“Spock’s Brain” – TOS 3X1

How to even approach an episode as iconically, awesomely bad as “Spock’s Brain”?

It’s infamous as one of the worst TOS episodes, and yet is so over the top that it’s hard not to just laugh at. Even though yes, it’s sexist. Kyle Andersen at Nerdist actually argued it’s more sexist than “Mudd’s Women.” 

Michelle Erica Green at Trek Today says “nothing about the episode makes any sense at all” and suggests it feels more like a sci-fi parody. Or better yet:

For me, the best way to watch this episode is through slash fan glasses – that is, to assume that the entire original series is a subtextual romance between Kirk and Spock, and in this installment, a panicked, pouting Kirk must rescue his beloved from the evil horde of bimbos who have no proper appreciation for his body.

So where do I even start? My Women at Warp co-podcaster Sue suggested I just respond to the whole thing with Tina Belcher .gifs. So I started that, but I found that “Spock’s Brain” had a relative lack of butts and the two things just didn’t really go together.

Tina Belcher and the quote "It's ok, I guess I wasn't meant to have a good life"

So instead I will have to save Tina and instead leave you with this “Spock’s Brain” acrostic.

is for Spock’s brain, which gets stolen by spacey disco ladies called the Eymorgs. Luckily, Kirk is confident that if a brain is removed, it can totes be put back. It’s just like a lightbulb!

Kirk and McCoy discuss Spock's condition in Sickbay

P is for “pain and delight,” which the technologically-advanced Eymorgs bring to the cavemen-like Morgs who live on the planet’s surface.

Kirk speaks to an injured Morg on the planet's surface. The Morg has long hair, a shaggy beard and is dressed in skins and furs.

O is for: “Oh no, the away team is incapacitated by the Eymorg leader, Kara, and fitted with super duper budget-looking pain belts.”

The Eymorg women stand over a slumping Kirk and McCoy, who are both wearing pain belts.

is for the Controller, the disembodied brain of a man who protects the women, because lord knows the women have no brains of their own.

Kara stands in front of the Controller

K is for Kirk trying to flatter Kara to get to the Controller. 

Kirk kneels on the ground with his arms out towards Kara as if praising her

(It…doesn’t work.)

Kara presses a button on a wrist remote that she wears to control the pain belts
Kirk, Scotty and McCoy double over in agony

is for seriously, what the fuck is even going on?

Kirk, Scotty and McCoy stand behind Spock in his brainless state

is for “Brain and brain…what IS brain?”

Kara utters her famous line "Brain and brain...what IS brain?"

R is for remote-control Spock!

GIF of Spock turning as he is controlled remotely, since his brain is gone

And Sulu is in command, with Uhura backing him up on the bridge. I kinda just want them to steal the ship and have their own kick-ass adventures.

Sulu in the Captain's chair

Into the mind of McCoy goes the knowledge of how to put Spock’s brain back!

McCoy interfaces with the controller

New lives as housewives to cavemen? Sounds…good…

Kirk reassures Kara.
Tina Belcher says "Now the big finish" and cartwheels into the judges' table

Bechdel Test: Fail

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