WARNING: This post contains spoilers galore for "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country". Those readers who have not yet seen the film and do not wish exposure to essential plot elements should stand well clear.
Well, it definitely wasn't top-level, but it was a nice way to go out.
What else? Wait until the synopsis is done. (It'll be nice to write a synopsis without worrying about written notes or a preformatted length for once... :-) ) Without further ado...
Captain Hikaru Sulu and the USS Excelsior are heading home after a three-year mission, when they're suddenly hit by the blast wave from a huge explosion. They manage to ride it out. Analysis shows it originated from the Klingon moon of Praxis, the Klingons' primary energy facility. Further scans show much worse: the moon is almost completely gone. Sulu asks if they need assistance, but the only response is an acknowledgement of an "incident" at Praxis and firm warnings against treaty violations. "Do we report this, sir?" "Are you kidding?"
Two months later, Kirk and much of the bridge crew [Bones, Scotty, Chekov, and Uhura] are attending a classified fleet meeting. Sulu is still off on assignment, and no one seems to know where Spock is. The meeting begins, and the Commander-in-Chief informs those assembled that the Klingons have fifty years of life left. The remainder of the details will be given by Federation Special Envoy...
"Good morning," says Spock. He gives details: the destruction of Praxis has destroyed the ozone layer of the Klingon homeworld, and there are only fifty years' worth of oxygen left. The Klingon economy has collapsed, owing to an overmilitarized budget, so they do not have the resources to combat this problem themselves. Spock has been holding a dialogue with the new Chancellor of the Klingon High Council, Gorkon--and Gorkon wants to come to Earth to negotiate for the dismantling of the Neutral Zone, and the end of seventy years of hostility.
Admiral Cartwright is appalled, terming this initiative "suicide". Kirk is forced to agree, saying that Klingons have never been trustworthy. Regardless, the Commander-in-Chief disagrees, and tells Kirk that he will be the first olive branch. The Enterprise is ordered to convey Gorkon's ship safely to Earth. Why him? Because if the Klingons are untrustworthy, it's reasoned, they'll think twice about attacking Kirk and the Enterprise. Spock tells Kirk that he has been personally vouched for by Spock.
The meeting is adjourned, leaving Kirk and Spock facing each other. Kirk is, to put it mildly, upset. He upbraids Spock for his "arrogant presumption" in committing them to this course and vouching for Kirk. Spock points out that "only Nixon could go to China", but Kirk doesn't care. "They're animals!" "Jim, there is an historic opportunity here." "Don't trust them!" "They are dying." "LET them die!"
The Enterprise prepares to leave, and Kirk meets their new helmsman: a Vulcan woman named Valeris. We learn that she volunteered for this mission, and that she was the first Vulcan to ever graduate first in her class at the Academy. She quickly learns that Kirk's orders sometimes override regulations when he orders one-quarter impulse power while leaving Spacedock.
Kirk dictates a personal log. "I've never trusted Klingons... and I never will. I can never forgive them for the death of my boy." He continues on for a while, wondering how "history can get past people like me." Valeris, suddenly in the doorway, notifies Kirk that the rendezvous is imminent.
Valeris briefly talks to Spock in his quarters. She discusses endings, and he in turn tells her to have faith in the universe, and that when he retires in three months [as will Kirk, McCoy, and Scotty], he intends her to replace him on the ship. "I can only succeed you, sir."
Gorkon arrives in his ship, the KRONOS I. Kirk invites him and his staff to dinner that evening, and Gorkon accepts. Valeris suggests Romulan ale to lubricate the evening, a suggestion Kirk readily accepts. "Guess who's coming to dinner..." mutters Chekov.
The Klingons arrive. Kirk introduces his bridge crew, and Gorkon is pleased to finally meet Spock. Gorkon then introduces HIS staff: his daughter Azetbur, staffer Brigadier Kerla, and chief of staff General Chang. Chang tells Kirk he has looked forward to meeting him for some time: "as one warrior to another". Kirk gives them all a tour--and as some of the transporter officers gripe about Klingons, Valeris orders them back to work.
