Friday’s Child is a confusing episode. The plot is hard to follow, the characters’ actions seem random, the plot twists are weird, and the entire initial situation is far from credible. Despite all this, there are worthwhile things to be found in the 50 minutes of the episode:
- The phrase “I’m a doctor, not an elevator!” by the always great doctor McCoy;
- Some good outdoor shots, which is rare in any of the various Star Trek series (for example, in various interviews the The Next Generation actors said that it was a lot of fun to break the routine and do some outdoor shooting);
- The fastest redshirt death ever: I saw the redshirt, I immediately declared his terrible destiny, and tac!, Lieutenant Grant (Bob Bralver) met his untimely death! Wait a minute, this is not a positive aspect of the episode…
- The Klingons return after their appearance in Errand of Mercy, here represented by the devious Kras (Tige Andrews) who left at home his sense of honor;
- Scotty proves once again that he can be an excellent captain and didn’t fall into the Klingon traps.
Unfortunately, these few elements are not enough to save an extremely chaotic episode. For example, why does the Federation deal with a population that’s obviously not technologically advanced and surely incapable of traveling at warp speed? And how can McCoy be the father of the son of the beautiful Eleen (Julie Newmar)? But, above all, the inhabitants of Capella IV behave in such an inconsistent way (especially the revolutionary Maab played by Michael Dante who maintains the same woody expression throughout the whole episode)! The plot hardly advances, meaningless decision after meaningless decision, and it was genuinely difficult to get to the end of it. There’s practically no real plot to talk about!
What begins as a negotiation to obtain mining permits is quickly transformed in a persecution of Kirk and his companions with an incarceration and a pursuit in a rocky desert. And why isn’t the Scotty-led rescue team treated in a similar way? In short, I’m done with this episode… I had some laughs thanks to the easiest, fastest and cleanest child birth in television history, for some interactions between Kirk, Spock and McCoy that are now a well-functioning team, and nothing more. Ciao!
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