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A shuttle accident leads to Spock's Vulcan DNA being removed by aliens, making him fully Human and completely unprepared to face T'Pring's family during an important ceremonial dinner.



The USS Enterprise travels at sub-impulse speeds through the Vulcan system on a survey of the moon of Kerkhov on the far edge of the sector, attempting to discover what became of the ancient Kerkhovian civilization that mysteriously vanished. Captain Pike has elected to have the ship travel at sub-impulse speeds to "take in the view", leaving the crew with some downtime. Nurse Chapel is taking that time to prepare for her two-month fellowship sponsored by the Vulcan Science Academy. Dr. M'Benga, Uhura, and Ortegas and La'an respectively quiz Chapel on Korby's three principles of archaeological medicine: First, medicine is always ancient and new, as cultures' understanding of medicine changes over time; second, the keys to solving medical problems are often found by looking backward; and third, archaeological medicine is as much a study of history as science. La'an wonders why, if Chapel is supposed to be interning on Vulcan, why she is not working with Spock. Ortegas explains that things are "weird" between the two of them, earning her an incredulous look from Chapel.

Later in the day, Chapel and M'Benga are in the turbolift when they are joined by Spock. Chapel looks over at him, but he remains staring straight ahead until he reaches his destination. Spock has been taking advantage of the therapies suggested by Dr. M'Benga to fully suppress his emotions, which has allowed him not only to carry out his duties, but also find other interests, such as cooking. On that score, he receives a few tips from his captain, who tells him to always use fresh herbs, never synthesized. He offers him a pair of samples to smell, but Spock explains that he is using a nasal suppressant, which most Vulcans do, saying the smell of Humans is something one must get "used to". He then proceeds to a briefing with Lieutenant Kirk, who explains the mission to discover the fate of the Kerkhovian civilization; Spock makes a point to clean up the dishes and crumbs left on the conference table. Finally, he joins Ortegas, Uhura, La'an, and Una in the crew lounge, where the others share a joke he considers "fascinating".

Spock then has a communication with his fiancée, T'Pring, who tells him she has arranged to have a V'Shal dinner, a ceremonial engagement meal, with her family when he visits. Spock is somewhat taken aback, given that he is not speaking with his father Sarek. T'Pring's parents are aware, but with Spock's Starfleet schedule so challenging, her mother T'Pril felt it would be best. T'Pril is still opposed to their union, and T'Pring hopes this would help alleviate tensions. Spock compliments her logical assessment and offers to help however he is able. The thought of it distracts Spock for a period, including during a meeting with Captain Pike discussing personnel changes for the shuttle flyby of the Kerkhovian moon. Spock explains T'Pring's announcement, saying that Humans would call it a "big deal". Pike offers to let someone else do the flyby, but Spock assures him he can manage, and thinks any personnel changes would be helpful. Pike explains that he now has a passenger.

Spock's passenger turns out to be Chapel. He says it is good to see her, to which Chapel points out they had seen each other in the turbolift the other day. Spock apologizes if he has offended her, as he has many duties on his mind, before asking if she is here because of the impending fellowship. Chapel confirms, saying if they could find out what happened to the Kerkhovians, it would unlock a "treasure trove" of medical data. Spock recalls rumors of a robust system of medicine, more advanced than anything of the present, and tells her that the Vulcan Science Academy would be lucky to have someone of her experience. While appreciative of the compliment, Chapel expresses the feeling that Spock has been avoiding her. After an awkward pause, the computer announces they were in scanning range. The initial scans showed a substantial civilization left behind, and Spock believes the new energy reading will give some clue as to what happened to the people. The anomaly appears to be a stable vortex, a rupture in space-time. But the shuttle flies in too close, and radiation from the vortex causes them to lose control of the shuttle. Spock and Chapel exchange one last look before the shuttle is pulled into the vortex.

