Also, to add one more good point. Kirk seemed more like Kirk in this episode, the first one felt more like a TNG script, with Kirk being a little too much like Picard. This was more a TOS story.
What struck me about this story, even if feeling it seemed a touch heavy handed, is that it felt like it could have been a TOS story. In 2014 it's definitely topical. In 1969 it might have been rather a hot potato to lob into prime time television. In 1969 it might have been done with more nuance. Of course, that said we also have "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield," but the heavy handedness of that was mostly visual.
The first STC episode could also have been a TOS story (if the idea had occurred to them), but it wouldn't have had some of the newer elements (space walk on the hull, the proto-holodeck and the Counselor). TOS had already done a followup story for a character with Harry Mudd yet that was comedy. In TOS' third season they returned to a more dramatic bent and so a "Pilgrim Of Eternity" type story could have been done. The only thing is it likely wouldn't have been done because the ending of "Who Mourns For Adonis?" suggests Apollo is no more, not that he's been teleported somewhere else. STC used that somewhat vague ending as a loophole to tell the story they wanted to tell.
What gets me, though, is how easily I can envision the original cast doing these two stories in their prime.