Planet Wide Plague

Story: Dear Doctor
Written By: Maria Jacquemetton & André Jacquemetton
Series: Star Trek: Enterprise
Year: 2002

This episode features Dr. Phlox more prominently than before, which is good...because I think he is rather interesting. This is the first episode to really let him grow as a character too. Billingsley does a good job overall.
In some ways I have a hard time with this issue the episode raises. There are two evolving humanoids on this planet, the more evolved and intelligent race is dying of a plague, the lower evolved species is not. Phlox discovers not only a cure but also that the lower species seems to be evolving in a way that they will probably someday be the dominant species on the planet. I get his stance, and I’m glad they gave some kind of medicine to the people, but I have a hard time permitting a species to die out because you assume that is the definitive evolutionary plan. Who are you to guess that?

A problem is that the Prime Directive was initiated because of mistakes that were made. This show made sure they never made those mistakes mentioned...they just come to the conclusion that they should really make up some kind of rule. It would have been far more interesting to see this crew making the very mistakes that leads to the rule being implemented.

Beyond the main plot, the character development for Phlox is pretty good. We get to see that Crewman Cutler has a crush on Phlox, that was interesting. We also saw Movie Night, which is actually a tradition on the ship I like, sort of like Enterprise’s answer to TNG’s Poker Night, or going to Quark’s or Vic’s on DS9. Seeing Trip crying like a baby during the flick was pretty funny.

Mixed episode. I enjoyed the character stuff for Phlox but despised the outcome of the plot.

NEXT TIME: Helping the Klingons