Star Trek/Recap/S1/E26 Errand of Mercy

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The war between the United Federation of Planets and the Klingons is coming to a head and it looks like the peaceful settlement on the planet Organia is stuck in the middle. Kirk puts Sulu in charge of the Enterprise, reminding him that his duty will be to the ship, not to the landing party consisting of Kirk and Spock. The people of Organia are a peaceful, welcoming bunch, content with their medieval way of life. When Kirk informs them of the war encroaching on their planet, the Organians seem unconcerned. When the Klingons make their grand appearance and start occupying Organia, Kirk and Spock go undercover as traders, hoping to get the drop on the Klingons and drive them out. Much to Kirk's shock, the Organian council of elders betray them to the Klingons, only to rescue them from jail easily enough. Kirk is increasingly chagrined by the Organian's refusal to fight back against the tyrannies that the Klingons are imposing on them. As the moment of full blown war approaches, the Organians reveal the truth. They are omnipotent beings of pure energy who cannot be killed by conventional weapons. In fact, they use their mental abilities to neutralize not only all the weapons present, but the weapons on the ships orbiting the planet. The Organians bid them farewell, expresses a wish that both races will learn not to be so violent and disappear.

Tropes used in Errand of Mercy include:
  • Actual Pacifist: The Organians
  • Foreshadowing: Ayelborne informs Kor and Kirk that one day in the distant future, their races will learn to get along. Kor looks disgusted. Kirk looks skeptical. Guess what happens many, many years later?
  • A Form You Are Comfortable With: The reason why the Organians don't always look like glowing balls of light.
  • Great Escape: Subverted. Ayelborne just opens the door and tells Kirk and Spock they can go. These things happen when you're a being of pure thought.
  • Hey, It's That Guy!: Count Baltar is a Klingon commander!
  • Hey, It's That Voice!: One of the wolves who raised Mowgli is head of the Organian council!
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: But Klingons are even worse.
  • I Have Your First Officer The Klingons try to manipulate Kirk by threatening Spock, which greatly upsets the captain. Ho Yay abounds.
  • Improvised Weapon: Kirk uses the simple rope belt on his costume to garrotte a Klingon to force him to give information.
  • Playing with Fire: The Organians make all weapons, including the control panels on the Enterprise (and presumably the Klingon ships as well), too hot to handle. Even hand to hand combat causes burning pain.
  • The Quisling: The Organians seem this way, at first.
  • Ret Canon: The novels established as retroactive canon that this episode was the formation of the detente period of Federation-Klingon relations and was the first step on the road to eventual Khitomer accords that formalized it, even referring to the events of the episode as the Organian Treaty.
  • Stepford Smiler: The Organian Council of Elders.
  • Strange Salute: Ayelborne greets Kirk and Spock by bowing and making fluttery circular motions with his hands. Kirk and Spock catch on quickly and return the greeting.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: The people who live like medieval peasants take no notice of the two strange men who have beamed down into their midst.