In this episode of Trekking Through Compliance, we consider the episode The Menagerie (Part Two) which aired on November 24, 1966, Star Date 3012.4.

Story Synopsis

In Part 2, the recording continues and show Pike confined in a cell. He discovers that the Talosians are illusionists, capable of making a man see anything they wish him to see and telepaths who can communicate without speaking. The Talosians wish Pike to remain on the planet as Vena’s mate. Meanwhile, the crew of the Enterprise beams the ship’s power down to the surface in a fruitless attempt to blast through the mountain where the Talosians were seen to disappear. However, this has no effect, and the Talosians continue their mind games with Pike.

The Talosians re-enact Pike’s encounter on Rigel 7 in his mind, but with the addition of Vena. In this re-enactment, Pike kills the beast who is attacking them, then is returned to his cell with Vena. Vena tells him that the Talosians retreated underground after a war two thousand years ago and have been developing mental powers. She also reveals that she is a real human and not an illusion. Pike discovers that the Talosians cannot penetrate primitive, strong emotions with their telepathy.

The next virtual reality trip for Pike and Vena is at Pike’s farm on Earth, complete with his horse Tango. As Pike uses the opportunity to scheme, Vena has the Talosians shift venues to a Roman court with a Vena playing the part of a green Orion dancing slave girl. Again, Pike does not cooperate. Meanwhile, a landing party of 6 from the Enterprise beams down in attempt to find Pike, but only Number One and the yeoman actually arrive. The Talosians now give Pike a selection of specimens for starting a human community of slaves.

Instead, Pike uses the phasers brought down by the landing party as bait and captures one of the Talosians as he tries to recover them from a sliding panel in the side of the cell. Pike fires one of the phasers through the wall, sees no effect, but then forces the Talosian to show him the hole which was produced or else have the “nonfunctional” phaser tested on his head. Pike and the women escape to the surface, but it turns out that this was actually the first part of the Talosians’ plan to re-populate surface. However, the Talosian learn of Pike and humankind’s unshakable hatred of captivity, and this forces them to let the Enterprise’s crew go, as humans appear to be too violent a species for their needs. Before Pike leaves, he discovers that Vena’s beauty is illusional, and that she was actually severely deformed in the Columbia’s crash and “put back together” by the Talosians.

All this is viewed by the court martial committee on the Enterprise. However, when the tape is complete, Mendez disappears and turns out to have been an illusion used to distract Kirk from regaining control of the Enterprise. Kirk, with the authorization of Starfleet, permits the now-disfigured Pike to transport to Talos 4. All charges against Spock are dropped, and the Enterprise continues on its way. Kirk speaks to Spock about a tendency towards flagrant emotionalism, but Spock quips, “I see no reason to insult me, Sir. I believe I’ve been completely logical about the whole affair.”

Fun Fact

Along with Part 1, this episode won the 1967 Hugo Award for “Best Dramatic Presentation”.

Compliance Takeaways:

  1. What happens with your counter party refuses to comply with FCPA requirements?
  2. When the time comes will you as a CCO speak truth to power?
  3. Sometimes failure and being left behind are options.


Excruciatingly Detailed Plot Summary by Eric W. Weisstein for The Menagerie (Part Two) Menagerie (Parts 1 & 2)