The Enterprise is exploring a quasar, Murasaki 312, using a shuttlecraft, which I didn’t even realize they had. I thought they just teleported everywhere they need to go. I suppose you can’t just teleport into empty space to do an investigation. Not for very long, anyway.
Spock is leading the away team on the shuttle, the Galileo 7. Immediately the trip goes wrong, and the shuttle crashes onto an unexplored planet. The crew back on the Enterprise, however, doesn’t know where they landed, so they can’t beam the crew back up. They haven’t had much trouble before now pinpointing where someone is on a entire uncharted planet, but I guess the quasars is messing with their technological something something.
Scotty determines that the shuttle won’t be able to take off again unless they ditch enough weight equal to three crew members. Spock sends out a couple of crewmen to scout out the area, and immediately, one of them gets killed by a spear. So hey, two to go!
The crew is bristling at Spock’s seemingly uncaring attitude toward the dead crew members; he says he can’t stop to give a funeral to the dead guy because he’s too busy trying to SAVE THE PEOPLE WHO ARE STILL ALIVE. Somehow this doesn’t get through to his associates.
Maybe as a way to ditch a little bit more cannon fodder, Spock goes out with two more crew members. They meet the spear wielding inhabitants of the planet: men in bad monkey costumes. More spears are awkwardly chucked at them while they shoot a few lasers to scare them away. After accomplishing nothing, Spock tells one of his subordinates to stay there and stand guard, and definitely not to get yourself killed so we have a greater chance of getting off this planet.
After a commercial break, that guy is dead. Spock is either terrible at making decisions or one of the most ruthless commanders the space navy has ever had. They recover the body of the crewmember, getting hit by a few foam rubber spears on the way, and return to the shuttle, where one of the space monkeys starts bashing the outside of the ship. Spock is baffled about why space monkeys are still trying to kill them, even though he’s continuously made the “logical” decision. The crew is super annoyed now.
They scare off the monkey by electrifying the ship’s hull with phaser power. Scotty says he can use the leftover phasers to re-energize the ship and maybe get them rescued. Like when during a blackout I take the batteries out of my flashlight to power my Gameboy, they trade their survival instincts for a chance at a normal life.
Spock relents and helps the crew bury another of their dead, when the ceremony is interrupted with a monkey chucking another rock at him. Although Spock tells them to go on without him, the crew comes back to rescue him. It’s touching, except for the screaming space monkeys.
As they reach orbit around the planet, Spock makes and impulsive decision to set the rest of their fuel on fire as a sort of signal flare. The Enterprise see the signal and rescues them, and Spock desperately tries to explain how his act was totally logical.
Like a Scooby Doo ending, the crew all had a good laugh, bordering on hysterical, that goes all the way until the credits roll. Which is good, because if the crew had stopped laughing a moment too soon, I would have assumed they all secretly hate each other.