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Old 01-09-2010, 10:17 PM
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I think this another great episode from the series and is also one of my other favorites. Its also one of the first episode you see a rommance going between Spock and a woman. As you know we always see Kirk with women and rommances going on, but we never before saw one when Spock feel in love. So I think it was refreshing to see Spock fall in love for once even though he was under the influnce of the spores. And it was also the very first time you see all of Spock's emotions and human side come through. We saw bits and piceces of it other episodes before this one, but not as much as this episode. And I thought his reaction when Kirk asked why he didn't say much about the experance on the planet Spock said "There's not much to say about it. Except for the first time in my life I was happy". I thought that was a very touching momnet.
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Old 02-08-2010, 01:10 PM
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Good episode what do u think
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Old 02-08-2010, 01:25 PM
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An all around excellent episode IMO. Seeing Kirk all alone on the bridge is an ultra memorable moment not just from the episode, but the entire series. Very powerful.
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Old 02-08-2010, 01:50 PM
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One of my favorite episodes of TOS. It touched me on many levels, and I must admit it was one of the rare episodes that made me cry my eyes out. Sure, the entire concept of the spores is ridiculous, but it is just an excuse to have the story about Spock. I always enjoyed the episodes where Spock would lose his emotional control under whatever weird circumstances, and we would get to see what was hinted at other times, that beneath his logical, restrained persona was the most emotional, passionate person.

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Originally Posted by Kirk And Spock #1 Fan View Post
So I think it was refreshing to see Spock fall in love for once even though he was under the influnce of the spores.
I wouldn't say that he fell in love under the influence of spores - in any case, I don't think it was just because of them, and I don't think it would have happened if he had met just anybody. Nobody can fall in love that fast under whatever influence, and the spores were not an aphrodisiac: they didn't make anyone else fall in love on the planet. They just made people feel happy and content (which manifested itself in different ways with McCoy, Sulu and others). Spock had already known Leila and obviously had had some sort of relationship with her a few years before, but he believed that he wasn't able to return her love. I think he had actually loved her before, but since he was so emotionally repressed, he didn't think he was able to show any feelings; and when you can't express your feelings in the ways that people around you do (Spock was living surrounded by Humans at the time, and for years afterwards), you may end up believing that you really don't have those emotions. (Not to mention that Spock probably wanted to believe that since he was so desperate to be a "real" Vulcan, apparently not quite aware that full Vulcans, in fact, such as his father, had strong emotions as well.) Spock never felt content and happy with himself, he was always conflicted. As soon as the spores made him feel happy and reconciled his internal conflict, he immediately felt love for Leila. His surprise as he finds out "I love you... I can love you!" was, for me, the most moving and memorable moment of the episode.

But sadly, as soon as the influence of the spores was over, and he went back to normal, he wasn't able to do that anymore. There would be many, many more years before Spock started accepting himself the way he was, both Human and Vulcan, and reconciling his emotions with his logic and duty. (We first see him start to do this in TMP.)

And although their love story was so touching, I don't think that Leila and Spock were ever right for each other, or that relationship could have ever worked out even if Spock had been less restrained. It seemed that she needed him to be so open and emotional all the time, and perhaps she wasn't the kind of person who could live with an emotionally restrained Vulcan, and be able to still recognize his true feelings even though he isn't showing them the human way - the way Amanda and Sarek's second wife Perrin were able to. Maybe Leila's expectations that Spock wasn't able to meet had made Spock believe that he wasn't able to love her back. That happy, totally unrestrained, childlike Spock was indeed a part of Spock, but it was just one part of his personality. He could never be like that all the time.

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And I thought his reaction when Kirk asked why he didn't say much about the experance on the planet Spock said "There's not much to say about it. Except for the first time in my life I was happy". I thought that was a very touching momnet.
That is the saddest moment in the episode, and one of the best endings in TOS. There were, frankly, too many cheesy endings in TOS where we'd get the cliched 'everyone laughing on the bridge' scenes, and in TNG we got too many of the 'captain gives a preachy speech' endings. If This Side of Paradise had ended with Kirk's words about mankind needing to never be content and complacent and always striving for more, it would have felt like one of those preachy endings, and the episode might have looked like a big "don't do drugs and live a lazy hippy life, kids" lecture. But Spock's last line brings you a lump in the throat and gives the episode a certain ambiguity which makes it much better. What Kirk said may be true, and Spock could never live his life as the Spores-infected Spock for long, it is not who he is... but still, they made him happy for the first time.
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