Saturday, September 23, 2017

My Dumb Brain and Good Trek/Bad Trek #38 Catspaw

Intro: I’ve loved Star Trek since I was a kid. I started by watching TNG in 6th grade. I’ve been a fan since then and though I’ve spent a lot of time watching Star Trek, I’ve never watched The Original Series. So, I’m watching and reviewing them as a fan of Star Trek, but one who’s never seen any of them. So I’m watching all the TOS episodes for the first time and saying whether or not they suck. At the end, I give examples of better and/or worse Star Trek episodes to watch that remind me of this episode. Usually, I ramble on about some bullshit before the Trek. That’s it.

I’ve rewritten this intro a bunch of times. I don’t know. I’m in a bit of a funk. For something that just gets written and thrown into the void of the internet, I’m trying to get it right. But it’s hard. I don’t know I’ve been in a bit of a funk lately. I’ve been a little down. Sometimes you get sick of writing jokes and Trek blogs for the void. I like doing it for the most but sometimes doing shit over and over for nobody can beat the shit out of your self-esteem. I get angry. Mostly at myself and then it gets even harder to write this shit. You spend your time writing jokes and other stuff and it’s hard not to pin your mood on what you’re writing and sometimes it feels like it’s all shit.

Who knows, maybe this isn’t a temporary funk. Maybe I’ve been riding too high lately and this is just my mood finally catching up to how I should be feeling. My brain letting me know that I’ve been feeling too good for how things are going and that I need to be smacked back down. That’d be kind of shitty because my brain is already pretty shitty about flooding me with anxiety and all sorts of crazy insecurities and doubt.  If my brain also wants to just start making me sad and angry all the time, well then I think the two of us might just have to part ways. Because that’s a raw deal.  

Star Trek: Discovery premiers tomorrow. That’ll be neat. Maybe that’ll make me feel better. I kinda hope not though. I’d rather be a guy who gets in depressive funks sometimes for absolutely no reason as opposed to being a guy whose entire mood rests on the consistent release of (good) Trek. To paraphrase Eugene Debs: Good Trek cannot lead me into the promised land because if good Trek led me in, some really shitty Trek would just lead me out.

They do say that not enjoying things that you used to is a symptom of depression. I don’t know if that’s true. I do know that I didn’t enjoy this episode, but I think that’s maybe just because it really sucked. I’ll probably write about the first episode of Discovery next week. Or never update this again. Who knows. Regardless, this week’s episode was Catspaw and it was a fucking mess. 


The gang is hanging out near a lifeless planet doing some exploring. They’re waiting for the away team to come back, but there’s no word from the away team. What could be wrong? One of the members comes back, but he’s dead. Dead most foul. Even though he’s dead there’s a crazy voice coming out of his lifeless corpse warning the Enterprise to stay away. Spooky. The dead crewman’s name is Jackson, but it doesn’t matter because he’s just here to get the plot going. 
I like to think that lifeless corpse who holds mouth open while someone else speaks is the only role this actor ever booked

Kirk, Spock, and McCoy beam down to the surface to search for the rest of the missing away team even though they were warned not to. They come across what looks like a haunted castle. Looks like it because it is. When they go in they spend a lot of time focused on a black cat. I assume it’ll be important later. Because they really want you to take in this cat. It’s a nice cat I guess. The sound effects they use don’t sound at all like a cat which is weird. Sounds more like Donald Duck when he gets angry. Seems like an odd choice for whoever was in charge of that. 

There's a light over at the Korob and Sylvia place
They get abducted by beings from another galaxy named Korob and Sylvia. Okay. They’re from another galaxy and have powers because they have a weird little machine that lets them control matter. Neat. 

In just seven days, I can make you a cat
Not only is Sylvia a powerful intergalactic traveler able to control matter, but bitch be thirsty as fuck. She gets horny and tries to bed Kirk. Kirk decides against but flirts enough to try to free his people. Sylvia sees through Kirk’s flirting, because she’s not a fucking idiot. He goes back to his cell. Eventually, Korob helps them out of their chains and somehow Kirk destroys the source of Sylvia’s power. I don’t know why she left it lying around. That seems like a bad idea. I mean, it helped them manipulate matter, right? If so she should have at least put it on a very high shelf. Maybe in a safe or something. I don’t know. Seems pretty dumb. With their power gone the mansion and cat disappears and Sylvia and Korob turn into weird bug creatures and choke to death and die before our very eyes. It’s kinda fucked up when you think about it. 
Even Sylvia doesn't know why she's supposed to be into him

Good Trek?

