This early episode was only the first of several in which Shatner plays a dual role. In this episode, the dual nature of Jim Kirk's personality is dramatized and examined. Because of a transporter malfunction, Kirk is divided into two selves who are physically identical, but temperamentally opposite.
This is generally regarded to be a symbolic story about the good versus evil in all men, but it could just as easily be about the conflict within a bisexual man: he has his Gay side, and he has his heterosexual side. How a presumably bisexual Kirk manages to harmonize the competing impulses within himself and establish inner unity is very interesting.
In the K/S timeline, this episode occurs before Naked Time and Spock's big revelation about his shameful feelings for Kirk. At this point, Kirk is still flirting like a madman with Spock and trying to get a rise out of him. His method in this episode is the same as in Corbomite Maneuver: he shows off his half-naked body to Spock and more or less dares him to do something. In Corbomite Maneuver, Spock betrays no emotion about Kirk's flirtatious little skin show (although he doesn't seem to mind, either) but in this episode you can clearly see that Kirk is definitely wearing him down.
Kirk also shows some rather pointed interest in a female in this episode, specifically, Janice Rand. Many people think this proves Kirk is heterosexual. That ain't necessarily so, as I shall explain.
Kirk and a large landing party are "gathering specimens" on planet Alpha 177. The first thing we see is Sulu, holding a weird-but-cute exotic doglike critter in his arms. Kirk approaches and examines the mutt's phallic-looking tail for a moment. At least, we hope it's a tail.
[NOTE: Uh oh. We can't even get ten seconds into the show before Kirk starts acting weird, but he's 100% fully himself at the moment - so, NO EXCUSES!
"Nice dog you got there. Mind if I shake his tail?" ~WHAT!?~]
Kirk's no doubt perfectly legitimate tail-examining is suddenly interrupted by a minor emergency: geological technician Fisher falls off a cliff and injures his hand. Hey, since he's a geologist, maybe we should call it a *miner* emergency, har har!
The guy got covered in a magnetic yellow ore when he fell. As he is beamed aboard, the transporter grinds laboriously, obviously aggrieved. Scotty is very concerned. After sending Fisher on his way, Scotty sends another fella to fetch a synchronizer or something. Kirk calls, wanting to beam up. Scotty delays him a moment. He fusses, then decides it's OK to beam up the Captain.
However, it doesn't appear to work completely right when Kirk beams aboard. He wobbles, and puts his hand up to his head languidly like he's playing Blanche Dubois in a amateur production of Streetcar Named Desire. He stumbles a bit coming off of the platform, touches his knee as if his leg hurts, acts all dizzy and helpless and disoriented, bats his eyelashes at Scotty, and smiles. Mr. Scott responds by taking Kirk by the arm and escorting him out as if they are on a date. Kirk protests weakly, smiling the whole time like he's loving every bit of it.
Moments later, in the vacant transporter room, the transporter fires itself up. A lone figure magically appears: it's another James Kirk! Only this Kirk is the exact opposite of cute and helpless. He apparently can force the transporter to beam him up automatically through sheer force of animal will alone! Gee!
He is accosted by Scotty's little helper, a handsome young black fella, who shows concern and asks if Kirk needs help. HELL NO! This guy needs no help! And he doesn't need to be shown the way out! And he's in no mood for conversation! He refuses to speak to the kid, and marches himself toward the exit.
At the door, he pauses, and looks back, and looks the kid alllll up and down, and smiles a very weird smile.
[NOTE: Yes, he really does do that.]
Our first impulse is to judge this second Kirk to be some powerful super-creature who has adopted Kirk's form to impersonate him, no doubt for nefarious purposes, but the revealed truth about him proves to be even more shocking.
Meanwhile, Kirk-1 comes to the end of his charming little stroll through the halls with handsome, masculine, protective, solicitous Engineer Scott. Scott worriedly, gently advises Kirk to have McCoy give him the once-over, and Kirk promises the engineer that he'll get his engines seen to.
[NOTE: Oh, ~yeah~!]
Kirk enters his quarters, still all aglow, and to his surprise he surprises Yeoman Rand. She explains her presence there and hands him some disks. She's all business. So is he. He's even more all business than she is. When she tries to talk to him, he cuts her off and dismisses her perfunctorily.
[NOTE: So much for Kirk-1 being "the nice one"]
Kirk-1 faints onto his cot 'cause he apparently can't wait to start dreaming about today's developments. Gosh, Scotty sure was extra-nice today! He was so attentive and caring! ::sigh:: That certainly was unusual. But nice!
