Mudd’s Women

Mudd's Women

Why don’t we see more cosplays of these lovely ladies?

Katie Mae: When I saw Mudd’s women, I thought this was going to be “the show that launched a thousand cosplays.” But apparently nobody cosplays Mudd’s women. What’s with that? Those dresses were pretty cool…

Ando: Actually I was rather impressed by Harry Mudd’s swashbuckling outfit myself. And that earring…

KM: That earring was pretty impressive. And distracting. I wonder if there’s one on eBay… nope. Etsy? No? There’s something wrong with that. I bet we could make one. It looks like a Christmas ornament. Or those crinkly cat toys. Would you wear it if you got your ear pierced, Ando?

A: Maybe not every day, but on special occasions, when I wanted to look dashing! So I realize Harry Mudd is not exactly what you would call a Star Trek villain, like Khan, for example, but he does make for an interesting adversary for Kirk. He causes more exasperation than anger. He feels like a precursor to Cyrano Jones.

KM: Oh yea, the The Trouble with Tribbles guy! For a second I pictured them as the same guy and wondered if it was the same actor, but then I remembered they really look nothing alike. But they have similar personalities. I think this episode has a similar feel to The Trouble with Tribbles. It’s fairly light-hearted and a little silly.

A: True, but this episode does have a deeper message than The Trouble with Tribbles. That episode really was just a comedy. Mudd’s Women at least had a commentary on true beauty and a pretty stark condemnation of trophy wives.

KM: Yea, I felt like I was getting a nice little Star Trek-style morality dose from Kirk and Mudd, there. What did they say? “There’s only one kind of woman.”

A: “Or man, for that matter.” Wise man, Harry Mudd… I think.

Harcourt Fenton Mudd

Seriously, who wouldn’t want that jaunty hat?

KM: Slivers of wisdom from Mudd. I didn’t see that coming. haha You know, I feel like there has been a fair bit of sexism in this show, but for some reason, this episode didn’t come across that way. Yes, the women wear provocative outfits, but it feels more like it’s all part of a joke. They’re so beautiful/sexy that they distract the men. It’s funny, not offensive.

A: Yes, it was so over-the-top that the viewers don’t see it as sexist. They know it’s wrong from the beginning. The show is not condoning the blatant objectification of the women’s bodies, and you can tell from the first scene how much of a slimeball Harry Mudd is.

KM: But he’s a lovable slimeball! I think he’s one of my favorite guest characters, actually. He’s fun.

A: And he sports a glorious mustache.

KM: It really is. He comes back in another episode later, right?

A: Yes, I, Mudd. He also shows up in an old Star Trek PC game, so I guess you’re not the only person who likes his antics.

KM: I think he really is one of the better characters. I wonder why you don’t see more of him, in merchandise and stuff. They could market Mudd’s Magical Venus Gummy Chews.

A: So what was your favorite moment in this episode?

KM: That scene where Mudd is coaching the women on how to avoid questions, but they kept calling him Harry. The security guard was right there (not giving a damn, by the looks of it) and Mudd kept getting flustered and paranoid. That was pretty funny. And yours?

Spock shrug

Spock has nothing but disdain for your silly human attractions, but he recognizes the significance of a smashing ass.

A: That moment when the women are leaving the conference room after meeting Kirk for the first time and Spock watches them leave, then gives Kirk a saucy little shrug and follows them. Ladies’ man Spock.

KM: This is a pretty good episode. I think I’m going to call it one of my favorites.

A: Fair enough, but there are still some awesome episodes ahead. *Turns to camera* Stay tuned!

Poore Trekkie Mustaches

We love Mudd’s glorious ‘stache so much, we got some of our own.

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The Enemy Within

Star Trek has a tendency to underscore philosophical themes, with its morality tales and humanistic approach, but I especially appreciate this episode because I feel like it emphasized psychology over philosophy. That’s not to say that there is no philosophy in The Enemy Within – indeed, it is an ancient concept that there is good and evil in every man. As science and our understanding of the human mind has evolved, however, our concepts of the mind and behavior have become more grounded, and psychology has taken over. I will use these different points of view to interpret this episode.

Kirks embracing

“Good” Kirk finally embraces his “Bad” side

The philosophical viewpoint that The Enemy Within most embodies is the Chinese concept of yin and yang. This is an ancient belief of the balance and interdependency of seemingly contrary things. Though “good” Kirk and “bad” Kirk are at opposite ends of the behavioral spectrum, they cannot exist without each other – Dr. McCoy points out that they will die if not reintegrated. It is the balance of the two extremes that makes Captain Kirk a whole man, as well as an effective leader. McCoy says, “without the negative side, you wouldn’t be the captain – you couldn’t be, and you know it.” The philosophical lesson learned is that yin and yang – good and evil – are actually complementary, not opposing, forces, and that their combination forms something greater than the sum of its parts – in this case, Captain James T. Kirk.

Screaming Kirk

“Bad” Kirk’s boundless rage and lack of inhibition perfectly embodies the id

Moving into the realm of psychology, one can find elements of the Freudian model (the id, ego, and super-ego) in The Enemy Within. “Bad” Kirk is the embodiment of the id: primal, instinctual, and pursuing only what can satisfy his own personal desires. “Good” Kirk represents the super-ego: morality and conscience. So what of the ego? Following the concept of the Freudian model, it was essentially removed by the transporter accident. Though some elements of theĀ ego – intellect in particular – appear in “good” Kirk, the main purpose of the ego is to sit in balance of the id and super-ego, moderating the conflict between the selfish and the selfless. Without the two residing in the same vessel, there is no place for the ego, and Kirk basically has none during this episode. Freud’s original definition of the ego pertained to a “sense of self”, and it is obvious that both Kirks lacked this sense, and were therefore incomplete. Each body was little more than a sack of personality traits, both less than half a man, lacking the glue that is ego holding them together.

Half-raped Rand

While the word “rape” was never used, we all know what almost happened

A more modern understanding of psychology has led to a different model encompassing what is known as the Big 5 – a collection of personality traits – which is known as the Five Factor Model (FFM). In looking at these factors, and the traits encompassed by the categories, we found that the two Kirks tended to be on the opposite ends of each spectrum. The most obvious of these is Agreeableness: with his cooperation and compassion, “good” Kirk ranks very high on this scale, while “bad” Kirk, with his coldness, cruelty and open antagonism, ranks very low. Also very clear is where the two rank on Neuroticism: “good” Kirk’s anxious lack of self-confidence displays his high level of Neuroticism; “bad” Kirk is obviously full of himself and eventually settles in to an eerie, cool control which is able to briefly fool the rest of the crew – even Spock – into believing he is the “real Kirk”. There is also a good example of their difference in Extraversion shortly after the transporter accident – “bad” Kirk goes to sickbay, strong-arms McCoy into giving him booze, and gets more than a little rapey on Yeoman Rand; meanwhile, “good” Kirk goes to his quarters, lies down, then takes a shower. The two Kirks are undoubtedly representations of the two opposite extremes of Kirk’s personality, but by looking at the FFM, we can delve deeper into this division and identify the personality traits on which they are opposites.

It is said several times during this episode that “good” Kirk has all the intellect, but none of the decision-making ability or willpower, whereas “bad” Kirk has all the strength of will, but no intellect. By applying these models of philosophy and psychology, we can analyze the two Kirks, not only in terms of how they are different but why they need each other to survive. It goes to show that all the intellect in the galaxy is useless without the capacity for decision-making; the willpower to put it to use.