The excitement beings when the Enterprise pulls into a service station to get some dents pulled out of the bumper after passing through an ion storm, which is a phenomenon that occurs when you accidentally leave on syndicated rerun station "Ion Television" too long and all those crummy episodes of Ghost Whisperer and Without a Trace get broadcast out into space.
For this single Star Trek episode only there is some special pod in the ship that has never been there before and never will be again which monitors episodes of Ghost Whisperer for Kirk, probably because of the big rack on the dame who stars in it. Kirk says to the commodore on the base where he's parked the Enterprise that the ship went on red alert and he had to jettison the pod with his TiVo and Lt. Albert Finney still aboard, so he missed the season ending cliffhanger that had something to do with a spooky ghost and the broad with the big knobs running around in a nightie.
The commodore says that Kirk jettisoned the pod not during a red alert, but during a yellow alert, and so he puts Kirk on trial for killing Albert Finney and losing all those episodes of Ghost Whisperer, including the one the commodore really wanted to see with the spooky ghost where the main broad with the big knobs was running around in a nightie, but not the one I mentioned before, a different one.
Finney's daughter yells that Kirk is a murderer while wearing a miniskirt made of strips of torn Reynold's Wrap.
A man walks into a bar with a duck on his head. The man is William Shatner and the duck turns out to be his wig.
Some guys in the bar are mean to Kirk, so he races from the room with his mascara running just as a sexy version of the Star Trek theme starts to play. A dame wearing green curtains and stained glass earrings walks in accompanied by the sexy music, and Bones -- thinking he's got it made because Captain Sexual Compulsive isn't there -- tries to pitch some woo.
Later on, the dame gives Kirk all kinds of legal advice. Then she tells him at the end that she's going to be the prosecutor in his case, so if Kirk isn't a complete imbecile he'll ignore her advice and insist she be removed from the trial and possibly disbarred. Instead, the defendant takes the advice of the prosecuting council.
Kirk comes back to his apartment, which is strange because he's got a ship up there with his own bed that he can go to. Or maybe it's finally reached maximum capacity of yeomen with beehive hairdos. Instead of the usual sexy dame waiting for him, there's an ugly old man with a bunch of books. For the love of God, don't let one of them be the Kama Sutra.
The old man is Kirk's lawyer, and he says he prefers books to the Lite-Brite that most outer space lawyers use. I can understand why, since it seems like it would be hard to look up Marbury v. Madison on a computer that is just a bunch of blinking lights and has no monitor.
In court, the com-pu-tore! reads all the charges and when it's finished Kirk says "not guilty" and there's a great big dramatic chord like it was unexpected. I can see why the soundtrack would get all excited. I agree. I mean, I was sure he was going to say guilty and spend the rest of the series making little moon rocks out of big moon rocks in space jail. What a shocking plot twist.
Kirk wears a dazzling Christmas tree brooch and a ridiculous society dame hat to impress the jury.
Wait a second.
Never mind. That last thing was his wig.
The sexy prosecutor asks the Enterprise personnel officer if they're talking about the "Captain Kirk who sits in this courtroom," and the personnel officer has to look all round to make sure it's the same one. What, she didn't notice her tubby captain sitting there in his pretty Christmas tree brooch when she walked through the shushing door? There are only seven people on that ship who manage to not get killed week after week, you'd think Julie the cruise director would have an easy job keeping track.
The footage played in the courtroom shows different angles on the bridge of the Enterprise, almost like it's from a TV show. For some reason, despite all the pans and close-ups and cuts and different camera angles, it doesn't have any footage at all of anywhere else on the ship other than the bridge, including this super-important pod Albert Finney was in that was never used before or after this episode.
The commodore says that we've listened to three witnesses and that in "neither" case did something or other blah-blah. I lost interest in whatever he was talking about after the bad grammar. "Neither" is two people, not three, Commodore Stupid.
According to this, you are guilty of negligence. Also, that the fine people at Keebler are guilty of deliciousness. New Keebler Cheezie Crackers...great for family, friends and fun!
