With this episode, Melinda Snodgras ("The Measure of a Man", "Pen Pals") proves that even she can write a clunker. She wanted to make a statement about the U.S. immigration policy here, but the finished product part muddled mess and part heavyhanded preaching (along with the obvious resolution.) There are really two plotlines, with an A story dealing with a stereotypical Irish community and a B story (which is a little better) exploring issues of cloning. The limited budget of this episode does it no favors, though it has its moments (including my favorite, a reference to ""a diplomatic mission to Alderaan" in the 22nd century.) Mostly, however, this one's a yawner. Incidentally, the title comes from the expression, "Up the long ladder and down the short rope", an Irish rhyme popularized in a Tommy Makem song, "Are You Ready for a War?".
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