Episode Report CardKeckler: F | Grade It Now!
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On the bridge, everyone's getting ready to meet their Maker. Some mysterious power source seems to be oozing from the planet, making all their systems come back online after the rough-and-tumble storm. The Magnificent Three enter the bridge, and Kirk looks around and asks Sybok, "About the ship --" Sybok tells him the ship needs him as a captain. "No conditions?" Kirk asks. "No conditions," Sybok says joyfully. Kirk asks Sybok why he thinks he won't turn the ship around and take them back. Sybok says, "Because you too must know." Kirk makes everyone ready to explore the planet. He, Sybok, Spock, and Bones will be the landing party; Kirk tells everyone else to stay on board "until we determine what it is we're dealing with." There's no movement following his orders. "Well, don't just stand there," Kirk says. "God's a busy man." Near the planet's surface, Spock comments, "I am no longer in control of the craft." Sybok grins at everyone, who look collectively nervous. Kirk starts to pick up a phaser, but in a Yahweh-type move, Sybok lays a hand on his shoulder and shakes his head. "All right," Kirk concedes, putting the phaser back, "we'll play it your way." The shuttle doors open to Shakari, and they're all (including the people aboard the Enterprise, who are watching the whole thing on TV) amazed by the beauty of the planet. Or something. The place is pretty barren and looks suspiciously like Canyonlands to me. Not that Canyonlands isn't pretty, but it's not really the lush sort of terrain you'd envision for Eden. Uhura tries to get Scotty to look at the view, but Scotty's intent on the transporter problem. While everyone else is enthralled by the red rocks and dust, a viewer screen visually reports a Klingon Bird of Prey in their quadrant and the computer's recommendation that the defense systems be activated. The pilgrims hike for a while until Sybok gets a bit frustrated, raises his arms in supplication, and shouts, "We have traveled far!" "Far...far...far" echoes back. "By starship," Sybok almost whispers in disappointment. Aw -- you gotta feel sorry for the zealot, even if his hair has flouted visual continuity and unaccountably taken eight inches off of itself. Kirk starts to tell the Enterprise of their lack of a divine sighting. Spock makes like he's going to offer sympathy to his brother. He gets as far as "perhaps" when the planet rumbles. The sky goes black, and huge stalagmites shoot out of the ground all around them. Lucky, none of them happens to be standing on the spot of one of those eruptions. Once the rocks are done erecting themselves, the formation surrounding them sort of looks like a huge rib cage. Gasp! It's the rib cage of a white whale, and now they're in the belly of the beast! Eh, whatever. Some mist, sparkles, and blue light begin to amass in the center of the stone rib cage until suddenly a blue column of light shoots up off the planet, past the Enterprise, and into space. A voice -- Dr. Salik from Battlestar Galactica, to be exact -- booms out, "Brave souls, welcome." Bones asks, "Is this the voice of God?" "God" answers, "One voice, many faces," and some rather large masks zoom forward. Squinting hard, I think I see Lawrence Olivier, George Burns, and Cecil B. DeMille, but if I close my left eye and stand on my head while gargling, I can make out a few God masks that don't look like they were dreamed up by a Eurocentric writer.