"Cogenitor"
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he would have felt this way had he not been the guest of the alien captain, become friends with him and had such a glorious first contact. Unfortunately, it smacks of hypocrisy or at the very least of a double standard.

The real tragedy here is that the cogenitor or Charles as it wanted to be known is treated as a non-person right to the end by its owners and even by Archer. Its pleas to Archer for asylum are rejected. The cogenitor having been returned to the alien ship commits suicide. Why? Obviously, it realized that it couldn't continue living as a virtual sex object. It wanted more but knew it wouldn't be allowed to have a life. Unfortunately, we don't get to see how its death affects the Vissians. Does it make them realize or at least consider that what they've been doing to this third gender is wrong? We do get to see Archer berate Trip for getting involved and interfering with the Vissian culture however. It's not a satisfying ending but does leave the viewer thinking and this is what makes the episode good. There's no easy resolution to the moral dilemma presented. The fact that the cogenitor is sentient makes it all the more difficult.

By all appearances, this species appears to be so advanced and enlightened and yet it is a society that treats its third gender or 3% of its population as brainless slaves and essentially disposable beings. It boggles the mind. On the one hand they appear to be decent people and yet when it comes to the cogenitors, they are clearly selfish, heartless beings. I really don't like them in spite of how "nice" they seem to be. In fact it's this "niceness" that gives them an underlying creepiness considering their treatment of the cogenitors. The interesting thing is that the humans are less advanced technologically and less experienced in space travel than the Vissians yet the aliens treat the humans as equals while at the same time treat their own as slaves. It doesn't make sense. The only thing that would explain it is that if this third gender had lives of their own they would not want to be cogenitors in the first place. But Charles does appear to be very intelligent which implies that it could be reasoned with. As cogenitors seem to be a rare commodity perhaps it would endanger the species' existence if they were to decide not to help in the reproduction cycle but then again it would mean their eventual demise also. Considering this and the fact that the cogenitors are equally intelligent it implies that they would be able to understand the need to help with reproduction.

I found the scene where Archer talks to the couple and the captain somewhat lacking. Why wasn't Trip there? Why wasn't he given the chance to explain why he helped the cogenitor? It would have made for some interesting interaction to see how the Vissians would have answered him. Archer accepts the "but you don't know our culture" argument but that still doesn't justify treating a sentient being in this manner. The alien captain states that Charles couldn't possibly understand what Trip was trying to tell it. Archer explains that the cogenitor is just as intelligent as they are but his argument is too easily dismissed. I do hope we get to see them again and hope that the suicide somehow affected the Vissian captain played by the wonderful Andreas Katsulas (Babylon 5's G'Kar and TNG's Romulan Tomalak) and causes him to reassess his views of the cogenitors.


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