The dinner begins, and goes... roughly. Chekov's reference to "inalienable human rights" is harshly scored by Azetbur as a racist remark, and she claims the Federation is a "homo sapiens only" club. Kerla says that it's clear to him that the end result of all this will be the destruction of the Klingon culture, an assessment McCoy harshly disagrees with. And the Klingon comment that the Empire merely needs "breathing room" prompts a sudden, and uncalled-for, "Earth. Hitler, 1938." from Kirk. Gorkon, ever the diplomat, merely responds with "Well... I can see we've still got a long way to go."
The dinner ends, and Gorkon and company leave. Kirk and company are depressed at their behaviour and its likely consequences. The next morning, Kirk dictates a rather depressed log entry about the previous evening, and is then called to the bridge.
Spock reports a surge of neutron radiation that is coming from their vicinity. It can't be identified. Suddenly, a torpedo fires--and hits the KRONOS I dead on. Pandemonium strikes--inventory shows no torpedoes are missing. Chekov calls to the torpedo bay. Another torpedo fires. No one on board seems to know what's going on.
Meanwhile, Gorkon's ship loses artificial gravity from the torpedo blasts. While the Klingons flail somewhat helplessly, two beings beam aboard, wearing magnetic boots to stay on the ground. Covered in Starfleet spacesuits from head to toe, they are unrecognizable. They walk through the ship, phasering Klingons right and left. One is merely wounded (if you want to call losing your right arm a "mere" wound); many others are killed. They make their way to Gorkon, and phaser him right through the chest. They then return to the transporter pad and beam away.
The situation on the Enterprise is coming back under control, but it's still far from clear what happened. Chang hails them, accuses them of defiling the peace, and prepares to "blow [them] out of the stars." Kirk, rather than instigate a full-scale war, surrenders. He and McCoy beam over to Gorkon's ship to see what happened--Spock claims that since the situation is his responsibility, he should go, but Kirk points out that it can now be Spock's responsibility to get them OUT of this.
They find Gorkon, barely alive. The surgeon was one of those killed in the attack, so McCoy attempts to save Gorkon alone. Unfortunately, his knowledge of Klingon anatomy is minimal, and Gorkon's wounds are too great. Gorkon motions to Kirk, and whispers, "don't let it end this way..." and then dies. Chang promptly arrests Kirk and McCoy for Gorkon's assassination.
Spock, upon hearing of this from Uhura, promptly assumes command and calls to Starfleet for instructions. He begins an investigation to see what might have really happened, and appoints Valeris to lead it. The Federation's president is appalled by this, and equally appalled at the concept of allowing the trial to go through, but both Sarek and Nanclus (the Romulan ambassador) concur with the Klingon ambassador's interpretation of the legalities of the situation.
Azetbur, appointed Chancellor in her father's place, tells the President that she still wants to go ahead with the negotiations--but in one week, and at a neutral site, to be kept secret for the moment. She has one condition: they will not extradite Kirk and McCoy, and any attempt to rescue them would be considered an act of war. She informs her counselors of this, but says that Kirk will pay for Gorkon's death...
While the investigation on the Enterprise continues (rather fruitlessly), and Uhura claims fictitious ship malfunctions to Starfleet Command [which has ordered them back], the trial begins. Chang serves as the attorney for the prosecution; Kirk and McCoy are defended by one Colonel Worf. Chang's presentation is devastating--he uses Kirk's own log entry ["I've never trusted Klingons..."] against him, as well as his demotion for "insubordination", and even his middle name, Tiberius. He brands McCoy as an incompetent, due to a combination of age and drink... and perhaps by design. By the end, the entire court is calling for Kirk's head. The judge finds them guilty as charged--but in light of the peace talks, commutes the sentence of death to permanent slave labor on the asteroid of Rura Penthe, without parole.
Spock continues his investigations, and notes that the torpedo hit definitely came from their direction. But since every torpedo has been visually accounted for [despite the databanks' insistence that two shots were fired], he submits that it came from something just beneath them: a Bird of Prey, that unlike others can fire when cloaked. Unfortunately, they have no evidence, and cannot inform Starfleet Command of this without being labeled as nuts. Spock realizes, however, that the killers must have beamed over from the Enterprise, given the altered databanks--and orders a full-scale search for two pairs of magnetic boots, appointing Valeris to lead the search.
Kirk and McCoy arrive at Rura Penthe, where they're told by the "warden" that the only punishment is being exiled to the surface of the planet, where the temperatures are so low that nothing can survive. Further, the only barrier is a magnetic shield that prevents sensors or transporters. They're taken down into the mine, where Kirk quickly meets Martia, a savvy alien who lets him know there's a reward out for their deaths.