Good. God. No. This is one of the worst episodes. I’ve by and large really started to enjoy these. Even though I still think that Kirk largely sucks. I like him for the most part. The rest of the cast is great. Especially McCoy. But this is just a real mess. So we learn that Sylvia is really a small scorpion looking intergalactic matter manipulators, but she’s also really sexually attracted to Kirk? I’m not buying that. I would love to know whether Kirk was actually a sex icon in his day. Maybe there was a bunch of ladies demanding to have Kirk appear in Cosmo naked atop a tribble skin run. Who knows. But come the fuck on. It’s not that Sylvia is an alien she’s a drastically different looking alien who just uses her weird matter manipulation powers to look like a woman. She’s not a human. She’s not even a humanoid alien. She’s a weird little bug creature. Why the hell would she be into humans? If there were a bunch of giant bug-like creatures I can see why she might be into that, but not Kirk. It doesn’t make any sense. 
This week in slash fiction

I also really hate that having a very powerful alien with godlike powers threatening the Enterprise has been like half the episodes. I don’t know why they keep on coming back to this well. It’s not that great a plot point. The episodes where we’ve met the Romulans and the Klingons have been so much better. Why aren’t we checking in with them? See what’s going on over there for a bit. I was never a huge fan of Q on TNG, but at least they kept it to just the one. This plot is recycled like every other episode. And Kirk keeps on outsmarting them. He really doesn't seem all that bright. I don't think it's realistic for him to keep this streak going.  
I guess the cat is giant now?

Also, these people just die. These are powerful new aliens that the Enterprise just made first contact with. You’d think that this would be a much bigger deal than how they’re treating it. 
One of the aliens Kirk almost has sex with. Seriously. 

This is like example a billion that Kirk is a shitty captain. He goes on an away mission with his first officer? Dude, what the hell. That’s not an appropriate course of action. He leaves some piece of shit in charge. 
This is near the beginning of the episode. It is never addressed

Worse Trek?

There’s not a whole lot that’s worse. But if you’re looking for an episode that features a dumb spooky atmosphere that I assume was made to air around Halloween and also it’s just about as bad as they come then look no further than TNG's Sub Rosa. In it, Dr. Crusher travels to a planet that’s Ireland I guess. It’s not Ireland, but everyone talks with an accent and then she starts having spooky encounters with a ghost who used to have sex with her grandma. It’s bizarre. Not really in a fun way. I love Dr. Crusher, but this episode is a dud. 

Better Trek?

Initially, I’d say the episode of TNG where they find the one house on a deserted planet. That’s got some obvious parallels. In that, I can see how it’d appeal to folks who are into TV where space travelers find a single house on a deserted planet. I don't know if that's a kind of person. But that does happen in both episodes. I'm not going with that one again though. 

This is supposed to be a spooky episode. So I think I should go with one of those. I was having trouble thinking of another episode that had a Halloween special vibe to it. DS9’s Empok Nor has a little bit of a spooky vibe. It’s not nearly as over the top or as obvious as this one, but that part of the reason as to why it’s so much better. Empok Nor is a creepy trip to an abandoned space station and on the trip one of the members goes space nuts and starts picking members of the crew off one by one. 

I was trying to think of any other weird ass love coupling where the species was both, kind of spooky and trying to have sex with a humanoid. I tried thinking of a Voyager episode where Seven hooked up with a member of Species 8472, but I couldn’t think of one. Probably because it’s a dumb idea and Catspaw was stupid and dumb. I don’t know. 

(Hopefully) Better Trek?

That’s it for this week. Check out Discovery. The previews look sick. I’m looking forward to it. 


  1. ...not Trek, but a Trek-inspired weird ass love coupling with a spooky nonhumanoid species that immediately came to mind was Fred Kwan & Laliari from Galaxy Quest. Giant space squids are at least closer to us in size, though. Not to mention being warm-blooded and all. So maybe it's not as weird?

    This was depressing as hell and the funniest one yet.

    Sorry, man.

    1. Thanks! I almost forgot about Laliari from GQ. I'll have to give that another watch soon.