By way of emergency beam-out, Scotty rescues galactic scoundrel Harry Mudd (Roger C. Carmel) and his mysterious passengers—women who have a hypnotic effect on men—but these people are all obviously hiding something. The plot centers around some dilithium miners who agree to purchase these women from Mudd in exchange for dilithium crystals the Enterprise needs.
Shatner's retrospective comment about "Mudd's Women" explains how "daring" the episode was for NBC in 1966, and how the fact it was even made remains a small miracle because of its implicit topics of prostitution and drug addiction. Well, maybe that's true, but that doesn't make it a good show. Carmel's amusing turn as Harry Mudd is fine and well, and attractive women have always been a Star Trek staple, but the story for "Mudd's Women" is simply not interesting enough to withstand the passage of time—assuming it was ever good in the first place. Given the episode's "payoff" of either choosing a beautiful but useless woman to hang perfunctorily at one's side, or a woman who cooks and cleans, the options seem equally unflattering today. Shatner claims this episode became a fan favorite, but not this fan's.