Ending of The Tholian Web

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Vandervecken, Jan 6, 2017.

  1. Vandervecken

    Vandervecken Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    So I was just watching The Tholian Web on Heroes & Icons. Kirk is asking Spock and McCoy about his last, taped orders, and they both claim, first Spock, then McCoy, that they hadn't seen them, that there just hasn't been time. Clearly--to me--Kirk doesn't buy it, but I don't know if Spock and McCoy know that the Captain knows they're both full of it.

    It hit me--never noticed this before--that Kirk had gotten just what he wanted in those orders: Spock and McCoy working together as a united front. And I am pretty sure Shatner's smiles as the ship warps out are meant to convey that he knows that.

    Great stuff, and subtle enough that somehow I missed it, until now.
     
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  2. alensatemybuick1

    alensatemybuick1 Commander Red Shirt

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    So subtle that I 'm not sure I can agree with your interpretation.
     
  3. KeepOnTrekking

    KeepOnTrekking Commodore Commodore

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    Oh, Kirk definitely knows that they listened to it. Spock also told another outright lie when he said that they didn't have time to listen to it. Kind of hard to blame that away as an "exaggeration."
     
  4. Spock's Barber

    Spock's Barber Commodore Commodore

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    Damn interphase really makes all of the Enterprise crew a little wacky.
     
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  5. Vandervecken

    Vandervecken Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I guess he could just have been smiling at those two scamps of his, but I would like to think Kirk the Commander had some bigger thoughts even in relaxed moments. And thematically it would make sense for the writers to circle back to the orders' purpose.
     
  6. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Commodore Commodore

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    Regarding his lie to Kirk, maybe Spock suffered a faint mental aberration due to that region of space.

    The big mystery to me for many years was, why were they so reluctant to admit they'd watched the video? Spock should have been like, "Yes, Captain, we thought you were a goner. The doctor was angrily demanding to know why I didn't just burn rubber and get out of there when the Tholians showed up. And by the way, your last orders were very helpful."
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2017
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  7. Noname Given

    Noname Given Vice Admiral Admiral

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    You know everytime I see someone claiming "Vulcas don't lie..." (IE saying they try to promote this 'fact') basically based on this exchange from "The Enterprise Incident":
    KIRK: What earns Spock your special interest?

    COMMANDER: He is a Vulcan. Our forebears had the same roots and origins. Something you wouldn't understand, Captain. We can appreciate the Vulcans, our distant brothers. I have heard of Vulcan integrity and personal honour. There's a well-known saying, or is it a myth, that Vulcans are incapable of lying?

    SPOCK: It is no myth.

    ^^^^
    If you watch this entire episode in context - Spock was unequivocally LYING (and never attempted to obfuscate or deny he lied to the Romulan Commander when he was caught sending a transmission from her quarters, or at the end of the episode in the Turbolift.

    The whole:
    SAVIK: "You lied..."

    SPOCK: "I exaggerated."


    exchange in STII:TWoK just shows Harve Bennett DIDN'T fully watch or pay attention to the events in "The Enterprise Incident" and fans and other writers have continued the mistake in other stories over the years.

    Vulcans lie all the time (see: "The Menagerie" and "Journey to Babel" where Sarek (a full Vulcan) ultimately admits lying to both his wife, Amanda, and James T. Kirk.)

    This bugs me as much as the fans who like to claim "Spock was the first Vulcan in Starfleet"; which was NEVER claimed in ANY TOS episode (and given that in the TOS episode "The Immunity Syndrome" - the U.S.S. Intrepid was crewed by 430 Vulcans - Including its Captain who probably joined Starfleet before Spock as he outranked Spock...)

    So, yeah, sorry for the derail, but the above is a pet peeve ;)
     
  8. UnknownSample

    UnknownSample Commodore Commodore

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    I thought this would a thread similar to mine about the actual resolution to the plot.
    ===
    Yes, for 48 years I haven't quite understood that last orders scene. I suppose that, vaguely, it was just such an intimate matter, possibly resulting in such awkwardnesses in the conversation if admitted to, that S & McC just wanted to simplify things and avoid an emotionally "sloppy" scene. After all, it's all over now.
    --------------------
    Or, they wanted to simplify things for Jim, who would possibly feel a need to record new last orders to replace the ones that were heard.
    ==============
    Or... they both decided in unison to goof with Kirk, and see if he felt "neglected" by their inattention to the orders... pretty good comrade-ish synching-up for two guys who were near enemies a few hours before.
    -----------------------
    I've never caught that smile from Kirk, letting us know he was wise to them. I'll watch for it.
     
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  9. Steve Gennarelli

    Steve Gennarelli Lieutenant Newbie

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    That was one of those season 3 segments that ended like the best of the season 1 or 2 episodes with a light moment with the 3 stars. I really enjoyed that and I think most fans would agree "The Tholian Web" is one of the standout 3rd season episodes.
     
