TREK-A-DAY: Mudd’s Women
EPISODE SIX: Mudd’s Women
Ah drug pushing space pimps…when will you learn? In this episode, The Enterprise chases down an unlicensed starship (COPS style) only to find that the ship contains Harry Mudd and his women, all gorgeous 60’s sirens which happen to be his cargo. See Harry Mudd is a space pimp, bringing women to remote, rich mining colonies. The women are extra intoxicating but seem out of sorts…there’s clearly more a foot…
Which leads us to the Venus Drug, a pill that makes ugly women beautiful (no joke) so our intergalactic huster is keeping his women hooked while scamming frontiersmen into marrying ugly girls. Mudd is a dick.
Mudd represents an awesome kind of villain: the meddler, who actually poses no real threat but just manages to screw everything up in increasingly interesting ways through guile. He’s also despicable (as mentioned above) but in a different way than a murderous alien or somesuch. He’s just regular, everyday evil; and to make matters worse he can’t just be punched or shot. Trickster characters like this are always fun to watch because they force our heroes to think fast rather than punch hard (a great example of this is when the Mummy called a human rights group on Jack Bauer in season 4 of 24-played by Harry from Sex in the City, he was a perfect nemesis for Bauer who had to convince him verbally to let him torture a terrorist. Neat!)
The show goes a bit off the rails when they hit the planet and the miners are eventually faced with the fact that they’ve been duped. They soon learn a valuable lesson about valuing a person’s worth not just their looks (jumping high five for lessons, everybody!) but not before one of the women manages to change her looks by pure force of will when given placebo pills. (To which Kirk, instead of screaming “HOLY SHIT, SHAPESHIFTERS!” smirks and says something to the effect of, “You just had to have faith in yourself all along!”)
Nevertheless, a fun episode featuring a Falstaffian trickster and a bunch of women being beguiling. And a lesson (taught by one of the women) about how to clean pots and pans by sand blasting them on a planet full of weird ash wind stuff. Neato!
In other news, Harry Mudd’s conning of miners on frontier planets is actually what caused the Browncoat uprising in Firefly. Think about it.