Star Trek: Enterprise: Two Days and Two Nights
January 20, 2019 11:38 PM - Season 1, Episode 25 - Subscribe

The crew of Enterprise attempt shore leave, with mixed results.

Memory Alpha has a lot to say about this one, including another deleted scene and some backstage material:

Background information
Story and script
> Teleplay writer Chris Black found this episode took a long time to come to fruition. "We had been talking about doing a shore-leave episode literally from the time I showed up," he admitted. Although the Shore Leave Planet from TOS: "Shore Leave" was briefly considered as the destination, it was rejected because it is depicted as being new to Starfleet in that episode, set in the future of this one. Another idea – Wrigley's pleasure planet, which had been mentioned once in TOS: "The Man Trap" – has a name that was thought to sound too Human and too well-known for the relatively distant region of space which Enterprise was now meant to be in. The writers finally settled on choosing Risa, not only because it had been established earlier in the Star Trek franchise but also due to the increased likelihood that it might be in Vulcan ken. "The Vulcans have been there and T'Pol would know about it," said Black.
> Of all the side plots involving activities undertaken by members of Enterprise's senior crew, that which was possibly most tweaked was the storyline featuring Archer. For this, the writers took inspiration from the movie To Catch a Thief, while also wanting to keep the captain slightly more reserved than entering into a passionately romantic entanglement. "We wanted to have Archer involved in a little intrigue, to put him into an almost Cary Grant-like role from a Hitchcock movie – where he meets Grace Kelly in the villa next door and she's very mysterious," recalled Chris Black. "More of a flirtation than a full-blown romance [here]; we didn't want Archer to be 'involved.'" The concept of the mystery woman was first thought up, before she was made an agent of the Tandarans. (Star Trek: Communicator issue 143, p. 31)

Cast and characters
> Mayweather actor Anthony Montgomery was amused by the fact that, due to Mayweather being a thrill-seeker, he suffers an injury on Risa and returns to Enterprise very soon thereafter, spending hardly any time on the planet surface. "That was so funny," remarked the actor. (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 3, Issue 3, p. 19)
> Dey Young previously played Arissa in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "A Simple Investigation", as well as Hannah Bates in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Masterpiece Society".
> Kellie Waymire makes her last appearance as Elizabeth Cutler in this episode, due in part to her sudden death in November 2003. She previously appeared as Layna in the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Muse" and Cutler in the Enterprise episodes "Strange New World" and "Dear Doctor".
Joseph Will previously appeared as Kelis in the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Muse", as a Quarren security officer in the Voyager episode "Workforce, Part II", and Michael Rostov in the Enterprise episode "Vox Sola". He later reprised his role as Rostov in the second season episode "The Crossing".
> The two dogs in this episode, Prada (Porthos) and Tibbis (Rhylo), had actually worked together before, as spy partners in the movie Cats & Dogs. This episode was also Prada's last episode. Breezy, who was a stand-in for Prada when a more "spunky" Porthos was needed, took over the role completely from that point on.
> Dennis Cockrum, whose scene as Freebus was cut from the final episode, previously appeared as the Corvallen freighter captain in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Face of the Enemy" and as Orek in the Voyager episode "Live Fast and Prosper". He later returned to play the alien barkeep in the second season episode "The Communicator".
> According to a call sheet for Monday 25 March 2002, the two contest winners Jordan Mann and Henry Geller were chosen to play a Risian and an alien bistro patron as part of the "Risan Bistro Night Group". However, neither contest winner appears in the final version of this episode.
Rudolph Martin played the alien Ravis, Hoshi's love interest.

