Why does Scotty take Peter Preston to the bridge?

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by BoredShipCapt'n, Sep 16, 2013.

  1. BoredShipCapt'n

    BoredShipCapt'n Commodore Commodore

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    Am I missing something, or is there no in-story reason at all for Scotty to take the critically-injured Peter to the bridge instead of Sickbay?

    Did he expect Kirk to pull a Viva Knievel-style faith healing or something?
     
  2. Smellmet

    Smellmet Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The scene when you think about it makes no sense. However I always saw it that Scotty was in shock and in a lot of distress and was looking to kirk to help him, and basically wasn't thinking straight.
     
  3. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    Oh my goodness, I had tried to conveniently forget this scene. IIRC Dr. McCoy was not on the bridge but it gets worse - the turbo lifts weren't operational below C-Deck because of Khan's attack. So how... :wtf:

    Bob
     
  4. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

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    People do strange things when they're in shock. Mrs. Kennedy tried to put pieces of her husband's brain back into his skull after he was shot. That doesn't make sense, either. He was dead the moment Oswald's bullet ripped through his skull. But in her distress, the First Lady did the first thing that occurred to her. I'd imagine that's why Scotty did what he did. He knew Peter needed help. He went the first place he could find that help, even if it was the wrong thing to do.

    --Sran
     
  5. BoredShipCapt'n

    BoredShipCapt'n Commodore Commodore

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    ^ I guess that makes the most sense, and that must be why I never questioned it when I was younger. Thanks.
     
  6. CaptPapa

    CaptPapa Commander Red Shirt

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    I really do not know . . .
    I don't think there's any good, in-universe explanation - I'd hate to think that the ship's chief engineer would react in that manner under any circumstances. He's had many years of emergencies before this event, and I just don't see him doing what's shown here; even though it's his nephew who's injured.
    The obvious real answer is that it's more dramatic then just taking him straight to sickbay. Too bad the writer's opted for this inexcusable plot-ploy - it's even worse than having him hit his head on a bulkhead during the Final Frontier. :rolleyes:
     
  7. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

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    Chief engineer or no, he's human. Kirk fell in the middle of his bridge and started sobbing after he learned David had been killed. He also ran toward the power conduit where Spock was dying even though opening the door would have flooded the entire engineering section with lethal radiation. He was stopped only because Scotty and McCoy held him back. Didn't he have years of experience, too?

    What Scotty did may not make sense. But that's the point. People react strangely when they're in shock. When that shock is precipitated by the death of a close friend or family member, any job training or experience goes right out the window.

    --Sran
     
  8. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    It might have served some "See what you have done, now we all pay the price for your negligence" context in the film.

    Of course, Kirk never learned during the film what had really happened to Khan and company on Ceti Alpha V but the character flaw of "Admiral Kirk" during the remainder of the movie is that he doesn't seem to care (which is out of touch with his younger self at the end of "Space Seed", IMHO).

    Instead he just provokes Khan into more action, but finally even the great James T. Kirk had to pay a price, i.e. the death of Spock. But even at the beginning of Star Trek III it doesn't seem that Kirk is willing to accept any responsibility for the events in ST III.
    Kirk makes this remark about having paid with their "own blood" but it never seems to occur to him that he is partially responsible for that.

    Bob
     
  9. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

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    A perfect example of the leadership by arrogance approach that he displays throughout the films, beginning with his behavior in TMP. He accuses Scotty of incompetence by asking why the transporters haven't been fixed and takes him to task for whining about the change in the Enterprise's orders and launch date. He then ousts Captain Decker from command despite knowing nothing about the designs of the refurbished Enterprise, a vessel that Decker played a significant role in both redesigning and rebuilding. The end result is his flying the Enterprise into a wormhole that nearly ends with the ship severely damaged by an asteroid. His mistakes stop only after McCoy calls him out and Spock arrives to help Scott repair the engines.

