Enterprise: Shadows of P’Jem

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Shadows
of P’Jem

 

Cast & Crew

Director: Mike Vejar
Story By: Rick Berman & Brannon Braga
Teleplay By: Mike Sussman & Phyllis Strong

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
Jeffrey Combs as Shran
Stephen Lee as Klingon Captain
Vaughn Armstrong as Admiral Forrest
Gary Graham as Soval
Steven Dennis as Tholos
Barbara Tarbuck as Chancellor Kalev
Jeff Kober as Traeg

Airdate Information

Originally Aired: February 6, 2002
Season: One
Episode: Fourteen (Aired out of sequence. Episode 15 preceeded)

Shadows of P'JemWhat
Happened

Following the incident in P’Jem (The
Andorian Incident
)
, Vulcan/Andorian relations have further declined
into thinly veiled hostility. Seeking a scapegoat, the Vulcan High Command orders
T’Pol to return to Vulcan for ‘reassignment.’ Archer is understandably upset
by this turn of events. He is further angered by T’Pol’s apparent attitude toward
the entire issue.

Not wanting to waste time worrying, he orders T’Pol to join him on a diplomatic
mission to an alien planet that the Vulcans have been in contact with for some
time. One their way down to the surface Archer and T’pol’s shuttle is downed
and they are taken hostage by a rebel faction who opposes the ruling government.
A government which, the rebels say, is merely a puppet front for the Vulcan
High Command.

Meanwhile, a Vulcan ship, meant to be picking up T’Pol, immediately takes it
upon itself to save the poor humans from themselves. When Trip and Reed beam
down to the planet they are quickly captured, but this time it’s the Andorians.
Shran (the head Andorian from The
Andorian Incident
) can’t get a good night sleep because, as he puts
it, he hates being indebted to someone, especially not to aliens. He and Traeg,
along with an agent who’s infiltrated the rebel base, offer to help Trip and
Reed get the captain and T’pol out.

Midway through the raid on the rebel compound, Vulcan troops appear and begin
leveling the place. Fortunately the captain and T’Pol are rescued. Once the
fighting is over, Archer confronts the Vulcans and the Andorians, trying make
sense of the situation. While they are talking, T’Pol spots an alive rebel and
moves the Vulcan captain out of harm’s way, but not before taking a serious
plasma blast.

Archer takes T’Pol back the Enterprise for treatment, overriding the
Vulcan’s concerns that they can treat her more effectively. After recovering,
T’Pol opts to stay onboard the Enterprise her status with the High Command
apparently restored after saving her fellow Vulcan.

Review

I wish I could write more about the episode, but there was very little going
on. A large part of the time was eaten up with Archer and T’Pol being tied up
and rolling around on the floor. A sadly obvious attempt at piquing teenager’s
interest in the show.

The rest of the story was a little strained and very few answers were given
as to whether or not the planet’s government was being controlled by the Vulcans
(though it seemed obvious enough by their actions). We also didn’t find out
why the Andorians were so interested in helping the rebels, albeit from a distance.

A major problem confounding this show is how violent the Vulcans are. According
to canon, they established this "logic above all" attitude thousands
of years ago, but in this show, they seem to have a tenuous grasp on their violent
tendencies. I’m really getting some odd mixed signals from everything that’s
going on.

High Point

Shram’s seething rage at being indebted to Archer and company hands us a key
piece of information about Andorian culture without being too heavy handed about
it. Refreshing isn’t it?

Low Point

While I’m sure my younger readers found it delightfully perverse, I personally
couldn’t stand to watch Archer and T’Pol rolling around on top of each other.
It’s so painfully obvious where they are trying to go with this story line I
could just gag. I was worried when I first saw pictures of Jolene Blalock that
this would be another Seven of Nine thing.

I hate it when I’m right.

The Scores

Originality: Really old Star Trek trick. 2

Effects: Not a whole lot here, they may have burned too much of the FX budget
on Sleeping Dogs.
4

Story: A bridge episode to be sure, but to where? I did appreciate the fact
that actions from a previous episode have come back to haunt the crew. 4

Acting: Jeffrey Combs will go down as one of the best character actors ever
for Star Trek franchise. Other than that, the rest of the guest cast was fairly
stale (from the Vulcan Captain to the Chancellor). 3

Emotional Response: Disappointing ploy for sexual interest. We can do better,
can’t we? 2

Production: While the rebel compound was realistic enough to look at, how hard
is really to arrange garbage? 4

Overall: It didn’t really go anywhere, but there were elements I did like (continuity,
etc.) and in light of the previous two episodes, I think I can let this one
slide. 4

Total: 23 out of 42

Episode Media

From StarTrek.com

Next Time on EnterpriseNext
Time on Enterprise

Shuttlepod One
(Feb. 13, 2001)

On a routine shuttlepod mission to investigate an asteroid field, Trip and
Reed find themselves suddenly cut off from the Enterprise and become convinced
that the mothership has been destroyed. With a limited oxygen supply and almost
no chance of being rescued, the opposite-minded twosome must battle their annoyance
with one another while also coming to terms with their impending demise.