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  10. geotrek

    geotrek Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I thought McCoy said that "there wasn't time;" Spock says "no," but there's really no way to know what he's disclaiming, and since he does expound on the rush they were in... hmmm. I've always considered any uttered untruths as part of his human half.
    More of a smirky-smirk, I think. ;-)
     
  11. feek61

    feek61 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It really is absurd that they would listen to the captains final orders BEFORE his oxygen would have run out. I can understand if he was lost and the oxygen supply ran out 5 hours ago that they MIGHT watch the final orders but while he was still living (somewhere) seems strange.
     
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  12. telerites

    telerites Commander Red Shirt

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    Just think if this happened to the Mirror Kirk in that universe. They would have left his oxygen deprived arse behind but that would have been a much shorter episode and not as climatic.
     
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  13. TLOZ Lover

    TLOZ Lover Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Something that has always bugged me about episodes where Kirk is away from Spock & McCoy for an extended time is McCoy busting Spock's chops whenever he has to take command. We see this first in "The Galileo Seven" when he complains about everything Spock does from beginning to end, and yet everything Spock does is what saves their asses.

    In the "Doomsday Machine" McCoy is itching for Spock to take command away from Cmdr. Decker--for a change! (as is everyone else) and is frustrated when Spock correctly points out he can't do that according to regulations (although later he is forced to).

    In "The Paradise Syndrome" he criticizes Spock's actions throughout. Actually, I never understood why McCoy was on the bridge in the first place when Spock was trying first to deflect then destroy the asteroid. Go examine someone, will you? :ack:

    Finally in "The Tholian Web" McCoy actually accuses Spock of wanting to take command of the Enterprise. Guess what, doc? As second-in-command the job automatically falls to Spock in the event of the captain's demise. Like you didn't know that? :rolleyes:

    It's odd that McCoy has the rank of lieutenant commander (can't recall the episode(s) where you actually see this on his tunic) because he wouldn't know one end of a photo torpedo from another. He is so quick to criticize Spock, and yet can you imagine McCoy having to take command of the ship for a time if Kirk, Spock and Scotty were out of the picture. H-o-l-y c-r-a-p...... The Enterprise would be a goner for sure. Don't get me wrong...I love the doc, but I wish just once that Spock's human half would pop off to him, "Think you can run this starship better? Then have at it, my friend" then jam his hands into his pockets and stroll back to his quarters whistling a Vulcan tune.... :lol:
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2017
  14. Steve Gennarelli

    Steve Gennarelli Lieutenant Newbie

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    But Bones had to do that to him...just to keep him honest....after all...he's only half Vulcan.
     
  15. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    How so? "Vulcans don't lie" is a myth. In order for it to be a myth, Vulcans must be doing something that make others think they don't lie. Saavik would be justly surprised to see Spock undermining the Great We Don't Lie Conspiracy and, say, Spock in ST:ID would be an idiot for disputing Khan's misconception that Vulcans don't lie, too.

    We absolutely require these moments where Vulcans "don't lie", or else the myth wouldn't exist. And it's a delight to figure out the various ways the Vulcan in question is telling whoppers when riding on the myth.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
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  16. Noname Given

    Noname Given Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yes they (the Vulcans) are. When people ask if the old saying that Vulcans don't lie is a myth - the Vulcans lie to their face and say "It is no myth." (of course anyone who has been lied to by a Vulcan will know that 'old saying' IS a myth/lie in itself.) :angel:
    ^^^
    It's not that hard to understand. ;)
     
  17. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I mean, how is Harve Bennett getting anything "wrong"? He shows Spock perpetuating the myth, just as he should.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  18. UnknownSample

    UnknownSample Commodore Commodore

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    A robot might be programmed not to lie. That's not possible with a flesh and blood person, except maybe with brainwashing. You could argue that Vulcan disciplines might be sort of like that.
    -------------------------
    Anyway, yes, the myth is brought up specifically in Ent Inc as a factor they make use of, to deceive RomCom. They basically bring up the myth, then throw it away, disproving it.
     
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  19. UnknownSample

    UnknownSample Commodore Commodore

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    Keeping McCoy restricted to sickbay even in a non-medical crisis, when he's in charge of a whole team who are busy with business, would reduce McCoy to the level of an employee who must be punished if he leaves his station. Executives have offices, but that doesn't keep them in their offices all day.
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    In Tholian Web, it wasn't that McCoy didn't understand the command structure, but that he suspected Spock of taking actions which naturally then placed him in permanent command: getting Kirk killed by his risky actions. It's very unreasonable, but McCoy later admits that, and says it's the space effect making him that way.
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    I like how TOS establishes character in such a way that when tendencies of the characters seem to be rising, like McCoy's testiness and Kirk's command insecurities, we can actually suspect at first that it's really them going off the rails, rather than just some alien influence...
     
  20. Tracy Trek

    Tracy Trek Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I also didn't like McCoy's attitudes in these episodes. I sometimes felt it bordered on bullying. Hadn't Spock had to deal with enough of that in his life already?

    There's an original series novel called Doctor's Orders where Kirk has enough of McCoy's belly-aching and gives him temporary command of the bridge. So he can go down to the planet they are studying. Kirk then proceeds to go missing. It's quite a good book actually.
     
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