Production
> Finances restricted the making of this episode. Explained Chris Black, "We got down to the end of the season, and we were really up against it in terms of budget; we would have loved to do more with Risa, and we found out we just couldn't afford to." (Star Trek: Communicator issue 143, p. 31)
> This is the only Enterprise episode to be directed by Michael Dorn. He previously directed the Deep Space Nine episodes "In the Cards", "Inquisition", and "When It Rains...". Dorn's direction of this episode makes him the only Star Trek regular to be involved with the majority of Star Trek episodes set on Risa.
> "Two Days and Two Nights" was filmed between Tuesday 19 March 2002 and Wednesday 27 March 2002 on Paramount Stages 8, 9, and 18. Second unit shots were filmed on Wednesday 3 April 2002 and insert shots on Tuesday 9 April 2002.
> Paramount Stage 8 housed the sets of the sickbay, the interior of the shuttlepod, the mess hall, Phlox's quarters, and the interior and exterior sets of Archer's and Keyla's villa and balconies. Stage 9 had the Risan bistro, Hoshi's villa on Risa, the basement under the nightclub, and the Risan nightclub while Stage 18 was used for the bridge of Enterprise, launch bay one, the interior of the shuttlepod, and the corridor sets.
> Though no stunt performer or stunt double was needed in this episode, Stunt Coordinator Vince Deadrick, Jr. worked three days on set to coordinate the falls of Scott Bakula, Dominic Keating, Connor Trinneer, and John Billingsley.
> The door control in Archer's villa is shaped like a horga'hn. The horga'hn symbol also appeared on storage containers in the basement under the nightclub.

Deleted scene
> The Season 1 DVDs contain a deleted scene from this episode. Numbered Scene 1-2, it consists of a one-and-a-half minute exchange between Jonathan Archer, Trip Tucker, T'Pol and Freebus. In it, we find out how the crew paid for their shore leave, with Freebus taking an unspecified amount of dilithium to cover "all" costs for the vacationing crew members. We also learn that Risa has numerous diversions for Vulcans.

Continuity
> This is the last of three stories set mostly on Risa. In addition to this episode, these include TNG: "Captain's Holiday" and DS9: "Let He Who Is Without Sin...", both of which involved Michael Dorn portraying his regular character of Worf. However, the planet also briefly appears in TNG: "The Game" and, hereafter, in ENT: "The Seventh".
> Phlox stated in a previous episode, "Dear Doctor", that Denobulans hibernate for six days a year. In this episode, we see him follow through on this necessity (though, as he puts it, he can "get by" with only two days of hibernation).
> The Tandaran plotline, begun in "Detained", is never revisited after this episode.
> The book The Teachings of Surak was translated by Skon of ShiKahr. Skon is the father of Sarek and grandfather of Spock, as established in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock.
This is the first time we see both Enterprise shuttlepods launching simultaneously.

Reception and aftermath
> Chris Black ended up frustrated by this installment. His dissatisfaction with it largely stemmed from the tight financial situation in which the episode was produced. Another reason was that he felt the script had been hobbled by the need to explain the back story of "Detained" once this episode's mystery woman was made a Tandaran agent. "So I don't want anyone to get the impression that I didn't like 'Two Days and Two Nights'," he clarified. "I did like the show, but you always go back through the process and kind of kick yourself when you think, 'It could've been more!'" (Star Trek: Communicator issue 143, p. 31)
> Shortly after the making of this installment, Rick Berman described it as "very funny." (Star Trek: Communicator issue 139, p. 11) Years later, Brannon Braga characterized this episode as a boring one, about which he rhetorically asked, "Who cares?" ("To Boldly Go: Launching Enterprise, Part III: First Flight", ENT Season 1 Blu-ray special features)
> This episode won the 2002 Emmy Award in the category Outstanding Hairstyling For A Series. The team included Michael Moore, Gloria Pasqua Casny, Roma Goddard, Laura Connolly, and Cheri Ruff.
> The "Ultimate Guide" in Star Trek Magazine issue 164, p. 79 rated this episode 3 out of 5 arrowhead insignias.
> The unofficial reference book Beyond the Final Frontier (p. 369) calls this installment "a comedy episode that's not terribly funny, but does genuinely feel like the characters are on holiday." The book's critique of this episode concludes by stating, "The funniest bit, ironically, is Phlox's hibernation."
> The shot of Enterprise flying over Risa was later reused as Earth in the fourth season episode "Demons".