Spock's investigation goes nowhere quickly. It is determined, however, that the boots could not have been left on board Gorkon's ship [if they had, the killers would have floated off the pad], or vaporized [ship's sensors would have set off an alarm for phaser fire of that magnitude]. The calls for Enterprise's return grow louder, and Spock convinces Mr. Scott to get to work "fixing" the warp engines. Meanwhile, Kirk survives a fight with an alien twice his size, and Martia tells him of an escape attempt. They make arrangements to meet later to discuss it.
One gravity boot is found, but in the locker of a yeoman whose anatomy is such that he could not possibly have worn them. The search continues--and Chekov finds traces of Klingon blood in the transporter room. The search then expands to include all uniforms, which are to be searched for all traces of Klingon blood.
Kirk and McCoy discuss the future, and the possibility of peace in their bunks. Suddenly, Martia appears and tells them she knows of a way out from under the shield--but then it would be up to Kirk to get them off the surface before they freeze. She tells them to meet her in one of the mine shafts the next morning, kisses Kirk, and leaves.
Sulu receives a request for Enterprise's whereabouts, and feigns ignorance. Meanwhile, Kirk and McCoy find Martia [or rather, her voice--she appears to have changed form] and follow her. She changes forms several times more, this time in front of them, and they make their way to the surface. They eventually emerge and seek some form of shelter outside the shield.
The Enterprise picks them up on sensors [Spock put a tracer on Kirk's back just before he beamed over, in preparation for just such an eventuality], and Spock orders best speed to Rura Penthe. However, it's deep inside Klingon space, so the crew try to speak Klingon as best they can to get past the monitoring stations.
Martia explains she's a shapeshifter to Kirk and McCoy, and tells Kirk it's time for his part of the bargain. Kirk responds by punching Martia, realizing that she's a plant out for their deaths. She admits this, saying that although an accident would be suspicious for both of them, death during an escape attempt would do nicely--and she suddenly shifts into Kirk's form. The two fight, only to be stopped by the warden and his guards. He kills Martia-Kirk, saying "no witnesses". Kirk persuades him to tell them who's behind this, seeing as they'll die anyway. The warden decides to do this--and then the Enterprise transporter beam brings the two up before they get the chance.
Scotty finds the bloodstained uniforms in an air-vent, and rushes to Spock wtih them--but at just that moment, Spock and the others stumble upon the bodies of two men. Coincidentally, those are the same two men who belong to the uniforms, which leaves everyone back at square one. Kirk, quickly brought up to speed, takes Spock aside to suggest a strategy.
Shortly thereafter, a court reporter is ordered to sickbay to take statements from the two men. Kirk reasons that the killer will come to sickbay to try again.
A shadowy figure enters the darkened sickbay. It approaches one of the beds--and Spock turns on the light from where he's lying, to see Valeris's face. She refuses to shoot him, and she's taken to the bridge.
Chang receives word of Kirk's escape and orders his vessel to the peace conference, there to lie in wait...
Kirk points out that they can prove her guilt, and mentions how his log entry was used against him--the entry he made just before she made her presence known at his door. She, in turn, accuses all of them of betraying the Federation. She says Klingons cannot be trusted--and that Kirk said so himself.
Kirk wants names. Valeris refuses to give them. Spock takes the information from her forcibly, via mind-meld. The three principal conspirators: "Admiral... Cartwright", "General... Chang", and Nanclus, the Romulan ambassador. She does not know the location of the peace conference, however [Kirk's convinced the conspiracy will try another assassination]. "Then, we're dead," says Scotty.
"I've been dead before," retorts Spock. He hails the Excelsior, where Captain Sulu sends them the coordinates to Camp Khitomer on a coded frequency. Kirk also asks that Sulu proceed as fast as possible to Khitomer, since he expects Chang's ship to be looking for the Enterprise. Sulu agrees, and wishes Kirk godspeed.
Kirk and Spock talk, briefly, and wonder if they've become too old to admit the possibility of change. The president of the Federation welcomes all the delegates to Camp Khitomer--and a Klingon with a briefcase slips out the back, all the while watched by Cartwright and Nanclus.
