Captain’s log: date unknown
Captain Archer (Scott Bakula) is still held by the Xindi in the next season three episode, Damage. Written by Phyllis String, the episode first premiered on 21 April, 2004.
With the Enterprise reeling from its near destruction by the Xindi attack, and a neighbouring ship requesting help, T’Pol (Jolene Blalock), in temporary command, has her hands full and turns to Phlox (John Billingsley) for some help as the anomalies begin to take their toll on her, as they did the Vulcan ship the Enterprise encountered earlier in the season, and we learn she’s been keeping a horrible secret for months.
We learn that there is some dissent beginning to occur on the Xindi council (who are meeting with temporal travelling sphere-builders (Josette Di Carlo) and begin to suspect that they have ulterior motives that don’t include the Xindi), and that the reptilians are truly not to be trusted, as the rest of them agree to return Archer to his ship.
With Archer returned, he faces a tough choice with the damaged ship, and has to decide whether to violate his personal beliefs for his mission, as the alien ship has something they need to complete their mission, a warp coil. But if he takes it from them, he maroons them three years from home. This choice is only heightened when the Xindi Degra (Randy Oglesby) provides information to him that requires them to be four light years away in a matter of days.
What to do? And it’s a choice that Archer is going to have to live with. No matter how he rationalises it, or attempts to help after the fact.
I like these kinds of episodes, when the chips are down, the damage is high, people are hurt and struggling. In Star Trek stories this usually leads to moments when it shows what we’re really capable of, that even in our darkest moments we can find hope. It shows how the best crews react under stress, and Damage checks all those boxes for me, while still being faithful to the season arc, and the characters.
We’re coming up quickly on the end of the season, and things are ramping up beautifully.
Captain’s log: date unknown
LeVar Burton directs this episode which was written by Chris Black and David A. Goodman. It first aired on 28 April, 2004.
With repairs still underway, the Enterprise limps to its rendezvous with Degra, who along with another Xindi council members, Jannar (Rick Worthy) agrees to try to stop the launch of the weapon if Archer can provide proof that they have been manipulated by the Sphere-Builders.
Along with damage control, the crew take a sombre moment to hold memorials for those that they have lost.
As T’Pol goes cold turkey, she finds she has trouble controlling her emotions, and maintaining her Vulcan cool. Phlox suggests she may have to learn to live with them.
And even as Degra and Jannar attempt to help Enterprise, slowly coming around by the evidence Archer presents, some of the crew, like Trip (Connor Trinneer) are less than able to keep their anger in check, especially since Archer has asked him to write a letter to the parents of one of the deceased crew. He realises though that by dealing with it, he can also deal with the loss of his sister. The stress and the exhaustion is starting to wear on the crew. I’m loving these episodes as the arc is coming to its conclusion and its impact is being felt by all involved.
Watch for a guest appearance by huge Trek fan, Seth MacFarlane.
The Human Adventure continues Thursday as I explore more of Star Trek: Enterprise – The Complete Series on blu-ray now available from Paramount Canada.