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YMMV / Star Trek: Enterprise S01E13 "Dear Doctor"

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  • Alternate Aesop Interpretation: The Valakians are holding the Menk species in hovels and keep them as a Slave Race. Phlox's only comment is that on other worlds, the Menk would have been subject to a Final Solution. The plague being allowed to ravage the Valakians would free the Menk from bondage.
  • Broken Base: This is a strong contender for the most divisive Enterprise episode. Generally speaking, those fans who agree whole-heartedly with the Prime Directive tend to like the episode, while fans who are more critical of the directive (or at least how it was typically used in the latter stages of the Berman era) really don't like it. And in the middle, there are fans who do in general support the directive, but consider the episode a wasted opportunity for having Archer and Phlox behave like it already exists, rather than showing Starfleet making the kind of mistakes that could have resulted in the creation of the directive (something that even Star Trek: The Original Series had depicted, despite being in a setting where the directive had been established for decades).
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  • Narm: The foreshadowing for the Prime Directive officially becomes silly with the huge emphasis Scott Bakula gives the word "directive" while discussing a hypothetical future rule Starfleet will have. Some fans even found it so weird that they remembered him going even further and saying "a directive which is prime."
  • Never Live It Down: Phlox and Archer advocate genocide in this episode thanks to a complete misunderstanding of evolution. The fact that Archer even considered it a moral issue for deciding to let a species die cemented his Designated Hero status.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • The whole point of a prequel series was to explore a rougher, unrefined Starfleet still working out its kinks, but a potential conflict between Captain Archer and one of his officers is removed so as not to undermine the captain's authority. Where have we seen this before?
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    • Phlox and Archer find that a race is held in bondage to another one as well as kept from any sort of integration by a lot of dubious pseudo-science claims. However, the ruling class is the one suffering and to help them will keep them in power.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: The Valakians holding the Menk as a slave race that lives apart from them otherwise goes unexamined and is a large argument to why they have to go.