The Enterprise approaches Khitomer. They're about ninety seconds out of beaming range, when suddenly...
"I can see you, Kirk."
"Can you see me?"
Chang tells Kirk it's better this way, "warrior to warrior", and fires on the Enterprise, damaging it. Kirk orders the Enterprise to back off, puzzling Chang. After a couple more hits, Spock realizes that Chang's ship might be detectable via its "tailpipe"; on impulse, it's all just ionized gas of some sort. Spock and McCoy leave to "conduct surgery on a photon torpedo."
The Klingon assassin at the conference cuts a small hole in a balcony window and begins aiming a phaser at the president...
The Enterprise is being pummeled, but the Excelsior arrives in time to give Chang a second thing to shoot at. Spock and McCoy finish their work just as forward shields buckle, and a torpedo of Chang's goes right through the front of the saucer. The torpedo is loaded, and Kirk orders it fired.
The torpedo is launched, and dodges and weaves erratically, homing in on Chang's ship. It impacts, revealing the ship. Both Excelsior and Enterprise target the explosion and fire repeatedly--and Chang's ship is torn to pieces.
The president continues his speech, when Kirk and the bridge crew beam down, phasers ready. They spot the assassin, and Kirk dives for the stage, ordering the president to get down. He tackles him out of the way just as the assassin fires. Cartwright orders their arrest; "Arrest yourself!", says McCoy, holding Valeris. "We've got a full confession."
Scotty finds the assassin and phasers him; the assassin plunges out the window. Uhura puts Nanclus under guard, and the fleeing Cartwright is captured by a just-arrived Captain Sulu and his men. Azetbur demands to know what this is all about, and Kirk picks himself off the floor, telling them it's about "the future". Azetbur thanks Kirk for restoring her father's faith--and Kirk says she's restored his son's in return.
Some time later, all are prepared to depart. Kirk extends his thanks to Sulu, who tells Kirk is was good to see him in action one last time, and asks him to take care. Starfleet orders Enterprise back to Spacedock... "to be decommissioned." All are pensive.
"If I were human," says Spock, "I believe my response would be... 'Go to hell'. If I were human."
"Course, sir?" says Chekov.
"Second star to the right... and straight on 'til morning."
Kirk dictates his final log entry: "This is the final cruise of the starship Enterprise under my command. This ship, and her history, will shortly become the care of a new generation. To them, and their posterity, will we commit our future. They will continue the voyages we have begun, and journey to all the undiscovered countries, boldly going where no man... where no ONE... has gone before."
Good Lord. That was tiring. Anyways, now on to the nitty-gritty. After all, most of you have SEEN that part, right?
Was it a GOOD film?
Yes. With only a few exceptions, I enjoyed myself a lot. The music was amazing, most of the acting was fairly good [with a couple of significant exceptions], the cutting back and forth between plots was done rather dizzyingly, but well, the FX were terrific, and all in all I had a fairly rollicking good time.
But was it a GREAT Trek film, a la "Star Trek II"?
I'll try to go through all this in chronological order, good and bad. Bad first:
Plot hole time. Okay, so Kronos [the homeworld has a name now... but not the one I wanted. Ah, well] has lost its ozone layer and has fifty years' worth of oxygen left. Scientific plausibility aside (I'm not worrying about that), this is a spacefaring race with a military empire, for heaven's sake. They can't simply go to one of their subject planets and MOVE there? They've got fifty years!
Somewhat generally, there were too many cute quotes and allusions. Some Shakespeare is good, and some of the usual "such-and-such was inwented in Russia" is fine. But the Vulcan proverb "only Nixon could go to China?" Spock saying Holmes [or Conan Doyle, take your pick] was an ancestor of his? Shakespeare in the original Klingon? Just a little much for me. [As a counterexample, though, the "second star on the right..." quote was used to superb effect, and many of Chang's quotes were as well.]
Okay. But let's get past the setup and into the main plot[s]. Valeris had to be the single most obvious suspect that Trek has ever known. "Hmm, let's see here. There's an assassin on board--who could it be. Well, Valeris is the only prominent major character, she volunteered to go on this mission, she always seems present at odd times... who ELSE is it going to be?" It's similar to the "Luke's twin sister" thing in "Return of the Jedi"--but THAT mystery lasted ninety seconds, and the revelation of the identity wasn't a crucial plot point.
