File under: Grace Lee Whitney (Janice)
File under: Romance?
File under: Children
File under: The crew is losing it!
I know that this is a favorite for a lot of fans, so I thought I would address some of the specific arguments. Probably the best case for this episode is made by the A.V. Club’s Zach Hadlen, so I’ll go over some of his points.
In one of the script’s smarter twists, this leaves a planet full of semi-immortals who are still operating on that part of the brain that thinks glitter glue, the Twilight novels, and Miley Cyrus are all really good ideas. Logically, I’m not sure this follows; you’d think after 300 years banging around town, there’d have to be at least some sense of causality and logic. But as a story-driver, it’s top-notch.
On this point I agree, and it was probably my favorite part of the episode.
For anyone who’s ever tried to explain anything to a seven year-old who didn’t want to hear it, the scene with Kirk desperately making his case to Pollard and his merry band of munchkins rings very, very true.
This part of the episode was actually really frustrating for me. Yes, it can be hard to convince unruly children of things, but I don’t think they did a good job of portraying that. In a prior scene Kirk does a wonderful job explaining the situation to Miri, but when Kirk goes to talk to the other kids he turns into an idiot, yelling strange things at them like “NO BLAH BLAH BLAH!” I just kept wanting him to say the same things he said to Miri earlier. So instead of portraying some truth about talking to kids, it just made me mad at Kirk. Added to this was all the weird chanting, Kirk tossing around one of the kids, and getting beaten up by all of them, it made it a truly bizarre climax.
In “Miri,” though, we’re reminded again and again what’s at stake, and while there’s never any real sense that the crew could die (hell, both red-shirts make it through unscathed, including that guy with the awful comb-over who’s been with us a couple episodes now), they don’t know that.
As I said before, I think most of the ways we are convinced there is something at stake is the above average acting of this episode. To me acting can only go so far. I still never buy that the crew will die, and it doesn’t help much to convince me simply because they think they might die. Some of the moments that I believed there really was something at stake was when the audience understands what will happen to Miri, that she could become insane. But instead of pushing the urgency of that situation, they pushed the urgency of the crew dying, which no one ever believed would happen.