A starship crewed solely by Vulcans is investigating a strange phenomena, when it is suddenly destroyed. Spock experiences a brief bout of pain when this occurs, showing us yet another aspect of the Vulcan society. Although he professes to be fine, he is ordered to sick bay. While Spock is in sick bay, the Enterprise sensors indicate that an entire solar system with billions of inhabitants has been rendered lifeless. Furthermore, Spock and McCoy engage in some additional banter about how Vulcans are able to truly feel each other's pain. Spock returns to the bridge and the Enterprise encounters a zone of darkness, where it is clear that it is most likely the cause of all the destruction. It is here where we see the quality of the people who are in Star Fleet. Even though he knows it most likely will lead to the death of all on board, Kirk never hesitates to give the order to penetrate the zone. As he puts it, "their orders are to investigate the phenomenon." Furthermore, once the decision is made, everyone follows through. Despite the seriousness of the situation, there are points of amusement. Nobody has any clue what the zone is and Kirk gets frustrated at being repeatedly told that the problem is unknown. As he says, "We need to start solving problems faster than we encounter new ones." They eventually find that it is a "single-celled creature" with dimensions of thousands of miles. After points of dispute over whether Spock or McCoy will go in a shuttlecraft, Spock is selected and ventures out. He pinpoints the nucleus of the creature and the Enterprise enters the creature, plants an antimatter bomb in the chromosomes and backs out, pulling the shuttlecraft along. The detonation destroys the creature and the galaxy is once again safe for humanoid habitation. This episode demonstrates the literal interconnectedness of the Vulcan society. In "Amok Time", we are introduced to the connection between married Vulcans, and in this episode we are shown that they somehow "feel" the pain of other Vulcans. Spock and McCoy both immediately volunteer for a suicide mission and McCoy is angry when Spock is selected. Despite their differences and rivalries, they are friends and fine officers, willing to sacrifice themselves to save their shipmates. Kirk also demonstrates what Star Fleet service is all about, you go where the danger is and your duty is to the beings of the Federation. The special effects are some of the best of the entire series. The creature actually looks real, with color contrasts that make it look like a living cell. Duty, honor and responsibility are some of the finest virtues that humans possess, and in this episode we see it displayed by humans and Vulcans.
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