(It didn't help that Kim Cattrall's performance was screaming "I am a lightweight!" the whole way through the film. One of the most unconvincing Vulcans I've ever seen.)
The assassination itself seemed fairly decent, but the violence seemed somewhat gratuitous to me. And we've seen Klingons bleed before; it never USED to have the color and consistency of Pepto-Bismol...
One element of the "mystery" plot also bugged me. Okay, so the boots couldn't have been vaporized because of the alarms. Valeris says "no one can fire an unauthorized phaser" on the Enterprise. Fine. Yet the two killers were killed by a phaser. Okay, lower setting--it's rationalizable. But if that's the case, Valeris's line was grossly imprecise and misleading, which is not a good thing to say about a Vulcan.
The ice planet scenes were on the whole pretty forgettable, unfortunately. I loved seeing W. Morgan Sheppard as a Klingon--he worked beautifully--but the Martia subplot was just kinda there, and the brawl was boring as hell. Too many old, tired clichés were resurrected here (Kirk romancing the alien-of-the-week, Kirk getting in a fistfight, Kirk's lip bleeding...). And, as a nitpick, why did Martia's voice not change when she shifted, except when she changed into Kirk? I mean, really. And the old chestnut with "well, you're about to die, so I might as well tell you all the answers" is something that should have gone out of comic books twenty years ago.
The Romulan involvement was unclear to me, and in my opinion should have been dropped entirely. There was no reason to bring in Romulans here at all--sure, they're a race that would want to screw up the peace. That's also an easy leap to make, and there's no reason to have them at the talks in the first place. And did Nanclus act alone? What WAS the position of the Romulan government? What was the delegation doing there? Nanclus's race had nothing to do with the plot of the film.
It was cute seeing Christian Slater as a Starfleet officer, but why call such attention to it? The scene had a point--showing Sulu's loyalty to his old captain--but there was no reason to cloak Slater in shadow apart from calling attention to him, from in effect saying "Look! Christian Slater's in this movie!" He's good, but he's not THAT good.
Am I missing something, or did Scotty just open that vent to find the uniforms completely out of the blue?
I have some ethical problems with Spock's forced mindmeld with Valeris. We're talking unequivocal mental rape here. It may have been necessary, and it may have worked--but I don't like it. Not one whit.
The tactics for the final battle were great to watch, but I've got one objection. This torpedo's tracking ionized gas, right? It's essentially "exhaust" from space vessels on impulse, right?
How did it know to go to Chang's ship, rather than Enterprise or Excelsior? An argument could be made that Fed and Klingon ships use different gases, but it seems unlikely to me that Spock would have intimate enough knowledge of Birds of Prey to know that and adjust accordingly--and without any overt mention of that in the film, I simply can't buy it. It looked great, and I applauded just as loudly as everyone else when it hit--but it left a little worm of doubt behind.
And the whole buildup to the peace, and Kirk's acceptance thereof, became meaningless. Look at the end. On the Federation side, what was sacrificed to bring this about? Nothing! Gorkon said to Kirk, "Don't let it end this way." He, as Chang correctly pointed out, ended up dying for his ideals. Gorkon's death may have converted Kirk's attitude, but I agree with Spock's voiced suggestion: the times have passed Kirk by. He is, in his own words from the very first Klingon appearance, "a soldier, not a diplomat"--and the time for soldiers is over.
So what would I do to improve it? Two major things would have helped a lot. And interestingly, from various rumours I ended up being exposed to beforehand, I think these are things that were both originally intended.
1) Replace Valeris with a better-known, better-motivated, and less obvious suspect. Her name: Saavik.
Think about it. Saavik was close to David as well, and so would be equally likely to hold a grudge [and being Vulcan, at least in part, that would be more of a shock]; but she's someone we already know. It wouldn't be the "the only new major character must be the guilty one" syndrome, because she wouldn't be new.
2) Here's where the controversy comes...
When Kirk got the president out of the way, and the phaser missed, it looked to all the world like that scene was a setup to kill him.
Do that. Kill James Kirk.
THAT would have been a true Federation sacrifice. And THAT would have been the capstone to Kirk's career. Spock died to save his ship; Kirk could have died to save the future. I've seen people write both that "Kirk lived a hero, he should die a hero" and that "the only Star Trek story worth telling is the death of Kirk". While I do not agree at all with the latter, I think the first one has some truth in it. This was their last, best, and only chance to kill Kirk off on-screen, in a meaningful fashion. And they missed it.
