Another episode that unfairly earns the wrath of many Star Trek fans. Instead of defending the episode, I want to understand why it is hated in the Star Trek community. Is it because it seems to opportunistic...let's make an episode about hippees because...they are a current item! I don't think this is much of a reason to hate it. Star Trek tried to capitalize on issues about war and racism and those episodes are not hated to the degree as this one. Maybe one thinks that hippees existing in the far off future is silly. But, I disagree. You will always have people who revolt in the environment that they are living in by not assuming the appearance and customs of the establishment as well as searching for a better world. One could smile at that musical interludes and weird attire in this episode, but none of this reachs the "Row Row Row your Boat" silliness of the Star Trek V movie. Is it full of technical or dramatic goofs? The only two I had a hard time believing is that the ultra sonic sould could lay out flat Kirk, Spock, and Scotty only for them to get a second wind and get it up and shut it off. The other one is that the poison pear seems to be awfully chock full of poison for it to kill Dr. Severin when he didn't even get a chance to chew or swallow it. But none of the above seems to warrant the hatred towards this episode. To be honest, the episode is padded down due with love interests and musical interlude because the antagonists are not powerful entites who can take up a whole hour with visual effects. But there is still nothing about this episode that would prompt me to hate it. Now...to talk about the good stuff. Skip Homeier is one of the actors whose bold voice and facial features always gets your attention. Cauliflower ears only give him that much exoticness. Chekov's turbulent relationship with Irina is not much to go on other than the fact that he disaproves of her lifestyle, but their romance rekindling of sorts is nice to see. I do understand Spock "reaching" the space hippees through music that sounds "real now" but I'm not so sure that Spock being a half breed would make him interested in finding a "better world". Kirk being called a "Herbert" is fun to see. Watching everybody under the age of 30 on the bridge toe and finger tapping to the music is a little hard to believe (in fact, some even look older than that). But, it's inventive to see the antagonist use the "weapon" of friendliness instead of belligerence as so many of them have done in the pass. And the finale, with a planet that looks so much like a Garden of Eden but be a deadly poisonous planet in reality provides a zinger ending. So, the question is brought forth...why is this episode hated? I think it goes back to the silliness issue. Mostly, the outlandish costumes and hipster daddy-o language. But keep everything in perspective. One of my biggest pet peeve sci-fi shows is Lost in Space and had the story line of "The Way to Eden" made it to that show, they would have had Paul Revere and the Raiders as the hippees with Dr. Smith and the Robot doing the Watusi. No...The Way to Eden is not as bad as it seems.
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