Star Trek TOS – Episode 14 – Balance of Terror [Remastered]


I need a new computer, and larger buckets of internets at my house. Seriously, if it isn’t just my computer shutting down every so often, the internet went out completely yesterday. I can’t imagine why there’s an internet shortage here. Florida’s full of old people, and old people are afraid of the internet, right? So there should be plenty of internet for the rest of us. (Spock logic. I has it.)

Watch this episode at CBS.com.

SUMMARY

The Romulans are being naughty and blowing up Federation stuff. Unfortunately for them, it’s Captain Kirk to save the day.

Click the picture for a full summary from Memory Alpha, the Star Trek wiki.

REVIEW

Awwww. It’s a wedding… in space!!! The poor girl doesn’t even get to wear a wedding dress. Then there’s a red alert. Oh, that sucks so bad. You know that, due to the laws of Red Shirt, one of them has to die.

The Romulans be starting trouble, creepin’ into the Neutral Zone.

SPOCK: Sweeping the area of Outpost Two. Sensor reading indefinite. Double-checking Outpost Three. I read dust and debris. Both Earth outposts gone, and the asteroids they were constructed on, pulverized.

Holy shit, the Romulans have a Death Star! Battle stations!

Oh look, it’s the lovebunnies:

ANGELA: You won’t get off my hook this easily. I’m going to marry you, Mr., battle or phaser weapons notwithstanding.
ROBERT: Well, meanwhile, temporarily at least, I am still your superior officer. So get with it, Mr.

That can’t be good for a relationship. Especially, you know, because one of you has to die.

They get a visual on the guy at Outpost Four. He’s burned. Someone is messing them up bad. They look to the outside of the asteroid, and see a ship uncloak, which destroys the outpost and cloaks again.

DUN-DUN-DUNNNN!

The Romulans have broken the treaty, and Lieutenant Stiles points out that there could be Romulan spies onboard the Enterprise. Not good. Not good at all.

They are able to piggyback on a communication signal to look inside the Romulan ship, and the Romulan looks like a Vulcan. Ruh-roh. Guess who’s number one on the suspicion list?

Sulu gives Spock a dirty look. Calm down, ya queen.

We see the Romulans on their ship. They’re weird. One guy refers to himself in the third person, and they speak in grandiose language. It’s pretty obvious that they’re modeled after the ancient Romans, down to their clothing.

The Enterprise has beamed aboard wreckage from Outpost Four. Morbid. It turns out that, even though the Romulans have kickass weapons and a cloaking system, they don’t have warp power. Stiles gets all racist against the Romulans (and Spock) and urges them to attack. Spock, surprisingly, agrees. Attack them while they’re in Federation space, before they get back to the neutral zone. Kirk orders the attack.

Kirk decides that they’ll jump to the other side of a comet to catch the Romulans. The Romulans decide to double back and catch the Enterprise. They miss each other. D’oh! The Enterprise starts firing randomly. One of the shots connects, causing pieces of the ship to come crashing down.

The Romulans uncloak to give their weapon more power. The Enterprise warps away, but the blast still follows them. Can I point out the obvious here? You can move in other dimensions besides forward and back. If the beam only goes in a straight line, move up or down, ya dingus.

Lucky for them, the blast dissipates a bit before it hits them. We see the happy couple from the beginning of the episode. So far, they’re both still alive, and we’re over halfway through the episode. Good for them.

One of them is still going to die.

The Romulans, for being a proud, warlike race, are a lot less confident than Kirk and the Enterprise crew.

The Enterprise starts firing blindly, but doesn’t actually hit the Romulan ship. Kirk makes the decision to pursue them into the Neutral Zone.

COMMANDER: No. No, he’s shrewd, this starship commander. He tries to make us waste energy. He has estimated we have only enough. It is time. All debris into disposal tubes.
DECIUS: Yes, Commander.
COMMANDER: The body of the Centurion, too. Forgive me, my old friend, but I must use all my experience now to get home.

I half experienced the Centurion to wake up and say, “But I’m not dead yet!”

Spock and Sulu find the debris floating out in space. Litterers! But Spock quickly realizes that it’s a trick, and that the real ship has snuck away. Kirk decides that the Romulans are sitting quietly, so he orders everything shut down on the Enterprise, too. Guess what, Kirk? You guys are VISIBLE. That really only works if you have cloaking technology. Still, the Romulans are too dumb to see them, but their captain is sure they’re there.

Spock, reparing something, reaches up and accidently turns on a system that sends out a signal to the Romulans. Stiles gives Spock the dirtiest of looks. He truly thinks that Spock is a Romulan secret agent.

The Romulan captain dumps more debris and a nuclear warhead, which FUCKS SHIT UP. The Romulan commander decides to turn and go home, which doesn’t sit well with the crew. Eventually, he is persuaded to attack.

On the Enterprise, Stiles offers to go help with the phasers. Spock goes down there to check the status, and as he leaves, something marked “Danger” starts leaking purple smoke. Not good. Hearing that the phaser room is not responding to commands, Spock rushes back there to find the two men, Stiles and Tomlinson (the groom), unconscious. Spock fires, and makes the Romulan ship FUBAR.

The Romulan captain appears on the screen. Kirk offers to save the survivors, but the Romulan captain explains that it is their way to not be captured. He self-destructs his ship.

In sickbay, Stiles is going to be OK, and he realizes that Spock is not the bad guy. But Tomlinson has died. See? I told you. One of them had to die, and no, I haven’t seen this episode before. That’s just the way it is.

The End

MORAL OF THE STORY

Don’t mess with Captain Kirk. I repeat, DON’T MESS WITH CAPTAIN KIRK!

RATING

I’m going to rate this one Lieutenant.  2 out of 4 pips. It was good, and I loved seeing the Romulans for the first time, but it wasn’t great.

TOMORROW ON THE STAR TREK CHALLENGE: Shore Leave.

The internet can suck it,

Captain Painway

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2 Responses to Star Trek TOS – Episode 14 – Balance of Terror [Remastered]

  1. Denim says:

    I think I enjoyed this episode a bit more then you did. This for me was the episode that gave us an enemy.

  2. Steve says:

    I loved this one… the scene with McCoy and Kirk in Kirk’s quarters made this episode for me. Kirk under stress and questioning himself really established him as a character – he’d only been tv hero up until this point – a similar scene in “The Cage,” made Pike look week because we didn’t have a chance to get to know the character yet, however with “Balance of Terror” Kirk and McCoy’s relationship is firmly established.

    As well the villains were played as people and not evil crazy people.

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