The mysterious Kirk-2 rushes to sickbay, which all things considered is maybe after all not such a bad idea. He sees McCoy, blurts "Saurian Brandy" to explain his presence there. McCoy finally just gives it to him, although he's quite dismayed with Kirk's intimidating manner. He apparently is accustomed to having Kirk mooch booze off of him, but I guess Kirk is usually more delicate about how he does it. For one thing, Kirk usually doesn't mind sharing, but this time he grabs the bottle and runs with it like it's an overturned football and he's trying to make a touchdown.
Kirk-2 swaggers down the hall, swigging directly from the bottle, and suddenly he sees Rand's door and gets an idea. He smiles an evil, drunken smile. He casually enters her room, although she is not there to welcome him.
[NOTE: They never seem to lock the doors on the Enterprise! Anybody could walk into anybody's quarters at will at any time. The only thing that normally keeps people out is politeness.]
[NOTE: She's not there. He goes in and hangs around anyway.]
Meanwhile, back in Kirk's quarters, Kirk-1 is not "resting" anymore, he apparently is just out of the shower, or is just about to go in. Anyway, he's stripped to the waist and has a towel around his neck. He's stretching. His chest is shaved completely smooth, but that's not new. We saw that his chest was shaved as smooth as a peeled egg in Corbomite Maneuver... and Spock saw it then, too. But not all close up and personal, like he's seeing it now.
Oh yes! Spock is here! He just walked in. Kirk-1 is not one bit shy in front of him. He doesn't seem to feel uncomfortable.
Spock, however, seems uncomfortable. He stiffly and formally initiates a conversation, and tries not to stare. He fails. He's staring.
"Is there something I can do for you, Captain?" he asks.
[NOTE: Hey, look at the cute, open-ended, vaguely suggestive kind of opening remark Spock just made.]
Kirk-1 can hardly believe his luck. He freezes, stunned, while the wheels in his mind furiously turn. He decides to play it safe, and offers a cute, open-ended, and vaguely inviting reply.
"Like what?" he deadpans, looking Spock right in the eyes.
[NOTE: Get specific, Spock. Make an offer.]
Spock is not really ready for this confrontation. He quails, dissembles... LORD, when Kirk levels him with that provocative gaze the poor guy almost wets his pants.
Spock, overcome by a sudden need to do something with his sweaty hands places his hands on his hips, and says,
"Well, Dr. McCoy seems to think that I should check on you!"
"That's nice." Kirk-1 softly replies.
Close-up on Spock's tortured expression. He's STILL staring hard at Kirk, and it's starting to hurt.
Kirk pities him, and decides it's time to take the initiative and cut through some bullshit. "Come on, Spock", he says, approaching slowly "I know that look!" He is now barely arm's length away. "What is it?"
[NOTE: Just say it, Spock. Just blurt it out! I promise I won't be shocked. I probably won't even be surprised.]
"Our Good doctor says you:
1) were acting like a wild man 2) demanded brandy!"
[NOTE: and he just thought that, since you were in a party mood, that maybe this would be a good time for me to make my move.]
Kirk-1, who knows nothing about what McCoy complained about, grins broadly. Good old McCoy! Tryin' in his own inept and/or evil way to help poor shy Spock out by giving him a kick in the right direction! But Kirk doesn't want to start with Spock like that, so he tells Spock (what to him seems to be) the truth.
Kirk laughs. "Our good doctor's been putting you on again!"
[NOTE: Check it out: This is not the first time McCoy played a prank like this on Spock! Spock has no trouble believing that Kirk's explanation is the true one.]
"Hmm!" Spock nods. "Well, in that case, If you'll excuse the intrusion, captain, I'll get back to my work!"
[NOTE: FLIRT ALERT!]
Kirk now takes off the towel which is the closest thing to clothing that he has for his upper body and [Snaps it at Spock? Tosses it on the bed? Throws it on the floor at Spock's feet? It not clear what he does with it] and archly says, "I'll tell him you were ~properly annoyed~!"
[NOTE: That was a four-alarm flirt. Flirt, flirt, flirt, *flirt*! For all we know, he is just getting started at properly annoying Spock.]
[NOTE: Kirk doesn't say, "Yeah, go back to work and quit bugging me." or "That is all", or "You're dismissed", or "Go on, get out of here, you knucklehead." As far as we know, he's just getting warmed up and would prefer for Spock to stick around. When he actually wants to get rid of somebody, he knows how. You saw how he handled Rand earlier.]
"Captain..." Spock responds, and runs for the hills. He is just not ready, period. He has had enough excitement for now.
[NOTE: At this stage, Spock can probably coast on that much excitement for weeks. In his imagination, he'll probably relive that conversation and end it at least a thousand different ways. Remember that Spock is still an adolescent by Vulcan standards. He hasn't had his first Pon Farr yet.]
