Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Star Trek Continues Episode 3 “Fairest of Them All” Review:

Star Trek Continues Episode 3 “Fairest of Them All” Review:

“Space…the final conquest.”

 -  Evil Kirk’s intro.

      I enjoyed Star Trek Continues third episode “Fairest of Them All”. First, I liked that it was set directly after “Mirror, Mirror” in Star Trek TOS. It even begins with Good Kirk’s iconic speech to Mirror Spock about the illogic of tyranny. I like that the episode is set in The Mirror Universe, and I love Vic Mignogna as Good Kirk/Evil Kirk! (He’s just a great Captain Kirk!) But, that’s where I think the episode loses focus. I think the focus should’ve been on Evil Kirk’s command, and perhaps Spock’s sacrifice in the name of logic/democracy.

Rather than this, Evil Kirk (Who is every bit the great commander Captain Kirk is, only evil.) is thwarted at every turn during Spock’s realization that empire can’t endure. Firstly, I call bologna on that! Even if Spock believed in democracy, there’s no way he could’ve assimilated all of Good Kirk’s philosophy in that one speech, beyond: “In every revolution there is one man with a vision.” Even for Star Trek, I feel that Spock’s stubborn insistence on Good Kirk’s logic disregards his friendship with long friendship with Kirk, and comes across as heavy-handed. Evil Kirk even  says as much, though through different, more passionate words: Spock’s willing to throw everything away on the words of a stranger, and in the end will probably be hunted down.

Now, the real fun comes from watching Vic Mignogna as Evil Kirk, in my view. Spock’s refusal to follow him, and his eventual mutiny sends him into MADNESS. Kirk loves his ship, and he’s not about to let anyone take it from him, or disobey his imperial orders. I love whenever he flips out on his crew. There’s a real human element to Evil Kirk, with as much passion for command as his counterpart.  Beyond this, he feels betrayed by his friend. Yes, maybe the empire is evil, but it is human! He still doesn’t want to lose his friend, but almost kills him in a rage.

Another thing I didn’t like about the episode (Although it looked great!) was how many people joined Spock’s cause just after hearing about it! The empire is still in power, and one crew isn’t likely to make a difference. One man, yes! As Good Kirk says. It might’ve been more effective had Spock made a sacrifice to get them to think about democracy. But, what is one ship to the empire? It likely won’t end well. I would’ve liked to see a couple scenes worked differently so that Spock makes a sacrifice in the name of democracy, rather than a black and white “Good always wins, Evil always loses.” characterization.

Okay, but even if you want to say “That’s how they would’ve done it in the ‘60s.” there’s still one more scene that really bothered me, and that I thought was against the spirit of Star Trek. In this Mirror Universe, counselor MeKennah is seen in bed with Sulu, covered by a sheet. In TOS, all romantic interludes were “signified” by cutaway. I don’t think they ever would’ve allowed partial nudity from women. Not only that but I felt it didn’t really tell me a lot about Mirror McKennah, and I was looking forward to seeing her character be evil. But, here she’s just being cute. McKennah is worth more than that, and I feel the whole scene was just a distraction from the spirit of Star Trek: The Original Series.

So, I guess it all comes down to no one in this Mirror Universe was evil. In fact, the only one who tried to be Evil, in a Mirror Universe built on Evil, was Mirror Kirk, who was betrayed and thwarted by his best friend at every possible turn. Remember, Trekkies, Mirror Kirk’s only experience with the Good Universe was being arrested by Spock. He has no idea what this crazy “Good Captain” could’ve said to Spock to make him mutiny. And he certainly didn’t experience kindness. All he knew was that the counterparts took away his power, and now they’ve gotten to his best friend.

Star Trek TOS had investigated the redeeming qualities of evil before, as well as mankind’s dual nature. Think “Space Seed”, think “The Enemy Within”! Even "Obsession"! While I loved the look of this episode, and I will always love Vic Mignogna for bringing back Kirk and crew, this episode deserved more than the black and white “Good guys win, bad guys lose” approach it received. But, there is a brilliantly captivating portrayal of Evil Captain Kirk’s descent into madness by Vic Mignogna! Overall, I give the episode 3/5 stars!

You can watch it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJf2ovQtI6w


  1. By their own canon Dr. McKennah should not even have been there... I think your black and white statement works for my thinking that the mirror universe book's version of events is so much better than this. This episode just didn't do it for me. Lolani was their best in my opinion.

