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Plato's Stepchildren - Recap

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The Enterprise gets a distress message and arrives at an uncharted planet rich in kironide, a high-energy source. Kirk, McCoy, and Spock beam down and find a Greek temple where they are greeted by a dwarf, Alexander. He brings them to the ruler, Parmen, who is suffering from an infection brought on by a scratch on his leg. His wife Philana explains that they came from a distant planet and visited Earth during its ancient Greek period, and adopted the philosophies of Plato. Now they have incredible telekinetic abilities, as demonstrated by Parmen when he lashes out in his delirium, threatening even the Enterprise in orbit. Kirk protects Alexander, who is the court jester to the small community and lacks any power. McCoy manages to sedate Parmen before he can kill Alexander.


Philana, they came to help. They deserve better than to die...


Later in their temporary quarters, Alexander thanks Kirk for helping him and the captain explains that where they come from, no one has the power and size doesn’t matter. Alexander is pulled away by one of the Platonians and Spock notes that Parmen doesn’t dare let them go given the lengths they’ve gone to maintain the secret of their existence. Kirk discovers that the Enterprise is still locked in orbit and goes to confront Parmen, who forces the captain to slap himself repeatedly.


Guests? You don't know the meaning of the word. Guests aren't treated like common prisoners.
Do not take that tone with me.


Later, Parmen drags the landing party before them and offers them gifts for their services. He then asks McCoy to stay with them… and won’t take “No” for an answer. After McCoy refuses, Parmen puts Spock and Kirk through a series of humiliations, making them dance, recite nonsense poems, and extracting laughter and tears from Spock. When Alexander protests, Parmen involves him as well.


Being your slave, what should I do but tend, upon the hours and times of your desire?
I have no precious time at all to spend, nor services to do, till you...


Later back in their quarters, Spock tries to rein in his emotions while Alexander confirms that Parmen will destroy the Enterprise once McCoy relents, rather then give up their secret existence. They realize that the Platonians gained their power upon arriving at the planet and eating the native foods, and determine that the telekinesis must come from kironide. Alexander has no powers because the kironide is broken down via the pituitary gland, which regulates growth. McCoy distills the kironide and gives Kirk and Spock double the dose that Parmen has. It will take time for the kironide to build up, and they’re interrupted when Uhura and Chapel are forced to beam down.


Nurse. Lieutenant Uhura. I guess we weren't sufficiently entertaining.


Kirk, Spock, Uhura, and Chapel are forced to come before the gathered Platonians. McCoy has still refused to give in so Parmen forces Spock to serenade Uhura and Chapel, then forces him to kiss Chapel while Kirk kisses Uhura.


I'm thinking. I'm thinking of all the times on the Enterprise when I was scared to death... and I would see you
so busy at your commands. And I would hear your voice from all the parts of the ship... and my fears would fade.
And now they are making me tremble. But I'm not afraid. I am not afraid.


Growing bored, Philana forces Kirk and Spock to start torturing the female crewmen while Alexander tries to stab Parmen. Parmen forces him to stab himself… but Kirk gains the power and stops Alexander, and warns the Platonians they now have enough power to stop them. Parmen challenges him and they use Alexander as a weapon. Kirk wins and Parmen quickly surrenders, making a speech about how power corrupts and he and his people have become corrupted. Kirk isn’t impressed but warns them they can regain the power any time. Kirk then offers to take Alexander away to a place where his size doesn’t matter.


Mr. Scott, prepare to beam us up. I have a little surprise for you. I'm bringing a visitor aboard.



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Warning: Star Trek season 3 episode 10 guide may contain spoilers
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