*** (3 stars out of 5)
I added a star to 'Who Mourns For Adonais?' this time around. Good ensemble performances, good writing, it's aged well for me- like a fine, blasphemous wine.
Scotty asks science officer Carolyn out for coffee and McCoy and Kirk discuss this flirtation semi-privately (by which I mean within easy earshot).
"One day, she'll find the right man, and off she'll go, out of the service." McCoy declares matter-of-factly.
Kirk nods sagely, he's seen it before. "I like to think of it not so much as losing an officer, but as gaining... Actually, I'm losing an officer."
Great line, for a gender-biased attitude I hope was very much of its time. Actually, the dialog called attention to how silly it sounds, so maybe it was forward thinking, after all. (For an interesting blog along those lines go here.)
Pollux IV, near Starbase 12, where a giant green forcefield shaped like a human hand seizes the ship.
"What in the name of...?" McCoy blurts. Fill in the blank. Yup, another one. Another god-like being. This one calls them his children, invites them down to drink the sacramental wine. When they seem less than interested (really? don't you children want candy? not even wine?), his hand squeezes the ship until Kirk relents.
Spock isn't invited, he's "got a sad face" and he "looks too much like Pan".
"Insults are effective only where emotion is present," is Spock's rebuttal. He didn't want to go on any stupid old landing party anyway! He can spend more time with Uhura playing "poke the console".
"I am Apollo," says the being in his Greco-Roman temple. "And I am the tsar of all the Russias," Chekov smirks.
Thinking perhaps of Trelane, Kirk has Scott and Chekov search for a technologically-based power source. Hopefully something with a Mac OS.
Apollo has a 5000-year-old nostalgia for Earth, and our fair planet's women.
Lt. Carolyn Palamas is the A & A officer: archeology, anthropology, and ancient civilizations. Also, algebra, amoebas, armadillos...
Apollo dresses her for his toga party. "She is fit indeed." He takes her for a stroll over Scotty's objections. The gallant but "stiff-necked thistle head" (Kirk's words) earns himself a backhand like a lightning strike. Later, an actual lightning strike.
McCoy observes that Scotty doesn't believe in gods. Kirk proposes that to the simple humans of 5000 years ago, mere ordinary immortal, matter-transmuting, star faring aliens would seem like gods. Ya think?
Apollo tells Carolyn that his kind left Earth when humans turned away from them. Empty without worshippers, Hera and the others faded away on the wind. Only Appy had the faith to wait for humans to come back to him. For kisses!
The men are doing a little less hands-on investigation. Chekov contributes his belief that the disappearing cat of literature is from Minsk, not Cheshire. (I like this kid.)
Apollo wants the crew to return to the fields and stay with him forever in worship.
"Mankind has no need for gods." says Kirk. "We find the One quite adequate." Oh. I was almost with you there, Captain.
The men's plan to mock Apollo is rudely derailed by brave Carolyn's saving of their lives by urging the deity to love instead of wrath.
In angry gratitude (angritude?), Kirk orders Palamas to spurn the alien or condemn them all to slavery. She either honestly loves the guy or is a hostage, and either way she responds to Kirk's 'duty to humanity' speech.
She turns on the science a little for her half-human boyfriend: starts using dirty talk like 'evolution' and 'species', which only brings out his bossy side.
God turns the storm upon them, but Sulu's phasers outdo the lightning.
His temple rubble, his slaves all uppity, and his girl having opinions, miserable Apollo fades away.
A deleted surprise: Carolyn is pregnant. I think that must've been one straw too many for this episode's camel back, but it was an interesting idea. And a bit brave, too.