“Mudd’s Women” is the sixth episode of Star Trek The Original Series and the first to feature Harry Mudd. And frankly, Harry Mudd is not a character I particularly liked, so I’m not looking forward to seeing him again. And yes, before you say it, yes, I realize that Mudd is supposed to be a villain and an unlikable character. But you know how some villains are either so well written or so well acted that they are a joy to watch? I don’t believe Mudd is one of those characters.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s discuss “Mudd’s Women”, shall we?
So the Enterprise chases down an unregistered vessel and brings its crew onboard. The crew, it turns out, is Mudd plus three extremely beautiful women. Mudd, it turns out, is a man with a criminal record who is transporting the women in question – Eve, Ruth, and Magda – to be married in a sort of mail order bride scheme. Since the women seem to be willing participants in the scheme, it seems that the only charge the Enterprise can hold Mudd on is operating an unlicensed vessel.
However, it turns out to not be that simple. It turns out that the women owe their appearance at least in part to an illegal drug that Mudd is providing them with. Additionally, the Enterprise is in desperate need of lithium crystals. So Mudd secretly makes contact with the minors of Rigel XII in order to work out a deal wherein the three minors get the women, the Enterprise gets the lithium crystals, and Mudd gets to go free.
It seems Eve isn’t completely happy with this set up, however, calling the drugs the women take “a cheat.” But she takes it and heads to the surface of Rigel XII to meet with the minors. But she doesn’t seem very interested in the men and becomes angry when the three men fight over the other two women. She runs off, chased by the head miner, Ben Childress. He finds her, and takes her back to his home where she sleeps. In the morning, Kirk and Mudd arrive at Childress’ home and reveal the scam. Eve angrily takes more of what she believes to be Mudd’s pills and becomes beautiful again. She then learns that the pills were fake and that she managed to become beautiful on her own. Kirk explains that the other minors married Magda and Ruth the night before, but Mudd chimes in to explain that they don’t have to stay married if they don’t want to. Eve agrees to stay behind with Childress so they can “talk.” Presumably, they end up together.
In my post about “The Cage,” I wrote about how it annoyed me that Vina’s worth was basically reduced to their looks. And I was afraid that I was going to think the same thing about this episode. I guess I did, to an extent. However, I did like that Eve’s appearance was ultimately influenced by her confidence.
As I said, I don’t particularly care about Mudd and don’t care to see him again. But I guess I am, huh? If there’s anything positive to come from Mudd’s future appearance, I hope we learn what happened to Ruth and Magda. Did they decide to remain married to the other minors?
So yeah, I guess that’s what I have to say.