Star Trek Best Trek


In case you skip it...

This episode is a bit of a follow-up to “Fusion”, in which T’Pol was mind-melded against her will. It reveals a couple of things:

First, that due to the forced meld, T’Pol contracted a degenerative neural condition called Pa’nar Syndrome. Phlox has been treating her but has been unable to cure it and it’s likely to eventually kill her.

T'Pol and Phlox discuss her condition

Second, that mind melds are considered an unnatural practice on Vulcan and can only be initiated by a small genetic minority. Belonging to the minority and having Pa’nar Syndrome thus both carry a stigma, and even though T’Pol is not in the minority and received the condition by being melded against her will, word of her condition getting out could easily ruin her career. Plus, the stigma has resulted in an almost complete lack of research into the syndrome and there is no known cure.

It’s an obvious and heavy-handed AIDS parable that feels especially out of place with Vulcans, but T’Pol’s condition will come up again so it’s good to know about it.