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Breaking the Ice

 

Cast & Crew

Director: Terry Windell
Written By: Maria Jacquemetton
& Andre Jacquemetton

Starring
Scott Bakula as Captain Jonathan Archer
Connor Trinneer as Chief Engineer Charles Tucker III
Jolene Blalock as Sub-commander T’Pol
Dominic Keating as Lt. Malcolm Reed
Anthony Montgomery as Ensign Travis Mayweather
Linda Park as Ensign Hoshi Sato
John Billingsley as Dr. Phlox

Guest Cast
William Utay as Vanik

Original Airdate

November 7, 2001

Terra NovaWhat
Happened

Encountering a giant (the largest ever seen by humans) comet, Archer decides to investigate. Soon after arriving, a Vulcan ship approaches to observe the Enterprise. Archer tries everything in his diplomatic bag of tricks to interest the Vulcan captain, Vanik, in a joint mission to the comet surface. But, apparently, Vulcans are just too cool to go comet hopping. As a result, Reed and Mayweather shuttle down to the comet alone.

Meanwhile, Trip snags an encoded transmission from the Vulcan ship to T’Pol’s quarters. Suspecting something is afoul, he shows the evidence to Archer. The captain too is suspicious, and asks Trip to have Hoshi decode it. He is obviously shaken by these events.

Trip reads the decoded message and discovers it is just a message from T’Pol’s fiancé, asking her to return to Vulcan, otherwise their wedding is off. She is now torn between her family obligations and her loyalty to the crew. Trip, being the only one to know of her predicament, is called upon to help T’Pol make a decision. Needless to say Trip brutal honesty doesn’t sit well with T’Pol’s desire to maintain strong family traditions. He feels that arranged marriages, a long dead concept on Earth, are ‘highly illogical’ and she should make up her own mind.

Archer asks Vanik to join him, T’Pol, and Trip for dinner. In the great tradition of Trek dinners (à la Star Trek VI) it goes poorly, with the Vulcan captain being escorted back to his ship. Archer concludes that the Vulcans are shadowing Enterprise just waiting for it to fail.

The comet begins to rotate (because of the sample blasting Reed and Mayweather are doing) and the sun begins to rise, thus melting the comet’s icy skin. Things are complicated when Mayweather injures himself and they make it back into the shuttle, only to have the ice cave in under the force of the engines.

Attempts to extract them with the Enterprise’s grappler fail and now Archer must ask the Vulcan captain for help, or else lose his crew members under a large sheet of ice as the comet cools again. T’Pol urges Archer to ask for Vanik’s help. He grudgingly agrees, and the Vulcan ship uses its tractor beam to pull the shuttle out.

T’Pol decides that she will remain on Enterprise and Vanik sees that humans aren’t all ego.

Review

Dost mine eyes deceive me? A character-driven episode? Ye gods! Yes there was some action elements, but this was really about T’Pol and Archer’s characters. Trip also shows us his softer side (well sort of). At any rate, we get to delve a little below the surface for T’Pol, and the sacrifices she’s making to be a part of Enterprise’s mission.

Like the Andorians, mankind seems to be underneath the Vulcan microscope. What trouble could be brewing from this? What happens when human’s overtake the Vulcan’s technologically? Could be fun.

High Point

A snowman on a comet. You know you’d do the exact same thing. Another high moment was the video letter to school kids back on Earth (Trip: "A poop question sir?"). The crew are celebrities back home, and this helps illustrate that fact.

Low Point

While delving into characters is great, silly stuff like the pie bit really serve no purpose. At least it wasn’t that stupid Tuvok two-step!

The Scores

Originality: It’s a building piece, so there’s nothing very original about it, though I can’t dismiss it’s necessity. 3

Effects: Nice stuff with the shuttle crash and retrieval. The Vulcan ship looked really neat, too bad we couldn’t see more of it. 4

Story: I’m all for building some depth to these characters, and T’Pol is a prime candidate for it. I know the writers have something heavier planned for
Trip and T’Pol, hope they can pull it off. 4

Acting: There was a great range of emotion here. Everything from excitement to fear, to frustration. Bakula is just sharp, and Blalock is really rolling into her role. Trinnear is working his way into "Trip" and I think, by the end of season one, he’ll have it solid. I’m really looking forward to seeing more of Mayweather and Reed, they have a fun relationship that’s been sadly missing from Trek since Bashir and O’Brien. 4

Emotional Response: Not a whole lot to get worked up about, though I was very interested in the contents of T’Pol’s message. 3

Production: Well, we still managed one cave! The comet surface was a well-done blend of Foam and CG. 3

Overall: We’ve been in need of some serious character definition. We should start seeing more of these with increasing frequency. 5

Total: 26 out of 42

Stills

From StarTrek.com

The Andorian IncidentNext week

Going in disguise to explore a pre-warp planet, Archer and company uncover a mysterious ailment that is slowly killing the planet’s population. How will a pre-Prime Directive Starfleet handle this situation? We’ll just have to watch "Civilization"