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

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

  1. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Had treatments or worn down by Stella?
     
  2. David cgc

    David cgc Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    I think we'll all agree Harry is an unreliable narrator, so it's entirely possible that Stella was always as pleasant and only slightly firm with dear old Harcourt as when we saw her in DSC, and it was a wild, exaggerated caricature that we met on the asteroid.

    "Harcourt Fenton Mudd! Have you been drinking again?" could easily have spun out of a real incident where she said something more like, "Harcourt, you haven't been home in six months! I've been worried sick!" and he biting down his urge to tell her to get off his case and seething all the while.

    In any case, I doubt that either version of Stella would be capable of restraining, never mind rehabilitating, Harry in any sense but the geographic. If he's not killing people for kicks anymore (and, again, just what happened to poor Leo Walsh?), it's either because of head-whammies from the elightened 23rd century correctional system, or because he's mellowed in his old age and decided revenge isn't as profitable as running the next con.
     
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  3. Dr. San Guinary

    Dr. San Guinary Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I used to think that there never WAS a Leo Walsh, but now that we've seen Harry's true colors, so to speak, I really can believe that Harry killed the real Walsh and stole his ship. Murder is definitely within Harry's wheelhouse.
     
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  4. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Murdered Walsh or he died in one of Harry's failed schemes? Forgery is one skill Harry is expected to use.
     
  5. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Except explicitly not. Kirk didn't know who or even what he was chasing at all. The sole motivation for chasing Mudd was that Mudd was mysteriously fleeing him.

    If the police then engage in a chase where their specific actions wreck the suspect's vehicle, it's grave consequences to them, except perhaps if by happenstance it turns out they prevented an impending disaster, say, driving under influence of more than just Venus drugs.

    And that in places where there is but a single police. Mudd is in international waters from the looks of it, and stopping for people who claim to be the police is likely to be a leading cause of death! Especially if the claimants actually happen to BE he police.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  6. Prax

    Prax Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    We hear his criminal record in TOS
    From Mudd's Women
    From I, Mudd
    As many have said, he's a conman. It could be that in MtMtSMGM, he
    was getting to live out a fantasy, so to speak, but he did terrible things without batting an eyelash.

    In both I, Mudd and Choose Your Pain he's given the "scapegoat Villain" treatment. His punishment is overkill, makes the hero(es) callous and unsympathetic(imo), and makes me sympathetic for Mudd.
    see villains wiki:
    http://villains.wikia.com/wiki/Category:Scapegoat

    And in Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad, he's made a "Karma Houdini"
    His crimes far outweigh his punishment. Allowing him to go free is unthinkable, especially considering he knows every secret of the classified-above-top-secret starship Discovery, of which winning the war depends on.
    The risk of what Mudd was attempting is greater at the conclusion of the episode, than it was at the beginning.
    see villains wiki:
    http://villains.wikia.com/wiki/Category:Karma_Houdini
     
  7. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Hmm. "Terrible things without batting an eyelash" is what kids do nowadays while glued to their GTA screens. It's not real, so it doesn't require much batting (although dry eyes can be a bitch).

    When we join Mudd in DSC,
    he is already a veteran of using the time-looper: he has robbed a big bank with it, and since he brags it was an impossible heist, he probably did half a dozen easier ones first, for practice. The novelty value would have worn off (especially as Mudd would have lived through many more days than his fellow citizens), and the conviction that "it's not for real" would have settled in.

    It cuts both ways, though: since Mudd kills left and right without leaving anybody dead, it doesn't much register with him if at some point he does leave somebody dead, such as Tyler in the penultimate loop of "Magic".

    But the practice-makes-pervert angle of this means that Mudd the mass murderer is a psychologically separate thing from Mudd the con man. We're free to think that "in real life", Mudd wouldn't harm a fly. Or that "in real life", Mudd is very skilled with a sonic knife and an expert at leaving no witnesses or clues so his rap sheet remains more or less clean.

