You Let Our Child Watch What?!?

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StthissideparaStthissideparaStar Trek: the Original Series

"This Side of Paradise"

"Dude, Spock, you’re making out with Charles Bronson’s wife."

The Enterprise is called upon to collect the radioactivelly-charred remains of the colony of Omicron Ceti III.  Apparently, neither their realty agent, nor their neighbors, the Soongs, mentioned the fact that the planet was regularly bathed in Berthold radiation which destroys animal tissue, but not plants.  However, instead of corpses and an abandoned colony, Kirk and the crew finds a thriving colony.  A colony that really, really likes flowers.  Really, really ugly flowers.  Apparently, these flowers offer a bio-chemical deal.  Whatever ails you, be it radiation poisoning, lost organs, or a soul-deadening inability to accept happiness in your life — I’ll fix it.  In return, I just need to be watered fairly regularly — oh, and your free will.  Gotta have that.

So the entire Enterprise crew falls victim to the bliss flowers and tells Kirk where he can stick it.  Most importantly Spock, is finally able to express and accept the love that he felt for Leila.  Ah, but Kirk did not fall prey to the bliss flowers.  Why not?  Because nothing that ever wins over the hearts and minds of the crew through paranormal means ever has an effect upon Kirk.  Not Spock’s brother in Star Trek V.  Not the Jack the Ripper ghost in "Wolf in the Fold".  Fuggeaboudit.

So, Kirk pimp-slaps Spock out of his happiness ("Gee, thanks.") and devises a way to snap the rest of the crew out of the bliss-flower spell: make everyone angry.  Yes, the cure for happiness is getting completely cheesed off at everyone and slugging it out until you recognize that human nature does not include unconditional bliss.  Sorry, bliss-flowers, but you’re going to have to go.  Proper "humanity" is restored, and the Enterprise is able to go on it’s melancholy way.  Spock reminds everyone that his time on Omicron Ceti III was the only time that he was ever able to be happy, but they quickly wave that off to fate.

The Pup’s Response?

As a huge Spock fan, she was appropriately conflicted at the idea that Spock’s happiness was not ethically acceptable.  Intractable ethical issues?  I can’t think of a show that better prepares her for adult life.

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