I watched this series as it aired way back when and am watching it again now. I just saw this episode. I wanted to get your thoughts on this one.
The gist is this: The crew of the Enterprise encounter a species that has 3 genders. Male, Female, and cogenitor. Basically, the only purpose of the cogenitor is to participate in procreation as they provide something to a Male/Female couple needed to conceive (Phlox surmises it is an enzyme of some kind). They make up about 3% of the population and are assigned to a couple until they conceive and then they are assigned to another couple. And that’s their life. They don’t get a name, an education, any kind of life of their own. They just get passed from couple to couple until their service life is done. They didn’t go into what happens to them once they are no longer able to provide this service.
Trip (chief engineer) finds the treatment of the congenitor to be “not right” and takes it upon himself t teach the cogenitor that he met to read and to want for more. Then the cogenitor asks for asylum on Enterprise because they don’t want to live like they were anymore. Archer evaluates the situation and decides to send the cogenitor back. The cogenitor ends up committing suicide rather than continuing life like they were. Trip feels guilty. Archer is angry.
What do dopers think?