#33: Requiem for Methuselah
In case you forgot: The Power Trio touches down on what's supposed to be an uninhabited planet for some supplies to stop the deadly Rigelian fever that's spreading among the crew. They meet an old man called Flint and spend some time relaxing with him while a robot does the menial labor. Eventually they learn that Flint is was born in 1518 in the village of Glenfinnan....oh wait, sorry. He is immortal, though, or close enough, and life is hard. After some shenanigans with his android companion, the Power Trio gets what they came for and leave.
Meditations on what immortality (or near-immortality) would be like haven't really lost their appeal for me. The premise is a solid one. Even Flint intentionally using the Power Trio (or well, Kirk) to try to develop human emotion in his android companion is an interesting one. I like them enough that even though the rest of the episode frustrated me, I still enjoyed the episode.
Though, you know what was better? The Man From Earth, which was also written by Jerome Bixby. You should watch it, if you haven't already.
Spock's mind-meld-y type instruction to Kirk to "forget" is touching, and a testament to their friendship. It's not quite "Amok Time," but it's nice.
The reveal that Flint is something like 6000 years old doesn't bug me, but the idea that he would have spent his life on Earth just casually being so many famous geniuses is just too much. There's also the problem of using a deadly fever aboard the Enterprise as little more than a MacGuffin. This isn't the first time some kind of medical catastrophe has been the impetus for this week's adventure in space, but is the first time the crew of the Enterprise is in that sort of danger, a fact the Power Trio is totally willing to conveniently forget (because it's a MacGuffin). How many people on the Enterprise are dying because you're fucking around, Kirk?!
Much as I like Spock doing Kirk a favor and helping him to forget Rayna, it's impossible to take Kirk's grief over Rayna seriously, unless it's poorly-communicated guilt over being the instrument of her death (or well, "death").