Star Trek: Enterprise: Cease Fire   Rewatch 
May 6, 2019 10:32 AM - Season 2, Episode 15 - Subscribe

Shran asks Archer for a favor.

Memory Alpha reveals some interesting stuff, including a deleted scene:

Deleted scene
Scene 19
In a deleted scene, right after Archer established negotiations with Shran, saying that Ambassador Soval in person should go to the surface, he is coming back to Enterprise in a shutttlepod with T'Pol and one of the hostages, a Vulcan commando, who had been released by the Andorians. Meanwhile Archer asks T'pol why she is so quiet, if she is unhappy about how he handled the negotiations. She replies that as Shran said, this is a very tense situation, but she thinks he is doing well. However, T'Pol alerts Archer that her opinions often differs from those of the Vulcan High Command.

Background information
> The first draft script of this episode was issued on 12 November 2002. The post-production version of the final draft was submitted to archive on 4 February 2003.
> Jeffrey Combs and Christopher Shea both played Vorta in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Combs played perhaps his most famous role of Weyoun and Shea played Keevan in the season six episodes "Rocks and Shoals" and "The Magnificent Ferengi". Combs and Shea also appeared together in the latter episode, though Combs was playing the role of the Ferengi Brunt.
> Suzie Plakson (Tarah) previously played Dr. Selar, (TNG: "The Schizoid Man") K'Ehleyr, (TNG: "The Emissary", "Reunion") and a female Q. (VOY: "The Q and the Grey")
> This is the first episode of Enterprise to have all the monitors on the bridge changed to display alert status during tactical alert.
> This episode continues the Andorians versus Vulcans arc that started in "The Andorian Incident" and "Shadows of P'Jem".
> This episode introduces Archer's love of Andorian ale. Further references occur in "Proving Ground" and "Babel One".

Memorable quotes
"Have you ever known a Vulcan who wouldn't lie to get what he wanted?"
- Tarah, to Shran

"Jonathan, this is the first time the Vulcans have asked for our help. You're the closest thing we have to an ambassador out there. You know how important this could be."
- Forrest, when Soval requests Archer's assistance on Paan Mokar

"I don't like pushing the engines this hard. The injectors are running at 110 percent."
"They're rated for 120."
"And my underwear is flame retardant. That doesn't mean that I'm going to light myself on fire to prove it!"
- Tucker and T'Pol

"I imagined my first diplomatic mission would involve sitting around a big table, toasting with champagne, signing things with lots of pens..."
"The pink skin sense of humor."
- Archer and Shran

"Fifty meters. We need to reduce our speed."
"The ground is gonna do that for us!"
- T'Pol and Archer

"My ears are less likely to draw fire than yours!"
- Archer, to T'Pol and Soval

"What is their fixation with our ears?"
"I believe they're envious."
- Soval and T'Pol

"Just because Captain Archer has earned my respect, doesn't mean I've been contaminated by their emotions."
- T'Pol, to Soval

"I believe someone once defined a compromise as a solution that neither side is happy with."
"In that case, these talks have been extremely successful."
- Archer and Shran

"Join me in a drink to celebrate our mutual dissatisfaction."
"Vulcans don't drink... but this occasion merits an exception."
- Shran and Soval

"Captain, your presence here has not been... overly meddlesome."

Soval, to Archer, before his departure

"I think he likes you, pink skin."
"I wouldn't go that far."
- Shran and Archer, about Soval

This Week In:
* Pointless STO Comparisons: Both Andorian escorts and a Vulcan science ship are available in the cash shop. In stark contrast to the shows, the Andorian ships are better in basically every conceivable way, and some of my favorites in the entire game. (To be fair, these are all 25th century retrofits inspired by the ENT era designs rather than literally centuries old though.)
* Vulcans Are Superior: Played with. Vulcans are more technologically advanced than either other party, but Shran’s the one who seriously calls for peace.
* Non-Catastrophic Equipment Failures: Averted. All their equipment failures are a direct result of Andorian tech: jammers and anti-aircraft fire.
* Aliens Outclass Enterprise: The Vulcans are the most powerful party in this scenario, at least technologically. (Andorians didn’t even have transporters at last check, and there's nothing to indicate that's changed in this episode: they want to land to resupply their people.)

Poster’s Log:
I've generally liked the Andorians vs. Vulcans arc on Enterprise. I feel like this is the sort of content the show should've been about: if they were going to insist on a prequel, we should've seen more of humans laying the groundwork for the future Federation. Promoting peace between warring classic Trek races certainly falls into that category. (That pretty much had to be human-centric to justify the Federation being based off of Earth.)

