Director: Robert Butler
Writer: Gene Roddenberry
Cast: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Jeffrey Hunter, Susan Oliver, Malachi Throne, Majel Barrett, Peter Duryea, John Hoyt, Laurel Goodwin, Adam Roarke, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, Nichelle Nichols, Sean Kenney, Hagan Beggs, and Meg Wyllie
Composer: Alexander Courage
Air Date: 11/24/1966
Production #: 6149-16B
At Spock’s court martial, the board reviews 13-year-old footage of Captain Pike’s imprisonment on Talos IV. Despite failing to see the relevance of the video testimony, Captain Kirk and Commodore Mendez soon discover the true reason for Spock’s mutiny.
“The Menagerie Part II” offers a poignant conclusion to the plight of Captain Pike—rendered mute, paralyzed, and disfigured by delta ray exposure. Star Trek fans should therefore enjoy this entry, which suffers only from minor continuity flaws.
Similar to the “The Menagerie Part I,” this episode builds a clever framing narrative around the events of “The Cage”—the first pilot created for Star Trek: The Original Series (the second being “Where No Man Has Gone Before” from earlier in season one). Specifically, the Enterprise crew members watch in awe as the Talosians, advanced aliens who use the power of illusion to dominate others, relay historical images of Pike’s journey to Talos IV and subsequent capture, confinement, and release—a slick manner of introducing Pike, Vina, and the Talosians into the official canon of this series.
(Spoilers beyond this point)
In an apparent gesture of sympathy, the Talosians agree to care for Pike and restore his former self via illusion. During “The Cage,” however, the Talosians demonstrate no regard for human beings beyond their utilitarian value, even going so far as to torture Pike and Vina in response to insubordination.
Willing to sacrifice his life and career for a friend in need, Spock reveals a sentimental side to his personality in this episode—an aspect that will likely resonate with viewers of a sensitive nature.
Combining the cerebral science fiction of “The Cage” with a captivating mystery, “The Menagerie Part II” deserves its reputation as a classic episode of Star Trek. Especially worth praising is the ultimate fate of Pike, who, due to the selfless actions of Spock, receives a second chance at living a normal life.
Overall Quality: 10/10
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