Spock regains consciousness in sickbay, with Pike, M'Benga, and Chapel looking over him. Pike explains he was in a shuttle accident. Spock admits to feeling "strange". Chapel explains they crashed, and then awoke in space somewhere close to the Enterprise. While she was unhurt, Spock had been healed by something… only that something turned him completely Human. Staring at his reflection in the mirror, Spock cannot help but release a colorful metaphor to express his confusion…

Act One[]

Una and La'an go over the shuttle to determine what happened. The shuttle had been found floating dead in space, and the logs indicated that it had crashed, but something had repaired and deep-cleaned it. La'an finds a device in the pilot's seat which is definitely not part of the shuttle. On the bridge, Uhura confirms it to be alien, and speculates it may be some kind of "calling card", with routing instructions for a subspace call. Pike asks if she can open a channel, and she does so – and appears to be getting visuals back. She asks how the captain wants to proceed. Enthusiastic about a possible first contact, Pike asks for it to be put on screen. A shimmering ball of light appears on the screen and greets them, identifying itself as Yellow, being of Kerkhov. Yellow explains that the shuttle collided with their transport tunnel, and per Kerkhovian law, damage had to be repaired in the event of an accident – and as "remediation" was made, no further contact was necessary. Pike tries to explain that the Kerkhovians also "repaired" a member of the crew, to which Yellow replies that the two beings on the shuttle "did not match", and one – Spock – had "mixed instructions". After being informed that both were alive, Yellow says simply that remediation was made, no thanks required, and no further contact necessary, before closing the channel. Uhura is unable to get them back.

Spock muses that he may now be stuck in Human form, and M'Benga assures him it would only be temporary until they cured him. Pike asks how he feels, and Spock admits he feels angry, powerless, annoyed... and weirdly hungry, asking if it was a normal Human feeling. M'Benga confirms that hunger could affect one's mood. He also expresses gratitude for their help, in a rather enthusiastic, Human manner. Pike also points out the matter of his obligations on Vulcan, and a look of what can only be described as horror goes over his face; it had completely slipped his mind during the recovery. He explains that T'Pring's mother hates him, and he wonders if he now smells "more Human". Pike tells him he has already spoken to T'Pring and to his family, and Spock all but panics, demanding to know what Pike told them. Pike tries to calm him, assuring him that he had only told them he was in an accident and recovering on the ship, and they agreed it was logical to postpone the dinner. M'Benga adds that Chapel was working around the clock to reverse his condition, adding that there was nothing technically wrong with him. Spock thinks it best to return to his duties and social obligations. Pike urges him to take it easy and get his "sea legs" under him. "Aye aye, Captain," Spock replies in seafarer's fashion, leaving Pike to wonder if he was making a mistake.

In the crew lounge, Spock sits at the table with his shipmates as Ortegas tells a joke, and he actually joins in the laughter. He then joins Pike in his quarters, taking in the smell of bacon as the captain prepares bacon and eggs in his quarters. Later, during Kirk's continued mission briefing, he urges him to clean up his plates, and flies into a rage when he doesn't react to it, forcing some of the officers in the room to restrain him as he threatens to "break" Kirk. Speaking later with La'an, who thinks emotions were "new" to him, Spock explains that Vulcans had emotions, they just learned to suppress them; Human emotions were different – intense, and near constant. La'an compares his situation to being a Human teenager, calling it a "delightful cocktail" of anger, fear, sexual attraction, and hunger, adding that one was "constantly snacking" during adolescence. Spock admits to constantly feeling hunger, as well as sadness and frustration… and then looking at La'an, to suddenly having "strange feelings", followed by embarassment. She awkwardly tells him he just needed to work on impulse control, before making as polite an exit as possible.

Chapel experiences some frustration of her own as she searches for a cure to Spock's condition. M'Benga enters, asking if she has been there all night, and she replies that her protein sequences keep collapsing into "goo". She wonders how the Kerkhovians managed to do what they did, and M'Benga thinks it has something to do with their being interdimensional beings who do not experience space and time as they do. Chapel blames herself, thinking if she had not been on the shuttle, the Kerkhovians would not have done this, but M'Benga counters by saying if she hadn't been there, Spock might be dead, and she wouldn't be trying to save him at all. Chapel knows survivor guilt is easy to spot on the outside, but is not fun on the inside. M'Benga urges her to take a break and reminds her she was missing "something important". Chapel realizes she has the interview for the fellowship and rushes out.

