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Star Trek - Original Series The one that started it all...

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Old October 20 2012, 03:38 AM   #1
Bubbles McGee
Lieutenant Commander
 
Errand of Mercy Should have Ended Before it Began

Errand of Mercy is one of my favorite episodes. The story has an interesting moral lesson and Kor is a great villain. However I have also felt that there was something intrinsically wrong with the plot-line. Specifically, I never understood why the Organians remained silent about their true nature (and their subsequent invincibility) until the very end of the episode.

I realize that it would have been a very short episode had they simply explained to Kirk from the beginning why they really were not at any risk, but it would have made more sense from the Organians point of view if they had. Why would the Organians want to string them along? Surely they must have realized that Kirk just wasn't getting it, so why weren't they more explicit from the get-go?
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Old October 20 2012, 04:23 AM   #2
UnknownSample
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Re: Errand of Mercy Should have Ended Before it Began

I can't specifically say why I have no problem with this aspect of the story, yet. Maybe later it'll come to me. It probably has to do with the nature and point of view of the Organians, and the risks to their way of life, from their powers being prematurely revealed to the galaxy.

Do the Organians really seem like the kind of people who would stand up and bellow loudly at the combatants to get the hell off of their lawn, or else? They value their peace of mind, their serenity, and certainly don't want to have to cease to be themselves, every time some obnoxious disruptive conquering army shows up. Maybe they're trying to set an example.

Of what value or interest would EoM be, if it was about a race of people who just told invading armies to get lost, or else? Their powers would still be extraordinary, but they would no longer be extraordinary, as people. The ep isn't about how amazing their powers are, but about their radically different outlook.

Also, their seclusion and anonymity and quiet existence goes out the window, the moment they reveal themselves. Involuntarily, they become sources of fascination, terror, jealousy, etc, for the whole galaxy. They really have better things to do than become galactic emperors or power-brokers. They just want to live.

They mean it, when they say that exposure to us is painful to them. So they certainly want to avoid having to BECOME us, even temporarily, in order to intimidate and get rid of us. Partly, the episode's about what's wrong with us... so it's not just a device for prolonging the story when they don't deal with threats to them in the same way that we do.

Okay, I'm fairly happy with that reply. I tend to figure these things out as I go...
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Old October 20 2012, 05:05 AM   #3
BillJ
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Re: Errand of Mercy Should have Ended Before it Began

Perhaps they found the whole affair entertaining. And was allowing it to go on until the real possibility of someone getting hurt existed?
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Old October 20 2012, 12:28 PM   #4
Bumbles861
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Re: Errand of Mercy Should have Ended Before it Began

Some interesting points here. Added to the mix could be something as simple as they waited until the last possible moment to intervene - 'look fellas, we've been watching this nonsense going on and on and now you've brought it to our doorstep. That's not on, lads; we've had enough and it stops now.' Their ' red line' had been crossed and they decided now was the time to act. I love the absolute calmness of the Organians. John Abbott did a great job.
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Old October 20 2012, 01:22 PM   #5
Robert D. Robot
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Re: Errand of Mercy Should have Ended Before it Began

BillJ wrote: View Post
Perhaps they found the whole affair entertaining. And was allowing it to go on until the real possibility of someone getting hurt existed?
....So when do the Organians step in and stop "Honey Boo Boo"?
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Old October 20 2012, 05:58 PM   #6
UnknownSample
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Re: Errand of Mercy Should have Ended Before it Began

BillJ wrote: View Post
Perhaps they found the whole affair entertaining.
Since Abbott goes out of his way to say that they all found it all "extyremely painful" to be exposed to, I guess that makes the Organians serious masochists! "We find beings such as yourselves so very painful to be around, Captain... more, please! Tie up your Klingon counterpart and spank him till he has bloody welts back there, and then me!"
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Old October 20 2012, 11:12 PM   #7
Cookies and Cake
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Re: Errand of Mercy Should have Ended Before it Began

bbailey861 wrote: View Post
Some interesting points here. Added to the mix could be something as simple as they waited until the last possible moment to intervene - 'look fellas, we've been watching this nonsense going on and on and now you've brought it to our doorstep. That's not on, lads; we've had enough and it stops now.' Their ' red line' had been crossed and they decided now was the time to act. I love the absolute calmness of the Organians. John Abbott did a great job.
The Organians' "red line" was evidently the convergence of the Klingon and Federation fleets.

However, the Organians did allow members on either side to get hurt or killed in the lead-up to the major confrontation. For example, the Enterprise blew up a Klingon vessel in the teaser.
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Old October 21 2012, 04:39 AM   #8
UnknownSample
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Re: Errand of Mercy Should have Ended Before it Began

Conscious Circuits wrote: View Post

The Organians' "red line" was evidently the convergence of the Klingon and Federation fleets.

However, the Organians did allow members on either side to get hurt or killed in the lead-up to the major confrontation. For example, the Enterprise blew up a Klingon vessel in the teaser.
Is this surprising? This gets me thinking about people's expectations of God... why doesn't he stop everybody from hurting everybody else, since he can? Well, the Organians know that species like ours are so incorrigible that from their perspective, we're a bunch of hooligans quarrelling on their front lawn, whom they're enduring until we go away...

Again, their way of life is only protected by not revealing their powers until absolutely necessary. But even the most isolationist, omnipotent race will act, if the scrap in the front yard threatens to become an apocalypse...

So their red line makes total sense, to me.
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Old October 25 2012, 03:07 AM   #9
Hartzilla2007
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Re: Errand of Mercy Should have Ended Before it Began

Conscious Circuits wrote: View Post
For example, the Enterprise blew up a Klingon vessel in the teaser.
The Enterprise was just on the way to Organia at that point they weren't actually there yet.
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Old October 25 2012, 05:56 AM   #10
Bubbles McGee
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Re: Errand of Mercy Should have Ended Before it Began

UnknownSample wrote: View Post
BillJ wrote: View Post
Perhaps they found the whole affair entertaining.
Since Abbott goes out of his way to say that they all found it all "extyremely painful" to be exposed to, I guess that makes the Organians serious masochists! "We find beings such as yourselves so very painful to be around, Captain... more, please! Tie up your Klingon counterpart and spank him till he has bloody welts back there, and then me!"
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Old October 25 2012, 08:57 AM   #11
Timo
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Re: Errand of Mercy Should have Ended Before it Began

However, the Organians did allow members on either side to get hurt or killed in the lead-up to the major confrontation.
Why wouldn't they "allow" this to happen? They show no interest in the well-being of either humans or Klingons, nor do they take a dim view on killing as such. Both sides are still allowed to kill each other, and "Organians", once the story gets going. It's just that they make so much noise playing war that the Organians get a headache.

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