I've always thought this episode was a dud. The A plot gives three slightly different versions of a story that wasn't that interesting the first time and some aliens that are poorly written and obviously full of crap.
The B plot never becomes a credible threat to pick up the slack. A few walls melt, but nothing of any real or even implied consequence occurs. Even just a mild radiation burn slightly worse than being in the sun too long would have gone a long way towards establishing some credibility.
And the only decent character moment has nothing to do with either plot, or even the main character of the episode.