Friday, May 9, 2014

Ten Minute Trek: Hey, It's Weyoun! I missed that guy!

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


Teaser
It's the first season of Enterprise, and that rarely ends well for me. I'm just going to say that in advance.

So there's this pretty pretty building.

And in this building are some Vulcans.

I give them props for the robes they're wearing. Very Star Trek III and IV. A few bangs on the door - and boom! Andorians!

We haven't seen them since...

Since...

Oh.

That.


They look different this time, but not too much. This bodes well. Too bad it took 42 seconds to get to the teaser. Plenty of time to ruin it.

Horrid Theme Song



Act One

Enterprise is Enterprising. Trip is complaining that they have star charts from the Vulcans and that's taking all the fun out of literally going where no man has gone before. I am sitting here thinking "What a whiny little dork!" Let's name all the things wrong with this statement, shall we?

  1. First of all, as Archer points out, humans haven't been to these places.
  2. Humans and Vulcans, as demonstrated, do not share the same priorities about exploration. Therefore, Trip should not assume that the Vulcans' star charts are charting all the things a human would chart.
  3. They need to make sure the ship is functional while they're still reasonably close to Earth before they get too far out for  a rescue mission.
  4. They have to get past the close-by stuff to get to the far-away stuff. That's just how it works.
Archer points out that the Vulcans' charts were missing the protostar they saw just last week. T'Pol arrives and Archer asks about an outpost on a planet they are approaching. She calls it P'Jem, a Vulcan spiritual retreat. Archer asks if they can visit the place, and T'Pol points out that it's for, you know, meditating, and they might not want visitors. Archer decides to bust in on them anyway.

RUDE!

T'Pol complains to Phlox, who is, of course, relentlessly enthusiastic about the visit. Let me remind the reader that this is Season One. This is before "Kir'Shara," but after the nightmare that was the Voyager finale. This is when the viewers' faith is hanging by a thread. This is not the time to keep casting Vulcans as the enemy. It's a mistake that won't be rectified for a long time.

Anyhoo.

T'Pol and Phlox discuss how the visit could be awkward. Phlox steals some celery from her and tells her how awkward he feels with Humans, and then reminds her of the whole IDIC thing, an amulet that Spock wore for like, 2 minutes in one episode of Season Three of TOS because Gene Roddenberry wanted to market them through his Lincoln Enterprises company. Phlox tells her to celebrate differences and reminds her that they're there to make contact with other civilizations and that this is an extention of their mission.

It's still not very nice.

T'Pol briefs Trip and Archer on protocols for visiting - she tells them basically not to bug anyone meditating and not to speak unless spoken to. And to be quiet and not to touch anything except the "stone of J'Ka" when they leave, and how to handle that. "I thought Starfleet training was tough," Archer mutters to Trip. "Whiner," says my husband, watching with me.

No kidding.

When they get to the monastery, there is a big hole in the door. T'Pol points out that the temple is 3,000 years old and they shouldn't expect it to look perfect. IT'S A GIANT HOLE IN THE DOOR. IT LETS IN THE WEATHER. HOW IS THIS NOT SUSPICIOUS?

She pulls on the enormous bellpull to let them know they have visitors. The door opens, and they look around. There is a monk standing there, staring at them. He doesn't speak. T'Pol approaches and he tells her they have arrived at the time of Kohlinar, and they have to leave. T'Pol asks for the J'Ka stone for her distinguished guests - I guess so they'll have something to write home about? She's so nice. In her catsuit. The Vulcan dude leaves. T'Pol looks impassive. "Is something wrong?" asks Archer.

"This is the main atrium. There should be more than one member of order present."

Admiral Akbar is yelling from the next fandom over, "It's a trap!"

"And the icon in that shrine is perched at an odd angle."



Why yes. Yes it is.

"Oddly perched, huh?" asks Trip. "We'd better notify Starfleet Command."

I refer you to the list of things that never happen in Star Trek. Specifically, number 2.

"That's not all, Captain. The Vulcan elder seems agitated."

He's a practitioner of Kohlinar. "The purging of all emotion."

Agitated.

When you're finding continuity errors with The Motionless Picture, that is not a good day.

Naturally, Archer decides now is the time for a personal story and tells us a tale of his very first visit to a monastery. This gives him the opportunity to gesticulate, which gets Trip moving to the other side of the room. I mean, you could just get back on the shuttle, call the ship, get a security team. You have a security guy that is just dying to blow something up. 

Archer comments on the size of the monastery. T'Pol seems to have caught on and says that it could take days to explore the site while they all move around the room. There is some smashed pottery on the floor, which Trip points out. The monk implies that people seeking Kohlinar sometimes smash things. Uh huh. He brings out the stone of J'Ka as promised and speaks Vulcan. Archer asks what that means, and they are told it is the traditional greeting. Archer asks if that is good luck. Trip tells him he's thinking of the blarney stone, or patting the Buddha's belly.

And that's when Archer sees the face of an Andorian in the reflection of some pottery.

Break until tomorrow.

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