There are several important scenes near the end of Space Seed, so I needed to append an additional post to cover them! Space Seed is one of those episodes that could be fodder for an entire thesis paper. If you know of anyone who has written a paper on the character of Khan, or on how this episode represents the thinking of the mid-1960s, please let me know!
37:02 – Khan has cut off oxygen to the bridge. Spock and Kirk are still barely hanging on, but everyone else is unconscious. Kirk records what he must believe is his last entry into the Captain’s Log:
Kirk: “Stardate 31.42.8. They have my ship. Discarding their own worthless vessel. Only moments of air left on the bridge, now. Commendations recommended for…Lt. Uhura…Technicians First Class Tooley…and Harrison…..Lt. Spinelli…….and of course Mr. Spock. I take full responsibility for…I take full-” [Keels forward and falls to the ground.]
I think I’ll use this as a monologue if I ever audition for a play. It’s so sad, seeing our brave Captain slowly dying, and knowing what final thoughts are running through his head. In his last conscious moments, he notes commendations for crew members, including Mr. Spock. “OF COURSE Mr. Spock.” 🙂 🙂
37:57 – Khan has overtaken the Enterprise, captured the senior crew, and placed Captain Kirk in a decompression chamber to be slowly suffocated. He holds Spock, Scotty, Bones, and Uhura hostage. He says to Spock, “If you join me, Mr. Spock, I will save his life.” He then extends the offer to the others – if any one of them joins him, he will let Kirk live. But everyone stays silent and stoic! I’m sure generations of Trek fans have shouted at Spock, “Just tell Khan you’ll join him and then betray him later!!!” But alas, Vulcans cannot lie. As Kirk slowly suffocates, Spock displays no emotion.
42:40 – Lt. McGivers has released Kirk from the decompression chamber. A guard is bringing Spock in to be the next one killed. Even though Spock thinks Kirk is dead, and Kirk has no idea who’s coming his way, the two manage to perform an excellent tag-team maneuver to disarm the guard (complete with a Vulcan nerve pinch).
One the guard is disabled, we get this little exchange of words:
Spock: “Surprised to see you, Captain, though pleased.”
Kirk: [gasping] “I’m a little pleased myself.”
I guess I’m a little disappointed that Kirk’s apparent death (and his survival) didn’t elicit more of a reaction from Spock, but this is still fairly early in the series, and the writers had to cement Spock as a man completely in control of his emotions. Or maybe Spock knew that it just wasn’t logical for Lt. McGivers to let the Captain die, and surmised that she was going to save him.
This episode holds so much weight and significance, but the ending feels rushed. I guess that’s why they brought Khan back for more!!