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Mission Log #24 – Episode 024 – This Side of Paradise

Spock’s in love, the plants are in bloom, and everybody is happy. But nothing lasts forever this side of paradise.


Happiness is getting in touch with us!


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  1. VoiceofReason says:

    Bliss isn’t synonymous with happiness.  It’s synonymous with ignorance.  People that are working for the weekend or retirement are living for the destination and not the journey.  I’ve noticed that what’s-his-face usually dominates the conversations, but he’s also usually flat wrong.

  2. Matthew says:

    Dr. Corbin

  3. raVen_image says:

    I am on the side of the debate which states that these spores were a form of mind-control. The plants (maybe not consciously but through need of survival) were not going to allow anyone to leave the planet because the radiation they thrived on the radiation that was there.

    This is why those infected *had* to leave the Enterprse and go live on the planet. They weren’t going to be happy living in an environment shielded from the radiation.

    It does bring up another solution to the infection besides evoking strong emotions. If you force the infected to leave the radiation-enriched environment long enough, the effects of the spores would probably dissipate over time.

  4. Oliver Klozoff says:

    I generally don’t like when the crew is forced to act out of character by an outside force; I think it’s a writing cop-out. “Hmmm, I’m out of ideas; let’s try high-concept: what if we show Spock acting all goofy?”

    That being said, this episode was the exception because Spock had so many good lines:

    “I have never understood the female capacity to avoid a direct answer to any question.”

    “I am what I am, Leila, and if there are self-made purgatories, then we all have to live in them. Mine can be no worse than someone else’s.”

    “Emotions are alien to me. I’m a scientist”.

    And the best one of all, “I love you”.

  5. Oliver Klozoff says:

    Kirk maybe was a bit of a buzzkill but when Sandoval came out from under the influence, he realized Kirk was RIGHT. They didn’t accomplish what they intended to do. What is the point of living if you are just so complacent and unchallenged?

  6. Liam says:

    That said, I do agree that Kirk’s reaction to these sort of situations does seem to say a lot about him and his inability to be happy

  7. Liam says:

    Heh I guess I’m just repeating what everyone else has already said, but I do totally agree with John on this one.

    If the happiness was genuine, rather than imposed as a form of mind control, then wouldn’t you have seen a lot of people saying they want the spores back? Instead, as soon as anyone fights off their influence they want to go back to their pre-spore lives.

    Also if the colonists had been the sort of people who wanted to spend their lives just sitting around, doing a bit of farming, not worrying about anything, presumably they could have just stayed on Earth? The Federation is already pretty much a utopia where (most) people don’t have to worry about doing a job they hate or going hungry.

    The very fact that these colonists set off into uncharted space to settle a new world indicates that they wanted a life where they were striving and achieving things, rather than staying home and living the easy life, which to me shows that the spore-induced society was something imposed on their actual desires rather than just removing their worries

  8. Morey says:

    Yeah, what everyone else has said. There was no sense of purpose on Omicron Ceti III; no sense of accomplishment. Gene Rodenberry was pretty clear that to him, the human adventure was everything. Happiness – and it is a legitimate goal – should come from struggle and achievement. Otherwise, what’s the point? The show is about a ship called Enterprise, after all. Look up the word 😉

  9. Richard says:

    The people were drugged plain and simple.
    They were invaded by a foreign body from the spores.
    For anyone to think what happened to them was good, then I would hate to know such a selfish person.

  10. richard says:

    This has to be one of the dumbest arguments I have ever heard.
    None of these people were given the choice on whether they had their mood changed.
    The whole point is choice.
    If after the people were brought out of this decide that they prefer the calm and happiness, then fine.
    But these people were never given the chance to chose in the first place.

  11. Wildride says:

    There are spores that affect rodents that cause them to be unafraid of cats, which causes them to be eaten by cats because what the spore really want is to be inside the cats so they can reproduce and start all over again. The people aren’t saying, “We’re happy — Leave us alone.” The spores are using the humans to say it. Just like they are using the humans to cultivate the plants that produce more spores.

    The only difference between the spores and, for example, the parasitic invaders from TNG is the scope of their ambition. The spores just want to soak up radiation and reproduce, instead of taking over the Federation, but they are no less sinister. Letting them get away with it would be tantamount to murdering the colonists.

  12. I think you’re missing the point. It isn’t happiness vs. unhappiness. It’s chemically induced satisfaction with the status quo vs. mankind’s true nature: to aspire, to grow, to achieve. It’s the very ethos of Star Trek, to explore, seek out, boldly go, etc. Not to bliss out on spores and achieve nothing. Kirk is right to separate the colonists from their drugs and give them back their humanity.