This is a popular episode that is one of the most misunderstood in all of Trekdom. Many fans wrongfully believe that this episode shows Kirk violating the Prime Directive. Certainly he is tempted, and more than once, but no, he didn't violate the PD.
Many of those same fans say that if there was a violation, that it is an understandable, justifiable, excusable violation. They argue on and on about that totally nonsensical point about a thing that never happened, and never get around to talking about the REALLY outrageous stuff in this episode. I now correct that oversight.
Private Little War is typical TOS in many ways: As usual, Kirk seems to have extra-special strong feelings about Mr. Spock. As usual, there is some utterly gratuitous sadomasochism in this episode. And as usual, Kirk ends up in a spicy situation with a dynamite dame, and it is most emphatically NOT HIS IDEA, and _also_ as usual, nothing really comes of it.
As usual, Kirk shows stronger feelings for the males in his life -past and present - than for the females who make themselves available... which lends credence to the assertion that Kirk is Gay, as many other episodes have, as I shall explain.
Kirk, Spock, and McCoy are on the surface of a woodsy world. We first see McCoy talking with Kirk via communicator. Kirk asks him "how much longer?" and McCoy estimates 30 minutes. McCoy rejoices via communicator to Jim that the planet is a medical treasure trove.
We next see Kirk talking with McCoy via communicator. We next see that Kirk and Spock, as usual, are together.
[NOTE: Of course. They apparently brought McCoy down for appearence's sake, and then obviously ditched him as soon as they could. I wonder why Kirk was so anxious to know how much longer he had _to be alone with Spock_? Hmm?]
Done with McCoy, Kirk now chats ~all alone~ (as usual) with Spock. Spock seems worried by the tracks of the mugatu in the dirt, but Kirk assures him that the tracks are days old. He tells Spock that, except for the nasty mugatu ape, the place is a paradise. The planet's human inhabitants hunt, but otherwise are peaceful.
[NOTE: It looks to my eyes as if Kirk is trying to persuede Spock to relax, stop worrying, and, you know... relax and stop worrying. At least for thirty minutes.]
To Kirk's dismay, seconds later he spots some natives with flintlock rifles waiting to ambush another group that includes a guy Kirk recognizes, a former "friend" named Tyree.
[NOTE: Kirk refers to Tyree literally as, "The friend I lived with, here." Dig it! He admits that he used to live with the guy!]
Kirk starts to point his phaser, but Spock stops him by reminding him that he mustn't use his phaser here. So Kirk instead throws a rock, which startles one of the assassins/bandits, and his rifle discharges. Now Kirk and Spock get chased by the pissed-off bad-guys, and unfortunatly, Spock gets shot - taking a dramatic tumble into the dirt.
[NOTE: I hope Nimoy got extra pay for that painful-looking fall.]
Kirk rushes to Spock, gathers him up in his arms, then notices that Spock's phaser is missing. He scrambles away to reclaim it, and AGAIN raises it as if to use it, this time to avenge/defend for Spock, but Spock places a hand on Kirk's hand, and says "No, Captain!"
[Special NOTE: Twice during the first few moments we see Kirk impulsively react by reaching for his phaser, and TWICE Spock stays his hand, reminding him that the use of it is "forbidden". We assume it's forbidden by the Prime Directive. I am forced to wonder: if they can't use them, then why did they bring them?]
[NOTE: K/S alert...]
The landing party quickly beams up to the Enterprise, where McCoy immediately starts working on Spock. Kirk is all about Spock. He's all, "Bones, can you save him?', but the red alert goes off. Uhura's voice reveals that a Klingon ship is heading towards them. Kirk makes to rush for the bridge, but stops at the door and again is all about Spock. He's all, (sweating bullets for Spock):
McCoy doesn't know if Spock can be saved. Duty calls. Kirk rushes to the bridge.
They manage to keep the ship concealed from the Klingons by hiding the Enterprise on the opposite side of the planet. Kirk declares yellow alert and calls sickbay to check on Spock. McCoy, clearly annoyed, says in essence, "Don't call us, we'll call you."
[NOTE: Boy, Kirk sure is intensely worried about Spock.]
Kirk speculates that the Klingons have violated the treaty governing the "neutral planet" (which restricts both parties to scientific research) and he figures the Klingons must have provided the Villagers with rifles.
"When I left there 13 years ago, those people had barely learned to forge iron. Spock was shot with a flintlock. How many centuries between those two developments?" Kirk queries.
