I think this is a good episode, but not great. The Offspring
took a second bite at this apple and overall hung together more solidly.
The main problem with TMOAM, as I saw it, was that it raised more issues than it could possibly answer. The resolution was therefore anticlimactic due to its triteness and banality; the fundamental questions were all left unanswered. Data was never in any real jeopardy, because he was a main cast member. Maintaining the status quo was an inevitability, and ultimately the extent of the judicial decision.
Raising the questions was a good—albeit obvious—thing to do. The episode just bit off more than it could chew. Even so, in the context of the surrounding episodes, it maintained the upward trend already underway in the second season.
dealt with the issue of dodging the fundamental questions by having the luxury of killing off Lal to resolve the dramatic tension; TMOAM was not in a position to take that out.