TOS Episode 2x14 Wolf in the Fold
Alternatively, “Spock’s Had Enough of Your Shit”
I am extremely frustrated with this episode. It’s probably a perfect example of how, with Star Trek TOS, you can easily be slapped in the face with the fact that this show was made in the 60s. The blatant sexism in this episode was really off-putting. It starts off with an obviously-crucial-to-the-plot-dance by a sexy lady. And then the Jack-the-Ripper plot takes over and it gets worse. I think, to be honest, a lot of sexism in this episode is due to that premise. The absolute low point, though, has to be when Spock (of all people) says, “And I suspect preys on women because women are more easily and more deeply terrified, generating more sheer horror than the male of the species. ”
Spock, honey, I love you, but shut the fuck up. Urgh…
That said, I was happy with how Kirk was handled here. He drugs the crew in order to prevent them from feeling fear (literally…they spend a good portion of the episode high as kites) and he drugs not only the women, but also the men. It was clear there was no discrimination here.
One weird moment, though, occurred at the end of the episode. Kirk obviously doesn’t want to take his drugged-up crew down to the planet to have fun because he’s worried they’ll get into trouble, which is a good move given that they’re not in control of their faculties. He does suggest, however, going down with Spock to check out the ladies.
Spock, in characteristic fashion, refuses. What’s interesting is that Kirk doesn’t want to go down alone. For all that Kirk is portrayed as a horn dog, When Spock shoots him down with a look and the rest of the crew is in no fit state to accompany him, Kirk doesn’t want to go. In fact, these are the closing lines of the episode:
“You, gentlemen? In your condition? Don’t be ridiculous. Mister Spock, this cafe has women that are so. (met with a Look) No, I guess not. Alone?
(Kirk goes to the door and gestures for everyone to leave.)
KIRK: Gentlemen. “
It’s interesting to me because this whole episode implies that Kirk derives the most enjoyment not from cavorting with women but from making his crew happy. It makes him happy to set up Scotty with one of the dancers. It makes him happy to go out with Bones. He wants to go out with Spock too. But the prospect of going down alone to enjoy some “female company” by himself doesn’t appeal to him. Instead, he basically stays on board the Enterprise to babysit the crew with Spock, although Spock is the one who suggested Kirk enjoy himself in the first place:
SPOCK: Captain, since you came to Argelius to rest, I suggest you take advantage of the opportunity.
There’s a lot of adorable moments between Spock and Kirk in this episode too. The fact that Spock can make it seem plausible that Jack the Ripper is some weird, bodiless alien is a testament to the character’s strength and Mr. Nimoy’s acting abilities.
Plus, Spock’s complete and utter lack of reaction to the entity’s screeches of how they’re all going to die makes this episode somewhat hilarious. Look at picture 6 — that is his reaction, captured in all its glory. This entity managed to take control of the ship’s computer and is threatening to murder them all horribly, but Spock’s just “Bitch, please.”
Oh, and he drives the thing out of the computer by switching the ship to manual controls and forcing the computer systems to calculate the last digit of Pi. And Jim clearly finds intelligence sexy because his reaction to Spock’s ploy is that coy littler smirk in Photo 7.
Besides that, Spock also nerve pinches the entity when it tries to attack his hubby.
So there are some good points to this episode despite the rampant sexism. Just brace yourselves going in.
Oh, and seeing Spock react to the drugged-up happy-go-lucky crew is also a major bonus.