Cut to the transporter room, where we see Kirk-1 and Spock enter together, and both of them are freshly dressed and pressed, every hair in place.
[NOTE: we have no idea how much time has passed, or what transpired since Spock turned to leave. Come to think of it, maybe he didn't immediately go back to his work. Maybe he didn't make it all the way out of the room before Kirk tackled him. They both seem to have a wild look in their eyes, like they just got off a rollercoaster and want to go again.]
Scotty shows Kirk-1 a tame wild dog, and a caged, savage one, and explains that after beaming the one up, the other appeared. He darkly warns that it's very dangerous to use the transporter to beam up Sulu and his party. They are forced to leave their guys on the planet, and this is bad, because it gets terribly cold there at night.
Meanwhile, Yeoman Janice Rand enters her quarters. She suddenly sees Kirk-2, who's still drinking brandy straight out of the bottle.
She says pretty much the same thing Spock did.
"Can I help you, Captain?"
"Jim will do here, Janice", he matter-of-factly replies.
"Ohh", she says. She doesn't seem offended, just puzzled.
"You are much too beautiful to ignore" Kirk-2 compliments her. "Too much woman." He places the bottle on a nearby shelf, approaches her fairly respectfully, and, true to form, launches into a little speech.
[NOTE: if it weren't for the ominous background music, we would have no more reason to be alarmed than Janice does. So far, he doesn't seem too bad.]
[NOTE: Janice can hardly believe her luck! She has dreamt of this! She is thrilled! Kirk-2 knows this!]
Ok, now Kirk-2 reveals his bestial nature. He grabs Rand roughly, forces a rough kiss on her, and growling, warns her to not resist. He's not one bit tender or seductive, the way we would normally expect him to be. He figured she'd just succumb, without any coaxing or foreplay, and when she stiffens in his arms and seems to dislike his abrupt approach, he gets angry.
It really seems as if Kirk-2 is trying to rape Janice. He forces her to the floor, but she rallies her outrage and fights back in earnest. This is not her dream, this is a nightmare. She scratches Kirk-2's face and this startles him. She manages to worm out of his grasp. She dodges, he chases, she makes it as far as the door, but Kirk-2 yanks her back inside - while in the hall the astonished technician Fisher witnesses the whole thing.
Seeing Fisher, Rand desperately cries out, "Call Mr. Spock!"
Kirk-2 realizes that the jig is up, and he rushes into the hall. Kirk-2 clocks Fisher before he can get help.
Kirk-1 is amazed to hear of Rand's complaint. He protests his innocence to Spock. "I've been resting here since you left me! ALONE, Mr. Spock!"
[NOTE: Yeah! I wasn't resting with anybody this time! I was totally by myself!]
[NOTE: So here's a typical day for Kirk-1... take a little stroll with Scotty, rest, shower, shave his chest, flirt with Spock, rest, dress in a fresh uniform, look at the doggy, rest some more - ALONE this time...]
Kirk-1 and Spock go to sickbay to hear Rand's testimony.
Kirk-2, bloodied and traumatized, lets himself into his quarters, curls up on the bed, and starts licking his wounds.
[NOTE: WHAT A PUSSY! "Captain's log, supplemental: No more rape girls. Me totally SUCK at it. Me no like getting beat up by girls."]
Kirk-1 and Spock hear Rand's and Fisher's testimony. Rand and Fisher are both 100% sure that Kirk is the guilty party, and say so. McCoy also registered his complaint about Kirk's peculiar misbehavior. Spock listens, thinks, and draws what for him is the only logical conclusion.
"We have an impostor aboard."
[NOTE: Gee. Spock just CAN'T IMAGINE that his own Captain could possibly want to force himself on a woman - especially not after what happened this afternoon! That is just so far out that he simply won't even consider that possibility, testimony of three shipmates be damned! You gotta wonder what evidence Spock _alone_ has seen that is so ding-dong compelling!]
There's a scene where Kirk-1, while holding his fluffy little dog-friend, seems to be having a lot of trouble staying focused on solving the crisis. He is in the transporter room, and Scotty is there, and Spock is over here, and the two men discuss the complexities of the crisis with Kirk, and it's just the four of them: Handsome Scotty, and Hunky Spock, and the phallic-tailed pooch, and... Kirk just seems ~terribly~ distracted!
[NOTE: I knew it wouldn't be long before Kirk's kinky side started to come out, and I was right.]
Spock advises Kirk to not tell the whole crew about the duplication business, on the grounds that it would make Kirk seem weak to them. Kirk-1 nicely thanks Spock for chastising him, and asks him to do it again any time he feels like it.
Spock advised Kirk against telling the whole crew that an impostor is running rampant all over the ship, so what does Kirk do? He broadcasts that very fact all over the ship.
