Dear Doctor

Episode Report Card
Keckler: C+ | Grade It Now!
Doctor's Day

Phlox has now arrived in the Mess Hall and is looking around at various crew members as he continues audioing, "And you'll be pleased to hear that the crew finally seems to be growing accustomed to an alien doctor on board. I must admit I wasn't planning to stay this long, but the opportunity to observe your species on their first deep space venture has proven irresistible." Reed dashes by, and Phlox tries to get him to have dinner with him. Unfortunately, the writers, being of the mind that they gave him too much face time last week, make Reed run off, not to be seen for virtually the rest of the episode. On the strength of that, I completely understand if you decide to stop reading at this point. Phlox VOs that "it's a bit daunting, at first, trying to socialize with the crew, form friendships, but our profession guarantees that sooner or later, everyone comes to see us. It makes interaction quite a bit easier."

Now we're back in sick bay, and Phlox is examining an upper G.I. scan. "It's just a little gastrointestinal distress," Phlox says, turning to Cpt. Quantum. Wow. I'd have thought that was a shout-out if they hadn't been so set on misdirection comedy. Quantum subsequently turns to the "patient" actually being examined. It's Porthos. Aww! "He hasn't been himself, lately," Quantum says with furrowed brow, as he ruffles Porthos's ears. Gee, must be all that cheese you're not supposed to be giving him. And because Phlox and I are just so making with the synching bio-rhythms, he says, "Well, you've been feeding him cheese, again, haven't you?" Phlox asks. "You've got to learn how to say no, Captain." Quantum tells Porthos, "No more dairy products. You hear that? Doctor's orders." You could stand to slack off a bit yourself, there, Cpt. Boursin. Phlox audios some more about being amazed how humans forge "such intimate bonds with lesser creatures." Hey, you just watch your mouth, there, Phloxy; I've got two felines here who attend MENSA meetings with the best of them. Okay, maybe just Poppadum does; Hunca Munca's really not that bright. "It's surprising what things you humans choose to invest your emotions in," Phlox VOs, as Quantum cradles Porthos and thanks him. Phlox tells the captain that Porthos was one of his "more cooperative" patients that day. "See all the trouble you cause?" Quantum asks Porthos as they walk out together. Hey, buddy? Don't blame the pooch; you're the enabler of this cheese addiction. Phlox audio-muses about the Captain anthropomorphizing Porthos because he talks to him. "Although I'm fairly certain it has no idea what he's saying. Then again, I've been known to speak to my Pyrithian bat on occasion," Phlox sniffs to himself.

Gary Cooper's extremely large face fills a screen as he modulates love to a dewy-cheeked Ingrid Bergman. Phlox and a flock of crewmen sit in a mini-theatre watching For Whom the Bell Tolls. At least, the flock watches the movie, whereas Phlox prefers to observe those around him. As Ingrid whimpers largely, Ensign Scrunchie-Face (tm Omar) passes Phlox some popcorn in a Pyrex baking dish. Much like the one I used to make Tollhouse Squares laced with malt liquor. Scrunchie-Face notices Phlox's inattention to the movie, and tells him they can go if he's bored. Phlox declines, saying he really wants to see what happens. "You won't be disappointed, the ending's classic," Scrunchie says. "Not the film," Phlox informs her. "I'm sensing a rising emotional undercurrent in the room [so, what -- he's part Betazoid, now?]. I want to see if it culminates in some sort of group response." ORGY! ORGY! Sorry, flashback from my college days. Oh, simmer down, Mom and Dad. Scrunchie divines that there are no movies on Denobula, and Phlox responds with, "We had something similar a few hundred years ago, but they lost their appeal when people discovered their real lives were more interesting." I'm glad my life isn't as "interesting" as some of the movies out there today. How shuddersome. Scrunchie comments, "It's nice to take a break from real life every now and then, don't you think?" Phlox shrugs, unconvinced. As Ingrid goes into a full-blown sob-o-rama, Phlox leans forward in his seat to scrutinize the person in front of him. It's Trip, and he's crying. I'd get all "awww" about it if he weren't such a twerp. He notices Phlox noticing him, and pulls the old "something in my eye" excuse. Luckily for him, Phlox doesn't try to hypospray him, but just sits back in order to VO, "It's remarkable, Doctor, even fictional characters seem to elicit human compassion [wow, should he visit my forums and see what sort of 'human compassion' certain fictional characters 'elicit'-- panty bulges, indeed!]. My shipmates have calmly faced any number of dangers and yet a simple movie brings tears to their eyes." The camera pans to show Phlox's shipmates clutching at their throats, dabbing their eyes, and in various other phases of soppiness.

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