(written from a Production point of view)
|ENT, Episode 2x26|
Production number: 052
First aired: 21 May 2003
|←||51st of 97 produced in ENT||→|
|←||51st of 97 released in ENT||→|
|←||680th of 728 released in all||→|
| Written By|
Rick Berman & Brannon Braga
|April 24th, 2153|
|←||Arc: Temporal Cold War (8 of 13)||→|
|←||Arc: Archer's trial by the Klingons (3 of 3)|
After a devastating attack on Earth by an alien probe of unknown origin, Enterprise is recalled and sent into a strange expanse on a new, more vital mission. (Season Finale)
High above the planet Earth, an alien probe seemingly appears out of nowhere. The probe descends toward the planet below and comes to a stop above Earth's atmosphere. It fires an energy blast at the western continents from Florida, North America, to Venezuela, South America that cuts a swath of destruction across the planet's surface. When its task is complete, the probe self-destructs, with one component falling towards Earth.
On the Klingon homeworld, Qo'noS, in an organized gathering inside the Klingon High Council Chamber, the Council meets with Duras, son of Toral. The Klingon Chancellor is infuriated that Duras allowed Starfleet Captain Jonathan Archer to escape from imprisonment on two occasions. As a result of his failure to permanently secure Archer, Duras was dishonored by the Klingon Empire. When the Chancellor informs Duras that the High Council is providing him with a chance to regain both his command and his honor, Duras assures the Council he will succeed.
In the briefing room aboard the NX-class starship Enterprise, Archer solemnly tells his senior staff the news that a probe has attacked Earth and cut a swath 4,000 kilometers long between Florida and Venezuela. Enterprise has been recalled by Starfleet Command. Although the journey back to Earth will be long, Helmsman Travis Mayweather complies with Archer's instruction to set a course for the planet at maximum warp.
Worried about his younger sister, Elizabeth, an architect who lives in Florida, Chief Engineer Charles "Trip" Tucker enters the Captain's ready room. Unfortunately, Archer has not been told the specific areas of the American state the probe attacked. Subcommander T'Pol enters the room and reports that a Vulcan transport found a pod from the alien probe in central Asia. The transport brought the pod to Starfleet Headquarters, where it was studied. Starfleet has discovered that the probe was operated by an unidentified pilot, who was killed on impact.
While the officers continue to discuss the situation, eight Suliban vessels approach Enterprise at high warp and surround the ship. On the bridge, Lieutenant Reed activates the tactical alert, but three Suliban soldiers board Enterprise and kidnap the Captain. They take him to one of their ships, where Archer meets with his arch-nemesis, Silik. Archer accuses him of the attack on Earth, but the Suliban agent claims he was not involved and has no knowledge of the incident. Instead, Silik takes the Captain to his leader – a man from the future who can only project his image through time and not participate in events directly.
In a temporal communications chamber, the figure claims that the alien probe was launched by a race known as the Xindi, who were told that their homeworld would be destroyed by Humans four hundred years in the future. The figure explains that the Xindi were informed of their planet's annihilation by another faction in the Temporal Cold War that can communicate through time. According to the mysterious figure, the probe was only a prototype for a much bigger and more powerful weapon that the Xindi are currently building. They plan to use the weapon to destroy Earth and eradicate the Humans before they can cause the destruction of the Xindi planet. The figure implies that, in his time period, history does not record Earth's destruction in the 22nd century. However, if the planet is destroyed, the disaster will contaminate the timeline.
The Captain is soon returned to his ship, where he tells T'Pol of the figure's story. The Vulcan doubts the recounted explanation but Archer asks for her support. He fears that her skepticism could lead him to mistrust the man, who might be telling him the truth.
- "Captain's starlog - April 24, 2153. The journey home has been very difficult. We've now learned that over seven million people were lost."
On Enterprise's bridge, Ensign Mayweather sees Earth's sun, Sol, on the main viewscreen. He shows Archer the spectacle shortly before Lieutenant Reed notes that a ship has dropped out of warp nearby. T'Pol is unable to identify the craft, which opens fire on Enterprise.
As the battle proceeds, T'Pol finally identifies the attacking ship. Since Enterprise loses both forward phase cannons, Archer orders the deployment of spatial torpedoes but the weapons cause insignificant damage. The Klingon ship retaliates with a destructive volley of torpedoes that detonate on contact with Enterprise's starboard nacelle, causing plasma to leak out into space.
When the Klingon ship sends a message to Enterprise demanding Archer's personal surrender so that honor may be regained, the Captain realizes that Duras is commanding the Bird-of-Prey.
