But in spite of the weaknesses of the framing story I think it's a compelling, dramatic episode. Pike in that chair is horrifying, particularly when the flashbacks start and you see him as he was before the accident.
Agreed, the episode isn't perfect but this is really why it works for me.
It's terrifying because it is something you can actually relate to. When I watch the episode I can actually put myself in the shoes of the characters and wonder what I would want in that situation. I think that is what makes it such a compelling episode.
However the whole thing about Spock's crimes doesn't really work for me when it is all brushed aside so easily at the end.
So the stuff with Pike is excellent to me but the stuff with Spock is somewhat of a disappointment.