While everyone aboard the Enterprise is forced to put up with bureaucratic hoopla, Kirk is stranded with a lovely blonde on a fake Enterprise. The episode — and you can look this up — was supposed to explore the issue of overpopulation, but they don’t actually do that til the end of the episode while the rest is just kind of riddled with issues of logic.
SPOILERS: For instance, if the planet is as packed as they make it out to be, then where the heck did they manage enough room for a full-scale replica of the Enterprise? (It would have to be full scale in order to trick Kirk into thinking the crew had disappeared.) Also, they steal germs from Kirk to infect the girl — Odona — who has volunteered to die/set an example to other citizens to get fatally sick/make room for their neighbors. Kirk saves/kidnaps-and-cures her which is supposed to make everything hunky-dory, but now they have to find someone else to volunteer to die first so others will be okay with it. That’s just poor handling.
So, yeah, the episode “deals” with overpopulation, but it isn’t satisfying so I tried to write a poem about their particular planet’s problem as from the perspective of “no end in sight.”
Shoulder-to-shoulder, face to face
there is but room to gasp for air
as life presses in every place;
filled with the tradition of fair,
even stars move slowly for fear
of snuffing out that thing most dear.
Eyes will see hearts that wonder how
to break the mold yet stay their vow;
those hearts beating their ears to deaf
so none can hear enough to think,
enough to know beyond the rink
there waits a time to leap — a clef.
It takes but one to move mountains
when hope follows, when it fountains.