The Enterprise investigates a planet visited 100 years ago by the U.S.S. Horizon. Kirk, Spock, and McCoy beam down and find themselves in a culture similar to Earth gangs of 1920 Chicago. They are quickly taken prisoner by men in the employ of a mob boss named Bela Oxmyx, who wishes them to give him phasers in exchange for "a piece of the action." When they refuse, Oxmyx puts them under guard. Kirk creates a diversion with a card game called "fizzbin," but without their equipment, the trio must find a way to unite the planet and escape to the Enterprise alive. Written by
Did You Know?
Marvel Comics published a sequel story to this episode as part of their Star Trek: Unlimited series. The story, "A Piece of the Reaction" featured the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise-E (from Star Trek: First Contact
(1996)) returning to the planet to discover that its society had in fact gone on to model itself after 23rd Century Starfleet, thanks to the communicator McCoy left behind. The planet is now led by the tough kid Kirk and Spock met in the street, who wishes to hijack the Enterprise-E and finally gain command of a starship, just like his idol, James T. Kirk. See more
When Kirk is explaining the rules to the made-up game of Fizzbin, he says that two Jacks are half of a Fizzbin, but if he got a third Jack he would have a Shronk and would be disqualified. He then turns over the next card - a third Jack - and exclaims how 'lucky' the other player is to get this. Suddenly, it is now a good card and the other player seemingly doesn't remember hearing a few seconds earlier that receiving a third Jack would disqualify him. However, as Kirk is improvising the game as he goes along, it is equally likely that Kirk (in character) simply forgets his own rules, which makes the scene even funnier. See more
Now, listen, sweetheart, the Federation's movin' in. We're takin' over. You play ball, we'll cut choo in for a piece o' de pie. You don't, you're out - ALL de way out, you know what I mean?