Star Trek : And The Children Shall Lead

April 28, 2014 in Guest Blogs, Star Trek by GuestBlogs

A Guest blog by Siblings

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This week’s episode is And the Children Shall Lead, which can be watched here and the episode summary can be read here and the TV spot here.


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After beaming down to the planet Triacus, Kirk’s landing party discovers that all the adult members of the scientific expedition based there have committed suicide. However, the children of the scientists seem completely unaffected by the fact that their parents are strewn about on the ground, dead as a doornail; instead they laugh and play Ring-Around-the-Roses and Freeze Tag. Spock’s tricorder picks up readings from a nearby cave, readings that he doesn’t understand as they are outside of anything in his experience. Kirk, meanwhile, seems unusually effected by strong feelings of anxiety. Pushing these last two occurrences aside, the captain and his first officer return to the Enterprise in order to try and get some answers out of the children.

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The children only have negative things to say about their parents and Triacus when questioned. Soon the conversation degenerates to the kids chanting “Busy, busy, busy” while running around acting a bit deranged and hyper. Kirk takes the eldest boy aside to ask him one-on-one what happened on the planet, but receives nothing but rather surly replies and answers that imply the boy’s parents are still alive.

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Once alone in their quarters, the children began to chant, summoning an alien being they refer to as a friendly angel. This transparent being instructs them to take the ship to a destination other than the one ordered by Kirk. A feat they accomplish via power received from the alien entity, power which enables them to create illusions in the minds of the crew and interfere with the ship. Tricking Mr. Sulu into piloting the ship away from Triacus and blinding those on the bridge to the course change as well as manipulating the redshirt working in engineering, the kids pull off their task.

Meanwhile, Kirk and Spock continue to try and figure out what has happened by watching logs made by the lead scientist before his death. Deciding that the children have probably been influenced by whatever had been influencing the adults’ minds back on the planet, the captain beams down a replacement landing party to the planet, only to discover that they are no longer orbiting Triacus.

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When Mr. Sulu declares that they’ve never left, the captain rushes up to the bridge where the kids are summoning the alien again. The alien blabs on for a bit about wanting to go to Marcus 12 before disappearing again. At this point the children use their power to distort the bridge crew’s perceptions of reality, frightening and distracting them from their duties. Even Spock is affected, unable to see the trouble around him, believing instead that the bridge is operating normally. Fortunately he does eventually see through the deception, pulling Kirk into the bridge turbolift and breaking the captain’s delusion that he has forever lost command of the Enterprise.

Unfortunately, the children have already taken control of engineering and Kirk and Spock are unable to reclaim it. Out in the corridor, Chekov and a pair of security men attempt to arrest their commanding officers, only to be bested in a fight.

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Returning to the bridge, captain Kirk has Spock play back a recording of the children’s chant, which summons the alien despite the kid’s determination to refuse. Spock begins to play a video of the children playing with their parents on one of the bridge monitors, and the children smile as they watch. Unexpectedly, the video switches over to footage of their parent’s corpses and the kids finally begin to react to what has happened. Kirk makes it clear that the alien has killed their parents, and the children lose faith in their “angel.” Without the children, the being can only stand impotently by, making threats as he turns ever uglier and fades away. At once the crew all return to their right minds and resume their duties.

Sister: Has nurse Chapel always worn the Starfleet emblem with a red plus on it instead of the usual overlapping circles?

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When Spock asked, “Captain, why are we bothering Starfleet?” it caught me off guard. At the moment I had actually been thinking that the kid’s mind tricks would not work on the Vulcan. Probably my favorite moment in the episode. (Admittedly, it’s not a great episode, so the distinction is less than impressive.)

Kirk doesn’t seem very at ease with young people. Nurse Chapel seems a bit out of her league too. Who would you pick out of the reoccurring crew members to watch over a few unexpected children passengers without parents? I think I’d go with McCoy and… Sulu I suppose.

Brother: Kirk should have declared, “Security, shoot all the kids aboard, blam, blam, blam, blam, blam!” They could have set their phasers on stun, it wouldn’t have hurt them that much.