This had about as much cheesecake as Birds of Prey last night, but at least this one managed to integrate it into the story somewhat.
Cast & Crew
Director: David Straiton
Written By: Rick Berman & Brannon Braga
Scott Bakula as
Captain Jonathan Archer
as Chief Engineer Charles Tucker III
as Sub-commander T’Pol
as Lt. Malcolm Reed
Montgomery as Ensign Travis Mayweather
Linda Park as Ensign
Billingsley as Dr. Phlox
Vaughn Armstrong as Kreetassan Captain
Originally Aired: Oct. 16, 2002
In an attempt to negotiate for hardware to replace a failing plasma
injector, Archer, T’Pol, Hoshi and Porthos beam down to the Kreetassan
homeworld. They were refused the equipment and sent home.
While they were in decontamination, Phlox noticed that Porthos had
arrived with an unknown pathogen, and would have to stay in sickbay.
While Archer stayed in sickbay to monitor his beagle, Hoshi determined
that they had been sent home because Porthos had urinated on a
culturally important tree. The Kreetassans transmitted a list of
requirements for an acceptable apology from Archer.
This premise was really a set-up to explore three relationships that
haven’t been greatly developed before. We learned about how Archer
first got Porthos (he was the child of an ex-girlfriend’s mother’s
beagle,) and how much having a dog means to him. We learned more
about Phlox and his culture, as well as how he interacts with Archer.
This relationship also lead to Archer’s revelation that he was feeling
attracted to T’Pol.
Eventually, Archer completed the remarkably complicated apology
procedure, and Enterprise was given three plasma injectors instead of
just the one they asked for. He also began to broach the subject of
his feelings with T’Pol, only to be very diplomatically rejected.
Unfortunately, Porthos survived.
This episode had one massive, glaring problem. Archer has had
diplomatic training. (Phlox even said so.) He spent six days in
orbit apologizing for eating in front of the Kreetassans during their
visit before he was allowed to visit the surface. He knew
how sensitive these people were. I do not believe that he would have
risked bringing Porthos on this mission. Archer may be naive and
trusting, but he’s not that stupid.
Apart from that massive problem, the episode was well done. The work
with T’Pol was very subtle in some scenes. For instance, she chooses
to work out late at night when the gym is empty. This makes a lot of
sense to me, given what we know about the sensitivity of Vulcan
females to the smell of humans. I can easily believe she’d choose to
work out when the room wasn’t full of sweaty humans. Her final speech
was also very diplomatic, revealing he politics while neatly avoiding
anything that could be construed as emotional.
The work with Phlox was similarly well done. Some of the information
(such as the number of spouses he has) was already known to us from
last season, but some was new, and all fit very naturally into the
episode. He was responsible for some very effective comedic moments.
The little touch with Hoshi’s relationship with Phlox’s animals was
Phlox’s check for poison.
The premise is just far too unlikely for me to be comfortable with
Originality: I think this was the first time the patient in sickbay
on the verge of death was a pet rather than a crewmember. 3 out of 6.
Effects: One minor nitpick; the sickbay door opened a second or so
before Archer hit the button. This was, fortunately, very minor, and
the other work was exceptional. Effects worth noting include the
make-up on Archer as he became more and more tired, the bat that was
loose in sickbay, and the fake dog in the vat. (At least, I assume it
was fake.) 5 out of 6. It would be 6, but that one element should be
flawless after this much practice. One mistake stands out.
Story: Once you get past the problem with the premise, it’s a fine
episode. Too bad that problem is so huge. 3 out of 6.
Acting: Scott Bakula seemed forced on occasion, but the rest of the
cast did a great job. 5 out of 6.
Emotional Response: There was no tension here. Some hopes were
dashed when Porthos pulled through, but that was not surprising in the
least. Still, the jokes usually hit the target. 4 out of 6.
Production: Production on this show is the high quality that we’ve
come to expect. 5 out of 6.
Overall: I wouldn’t look for a rerun, but I’d watch it if it was
convenient. 4 out of 6.
Total: 29 out of 42
and Phlox rush to save Porthos
Even the captain’s pet has to go through decon
Archer and T’Pol mourn the passing of a beloved friend
Next Time on Enterprise (Oct. 23, 2002)
It’s a rerun of this