Saturday, July 6, 2013


**** (4 stars out of 5)
Vulcan society is very closed minded about telepathic "melders", a shunned minority who dare to share their feelings. A small minority of this small minority catch the gay disease... Pa'Nar Syndrome... and the doctors "logically" don't bother to save them.

T'Pol caught sick from her coerced meld last year, and Phlox tries to get her some damn medical attention without betraying her confidence.

Dr. Oratt (ancestor of DS9's Ambassador Lojal, though I can't imagine a woman of any species who would mate with such an odious person) and his puppets on the Council of Physicians are going to punish T'Pol. Punish her in the worst possible way the writers can imagine. The one they've threatened us with several times before. Brace yourself: they're threatening to remove her from the show. (Pause for terrified wails.)

Meanwhile, Feezal, the second of three Mrs. Phlox's, comes aboard to adjust the knob on Trip's microscope. So to speak. She's sniffing around... but that's how Denobulans greet each other. Sniffing each other's faces. And the females have the same wide, WIDE smiles as the males. Probably from all the Knobs they get to Adjust.

If Phlox is to be believed, even their polygamous marriages are not exclusive. Which certainly explains why Feezal took no pains whatsoever not to hit on Trip right in front of her husband. And why Phlox is eager to share if need be. Trip does NOT need be, if it's all the same.

"Stigma" has the great Captain Archer retort: "Where I come from, everything's open for debate."
Archer claims human bigotry died a century ago, which is quite a feat for the war-ravaged 2050's to have achieved, but that IS part of this utopia I accepted. Humans got better. And Vulcans will get better too, clearly. Still, for a message story about sexual hang-ups, I didn't see any gays around, but I still have high hopes that they didn't all die in World War III. Or, as sometimes seems just as likely, from people not giving a damn.

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