Yep. Picard was dogmatically legalistic whereas Nechayev was a pragmatic military officer. I think the episode is shocking because of this discrepancy between our intuition clearly siding with Nechayev and the revelation that our laws do not allow a trade-off between lives.
By the way, I forgot but did they tell Hugh about the virus idea and ask him whether he would sacrifice himself willingly?
On a sidenote, that his individuality proved to be contagious (at least for one cube) between "I, Borg" and "Descent" was a beautiful point of this story. The goal is not to kill the Borg materially but to undo their ideology. Borg ain't evil, their collectivism is. (The real world comparison is obvious, the USSR hasn't been invaded by us but crumbled from the inside.) This is the problem of post-FC Borg, unlike the fairly neutral Borg from TNG these zombie-like Borg play the Cronenberg card of bodily horrors.
Back to TNG, of course this beautiful peaceful revolution rhetoric was countered in "Descent" by the reminder that an ideology void can be filled by something similarly nasty.
Last edited by horatio : 01-28-2013 at 02:34 PM.