Chapel's hopes are soon dashed, however: Durik, the professor from the Academy, makes clear he is not impressed with the essay she submitted, as it was not a word-for-word recitation of the principles, and that most applicants would need to memorize a year's worth of the material to be even considered for his seminar. Chapel explains she had not wanted to repeat everything word for word, and thought that her field work would be considered, given that she had made several discoveries. Durik curtly acknowledges this and replies he will speak to her as need be, before cutting off the channel. As she leaves to return to sickbay, Chapel encounters Spock in the corridor, calling her "Christine" rather than "Nurse Chapel", and sees she is upset. He asks if it was able to the fellowship, and she says she doesn't wish to speak about it. Spock remarks on how Vulcans could be "such jerks" – and to her surprise, he hugs her, saying that she looked like she needed it, and asked if she had misread the moment. Chapel assures him he had not, but finds it was not a typical response for him. Just then, Pike calls Spock to the transporter room immediately. When Spock asks if it was an emergency, the captain replies that it depended on one's definition of "emergency": Spock's mother, Amanda Grayson, was beaming aboard. The look on Spock's face makes clear this does fit that definition.

Pike gives Pelia's regards to Amanda, saying that she was away dealing with the ship's dilithium shortage. Amanda thinks that, knowing her, she was probably procuring some "weird antiques" as well, and Pike muses that she had been very enthusiastic about purchasing dilithium. Spock enters, wearing a beanie to hide his ears and eyebrows (or lack thereof). When Amanda asks, Spock says it was "regulation", and Pike plays along, saying he had one just like it. Amanda tells him that T'Pring's family is unhappy; they had already postponed the V'Shal dinner several times due to Spock's Starfleet schedule, and she urges him that they had to do it now. Spock tries to demur, saying they were quite busy, and Pike again tries to play along. Amanda is not buying it, saying that she believed the crew was on half-duty rotation to allow them to rest. Pike admits that is technically true. T'Pring and her family have agreed to have the dinner aboard the Enterprise the following evening. "What wonderful news," Spock says, through firmly gritted teeth.

Act Two[]

Amanda notices Spock acting strangely, and he calls it "muscle spasms" from the accident. She thinks it best, then, that the dinner would be aboard the Enterprise, where he could be close to their doctor. She tries to go on about the three V'Shal rituals, and noting that with T'Pril's known opposition, there was no margin for error; if they postponed again, the wedding might be called off. Spock finally snaps, saying he had been in an accident and was in no state to have the dinner. Amanda tells him to take off the hat, and he does, showing that he appears completely Human. Spock's only reaction is a weak, "Hi, Mom."

Amanda discusses the situation with Pike while Spock snacks on the fruit bowl on the other side of the room. Pike assures Amanda his people were working on a way to reverse Spock's condition, but there would be no guarantee they could do it before the dinner. Spock again urges them to postpone; the rituals had to go perfectly, and clearly, he was not Vulcan enough to pull that off now. But Amanda warns that tensions had arisen between the two families; T'Pril's reluctance to go forward with the union was because of her. T'Pring's father, Sevet, had agreed to the betrothal because he wished to connect with Sarek's family, but T'Pril is proud and not fond of Humans, and is looking for any excuse to back out of the union. Spock points out that her future son-in-law appearing fully Human might be that excuse. Pike wonders how the engagement might be affected by Spock's condition, and Amanda explains the complexity of Vulcan engagements; if the agreement was broken, the union would not be valid under Vulcan law, and T'Pring's family would disown her if she chose to remain with Spock, which would be a great shame to her. Spock asks for their actual options, wondering how he could pretend to be Vulcan if he couldn't even fool his own mother. Amanda reminds him that a mother would know, and plus, Spock was not a practiced liar… yet. She says she is going to do what she should have done a long time ago: Teach Spock about his Human side, teach him how to lie – with Pike's help, of course. Pike asks if he had a choice in the matter, and Amanda matter-of-factly replies he did not.

