Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Whoa Nellie!

We all know the concept of "The City on the Edge of Forever", right? McCoy accdentally changes history so Starfleet never forms by saving the life of a young woman who died in a traffic accident in 1930 New York. Simple, right? Kirk and Spock go back to stop him, Kirk falls in love with the girl, and it all ends pretty tragically.

Okay, but I just noticed something.

Kirk and the girl (Edith) walk across the street. Edith mentions McCoy's name. Kirk realizes McCoy is there, tells her to stay put, shouts for Spock, and runs across the street, instructing her to stay put again. McCoy comes out to see what the yelling's about and they all have a group hug, and then Edith crosses the street toward them, when she gets hit and dies.

So she wouldn't have been in the street at all without time travel.

The Guardian (the thing that sent them all back in the first place) says "Time has resumed it's shape." But the part it didn't say was that they're the ones who put it in that shape in the first place. Spock says Edith was meant to die - but without their interference, she could have lived.

Now despite her efforts (she was a very nice person), the world was a better place without her in it (long story if you don't know) but if you follow the chain of events, it may be that what Ellison is really saying in this ep is that while a single death can save millions, it may be that those millions should have died in the place of that one person. All we know for sure about that future is that the Enterprise never visited this one planet in this one system. It could be that Edith was able to capture the world for good in a totally different way than it ended up playing out.

So basically, maybe the correct thing to do was let her live after all.

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