    In TWOK, he assumes command of Enterprise and promptly ignores the warnings of a bridge officer when Reliant doesn't immediately answer hails. The ship is crippled almost beyond repair and several cadets and officers are injured or killed. Kirk never apologizes to Scotty for getting his nephew killed, nor does he apologize to Spock for wrecking his ship. When Spock later sacrifices himself to save the Enterprise, Kirk admits that he "knows nothing," but apparently forgets this lesson by the time of TSFS.

    He tells Sarek that he would have sacrificed himself to save Spock, but if that's true, why didn't he try to repair the conduit himself? Granted, it seems as though he didn't realize where Spock had gone until Bones called the bridge. But it's not as though he needed to be on the bridge while the Enterprise was trying to leave the nebula. Sulu could have taken the ship to warp without him, as he'd already given the order ("Get us out of here! Best possible speed!"). Why not atone for his mistakes by not asking another crew member to die in his place? If he'd acted properly following Saavik's warning, Khan would likely have never gotten his hands on Genesis, and perhaps no one would have died.

    And what about Terrell, who seemed like a good man caught up in situation he didn't really understand? Did Kirk grieve for his death as he did Spock? If he'd handled things differently, perhaps Terrell would still have been alive at the end of TWOK and could have resumed his career, albeit following a hearing of some sort. Captain Esteban and the Grissom? Would they have died had they not been at Genesis? And so on, and so on.

    --Sran
     
  10. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    Maybe the movie producers realized they definitely needed a "Kirk saves planet Earth and some whales" excuse by the time of ST IV. ;)

    Bob
     
  11. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The turbolifts had to have gone offline after Kirk's landing party left (likely a result of the power to them being diverted elsewhere during repairs), otherwise Kirk would have known that before he left.
     
  12. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Maybe Scotty was auditioning for a Starfleet production of "King Lear"? :)
     
  13. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I always took it as Scotty was showing up to hang Peter around Kirk's neck like an albatross.
     
  14. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Vice Admiral Admiral

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    A lame but practical rationalization: The turbolifts were at that point malfunctioning, and would later be taken offline. Scotty got sent to the bridge accidentally, or it was the closest he could get to sickbay.

    A less lame, more dramatic rationalization: It was Peter's dying request to be taken to the bridge and/or to see the admiral. Scotty knew the kid didn't have a chance, so he fulfilled it.
     
  15. Workbee

    Workbee Commander Red Shirt

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    Or another possible rationalization -- during the attack McCoy got trapped in one of the lifts, or at least diverted to a different deck. Shortly before the attack he was seen on the bridge, I think can be seen entering a turbolift shortly after the firing begins -- presumably headed for sickbay.

    Scotty may have brought Peter to sickbay initially. Upon learning that McCoy wasn't there and the staff did not seem to know where he was, elected to take Peter to McCoy's last known location (the bridge) rather than letting him go through the triage process.

    Seeing as how there were more injured than there were beds, Scotty may not be acting completely irrationally. Had he left Peter to whatever doctor / nurses were on staff, Peter may have died at the table before McCoy even got to him (or worse, on the floor next to a table). If the cadets did run as Scotty asserts, it is likely that the injured had all gotten to sickbay in advance, meaning that the beds were already full and staff overloaded before Scotty even got Preston out of Engineering. When we finally do see them in sickbay, they are in the main diagnostic room, suggesting that scotty got McCoy, and possibly with influence from Admiral Kirk, to bump Preston to top priority.
     
  16. jpv2000

    jpv2000 Captain Captain

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    This is the explanation I've always went with.
     
  17. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    It plays to me like this was sorta Scotty's point to Kirk. That said, Scotty knows what it's like to sit in the big chair, and I don't think he would blame Kirk for everything that happened; Khan had gotten the better of Kirk, pure and simple. In that sense, Scotty's really reminding Kirk of the price of everything that's happening, I think.

    Also, the scene makes sense to me only if Scotty already knows that Peter's wounds are surely fatal.

    Not to mention, no doubt Scotty was just really grief stricken, and in shock, as others have said.
     
  18. CaptPapa

    CaptPapa Commander Red Shirt

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    I really do not know . . .

