Re: Dear Doctor... How could you do this?
Don't quote me on this, it's been awhile, but as I recall Phlox was basically supposed to be at odds with Archer over the situation. Instead of them both shaking hands and being cool with genocide. Archer was supposed to want to save the people and Phlox would be holding himself to the equivalent of a prime directive. (Not in so many words.)
At the very least, this would have been an improvement, because we would have gotten something out of it other than a pat ending. Namely, some good conflict between Archer and Phlox that would have (had the writers made use of it that is) resonated throughout the following episodes. Something potentially interesting.
GoRe Star wrote:
That would've made Archer more sympathetic to me and less of a bonehead. There's just no saving Phlox as he cheerfully writes in his letter his moral justification for letting all those people slowly die.
But Trek really does bend the arm of coincidence with everyone always backing the captain no matter what they do. Not only does that deprive an episode of good drama, but it turns the characters into two dimensional caricatures and over long periods of exposure, into Chakotay.
I'm not sure I like the original idea either.
As I stated earlier, this episode was supposed to be a "prime directive" episode. Archer's action regardless of why didn't prove the need for one at all. For all we know, they found the cure next month.
He should have helped, and the consequences should have been grim, Phlox's cure should have backfired or had side effects. (or something like that)
“We have to learn again that science without contact with experiments is an enterprise which is likely to go completely astray into imaginary conjecture.”
- Evolution of the Solar System, NASA 1976, H. Alfvén & G, Arrhenius, p. 257.