*** (3 stars out of 5)"Whom Gods Destroy" they first make mad.
This episode is not well-regarded, but it doesn't make me mad. For me, it's got all the right ingredients: a nuthouse, a shapeshifter, and Batgirl painted green. Rrowr!
Poisonous planet Elba II houses the last 15 incurable criminally insane people in the galaxy. Kirk and Spock (in an ongoing effort to eliminate all drama) are delivering a new medicine expected to cure them, too.
No more insanity? Good news for the galaxy, bad news for Batman comics.
The inmates are running this particular Arkham. Shapeshifting former starship captain Garth of Izar apparently shops at the same coat store as Kodos the Executioner.
Awful Coats For Madmen's old curtain remainder bin, perhaps.
Garth has abandoned the title 'Captain' for 'Lord'- Leader of the Masters of the Universe. Skeletor of Eternia may have something to say about THAT!
Lord Garth has turned the torture chair from Tantalus into a torture chair. Sort of the same as Orion murderess Marta writing poems other people have already written. Or all the inmates wearing hand-me downs from previous episodes. The Tellarite and Andorian make-up has really improved, though.
Hey, whaddya call an Orion who stabs her lovers? A Green Widow.
Thank you. Tip your green waitress.
Speaking of which, 14 out of the last 15 psychos are male, and 6 out of the 10 onscreen are Caucasian humans. Even if the final 5 psycho killers left anywhere are aliens it still looks bad numbers-wise for white guys.
The moment when Spock tests the forcefield of his cell with his finger is good character stuff, and so is his double-nerve pinch to the goons moments later!
Spock's logic, however, seems to fail him in deducing which Kirk is which. After one generic tactical query, Spock gives up and waits for the outcome of Jim & Garth's brawl. (This was the director seeking more action, and Nimoy objected at the time. Nimoy was right, by the way.)
Star Trek director choosing mindless action over character? This way lies madness. (I'm looking at you, Star Trek Nemesis.)