M'Benga gives Spock a set of prosthetic ears, explaining that they couldn't make it a genetic modification so as not to interfere with Chapel's possible cure. Amanda goes over the first V'Shal ritual with Vulcan tea, using a blend traditional to T'Pring's family. When Spock thinks it didn't seem so hard, she reminds him of the handling of the Vulcan teapot – which was scalding hot to Human hands, whereas a Vulcan would feel nothing. Amanda, however, lifts the pot without difficulty, saying that as a Human living on Vulcan, she had learned to suppress her pain. Uhura, with the aid of La'an, Una, and Ortegas, tries to retrain Spock in speaking like a Vulcan – flat, without emotion. They have a bit of fun with it, using their impressions of his voice, with Ortegas adding how he could move his eyebrow without moving any other muscle in his face. When Spock asks if he really sounds like that, they all say at once that he does. Next is the Ritual of Awareness, in which the young couple is made aware of all their faults and flaws. While the timer counts down, T'Pring's parents will tell him all the things they think he is doing wrong – like asking him how they plan to spend a future together when he is away for months at a time in Starfleet. Spock incredulously asks if they were going there already, but Ortegas points out she hadn't even started yet, earning a sheepish apology. The last ritual would involve a mind meld, but that is something that Spock cannot fake. Amanda realizes their ruse was not going to work once they reached that stage. Spock hopes that M'Benga and Chapel find a cure before then.

Chapel, however, is having no luck. All the genetic models to use Vulcan genome to replace the replicated Human genome are not working. Worse, the models are showing histone unspooling, and they have only 24 hours before Spock's cells lose all genetic plasticity; if they do not change Spock back in that time, he would be stuck as a Human forever. M'Benga suggests looking outside of Federation standard medicine and suggests some experimental treatments he picked up from the Trinar. Chapel has already been through M'Benga's experimental files, and they are of no help. They could not reverse his condition, but they knew someone who could, because they already had: The Kerkhovians. M'Benga wonders how she would be able to convince them. "I can be very persuasive," Chapel replies as she rushes out.

Chapel approaches Ortegas and Uhura in the crew lounge with her proposal to fly close to the anomaly and make contact with the Kerkhovians. Uhura thinks it possible; even though the Kerkhovian data chip was not functioning now, getting close enough to the anomaly might allow its ambient energy to activate it. Ortegas is less than enthusiastic, considering the last shuttle to go near the anomaly crashed, but Chapel is adamant: If they do nothing, Spock would be stuck like this forever. She had been in that crash and survived, while Spock was changed, and believes she had to try if there was any way to save him. Uhura asks for their meals "to go".

Act Three[]

Spock anxiously waits with Amanda in the transporter room. He is sure T'Pring will arrive first, and he will escort her to Pike's quarters and explain the situation, while Amanda would delay T'Pril and Sevet to buy him time. Amanda takes her son's hand and assures him it will be well. Spock, reassured, gives the order to energize. As he begins to greet his betrothed formally, T'Pring interrupts by saying that she has spent the past two days with her mother and could not stomach further formalities. She notes he looks "strange", saying it was not a good time to change his hairstyle. Amanda asks if T'Pril was being her usual self, and T'Pring replies she is, and that it was "challenging". Amanda offers to handle the greeting of her parents, allowing T'Pring and Spock time to themselves.

Spock says he had something he needed to discuss before the ritual, pertaining to her mother. T'Pring is not enthused by the idea, saying that T'Pril already took up a great deal of space in her mind, and that they had debated that morning for three hours over her outfit. Spock, trying to play the role, simply calls it "fascinating", and T'Pring concedes it might be, in a way that it would be fascinating that some species ate their young. Spock loses control and nearly starts laughing, before covering it up with a cough, saying he had started choking. T'Pring urges him to be careful, as T'Pril was looking for any excuse to call off the engagement. When she asks what he had to say, he simply replies that he would help in any way they could.

