Fun fact dork-out: The original pilot totally had to have been filmed on the set of Forbidden Planet, or — at the very least — had the same set designer who saved all the bits and bobs for future projects, which is practically the same thing and I am a happy camper for it.
As for the conclusion, I liked it; sort of a reverse deus ex machina absolving him of all his crimes. Oh, this guy was never here? Then this isn’t a court martial and you haven’t been found guilty!
Also — not gonna lie — seeing the end of the original pilot spliced to fit the end of this episode made me tear up a little. I’m just so happy for Captain Pike and happy that Captain Kirk got to witness it!
For years devoted did he serve
until a task demanded all
too much. Now silence hides what verve
remains in him by stillness small.
We cannot know what things he dreams
though recent visions came in teams
to justify a seeming cross
by one who would redeem all loss.
The greatest aids come from above:
a word of hope, a star that guides
a broken man to better tides.
Bear witness to that joy of love
when, after worry, triumph sows
a shadow soft for sweet repose.