5 replies on “Enterprise: Shadows of P’Jem”

  1. rickyjames says:

    Dead Meat
    There is a concept called “command presence”. It is possessed only by an elite few. It gets you appointed to captain your civilization’s flagship to the stars. It makes people willing to follow you. It makes people willing to die for something they believe in. In general, one does not exhibit “command presence” by flopping onto your side, wallowing in the dirt, sticking your nose in a bowl of goo, and lapping it up with your tongue. I think certain Star Trek characters (and their writers) would do well to comptemplate the philosophy espoused by their newfound neighbors, the Klingons, with their ideal of death before dishonor.

  2. Kaki says:

    I think…
    … you were a bit too hard on this episode. It wasn’t a gem by any means, but it wasn’t quite as bad as you make it out.

    As for the Captain and T’Pol rolling around on the floor… it was a form of comedy. You know, playing conceptual opposites against one another to generate absurdity or awkwardness. In this case Vulcan dignity against a demeaning situation and our perception of physical sexuality against her lack of response. Oh, plus a dose of old fashioned physical humor.

    By this point using T’Pol in this manner is an established device. The decontamination bit is an obvious example, but the scene in ‘Dear Doctor’ with the doctor forcing her to talk about relationships around the dental instrument is in the same catagory. Maybe this isn’t you’re type of humor (usually gets a chuckle from me), but you’ll have to learn to live with it. It will probably continue.

    As for the Vulcans, they seemed pretty logical to me. Aloof, arrogant, and patronizing sure, but logical too. How many times have we accepted the “it is not our policy to negotiate with terrorists” line from Picard, Sisko, and Janeway (or current governments)? Why is it suddenly illogical?

    • dcheesi says:

      Re: I think…

      As for the Vulcans, they seemed pretty logical to me. Aloof, arrogant, and patronizing sure, but logical too. How many times have we accepted the “it is not our policy to negotiate with terrorists” line from Picard, Sisko, and Janeway (or current governments)? Why is it suddenly illogical?

      The real question is, why did it seem so offensive to Trip & Reed? They acted like it was the most barbaric thing in the world, when it’s actually the accepted course of action (esp. when the enemy is asking you for more weapons). Does this suggest a major shift in human politics between now and stardate so-and-so? Have we gone soft? Or is Trip just an overly-sentimental blockhead (like the Vulcans think we all are)?

      • Kaki says:

        That is an easy question…
        Trip and the others were being overly-sentimental blockheads. They were too close to the people being held to form an objective opinion on the matter. The Vulcans were totally in the right, but they were also total idiots when it came to comforting the emotional humans and getting them to see reason. The Vulcans may be logical, but they have close to zero tolarance for our different ways of thinking about things and our different needs. That was their major fault. They could have presented a united front with the Humans, but they arrogantly decided to throw that possibility away.

  3. Daemonik says:

    Why help the rebels?
    We also didn’t find out why the Andorians were so interested in helping the rebels, albeit from a distance.

    Let’s look at a basic principle in large governments. Getting your people into an actual shooting war is counter-productive. It’s costly, your citizens die, you might lose, etc.

    Accepted practice is to target your enemy’s unstable allies for further destabilization. Force your enemy to waste resources quelling rebellions here and there and soon enough they’re too busy looking inward at their own affairs to notice you slipping a knife through their ribs.

    Given this, it’s painfully obvious why the Andorians were on the planet helping the rebels.

    One interesting point that no one’s brought up is that with the Human/Vulcan relationship becoming increasingly fractured, how long will it take the Andorians to come knocking at Earth’s door with a gift basket or two? And considering the amount of trouble one little Earth ship has caused the Vulcan’s in just a few months, wouldn’t it be logical that the thought of the Andorians opening diplomatic ties with Earth would scare the Vulcans to no end?

    Can’t wait to see what the future brings.

Comments are closed.