Admiral Buzzkill wrote:
That's not so, because what's meant by "apparent reason" with regard to plot isn't a question of whether something can be defended in real world terms.
I'm not trying to define it based on real world terms. I'm defining based on what has been established previously in the "universe".
The "apparent reason" that Enterprise needs to surface is because they need to be in the air over the volcano for the transporter to work properly, and they've been submerged to hide from the locals. All of that is explicitly set up and stated.
The reason they need to surface is explained. What they don't explain is why they needed to hide a starship there to begin with. How they got down there without being noticed by the populace? Why they didn't use shuttlecarft for both ends of the mission?
It is one of the absolute coolest scenes in all of Star Trek. But I think it constitutes a plot-hole because it violates the rules of the universe and ignores the capabilities of the Enterprise as defined in these movies. YMMV.