Star Trek: Enterprise: The Expanse   Rewatch 
July 22, 2019 8:51 AM - Season 2, Episode 26 - Subscribe

It turns out “Vaankara” is Vulcan for “Event Horizon.”

Memory Alpha has a number of details, including deleted scenes.

Log entries
"Captain's Starlog, April 24, 2153. The journey home has been very difficult. We've now learned that over seven million people were lost."
"Captain's Starlog, supplemental. We've been traveling at warp 5 for seven weeks. The crew is anxious to begin our mission."

Deleted scenes
Scenes 43 - 44

Archer walks the streets of San Francisco and enters a Chinese Restaurant. Talking with the maitre d', Tommy, he notices that the place is a little empty because people are preferring to stay home since the Xindi Attack. Archer then asks about a woman, Tommy says that she is here but he is late.

Archer apologizes to her about his delay and she asks if he is on Earth because of the attack. Archer says nothing but she understands that the attack is the reason he's on Earth, and asks how long he will be home. He replies that he wishes the time was longer because he was hoping to spend some time with her. She asks if Starfleet knows the identity and the reasons of the attacker. Archer says that little is known but not enough, and because of the attack, he will probably be gone for a long time – and reveals the name of the lady: Becky. Becky says that he has been gone for a long time before, and what she will do if she finds out that he has a girl in every spaceport – but before she can finish, Archer strokes her cheek and they share a kiss.

She says that he supposes that she will invite him to her apartment. Archer asks how his chances are. She opens a fortune cookie and says that he is lucky.

Scene 44A

Archer enters Sato's quarters and notices that she is dressed in civilian clothes and packing up some things. He asks how the talk with her folks went. Sato says she thinks that she needs to brush up on her Japanese. Archer doubts that and notes that Enterprise got new upgrades for the universal translator. Sato replies that it can make things a lot easier. Archer says that the universal translator will never replace a linguist with a magical ear, but Sato replies that her ear is not so magical. Archer, feeling embarrassed, says that is a matter of opinion.

Sato puts a book on the shelf, Languages of the Sub-Sahara, and Archer is surprised that she will leave that one here. Sato says she has not read it yet, and Archer asks why she's not taking it with her. Sato replies that she's sending the packed books to her mother to give her more shelf space because a lot has been written about alien languages since they left Earth, and the clothes are also going back to her mother because she thought it was time to upgrade her civvies.

Archer laughs and reveals that he was thinking that she was leaving Enterprise before the Xindi Mission. Sato asks why, and Archer replies how she is more of an academic teacher. She interrupts and asks if that means that she is not capable of handling herself during the new mission. Archer tells her that was not was what he meant. Sato replies that she does not know what is inside the Delphic Expanse, but she thinks to have proven that she can handle herself in difficult situations and that she can provide some help along the way, if Archer wants her. He smiles and tells her he wouldn't want it any other way.

Background information
> The final draft script of this episode was issued on 20 May 2003.
> When completed, the episode came in ten minutes too long, resulting in the editing out of several scenes. A subplot featuring Archer's previously unmentioned love interest was removed entirely, while a scene dealing with Hoshi Sato's decision to remain aboard ship despite the risks was also cut.
> The episode marked the end of the second season of Star Trek: Enterprise, and the beginning of the Xindi arc in which the crew search for the Xindi weapon.
> This marks the first time photonic torpedoes are used on a Starfleet ship.
> This episode marks the final appearance of the Humanoid Figure a.k.a. Future Guy (James Horan) and the death of Duras (Daniel Riordan).
> Bruce Wright previously played Sarish Rez in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Crossfire".
> While Archer is digging through the wreckage of the Xindi probe, he picks up an item and determines that it's from the future. It truly is, as it is the reuse of Quark's cloaking device in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Profit and Loss".
> The stasis tube in which the Xindi-Reptillian corpse is stored is a re-use of the lower half of one of the growing racks from USS Voyager's Airponics bay, specifically, the one with the drawer in which future-Kes hid the younger Kes in "Fury".
> This episode marks the last appearance of Admiral Maxwell Forrest (Vaughn Armstrong) until the fourth season episode "Home".
> This episode was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Special Visual Effects for a Series. Dennis McCarthy's music composition also received an Emmy nomination.
> When Enterprise is battling the Klingons in the thermobarric clouds, Archer wants to go to full impulse – but Tucker says that the manifolds are having a tough time as it is. This mirrors a similar scene in Star Trek: Insurrection when Riker wants to go to full impulse in the Briar Patch, but La Forge tells him that the manifolds can't handle it.
> The scene where Enterprise NX-01 leaves the drydock reused the footage from "Broken Bow", when the ship first launched.
> The book Star Trek 101, by Terry J. Erdmann and Paula M. Block, lists this episode as one of the "Ten Essential Episodes" from Star Trek: Enterprise.
> The distance from Florida to Venezuela is only 2700 kilometers, and no part of Venezuela is directly south of Florida. The destruction thus could not have been a straight line, and must have run generally in a southeasterly direction.

