28 May 2020

I'd like to speak to the manager (Review: 'Star Trek' 2.14, "Wolf in the Fold")

It's been a massive while since I last did one of these - been preoccupied with the Picard series for one thing. But I now plan to try to do one every fortnight, other things depending and complete the whole lot by sometime in 2021 or 2022...

So, here we resume... and to be honest, it's not a good one.

On the planet Argelis II, Kirk, McCoy and Scotty are in a nightclub watching a belly dancer do her thing with grins on their faces more akin to teenage boys. Basically McCoy has decided that the best treatment for Scotty after a recent head injury is for him to get some action. Scotty goes off for a late night walk for the belly dancer, there's a scream... and she's found murdered with Scotty holding the knife...

So, Scotty at a strip club looking for a casual hookup. Now, there's something that definitely needs some eyebleach. I can imagine Kirk doing it, or Sulu. Chekov at a pinch. Scotty, though... that just seems wrong.

After Scotty is accused of murder and doesn't remember anything about what happens, Kirk has a Lieutenant Karen Tracy brought down to conduct a memory analysis on him. She doesn't even get a line before she gets murdered.

It's pretty obvious whodunnit from the get-go; the actual revelation of the full circumstances of the murders then leads to a rather preposterous denouement where Kirk decides that the best idea to deal with a dangerous situation is to tranquilise the whole crew at a time when they should be pretty sharp. Also, a piece of technology introduced here for one episode never gets mentioned again, because it's too much of a 'game-breaker' in any plot.

Star Trek isn't exactly the most feminist show out there - the successors are much better - but this is particularly bad and critics have noted it as such over the years. After opening with an egregious example of the male gaze, the female characters generally just serve to be victims, with little real agency at all. Spock also gets an offensive line about women being more easily terrified.

The guest cast are pretty dire with some major overacting, there's a fight scene that's ridiculous even by Kirk Fu standards and the 'laugh at the end' seems very forced.

Finally, there's some awful handling of crime scene evidence.


A frank waste of 50 minutes; this episode is pretty bad all around and I can't think of much that can save it.


No comments: