Requiem for Methuselah
Kirk’s in love, which is nothing new. For an added twist, this week he’s in love with a robot. A robot built by someone who is seemingly immortal. Things get sticky, though, when we find out that he’s in love with his robot too. Also, everyone on the Enterprise is sick. They need medicine or they will die. This is not a requiem for them, though. This week, we’re Requiem for Methuselah in the Mission Log.
Tags: android, Requiem for Methuselah, robot, The Original Series, The Original Series Season 3, TOS
If you want more from Flint – check out the Cold Equations book trilogy
(might want to read the Destiny trilogy first – a: it’s good, b: Cold Equations might spoil a fairly big event that occurs in Destiny)
I wonder if Spock’s “forget” moment was related to his “remember” moment in The Wrath of Khan. More importantly, I wonder if the writers of STTWOK were thinking of this episode for that scene.
They do seem related. Haven’t read anywhere that it was that specific, but it’s probably not a leap to think that there was some inspiration from that scene.
Given Flint’s long, long history of faking his death and moving on, you really have to wonder how any of the Enterprise crew could just accept any news about him dying now….
You see, I assumed that all those previously unknown works of art by historical masters were possibly recent creations of Flint’s, not that he necessarily saved them from the time when he was that person.
At 14:00 I had the though that M-4 was a Kirk-blocker.
I didn’t think of this while watching the episode, but listening to the podcast I kept thinking of parallels to the recent (and excellent) movie Ex Machina. Also, I love the movie Man From Earth. For so many reasons it shouldn’t work, yet every few years I put it in.
What makes this more like a season 1 or 2 is that the episode doesn’t simply end at the character reveal, it goes on after a bit. And, it actually drives some action and a bit of plot.
To my great misfortune, this episode was colored negatively by the fact that I was watching this at home for Thanksgiving and my brother (someone pretty unfamiliar to Star Trek) came in and joined me. I kept feeling the need to make excuses for the episode, telling him to not judge the whole series by it. He was appalled by the crew’s leery treatment of Rayna and confused by Kirk’s instant love. I thus watched this episode through fresh eyes and that really didn’t do it any favors.
HOWEVER, for some reason, the last scene absolutely had me. Despite the nonsense of the plot, Shatner, Nimoy, and especially Kelly manage to deliver emotionally devastating performances in this last scene. McCoy’s line about the triumph and tragedy of love is a well-written speech, delivered beautifully.
And that’s why I disagree that there isn’t a message. They manage to sneak one in at the end. It’s that love can be what kills us but it’s also what makes our existence worth while.
McCoy outlines what lengths a man will go for love, telling Spock that he will never understand. We see that Spock actually does understand because in his love for Kirk, he decides to wipe Kirk’s memory, without his permission. This is morally objectionable and certainly against Star Trek regulation, but Spock acts emotionally. So I think ultimately, the message tacks on an asterisk: it’s not just romantic love, but any kind.
I think the last scene saved it for me. The entire episode was pretty unbelievable but the last scene was so raw. Kirk, exhausted, lonely, and ashamed of his behavior. McCoy, waxing poetic about the redeeming power of human emotion, despite its potential devastating drawbacks. And Spock, breaking down and committing an act of love, but only when no one is watching. Best of all, we are all left to stew in their loneliness and exhaustion without a closing one-liner.