In the season two episode of Star Trek, “Wolf in the Fold”, they discover that there is a non-corporeal entity that has been going around the galaxy committing murders for a very long time. During their investigation, they discover evidence to implicate the Argelian chief city administrator Mr. Hengist.

In the end, they transport him out into space to eventually die, but before they got him to the transporter room, the entity had jumped from person to person. It was simply by chance that it jumped back into Mr. Hengist before they caught it and transported it into space. Just a moment earlier, it was in the prefect Jaris, and before that, it was in Scotty several times.

It seems arbitrary that they chose to kill it instead of trying to contain it and try to find a way to extract it from Mr. Hengist.

This scene made me pretty mad because it was really selfish and callous. Would they have jumped to beaming Scotty out into space or bothered to try to extract it?

Did I miss something like that Mr. Hengist never existed and it was just the entity in disguise the whole time, or did they really just kill him without even trying to get it out?

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    I haven't seen the episode in ages, but wasn't Hengist dead? - When the entity left Hengist's body, wasn't it diagnosed "dead" by McCoy?
    – Oliver_C
    Nov 29, 2013 at 22:46
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    @Oliver_C, ah yes you’re right! I just checked and earlier, Kirk punched him and Bones said he’s dead, to which Jim replied “that’s impossible” (because it seems odd that he could have died from a single punch). I guess either Mr. Hengist really wasn’t a real person (just a projection) or maybe he had been weakened by the entity. I forgot he was dead because he/it was laughing when they dragged him to the transporter pad. Nice catch. Feel free to post it as an answer.
    – Synetech
    Nov 29, 2013 at 22:54

2 Answers 2


As this review by the A.V. Club says:

... this alien creature is called a Mellitus that can possess people and lives off of fear. It's been traveling the galaxy on a killing spree for centuries, and it landed on Argelius because everybody was so happy, and ripe for gutting.


Kirk figures out that Hengist has a connection to the entity, and when Hengist tries to escape, Kirk punches him out. He was dead all along, possessed by the creature...

Beaming Hengist into space was less of a moral problem, due to him being dead already.

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    The possibilities are: 1) that Hengist was a real man who was possessed by the entity, that his body died when the entity left, and revived when the entity reentered, and that the living body, the mind of Mr. Hengist, and the entiy were all three killed in the beamout. 2) that Hengist was a real man who was possessed by the entity and his mind and personality were killed by the entity at the time of possession, so only the bodyand the entity were killed by the beam out, and 3) that the entity made the body, creating a false identity as Hengist and so only the body and the entity died. Feb 25, 2018 at 18:09
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    Oliver_C The review of the A.V. Club is wrong. The Mellitus are beings on Alpha Majoris One that can change from gaseous to solid state, that are discussed as proving that the powers of the entity are possible. The Jack the Ripper entity was not a Mellitus, it came from Earth and spread out to other worlds as humans expanded. Feb 25, 2018 at 18:18

In the episode, Hengist had recently arrived at the planet having prior served at anpther location ("Rigel Colony"??). The creature (not a Millitus) traveled to the planet via hiding in Hengist as a means to get there. Allegedly there had been murders on the ("Rigel Colony"?) where Hengist had transferred from.

  • Hi, welcome to Movies & TV. The question wasn't about the history of Mr. Hengist, it was why the Enterprise crew decided they needed to kill him instead of trying other means to dispose of the entity possessing him.
    – DavidW
    Jul 23, 2023 at 20:34

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