Another one of these? The Enterprise crew sure goes on trial a lot.
Kirk is at a Starbase, filling out paperwork for the death of a crewmember. Though they never show it, this must happen all the time. I imagine after every episode, Kirk has just a mountain of paperwork to do, pulling the ship into the nearest starbase, applying for replacement crew, and writing consolations for widows. This one is particularly serious though, because the ship’s flight computer indicates that Kirk is responsible for the guy’s death. The computer claims Kirk jettisoned Lt. Ben Finney’s pod into an ion storm a moment sooner than was necessary, out of sheer hate for the guy. It’s ok that he killed a guy, just so long is it had to be done. Kirk protests, but it’s his word versus the computer, and we all know computers are infallible. I looked it up on Wikipedia, so it must be correct.
Kirk meets up with yet another old flame just before the trial, this one a lawyer in the court. She flirts with him and recommends him a good lawyer, then reveals that she’s the one who’s going to be prosecuting him. “I still love you Kirk, and your ass is doing down.” Now, in most cases I think if a prosecutor has a vested interest in the outcome of a trial, they are supposed to be dismissed, but what do I know? I’m no expert on space law.
Kirk meets up with his eccentric defense lawyer, Samuel T. Cogley, who refuses to use a computer even that far in the future, preferring to get all his law information from ancient books. I worry that Cogley, not having read an updated text in what seems to be centuries, might cite the Magna Carta or the Articles of Confederation in Kirk’s defense. But no! He’s the perfect lawyer to defend Kirk’s word against a computer. “Your honor, if we can’t trust a VCR to tell us the time, how can we trust an advanced ship computer?”
In hopes of finding an argument to help Kirk, Spock plays a bunch of chess against the ship computer. He wins a few times, and therefore the computer has been sabotaged! You see, Spock taught the computer to plays chess himself, so there’s clearly no way he could possibly beat it, unless it had been tampered with! Clearly.
This is reason enough for Cogley to request the trial be reconvened on the ship, and Commodore Pushover, the one in charge of the trial, allows it. Kirk asks that, in order to prove his innocence, everybody but him and the tribunal be ordered off the ship. Now, if Kirk had turned out to be a murderer, this would have been an incredibly bad idea. But Commodore Pushover is cool with it, so they leave themselves in the ship with a man suspected of homicide.
McCoy activates a device that makes all noise on the ship incredibly loud. It’s a device probably used normally to find holes in the hull, to figure out exactly who on the bridge won’t stop farting.
Instead of hearing deafening breathing, only the sound of everyone’s heartbeats is amplified. They use the device to track Lt. Finney to the engine room, where he is very much not dead. Even though Kirk hasn’t been cleared, the tribunal gives him a gun to go look for Finney.
Finney has apparently been hiding in the engine room for the whole episode, and he’s pissed at Kirk for messing up his Starfleet career years ago and tries to get him killed.
They wrestle, and Kirk somehow rips his shirt. Kirk’s shirt must be a device that contains his raw fighting ability, because every time he rips his shirt, he becomes unstoppable. Kirk wins, the fight, Finney is taken into custody, all charges against Kirk are dropped, and he makes out with the prosecuting attorney on the bridge. Or in other words, he exposes himself, macks on a random woman, and Starfleet ignores him. Pretty much a regular day for Kirk.