Saturday, May 10, 2014

Ten Minute Trek: Finding Our Footing

The Andorian Incident
ENT Season 1, Episode 7

WRITTEN BY
Rick Berman & Brannon Braga
and Fred Dekker
DIRECTED BY
Roxann Dawson

First Aired Oct 31, 2001
Mission Date Unknown


GUEST CAST:

Jeffrey Combs as Commander Shran 
Steven Dennis as Tholos 
Bruce French as Vulcan Elder 
Jamie McShane as Tactical Crewman 
Jeff Ricketts as Keval 
Richard Tanner as Vulcan Initiate


So they'd just sighted an Andorian reflection in the monestery. Who wants to bet they'll go get Security. 

Not me either.

Archer gestures with his thumb at a screen where the Andorian is hiding. They knock it over, bis fight ensues, and then three more Andorians jump out. With guns. Faboo.

All those who saw that coming?

Act Two

They're locked in a room with a bunch of monks. Someone who sounds suspiciously like DS9's Weyoun goes right up to the head monk and asks why he didn't tell them there was a Vulcan "aboard" presumably Enterprise.

The Vulcan says he didn't know, because it is an Earth vessel. "Earth? What is that?" demands NotWeyoun.

"It's where we're from," Archer tells him. "It's our homeworld."

"Why did you come here? Answer me, Pinkskin!" Pinkskin! Cute.

Archer tells him the truth. NotWeyoun accuses him of lying. He seems to think they're bringing surveillance equipment because they have T'Pol. Archer points out that T'Pol is his science officer. "So you'll admit you're working with the Vulcans?"

This is not going to end well.

Archer asks what NotWeyoun is doing there and takes a gun butt to the stomach. Trip backs Archer's story. Not sure what the point of that is. NotWeyoun says they're just proving what he already knew - "this is more than a sanctuary."

T'Pol identifies the Andorians as Andorians, "known for their suspicious and volatile nature." Some Vulcan elaborates that relations are tense between Andorians and Vulcans and always have been. This did not appear to be the case in Journey to Babel, but that's so far down my list of complaints about the way Vulcans are depicted at this point it's hardly worth mentioning.

T'Pol further elaborates by saying that the Andorians resent the Vulcans' logic and technology and believe that the Vulcans want to invade their homeworld. There is, apparently, a treaty, but some Andorians just want conquest. The monks claim that the Andorians think there's spy equipment in the monastery, but they swear up and down that there isn't. They claim the Andorians have been there before and left within a day, but that Enterprise is making them suspicious. 

Meanwhile, back on the Bridge, Malcolm has detected the alien ship and is arguing with Hoshi. He claims that it should be standard procedure to scan for aliens before going to an alien planet.

He has a point.

You know what else should be standard procedure?

The Captain, First Officer, and Third in Command not going on the same away mission to the same planet before scanning for said alien life.

My husband points out that at least by TNG they had the scanning part down.

Malcolm is not happy about the other ship on the surface or the fact that the landing party hasn't checked in yet. You know what else is a good idea? Having rules about how often you'll check in when you're on an alien planet. You'd think, in a situation where you have ages to overthink your first mission, someone might make some overly cautious rules while overplanning.

Apparently not.

Hoshi says he might be overreacting, that they're probably just observing some meditation.



Some people find getting beat up very meditative.

"Where's the sensor array!?"

Denial. Question. Denial. Question.

Questions about T'Pol. Archer tells the story of how he got her. The Andorians don't like the story. And that's when Enterprise tries to call. Maybe they should have a silent mode on the communicators, or vibrate or something. NotWeyoun answers and tells Malcolm - who really wants to blow something up - that Archer is a prisoner. NotWeyoun says that if Enterprise tries to do anything, he'll kill the hostages. Malcolm tries to call Tucker and T'Pol. NotWeyoun smashes the communicators. Malcolm puts Shuttlepod Two on standby and looks up "Andorians" in the Vulcan database.

OOOKAY.

So apparently, while they weren't making up protocols for away missions, they also weren't reading up on alien species.

The search continues for spy equipment. One of the Andorians has the idea to cut off some monk heads to get Archer to talk. Lovely.

Meanwhile, T'Pol and one of the monks discuss the smell of humans. The Andorians return Archer and the monks reiterate that there is nothing to find in the monastery. Trip says possibly the stupidest thing in the whole episode, "You'd think they could find whatever it is they're lookin' for wit' those antennas of theirs."

Sigh, sigh, and sigh again.

Archer also tells them about the conversation between NotWeyoun and Malcolm. He and Trip are sure Malcolm will come down with a landing party. The head monk says there is a transmitter in the catacombs, and that there are hidden passages where they keep their sacred relics and honored dead. He is afraid that if the Andorians discover these passages they will damage these priceless cultural whatevers. And then he opens a hidden passage in the wall. Trip says it best, I think:

"For people without emotion, you sure have a flair for the dramatic."

Amen.


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