Pope was the guy who let his crew rape women. I have to disagree that the episode was good characterization. It retconned Pope into a nicer person, but why is that desirable?
The basic problem is that the unthought out nature of space war is messing them up. They don't really know what comes next, because they can't figure out what the alien characters want. And that matters even when those characters are largely offstage. They'll never be able to figure them out until they've come up with a clear understanding of how space war could actually work. So they have to come up with arbitrary diversions like the baby.