Even as I grow less enamored of this dopey episode, I still gotta give props to Roger C. Carmel as Harry Mudd. He's marvelous. Even when he's clearly doing wrong I'm not sure he can do wrong. The two stars are both his.
Fleeing justice into an asteroid belt isn't the brightest of plans, as the occupants of the class J cargo ship soon discover when Enterprise takes them aboard. It's three smokin' hotties and their chubby pimp, off to find rich husbands!
What's this, now? Another Irishman at last? No, sir, me boyos! But it IS the gayest pirate of all the leprechauns- Leo Walsh. The accent is fake, the name is fake, but the mustache? All too real. It haunts my night terrors. Harcourt Fenton Mudd, everybody.
While their ship explodes around them, Mudd's Women strike pin-up poses for the transporter: now THAT'S discipline!
This takes place in an earlier chronological time when Uhura wore a gold uniform, the engines still used "lithium" crystals, and vaseline was liberally applied to the ship's recording sensors whenever women smiled. Also, brass instruments keep blaring on the intercraft address system. Scotty, can you look into that? Scotty? Good lord, stop sweating, man!
As Captain Kirk puts it, the ladies have "an unusual effect on the male members... of my crew."
I added the ellipsis. Sorry, juvenile. Male members indeed. In fact, they turn the men, (except Spock) into morons. Ferrell hands over his communicator to Magda, McCoy can barely string a sentence in front of Ruth, and as for Eve... well, she gives seducing Kirk the old college try but then falls in love with him and can't go through with it!
For the first time, I noticed Mudd's startling use of the term "cargo" towards the women. This does not provoke ANYONE to ask "Uh... slaver much?" Slobber, yes. Everybody drools over dames. But, slavery? It's, like, the NINTH question Captain Kirk asks after flight plan, counterfeiting charges, false license & registration... are they here VOLUNTARILY?
The answer is, yeah, sort of, if you can believe a word out of Mudd. He's carrying on the great colonial tradition by 'wiving settlers'. They find the three ultra-wealthy miners of Rigel XII in their lithium shacks in a windy desert and dive right into subspace radio marriages...
but wait, it's a CON! The girls are taking the Venus enhancement drug, without which they are OLD CRONES! (meaning mildly wrinkled, slightly disheveled, and make-up free, respectively.)
And then, another twist! It seems you don't need pills and potions to be beautiful, merely self-confidence!
Good moral, slightly undercut by their insanely low standards. The miners are wealthy but it's not like there's a Saks Rigel.
Even in the special edition this planet is FAR from special.
Also, the men are boorish, brutish, fugly, and pug-fugly. My wife wondered if there was a Venus drug for THEM.
Thus, all's well that ends well for conniving shrews and schweaty bums. Mudd's bound for the asylum and everybody's happy.
Or the MEN are, and that's ALL that matters!