Star Trek by the Minute 020: Animal Lovers

Previous: Ladies' Night

Young James Kirk is trying to pick up cadet Uhura in an Iowa bar, slobbering: "Doncha wanna at least know my name before ya completely reject me?" She assures him, "I'm fine without it," to which he replies, "You are fine without it. It's Jim, Jim Kirk. (pause) If you don't tell me your name I'm gonna have to make one up." "It's 'Uhura'." With mock incredulity he says, "Uhura! No way, that's the name I was gonna make up for ya. [An OK line, but not that great] Uhura what?" "Just Uhura", she says. "They don't have last names on your world?" "Uhura is my last name." Kirk tries to focus his eyes to point in the same direction before stammering "They don't have first names on your world?" and she start laughing, probably at him rather than with him, since neither his manner nor his attempts at humor are especially amusing.

Sitting at the bar between them is a more human-looking version of Morn from Quark's bar on Deep Space Nine. (Did he ever speak?)

Kirk walks over and starts with "So you're a cadet, you're studying; what's your focus?" "Xenolinguistics, you have no idea what that means," she replies with a low, almost hostile tone. Kirk says: "The study of alien languages, morphology, phonology, syntax. It means you've got a talented tongue." The great-looking Uhura says she's impressed because she briefly thought he "was just a dumb hick who only had sex with farm animals." He considers this for a moment and then delivers his funniest line yet, "Well, not 'only'…" OK, that was good. The only thing tainting this scene is that it continues to show a troubling adolescent chauvinism, portraying women's value primarily as bearers of sons and targets of sexual conquest.

A large male cadet approaches and asks Uhura, "This townie isn't bothering ya, right?" She laughs "Beyond belief, but it's nothing I can't handle." Kirk interjects "You couldn't handle me, that's an invitation…"

Overall, this scene resembles parts of the film when it is at its best: beautiful eye-candy with writing that avoids the catastrophes that fill the rest of the work, but it suffers from lacking a foundation upon anything resembling an attractive moral compass.

Next: Barfight

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