For those of you who don't know, in the episode Shore Leave, Kirk and crew visit a magical planet where everything they think about manifests instantly before their eyes. It turns out that they have happened upon a very sophisticated amusement park, but they don't learn that until the end of the episode.
The three relationships we are shown are Kirk's relationship with a woman from his past called "Ruth", a man from his past named "Finnegan", and of course, Mr. Spock. Click the links below to see images featuring each of these characters.
OK, I assume by now that you have visited the links above and have familiarized yourself with the personalities in question. If not, visit all three of the links above and familiarize yourself with the personalities in question. I'll wait.
OK, are you ready to analyze Kirk's Shore Leave relationships with me? Good!
Note that Kirk doesn't give any clear indication as to the nature of his relationship with Ruth. She might be a sister, a cousin, or a girl he had only worshipped from afar, for example. We have no compelling reason to believe that they had a hot and heavy love affair. Kirk does not reach for Ruth, or hug and kiss her, nor does he seem really especially glad to see her. When she exits, he doesn't seem especially reluctant to let her go. Overall, he seems to have positive feelings for her, but what exactly that means is not made clear.
Regarding Finnegan, note that not only does Kirk manifest much stronger feelings about Finnegan than he does about Ruth, but he goes to a great deal of trouble to act upon them, in a big way. Kirk states some clear facts about Finnegan which brings the nature of their relationship into focus. Things become even clearer when Finnegan invites Kirk to "plant one" on him, and points to his cheek. Now look, one does not plant a punch. You throw a punch, you land a punch, but you do not plant a punch, OK? You plant a KISS. Finnegan is daring Kirk to come give him a kiss! In effect, he's calling Kirk a faggot. Kirk doesn't get mad, he seems to think it's a fine idea for a game. He's all, "Great idea! Let's see if I can kiss you, and if you can stop me!". Kirk flings himself at the guy with the full force of his whole body weight, and his opponent joyfully welcomes the attack.
Circumstances force them to separate right then, but that's not the end. Lord, no. That's only the beginning. After dealing with one mini-crisis after another, Kirk finally manages to chase down Finnegan, and the two engage in a hotly physical contest of manly might and will. They fight, and fight, and fight, and FIGHT! Then, after the commercial break, they fight some more! Finnegan calls Jim a "plebe", and calls him "Jimmy-Boy", among other things, which might be insults, but the way he says them they sound like affectionate pet names.
After Kirk succeeds in knocking Finnegan out, Spock suddenly appears and asks, "Did you enjoy yourself Captain?" Kirk frankly admits that he did enjoy himself. Hey, I wonder how long Spock was there, watching Jim fight Finnegan?
Let's look at Spock's behavior in this episode. Spock seems pissed when Jim accepts a backrub from Yeoman Barrows, but the second Kirk realizes that it's not Spock back there doing it, he tells the woman to cut it out. This mollifies Spock.
Soon after, Spock strides into Kirk's quarters and with clever deception he convinces Kirk to order himself to take shore leave.
Later, when Spock realizes that the transporters are failing, he disobeys Kirk's direct orders to beam down... and gets away with it. Spock as a matter of fact often does disobey Kirk, and he always gets away with it. That's because everybody is subordinate to Kirk except Spock, and Kirk knows it. Spock does whatever the fuck he wants, any time he wants, and if Kirk doesn't like it, tough. Not that Spock doesn't care about Kirk, he does! In fact, it's basically all he really does seem to care about. Not that Kirk lords it over him or anything. Heck no. In fact, it's quite the reverse.
Spock is not interested in enjoying shore leave himself, even though he is offered some temptation in the form of a sexy young "lady". He returns to the ship to mind the store so that Kirk doesn't have to. Well, look, the whole point of this exercise was to get Kirk some much needed shore leave. So Kirk gets some much needed shore leave, God damn it, and Spock as usual gets his way, whether Kirk likes it or not.
Visit the links above and study the pictures, and then consider the points I raised on this page, and then answer this question:
The correct answer, for those of you who are blind as bats, is three.
All site contents Copyright L. Goodwin 1990 - 2002
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