It’s hard to fault an episode centered on Spock. In fact the only fault in this episode (besides time-travel issues I cannot begin to discuss because of – no joke – time constraints) is actually just adorable and a reminder of when the show was made: Little Spock makes his first appearance wearing boots (clearly made for walking) and hot pants.
The episode premise is that Spock realizes that a cousin who saved his life as a kid was really himself and if he doesn’t go back and save his younger self his existence will be … ugh, time constraaaaaints. When he goes back – in the guise of “mysterious distant cousin” – there’s this moment where his father (not knowing that he’s talking to his son) asks Older Spock to excuse an emotional outburst from Younger Spock and Older Spock says:
In the family, all is silent.
This has the markings of being a Vulcan proverb where silence is meant to communicate that we don’t have to talk about it if you don’t want to because my job is to be understanding and accepting of who you are as an individual and my equal. At least, that’s what me-forever-giving-Spock-the-benefit-of-the-doubt wants to believe.
Still – as is often the case with those of us who adore Spock – I couldn’t help but see parallels of how such silence could be problematic. To quote Seth Godin:
The problem you can’t talk about is now two problems.
Do I want silence to be a simple matter of unspoken understanding? Of course! But I think you’ll agree with me when I say that isn’t often the case and that we as a species are a long way off from unspoken understanding being universal.
So … I wrote a sonnet. My first for TAS (The Animated Series). And all the aforementioned things (and many things more) were making their way through my head as I did so.
In family is all this born
unspoken to the final line
(in keeping with that sentry worn
rememb'ring the forgotten shrine:
the father standing like a rule;
the mother peering as a school;
the child that seeks to learn its voice
and better make each weighty choice).
In family is all this born,
repeating histories and songs
as even we inch from the wrongs
and band against all foreign scorn,
til we have raised ourselves anew
for talks of peace resounding true.