Memorable quotes
"Captain, you need a vacation."
- T'Pol, to Archer

"I'll bring you a souvenir."
- Tucker to T'Pol, before heading down to Risa

"Malcolm and I plan to, uh… broaden our cultural horizons."
"Is that all you two think about?"
"Well, how we choose to relax is our own business."
- Tucker to Sato, on what he and Reed will be doing on Risa

"Before I left Earth, I learned 38 languages and now all I do is push a button and the computer does all the work."
"Isn't that what it's for?"
- Sato and Rostov

"I don't care what it tastes like!"
- A disoriented Phlox after being awakened suddenly from his hibernation.

"Most of what I have learned about them has come from rumors and hearsay. But you have seen them face to face. I want you to tell me what you know. Where are their helixes? Where do they live?!"
- Keyla, grilling Archer about the Suliban

"I'm gonna check out now. I can't have you interfering."
- Keyla, after knocking Archer out in his room

"Whatever's in that bottle you broke got all over me. It stinks to high heaven."
"It's not like I had a choice. We needed something to cut through those ropes."
- Reed and Tucker, after freeing themselves

"Have you ever been to an alien hospital?"
"Yes. In San Francisco."
- Travis and T'Pol, in the launch bay

"What about you, Hoshi? Do anything constructive?"
"As a matter of fact, I learned several new conjugations."
- Tucker and Sato, talking about their shore leave (a double entendre mixing linguistics and sex)

This Week In:
* Pointless STO Comparisons: It’s possible to visit Risa in Star Trek Online. The yearly summer games take place there.
* Vulcans Are Superior: The Vulcans already knew about Risa.
* Non-Catastrophic Equipment Failures: None, but see below for some questions raised.
* Aliens Outclass Enterprise: Edge case with Hoshi. It’s true her fling’s language was too much for her, but she only had about a day with it, and said Klingon took months.

Poster’s Log:
This was mostly frustrating. Some thoughts:

* Didn’t realize Culter’s actress died.
So that was sad to read on Memory Alpha.

* Could’ve done without Reed and Tucker’s entire subplot.
The whole thing was gross, start to finish. I didn’t need them speculating about who was or was not female, and I really didn’t need the whole thing culminating in them being tricked by men who pretended to be women in order to roll them. I suspect it was meant to be funny, but it was just skeevy on every level.

* Shore leave didn’t make much sense here.
So I get that we were only going to follow a few characters on their actual shore leave, and the number we saw felt about right for an hour of television. However, I’m absolutely baffled by the idea that these were all the people who got to leave at once, The shuttlepods couldn’t make multiple trips? They couldn’t use the transporter? Risa doesn’t have its own shuttle service to take people down? The transportation issue was also a reminder that the ship can’t offload crew very quickly except presumably via escape pods.

More than that, the horrible Reed/Tucker thing highlighted the question of ‘how are they even paying for drinks?’ I wish they’d left in the deleted scene about negotiating for a vacation package with refined dilithium, as that stood a chance of actually being interesting.

* Frustrating followup to Detained.
On the one hand, it makes sense that the Tandarans would still be interested in Archer. On the other hand, not much else about their plan makes sense. Among the questions I have:

- Precisely how long was Keyla supposed to wait on Risa for Archer? He was only even on the shuttle by random lot, and it sounds like he could’ve missed vacation entirely from a bad lottery draw.
- She was pretty standoffish, given her mission. In retrospect, it doesn’t seem very sensible for her to turn down Archer’s first offer of dinner, as that cost her an entire night to try and get information from him.
- Her questions were awfully transparent when she started laying into him.

So the whole execution of that subplot just...doesn’t make any sense to me at all. One of those things where the harder I think about it, the more it breaks.

* Hoshi and Mayweather’s stuff worked for me.
Hoshi ditching the Universal Translator, trying to get by on her wits and meeting someone nice was all right. It certainly felt in-character for her, and it was nice to see someone actually succeed at vacationing.

