Thursday, June 3, 2010

Star Trek by the Minute 108: Pike’s Rescue

Yes, here is Captain Pike lounging comfortably on the interrogation table.  Why is he still alive and taking up ship resources, requiring crew to guard him, etc.?  Nero’s crew is supposed to be on an extermination mission.  The scene we see here is like showing a pest control company devoting their time and money toward making nice nests for cockroaches, even at the expense of their own lives.  Despite the obvious ridiculousness of it, we are shown this kind of thing over and over on screen.  These Romulans just keep saving their sworn enemies and taking actions without getting any closer to their stated goals for the action.  This “narrative” tells us the characters have motivation X, and yet their actions commonly contradict these claims regarding major plot elements. 

Like his miraculous survival against and then killing of Ayel, Kirk, having randomly found exactly who he was looking for in 2 seconds, murders another Romulan crewman with another perfect shot to the chest, using an alien weapon from the future he’s never seen before.  Kirk’s latest victim goes down without a whimper.  Kirk approached Pike, who struggles to lift his head and ask “What are you doing here?”  

“Just following orders,” Kirk says as he holsters the disruptor and removes Pike’s restraints.  At this point a Romulan rounds a corner with his rifle at the ready and points it at the two intruders.  Pike now gains his own magical abilities as he performs the following actions before the Romulan can pull the trigger on his rifle:  Pike raises up from the table again, reaches down to Kirk’s holster with a reverse grip shown above, draws the alien weapon from a century in the future which he has never seen or used before, aims at the Romulan and fires the weapon before the bad guy can do anything.  Naturally, the nameless Romulan crew member is killed and Pike falls back to the table.

We cut back to the Jellyfish where yet again, Spock’s position has been moved back to provide more time to be rescued, he continues his diving plunge into the Narada, a ship that is supposed to be simultaneously some great threat to the Federation, but also inexplicably becomes completely helpless.  These Romulan terrors of the galaxy, we are shown, simply gape at the screen which shows the Jellyfish ramming them.  No evasive maneuvers, no tractor beams, no weapons brought to bear, not a single order is given as the entire crew is frozen, from an operational standpoint as everyone either suddenly panics by running around and screaming like hysterical little girls, or they go paralyzed and gape, open mouthed, at the impending disaster.  Just to make this point (repeatedly) of how awesome Spock's little scout ship is, we are shown:

This guy (twice) who gapes and does nothing.
Her? Gapes in terror, does nothing.
  Him? Nothing.
Captain Nero? He does nothing.  Meanwhile, Kirk continues getting Pike out of his restraints, holds him on his feet with both hands, and without touching (or perhaps even having) a communicator or other type of transmitter, he yells “Enterprise, now!”  Setting aside that no one can hear him, what kind of stupid order is “now?”  Even if we assume Sulu is still at the helm, and we assume he can hear Kirk, his very clearly presented, primary order was to “fire on the ship” if a tactical advantage was perceived.  Since Kirk’s order “now” is definitely not the preplanned “we’re ready to beam back” communication, this message is properly considered a fire command.
  
The Jellyfish explodes against the Narada, as opposed to crashing through without a scratch, as it had done previously, and Pike, Kirk, and Spock materialize in the Enterprise’s transporter pad. 

“Nice timing, Scotty.”

“I’ve never beamed 3 people from 2 targets onto 1 pad before!”

No women speak in this segment, although one is shown for half a second cringing in fear before panicking and running from her post - what else would we expect?

A slow motion singularity begins to consume the Narada in our next episode of Star Trek by the Minute 109: This is Capt. James T. Kirk

2 comments:

muser said...

I was trying to figure out why the Narada might have done nothing during this time and it's possible to make an excuse for them (although the movie DOESN'T do so). The Romulans know the Jellyfish is full of red matter, which will destroy them. Having reached a certain speed and distance, the Jellyfish is bound to hit them, resulting in their destruction by the red matter (which happens subsequently). A tractor beam would pull the ship toward them and solve nothing (although in the TV shows we've seen "tractor beams" used to HOLD things, but what it is _supposed_ to do is attract things and pull them in). Even destroying the Jellyfish at some point becomes moot because blowing it up just results in thousands or millions of drops of red matter hitting the Narada, and we have seen that only a small amount of red matter is needed to destroy a planet. So, I can rationalize all of this... but the film makes no effort to make any of these points. Nero could at least give an order and one of his underlings could say "it's no use, the red matter will still hit us!" But no, they just stare at their impending doom...

BurntSynapse said...

I agree your reconciliations are reaching a bit and I also agree that at some point, contact with the red matter is inevitable. However, since it only takes them about a second and a half to go to warp and match the speed of what in 100 years will be Vulcan's fastest ship, the agonizing, tedious, inexplicable inaction is completely out of character for battle-hardened miners who are used to processing (we would assume) huge, metallic, possibly radioactive masses of planets and asteroids.

They should be able to choreograph and control the movements of things outside the Narada with precision to shame the Bolshoi.