The Omega Glory is a terrible episode. It recycles ideas already seen before by throwing them into a huge mess from which only meaningless fistfights emerge. Too bad, also because the episode marked the return of a guest star from one of the most memorable episodes of the first season, that same Morgan Woodward who plays the insane Captain Tracey here and who played the insane Dr. Simon Van Gelder in Dagger of the Mind. This poor guy is always insane.
The incredibly sad thing is that the writer behind this mediocre episode is the creator of the entire series, Gene Roddenberry! Was he so short of ideas towards the end of the second season? The plot begins with the mystery of the death of the entire crew of the USS Exeter, another Constitution-class ship (the Constitution has always been in Roddenberry’s head, that’s for sure) like the Enterprise (so to be able to recycle the sets). Then it becomes a race for the survival for Kirk, Spock, McCoy and a redshirt named Galloway (David L. Ross – his fate is obviously known from the beginning) due to a virus infection. After that, the focus shifts to Tracey’s violation of the First Directive, but then changes again to him looking for a serum of eternal youth.
And then… the last part of the story is so horrible that it’s difficult to write about it. This planet turns out to be another parallel Earth (like Miri’s planet in first season, to name one) in which the Communists won the Cold War and the Americans are savages. There’s also room for some (un)healthy patriotism which feels completely out of place, for reading out loud the American Constitution, and for making Kirk say that it should apply to all men. Well… terrible science fiction. Just terrible.
The only funny part is Spock used as a comic relief when Kirk gets slapped by savages and little else. The plot is forgettable and forced, the take-home message is short-sighted and outdated, the acting is unnecessarily over the top… I hope that the next episodes will provide a more worthy end of the season! Ciao!
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