This episode was originally to be titled "The Sons of Socrates".
Eventually, McCoy is able to isolate and synthesise the environmental factor responsible for the Platonian's power and injects the Enterprise crew with it. They develop the same ability as the Platonians and use it to overpower Parmen, giving him the right to claim leadership of the Platonians. Alexander refuses to take the compound, expressing disgust at the idea that he might become any more like his comrades. Kirk offers to take him along with the Enterprise, which he gleefully accepts. Before leaving Parmen tells Kirk that he has come to realise how pointless his people's life has become, and how he hopes to make a change for the better. Kirk and Spock are sceptical, and makes it clear that Parmen had better be on his best behaviour since they now know exactly how to defeat him should it become necessary.
I'm not keen on the treatment of Spock here, either. Of course we have always known that Vulcans have emotions and must repress them because of their philosophy of logic, but this episode goes so far as to claim that expressing emotion will actually kill Spock! This is absolutely nonsensical, and it undercuts much of what we have seen of Vulcans. The whole point of the Vulcan tragedy is that they are so afraid of their dark side that they choose to repress all emotion, so missing out on the good side of them. But if this episode is correct then it's not really a choice at all - the Vulcan lifestyle is a necessity, since doing anything else would kill them all. The tragic aspect of the situation is almost completely negated by this approach.
What saves this episode from being really bad is the performances, most especially that of Michael Dunn as Alexander. He's a simply marvellous character, who has been surrounded by horror and abuse for over two thousand years yet rejects any suggestion that he might seek revenge - the very idea angers him, because he's quite simply a better person than that. Dunn is fabulous in the role, and he goes a long way toward overcoming some of the episodes other deficiencies.
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