It's the last episode of the series!
And as it turns out, the third season saved its dirtiest trick for last. Throughout the season, the creators seemed to take every opportunity to challenge fans by flipping the script, or by simply seeing how far they could push things. "Turnabout Intruder," in fact, plays almost like the Kirk version of "Spock's Brain." Take that for what you will, but as with "Brain" this is not necessarily a bad thing.
In some ways, it's a very good thing. It's our opportunity to view the captain long stereotyped as a ladies man from the other side, quite literally, as a woman who felt betrayed by him in the past assumes control of his body.
In a lot of ways, it's a pretty standard episode, and by modern standards hardly fitting for a series finale, but there was no more way to know then that it was going to be the last one than it would've been after the second season, or first, whenever the series seemed in mortal danger.
To put Kirk to the test like this, though, is in hindsight clever and entirely appropriate. In the movies we would meet another defining love interest from Kirk's past, Carol Marcus. It's still weird to think that everyone Kirk knew before the Enterprise was basically an obstacle in his life. Most of the time he knew it. This time he didn't. In fact, he's the one who was the jerk.
Probably tough to see something like that explored about a character who is traditionally considered ideally heroic, and from the vantage point of someone obviously unbalanced (read: insane). But there you go.
And there the series goes!
four quarter analysis