    That still doesn't work for me. Kirk's reaction on the bridge, and in engineering were both immediate reactions to unforseen circumstances. Scotty's reaction to bringing Preston's body to the bridge is considered and time-consuming - and by going from Engineering to the Bridge, he had to pass Sick Bay. Or he was at least closer to it in transit than he was by the time he reached the bridge.

    But no matter, we're debating (IMO) an artistic decision. Interestingly and coincidently, I've been reading the novelization of The Wrath of Khan, and just read through the scene in question. I've got to say I much prefer Vonda McIntyre's treatment to the filmed version. In the book she has Kirk and Spock going to Engineering immediately after the battle - to assess damage. They're met at the turbolift door in Engineering by Scotty with Peter in his arms. Scotty says has not been able to reach Dr. McCoy and he must get Peter to Sick Bay. Spock takes Peter from Scotty's arms and they all head directly to Sick Bay. Well written, and still dramatic - I wish this is how the scene was filmed for the movie. I don't know if this was the author's interpretation, or if this part was in the shooting script, but changed. Does anyone know?
     
  19. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

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    I'm not sure how you're drawing that conclusion. We never actually see the moment when Peter is injured. There are multiple shots of him trying to help his shipmates after the initial phaser volley strikes the engineering section as several of the cadets are shouting that they "can't breathe" or "need air." Scotty's voice can be heard over the commotion urging them to use the respirators built into their suits and to stay at their posts, which he later tells Kirk that only Peter does.

    Without knowing when Peter was hurt, it's difficult to know how much time Scotty had to react or to consider what he was doing. We hear him talking to Kirk via the comm system, but there's no way to know if he'd learned what happened to Peter by then.

    This incident reminds me of something that happened a few years ago. I'm a pediatrician by trade. One of my patients during my residency was a young girl who ended up in the ICU due to uncontrolled seizures precipitated by a prolonged illness and poor nutrition. The first of her seizures happened at home. Another happened after her mother put her in the car to take her to the hospital. It was during the second seizure episode that the mother decided to pull into a fire station to seek help, as she'd been driving by when the seizure started.

    The girl was eventually transported to our hospital via helicopter after the firemen called 911 themselves. A number of my colleagues wondered why the mother hadn't called 911 herself while at home or merely continued to the hospital, as we found the entire sequence of events somewhat strange. What we concluded based on discussions with the mother was that she was so frightened by what was happening that her immediate thought was to seek help for her daughter, which she tried to do by going to the fire station.

    All rescue workers- firemen included- are trained in Basic Life Support (CPR), but most do not have the medical knowledge needed to treat seizures unless they've also completed training as an EMT (I know one or two people who've done this). This is why we were puzzled by the mother's decision to go to the fire station instead of calling 911 from either home or from her cell phone while in the car. But in hindsight, I can see why she took the actions she did. She knew her daughter needed help and went the first place she could find.

    Scotty's situation strikes me as being somewhat similar. He knew Peter needed help but may have been too traumatized to go to sickbay or call for help while still in engineering. Whether the turbolifts being out contributed to the problem isn't clear. We also don't know exactly where McCoy was. He was on the bridge immediately before the attack began (he's clearly seen standing behind Kirk as the latter orders Yellow Alert) but seems to be entering the turbolift as soon the the phaser strike begins. When or how he made it to sickbay isn't known. In any case, Scotty may have been under the impression that he was still on the bridge or that he could go to Kirk for help (as he might under different circumstances).

    I realize it doesn't make perfect sense, and that's why people have a problem with it. But what I keep coming back to is this: not everything in real life makes sense. Movies aren't real life, but they're meant to depict real life as closely as possible (even in the twenty third century). That entails leaving some loose ends lying around and not providing explanations for every single event that occurs. Doing so makes things seem forced and contrived, which makes for bad storytelling. Now, I don't condone leaving huge plot-holes lying around, but the occasional oddity is acceptable for the reasons I've mentioned above. There simply isn't a way to make sense of everything that happens in a situation. It'd be nice if all the puzzle pieces fit. Sometimes they don't.

    --Sran
     
  20. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    He probably thought McCoy would be on the bridge. Face it, Bones was there more often than he was in sickbay. ;)
     

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