Mayweather taking a spill, leading to poor Dr. Phlox getting woken up early was the only part of the episode that even felt like an honest attempt at comedy, and it was okay.

Overall, this was pretty frustrating after seeing ENT make some progress in recent weeks.

Additional note:
I'm probably going to cover two-parters with single entries, as I rarely have anything to say about the first half of those. So next week should be both halves of Shockwave.
posted by mordax (6 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
I find it strangely hilarious that THIS is the one ENT episode that Dorn directed. It would only be more hilarious if it'd been Monte Markham.

I didn’t need them speculating about who was or was not female, and I really didn’t need the whole thing culminating in them being tricked by men who pretended to be women in order to roll them. I suspect it was meant to be funny, but it was just skeevy on every level.

I remembered none of this, so actually found it so skeevy so immediately that my brain started frantically hypothesizing that "wait, maybe they're setting these characters UP as this ignorant and horny to teach them a LESSON somehow in a big third-act reveal that opens up their minds in a sort of Cage Aux Folles way" but then I quickly realized that was wishful thinking, and wherever this went, it would be gross. (Kinda wonder if this was the part Berman liked so much…)

More than that, the horrible Reed/Tucker thing highlighted the question of ‘how are they even paying for drinks?’ I wish they’d left in the deleted scene about negotiating for a vacation package with refined dilithium, as that stood a chance of actually being interesting.

Well, to US. :) Though IIRC, Risa was presented as not charging people for their visits in TNG. (Don't quote me on that; it could've come from STO or an RPG book.) Then again, that's over a hundred years from now.

So the whole execution of that subplot just...doesn’t make any sense to me at all. One of those things where the harder I think about it, the more it breaks.

Yeah, and it's that much MORE frustrating because this Tandaran stuff never got revisited. It's like, if you're gonna include DS9-ish serial elements, you can't just randomly drop 'em like this.

I also felt like Dey Young's acting style is so subdued and almost remote that it didn't quite fit with the wacky, freewheeling feel of the rest of the episode. For the Archer plot to really have that To Catch a Thief feel in these circumstances, the Mystery Woman needed to be more sprightly and assertive. Maybe they were worried about rehashing Vash. DS9 already did that; no need for another Vash rehash.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 2:35 AM on January 21 [3 favorites]


Honestly, the bits with Trip and Malcolm kind of spoiled the rest of the episode for me, although there wasn't that much to the episode to spoil, somewhat surprising since the previous episodes had built up to it and raised expectations somewhat. I can sympathize somewhat that they were hard up against budgetary restrictions, so they couldn't be too elaborate in their sets or extras, but that really wasn't the problem. The real problem was that, for Trip and Malcolm's plot, the showrunners decided to ignore the fact of there being men and women aboard the ship--moreover, men and women who were allowed to have relationships--and act like dudes who haven't seen anyone of their preferred gender for months, and are apparently quite worried that they might mistake someone of another gender for their preferred one. This might sort of make sense in the context that the American military was still excluding homosexuals from service under Don't Ask, Don't Tell at the time that this was produced, and would kick someone out if they had sex with someone of the same gender, even once, even if they assumed the other person was of another gender. But even in the 22nd century iteration of the franchise, Star Trek is supposed to take place in a better society, and the previous iterations of the franchise had always shown a world more progressive than that of the time of production. This sort of bullshit--aside from reinforcing that Trip and Malcolm are supposed to bond over being sort of gross about sex--is downright reactionary in science fiction in general, and not even that great in space opera; Trek had already had TNG's "The Outcast", and even Aliens, with its none-too-sensitive Space Marines, had this exchange:
"Hey, I sure wouldn't mind getting some more of that Arcturian poontang, remember that time?"
"Yeah, Frost, but the one that you had was male."
"It doesn't matter when it's Arcturian, baby."
Mid-eighties James Cameron (who had written the script for Rambo: First Blood Part II just before doing Aliens) was arguably more progressive than Star Trek nearly two decades later. Think about that. I'm going to assume that next season's "Cogenitor" was a sort of attempt at an apology.

