Another season 3 episode of Star Trek, And the Children Shall Lead, is on the worst list for fans
Season 3 of Star Trek debuted some of the most disliked episodes of the series. Well, according to some fans. And the Children Shall Lead is on practically anyone’s list of hated episodes, though, and quite frankly, that’s understandable. As I rewatched this episode to glean some good from it, I lost count of the number of times I winced.
Six children were brought aboard the Enterprise after their parents committed mass suicide on the planet Triacus. It didn’t take Captain Kirk (William Shatner) and Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy) long to figure out that the children were being controlled by an entity (in a large piece of aluminum foil) that wanted power over…well….everything. So it gave the children the ability to take over the ship as well as the power to cripple the crew with their worst fears if they didn’t cooperate.
And that’s where the good comes in. Captain Kirk’s worst fear is realized when he feels like he’s losing command of the Enterprise. When no one will obey his orders (because they can’t), he’s terrified and starts to crumble. Spock (who has managed to overcome the kids’ control over his mind) gets him off the bridge, and realization returns to Kirk. From that point forward, he’s immune to the children. Why? Because he faced his fear. The worst thing he could imagine happened, and he faced it. Once he did that, the fear no longer controlled him.
That’s the best lesson about this episode of Star Trek. Oftentimes, what we fear is worse than the actuality, or it never even happens. But even if it does, we have to confront it, challenge it. As Captain Janeway said, “fear exists for one purpose—to be conquered.”