"On Earth, about twelve, sir." Uhura instantly retorts.
[NOTE: Hot DOG! That was fucking BRILLIANT. Uhura once again casually revealing a glimpse of her hidden depths! How many of you would have known the answer? Be honest.]
This starts a lively discussion. Scotty, Chekov, and Uhura all express perfectly reasonable objections to Kirk's hypothesis. They point out all sorts of perfectly reasonable alternative explanations, which shows that they aren't as ready as Kirk is to assume that the Klingons are up to no good.
"I did *not* invite a debate!" Kirk snaps (which pretty much quells the discussion).
Kirk sees that he's responsible for an instantaneous drop in morale, and he acts quickly to correct it.
"I'm sorry." he says, quite sincerely. "I'm worried about Mr. Spock."
[NOTE: See? He IS all about Spock. He freely and frankly admits it in front of the whole world, quite openly, without shame.]
[NOTE: Notice that nobody seems surprised. They seem, if anything, chastened. They are all, "Oh Jeez, we should have realized/remembered that you are _of course_ worried about Spock."]
"You have the conn, Scotty. I'll be in sickbay!", Kirk declaims, and exits.
[NOTE: Guess why Kirk is going to sickbay. Go ahead, GUESS.]
[NOTE: Kirk is just extra-extra incredibly, deeply, super-hoveringly concerned about Spock's welfare. Truly, he totally is. And he's not too big to admit it, either.]
Once the ultra-concerned Kirk has been assured that Dr. M'Benga is terrific with Vulcans, Kirk takes McCoy, and beams down to investigate, leaving Dr. M'Benga in charge of sickbay, with the injured and unconscious Spock entirely in his capable hands. Kirk insists on bringing McCoy ashore with him. Kirk tells McCoy that he needs him to, in effect, take Spock's place and play Spock's role as adviser.
Kirk notes in his log at this point that he doesn't want to give up the tactical advantage of not-being-seen to get permission from Starfleet, so what he next does, he does on his own authority, with an aknowlegement that he is violating orders.
[NOTE: Exactly what orders Kirk is violating is not made explicit, except for the fact that Kirk is to avoid hooking up with the locals. They did carefully avoid contact on this trip until now. Whether or not this is in fact a Prime Directive violation is not in fact made clear, but I think not, since I have the vague impression that "orders" and "directives" seem to be distinctive things. Kirk has had (allowed) _prolonged_, _intimate_ dealings with these people in the past, so it's not like they never met outsiders before, and it's not as if all contact is utterly forbidden, either. Scientific explorations seem to be allowed, even for Klingons.]
McCoy says, "Wanna think about it again, Jim? Starfleet's orders about this planet state 'no interference'..."
"No interference with normal social development." Kirk clarifies.
[NOTE: Here's McCoy now, reminding Kirk to not violate the Prime Directive. That's the third time in this one episode that somebody felt the need to remind Kirk to watch his ass. That's McCoy, offering Kirk advice the way Kirk wants him to do.
Kirk brought McCoy along precisely because he needed him to give trustworthy advice, as he explicitly stated minutes before. That is no minor point. Kirk befriended Spock and McCoy partially because he can depend on them to keep him from screwing up. It's also no minor point that Kirk responds as if he is aware of the rules, and that he is intent on staying well within the guidelines. Notice that he doesn't tell McCoy to shut up and follow his lead: he instead makes the effort to reassure the old boy that he is mindful of the guidelines, and of his duty.]
Moments after beaming down, Kirk has the bad luck to be attacked by the silly-looking but seriously poisonous mugato, a large white beast resembling a gorilla with a horn on its head and fins on its back. There is no antidote to the poison. McCoy panics, but Kirk shiveringly asks him to find Tyree.
The white-haired hill people (Tyree's folk) discover McCoy and Kirk and take them to Tyree (Kirk's ex-"friend"), who now just happens to be their leader. They carry Kirk to a cozy cave, and McCoy follows. Seeing some fur blankets, McCoy grabs one and covers Kirk with it. After the others leave, McCoy surrepticiously uses his phaser to heat some rocks in the cave.
The dark-skinned, black-haired Kanutu (healer) woman Nona is summoned. She is Tyree's wife. She is obviously originally of the Villager tribe. Tyree apparently met and married her sometime after he met Kirk, since she has never met Kirk before.
She pops in and catches McCoy using his phaser, and this impresses her mightily, and gives her big ideas.
