So after much dithering I eventually decided to rewatch the episode Dear Doctor
. And promptly rediscovered why I disliked it so much.
Its not really the mangling of evolution which the writers seem to have confused with creationism (seriously nature does not select a species to die it does everything it can to help them survive) or that Phlox is so proud of Archer for choosing not to help a species suffering from a terrible fatal disease when he had the cure in the palm of his hand. The excuse that by letting the Valekians die out will allow the Menk to flourish or that the Valekians might discover the cure for themselves before they die out is total weaksauce. The whole point of the episode is that the Valekians don’t have the level of technology needed to develop a cure and the Menk themselves state within the episode that everything is provided for them by the Valekians so if the Valekians all perish the Menk are gonna be left without any famring/survival skills and a whole buncha technology that they cant reproduce or use properly.
But for me perosnally its more that the first half of the episode where we’re following Phlox during his day to day stuff, seeing his budding friendship with crewman Cutler, hearing his observations about human compassion, is quite enjoyable. If I were to judge this episode on the first half alone I would say it was great. Then they ruin it with the whole Menk might be better off without the Valekinas and we found a cure but wont give it to them stuff. Imho it would have been a lot better if they had never been able to find a cure, that the symptom suppressing vaccine thing was the best they could do and despite promising to help Enterprise was eventually forced to leave and continue their mission of exploration simply because they couldn’t stay at that world helping those people forever.
They took what could have been a great episode and totally ruined it. And yet that first half was good enough that im giving the episode 2 stars. But only the first half. The stupid second half gets zero stars.