Premise: Kirk and his team beam down to a colony called Cestus III and are alarmed to find it’s been destroyed. The Enterprise attempts to chase down and destroy the alien ship that attacked the colony, but both ships are abruptly disabled when they enter the territory of an alien race called the Metrons. The Metrons pit Captain Kirk in a fight-to-the-death with the captain of the other ship, with the rule that the winner’s ship will be set free and the loser’s ship will be destroyed.
Between the theme song and the 10:30-mark, we get a pretty cool war scene on Cestus III. It’s always fun to see Kirk & Spock rolling in the dirt, ducking behind barriers, and dodging grenades.
15:45 – Kirk wants to destroy the alien vessel that attacked Cestus III. Spock tries to argue against killing any form of life, but Kirk isn’t in the mood to hear any Vulcan viewpoints:
Spock: “The destruction of the alien vessel will not help that colony, Jim.”
Kirk: “If the aliens go unpunished, they’ll be back – attacking other Federation installations.”
Spock: “I merely suggest that a regard for sentient life–”
Kirk: [Interrupting, snapping at Spock] “There’s no time for that.” [Gets up from his chair and stands next to Spock, speaking in a softer tone] “It’s a matter of policy. Out here we’re the only policemen around. And a crime has been committed. Do I make myself clear?”
Spock: “Very clear, Captain.”
Kirk: “I’m delighted, Mr. Spock.”
Oh, Kirk…. When Spock calls you “Jim,” you’re supposed to listen. Instead, you’re taking out your frustration on your faithful first officer.
23:10 – Kirk is suddenly whisked away from the bridge by the Metrons, and Uhura lets out a fantastic high-pitched scream! Then we get our first glimpse of the foe that Kirk is going to have to battle:
Bahahahahahaha. It’s a plastic-headed dragon with disco-ball eyes!!! I like his neck scarf – very fancy. He dressed for the occasion.
37:00 – The Metrons beam a live recording (streaming video?) of Kirk’s battle onto the bridge, so the crew can prepare for Kirk’s death. Everyone sees Kirk limping across some rocks, looking exhausted and disheveled. I’m trying to find an expression of worry on Spock’s face, but he doesn’t really show it. I guess he has to remain brave and calm for his crew. Everyone else looks worried, especially Uhura.
The funniest thing about this episode is that Kirk manages to create a gun-like weapon out of nothing but potassium nitrate, sulfur, coal, diamonds, and a bamboo-like plant. Amazing!