of the planet...but the ambassador does not, instead pulling some bullcrap rank and forcing the ship to continue on course.

Upon arriving at Eminiar, Kirk ditches the Rules Lawyer on the ship to meet with the planet's commander, Anan 7, who orders them back to their space, because of the war the planet's currently embroiled in with their neighboring planet Vendikar. However, the lack of destruction or loss of life commonly associated with war suggest to Kirk that the war is a Cozy Catastrophe at best and an Inferred Holocaust at worst. Then an incoming attack is announced, and everyone rushes to their computers...wait, what? Yes, it turns out that Eminiar and Vendikar are actually in the middle of recreating the final scenes of WarGames, but with the calculated dead being marched into death chambers for each simulated "strike". Um...I thought the Godwin's Law episode wasn't until next season?

In another twist of fate, it turns out one of the simulated attacks has also "destroyed" the Enterprise, forcing Anan 7 to hold the away team hostage until the ship's crew is beamed down and executed. Naturally, Kirk doesn't take kindly to this idea, and fights back, only to get captured and put under guard until he complies. To further complicate matters, Anan starts getting tired of waiting and opens fire on the Enterprise with sonic cannons (Don't you just love Star Trek and their love for Hollywood Science?), and even using a faked message from Kirk to try and trick the crew into coming down; McCoy and Scottie, in command, don't buy it, but unfortunately, the idiot ambassador does, and transports himself down to the planet after failing to convince the other two to comply with Anan's orders. As you might have guessed, the moron ends up getting captured and sent to a death chamber, himself.

Luckily for him, Kirk and Spock manages to escape their captors, and start wreaking havoc on Eminiar's tidy little war machine, with Spock torching every death chamber he can find (saving the ambassador's sorry life, in the process), while Kirk has a good long talk with Anan, trying to intimidate the man by claiming to be able to destroy the planet with just his phaser. Unimpressed, Anan tries one last time to get Kirk to bring down his crew for the slaughter, but Kirk just orders Scotty to execute a genocide order if they don't hear from him within 2 hours, forcing Anan to make a threat of his own. Unfortunately for Anan, Kirk won't go down that easily, and manages to slip away into the war machine's central computer core, destroying it in his second-usual fashion (phasering it to death, instead of asking it to play tic-tac-toe against itself or something). Anan is understandably horrified by this, as this nullifies the agreement Eminiar had with Vendikar that created the war games scenario, in the first place, and will now force both planets to result to bloody, messy real war...precisely what Kirk expected; he gambled that the same orderly mindset that caused both planets to find such a neat and tidy way of killing each other to avoid the horrors of war will now force them to seek a more peaceful solution, to avoid the same. Anan acknowledges this, and with the help of the douchy ambassador (now less douchy, now that he's finally realized what his douchiness has gotten himself and the Enterprise crew into), makes progress in doing so.

Tropes used in A Taste of Armageddon include:
  • Ass in Ambassador: Robert Fox is pretty much this until more than half way through the episode. Then he suddenly becomes something of an Ambadassador.
  • Crowning Moment of Awesome: Scotty to Ambassador Fox when Fox orders him to take a peaceful stance, that is lower the deflector shields. Scotty firmly tells the Ambassador No, I will not.
  • Crowning Moment of Funny: Spock, of all people, when he tricks a guard by telling him "Sir, there is a multi-legged creature crawling up your shoulder
  • Dangerously Genre Savvy: Scotty demonstrates this when Anan 7 tries to trick the Enterprise crew into beaming down to the planet by faking Kirk's voice. Scotty, already suspicious of what's going on, immediatedly runs the message through a voice analyzer which proves that it is not Captain Kirk
  • Humans Kill Wantonly: This trope Kirk has to avert at the end of the story by telling the Eminiars that as rational beings, they surely have enough capacity for self-control to allow themselves to make peace with their enemies.
  • Plot Hole: Ambassador Fox, along with his assistant, beaming down to Eminiar 7 while the Enterprise's shields were up; one cannot use the transporter, at least not in the original series, when the shields are up.
  • Red Shirt: Kirk and Spock have three with them for this mission and they all survive the story.