Re: what if Kirk called the Metrons out on their hypocrisy?
METRON: I am approximately fifteen hundred of your Earth years old. You surprise me, Captain.
METRON: By sparing your helpless enemy who surely would have destroyed you, you demonstrated the advanced trait of mercy, something we hardly expected. We feel there may be hope for your kind. Therefore, you will not be destroyed. It would not be civilised.
KIRK: What happened to the Gorn?
GORN: I sent him back to his ship. If you like, I shall destroy him for you.
KIRK: No. That won't be necessary. We can talk. Maybe reach an agreement.
METRON: Very good, Captain. There is hope for you.
Allow me to summarize this (which I frankly find rather confusing):
- The Metron makes it clear that "you" (Enterprise and Gorn ship) will not be destroyed because Kirk demonstrated "a trait of mercy" (destroying the Enterprise would reveal the Metrons don't have that and make them inferior) and did not want to kill the Gorn (destroying the Gorn ship would reveal the Metrons to be inferior to Kirk and they will not loose face)
- The Metrons nevertheless confess that they lied, as they would have destroyed both ships had the Gorn managed to kill Kirk (apparently lying is civilised but ignoring a show of mercy is not? )
- Although Kirk had apparently passed a character test (I will not kill) the Metrons nevertheless tempt him again (or test his intelligence): "If you like, I shall destroy the Gorn captain for you." I don't want to imagine what would have happened next, had Kirk said "Go ahead!"
"The first duty of every Starfleet officer is to the truth" Jean-Luc Picard
"We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them." Albert Einstein