Episode Report CardKeckler: A | Grade It Now!
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Kirk approaches to the tune of crazy tribal drums and asks what happens to Spock if he declines. "Another champion vill be selected," T'Pau tells him. Kirk looks at Weird Vulcan, and T'Pau tells him not to interfere with their vays. Bones pulls Kirk away and tells him he can't fight Spock. "I can't?" Kirk asks. "No. She said that their laws and customs were not binding on you," Bones reminds him. Kirk tells Bones that he was the one who said Spock might not be able to handle it, and hypothesizes that he could knock Spock out without hurting him. In what fantasyland of Kirk's would he ever be stronger than Spock? Certainly not on Vulcan, and certainly not when Spock's all a-boil in the blood. "In this climate? If the heat doesn't get you, the thin air will!" Bones says. The guys with the Abacus Bells keep processing in a ceremonial way. The camera shows us Spock's Pon-Farr-Vision. Apparently, when you have the blood fever, you see things as if you were lying on the ground, looking up. Something explodes a little in the fake pile of coals behind T'Pau. Bones tells Kirk he just can't do it. Kirk wipes his brow and says, "If I get into any trouble, I'll quit. And Spock wins and honor is satisfied." Bones tries to say something, but Kirk interrupts him: "He's my first officer and my friend. I disregarded Starfleet orders to bring him here. Another thing, that's T'Pau, a Vulcan. All of Vulcan in one package." Don't tell me he wants to bed her as well? "How can I back out in front of her?" The bell ringing stops, and T'Pau declares, "Eet ees done." T'Pring smiles smugly. "Kirk, decide!" T'Pau orders. Kirk wipes his upper lip and steps forward. "I accept the challenge," Kirk announces. If he's expecting a big cheer from the stands, he's going to be disappointed. T'Pau tells one and all that the combat for T'Pring begins now, and orders forth the lirpa. That sounds kinda gross; I don't know why. Two guards present two weapons which would be really deadly-looking if they weren't so busy being fake-looking. Spock grabs his weapons and appears to gnash his teeth. Kirk holds his weapon and realizes that it's heavy. "If both survive the lirpa combat, [they] will continue with the ahn woon," T'Pau says, walking back to her chair. Kirk wants to know what she means by "if both survive." T'Pau tells him that this is a fight to the death. Kirk swallows hard and looks at Bones. After glancing at the glowering Spock, Kirk runs back to T'Pau and said he didn't read any small print about a fight to the death. T'Pau doesn't care, because this is as it was in the beginning, this is as it is now, and this is how it will be ever after. Bones also tries to protest, but T'Pau says that she will forgive "such a display" only once. The Guard Of Cowardice comes and puts his weapon to Bones's chest, encouraging him to back off. T'Pau says that the challenge was put forth and lawfully accepted, and no one must interfere further. Spock and Kirk face each other.