Seriously, this episode was too cute. Teeny-tiny Kirk trying to command the bridge from his too-big chair. Teeny-tiny Sulu falling off his makeshift ladder when he tries to drive the ship.
Spoiler alert: the transporter saves them in much the same fashion as in The Lorelei Signal with one difference. Remember that time I was too distracted by the ethical issue of survival by murder to bother thinking about the ethics of transporter use?
In the aforementioned episode, Kirk and Spock and McCoy are returned to their youthful appearance and verve (having had their life mostly sucked out of them) by going through the transporter which had their last few genetic structurings saved in its databanks. In this episode, they are being returned to their proper size due to the transporter having every crew members’ genetic makeup on hand.
The transporter basically separates all of your molecules (obliterating you for all intents and purposes) and then taking molecules at the other end of your “journey” to rebuild you on the spot. The ethics question we all take as a mute point in order to enjoy all things Trek: is it really you at the other end, or is it a wholly new lifeform at the other, and — to take the question to the extreme — is it always you, or is it always a new life form?
As much as I like the convenience of the transporter in science fiction, I’m pretty dang glad I most likely will never have to worry about this ethical quagmire for any practical reason in my lifetime.
So many webs to weave are there,
so many snares, so many traps,
that catch and snag on every care
for which your trembling heart has maps.
What tapestry will catch your eye?
The gods as judges by and by?
Fair maidens nobler all the while
they suffer all the cruelest trials?
Philosophies are no small feat
when spinning yarns of who are
and where you see your guiding star.
Correct the course that you would meet
ere stories told by others tell
of how your height your pride did fell.