Suddenly, a series of explosions erupt on the Starfleet vessel's bridge as the ship's nacelles are crippled. Seizing his opportunity to secure Archer, Duras issues orders to stop the attack and to prepare a boarding party. However, three Earth vessels, including the starship Intrepid, suddenly appear and destroy the Klingon ship's third and fourth disruptor banks. In furious frustration, Duras reluctantly withdraws from the battle.
As Enterprise orbits Earth, T'Pol, Hoshi Sato, Mayweather, Archer, and Reed contemplate the devastation that the alien probe caused. The officers gaze dishearteningly at the burned zone on the main viewscreen. Commander Tucker, wracked with worry, diverts his attention away from the image.
In Starfleet Headquarters on Earth, Admiral Forrest and Vulcan Ambassador Soval notify Archer that both Starfleet and the Vulcan High Command doubt the mysterious figure's story. The Captain urges Forrest to assign Enterprise the mission of searching for the Xindi. However, Soval reveals that the Xindi's homeworld is in the Delphic Expanse, a dangerous region of space where many Vulcan ships have gone missing. Archer likens the area to Earth's Bermuda Triangle, but Soval adds that the region is also rumoured to hold several hostile alien species and inexplicable phenomena, and that in some areas of the expanse, even the laws of physics do not apply. The Vulcan is definite in his belief that the mission should not be authorized. When Forrest suggests that sufficient evidence may persuade Starfleet to authorize Archer's plan, the Captain admits that the mysterious figure provided him with proof.
The three men enter another room, where the wreckage of the alien probe remains. The Captain removes a concealed component from the rubble and uses the quantum dating function of two scanners to demonstrate that the component is from the future. Although Soval is unwilling to acknowledge the evidence, as Vulcans do not believe time travel is possible, Forrest states that he plans to talk with Starfleet Command, apparently believing the Captain's proof. With Forrest's authorization, Archer walks over to a secured freezer unit and looks inside. The unit contains a frozen alien corpse that the Captain analyzes with a scanner. When Soval asks Archer if he believes the alien is a Xindi, the Captain replies that he intends to find out.While Enterprise is docked in one of Earth's orbital drydock facilities, Archer enters sickbay. There, Dr. Phlox introduces the Captain to a male Vulcan doctor named Fer'at. The Vulcan is apparently present to analyze Archer's exposure to traces of pyritic radiation found in the alien probe. As Fer'at questions the Captain, Phlox uses a nearby console to access the Vulcan database. He is enraged when he learns that Fer'at is actually a psychiatric analyst sent to examine Archer's mental state, in hopes of discrediting his theory. Following Archer's instruction, Phlox leaves sickbay with Fer'at and accompanies the Vulcan to an airlock.
Meanwhile, Reed and Tucker visit the site of the alien attack. The two officers look out across a narrow valley where "the house" once stood. Tucker shows Reed where a nearby movie theater was, and recalls that he used to take Elizabeth there when she was a baby. Tucker solemnly states that Elizabeth would have contacted someone if she were still alive, believing that the fact she hasn't is proof that she died in the attack.
- "Captain's starlog, supplemental. After days of debate, Starfleet's finally informed me that we're to proceed with our new mission."
Inside an inspection pod, Archer and Forrest survey the starship Columbia, the second NX-class spacecraft to be built. Incomplete, the vessel is docked in one of Earth's orbital drydock facilities. Forrest hopes that Enterprise will have returned long before Columbia's launch in fourteen months. The Admiral notifies Archer that the new vessel will have the same armament as Enterprise, once the prototype NX-class starship is completely retrofitted. Archer reveals that he notified his crew of their new mission in the morning, although several officers have decided to leave the ship. When the Captain admits that he spoke to General Casey several hours ago, Forrest remarks that he was surprised at Archer's request for military personnel. The Captain responds that he doesn't have a problem with non-Starfleet officers and that security will be of vital importance in the Delphic Expanse. Although Forrest worries that the mysterious figure did not reveal where to look in the Delphic Expanse, or when the alien weapon will be ready, Archer believes that the figure warned him because Enterprise still has enough time to stop the aliens from destroying Earth.
