Star Trek 3.12 (The Empath)
Writer: Joyce Muskat
This is a really odd episode. Almost from the outset, it really doesn’t feel like an episode of Star Trek. As usual, the story concentrates on the main three characters, and we see very little of the others. Also, almost all of the episode is set on a planet, not the Enterprise.
The plot is simple: a sun is going nova (or something like that) and there is am observation station on a nearby planet, but they are out of touch. Kirk, Spock and McCoy beam down to investigate and find nobidy at the station. Then they are all beamed in some way to this big empty space, where they meet a mute empath that McCoy names Gem. They find the bodies of the observation team, and try to escape. They fail, and Kirk is tortured. Gem has the ability to absorb peoples injuries – first they vanish, then appear on Gem, then fade altogether.
Then they torture McCoy (as he hypo’s the others) and he almost dies – 70 percent of his organs fail or some such nonsense.
It all turns out that this is a test for Gem, to see if she is willing to give her life for others, and if she does save McCoy at the risk of her own life, the Vians will save her race from the supernova (there are several races apparently about to be killed by this event, and the Vians can only save one, so they design these elaborate tests to decide which to save. On the other hand, if they hadn’t spent all that time pissing around with these stupid tests, perhaps there would have been time to save more than one race. The Vians are rather like the Talosians from The Menagerie both in looks and the way they go about things). Anyhow, Gem does save McCoy, and also survives herself).
This looks and feels strange. The Vians underground base has a black background so you are never sure how large the space they are in are meant to be – indeed they do seem very large, it is only during the sequence where they try to escape that they see the sides of the place, it is a rocky underground cavern, or so it seems.
It is wishy washy, inconseqential twaddle. It seems to go on and on and on forever. The ending is nonsense. Another absolutely god awful mess. Avoid.
Crew Deaths: 0
Total Crew Deaths So Far: 46