Just How Bad *IS* Harry Mudd? (TOS & Discovery)

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Maurice, Jun 13, 2017.

  1. Lord Garth

    Lord Garth Commodore Commodore

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    Bleh. The spoiler thing takes some getting used to. It's been a while (both for Star Trek on TV and for me). Sorry about that!
     
  2. ralfy

    ralfy Commander Red Shirt

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    What an ending!
     
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  3. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Mudd strikes me as a sociopath, just one who doesn't derive any particular preference for violence except when the person really pissed him off.
     
  4. Gory Sever

    Gory Sever Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Harry is bad... certainly not serial killer bad, but bad enough.

    The fact is that in "I, Mudd," he allowed the Enterprise to be commandeered by the androids - what if the Enterprise was on a critical mission where lives were at stake? He then sought to trap Kirk & crew on the android planet... for all intents and purposes, permanently. In fact, Harry Mudd might very well have committed an act of enabling "Borg-lite" across the entire galaxy (the androids not assimilating, but simply controlling everything--you can't do anything or go anywhere without android approval). And who knows how unprepared humans would have been with the Borg showing up, assimilating the androids and then all sentient life forms. All because Mudd was such a greedy SOB.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2017
  5. Laura Cynthia Chambers

    Laura Cynthia Chambers Commodore Commodore

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    Until DSC gets ahold of him...
     
  6. Dr. San Guinary

    Dr. San Guinary Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    If not for his last DSC appearance, I might agree.

    Not only did Harry kill several members of the Discovery crew, over and over, over the course of God knows how many time loops*, but he was intent on selling the ship to the Klingons - which would no doubt condemn its crew to torture and eventual death at Klingon hands.

    *Not only is there no way (that I'm aware of) for Harry to have possibly known which iteration of the time loop would be the last one - thus, for all Harry knew, every time he killed somebody, they'd stay dead - but the fact remains, Harry always had the intent to kill. Murder that is undone because of a time loop is still murder. Harry doesn't get to weasel his way out of this just because of the loop.

    Simply put, events can't un-happen. Once Harry kills somebody, he's committed - in a very real sense, he always killed them, regardless of whether or not they stayed dead.
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2017
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  7. Shawnster

    Shawnster Commodore Commodore

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    But they were never dead. Not in the timeline Harry is in.

    They didn't die and come back to life.
     
  8. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Harry Mudd clearly doesn't have any moral problems with killing people, but unlike serial killers, the only killing he took any personal enjoyment from was Lorca's, and that was out of personal revenge. Everyone else's survival he was pretty neutral toward.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 24, 2017
  9. Dr. San Guinary

    Dr. San Guinary Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Doesn't matter. Like I said, the intent to kill was still there - murder that is undone by a time loop is still murder. Results are irrelevant; the act itself was always committed.

    And I'm still waiting for an answer on this one thing:

    In any given loop, how is Harry supposed to know whether or not it's the last one? He doesn't commit all those murders knowing they'll be undone, does he? I'm still not seeing how Harry could possibly know, for certain, that his crimes will be 'negated'.
     
  10. AlanC9

    AlanC9 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It depends on how far into the process he's gone, doesn't it?

    Mudd can't really think that the early iterations are going to work since he doesn't have any clue how he's going to win yet. Those are the ones which feature wholesale murder. But it's pretty clear that Mudd's OK with some deaths. He was willing to accept Ash's death as part of a release candidate until Michael put a bigger payoff in front of him.

    I'm not sure if this gets us to "serial killer," but I'd accept "sociopath." Maybe the TOS-era Mudd had been successfully treated for sociopathy, and came out as just a con man.
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2017
  11. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Clearly we need to spoiler mark the topic title. At what point do we expect that anyone clicking Discovery titles has either watched it or doesn't care about spoilers? It's been a month, I think we're fast approaching the tipping point.

    You think in the 23rd century sociopathy is treatable? I guess it is in Voyager, but if a sociopath is treated you think they'd continue to be a con man who just draws the line at physical harm or do think they'd be so trapped in conscience they'd completely reform?
     
  12. AlanC9

    AlanC9 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Well, like the report says , "effectiveness disputed."
     
  13. The Old House Mixer

    The Old House Mixer Mortally challenged mod Moderator

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    Nope, you've got five more to go in this forum.

    I'll put a spoiler tag on the title if the OP requests it. Note that the thread predates the episode by months, so it didn't start out in a position to spoil anything.
     
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  14. Qonundrum

    Qonundrum Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Good points. He's easily could have been hired to transport the cargo and not put any emotional or moral attachment either way. It still fits. Like Han Solo from Star Wars who just did whatever people paid him to do and not get inolved. Unlike Han, Harry doesn't have that hard front or would shoot first. Interesting, where differences can exist in amongst similarities. Both are smugglers but Harry's personality is far more interesting than "a walking plate of steel with perfectly gelled hair who won't stop to think before shooting anyone or anything that moves."

