I, MUDD I’ve always had mixed feelings about the 3 blatantly “comedy” episodes of Season Two and this one especially, although it’s been a few years since I last watched it. I imagine it will be a few more before I see it again. The first 9 minutes are quite suspenseful. Norman does an excellent job of taking over the ship! Then Mudd turns up, the tone takes a dramatic turn and all the characters seem to stop taking anything remotely seriously. Kirk’s initial attempt at confrontation with Mudd come across as just hammy, even by stereotypical Shatner standards. The attempt to switch between light hearted banter, Carmel's outrageous performance and genuine tension fall flat on their face. This part of the episode is like a fast written comedy skit and Mudd steals the show with his well timed and performed back and forths. Then there's padding. Then the final act begins and it’s like a series of bad improvisations put on by first year high schoolers. And it goes on FOREVER. And the solution that the crew come up with is the old trope of “Kirk talks a computer to death” dialled up to ELEVEN. All in all the presence of this episode feels jarring and out of place in Star Trek. And next week is another comedy! Other thoughts: Kirk’s back in the green wraparound again! (I know I mention this a lot, but I’m honestly surprised at how often he wears it) Couldn’t they have moved Norman to a less awkward position on the Bridge? So…can Harry not choose to leave with Kirk once he learns about the Stella line? Was the choice Kirk initially offered him (to stay or go) a one shot only? Spock and McCoy start the episode quite chummy, strolling along the corridor together. One can well imagine them hanging out a bit off duty, debating the human condition from their different perspectives. Then McCoy accidentally disparages Spock but immediately attempts to make amends. Spock though takes it really personally and hits back with a cutting insult that has nothing whatsoever to do with their previous conversation. What’s eating the first officer? McCoy and Spock’s final barbed exchange at the end of the episode is not bad, but feels entirely unearned. Normally their witty banter offers a little light humour at the end of a perilous mission, but here there was no peril and the mission was chock full of over the top humour! It seems to have been something that James Doohan invented. https://www.trekbbs.com/threads/borgas-frat.128340/ I don't think the claim that Vulcans cannot lie has yet been established in the series. If memory serves, it stems from The Enterprise Incident where Spock spends a great deal of the episode...lying!