She exits, and considers deeply what she has just witnessed. Just then her handsome but not-too-bright hubby rushes to her, worrying aloud about Kirk. He is allll about Kirk.
Next, the happy couple engages in some heavy negotiations.
Nona: "You wish for me to save him?"
Tyree: "You must!", he asserts. "He is the one I told you of... the 'friend' of my younger days!"
Nona: "My remedies require I know what kind of man he is... ALL that is known of him."
[NOTE: Obviously she now knows she never got the whole story.]
Tyree: "I gave him my promise of silence. He was made my 'brother'."
Nona (sharply): "And I am your wife, his sister! I promise silence also!"
Tyree doesn't like it. He tries to protest, to explain.
Tyree: "Nona...!" He gestures, as if he would continue.
Nona (not having it): "Quickly! Or He Dies."
[NOTE: She means it, too.]
Tyree and Nona exchange a long look. Tyree caves.
MEANWHILE... back on the ship...
Spock is flat on his back, unconscious. Nurse Chapel (whom we know has the hots for him) slides her hand caressingly over his hand, longingly. She takes up his hand, and clasps it between her two hands tightly, with evident love, anxiety, and desire.
[NOTE: EXACTLY THE WAY KIRK DOES LATER IN THE "SIMPLE FEELING" SCENE OF ST:TMP. If it means what it does when Chapel does it, then it means the same dang thing when Kirk does it. No? Then prove it doesn't... except you can't, so pooey on yooey, Louis. BTW, Spock doesn't consent to it here, but he certainly does with Kirk, later. But I digress...]
Dr. M'Benga walks in and explains to Chapel that Spock is conscious, but deep in a state of Vulcan-style self-hypnosis, and that this is a normal Vulcan self-healing thing.
[NOTE: Cool! More neato Vulcan factoids!]
"I suppose he even knows you were holding his hand!" M'Benga twinkles, to a blushing Chapel.
[NOTE: So she was clasping his hand between her two hands with evident love, anxiety, and desire. So what? Aren't they both single, heterosexual, and free? Well, she is, but is he? We are left to wonder!]
"A good nurse always treats her patients that way!" Chapel blushingly explains to the totally unresponsive Spock. "It proves she's interested!"
[NOTE: Oh ~SURE~. And a good Captain....but I digress.]
MEANWHILE... back in the cave...
In an amazingly dramatic and unbearably silly scene, Nona draws the poisen out of Kirk with the help of a mahko root (which, if you must know, is a local herb that looks like a squirming hunk of fresh dogshit), while hubby Tyree beats a drum. It's difficult to give this bizarre scene full justice with words alone. It's kind of like watching Shatner do a funny skit on the Sonny and Cher show that has no punch line, on a dare. Nona's hubby cuts Nona's hand with a knife, Nona slaps the dog shit, I mean mahko root down on Kirk's wound, then Nona slaps her cut hand down on the squirmy mako root, and has what looks like a prolonged orgasm.
[NOTE: I've seen kinkier things. Like Kirk has, I've seen things that make that look like a folk dance.]
Once the process is complete, Kirk stirs woozily to partial awareness, thanks McCoy, then sleeps.
McCoy (to Nona, about her method): "I would like to learn more about this."
Nona (woozily): "Our blood has passed through the mahko root together. Our souls have been together. He is mine, now!"
Nona is drained. Tyree starts to leads her slowly away.
McCoy (alarmed, to Tyree): "He is HERS?"
Tyree (blandly): "When a man and woman are joined in this manner, he can refuse her no wish. BUT it is only a legend."
[NOTE: The symbolic equivalence with sexual contact is now more explicit. Kirk and Nona are more than "brother and sister", now. They are literally fluid-bonded, like lovers. Hmm. Come to think of it, blood-brothers are fluid-bonded too. Hmm. Come to think of it, "blood-brotherhood" is/was a form of Gay marriage, to some, but I digress.....]
[NOTE: Sorry, but I have to do this. It was established early on that Kirk lived for a time with Tyree, and Tyree says that Kirk and him were made brothers. Brothers are more than friends: brothers are family. Kirk and Tyree are family to/with each other. This is made quite explicit. Nona reacts to this news by saying, "Hey, if he's your brother, and I am your wife, then he's my brother!" This further emphasizes that Kirk is family. NOW Nona is fluid-bonded with Kirk, and in this case, he's a man "joined" to a woman in a manner that (legend says) makes it impossible for him to deny her anything. That's pretty dog-gone serious. That's like being married. So Kirk in effect is now married to his brother's wife, his sister. That makes him double-extra-special family, now!]
