Bread and Circuses: Oh, the Humanity!

Another planet is much too much like earth, but this one has all the modern conveniences of the 20th century with all the culture of Ancient Rome. No Latin, unfortunately. The episode gets a little too New Testament than I like my scifi, but it is nice to see Uhura putting the pieces together and having to spell it out for the men. Also nice? The unwitting suggestion that a religion based around a savior was inevitable for that point in history. People need a rallying point. Even Spock.

That brings us to the best part of the episode. McCoy & Spock are alone behind bars and the good doctor stumbles upon the possibility that the reason everyone’s favorite Vulcan is always so vocal about how human he isn’t is because of how human he is and that little fact on its own is terrifying.

Spock’s body language as he listens to McCoy and then has to snap himself out of it is heart-wrenching. I’m not ashamed to say I teared up a little watching Nemoy at work in this scene. The man is graceful.

Fear not the seasick swell within,
so tireless in pursuit of truth.
Would you deny yourself again,
again deny your sense of truth?
You are not one when both hands clutch
to iron bars as heartstrings touch.
It is not weak to own you fear
that thing which makes each creature peer.
You do yourself grave disservice
keeping severity your cause
even as purity gives pause.
Say to your mirror that nervous
keeping a supposed beast in cage.
Does not the bird have cause to rage?