Captain’s log: 13 February, 2154
Robert Duncan McNeill directs the penultimate episode of the third season, which was written by Andre Bormanis and Chris Black. It debuted on 19 May, 2004.
The crew of the very battered Enterprise work with members of the Xindi Council and some of the species’ factions, to stop the arming of the new weapon, which we now know is to help the Sphere Builders invade our realm, and begin their own takeover, having manipulated the Xindi into helping them.
This episode garnered an Emmy for Best Visual Effects, and sees some other cool things, like T’Pol (Jolene Blalock) calling Trip (Conner Trinneer) by his nickname for the first time. And as we are diving into battle, we know lives are going to be lost, and one of them is Major Hayes (Steven Culp).
As the episode opens Hoshi (Linda Park) is still being held by the reptilian Xindi, and in shades of Star Trek II, she is implanted with a parasite, that makes her more malleable and amenable to their demands.
Archer (Scott Bakula) pulls out all the stops to cancel the threat of the weapon, and the Sphere Builders, but you know they have to save something for the final episode of the season, and something left over to give us a cliffhanger ending.
But until the credits roll for this episode, there’s going to be a lot going on as the Builders trigger one of the spheres, Hayes and his people rescue Hoshi, and Archer, the Enterprise, and the other Xindi lead an attack on the reptilians.
The weapon gets away, slipping through a vortex towards Earth, and we jump right into the next episode…
Captain’s log: 14 February, 2154
The season finale was written by Rick Berman and Brannon Braga and aired on 26 May, 2004.
While Archer leads a team to stop the weapon, now on track for Earth, T’Pol assumes command of the Enterprise, and goes after one of the spheres that populate the Expanse. This sphere, once disrupted, should collapse the entire sphere network, stopping the Sphere Builders, and preserving the Xindi.
But you know no matter how it plays out, we’re going to be left with a cliffhanger of some sort, that’s how television series play out nowadays.
In terms of continuity, we learn that T’Pol will be 66 on her next birthday, and while the entire crew thinks Archer was lost when the Xindi weapon was destroyed, we are given our season cliffhanger. We see that the reality has been changed, and the future, and the promise of the to-come Federation may be lost because the Enterprise arriving at Earth is attacked by what appear to be P-51 Mustangs, and Archer finds himself in 1944.
So we are left to wonder what is going on, especially when we see a strange alien in a Nazi uniform…
Thursday the Human Adventure continues as I begin the fourth and final season of Star Trek: Enterprise as I continue to explore The Complete Series on blu-ray, available from Paramount Canada.