The STAR TREK Top 13 Episode Countdown: #2

“Not on my ship.”

Star Trek logo

For nearly 13 days, we’ve been counting down our TOP 13 STAR TREK EPISODES to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the show’s debut on 9/8.

For the full Countdown Index — updated daily — click here.

We’re almost at #1.

Here’s #2

Mirror, Mirror

This might be my fave Juan Ortiz poster

This might be my fave Juan Ortiz poster

Mirror, Mirror may very well be the most entertaining of all Star Trek episodes, jumping headlong into action from the start of its cold open all the way through the end when once again all is well on the bridge.

I’m a sucker for this kind of “What If?” scenario, from the groovy cosmetic changes like Spock’s beard and the crew uniforms and insignia to the substantive questions of What Would an Evil Kirk Do and, just as importantly, What Will Evil Spock Do?

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(This is why I so dig DC Comics’ Crime Syndicate, an evil Justice League from an evil Earth that probably had an evil show in the ’60s called Star Conquest.)

The episode is jammed with great moments, including but not at all limited to:

Evil Spock’s menacing, insistent demand, “Your agonizer…”

— Creepy Chekov’s attack on Kirk.

Creepy Sulu’s dog-in-heat act — and Uhura shutting him down.

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Lt. Marlena Moreau’s moral code despite her unsettling admission that she’s willing to sleep her way to the top.

Good Spock’s put-down that Evil Kirk and his crew’s honest barbarism was “refreshing.”

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Great, great, great, many times over.

So why isn’t it #1? Because while it says so much about the Star Trek universe, Mirror, Mirror is successful because it flips the script on what makes Kirk, Spock and co. so great. If I’m going to put an episode at the top, it has to exemplify our heroes’ best, not just reflect it.

But that’s not a criticism at all. It’s just a clarification of my own subjective rules.

Either way, Mirror, Mirror is not just one of the best Star Trek episodes ever, it’s one of the most entertaining hours of television I’ve ever seen.

NEXT: The #1 Pick … Click here.

For the full STAR TREK Top 13 Episode Countdown INDEX — updated daily with new entries and other features — click here.

Author: Dan Greenfield

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