Star Trek by the Minute 058: What’s the Matter?
Sulu pulls Kirk back onto the platform and cries "Olsen had the charges." Kirk, still panting from hanging out on the platform with previously breathing Romulans replies "I know." "What do we do?" Kirk picks up one of the disruptors lying around and yells "This!", and Sulu follows his lead as the two of them demonstrate, yet again, suicidal ignorance by firing automatic weapons at a nearby vertical section, even though it appears to be made of heavy metal and perfect for ricochets that, if one were extremely lucky, would only blind the shooter and anyone else who happened to be standing around – especially if they did not bother to put on any eye protection. Whether an energy-based sidearm is a believable weapon to attack an armored building is another matter, but a much better response for the remaining members of the assault team would be to enter the access hatch, disable the beam, and gain some intel on the enemy. This is another example of character actions in the film that make no sense for the situation they are supposed to be in. They are armed and standing next to unguarded doors into the stronghold of their enemy – and they suddenly decide to start a lot of firing out in the open? I don't think so.
Eventually, the pair's firing succeeds in shutting off the beam with much fire extinguisher effects, and aboard the Enterprise, Uhura reports "The jamming signal's gone; Transporter abilities are re-established." We see over Chekov's shoulder a cool "TRNS-ONLINE" icon up on the main viewscreen, just where we would NOT put status indicators for secondary ship functions…come to think of it, primary functions would be a poor choice as well. Chekov announces that "Transporter control is re-engaged, sir." This is a very strange line. Were all the controls for the transporters disengaged because of some interference? Isn't exercising "control" something we would normally consider an "ability", and therefore already part of Uhura's status report? Regardless, this is great news - the moment has arrived to recover the survivors from the assault mission. The obvious thing to do is beam them up, beam them up immediately!
However Spock, if he were extraordinarily cautious, might still order Uhura to confirm disabling of the beam with the away team – or he might suspect his team did the rational thing and infiltrated the Narada. Assuming this, he might want to maintain subspace silence and instead finally order scans of the drill platform which should have been ongoing and scans of the Narada, also are being criminally neglected. As J.J. Abrams boasted, he's not a fan of the old Trek where actions somewhat followed a "plot", his new and improved Spock orders: "Chekov, run gravitational sensors, I wanna know what they are doing to the planet." This order is wrong in a couple of ways. If he doesn't know what they are doing to "the planet", why only run "gravitational sensors"? Wouldn't a full sensor sweep be what anyone would do? To be fair, not ANYONE would run a full sweep. For example, if we were characters written by extraordinarily sloppy writers who knew that "red matter", (a gravitational weapon) was going to be launched in the next scene, we might issue such an order as a quick foreshadowing to those moviegoers who are too stupid or stoned to follow a real plot. On the other hand, the line might just be incompetent writing by hacks with no respect for the characters. Whatever the root cause, Spock's order is nonsensical. Chekov replies: "Aye, commander…I mean Captain…sorry Captain." We may want to note that they are also completely ignoring the away team, who could be near death, dying, whatever. Bringing them back is urgent.
The other thing strange about this line is, would anyone call their home "the planet"? I mean, this was the completely unnatural usage which gave away the bluegill creatures in the TNG episode "Conspiracy". Would any of us call Earth "the planet" in this way?
Back on the Narada, someone seems to have a great deal of information as a crewman comes to Nero to report "The drill's been sabotaged, sir…" Somehow, the Narada Bridge crew is aware that this is no simple malfunction, they are under attack and sustaining damage more severe than they have ever suffered, even when being rammed by enemy ships. If we grant the magic ability of the Romulans to detect this attack, the thing to do is understand what is going on to cause it, and get information for defense. While the Enterprise Bridge ignores their away team's safety, the Narada Bridge crew ignores their own safety and their plan for revenge. The Romulan crewmember continues "…but we have reached the planet's core." Nero replies: "Launch the red matter" (a gravitational weapon).
In another homage/rip-off of Star Wars, an escape-pod like sequence follows with a pod proceeding past Kirk and Sulu who have apparently been just kind of standing around, kind of enjoying the view, we might guess. Apparently they have been waiting for the red matter launch and the platform retraction which would put their lives in jeopardy. They also seem to be the pitiful victims of lazy, atrocious writing as they run to the edge of the platform to report that something which looks very much like a bomb just went by them. They both actually endanger themselves, getting right to the edge of the platform in order to look at the thing. If this were a simple nuke, they both will be blinded instantly, depending on distance and intensity: incinerated, and a bit later hit with a shockwave. At long last, Kirk keys his communications to the ship in what surely now, after all this time, MUST be a request for extraction! Nope. He actually stares down at the gigantic ordinance that just dropped past and says: "Kirk to Enterprise, they've just launched something into the planet...into the hole they just drilled. Do you copy Enterprise?"
I don't know about you, but I'd have been backing away in order to put some of that Romulan armor plating between me and the ordnance, covering my eyes, and screaming "Enterprise, two to beam up…NOW!" long ago.
Of the 7 speaking roles in this segment, one female has a single line of 8 words.
Kirk finally requests beam-out in Star Trek by the Minute 059: Retract the Drill