When we meet Gillian, she’s already assistant director of the Maritime Cetacean Institute and has her goddamn PhD in cetacean biology… and she’s leading a tour group. Are any of her male colleagues leading tours? No. They’re probably off getting their research published. The girls always get the deal with the public jobs. But it’s cool, she won’t be leading tours for long.
“Many of the female whales are killed while still bearing unborn calves.” noticeable verbal emphasis on maternal rage without losing her cool. She doesn’t have to pretend to care about her job. Her passion and her career became ONE a long time ago.
She manages to tell Spock he just stated the obvious. “Whoever said the human race was logical?” leaving him silent. He’d feel like an asshole right now if he weren’t busy keeping a tight lid on his emotions.
Don’t you DARE go for a mind-meld dip in Dr Gillian Taylor’s whale tank without her permission because she will fuck you up.
She dismisses Kirk and Spock as “a couple of kooks” because after all, this is San Francisco, where anything kooky can happen and it’s no big deal. Then her belittling boss Bob calls her “kiddo” and she doesn’t slap him… yet.
…because if it did, she might not have compassion for Bob.
She gleefully refers to Starfleet’s finest as “Robin Hood and Friar Tuck”
She picks up Kirk and Spock on the side of the road but immediately lets them know not to try anything. “I’ve got a tire iron right where I can get at it”
Not pepper spray, not even a taser. A TIRE IRON.
“It wasn’t some kind of macho thing was it because if that’s all I’ll be real disappointed. I really hate all that macho stuff”
She calls Admiral Kirk “Farm Boy” with derision. Then she basically orders Kirk’s food for him. Which SHE PAYS FOR.
She refers to Spock as “That ditzy guy.”
When she starts to tear up about her career she swallows it with a sip of beer like a champ and shuts that down immediately as if she’s had a lifetime of practice in the art of Not Crying in Front of Admiral Kirk Types.
“Don’t tell me. You’re from Outer Space.” guessing pseudo-correctly on the first try. “Don’t tell me they don’t use money in the 23rd century.” Right again.
Kirk doesn’t even need to speak. She’s got this.
“You wouldn’t want to show me around your spaceship, would you?” Subtext: well then fuck off I’m a scientist. Bring evidence or don’t ask me for classified radio frequencies.
She slaps her patronizing boss real hard and calls him an S.O.B. rendering Bob speechless. What a great way to exit the century and your job at the same time.
She clearly spends the entire film not wearing a bra like a boss.
She handles realizing that Spock isn’t human with a respectful little nod. Adaptive to change and rolls with it without embarrassing herself by needing to mention it. This girl’s been ready for the 23rd century since she was born.
She HIJACKS A TRANSPORTER BEAM to fulfill her goal of leaving 1986. I can’t even think of anyone ballsy enough to hijack a transporter beam.
Kirk: “You tricked me.”
Gillian: “You need me.”
Nothing happened here but obviously she knew sitting next to Uhura was the best choice. Chicks before dicks.
These are her babies. Any woman can breed but this one channels her maternal instincts to protect endangered species. “Who in the 23rd century knows anything about humpback whales?” She hasn’t even been there yet, but Kirk can’t argue with it. What an amazeballs woman.
Gets soaked in the no bra and white sweater thing, while keeping things asexual, while engaging in silly camaraderie in the middle of the SF Bay, just one of the crew. Look at how much Uncle George Takei is enjoying himself. There are few we just saved the world scenes in nerdom this joyful, followed closely by Hobbits jumping up and down on a bed in slow motion.
She’s wearing LILAC… in the front row… next to Ambassador Sarek like it ain’t no thing while everyone else is in goddamn maroon. And she still manages to look totally scientific and fantastic at the same time. I’ve always wanted this outfit.
She thanks Kirk for allowing her to stowaway into THE FUTURE, then tries to GTFO. “You’re going to your ship, I’m going to mine” Subtext: let’s not get misty over this, Kirk. “Don’t worry I’ll find you.” Subtext: the ball is staying in my court where I like it.
“See you around the galaxy” KISS ON THE CHEEK. EXIT. What follows is the bemused face of a classic womanizer who just got abandoned by the gal he assumed would sleep with him for the favor of taking her and her whales three hundred years into the future.
This friendly badass started out in a job where she didn’t feel respected, took advantage of a time-traveling admiral and his ditzy friend to accomplish her goals, got the 30-ton objects of her maternal affection into safety, and didn’t even have to put out. Damn, girl. You are my Trekkie Gloria Steinem Hero.