The 'on its own terms' reference was to view the show in the context of its time, rather than knock it because they didn't use DNA to solve it. I don't consider the voice record comparison a red herring, any more than I would expect some ordinary body shot with a phaser set on vaporize to keep walking around afterward -- as setup and defined, it should have provided the answer, and it should not have been set up as THE answer if it was not. It should have been set up as something with the potential to answer the question, which leaves its failure puzzling instead of stupid. For me, with CONSCIENCE -- an ep that I had been hyped for by a couple of friends, and one of the later eps I caught, probably after seeing ARENA and DOOMSDAY and METAMORPHOSIS a couple dozen times each -- it didn't deliver on the premise in an engaging way. It might be due to the lack of scene time between Shatner and Moss, or maybe I have too much flinch at the 'I am TIRED!' line. (I wonder if this one was finished before Coon came on. I know it has some Spock/McCoy, but I think they've still got Spock not sounding 'right' yet. I'm one of the guys who kinda like the first dozen, but don't really dig the show till Coon leaves his mark with the characterizations.) It would mean throwing away the whole theater angle, but I think this kind of story would have worked better if it were a Garth of Izar-type, some hero of Kirk's, who was the did-he/didn't-he figure of the story. That way it would be as much about Kirk stripping away his preconceptions of the man as it would be about the stock-mystery itself. It would also suggest a tag that could have resonated nicely, something to the effect that playing God as a starship captain has the potential to warp one's perspective, given the great stakes. I guess just by virtue of having spent awhile thinking how the show could have been bettered means it couldn't have been that much of a turkey; I certainly wouldn't invest any time in making AND THE CHILDREN SHALL LEAD anything but shorter.