In particular, I liked that Trip actually did a good job as interim captain this time: not only did he do exactly what Archer would've told him to, but it was actually the right move this time. Moreover, this upholds what I would like Star Trek to be about pretty well: Earth probably would've been fine in the event of hot war between Vulcans and Andorians, but they didn't want to see it regardless, and Trip was willing to risk the entire ship and crew to prevent it.

I even liked Archer's characteristic stubbornness here, because it translated into dedication for a change. His dogged insistence on completing the mission without killing anybody is a help this time.

Finally, I like Shran. I'm still on board with 'Andorians should've been the proud warrior race guys ENT clashed with instead of the Klingons,' in no small part because of Jeffrey Combs' portrayal of this guy.

I only have two caveats here:
1) Archer shouldn't be their only guy out there. Earth should have diplomats in space by now, even if they had to use Warp 2 ships or whatever. They've met too many people who warrant further contact, and the plot didn't require him to be it because Shran already asked for him specifically.

2) This does continue the Bad Vulcans arc. I don't think friction between Andorians and Vulcans really required that - the Vulcans didn't need to be lying or setting up secret listening posts to be trouble. 'Stubborn and technologically superior but unwilling to share tech' probably would've covered it. I imagine our discussion of depictions of Vulcans in the franchise will continue from last week over it. (I feel like there's slightly more to talk about here myself.)
posted by mordax (6 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I don't have very strong feelings about this episode, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. I do think that this plotline shows that even B&B, with their apparent distaste for ongoing plot arcs, are maybe realizing that it's in a lot of ways easier to do that than to rely on one-off episodes, as not only do they seem to be running out of original ideas for those, but they get to do more in-depth plot arcs that way. Even if this is a Bad Vulcans thing, it also shows that there are people on the Andorian side who are willing to subvert their own government's intentions because their distrust of the Vulcans extends to anyone who associates with them; Suzie Plakson does an excellent job of modulating Tarah's reactions and rationalizations--she reminded me of Valeris in Star Trek VI, maybe the original Bad Vulcan. Good work from Combs and Shea, as well.
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:19 AM on May 6, 2019 [3 favorites]

I like what the Andorian arc becomes, but this isn't an especially memorable outing. Shran becomes one of my favorites, but he's nothing special yet. And I resented the show a little for trying to import good will toward a not-very-exciting character by overusing one of my favorite Star Trek actors, watering down his success rate.

I really dislike that the writers thought "pink skin" was a good slur for the Andorians to use to synecdochically represent all of humanity. It's just totally thoughtless writing for multiple reasons, both in-universe and out-.
posted by painquale at 3:15 PM on May 6, 2019 [3 favorites]

So the amusing thing about this episode was watching it with the subtitles on; TARAH: was acknowledged by name when she had a line, but Shran was just given ALIEN:

This episode ended exactly where I expected it to go after Archer's first meeting with Shran - a conference hosted on Enterprise. I just could have done without the twenty minutes of "exciting" action scenes Archer gets in between those two points.

Nothing really to complain about here, except it could have made much better use of Combs. Always nice to see Suzie Plakson.
posted by nubs at 9:03 PM on May 6, 2019 [4 favorites]

I'm with the consensus here that the episode is competent but not especially striking—and certainly not as memorable as it should've been with Combs and Plakson on board.

This does continue the Bad Vulcans arc.

Yeah, has anybody in the show pointed out how emotional the Asshole subset of Vulcan officials is?? These two guys really can't switch off that Jonathan-Edwards-Sinners-in-the-Hands-of-an-Angry-God sneer of contempt. It's becoming one of my consistent criticisms of this show: while other Trek had its standoffish and officious Vulcans as antagonists, this show just gets so heavy-handed and obvious in its portrayal of them; it seems like every time we meet a new Vulcan of any seniority, we just know he's about to bulldoze the orphanage to build condos, unless our plucky young heroes stop him of course.

Astute viewers might have recognized the Other Vulcan as the head of the accounting firm that was always trying to hire, and coax jokes out of, Ben on Parks & Recreation.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 2:27 AM on May 7, 2019 [3 favorites]

OT: VOY's "Faces", of all the episodes, is featured on the front page of Wikipedia.
posted by Halloween Jack at 12:21 PM on May 10, 2019 [2 favorites]

Okay, I needed that laugh. Thank you, Jack. Hahaha.
posted by mordax at 4:30 PM on May 10, 2019

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