I think Spock was big enough to take some good-natured kidding.
The real problem with the ending was the television-related need for it to be upbeat after four men just died..."City on the Edge," "Catspaw," and "A Private Little War" got it right.
Agreed. That "Jackson is dead" line at the end of Catspaw
, to me at least, totally redeems a crazy episode.