    (As for Mudd's "escape" at the end of "Magic", it may well be that in-universe, his "cute" punishment is the very best way to silence him for good, apart from outright execution. It's made clear that Barron Grimes is a man of exceptional means, probably not much concerned with the legality of his actions. His methods of jailing Harry Mudd may be significantly more effective than a mere Starfleet prison asteroid with the key melted and then thrown away.)

    Edit: Whoops, sorry, I didn't realize "Magic" is still subject to the spoiler ban! Many thanks to the Kind Spirit of the New Year for adding the brackets!

    Timo Saloniemi
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
  8. MAGolding

    MAGolding Captain Captain

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    Not knowing who or what is a sufficient reason to chase. Mudd's ship was not even claiming to be an innocent and harmless ship while giving some indications it might not be. It was not sending out a registration beam that identified itself as a Federation registered vehicle or any other registration beam.

    So the Enterprise encountered a space ship that was not signalling who and what it was, travelling in a time and space that no recorded flight plan put any known space ships. When the Enterprise approached and investigated the strange ship did not answer any hails and instead fled, thus showing it was aware of the starship and not following the rules instead of having malfunctioning equipment.

    At the best, the strange ship could have been a ship of explorers from far away that knew nothing of the Federation, making it Kirk's duty to try to make first contact with it. At the worst, the ship could have carried Klingon spies scouting for the long feared Klingon invasion that actually happened probably less than an year later, and it would have been Kirk's duty to apprehend them.

    Kirk charged Mudd with galaxy travel without a flight plan, without an identification beam, and failure to answer a starship's signal, thus effecting a menace to navigation. This shows that Mudd disobeyed the navigation laws in effect in the region of space that Mudd's ship was traveling in.


    Kirk didn't wreck Mudd's ship. Mudd chose to take the ship into an asteroid field so dense his ship was struck and destroyed within a minute, instead of stopping or taking another evasive course. Mudd chose to overload and burn out his ship's engines instead of stopping and explaining what he was doing to the authorities. Mudd knew his actions were risking their lives. Mudd and his passengers only survived because Kirk risked his own ship to save them.

    Kirk charged Mudd with violating the navigational laws in effect in the region of space they were in, and which Kirk was authorized to enforce. Does it matter whether those were national or international laws?
     
  9. Griffeytrek

    Griffeytrek Captain Captain

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    I kind of assumed that Walsh was killed by someone seeking payback for one of his or Mudd’s schemes and Mudd rabited with the ship to get away.
     
  10. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Perhaps in Nazi Germany. But in Trek, the default would be not knowing who this innocent passerby might be. And if chasing innocents is okay, then said innocents are at least equally entitled to blowing their assailants out of the sky, including preemptively.

    About 100% of ships in Trek would fail to do that. And if Kirk has a problem with it, he can go fly a kite - he's not entitled to the galaxy pampering to his silly desires about control.

    Fleeing is polite. Firing back is rude. But both are messages that Kirk is not invited to meddle. His self-styled mandate to meddle is extremely problematic - he doesn't even claim to be in Federation space when deciding to boss over who gets to fly there and who doesn't.

    Which is about as acceptable as gunning down people for wearing the wrong color of socks. In this early episode, we might imagine Kirk has a galactic mandate to enforce his laws. The later episodes preclude such a conclusion: Kirk cannot expect most people to even be aware of UFP law, let alone consider themselves subjects to it.

    He chased him to this practical effect. People have been jailed for less - Kirk was the menace to traffic rules, not Mudd.

    Stopping and surrendering to this surprise attacker would probably have posed a much greater risk. How often did Kirk stop for Klingons?

    Of course it does - for all we know, they weren't laws at all, except in the delusional imaginations of UFP legislators. Klingons might have their own laws for the region, Denebians another set of rules, and every one would claim jurisdiction over Mudd - what's he to do?

    Kirk might have a case if something in the episode suggested he did operate within his jurisdiction. But he's explicitly out of his depth in the far frontier: he even has to resort to the help of frontier volunteers to get his ship fueled up.

    Carrying a badge or driving a vehicle painted as a police cruiser doesn't turn a thug into a lawman.

    Timo Saloniemi