*** (3 stars out of 5)
In tonight's episode, writers D.C. Fontana & Papa Gene paraphrase the Twilight Zone when a deeply troubled youth unleashes godlike powers of transmutation on everything & everyone he doesn't like. Hilarious work-out clothes ensue.
The twitchy, distracted crew of the good ship Antares are happy to dump Feral Boy... I mean, Charlie Evans on the Enterprise. Mumbling something, they jet off really fast and soon explode for some reason...
Charles, age 17, was orphaned in a crash on planet Thasus at age 3 and has had no human contact since. What does such a lad want to do first?
Tasteless joke mode: Charlie watches some guys laying pipe.
Yeah, they're plumbers. Forget I said anything, it was juvenile of me.
Then Evans starts stalking Janice Rand, who you may remember being stalked previously as recently as last episode. Won't someone talk SENSE into the boy?
Doctor "Bones" McCoy & Captain James Kirk seem VERY good at passing the buck in the Father Figure Department. Almost experienced at being absentee parents, you might say.
So Chuckie winds up in the Rec Room using slight of hand to put playing cards down Rand's shirt and listening to Uhura and Spock jam with such inspiring lyrics as:
"His alien love could victimize & rip your heart from you."
"Girls in space be wary- we know not what he'll do."
What he'll do, sadly, is make an iguana out of poor Tina Lawton, Yeoman Third Class (rank equivalent in Bucky O'Hare terms: Chief Cook and Bottle Washer).
Speaking of the cook: the guy making the synthetic turkey for Enterprise Thanksgiving is voiced by Gene Roddenberry.
Kirk does offer a nugget of hella good advice:
"There are a million things in the universe you can have and there are a million things you can't have. It's no fun facing that but it's the way things are... Hold on tight and survive."
Undercut in wisdom slightly by the red wrestling tights.
A ship this big (429 people we're told here) could really use a counselor. One good shrink and Charlie might've been sorted. Or not.
But... not... just... 'ignore your feelings and go to the gym, boy'.
Way to go, Frank, Honest, Open Discussion of Sexuality circa '66.
When Charlie snaps (as he inevitably must) tormenting the redhead from diagnostic services with premature aging is bad, but blanking the laughing faces of strangers is among the scariest things I EVER saw on this show.
I STILL get the willies.
The Deus who stop by to Ex this Machina are the Thasians, ancient energy beings who handed out these horrible powers so recklessly. We're told they don't love & they can't feel & Charlie can't touch them. Uh, yikes.
I know the kid's a killer, but YIKES. There are sides of me that feel like execution might be preferable to what could well be eternity in isolation.
Anyway, it's a punishment that ANY teenager in ANY age can fear. Flip out and you'll end up alone... like Charlie X.