  2. Now, that one I liked. But, at least Kirk was good at being evil here. He's usually pretty good. Here's hoping next episode is better and more complex.

  3. McKennah could have been on the mirror ship earlier and unseen. Its creative license. I thought it was well done... the look of disgust on her face as she still played her game, parlaying for future advancement and favors.

    Kirk rules through fear - and at his command, they just committed genocide. The crew jumps at any alternative... Chekov, who was just tortured? Uhura and Smith, who are constantly disrespected and objectified? In a way, they were all still looking out for their own best interests. Its always better to not worry about constant death. Chekov's shock that the phasers were set to stun was great.

    The Vulcans presumably have a history similar to the Prime Verse Vulcans, until their subjugation by the Terran Empire; for example, IDIC. If Spock already knew exactly how long the Empire had (200 some odd years) before the Halkan annihilation, then he obviously had spent a lot of time analyzing these sort of things. Good Kirk didn't *introduce* him to these ideas, but pushed him into action. Also, I never saw any signs of a true friendship between the two, Evil Kirk, and Mirror Spock... a partnership of success yet selfishness and secrets.

    The Mirror universe isn't actually about opposites and evil... its a world where an oppressive government took power, and fear won out over hope, and everyone is stuck and bound playing by those rules. They aren't inherently evil.... but some that have embraced that nature in themselves, are beyond redemption.

    Final note, loved the little "Khan" style ending... i was just waiting for the shuttlecraft to get stranded on Ceti Alpha V... :D

    1. @Feenix219:

      First of all, thanks for giving me a true Trekkie conversation like I’d hoped for! I think the thing about this episode that got to me (Although I loved it!) was that there was little to no moral tension. Evil Kirk is simply thwarted at every turn by Spock’s mutineers. Evil Kirk, knowing what he knew of the other universe, wouldn’t have seen Spock’s changes coming, because he was in jail. So, he simply proceeds as he would’ve before.

      You say Mirror Spock and Mirror Kirk are not friends. Frankly, I think the fact that he even attempts to talk to Spock instead of killing him instantly, speaks volumes about their friendship. Spock did the same thing to Good Kirk in Mirror, Mirror. He just notices his friend is acting illogically for that universe, informs him that he has orders to kill him, and wants to talk it out anyway. Evil Kirk does the same thing. He wants to know what his “game” is. The destruction of a planet never mattered to him before. I think he didn’t want to kill him, but he’s pushed.

      On the McKennah scene, we might just have to agree to disagree. I loved the “darker” look and feel of the episode, and maybe that’s part of that, but if what they’re going for is a recreation of the 1960s Star Trek, I felt it was a bit over the line. (And the “Oh my!” jokes pretty much write themselves! J) However, she could’ve been there behind the scenes. There you are right.

      I enjoyed this episode, and think it showed a very passionate, very human side of Evil Captain Kirk. In fact, the reason I keep watching it over and over again is because I’m sure that’s how Vic Mignogna MEANT to play Mirror Kirk. As torn between his ship and friendship. And when he’s had enough…he lets him have it! The “Pawns need a king!” speech is absolutely mesmerizing to me, and exactly how Evil Kirk would’ve said it had it been the 1960s.

      A great episode, and I’ve watched it many times already. But, the moral tension was very low. Spock won every time. I think it would’ve raised the stakes had Evil Kirk’s forces offered a little more resistance. Heck, when Evil Kirk pulled out that phaser the first time I got chills down my spine. And why not kill Mirror Spock? They killed Mirror Archer in “Star Trek: Enterprise”! And it would’ve raised the stakes for democracy if Spock made a sacrifice of ONE man (Driving home Good Kirk‘s message!), rather than a whole crew! Evil Kirk was, in his own way, just trying to save his crew. He rules through fear, yes, but behind that is the great passion we all know of Kirk, in any universe, which he unleashes on Spock in the “Pawns need a king!” speech.

      But, you’re right, for how it ended, the Khan treatment was good. I just really liked the portrayal of evil Kirk’s Human madness vs. Vulcan logic. I’m not saying what he did was right. But, I think for the Mirror Universe, it would’ve been worth it to add a little more tension. Thanks for the conversation! It was fun! I love Star Trek Continues! It’s a real work of passion! Can’t wait for more!