Pike has prepared his quarters for the dinner, and Spock and T'Pring are there first. T'Pril arrives not long after, with Amanda and Sevet behind her, a look of disdain on her face. Sevet considers the quarters comfortable for the occasion, while T'Pril dismisses them as merely "adequate", with a certain "odor" to them. Amanda diplomatically says it would be finer to have done so in their house on Vulcan, but due to Spock's injuries, she was grateful they had agreed to hold it aboard the Enterprise. Spock explains his "injuries" in the accident as being some extensive "nerve damage" and singed eyebrows, which all present examine while he tries not to squirm. He also adds that Pike has worked to prepare traditional Vulcan meals, and Pike presents his tevmel for them. Sevet appears to enjoy it, but T'Pril is immediately judgmental, noting how there was too much of a twist, the halak was not fresh, and it appeared to have been salted. Pike explains he used salt as a preservative, as a starship ran hotter than a Vulcan kitchen. Sevet simply says he may have to practice further. T'Pril notes the late hour and urges them to begin. Pike, trying to delay, adds that there is more food to serve; while Sevet seems enthused by the idea, a look from T'Pril leads him to backtrack, and T'Pring adds she is not hungry.

Aboard the shuttle, Uhura is unable to get a signal through the rift due to gravimetric interference. Chapel asks if it was possible to get closer. Ortegas sarcastically gives her opinion of flying closer to the anomaly that nearly killed Spock and Chapel, but the look on Chapel's face ultimately convinces her. As they approach, Uhura sees the problem: a distortion field around the rift was preventing signals from getting through. She suggests "wedging" the shuttle through the "door" to get a signal through. Ortegas shoots the idea down, saying the gravitational shearing would tear them apart. Uhura points out what Yellow had said, that on the other side of the rift was a transport tunnel that was "probably" mostly empty. Ortegas points out that "probably" was a lot to bet on. Uhura urges her to think of an ocean in a storm, how it was raging on the surface but calm beneath. Ortegas replies that she hated analogies because they were never like they said. Chapel is determined to go through with it for Spock, but says the others do not have to risk themselves. Ortegas suggests contacting the ship, but the interference blocked comms for a light year out. Ortegas notes how it seemed she would be the one voting against the "crazy manuever", thinking it didn't sound like her; both she and Uhura agree to push on. Ortegas brings the shuttle along the surface, and then up and into the rift.

Aboard the Enterprise, Spock approaches the teapot for the first ritual, looking up at Pike in front of him, who gives a slight, encouraging nod. Despite the burning to his hands, he is able to pour the tea and return the teapot to the flame without any apparent difficulty. T'Pril takes one sip from her cup and pronounces it "acceptable". T'Pring takes Spock's hand (still burned from the teapot) and whispers her approval.

Chapel, Ortegas, and Uhura find themselves removed from the shuttle. Both Uhura and Ortegas wonder if they were dead, the latter thinking if someone had told them they were, she wouldn't be surprised. Uhura guesses they were in interdimensional space. Chapel calls out to anyone who might be listening, and a Kerkhovian materializes behind them, greeting them with the same voice as before. Uhura remembers speaking to it earlier, asking if it was Yellow, but the Kerkhovian replies that it was Blue. They discuss the "remediation" of the shuttle crash; Blue says that no complaint was made, but Chapel steps up to say that Spock was "remediated" wrong, and that if they did not fix him soon, they would not be able to change him back. Blue notes that a complaint outside of the response period was "irregular". Chapel asks to speak to Yellow, and Blue departs. Uhura asks what happened now, and Chapel says that they would have to wait.

The Ritual of Awareness begins aboard the Enterprise. Amanda says that T'Pring could visit more often, and that she could express more self-confidence – something Sevet has also encouraged. T'Pril does not consider it "satisfactory". Amanda knows T'Pring is aware of her feelings, and did not wish to be needlessly cruel, but T'Pril considers Amanda's Human instincts negate the purpose of the ritual, and calls Amanda too timid. Now it is T'Pril's turn. Not only does she bring up the fact that Spock was away for months in Starfleet, but she also considers it an abandonment of her daughter. She also considers that Sarek is correct in shunning him, calling him a disgrace to his family and to all Vulcan for choosing Starfleet over his people. Spock stares in silence, anger simmering in him, as the timer finally runs out and the ritual ends. He excuses himself saying he must use the bathroom, and using his solitude, lets out his feelings of rage, screaming into a folded towel so as not to let others hear him. He then calls M'Benga in sickbay, asking for progress. M'Benga explains they had hit a roadblock, as Chapel had gone to contact the Kerkhovians. Spock is horrified that he let her go, but M'Benga reminds him how Chapel cannot be deterred when she sets her mind to something. He worriedly asks where she was now.

