Star Trek/Recap/S2/E01 Amok Time
We start off with McCoy catching Kirk on his rounds to talk about how un-Vulcanlike Spock's been, for the past couple of days. Kirk at first dismisses McCoy's worries as being nothing...until another ill-fated attempt by Nurse Chapel to gain his eye causes Spock to throw a temper tantrum, catching everyone by surprise. Unfortunately, the green-blooded primadonna refuses to let in on what's causing him to PMS, only firmly
demanding requesting leave on his home planet.
Nothing doing, though; the Enterprise is on its way to represent the Federation at the crowning ceremony for the new ruler of Altair VI, which has been bumped up by a few days - nowhere near enough time for a detour to Vulcan. Spock, however, won't take "no" for an answer, and defies orders to head to Vulcan, anyway, forcing Kirk to order him to McCoy's for a checkup to see just what the hell is wrong with him. And what's wrong, is that his PMS is killing him!
No, I'm not kidding; it turns out that Spock has hit that time of the decade where Vulcans need to mate, lest their suddenly raging hormones kill them. Yeah, I don't get it, either. Kirk, sympathetic, tries to talk to Starfleet about a quick detour to Vulcan, but his refusal to go into Vulcan reproductive habits (why no one in the Federation didn't know about them until now, what with Vulcans being one of the founding members of the organization and all, I have no idea) doesn't convince them. So, like a good, dutiful little captain, Kirk... disobeys orders and heads to Vulcan anyway.
So, par for the course, I guess.
Once at Vulcan, Spock introduces the crew to T'Pring, his wife-to-be, and offers an invitation to both Kirk and McCoy(?) to the wedding ceremony. However, after arriving at Spock's ancestral home, they learn just how in over their heads they are; not only can the bride decide not to marry her intended husband, resulting in a battle to the death with whomever the bride chooses (which Spock conveniently forgets to inform Kirk or McCoy, before the ceremony), but T'Pau, the face of Vulcan, and the only person ever to decline a seat on the Federation council, is overseeing the proceedings. This wouldn't be that much of a problem...had T'Pring not rejected the marriage offer and chosen Kirk as her champion. Naturally, this results in the infamous fight scene between the two friends, ending with Spock seemingly killing Kirk after McCoy gives him something to help fight in the more hostile environment of the planet.
With the shock of killing his best friend acting like a bucket of cold water on the horny Vulcan, Spock orders Kirk's body and McCoy back to the ship while he confronts T'Pring on her choice; turns out, T'Pring hated the idea of marrying for money and fame, and fell in love with a more obscurely-known Vulcan male named Stonn, and arranged everything so that, regardless of the outcome, she'd be able to stay with Stonn (even though, logically, her plan could've been derailed if Kirk either took her as his lover, like the player we know him to be, or, y'know, refused the challenge, as he's informed he could by T'Pau, before he learned of the "battle to the death" thing). Satisfied, Spock leaves the crafty bitch with her lover, and returns to the Enterprise to turn himself in for murder.
But wait! Turns out, Kirk isn't dead! Yes, the substance McCoy gave him during the battle was actually some Applied Phlebotinum which allowed Kirk to simulate death. The episode ends with Spock barely catching himself from having a joygasm over Kirk's survival, and Kirk and McCoy having a good tease over it. Meanwhile, T'Pau covers for Kirk's shenanigans, saving him from another court martial.
- Arranged Marriage: Spock and T'Pring.
- Ear Worm: The infamous fight scene music.
- Engagement Challenge: Well, sort of.
- Ho Yay: Kirk and Spock's infamous fight scene, and the obvious affection. To the point where The Ship's Closet host Brittany needed a two-part special to cover all the gayness.
- Indy Ploy: McCoy improvises a way to keep Kirk and Spock from killing each other pretty much on the spot and with no opportunity to discuss it with anyone else. As an Unspoken Plan, it naturally succeeds.
- Mate or Die
- Not Quite Dead
- Poor Communication Kills: Spock would literally rather die than have the problem explained to Starfleet Command. This is apparently true of all Vulcans at this point in history.
- Runaway Bride: T'Pring, in a way.
- Wanting Is Better Than Having: Spock warns Stonn that he may find that "having is not so pleasing a thing, after all, as wanting. It is not logical, but it is often true."
- Wedding Day: Well, kind of.
- Xanatos Gambit: Even if Kirk had refused the challenge or Spock had still been willing to go through with marrying T'Pring, Spock's Starfleet position meant that he'd be gone most of the time, leaving her free to have an affair with Stonn in his absence; at a minimum, she's no worse off than she was to start with. Spock himself acknowledges the logic of her plan, even while personally repelled by it.
- Bowdlerise: The German dub infamously completely changed the plot to remove all sexual references, due to What Do You Mean It's Not for Kids?
- Promotion to Opening Titles: DeForrest Kelly as Dr McCoy in this Second Season Opener.
- Throw It In: The Vulcan salute makes its first appearance in this episode. Leonard Nimoy came up with it on set. Incidentally, the actress playing T'Pau couldn't do the salute and had to arrange her fingers with her other hand off-screen.
- You Look Familiar: Lawrence Montaigne, who plays Stonn, previously played Decius in "Balance of Terror".