Memory Alpha summary
|via Star Trek; we're not just green, you know|
The problem this time is a little like condensing "Amok" and "Brain" into one, Spock in a straight-up medical emergency that sends the crew scrambling to save him. I shouldn't need to point out that this is the third episode to focus primarily on Spock (after "Yesteryear" and "The Infinite Vulcan"), demonstrating a clear series preference for the character.
Beyond Spock, as the title suggests "Pirates" also features the enigmatic Orions, usually at that point best known for their green-skinned "slave girls," or for that surprise element of "Journey to Babel" in which they were saboteurs. In Deep Space Nine, two episodes ("Honor Among Thieves" and "Prodigal Daughter") focus on the Orion Syndicate, which might be considered an update of the eponymous pirates, how the culture in general tends to act when not dominated by their women (as revealed in one of several Enterprise appearances, "Bound").
As the image suggests, the episode features Orions who are not, in fact, green-skinned. This is commonly considered a production mistake. But obviously humans feature diverse pigmentation, and so do Klingons and Vulcans. If this series is to be considered canon at all, "Pirates" might as well be considered canon establishment of the same for Orions.
It's a fine episode that stays away from the weirder inclinations of the series and a strong link to the rest of the franchise, in various and surprising ways.
four quarter analysis
franchise * series *
essential * character