In the Kerkhovians' space, Chapel paces before Yellow arrives. Chapel tries to explain about the situation, but Yellow responds with the same reply about "remediation" being made, and no further contact required. Chapel tells Yellow that a mistake was made that the Kerkhovians needed to correct. Yellow answers about how complaints outside the response period were "irregular" and asks about their relationship to Spock. Chapel answers that he was her friend. Yellow says that friends were not allowed complaints outside of the response period because they do not have "sufficient connection" to the being in question. Chapel explains friendship was different in their world. Yellow believes they were one another's caregivers, and Chapel denies this at first, before amending to "sort of". This answered a question the Kerkhovians had had about something that occurred during the accident: Spock had diverted the shields on the shuttle to protect Chapel at the risk of his own life. Chapel is stunned at this revelation, before Yellow asks again what her relationship was to him. Chapel can only say she doesn't know, but both Ortegas and Uhura are well aware that she does know. She tries to say it was "complicated", but Uhura urges her to make it simple, or Spock will never be what he was again.

Warring with her feelings, Chapel explains that Spock was her friend, but there were times where she wished they had more connection. When the Kerkhovians changed him, they made him into someone more approachable, easier to talk to, someone who could understand her feelings better. But at the same time, they took away a part of him that she was also connected to and pleads with Yellow to make him again what he was.

Back on the Enterprise, Spock emerges, and T'Pril tells him it was time for the mind meld ritual. He looks distinctly uneasy, and T'Pring notices. Pike interjects, electing to add a Human tradition to "deepen the ceremony": a game of charades. Spock asks Pike to explain the rules, just as Chapel enters with a hypospray with his "vitamins". He explains it to the others as part of his treatment. Chapel takes him again into the bathroom to administer the treatment and assures him that the Vulcan genome will begin to return immediately, while his physical features would be restored in some hours. He tells her he is glad to see her and was worried about her. She asks him why he moved the shields to save her. He calls it the "logical choice", as he had a higher survival expectancy as a Vulcan, but Chapel isn't buying it. He tells her he feels many things, and that it was confusing, and she admits it was for her as well. Before he can speak further on his feelings, Chapel gives him the injection and tells him to return to the dinner, as he had people waiting for him. As she leaves, she visibly struggles to keep her feelings together.

Spock concludes the mind meld with his mother successfully, saying his memory was of an "ordinary day" in which Amanda walked him to school. T'Pril considers this "mundane", but T'Pring speaks up, saying it was illogical to criticize the nature of a memory. The ritual was completed, and her assessment was not required – only her acknowledgment of the conclusion of the dinner. T'Pril gives it, to which Sevet immediately asks if there was any more of Pike's tevmel, to which the captain is glad to oblige. T'Pril admits she had her doubts, but despite "many faults beyond his control", he upheld the betrothal agreement. Amanda sardonically notes it must have been difficult for her to say. When Spock points out the phrase "faults beyond [his] control", T'Pril bluntly replies that she considers his Vulcan nature "diluted" and thought it must have been challenging to hold on to his logical side, and yet he impressed her in spite of his "handicap". When Spock asks if she believed it would have been impossible for a Human to have conducted the ritual, T'Pril replies she does, "without question". T'Pring asks what he is doing, and in answer, Spock replies that it was done by a Human (at which point Pike, with the tray of tevmel, immediately makes himself scarce), and removes his prosthetic ears. He points out how T'Pril considers his Human side a "handicap", yet he considers his mother to be the most resilient, compassionate, tolerant person he has ever known, one who has been judged by Vulcans her entire life, yet stands by – for love, for family, and for him. His only regret was that it had taken so long for him to speak those words to her.

Act Four[]

T'Pring is confused that Spock would not feel comfortable telling his own fiancée about his condition. Spock admits, given how difficult Vulcans found it to lie, that it would be more logical to leave her out of it. T'Pring points out they had been through so much together, even sharing their katras at one point, and asks if there was no point that he even considered letting her know. Spock thought in the heat of his Human emotions, he didn't want to add to T'Pring's burdens, given how much she had to deal with from her mother. T'Pring admits to the logic of it, but points out that nearly everyone else on the ship was party to the ruse, and asks how she was meant to feel about that. She thinks that perhaps it was best they took time apart.

