Star Trek 3.14: Whom Gods Destroy

Whom Gods Destroy“Whom Gods Destroy” begins with Kirk and Spock beaming down to the penal asylum colony of the coincidentally named planet Elba II. We learn that this is the last asylum in the Federation, since mental illness is apparently almost completely eradicated, with just a handful of difficult cases remaining. One of those cases is the former Starfleet combat veteran and hero Garth of Izar. Kirk and Spock meet Dr Cory, only to discover that it’s really Garth using a shapeshifting disguise, and the real Dr Cory is imprisoned in a cell! Garth captures Kirk and Spock and releases the other inmates, setting up his own personal empire within the colony.

Garth’s insanity is underlined by his choice of clothing, with one blue shoe and one yellow shoe, and his unbelievably hammy acting. Another inmate is the green-skinned space babe Marta, whom Garth declares to be consort to him as emperor. Cory explains that Garth has somehow (inexplicably) learned to change his shape, and also that he claims to have developed an incredibly powerful explosive. If he escapes the colony, he will wreak havoc in the Galaxy. Garth’s attempt to get on to the Enterprise by posing as Kirk is foiled however when Scotty insists on the correct countersign to a chess problem password. This makes Garth angry and he goes on a hammy rampage of torturing Dr Cory and then Kirk in some sort of mental treatment chair, and showing off his madness more by donning a fur coat.

Garth then goes into a decadent phase and has Marta dance for him and everyone else. Music appears from nowhere to accompany her dancing. Garth apparently isn’t pleased, because after another failed attempt to get on board the Enterprise he resorts to intimidating Kirk by pushing Marta out of the airlock on to the deadly planet surface. Then while she’s choking, he detonates an explosive in her necklace!

Inevitably, things end up with Garth changing shape into a copy of Kirk, and then fighting the real Kirk in a fist fight. Spock appears and has to figure out which is the real Kirk. After some inconclusive dead ends, one Kirk tells Spock to shoot the other one, while the second Kirk tells Spock to shoot them both. Spock concludes the real Kirk would sacrifice himself to ensure Garth never escapes, so makes the right choice. Garth is finally subdued and begins his mental treatment again, showing now memory of earlier events.

Not a bad episode. There’s suspense, drama, intrigue, and you’re genuinely left wondering how Kirk and Spock can get out of this mess. Garth is a truly over-the-top villain, but then he’s supposed to be insane, so it kind of fits. And just when you think Kirk will manage to save Marta, she meets a truly shocking end, underlining just how dangerous Garth is. Put it all together and it works pretty well.

Tropes: Insane Admiral, Shape Shifting, Great Escape, Large Ham, Green-Skinned Space Babe, Newton, Einstein, Surak, Trust Password, Chess Motifs, Evil Is Hammy, Agony Beam, Invisible Backup Band, Thrown Out The Airlock, There Is No Kill Like Overkill, Ham To Ham Combat, Good Old Fisticuffs, Spot The Imposter, Kill Us Both.
Body count: Marta (blown up while choking to death!).

Leave a Reply