Aboard Enterprise, T'Pol enters sickbay and finds Doctor Phlox. She asks whether he is sure of his decision to remain aboard the ship. According to the Vulcan, Crewman Fuller just informed her that a shuttle carrying two hundred snow beetles is on its way. Although Phlox suggests that the beetles might be for his replacement, T'Pol is certain that any doctor in Starfleet would be completely unsure of how to use them. The Denobulan smiles and asks T'Pol if she will also be staying on the ship. She replies that the Vulcan High Command has forbidden her from entering the Delphic Expanse. When Phlox asks T'Pol what she wants to do, the Vulcan states that she must obey the High Command. However, the Doctor reminds her that she has not always acted in accordance with the High Command's orders. Phlox contemplates their decision of whether to leave the ship, revealing that he found the choice an easy one to make. He believes that T'Pol will have greater difficulty in deciding whether to leave, as her choice will indicate her allegiance to Archer or to the Vulcan High Command. A female ensign enters sickbay, moving a large white case into the room. T'Pol thanks Phlox for his help and follows the ensign out of sickbay.
In the starship's armory, Reed shows Commander Tucker a stack of photonic torpedoes, advanced weaponry installed for the vessel's change of mission. The torpedoes have a variable yield and a range fifty times greater than the old spatial torpedoes. Reed tells Trip that three teams of security officers are working on adapting the torpedo tubes and have promised that they will have completed the task by the time Enterprise leaves spacedock. The lieutenant adds that he has to start integrating the weapons into the vessel's power grid. He then leaves the armory with Tucker.
Back in San Francisco, Soval shows Forest, Archer and T'Pol disturbing imagery from a previous Vulcan mission to the Delphic Expanse. Grainy imagery from the Vaankara shows Vulcans that lost control of their emotions. They are savagely attacking each other with their bare hands. Soval says that less than an hour after the transmission were recorded, the ship was destroyed, without "indication of malfunction or an attack". Despite Starfleet's acquiescence to Archer's new mission, Soval remains firm in his opposition.
Outside fleet headquarters, Soval has a private conversation with T'Pol. He discusses her imminent assignment at the Ministry of Information on Vulcan. He assumes that because the Vulcan High Command has opposed Starfleet in this matter, she has been de facto recalled. T'Pol, however, reacts strongly against being pulled from Enterprise. She argues that there is still a need for Vulcan assistance. As her words fail to sway Soval, she flirts with insubordination, saying that it should be up to her whether or not to stay on Enterprise.
After returning to Enterprise, Archer has one last conversation with Forrest. He informs the Admiral that Soval has given him permission to take T'Pol back to Vulcan on the way to the Delphic Expanse. Forrest wishes Archer luck on his mission. A few hours later, Enterprise departs spacedock with her repairs and upgrades complete.
Meanwhile, Duras detects Enterprise heading for Vulcan and tells his weapons officer to "charge weapons, and prepare to bring them online".
Act FourAs Enterprise hurtles towards Vulcan, Tucker and his Captain are sleepless in the middle of the night. They are sharing a drink to the past and future. They toast Henry Archer and his warp engine, which is now the major technology standing between the Xindi weapon and Earth's future. As they imbibe more, though, the conversation turns increasingly dark. They briefly touch on how much they're going to miss T'Pol, but Tucker quickly sees the virtue of her absence. No longer will they be tied to "that non-interference crap T'Pol's always shoving down our throats". Tucker and Archer agree that they'll do "whatever it takes" to spare Earth from annihilation by the Xindi.
Duras interrupts their discussion with a second attack. As Archer reaches the bridge, he gives Reed the green light to use the new photonic torpedoes. An initial, low-yield hit fails to shake their pursuers, so Archer tells Reed to bring up the yield. This second volley temporarily disables the Klingons. Archer believes that Enterprise now has the ability to make it to Vulcan space before the Klingon ship can catch up with them. He hopes that the threat of Vulcan reinforcements will be enough to make Duras break off his attack.
As Enterprise continues on course to Vulcan, T'Pol has a conversation with Archer in his ready room. He tries to remind her of all the problems she's had adjusting to life on board a Human vessel, but she dismisses his attempts to cheer her about the virtues of returning home. Ultimately, she announces that she intends to resign her Vulcan commission, and asks to remain aboard Enterprise. Archer is surprised, and wonders why she would be willing to throw away her career for Enterprise. She insists that he needs her at the science station. Archer considers her statement silently, then exits to the bridge. There, he moves to his command chair and orders Mayweather to alter course to the Delphic Expanse.
- "Captain's starlog – supplemental. We've been travelling at Warp 5 for seven weeks. The crew is anxious to begin our mission."
The Enterprise is now close to the border of the Expanse. The size of the Expanse, however, makes the area seem much closer than it really is. At a million kilometers distance, Archer orders Mayweather to enter the thermobaric clouds which mark the border at a slow impulse speed.