The rest of the episode was mostly meh. Dey Young did basically the same role in DS9's "A Simple Investigation", only that episode gave her quite a bit more to work with, with commensurately better results. Dropping a potential storyline without explanation isn't exactly new to Trek--think of TNG S1's "Conspiracy" for example--but the non-continuation of the Tandaran plot thread just makes this episode that much more disappointing. Hoshi getting some is nice, but it would have been even better contrasted against Trip and Malcolm's thread if that hadn't been so gross--if the two guys had spent their time in confinement maybe reflecting a little on why they were there (you'd think that Trip, at least, would be a little more cautious about hooking up after his experience in "Unexpected"), maybe the La Cage aux Folles situation that Cheeses suggests, hell, almost anything else. Phlox's thing was kind of funny. (And it is super-sad that this is the last we'll see of Cutler.)
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:54 AM on January 21 [2 favorites]


Well, to US. :) Though IIRC, Risa was presented as not charging people for their visits in TNG. (Don't quote me on that; it could've come from STO or an RPG book.) Then again, that's over a hundred years from now.

My unsupported assumption is that Risa is a Federation signatory by TNG, and so post-money. In the ENT timeframe, I could totally see visitors just getting something like one of those Disney bracelets to run a tab, but it makes the holdup even less sensible, ('cause it needed help with that).

For the Archer plot to really have that To Catch a Thief feel in these circumstances, the Mystery Woman needed to be more sprightly and assertive. Maybe they were worried about rehashing Vash. DS9 already did that; no need for another Vash rehash.

Now that I've slept on this, I wish they'd just skipped that bit too, yeah. They keep trying to shill Archer as this badass action hero, but Scott Bakula is a Bumbling Everyman type. Quantum Leap leaned into this and my dim childhood recollection of it is pure gold, while ENT keeps trying to turn him into Kirk or Riker or something and... meh? Nobody over there was good at writing that stuff, and he just has the wrong energy for it anyway.

This sort of bullshit--aside from reinforcing that Trip and Malcolm are supposed to bond over being sort of gross about sex--is downright reactionary in science fiction in general

Yeah, this is a really important point.

Mid-eighties James Cameron (who had written the script for Rambo: First Blood Part II just before doing Aliens) was arguably more progressive than Star Trek nearly two decades later. Think about that.

Right? Gah.
posted by mordax at 11:28 AM on January 21 [1 favorite]


I can't get over the set design of the villa on Risa. It's like 1980s mainstream chic California full on.
posted by juiceCake at 12:14 PM on January 21 [3 favorites]


Right? I was kind of surprised that they actually built sets for the resort rooms, because it has that very-tastefully-decorated look just spot on.
posted by Halloween Jack at 12:43 PM on January 21 [1 favorite]


This was disappointing on so many levels.

Archer's storyline just never gelled. It was painfully obvious that she was up to some level of no-good, but it went from "mysterious" to nonsensical pretty quick (how the frak did her dog get onto Archer's balcony?). I was thinking she was going to involve the captain in some nefarious scheme as an opportunist, but then she is an agent of the Tandarans playing hard to get? And after she knocks Archer out, he apparently lies on the floor of his suite with the door to the hallway open all night and no one checks on him? Way to go, Risa. This was the storyline that needed to work to make this episode have any weight, and it just really underperformed. Both Archer and Keyla are played so reserved there's just no tension or interest. I'm both kind of mad and glad that the Tandaran plotline gets dropped from here, because frankly this episode made me not care.

Trip and Malcom was gross, as discussed above.

Given how those two storylines went, along with Mayweather's, I was waiting for some kind of horrible reveal for Hoshi. I was glad it didn't happen; Hoshi just wanted a peaceful couple of days to try out her language skills and met a cunning linguist.
posted by nubs at 3:48 PM on January 21 [2 favorites]


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