[NOTE: There he goes again, obviously trying to earn himself a spankin'. Man, I saw that comin' a mile away.
Kirk-2 (still holed up in Kirk's quarters), freaks out and violently trashes the place when he hears the announcement. Realizing that he can be identified by the scratches Rand gave him, he goes to KIRK'S OWN VANITY, and APPLIES THE MAKEUP THAT HE HAPPENS TO HAVE HANDY, to cover his scratches.
[NOTE: Now see here, people. I don't want any silly bullshit batted about over this point. Kirk-2 IS in Kirk's quarters, and there is some makeup there which does seem to belong to Kirk! It's not new either. He applies it like an expert, too. I don't really think it's too much to ask, to ask that you all simply *acknowlege* the FACT that KIRK has MAKEUP and IS CASUALLY EXPERT WITH IT.]
[NOTE: and this is the heterosexual side of Kirk that we are looking at, here, too. Dig it: Mr. big-bad Rapist is a girly-man!]
Kirk-2 hides Rand's scratches with makeup, tricks transporter technician Wilson into giving him his phaser, then knocks Wilson out.
Kirk-2 then hides in the lower decks, like a big chicken. "Soft" Kirk-1 and Spock anticipate his actions and cagily hunt him down.
[NOTE: Soft, sexy, flirty, Gayboy Kirk-1 has bigger balls than pussy-ass failed-rapist Kirk-2.]
Kirk-1 confronts Kirk-2, and Kirk-1 boldly and confidently approaches the very nervous Kirk-2, saying what the Gay side of every emotionally healthy bisexual man says to his terrified heterosexual self:
"You can't kill me. I'm a part of you."
Kirk-2 backs away, frightened out of his ever-lovin' wits of his own terrifying queer incarnation.
Kirk-1 keeps talking soothingly, as if trying to calm a wild animal. and keeps advancing fearlessly.
"I need you. You need me." Kirk-1 declaims, seeming for all the world as if he's about to ask his rapist-half to marry him. He's never seen that side of himself from this angle before, and it's making him sooooo *hot*!
"I don't need _you_" Kirk-2 snarls, and prepares to fire.
Spock sneaks up behind and brings Kirk-2 down with a patented Vulcan nerve pinch.
[NOTE: Maybe Kirk-2 doesn't need Kirk-1, but Spock does!]
[NOTE: Kirk-1 is so envious! He's always wondered what that feels like!]
Blah, blah, blah... the transporter problem is worse than we thought, Sulu and the guys are all freezing to death, Kirk-2 is in bondage, and Kirk-1 is just sick with envy! It doesn't seem fair that Kirk-2 is the one who gets all the fun!
Kirk-1 visits Kirk-2 in sickbay. Kirk-2 is freaking out and throwing a big tantrum (natch!), so Kirk-1 holds hands with him, and gives him a big pep-talk, and soothes him. Kirk-1 rhapsodizes about feeling the need to take the big lug inside himself. Lalalalala! Too much information! Lalalalala!
Blah, blah, blah... FINALLY, Spock and Scotty jerryrig the transporter and manage to recombine the dog-creature. Unfortunately, the strain of recombination kills the beastie.
Blah, blah, blah, all kinds of dramatic things happen including a stirring little speech by Spock about how he harmonizes his two halves. At one point, masochistic Kirk-1 begs Spock and McCoy to stop torturing him by asking him for orders, and insists that they both just start telling him what to do.
Kirk-2 temporarily breaks away and manages to cause a little trouble, but he is quickly subdued.
FINALLY Kirk is eventually returned to normal when the transporter is finally successfully modified. Kirk-1 drags Kirk-2 onto the platform and embraces him, holding on tight as they begin the procedure.
The two parts of Jim Kirk are successfully reunited, and the selfish, brutish, totally unfabulous (but strangely compelling) side of himself is finally stuffed back deep down inside of Kirk, where he belongs!
The guys ashore are rescued, hoorah, hoorah!
"How do you feel, Jim?"
"I've seen a part of myself no man should ever see."
[NOTE: Yeah, his asshole.]
Then Kirk gives Spock a very warm, extra-special personal message:
"Thank you Mr. Spock, from both of us!" he twinkles.
[NOTE: I thank you, and my asshole thanks you.]
And the Kirk we all know and love so well takes his place in the captain's seat once again!
At the end, Spock can't resist the urge to have a little evil fun with Rand.
"The impostor had some rather interesting qualities, wouldn't you say, Yeoman?"
[NOTE: She doesn't say anything, so I guess the answer is NO.]
All site contents Copyright L. Goodwin 1990 - 2003
Back to details
Back to SSTO