After travelling inside the clouds for six hours, the crew begins to express impatience at not making contact with anything on the scanners. Suddenly, they pick up three distinct signals, belonging to Duras' three ships. They open fire on Enterprise, but have difficulty hitting the ship due to interference from the clouds. Duras orders his ship to get closer to Enterprise to give his targeting scanners a better chance of success.
As the shots now begin to hit Enterprise, Tucker notes that Archer had said the Klingons wouldn't enter the Expanse. Archer points out that they aren't actually in the Expanse yet. He then puts the ship at full impulse to evade their pursuers. Tucker objects, citing the stress the clouds are putting on the intake manifolds. Archer overrules him.
Duras hails and orders Enterprise to come about and prepare to be boarded. Archer cuts the communication. T'Pol announces that she detects clear space close by. Because he now understands that Duras wanted Enterprise to come about to avoid entering the Expanse, Archer repeats his order to increase speed.Archer then wonders why the new photonic torpedoes aren't having the same effect they did in the earlier battle. Reed notes that Duras has changed the configuration of his deflector shields such that they're all concentrated on the forward section of his ship.
Archer then orders Mayweather to perform an L-4 maneuver, so that they can orient Enterprise toward the unprotected part of Duras' ship. In the meantime, two of the three Klingon vessels break off their attack for fear of entering the Expanse.
Now with just one Bird-of-Prey in pursuit, Mayweather is able to do a hard vertical roll, which neatly places Enterprise aft of Duras. Reed concentrates his torpedoes on the unprotected part of the Klingon vessel, and the craft is easily destroyed.
Enterprise emerges from the thermobaric clouds at about the same time, whereupon Archer gives a final order: "Straight and steady, Mr. Mayweather. Let's see what's in there."
"Our Science Directorate has determined that time travel is impossible."
- - Vulcan Ambassador Soval, to Captain Archer and Admiral Forrest
"To Henry Archer. I wonder what he would have thought if he knew his engine was going to help save the Human race?"
- - Tucker, toasting Captain Archer's father
"When I got this job, commanding the first warp five ship was about as big a responsibility as I could have imagined. Then we began running into so many... bad guys, and I had to start thinking more about the safety of 83 people."
"And now the stakes have gotten a lot bigger."
"Weight of the world, Trip."
- - Archer and Tucker
"It's not my place to disobey the High Command."
"Nonsense. You've done it before."
- - T'Pol and Phlox
"It's interesting, you and I, the only aliens on board this vessel. To go or to stay. For me it was a simple question of loyalty towards the captain, and the sad realization that he will need me now more than ever on such crucial mission. But for you, it's a more difficult decision. Does your allegiance lie with the High Command or with Captain Archer?"
- - Phlox, advising T'Pol on what to do.
"You need me, Captain."
- - T'Pol
"It would seem we're not going to Vulcan."
- - Archer
"Sure you still want to tag along?"
"It's only logical."
- - Archer and T'Pol
"Go to Hell!"
- - Archer, to Duras
- Captain's Starlog, April 24th, 2153. The journey home has been very difficult. We've now learned that over seven million people were lost.
- Captain's Starlog, supplemental. We've been traveling at warp 5 for seven weeks. The crew is anxious to begin our mission.
Scenes 43 -44
Archer walks the streets of San Francisco and enters a Chinese Restaurant. Talking with the host, Tommy, he notices that the place is a little empty because people are preferring to stay home since the Xindi Attack. Archer then asks about a woman, Tommy says that she is here but he is late.
Archer apologizes to her about his delay and she asks if he is on Earth because of the attack. Archer says nothing but she understands that the attack is the reason he's on Earth, and asks how long he will be home. He replies that he wishes the time was longer because was hoping to spend some time with her. She asks if Starfleet knows the identity and the reasons of the attacker. Archer says that little is known but not enough, and because of the attack, he will probably be gone for a long time – and reveals the name of the lady: Becky. Becky says that he has been gone for a long time before, and if she finds out that he has a girl in every space port… they kiss each other.
She says that he supposes that she will invite him to her apartment. Archer asks how his chances are. She opens a fortune cookie and say that he is lucky.
Archer enters Sato's quarters and notices that she is dressed in civilian clothes and packing up some things. He asks how the talk with her parents went. Sato says she thinks that she needs to brush up on her Japanese. Archer notes that the Enterprise got new upgrades for the universal translator. Sato replies that it can make things a lot easier. Archer says that the universal translator will never replace a linguist with a magical ear, but Sato thinks that her ear is not so magical. Archer, feeling embarrassed, says that is a matter of opinion.