    Whether or not TOS had this much room for detail behind Mudd or not, it's fun to think about the hidden or accidental nuances - like a puzzle or 3D Rubik cube as a bonus. Mudd seemed more reactionary than a cold-blooded callous piece of nasty. There's a big difference. And the number of times Han was retconned away from the walking plate of steel, those never worked. Never fit the character. No room for that level of depth; Han's story was meant to be different.
     
  15. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Ok, glad there is a specific cutoff for spoilerness.

    Mudd seems like a guy who'd be comfortable taking the Baltar role in BSG. At least based on his portrayal in Discovery.
     
  16. MAGolding

    MAGolding Captain Captain

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    One of the duties of a starship is to investigates possible threats and to defend the Federation against threats that turn out to be real. In our time and place airliners that are not following their flight plans are potential menaces. In the interstellar society of Star Trek a faster-than-light spaceship could cause a terrible disaster merely by ramming a planet, and it could be carrying some kind of terrible danger aboard like salt vampires, Omega IV viruses, etc. etc.

    In "Mudd's Women" the Enterprise Investigated an unidentified spacecraft that never answered hails or identified itself and fled when the the Enterprise approached. The spaceship invited pursuit by acting suspiciously. Kirk would have been neglecting his duty if he failed to pursue the mystery ship and identify it and its purpose.

    Mudd's ship enters an asteroid field and then his overheated engines fail and he loses power to his protective screens.

    And they beam Mudd and his cargo aboard right as an asteroid smashes into Mudd's disabled ship.

    So Kirk did his duty to investigate suspicious spacecraft, Mudd ran away and thus acted really suspicious, and Mudd ruined his ship and was about to be killed by one of the asteroids he tried to hide among when Kirk ruined his own ship saving the lives of Mudd and his cargo.

    Your statement that:

    is the opposite of the truth. It's all Mudd's fault.

    And this establishes that Mudd is not only a criminal but an incompetent one who panics and draws suspicion to himself. If the claim that he was "wiving" settlers on Ophiuchus is accurate the purpose of the voyage would seem to be perfectly legal. The only thing illegal would be the Venus Drug Mudd was giving to his women to make them sexier and raise the prices he could charge for introducing them. And unless Mudd had reason to believe his ship would be searched and/or scanned and the Venus Drug discovered if he answered the Enterprise's hails he had no reason to run away from the starship.

    Or maybe he did have reason to run.

    At the hearing Kirk said:

    This indicates that Mudd never followed correct procedures from the very beginning of the voyage. the following lines:

    Mudd did have a master's license once and probably knew all the legal requirements and regulations for a space voyage. And if his ship was going where he claimed he could simply have filed a flight plan saying he was going to Ophiuchus. And so I have come to suspect just now that Mudd was not headed to Ophiuchus and the women were in for a bit of a shock. I now suspect that Mudd's real plan was to take them to some black castle on a dead planet and sell them as "white slaves", as the old expression goes, to some Star Trek equivalent of the Skal Thing in A.E. Van Vogt's Planets For Sale.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2017
  17. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Overall, that's the "He didn't freeze when told so we were within our rights to shoot him in the back" argument.

    Once Mudd panics and flees, of course he then commits violation of flight plan and all the other associated crimes, which Kirk can then slap on him like any rotten cop (which certainly is the role he's playing in that little blackmail scene intended to coerce some cooperation out of Mudd). Nothing indicates he would have failed to stick to a filed plan or to keep his transponder running before the escape attempt.

    But the Mudd we know is never "legal". Even when doing assorted over-the-counter gigs, he's simultaneously fleeing from authorities who'd like to "ask him questions" (sometimes the Denebian way!) about some other gig altogether. He'd no doubt have more reasons to try and flee from Kirk than just driving without a license. This does not mean his pimping business specifically would be illegal, or even frowned upon (certainly the heroes neither charge him with it nor frown upon it).

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  18. AlanC9

    AlanC9 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    If anything, they treat "wiving settlers " as a legitimate business which Mudd is somehow discrediting.
     
  19. Captain of the USS Averof

    Captain of the USS Averof Commodore Commodore

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    Well, international marriage brokers are legit and "mail-order brides" are still legal in the 21st century, so…
     
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  20. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Commodore Commodore

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    You're acting like Kirk was waiting along the highway behind a billboard looking to get his quota of arrests up. Kirk was chasing Mudd for a reason. I think its perfectly OK for a policeman to arrest a driver without a license even if they once possessed a license. And cars need to pull over for the police whether they've committed a crime or not. The authorities have probably been chasing Mudd for a while and Kirk's just been told to arrest anyone with one of Mudd's aliases.

    Now the Harry in TOS seems to be a galaxy-class confidence trickster that would be in gaol for at least 30 years if he tried to pull his tricks in the 21st century. The Harry in Discovery is a murdering, traitorous psychopath. So I'd gather he might have had treatment between Discovery and TOS.