We come back from commercial break to see McCoy waking up and looking for Jim. Where is Jim? He's not in his bed.
Oh, here he is... hovering woozily near to the slumbering Nona. He has been sleepwalking, it seems.
[NOTE: Maybe he was thirsty, and he dreamed that Nona was his mommy, who would get him a drink of water.]
McCoy wakes Kirk, Kirk asks what McCoy is doing, and suddenly Tyree explodes out of his bed and irradiates Kirk with a big, welcoming smile. The guy's innocent eyes betray no hint of jealousy or doubt. He's simply pleased as punch to see Kirk.
Kirk smiles back, without the slightest sign of guilt upon him. He's simply overjoyed to see his old "friend" Tyree.
[NOTE: Nona who? Kirk at this point still doesn't remember meeting Nona. He was delirious, remember?]
Tyree welcomes Jim by grabbing him by the shoulders and giving him an exuberent Kirk-style shake. They both grin and grin until their faces ache, they are ~so happy~ to see each other again. Isn't that ~So CUTE~!? :)
Now Kirk is introduced to Nona. Realizing that Nona is married to Tyree, he congratulates her, then turns his attention back to Tyree immediately.
[NOTE: Nona who? Kirk doesn't seem to be impressed with how beautiful and sexy and witchy and utterly female she is. He hardly seems to notice her.]
Kirk and Tyree start plotting, and immediatly Nona presumes to horn in. It's obvious that this is, um, unwelcome, but she is politely tolerated.
They plot a bit more, and again Nona horns in, and she is tolerated again, but it's more obviously a strain.
Next, the guys move to exit, so they can go somewhere else to plot some more. Nona of course tries to acompany them, but she is stopped by her hubby. All of a sudden Tyree has become a member of an exclusive boys-only club, and Nona is rather pointedly not invited to join.
Naturally, Nona takes umbrage at this. But she bites her tongue, and bides her time. Obviously she figures that her hubby is more expert at dealing with these exotic outsiders, so she trusts his judgement about how to play them, just this once.
MEANWHILE... back in sickbay...
Spock is still in a trance and recovering. Dr. M'benga tells Chapel to do whatever Spock says, if he speaks.
[NOTE: ::giggle:: Ladies and gentlemen, you now are free to let your imagination run WILD!
"Nurse Chapel, remove your blouse and give me a blow job."
"Nurse Chapel, pour cold oatmeal into your panties and dance The Lambaba."
"Nurse Chapel, <your wild idea here>"]
MEANWHILE... back on the planet...
Tyree reports that the firesticks are made by the village people, and that they first appeared about a year ago. Kirk asks if Tyree has seen strangers around. The answer is no. Kirk next takes his phaser out, shows it to Tyree, and asks if he has seen "how these work"...
[NOTE: WHOA! *That* looks like a blatant Prime Directive violation. No shit. It does. Straight up. At least, he starts to violate the PD. But Nona interrupts, so, technically...no. Whew!]
Nona blurts out that SHE "Has seen them also..."!
[NOTE: So much for the Boys-only club. That didn't last long, did it?]
[NOTE: We saw her see McCoy using his. We don't know why she assumes her hubby has seen them. It's possible that Tyree caught a look at phasers in action 13 years before - we don't know.
What IS Kirk up to here? Is he asking if Tyree has seen any phasers in use by Villagers? It's not really clear what he's getting at.]
Nona knows lots, and it's obvious she knows lots because Tyree told her lots, NOT because Kirk told her lots. But she wants to know more.
Nona (to Kirk): "Teach me!"
Kirk: (says nothing, but looks into Nona's eyes with obvious respect.)
Nona (to Kirk): "There's an old custom among my people... when a woman saves a man's life, he is ~grateful~."
Kirk (stands, halfway approaches her): "I am... ~grateful~."
McCoy (tightly): A splendid custom, if not carried to extremes!"
[NOTE: Ahem! He seems to be severely warning Nona to avoid getting too close to Kirk. Kirk brought McCoy along to play Spock's role, and McCoy here is playing Spock's role to the hilt. That's McCoy, delivering the line Spock would deliver if Spock were there, and doing it in the exact manner that Spock would have.]
Kirk: "We were once as you are... spears, arrows. There came a time where our weapons grew faster than our wisdom, and we almost destroyed ourselves. We learned from this to make a rule - during all our travels - never to cause the same to happen to other worlds."
