Monday, January 14, 2013

TOS: Mirror Mirror

When I was a little girl, standing in front of the bathroom mirror, I made a lot of wishes. I wished my ears didn't stick out so much and I wished my voice was deeper. As a teenager, I wished my skin weren't so pale. I wished my front teeth hadn't been knocked out and replaced by inferior facsimiles. A long time ago--I wished I were more confident, less afraid, less sensitive. I wished I could frighten the people who teased me and bullied me. I wished I was someone else, often, anyone else.

I thought a lot about that while watching "Mirror Mirror." This episode is wall-to-wall amazing. Kirk, Uhura, Scotty, and McCoy (through virtue of a transporter accident) wind up in a "mirror universe." Things have gone horribly wrong over there and, as such, all of our TV friends have evil counterparts. The men are vindictive and domineering and the women wear sexy crop tops to work. Everyone carries a knife at all times. It's a hard world over there.

While our friends struggle to blend in to the mirror universe as they try to find a way back home, their mirror counterparts are caught and imprisoned onboard Our Enterprise. It's quick and easy and it only takes about five seconds to show this to us and let us get back to our friends on the Mirror Enterprise:
There's a startling shortage of fabric in the Mirror Universe.

When Our Kirk and the gang do finally make it home, he questions Spock about how they were able to so quickly determine that Evil Kirk and his Evil Cronies were impostors. Spock simply says, "It is far easier for you, as civilized men, to behave like barbarians, than it was for barbarians to behave like civilized men."

This episode is iconic and classic. It spawned a whole trope not only within the Star Trek franchise but within all of pop-culture. The Mirror Spock has an evil goatee:
He's the reason that so many other shows and movies have played around with this trope in recent years. Charmed, Community, and even critically acclaimed Breaking Bad have all had their characters in evil goatees. "Mirror, Mirror" is the only reason any of that and the following picture makes any sense at all:
Looking at my own "Mirror Self," I realize that I'm glad I couldn't just wish for whatever I wanted by staring into a mirror. I'm glad I'm the person I am today and I didn't get tougher, or meaner, or less sensitive. All the little faults I obsessed over, all the silly things I wished for, the fact that I got teased for watching Star Trek, all those things made me, me. I'm a geek. I blog about Star Trek. And, maybe my ears do still stick out, but so do Spock's and he's my favorite character.


  1. please, please, please do a "Mirror, Mirror" themed Rabbit and Red. ;) -Larry

  2. I love the evil goatees on you and bunny. I used to wish for many of the same things but have come to the same conclusions. They talk about that on an episode of The New Normal - how the things that make you so different as a child are the qualities that make you a remarkable adult. :-)


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