Star Trek: TOS – S02E14, Wolf in the Fold

tos2x14kAnd here’s a bit of good old (so to speak) sexism! The writer of Wolf in the Fold, Robert Bloch (who also wrote the novel on which Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, 1960, is based) doesn’t shine here… The episode starts with Kirk bringing Scott to the planet Argelius II to make him recover from a trauma. How? But by going with prostitutes, obviously! On the other hand, Scott is so beautiful that no woman can resist him. I wonder who thought about making him a womanizer: James Doohan was a fine person and all, but hansome? Not really. But this is just the beginning, the best worst has yet to come! The plot, briefly, is the following.

This is the classic plot with a  crew member accused of murder (in this case, of the dancer played by Tania Lemani), and this time it’s Scott. Then there are more murders, and it takes a while to understand that the responsible is not a single person, but a spirit capable of possessing people and whose traces go back to Earth’s London at the end of the XIX century: the murders of Jack the ripper! It also becomes evident that the spirit looks for terror and this allows Spock to pronounce another extremely sexist sentence according to which female victims are more prone to fear than men. Pure gold.

What else to say? Other involuntary occasions for laughter are offered by the fact that the spirit jumps from person to person and finally possesses the Enterprise computer, forcing Dr. McCoy to give everyone huge doses of tranquilizers (opiates, judging by the reactions on board) to prevent the generation of fear or terror, that is the things that the spirit is looking for. And then… here comes another demonstration that Kirk is smarter than a computer! For the fourth time after The Return of the Archons, The Changeling, and I, Mudd, Kirk manages to outsmart a computer, this time asking it to perform an impossible operation involving pi. And, just like in the previous episode Obsession, the solution is to kill the alien without even looking for an alternative solution!

In short, if it wasn’t clear already, I don’t consider Wolf in the Fold to be particularly good. It aged badly (a bit like Mudd’s Women from the first season), it’s cumbersome in its execution, the finale is repetitive… let’s face it, I can’t wait to see the next episode which is certainly one of the most famous of the entire series and which was brilliantly featured in a wonderful episode of Deep Space Nine! Ciao!


Previous episode: Obsession

Next episode: The Trouble with Tribbles


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