1×13 – The Conscience of the King
Premise: Captain Kirk’s friend, Dr. Leighton, invites Kirk to his planet to see a traveling theater troupe perform Macbeth. He suspects that the actor playing Macbeth is actually “Kodos the Executioner,” the former governor of the planet where Kirk grew up. Kodos committed genocide twenty years before. He was presumed dead, but suspicion arises when all of the witnesses who can identify Kodos are killed one by one. Kirk invites the theater troupe aboard the Enterprise in an attempt to discover the truth.
9:00 – At a party, Kirk is hitting on the beautiful Lenore, an actress and the daughter of the supposed Kodos. Geez, he is one smooooth operator! He’s very forward – within 2 minutes of meeting her he touches her hand, tells her he wants to see her again, then convinces her to leave the party with him to go take a romantic walk. His suave tone of voice creeps me out a little, and it seems like he’s leveraging his powerful position as Captain to proposition her.
14:45 – Kirk is flirting with Lenore on the bridge of the Enterprise. He decides to take the acting troupe aboard the ship and bring them to their next scheduled location, which is quite out-of-the-way for the Enterprise. After Lenore leaves, there’s a bit of a power struggle b/t Kirk & Spock:
Spock: “May I inquire as to our course, Captain?”
Kirk: “Mendocia Colony.”
Spock: [Skeptical tone of voice] “Mendocia Colony is eight light-years off our course.”
Kirk: [Stern voice] “If my memory needs refreshing, Mr. Spock, I’ll ask you for it. In the meantime, follow my orders.”
Kirk is being a jerk – flirting in front of Spock and then snapping at him!! Spock gives him totally skeptical eyebrows AND a hand-on-hip.
17:14 – Spock senses that Kirk is acting out of character. He runs his theories by Dr. McCoy, while McCoy enjoys a fine alcoholic beverage:
Spock: “The Captain is acting strangely. I’m asking if you’ve noticed.”
McCoy: “Negative. Do you know this is the first time in a week I’ve had time for a drop of the true? Would you care for a drink, Mr. Spock?”
Spock: “My father’s race was spared the dubious benefits of alcohol.”
McCoy: “Oh. Now I know why they were conquered. What are you so worried about anyway, I find Jim generally knows what he’s doing.”
Spock: “It was illogical for him to bring those players aboard.”
McCoy: “Illogical? Did you get a look at that little Juliet? That’s a pretty exciting creature! Of course, your personal chemistry would prevent you from seeing that. Did it ever occur to you that he simply might like the girl?”
Spock: “It occurred. I dismissed it.”
McCoy: “You would.”
Ha ha! It’s awesome that Spock totally dismisses the idea that Kirk has the hots for Lenore. He’s very in tune with Kirk’s emotions and his leadership style. (From a slash angle, we know that Kirk’s & Spock’s secret romance makes it unlikely that Kirk would lavish this much attention on a girl without a good reason. Apparently McCoy knows that Spock has feelings for Kirk – hence the “you would” quip. 😉 )
20:50 – Spock is very stressed out. Just look at him – he’s sitting at his station in a very unusual position and practically wringing his hands. His mind must be going a mile a minute trying to figure out what the heck is going on with Jim and the acting troupe. This is a rare moment of emotion and physically obvious unrest.
As the episode progresses, we begin to see that Kirk has had a plan all along. He was flirting with Lenore for a reason, not just because he’s a horny Captain. What a relief! He’s not creepy after all – in fact, he’s rather brilliant. This wasn’t one of my favorite episodes, but I enjoyed seeing Spock fret over Jim’s behavior.