"Plato's Stepchildren." It just works for me while so many people dump on it. I think it works as a decent allegory for how the powerful and influential can become so decadent and manipulate and exploit the more common and less fortunate.
Just watched this and still like it. Several very nice moments with Alexander. Kirk saying "Where I come from, height, color, whatever don't matter." Alexander NOT wanting to be like the exploiters.
Yes, I know the embarrassing parts, but that is intentional and (I had forgotten) dealt with in aftermath with Spock feeling humiliated and furious: a good character moment reminding us how emotional Vulcans are beneath the training they undertake.
2. I really like Way to Eden, which I think is more reviled than Plato's, so Eden is my nominee.
I think your breakdown of the subtle message behind this episode is excellent. I'm no fan of it but the message behind it remains.
And it did have Barbara Babcock.