Kirk's lawyer makes an impassioned TV lawyer plea about Kirk being able to face his accuser, which in this case is the computer on the Enterprise. He mentions the Magna Carta, the U.S. Constitution, the Martian Bill of Rights and the Flimflammer Incorporations of Poopnagle 7. I hope those last two things last longer than the first two did.
Spock plays chess with the computer to prove that it's broken in order to demonstrate that the computer can't be trusted at Kirk's trial. He's figured out that if it's been tampered with, it won't play chess too good no more. Why? Why would tampering manifest in, of all things, chess? If the com-pu-tore! runs everything on the ship, and if tampering with the computer impacts the entire system, wouldn't the doors open wrong and all the toast burn? Everyone on that ship uses computers for stuff all day every day. Wouldn't somebody have noticed things were out of whack? I mean, obviously not Julie the personnel director, who is so coked-up she doesn't recognize her own captain, but somebody.
Kirk's lawyer assumes Albert Finney is still alive. I'm not so sure, because I don't think he's been in anything since Wolfen.
(Hey, if Finney was in this pod, couldn't Kirk have had him beamed him out? Wait, that makes sense. Forget I said it.)
It seems a pretty big leap to go from a com-pu-tore that can't play chess to Albert Finney still being alive, but I guess they got a moron jury to believe O.J. cut his hand chipping golf balls in the dark, so why not?
The whole party moves up to the Enterprise, and Bones runs a Mr. Microphone across everybody's chest. "Hey, good lookin'! We'll be back to pick you up later!" (This dated reference would be absolutely hilarious if this were still 1994.)
The Mr. Microphone shuts off heartbeats one at a time, which would be mass-murder except it only does it on the Enterprise's Bose speakers, so Bones won't be on trial next week.
There is one heartbeat left on the ship once Bones is finished, and they realize it must be Albert Finney, so Kirk runs downstairs in his slippers and bathrobe to shoot the prowler. In the meantime, Kirk's lawyer and Albert Finney's daughter (who had been sitting in court) have suddenly disappeared entirely from the story for some reason, and they never appear again for the rest of the episode. Someone must have noticed in post-production, and so some bizarre narration for Kirk has been tacked on to say that they ran off together to start a mushroom farm on Uranus. Yes, this is a lie, but it makes exactly as much sense as the actual narration.
(Hey, if Finney is hiding down in engineering, can't Spock just beam him out? Wait, that makes sense. Forget I said it.)
Finney raves on the intercom that he has rigged the ship to crash, so Spock tries to get the commodore and the rest of the judges off the bridge and back down to the planet. The commodore says that court is still in session. It's over, you moron, since it was a murder trial and the "murdered" guy is still alive, ranting like a madman, and is about to murder you and a whole bunch of other people. Apparently neither of those three things am being reason for Commodore Stupid to be leaving.
Down in the engine room, the guy playing Albert Finney is such a wild-eyed loon that Bones should be put on trial after all for not recognizing that one of the ship's crew was a crazy, sweating, bug-eyed, psycho maniac.
Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight!
Kirk rips his shirt again. At this point I think those things must be made of paper. He also wins because Scotty has very conveniently left a giant wrench lying out for Kirk to beat some guy senseless with again.
There is another bizarre bit of voice-over narration in which Kirk tells the audience that Albert Finney told him how he sabotaged the ship, so Kirk can save it. I guess it's cheaper and less time consuming than filming the actual scene where this takes place. Maybe next week they can just have Shatner and his ego sit in a chair and read the whole script at us.
There is no explanation for why a psychotic who held a grudge against Kirk for something that happened years ago and came up with an incredibly elaborate scheme for revenge that included multiple murders, the destruction of a starship and his own suicide would abruptly change his mind and tell Kirk everything he needs to know to save the ship. Oh. I guess that's why they couldn't film that scene.
Kirk saves the Enterprise, and as a reward at the end gets to make out with the lawyer on the bridge. Thank God it's not the old buzzard.