In sickbay, Durik contacts Chapel again, and says that the Science Academy has elected not to provide the fellowship, and that she might apply for it later if she felt it a proper use of her time. Chapel replies that she had gone to interdimensional space that day and had convinced a race that had never met with Humans or Vulcans before to give her access to an ancient medical procedure. The Vulcan scientist's curiosity is immediately piqued, and he asks what kind of procedure. She cheerfully tells him that he can read about it in her paper when she published it later that year and tells him that the fellowship was not ready for her, before closing the channel.

In Pike's quarters, Spock remarks that they had had "quite a day". Pike pours two drinks and offers another "Human ritual" that helps in times like these: commiseration. He hands Spock one of the glasses, and they share a toast. Later, in the transporter room, Spock asks his mother about the memory she chose in the mind meld ritual, about the Vulcan children asking him to play with them. Amanda replies she chose it because it was the first time she saw he felt accepted. Seeing it through her eyes, he could see that Amanda herself was not, that she was shunned by Vulcan mothers. Amanda assured herself that Spock was happy, and their judgment was a sign of their own weakness. Spock now sees and feels what Amanda had to give up, living as a Human on Vulcan; he had spent so much of his life trying to follow the Vulcan path, he had failed to see his mother's journey. "It is not easy, being a Human who loves a Vulcan," Amanda concedes, as she steps onto the transporter pad.

In his quarters, Spock paces for a moment, before heading to the door. He stops short when he realizes Chapel is there; he had just been on his way to see her. Inviting her in, he explains that he and T'Pring had chosen to spend time apart. When she asks how he feels about it, he confesses he feels badly, but also he feels it necessary, because he is conflicted by his feelings for another. Chapel, who has warred with that same feeling for him, quips about "a Vulcan with feelings", and Spock points out they did have them, and they were more potent than Human emotions, which is why Vulcans worked to suppress them… but he did not want to suppress this feeling any longer. When he asks why she had come to see him, she passionately kisses him. He asks what that meant, and she tells him to shut up before kissing him again.

Memorable quotes[]

"Spock… is everything all right?'"
"I am sorry, Captain. I have recently learned that T'Pring wants to have our ceremonial engagement dinner upon our arrival on Vulcan. This is, as you Humans say, a big deal."

- Pike and Spock

"Nurse Chapel was unhurt but you were…"
"You were healed. Only, whoever did this seems to have made you… Human."
"What the f…"

- Pike and M'Benga, explaining to Spock that he is now fully Human

"I feel grateful that you're trying to help me. Seriously, it's so nice of you!"

- Spock, to M'Benga

"I'm sorry, but Captain, what is that amazing smell?"
"Um… oh, it's the bacon."
"Bacon? Fascinating!"

- Pike and Spock, while cooking

"Don't test me, Kirk! I will break you!"
"I'll clean it up."

- Spock, after George Samuel Kirk fails to clean up after himself

"Spock, you're Human."
"Hi, Mom."

- Amanda Grayson and Spock

"I'm going to do what I should have done many years ago. I'm gonna teach you about your Human side. I'm going to show you how to lie. With the captain's help, of course."
"Do I have a choice in the matter?"
"You do not."

- Amanda, to Spock, and Pike

"Think of the ocean in a storm. The surface is moving like crazy, but when you get under it, it's calm."
"Yeah, I hate analogies. It is never really like you say it is."

- Uhura and Ortegas, while looking at the rift

Log entries[]

Background information[]


  • 6 July 2023: Title publicly revealed by Wil Wheaton on TRR: "Among the Lotus Eaters"
  • The term "charade" not only refers to the game, which is played in the show as a stalling measure, but the acts of pretense performed to hide Spock's changes.
  • 26 May 2023: Ethan Peck hinted on a panel at MCM London Comic Con that his version of Spock would be much more Human than previous iterations and he said: I am most excited for fans to see episode 5 keep a look out!. [1][2]

Story and script[]

