Shadows of P’Jem: Whistleblower from Vulcan

You know what’s hilarious about this episode? The writers again intended to crap all over Vulcans for being self-righteous, but — compared to America’s history with whistleblowers such as Snowden — they’re logical enough to know when to stop demonizing one of their own for doing the right thing. But it was just a little too clean, a little too logical.

Earlier this season we watched as T’Pol had her heart just the littlest bit broken when it was discovered that a Vulcan monastery was being used to spy on Andorians, an act in violation of their treaty. She understood the logic of her government, and she knew that logical exceptions can set dangerous precedents. So she outed them.

When a government has secrets, anyone who reveals those secrets to those “not on the list” are punished for compromising security in order to discourage others from doing the same. It’s logical. Yet the Vulcan people are a people of learning and evolving.

Wouldn’t they know that punishing someone for whistleblowing doesn’t just discourage that action, it discourages all acts of doing the right thing? The very idea of punishing whistleblowing goes against the Vulcan philosophy of the needs of the many outweighing the needs of the few. It is the few in power who keep the secrets, those they should serve in their leadership will be the ones to suffer the consequences of such secrets.

The U.S. government loses its shit going after the likes of Snowden – people who don’t want to work for a government grounded in suspicion – even though they do the right thing. We as a society haven’t figured out how to maintain peace without secrets and suspicion. The fact is, we can barely maintain peace with them.

The Cold War ended when Russia’s economy crumbled trying to maintain their position in the whole mutually-assured-destruction scheme. Secrets don’t make friends as one of my sisters once chided to another. Secrets make for a lot of grinning-and-bearing it.

The writing of this episode’s end (with T’Pol damn-near guaranteed a kind of pardon) is too clean, too logical even for Vulcans. Too nice for a species that is still struggling with the issue of whether or not to punish someone for being a truly ideal, Vulcan citizen.