MeloraBy Michelle Erica Green
Posted at January 12, 2004 - 4:11 PM GMT
See Also: 'Melora' Episode Guide
A wheelchair-bound scientist from a low-gravity planet comes to the station to participate in research, but the physical handicaps she encounters while trying to function in the relatively high gravity of the station puts her and others at risk. Bashir falls for her despite her restrictions, which vanish when she's in her own environment, and the pair make love in her specially-designed low-gravity quarters where they can hang from the ceiling and float on air.
But when the doctor attempts to reconfigure Melora's biology to Earth-normal gravity, she feels like he's trying to turn her into someone she's not. Since the adaptations would require that she remain in normal gravity forever - she would never be able to return to her home planet - she elects not to undergo the transformation, and leaves the station to continue her work elsewhere.
I expected this to be a politically correct "Differently-Abled-People" episode, but because Melora was bright, funny, and could order a mean Klingon dinner in a restaurant, the show wound up being about a person rather than a type. I enjoyed her discussions of romance with Dax, although Jadzia spends far too much time discussing dating.
But the lack of plot development and repetitive "I've fallen and I can't get up" scenarios dragged. It was impossible to believe in any real threat to Melora since she was always paired with a castmember whom we knew was not going to die, nor let her die. Although the low-gravity lovemaking looked interesting, I kept wondering whether Julian was going to get the bends. Might have been worth it.
As for the moralistic end - "Accept yourself as you are, and others will accept you" - nice Roddenberrian sentiment, but thuddingly presented.
Michelle Erica Green reviews 'Enterprise' episodes for the Trek Nation, for which she is also a news writer. An archive of her work can be found at The Little Review.