[NOTE: Hence, the (we may assume) Prime Directive. It's apparent from these remarks that the "rule" Kirk speaks of can't possibly be meant to be applied to technologically advanced cultures.]
Nona wants Kirk to use his weapons to vanquish the village people and establish her hubby as "a man of great importance". She is super-disappointed when Tyree hollers that he will not kill, and when Kirk furthermore shows that he is reluctant to share his knowledge of advanced weaponry.
"We must fight, or die!" Nona reasonably explains, making it clear that it's a matter of sheer survival - but Tyree stubbornly refuses to hear her, and Kirk feels helpless (for reasons explained) to intervene.
Nona (horrified): "You would let him die when you have the weapons to make him powerful and safe? Then he has the WRONG FRIENDS! And I have the wrong husband."
[NOTE: What a bitch, right? Well, hey, put yourself in Nona's place for a minute, dear reader. Nona is a highly skilled and highly intelligent healer/magician, and she is married to a chief. She was expecting better than this for herself. Her hubby is the chief of a tribe that is slated for extermination. Nona does not want to die, she wants to live. She wants her hubby to get some balls, and defend his tribe with whatever means are at his disposal, of course. She has got wind of the fantastic power that is hovering inches from his reluctant grasp, and she is growing impatient for him to grab the reins of fate and hollar "Gee HUP!", of course.
Nona asks a very good question, here. What kind of friend, or brother, or friend/brother/ex-roomie/<your wild idea here> would allow for your destruction, when when he has the power to prevent it? And what kind of man won't kill in self-defense, not even to defend his loved ones? If you were her, you would feel exactly the same way she does: you'd be upset, and you'd have my sympathy. Nobody should be surprised at what Nona does (or tries to do) next. Poor desperate thing. She has her ding-dong reasons!]
[Bonus Prime Directive controversy NOTE: BTW, Kirk doesn't like it any better than Nona does, but rules are rules, and although Kirk sometimes impulsively behaves as if he has forgotton the rules, he hasn't forgotton the rules. And even though Kirk obviously wishes he didn't have to mind the rules, it's clear at this point that he in fact intends to mind the rules.
True, Kirk broke orders to make contact with the tribe, but that's only because he didn't dare reveal the presence of the Enterprise to the possibly hostile Klingons. He certainly thought about calling home for permission, and decided against it only to maintain radio silence.
BTW, I previously have argued tht the Klingons didn't break the Prime Directive because they are not members of the UFP, and therefore are not bound by the Prime Directive. But that is not really correct. Apparently there was a treaty in effect, so the Klingons *are* bound by a contract to not interfere with those people. So it is fully proper for Kirk to be poking his nose into their business, since he suspects that the Klingons have violated the treaty.
In order to investigate, Kirk felt the need for Tyree's help. We have seen other cases where, when Kirk needed some local person's help to accomplish his mission, he boldly told them whatever facts he had to. Like it or not, Kirk apparently is allowed to do such things, even when the PD is in full force. Now, back to the show.]
Kirk and McCoy chat a bit after Nona and Tyree exit.
McCoy: "If we find the Klingons have helped the Villagers, there's certainly something we can do."
Kirk (gravely): "That's what's bothering me... the something we may have to do."
Kirk, McCoy, and Tyree go snooping around after dark and discover that a Klingon named Krell has been advising the Villager leader Apella, and they see that he provided carbon-free steel and other technological goodies too advanced for the primitive society. They are caught peeking, but luckily, they manage to escape.
MEANWHILE... back in sickbay...
There is a very bizarre but typical TOS gratuitous kinky scene, when Spock stirs, and asks Nurse Chapel to strike him. She balks. He insists. She half-heartedly slaps him a couple of times. Suddenly Dr. M'Benga rushes in and he violently slaps the snot out of Spock, until Spock stops his hand and claims to have had enough. Very interesting. New Vulcan oddities revealed!
[NOTE: Very titillating. Why was this necessary again? I can't believe stuff like this used to pass for family fare. But then, this is from the days when kids were commonly beaten with belts and sticks, and were allowed to play with BB guns, and/or dolls with huge breasts.]
MEANWHILE... back on the planet, Kirk gives his hill people pals a few pointers on how to use a pilfered flintlock.
[NOTE: There is no sign whatsoever that the rifle in their possesion is anything but a Klingon-made flintlock that they stole off of a dead Villager.]