Sato puts a book on the shelf, Languages of the Sub-Sahara, and Archer is surprised that she will leave that one here. Sato says she has not read it yet, and Archer asks why she's not taking it with her. Sato replies that she's sending the packed books to her mother to give her more shelf space because a lot has been written about alien languages since they left Earth, and the clothes are also going back to her mother because she thought it was time to upgrade her civilian clothes.
Archer laughs and reveals that he was thinking that she was leaving Enterprise before the Xindi Mission. Sato asks why, and Archer replies how she is an academic teacher… She interrupts and asks if that means that she is not capable of handling herself during the new mission. Archer tells her that was not was what he meant. Sato replies that she does not know what is inside the Delphic Expanse but she thinks that has proven that she can handle herself in difficult situations and that she can provide some help along the way. After her speech, Archer smiles and leaves her quarters.
- When completed, the episode came in ten minutes too long, resulting in the editing out of several scenes. A subplot featuring Archer's previously unmentioned love interest was removed entirely, while a scene dealing with Hoshi Sato's decision to remain aboard ship despite the risks was also cut.
- The episode marked the end of the second season of Star Trek: Enterprise, and the beginning of the Xindi arc in which the crew search for the Xindi weapon.
- This marks the first time photonic torpedoes are used on a Starfleet ship.
- This episode marks the final appearance of the Humanoid Figure a.k.a. Future Guy (James Horan) and the death of Duras (Daniel Riordan).
- Bruce Wright previously played Sarish Rez in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Crossfire".
- While Archer is digging through the wreckage of the Xindi probe, he picks up an item and determines that it's from the future. It truly is, as it is the reuse of Quark's cloaking device in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Profit and Loss".
- This episode marks the last appearance of Admiral Maxwell Forrest (Vaughn Armstrong) until the fourth season episode "Home".
- This episode was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Special Visual Effects for a Series. Dennis McCarthy's music composition also received an Emmy nomination.
- When Enterprise is battling the Klingons in the thermobarric clouds, Archer wants to go to full impulse - but Tucker says that the manifolds are having a tough time as it is. This mirrors a similar scene in Star Trek: Insurrection when Riker wants to go to full impulse in the Briar Patch, but La Forge tells him that the manifolds can't handle it.
- The scene where the Enterprise NX-01 leaves the drydock reused the footage from "Broken Bow", when the ship first launched.
- The book Star Trek 101, by Terry J. Erdmann and Paula M. Block, lists this episode as one of the "Ten Essential Episodes" from Star Trek: Enterprise.
Links and references
- Scott Bakula as Captain Jonathan Archer
- John Billingsley as Doctor Phlox
- Jolene Blalock as Subcommander T'Pol
- Dominic Keating as Lieutenant Malcolm Reed
- Anthony Montgomery as Ensign Travis Mayweather
- Linda Park as Ensign Hoshi Sato
- Connor Trinneer as Commander Charles "Trip" Tucker III
- John Fleck as Silik
- Vaughn Armstrong as Maxwell Forrest
- Gary Graham as Soval
- Daniel Riordan as Duras
- James Horan as Humanoid Figure
- Bruce Wright as Fer'at
- Dan Desmond as the Klingon Chancellor
- Josh Cruze as Captain Ramirez
- Dave Figlioli as the Klingon Crewman
- L. Sidney as the Klingon Crewman #2
- Gary Bullock as a Klingon council member
- Jef Ayres as Crewman Haynem
- Josh Brown as a Vulcan military officer
- Duncan K. Fraser as Walsh
- Hilde Garcia as Rossi
- Glen Hambly as a operations division ensign
- Scott Hill as Ensign Hutchison
- Clynell Jackson as Klingon Crewman #3 
- Jim Lau as Tommy (deleted scene)
- Aouri Makhlouf as a medical crewman
- Marnie Martin as an operations division crewman
- Lidia Sabljic as a command division crewman
- Jan Shiva as a science division crewman
- Serena Scott Thomas as Becky (deleted scene)
- Unknown performers as
Bermuda Triangle; Casey, Chef; Columbia, communications buoy; dizziness; Earth; Fleet Operations Center; Florida; Fuller; Intrepid; Intrepid-type; Japanese language; kilometer; Klingons; logic; Movie theater; Orbital Drydock Facility; psychiatric analyst; snow beetles; Suliban; Xindi; Xindi-Reptilian; Xindi weapon; Unnamed Earth starships; Vaankara; Venezuela; Vulcan; Vulcan (planet); Vulcan database; Vulcan High Command; Vulcan Science Directorate; Vulcan transport
References (deleted scenes)
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