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The Top 57 Star Trek Episodes According to Alice - Page 6

Kirk and Edith look lovingly at each other

#9 The City on the Edge of Forever

This is acknowledged to be one of the best Star Trek episodes ever, and I don’t disagree. I feel the pain when Kirk must choose to let Edith die—I really believe that he loves her. The weird thing is that Harlan Ellison originally wanted Kirk to choose Edith over the timeline and have Spock stop him. He thought that sacrificing the world for one person was the greater sacrifice. That choice sounds selfish to me—it might be a more realistic choice, but not a noble sacrifice. The other weird thing about this episode is that when they first released TOS on video, the song Good Night, Sweetheart was left out because of copyright issues. That meant that several musical callbacks to the tune also had to be left out. The replacement song was not as good! I even wrote to the company to complain, and they responded (I’m paraphrasing), “Sorry, but we had to. Anyway, it was just one song.” Ugh. They have since remedied that in subsequent releases.

Mullibok is telling Kira a story

#8 Progress
ST:DS9 S1 E15

This was the first episode of DS9 that made me say, “I love this show!” I already had a fondness for Kira, the tough soldier. Brian Keith surprised me with his excellent portrayal of a grumpy but lovable old man who is not going to be moved. Kira’s struggle is so poignantly recognized by Sisko when he says, “It’s no fun being the bad guy, is it?” By stating it so bluntly, he helps her face that and move on with her duty, which serves the greater good. Wonderful episode.

Spock and Kirk fight with lirpa

#7 Amok Time

Another classic. The first time we learn more about Vulcan society and customs. I like how Star Trek: Strange New Worlds has played with this in their alternate timeline. My favorite line from this episode is, “… having is not so pleasing a thing, after all, as wanting. It is not logical, but it is often true.” We also get a glimpse into Spock’s affection for Kirk and even McCoy.

Miranda and Spock part on good terms

#6 Is There In Truth No Beauty?

Diana Muldaur is always a winner and she’s wonderful as always in this episode. So many aspects of this episode appeal to me: allusions to Shakespeare (The Tempest), thoughts about what is beauty and what is ugly, deep thoughts about existence as a non-corporeal being, and so on. The speech that touches me the most is when Kollos, through Spock, talks about how separate we all are and alone, and how inadequate language is for bringing us together. When I was young, this caused me to think a lot about how this is the source of prejudice. We can never really know or feel connected to another person, and that leads us to try to forge connections by establishing who is like us and who is unlike us, and then emphasizing those differences to make us feel more a part of those who are like us.

Odo after flying as a hawk

#5 The Begotten
ST:DS9 S5 E12

This is an episode where the A and B stories really come together in a funny and poignant way. The story of Kira’s giving birth brings out all the complications of surrogacy and the pettiness that people can get into. And Odo’s story with the baby changeling tears at my heartstrings. Not unlike Lal saying she will feel the love for both her and Data, the changeling sacrifices itself so that Odo can be a changeling again. And then he soars away as a hawk! I cry every time I watch this episode.

Rayna and Kirk at the point of deciding whom she loves

#4 Requiem for Methuselah

Kirk falls in love again, and I believe in it again, even though it happens really fast. The writing in this episode is so lyrical, and the acting is top-notch. The most touching part is at the very end, when Spock tries to help Kirk forget the terrible loss (although he really should process the grief). All the acting is great, and the story is great too. The thought of an eternal being who did all those great things is unbelievable and yet an awesome concept. As a side note, I spent years on a crusade to get people to spell Rayna’s name right. For some reason, Bjo Trimble spelled it incorrectly in the Star Trek Concordance (it was spelled on the nameplates in the episode, for pity’s sake!), and that misspelling perpetuated throughout many publications. I wrote to the author of one of those reference books, and he fixed it in a subsequent edition.

Picard checks the position of the sun as Eline looks on

#3 The Inner Light

This is an amazing episode. What an extraordinary way for someone to preserve their culture. Picard’s reactions are all believable and reasonable, and the program was able to deal with all his particular reactions. I believe he really loves his wife and children, and the reveal really gets to me every time. I also like that they bring back the flute in subsequent episodes.

Kirok and Miramanee are happy that they are going to be parents

#2 The Paradise Syndrome

I’ve loved this episode since I first saw it when I was 10 years old. I really believe that Kirk loves Miramanee, and I feel the joy in their love and the tragedy of her death. It gets me every time. I am aware that in today’s world, it’s a cringey depiction of American Indians, but at the time, it was sensitive in that the aliens, and then the Enterprise, saved the tribe, and they were allowed to live in peace.

The Doctor’s idealized family waving goodbye

#1 Real Life

I often bring up this episode when talking to people about grief. It is so tempting to “freeze program” and not deal with death and grief, but the Doctor’s experience and Tom Paris’ advice are such a great explanation of why we need to go through the process of grief. This episode not only makes me “feel the feels,” but it has an important life lesson as well.

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