Series: The Original Series
Air Date: February 14, 1969
Written by: Jerome Bixby
Directed by: Murray Golden
In search for a cure for his ailing crew, Kirk comes across Flint who is a lot more than he seems, and his daughter, Rayna.
It's probably just as well that we never see the inside of the ship until the end of this episode. Most of the crew is stricken with Rigelian flu and Bones is on the landing party, so no doubt the walls are covered in vomit. On the planet, Kirk, Bones and Spock search for ryetalyn, a rare mineral that can cure Rigelian flu. But what they find is a hovering robot that comes to attack them. Thankfully, the robot's owner, Flint, comes along just in time to call the robot off. And then demand that the landing party leave.
Kirk thought the planet was uninhabited, so Flint explains that he has a force field in place to make it look like the planet is uninhabited when, in fact, he's there alone and values his privacy. He demands that the party leave, but Kirk orders the Enterprise to lock phasers on their position and fire on his his command unless Flint let them look around for ryetalyn. Flint relents and has his robot look for ryetalyn while he takes the landing party back to his impressive home.
|Party at Flint's house!|
When M-4, the hovering robot, comes back with the ryetalyn, Kirk is about to leave, but then Flint offers to have M-4 process the mineral which would take a lot less time with his facilities than it would on the ship. Kirk agrees, but Bones insists that he oversees the process, like a good doctor. Meanwhile, while Bones and M-4 go off together, Flint introduces Spock and Kirk to the woman who had been watching them earlier, Rayna.
|In the future, ugliness has been eradicated.|
Well, M-4 goes back out and finds some more, and, meanwhile, Rayna and Kirk spend more and more time together. And Flint seems to want them to linger a while more. He requests that Spock play a waltz piece on the piano while Kirk and Rayna dance to it. Spock then notices that the piece was written by Brahms in his own hand. He then deduces that Flint's behavior may mean that Flint is purposely keeping them there for some unknown reason. And if he's doing that, he may be hiding the correctly processed ryetalyn.
|"Why is there no handle up here?"|
The downside to this: utter loneliness. He had fallen in love many times, but each time the woman would grow old and die, and he would not. So he spent the last few decades or so working on Rayna. The final puzzle piece to put into place was her emotions and that's why he encouraged her to hang out with Kirk. Now her emotions started working... but she loves Kirk instead of Flint. So he has to fight him for her. They rumble about a bit, but then Rayna puts a stop to it by expressing love for both of them and dying from emotion chip overload.
|And then she made this face and everyone burst out laughing.|
I love this episode if for no other reason than because Flint is such an interesting character. I really wish there was more in canon about him. A recluse that has lived since the beginning of recorded history and was the first human to make a working android about which no one would ever know. The depth of lore that could go into this would be fascinating. But it is enough that we have him in this episode and focus in on his quest for love.