Brutal Strudel wrote:
Let's stop talking about us and talk about Kirk: Kirk knew David existed, regretted "staying away," was upset Carol didn't tell David who his father was. David came to Kirk to comfort him after Spock died, reminded Kirk of his own wisdom regarding death and told kirk he was proud, very proud, very proud to be his son. Kirk, who had lost THREE brothers (Gary, Spock and Sam), who was always portrayed as painfully lonely, is given more than enough motivation to be shaken by David's death. I have no children and never desired to have children but I have no problem with that.
I don't remember, and I don't have it handy, but did Kirk know beforehand that David was on the Grissom? If so, did he know that David had beamed down to investigate a life form?
I was always under the impression that Kirk learned that David was on the Genesis planet during the communication between Enterprise and Kruge. The surprise of that fact, followed by the shock of learning that David was brutally murdered caused his collapse. That he regained his composure so quickly speaks to his capability as a captain.
It doesn't matter how close Kirk and David were. Kirk knew he had a son, was just starting to develop a relationship with him, and heard his murder in real time.
Kirk's reaction was real, and in my opinion Shatner's portrayal of that was one of the best of any of his work.