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Journey to Babel - Recap

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The Enterprise arrives at Vulcan to pick up the planet's diplomatic delegation for the Babel Conference. Kirk and McCoy meet Spock at the shuttlebay hanger and greet the Vulcan ambassador Sarek and his human wife Amanda as they comes on board. Sarek seemingly ignores Spock and Kirk offers the first officer as a guide, but the ambassador asks for someone else. Kirk then suggest Spock take the chance to visit his parents... and the science officer reveals that Sarek and Amanda are his parents.

Would you care to beam down and visit your parents?
Captain, Ambassador Sarek and his wifeare my parents.

As Kirk shows Sarek and Amanda the ship's Engineering section, Amanda takes a moment to speak with Spock but he asys that the situation hasn't changed and his father still refuses to talk to him. Kirk tries to involve Spock by having him provide an explanation of the computer systems, but Sarek notes that he trained Spock, who then left for Starfleet against his wishes. As Spock leaves, Amanda explains to Kirk that she follows the Vulcan way and understands it, but it has kept Spock and Sarek apart for the last 18 years. Uhura calls Kirk to inform him that they've picked up an unauthorized signal.

You don't understand the Vulcan way, Captain. It's logical. It's a better way than ours. But it's not easy. It has kept Spock and Sarek from speaking as father and son for 18 years.

Later, the Enterprise hosts a reception for the delegates who are discussing the mining situation on Coridian, which will be resolved at the Babel Conference. The Tellarite ambassador, Gav, tries to start an argument with Sarek as the Andorian ambassador Shras but the ambassador refuses to discuss the matter until they arrive at Babel. As the Andorian Ambassdor Shras looks on in amusement, Kirk manages to interrupt before Gav can get more abusive and the Tellarite storms off, furious. Kirk is called to the bridge as the the Enterprise sensors detect a nearby ship shadowing them from maximum range but can't identify it. When they try to approach, it moves away at Warp 10 and the Enterprise isn't fast enough to follow.

Tellarites do not argue for reasons. They simply argue.

Gav returns to the reception and confronts Sarek, who is secretly taking a pill. Gav finally gets Sarek to admit that the Vulcans favor Coridian's admission into the Federation. The Tellarite attacks the Vulcan who easily knocks him aside. Gav leaves... but is found shortly thereafter, dead. McCoy confirms that his neck was snapped with surgical expertise and Kirk is aware that he argued with Sarek. Spock unemotionally notes that Sarek has the necessary knowledge and such a method of execution is an ancient Vulcan technique that Sarek could use quite efficiently if he had a logical reason to kill.

Threats are illogical, and payment is usually expensive.

Kirk, Spock, and McCoy go to Sarek's quarters but the ambassador is gone. Amanda says that he's meditating and Sarek returns. He says he meditated alone and doesn't have an alibi, then collapses. McCoy concludes he's having some kind of heart attack but doesn't know enough about Vulcan medicine to make a diagnosis. On the bridge, Kirk tries to sympathize with Spock but the first officer seems unconcerned. They pick up another unauthorized transmission from within the Enterprise and Spock is unable to decode it.

Can you help him?
I don't know that yet either.

McCoy determines that Sarek has a heart defect, and the ambassador admits he's had three previous attacks which he kept to himself rather than tell his wife. McCoy says he can't perform the necessary operation because they don't have enough of Sarek's rare blood type. They note that Spock has the same blood type but no one person could provide enough blood for Sarek to survive the operation. However, Spock and McCoy adapt a Rigellian drug that increases blood production. However, McCoy believes it's dangerous and refuses to let Spock volunteer.

I won't risk both of you.
Then you automatically condemn Sarek to death.

As Kirk is going to his quarters, Shras' assistant Thelev attacks him with a dagger. The two men fight and Kirk manages to knock him but out, but takes a knife in the side. Kirk manages to call the bridge for help and then collapses. McCoy gets Kirk to Sickbay while Sarek's condition worses. McCoy says they have no choice but to have Spock take the drug to provide the necessary blood, but Spock notes that he is now the acting captain and his duty to the ship comes first. He talks to Shras, who doesn't know anything about Thelev. They conclude that Thelev, who they have in the brig, is conditioned against interrogation.

Perhaps you should forget logic and devote yourself to motivations of passion or gain. Those are reasons for murder.

Amanda tries to get Spock to choose Sarek over his duty, but Spock refuses despite her appeal to his human side. She slaps him and leaves. Meanwhile, McCoy tells Kirk about the situation and the captain refuses to let Sarek die. He gets McCoy to let him out of Sickbay long enough to take command so he can order Spock to participate in the operation. McCoy supports him long enough to get Spock to Sickbay. However, as Kirk starts to relieve himself the pursuing ship moves in and he stays at the conn despite his injury. Uhura tracks the signal to the brig and when the guards try to search Thelev, he attacks and they're forced to stun him. They knock off one of his antenna, revealing that it's a fake with a transmitter inside.

If being Vulcan is more important to you, then you'll stand there speaking rules and regulations from Starfleet and Vulcan philosophy and... and let your father die and... and I'll hate you for the rest of my life.

The pursuing ship moves in on the Enterprise and opens fire, while the Enterprise is unable to hit them due to their high warp speed. As McCoy begins the operation, Kirk has Thelev brought to the bridge. The Enterprise is taking a beating so Kirk shuts down all power to feign massive damage. The ship moves in and the Enterprise scores a direct hit, incapacitating it. Kirk tries to make contact to order its surrender but the attacking crew blow up their ship and themselves. Thelev reveals he has taken a slow poison as well and collapses.

I must see the captain.
My patients don't walk out on an operation.

McCoy successfully concludes the operation and Spock concludes that Thelev and the ship were Orion smuggles intending to destroy the ship and the delegates and set off a war so they could sell arms to both sides while remaining neutral. The Orions never intended to make it back to their base, and used up all their energy to maintain their high warp speed. Spock berates himself for not having come to the logical conclusion earlier, and Amanda wonders if Sarek is going to thank Spock for helping to save him. Sarek notes that Spock acted logically and there is no reason to thank him. Father and son unite to gently tease Amanda, while McCoy hustles Kirk into bed when his wound catches up to him. When Spock tries to return to duty, McCoy orders him to stay in bed as well, interrupts their attempts to talk to him, and then boasts that he's finally gotten the last word.

Logic. Logic. I'm sick to death of logic. You know how I feel about your logic?