Dear Doctor

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

As Scrunchie and Phlox walk along the corridors, Phlox quizzes her on medical jargon. They get to the heart, which Scrunchie describes as "the seat of all joy and sadness." Of course, Phlox, channeling Data -- since this is attempting to mirror "Data's Day," or Data's relationship with that chick in "In Theory"-- explains that "physiologically, the heart is nothing more than a very efficient pump." He asks why humans should think it has any relation to emotion. Scrunchie chastises him, saying that he might know a lot about the "cardiopulmonary system, but [he has] a lot to learn about the human heart." Cue Louis Prima singing Jungle Book's "I Wanna Be Like You," as Phlox shows potential signs of starting down that well-trodden path of aliens/androids/Vulcans who attempt to embrace and emulate human emotional responses in The World Of Trek.

Thankfully, they have reached Scrunchie's quarters, but as Phlox tries to beat a hasty retreat, Scrunchie detains him; she wants to "thank" him for a fun night. Phlox says, "You're welcome," once more trying with the leave-taking. Scrunchie stops him again, saying that Sunset Boulevard is being shown the following week, and she thinks Phlox would like it. Gee, think it's a coinkydink that both Sunset Boulevard and For Whom the Bell Tolls are Paramount movies? Also, if they're trying to class up this show, forget it. Give me The Women and The Philadelphia Story and maybe we'll talk. "I'm sure I will," Phlox says, trying to leave AGAIN, but the ensign clasps his shoulder. Everyone who thinks Scrunchie needs to stop behaving like a particularly rapacious Venus Fly Trap, take a swig of Post Road. [Burp.] Phlox looks at Scrunchie's hand, which she removes quickly, saying, "Sorry, I forgot, Denobulans don't like to be touched." Billingsly does a good job of looking discomfited and attempting to hide it as he says, "It's all right, I'm trying to shed some of my cultural inhibitions." Of course, Scrunchie must take that as an invite, so she kisses him on the cheek before sashaying into her quarters. Phlox walks away and VOs to Doctor Lucas that he thinks Ensign Cutler might have romantic intentions toward him. "I can't be certain, however, the pheromones of human females aren't as potent as Denobulans'." See how he didn't actually say "female Denobulans"? Still hope for the "Queer as Spock" faithfuls, eh, NashVegas?

Outer Space. Enterprise stumbles upon a stray vessel. On the bridge, Quantum asks T'Pol if there are any inhabited planets in the neighborhood, in the neighborhood, in the neigh-bor-hood! Oh, who are the aliens in your neighborhood? They're the freakers that you meet, when you're walking down the street, they're the freakers that you meet -- each -- da-a-ay! T'Pol tells him, "There's a Minshara-class planet less than one light year away." When Hoshi hails and receives no answer, Reed tells all and sundry that the stray vessel is pre-warp. Now, where did I leave that amazingly dusty book called The Count of Prime Directive by Alexandre Dumbass? Ah, it's under this forty-ton cheese anvil. Reed also says that the vessel "could be unmanned," or that it could be a probe. T'Pol isolates two faint bio-signs, so Quantum orders the strange and potentially lethal vessel into a launch bay and alerts sick bay. Too bad they didn't notice that the name of the little ship was S.S. Typhoid Mary. Okay, not really.

Sick bay. Phlox hyposprays a bumpy-faced humanoid to consciousness. Quantum explains to the newbie that they found his ship adrift. The alien mutters a bit in his alienspeake until Hoshi properly calibrates the Universal Translator. Finally, it's all in English. The alien recognizes that Enterprise is warp capable, and tells the humans that he and three other ships left his planet, Valakis, more than a year ago, in order to find a "a more advanced people" who might be able to cure his species of a condition that has already killed off twelve million on his homeworld and from which he currently suffers. Bumpy Face says they figure those with warp drives have better medical plans, superior to the HMOs on Valakis. T'Pol notes aloud that his species has met other warp-capable people before. "The M'klexa and the Ferengi -- they've both visited our world. Do you know them?" Bumpy Face asks. T'Pol answers in the negative. Hmm, wonder where the Ferengi are hiding during Kirk's servitude. And it's odd that their mercenary natures didn't make Bumpy's species pay through the nose for a cure -- even if it was only a fake cure -- or for warp technology. Bumpy asks the Captain if he'll allow Phlox to help them. Quantum takes T'Pol aside -- but not really out of audio range -- and asks her opinion. T'Pol tells him that since Bumpy and friends have already met several -- and actually came looking for -- warp-capable species, the "risk of contamination seems acceptable." Since his opinion agrees with hers, for once, Quantum orders Phlox to get busy with his healing. Phlox looks less than thrilled. He looks downright worried, in fact, and VOs to Dr. Lucas that he's "been presented with a rather unusual case involving a pair of alien astronauts." Phlox continues, "It may not surprise you that they landed in my sick bay through an act of human compassion." I'm confused -- is there possibly supposed to be an overriding theme in all this?

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