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Old October 15 2012, 12:17 PM   #33
Re: exterior surface markings of Kirk's Enterprise

I'd buy into your interpretation if there was just a shred of dialogue support into the episode.
For me, it's sufficient that there's not a shred of actual opposition to the interpretation.

The plot as written is full of absurdities, such as parts of the ship being harmful to the ship as a whole but not to the person inside, or devices that cannot be automated despite posing a high risk. But the dialogue doesn't set these absurdities in stone - only certain interpretations do.

And that is where Kirk is forced to jettison the pod, not deploy and run. If they could've fired an automated ion probe into the storm they would've.
We have no idea what really happened because all we ever saw was a dirty lie, truncating the story just when it got interesting. We are never told how Kirk and the ship survived the storm, and what role the jettisoning of the pod played in all that.

If the storm did not get worse, they would've kept the pod and sailed out of it.
That's another thing we can't know, because the recounting of events is truncated. Nobody ever said they were going to keep the pod. There was a dedicated button for jettisoning it, installed specifically for this mission. And Kirk's finger was hovering over that button.

But with the storm worsening, the pod was the danger and it had to be jettisoned. That was the emergency as stated in the episode.
Except that it wasn't. The pod was never indicated to be a danger of any sort. It just had to be jettisoned, sooner or later. And Kirk had buttons for jettisoning and for defining "sooner" and "later".

He's on trial because Kirk perjured himself and jettisoned the pod in a non-emergency situation, which caused Finney's death.
Perjury is a false charge based on the computer being rigged, and irrelevant here. The separate relevant charge is on Kirk jettisoning the pod before telling Finney he was gonna do it - that's what Red Alert is, a signal of intent. Emergencies are not mentioned when the seasoned skipper Stone discusses the issue. Only the hack lawyer Shaw speaks of them, but in a nonsensical manner we can ignore.

What are we to believe? That Kirk would only jettison this deadly threat after an emergency has arisen? Makes no sense. If the threat is the emergency, there is no "after" (well, except in the religious sense) - jettison is a way to prevent the emergency. But if the threat is not the emergency, then there is no chance that the pod is the threat.

Stone expected Kirk to warn Finney before jettison, and never questioned that jettison would take place. Shaw expected Kirk to jettison only if there was an emergency, and the (silly) definition of emergency for her was declaration of Red Alert. It was all about warning and declaring, no matter how one looks at it - not about jettison being an exceptional measure.

Timo Saloniemi
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