Right, that's the bad bits. Now the good bits, also in something faintly resembling chronological order.
The best element of this entire film can be summed up in its first seven words:
Captain's Log, USS Excelsior. Hikaru Sulu commanding.
All Riiiiiiiiight! Sulu, after so many years, finally getting both the command and the ship he wants [not to mention a first name :-) ]. Sulu's command is the true "Next Generation" down from Kirk, and what little of it we got to see seemed excellent. I wish we'd seen a lot more; we didn't see him interact much with his crew. But at least we have it.
Kirk's first argument with Spock was good [aside from the "Only Nixon..." thing I mentioned earlier]. Yes, Kirk was rigid. And inflexible. And downright pissed. He had a right to be.
I had an absolute ball watching both David Warner and Christopher Plummer. Admittedly, I'm biased--they're two of my favorite actors. [I said to a few people before the film that they could have two hours of Warner and Plummer reading the phone book and I'd still be reasonably satisfied.] Both made superbly convincing Klingons, especially Warner. (It was strange seeing him as a good guy, though, given past roles such as Jack the Ripper in "Time After Time".) Plummer played the same full-of-myself, slightly-off-my-rocker character he's played in a great many other places--but it's still fun to see. Bravo to both.
The music, as I said at the start, was excellent. Particularly striking, at least to me, was the opening sequence, and especially the music when Gorkon appeared on Enterprise's transporter pad. With that kind of music, you know the character you're looking at is unquestionably majestic. Splendidly done. Not quite ST2 level, but quite good.
Most of the performances aside from Kim Cattrall were good. Shatner was good when restrained properly; times when he weren't were typically most of the prison sequences, and especially, especially that Kirk-Kirk fight. I think Shatner lost the ability to go convincingly over the top as Kirk somewhere shortly after the third film; he hasn't managed it since, at any rate. But anyway, Nimoy was superb--as the LA Times review said, he seemed almost a tragic figure. (I found his "Logic... is the beginning of wisdom, not the end." to be an especially telling comment, and one which supports the idea that he's achieving a good synthesis of his two halves.)
While Valeris and Chang were obvious conspirators, Admiral Cartwright's involvement surprised me. That was well hidden--something which makes you think "of course!" after the fact, but which doesn't occur to you beforehand. At least, it never did to me.
The best part of the whole thing, really, was the last half hour--starting as soon as they'd GOTTEN the information from Valeris. The call to Sulu [and yes, I thought "I've been dead before" was a terrific line] and his unequivocal position on the issue, the assassin's preparations, Kirk being relentlessly pursued by an invisible foe, Sulu dashing in like the cavalry, Spock and Bones [okay, so I did wonder why Bones of all people was working on the bloody torpedo] working against the clock, Enterprise taking a beating, locating Chang's ship and destroying it, managing to save things in the nick of time... whew. It was dizzying, and a little overwhelming--but it's also something I'll be happy to watch a lot more. [And I can't have been the only one to wince in a major way when that torpedo waltzed right on THROUGH the hull...]
And despite the fact that I think Kirk should have died, the final log entry was very nicely done. Yes, it was sheer fourth-wall breaking. Yes, it was a bit corny. But I'm a sucker for endings like that. It gave me a very warm, very good feeling inside when I heard it. [No comments from the peanut gallery. ;-) ]
So, that's it. Should there be a seventh movie? I say no--at least, not with the big three. Their time has come, and it's been good--but it's over. (If they wanted to do a few films with Sulu and HIS command, on the other hand, I'd raise no objections there... :-) ). And while this may not have been the most dazzling, the best-written, the best-acted, or the best-scored film of the series, it was a hell of a nice ending note.
'I'm not going to give ratings my usual way, because I... well, because I just don't feel like it. :-) But all in all...
Good film. Not a great film, but a good film. Goodbye, Enterprise-A; you will be missed.
Tim Lynch (Cornell's first Astronomy B.A.; one of many Caltech grad students) BITNET: tlynch@citjuliet INTERNET: firstname.lastname@example.org UUCP: ...!email@example.com "If there is to be a brave new world, then our generation is going to have the hardest time living in it." -- Gorkon