STbtM 042: Uhura Loses Skills
Previous: STbtM 041: Kirk's ESP
Following McCoy's lead, Kirk looks down at his hands and says "What the hell's this?" as he lifts his hands which are grotesquely swollen. Hilarious or sad attempt at humor? You decide. McCoy decides to diagnose the problem and announces: "A reaction to the vaccine, dammit!" as he runs off-screen calling for Nurse Chapel. I guess vulgar expressions, religion, and obscene lyrics are some people's substitute when intelligent communication by thoughtful characters is beyond their ability. Struggling to breathe, Kirk leaps off the examination table, runs to a display panel featuring an American Splendor graphical theme ;) and with one screen touch, he is able to call up Chekov's mission briefing and start replaying it, and a quick, chubby finger slide takes him to the words "appeared to be a lightning storm in space". The screen must have some of that precognitive turbo-lift technology! Kirk grabs McCoy with his swollen mitts and slurs: "We gotta stop the ship!"
We cut to a passageway shot with James T. dashing madly around the corner with Bones racing after him yelling "Jim, I'm not kidding: we need to get your heart rate down!" Oh, NOW he takes an interest in Kirk's heartrate? This is his response to Kirk's indication that everyone's life and the ship itself might be in immediate mortal peril?
Kirk runs up to another display, apparently the medical bay miracle interfaces on starships just can't seem to do much else beside play medically irrelevant videos and their reruns. It seems in this universe, a computer search for someone by last name is more difficult than going two MILLION times faster than light. Kirk says "Computer, locate crewmember Uhura." McCoy, still without apparent concern for his situation, decides to reminisce about his past, sharing "I haven't seen a reaction this bad since medical school." Hm, am I supposed to think this line is funny, helpful, anything? Perhaps it was for attendees to the film who are blind, but I have to believe that even they would be well aware that Kirk's condition was bad, and would have better situational awareness than McCoy shows. Kirk bolts about 5 meters around another corner saying "We're flying into a trap!" and in hot pursuit, McCoy calls "Dammit Jim, stand still!" as he stabs Kirk in the neck again with the hypo. "Argh!" Kirk turns and yells "Stop it!" 10 meters further, he comes to Uhura sitting at a row of workstations panting "Uhura!" "Kirk, what are you doing here?" "That transmission from the Klingon prison planet, who exactly did it say?" "Oh my God! What happened to your hands?" (Not tired of deity references yet, apparently.) I hate to keep bringing up the obvious, but if the ship is flying "maximum warp" into "a trap", (and possibly certain doom), within the next few seconds, is this really the time to question Uhura about her late night communications lab message from the past while back at the academy? Is that really how we want to invest our time now Cadet Kirk (on suspension), Dr. (could have fooled me…) McCoy, or anyone writing this?
"Who is responsible for the Klingon attack and was the ship Romumun?" Uhura again seems to have lost her magic auditory skills as she is unable to understand Kirk, directly in front of her and half an arm-length away, when his pronunciation is arguably better than Chekov's and the audience . "What?" Kirk turns to McCoy and asks "What's happening to my mouth?" "You got numb-tongue? I can fix that…" Kirk starts blathering in what again I can only guess is another attempt at "humor". "Was the ship what?" repeats Uhura as Kirk mispronounces "Romulan" over and over. Uhura, arguably the best communications specialist at the academy in years is unable to guess the word for a type of ship that's 3 syllables, first syllable is "rah", second syllable is "myool", and the word ends with an "n"? Puh-leeze! Finally she does repeat Kirk's "Romulan" and "Yes", but it's unclear whether she is repeating what Kirk says or whether she is confirming a Romulan attack ship while McCoy stabs Kirk in the neck again. This game of speech impediment "humor" and ritual puncturing is going on as they all race to their doom – or so we are supposed to believe. Clearly however in this film, unlike in the real world, no amount of shipboard stupidity incurs costs when you are one of God's (or Orci & Kurtzman's) chosen.
I can't help but notice how conveniently located Uhura's station was relative to Kirk's bed in medical bay, approximately 20 meters, and on the same deck! In fact, it seems that from her station to the Bridge is even less, and is also on this same deck as we see in our next thrilling episode of Star Trek by the Minute 043: Borgtapus of Death
Despite more women appearing onscreen than men in this segment, only one female has a speaking role.