The Lights of Zetar can be summarized in very few words: what remains of an ancient civilization takes possession of the body of a member of the Enterprise crew (Lieutenant Mira Romaine, interpreted by Jan Shutan), and Kirk has to put things in order. It had already happened in Return to Tomorrow, and it happens again here. But while the other episode was full of conflicts and interesting scenes, this is full… of fillers.
Well, the plot can be summarized in a few words precisely because there’s very little to summarize! There’s Scott in love as we’ve never seen him before, there’s a kind of senseless trial against poor Romaine whose only fault is being possessed by hostile aliens, there are a lot of useless evasive maneuvers (have these famous evasive maneuvers been useful at least once in the history of Star Trek?)… But there’s very little of substance.
And then what would be the message of the episode? The final solution saves the poor girl, but practically no attempt is made to find a way to leave Zetar’s last survivals alive. Not that they deserved it, after killing all those Memory Alpha scholars (and so we found out the origin of the the name of the largest Star Trek information site on the web), but Kirk and Spock could have made some extra effort before erasing any trace of Zetar from the Universe.
Anyway, how come the thoughts of the last hundred representatives of that civilization became lights capable of traveling faster than light (that’s a weird sentence, I’m sure you’ll forgive me)? It remains a mystery. And just like Zetar, I suppose that Scott’s great love will also disappear, since at the end of the episode we’re informed that Romaine will work at the Federation archives of Memory Alpha, and she will have a lot to do due to the damage they suffered in this episode. In a word, forgettable. Ciao!
Previous episode: That Which Survives
Next episode: Requiem for Methuselah