Star Trek: Into Darkness satisfied my appetite for the heart and soul of Kirk/Spock fan fiction: homoeroticism in deep space. No, the words “boyfriend” or “lover” were never used. And no, Kirk and Spock never kissed. But that is only if we read what is on the surface. The subtext is far more interesting. (NOTE: This entire post is one big spoiler alert. Consider yourselves warned.)
The movie begins with the first sign of Kirk and Spock’s bond: an overly heroic gesture of love and commitment. Kirk jeopardizes the Enterprise’s mission—not to mention his crew—when he chooses to save Spock who is stranded in an active volcano. Spock cannot understand why Kirk risked the lives of many to save the life of one. At the end of the movie, Kirk admits that he saved Spock because Spock is his “friend.” Sound familiar? The word “friend” has been used as code to refer to same sex relationships or to state that someone is gay; remember “friend of Dorothy?” To say “he is my friend” functioned as socially sanctioned language used to reference a very loaded and stigmatic coupling. Yes, indeed, Kirk and Spock are “friends.”
The second clue that reveals Kirk and Spock’s relationship occurs when Carol Marcus, an additional science officer, joins the Enterprise. As a tall, thin blond she grabs Kirk’s attention and Spock notices. He shows his jealousy with a grimace, that typical raising of the eyebrow, as she takes a seat between Kirk and Spock on the Enterprise.
And the best example is of course last: Spock cries. Yes, Spock, the embodiment of rationality, breaks down and cries. The icing on the cake is that he cries for Kirk. He cries and he yells out in anger, emotions he was able to control and avoid when he thought he was going to die in the volcano and never see his girlfriend again. A random happening? I think not.