My problem is more fundamental than that: it's a puzzle-box only because there's only one possible resolution, and there is no decision to be made which will make any difference except how long to delay the inevitable. As such, it's just a vehicle for histrionics. If Kirk had been put in a position where he was risking his ship and crew on the slim chance of saving one person, then that would have fixed it. As is, there's no changing the outcome ergo there's no drama except of the "melo" variety.
That's the unfortunate problem with the majority of the NV/PII fanisodes is that the stories often don't hinge on Kirk driving the action or making the tough decisions, and focus more on the guest stars.
In WEAT's case, George Takei.