McCoy takes Kirk to the woodshed over this helpful behavior of his. Kirk tries to defend his actions, but McCoy proclaims his belief that Kirk's judgment has been skewed by Nona's influence.
[NOTE: Not by Kirk's sexual desire for her, but by the mahko. That is made quite explicit. Dr. McCoy's medical opinion is that Kirk is acting "out of his mind", possibly because there was "something in that root" that is effecting him.]
Kirk reminds McCoy that the status quo on the planet is already shot to shit, and that *that* was done by the Klingons. At this point he seems to feel that *that* means the PD gloves are off.
[NOTE: For all we know, he's right.]
Next scene, more trademarked TOS spicy stuff. Kirk happens upon Nona in the woods, and approches. She frankly admits that she magically summoned him. She frankly admits to having bewitched him. She offers Kirk some happy herb, and Kirk is visibly moved by this.
Tyree spots the two together, and stops to watch.
Nona (to Kirk): "You feel ~good~."
Kirk (to Nona): "I feel dizzy."
[NOTE: Hoo boy, the "Playboy Kirk" of fable and fame is once again totally missing in action. Kirk acts sick, like a kid who just took a deep drag on his first cigarette. Some heap-big Romeo, huh?]
Kirk suddenly turns and tells Nona that she is beautiful. She smiles seductively and says "Kiss me", and Kirk takes her in his arms and kisses her, just like that.
[NOTE: Kirk is bewitched, Kirk is drugged, and Kirk has been given a direct order by this hypnotist. Of course he kisses her, but pay heed to the fact that it is made very explicit that it is NOT HIS IDEA.]
Tyree, enraged, points his ~Klingon-produced~ flintlock at the couple, then thinks better of it, and throws the gun away in disgust.
Nona is attacked by a mugato and Kirk uses his phaser to kill it.
[NOTE: Bear in mind he was still drugged at the time. He acts all woozy and dopey, so we have to give him some slack.]
Nona thanks Kirk in an interesting way: she brains Jim with a big rock.
[NOTE: How did she know Kirk likes to play rough?]
Unbearably tempted, Nona snags Kirk's phaser, and runs away with it.
MEANWHILE... back at the camp...
McCoy takes Tyree to the woodshed for dumping the one lousy flintlock that they all share in the dirt. He runs to retrieve it. Then he sees poor Jim strugglingto regain consciousness after his "romantic" encounter.
[NOTE: Sorry folks, but that is as good as it gets. Kirk never makes love to Nona. If he wasn't bewitched and drugged n stuff he never would have had anything to do with her.]
Nona takes the phaser to some Villagers and tries to convince them that it's a mighty weapon that should interest their chief, but the guys decide to try to rape her instead. She fights, she screams, the good guys come running to the rescue, but alas, too late: Nona has been killed.
They all fight, and at the climax of the fight Tyree is smashing a Villager's head to hamburger with a big rock, but Kirk stops him.
[NOTE: Kirk knows when enough is enough, and he's had enough. Kirk obviously thinks that more violence beyond that point would not improve matters.]
Tyree collects himself, but he is still insane with rage, and he asks Kirk for many flintlock weapons.
[NOTE: Kirk does not agree.]
Next follows one of the most totally misunderstood moments in Trek history. Kirk calls the ship, and asks Mr. Spock to ask Mr. Scott how long it would take him to produce 100 flintlocks.
Spock does not comply. Spock says NOTHING to Scotty, he just throws him a look.
[NOTE: There's Spock, once again doing whatever he bloody well pleases.]
Mr. Scott, aghast, asks Kirk to repeat his question. It's not that he couldn't hear. He simply couldn't believe his ears.
Lots of people seem to think that when Kirk doesn't repeat the question, that when he rewords his remark, sighs wearily, and then asks to be beamed up, that *that* somehow magically means that he ordered the production and distribution of flintlocks. No. He didn't. He considered doing it, and then changed his mind.
Why did he change his mind? Well, for one thing, neither Spock nor Scott seemed to be enthusiastic about what he was hinting at. McCoy argued against it, earlier in the episode, then Spock and Scott demonstrated a complete lack of enthusiasm. Kirk suddenly realized that it was a bad idea, plus, as we clearly were shown, he is weary of the conflict, and has had enough of it.
[NOTE: This doesn't mean that *that* is the end of the story. Kirk found proof of the Klingon's treachery. No doubt he'll quickly file a report, and then Starfleet will order him or someone like him to drive the Klingons out of there.]
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