  • An improvised scene that was ultimately cut would have show Human Spock trying chewing gum. According to director Jordan Canning: "We even had this scene — it didn't make it in the cut — but we were having so much fun on set. We were in the bar set and we had a little extra time, remarkably, and Ethan and Rebecca had, like, worked out this thing. They were like, 'Okay, can we just try this where, like, I've got gum, and Spock wants to try the gum and doesn't understand what gum is for?' And I was like, 'Okay, great. Set up the camera...The two of them, they did this whole routine where he tries gum and he's like, 'Oh, maybe I should try nuts with it.' And they're like, 'No, no.' And then he is like, 'How about a pickle?' It's just, I mean, it was so silly and funny. Just finding ways for us to see Spock experiencing the world through Human eyes and the foibles around that." [3]


  • A fully Human version of Spock was previously seen in a dream he had at the beginning of SNW: "Spock Amok". That episode similarly involved his relationship with T'Pring.
  • Spock and T'Pring eventually terminate their off/on relationship in TOS: "Amok Time".
  • The "remediation" that the Kerkhovians perform on Spock is reminiscent of how the Talosians repaired Vina in TOS: "The Cage" - as she explained, "They rebuilt me. Everything works. But they had never seen a Human. They had no guide for putting me back together."
  • This episode is similar to VOY: "Faces" where the Vidiian Sulan split B'Elanna Torres into a fully Klingon and Human version as an attempt to find a cure for the Phage. Unlike Sulan, the Kerkhovians made Spock purely Human as they didn't create a fully Vulcan version of Spock as well. There is also a TOS story ("Ni Var") where Spock is indeed split into a fully Human and fully Vulcan Spock but is eventually restored to his original Human-Vulcan hybrid self.
  • In the background of the shuttle Cervantes, a graphic of the Vulcan system can be seen. For this episode, art director Timothy Peel labeled it with text including the name T'Khut, [4] finally canonizing the long-running fan-coined name by writer Gordon Carleton for the sister planet of Vulcan which had debuted in TAS: "Yesteryear".



Guest starring[]


Uncredited co-stars[]


air; analogy; anger; anomaly; bacon; bathroom; bladder; bloom; captain; caregiver; Cervantes; charades; commander; commiseration; Constitution-class; Deck 12; dilithium; doctor; ear; Earth; egg; engagement; ensign; Enterprise, USS (schooner); Enterprise, USS (starship); Eridani B; essay; father; fear; fellowship; fermentation; fiancée; field work; formalities; friend; genome; gravimetric interference; gravitational anomaly; gravitational radiation; gravitational shearing; halak; handicap; haploid; hat; herb; histone; hug; Human; hunger; hybrid; hypospray; Illyrian; impulse control; interdimensional being; interdimensional space; katra; Kerkhov; Kerkhov moon (aka Kerkhovian moon); Kerkhovian; Kerkhovian settlement; kiss; Korby, Roger; law; leaf; lieutenant; logic; mess; Milky Way Galaxy; mind meld; month; mother; nasal suppressant; nurse; Pelia; personal log (science officer's personal log); Phoenix; pomkot; pseudosynapsis treatment; ready room; remediation; Ritual of Awareness; roadblock; saddle; salt; Sarek; schedule; schooner; sea legs; sexual attraction; shields; shower; smell (odor); son-in-law; Stamets-type shuttlecraft; stardate; Starfleet; Starfleet uniform; steering; sunspot; survivor's guilt; syllable; tea; teenager; Tellarite; tension; tevmel; transport tunnel; Trinar; trust; tool; turbolift; vitamins; volume; vortex; V'Shal dinner; Vulcan (planet); Vulcan (species); Vulcan gong; Vulcan Science Academy; Vulcan system; Vulcan teapot; whisk; word

Computer scan references[]

40 Eridani C; ammonia; argon; asteroid belt; c; carbon monoxide; centigrade; Class B; Class G; coordinates; day; helium; hour; hydrogen; hydrogen sulfide; J class; kilogram; mass; mean surface temp.; methane; neon; revolution period; rotation period; solar year; T'Khut; T'Khut moon; transient vortex; water; xenon

Deleted references[]

chewing gum; nut; pickle

External links[]

Previous episode:
"Among the Lotus Eaters"
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds
Season 2
Next episode:
"Lost in Translation"