Memorable quotes
"Our Science Directorate has determined that time travel is impossible."
- Vulcan Ambassador Soval, to Captain Archer and Admiral Forrest

"To Henry Archer. I wonder what he would have thought if he knew his engine was going to help save the Human race?"
- Tucker, toasting Captain Archer's father

"When I got this job, commanding the first warp five ship was about as big a responsibility as I could have imagined. Then we began running into so many... bad guys, and I had to start thinking more about the safety of 83 people."
"And now the stakes have gotten a lot bigger."
"Weight of the world, Trip."
- Archer and Tucker

"It's not my place to disobey the High Command."
"Nonsense. You've done it before."
- T'Pol and Phlox

"It's interesting, you and I, the only aliens on board this vessel. To go or to stay. For me it was a simple question of loyalty towards the captain, and the sad realization that he will need me now more than ever on such a crucial mission. But for you, it's a more difficult decision. Does your allegiance lie with the High Command or with Captain Archer?"
- Phlox, advising T'Pol on what to do

"I'm gonna need all the muscle I can get when we cross into the Expanse."
- Archer on the MACOs being assigned to Enterprise

"You need me, Captain."
- T'Pol

"It would seem we're not going to Vulcan."
- Archer

"Sure you still want to tag along?"
"It's only logical."
- Archer and T'Pol

"Surrender or be destroyed."
"Go to hell!"
"You're outnumbered and outgunned, Archer. Come about and prepare to be boarded. If you don't obey my orders, I'll–"
- Duras and Jonathan Archer

"Straight and steady, Mr. Mayweather. Let's see what's in there."
- Archer when Enterprise enters the Delphic Expanse (last lines)

This Week In:
* Pointless STO Comparisons: Numerous, so I suppose I'll dole them out slowly. One that comes to mind is that the effects of Delphic Expanses are simplified in the MMO, just causing damage over time to a player’s ship unless it has appropriate shielding.
* Vulcans Are Superior: Passed in favor of more Bad Vulcans.
* Non-Catastrophic Equipment Failures: Specifically the opposite, as the NX-01’s intake manifolds weren’t rated for dealing with the thermobaric clouds, but survived the process anyway.
* Aliens Outclass Enterprise: The Xindi weapon was pretty good. The Klingons would normally have a spot here, but appear completely confounded by photon torpedoes.

Poster’s Log:
This felt overstuffed. I’m not surprised the original draft ran long.

Random thoughts, in no particular order:
* The Xindi probe doesn’t make much sense as a weapons test. I mean, who fires a shot that won’t do the job the first time? All it means is ‘more defenses when the final weapon is deployed.’ (Plus, if the Xindi homeworld was going to be destroyed in 400 years, it meant they had some time to get the weapon right.)

* Throwing in Duras for tension felt a little weird with so many other things going on. I can see them wanting to do it to both establish the NX-01’s superior firepower against an ongoing foe and solidly establish the Klingons wouldn’t be a problem in S3, but it still felt out of place, probably due to how busy everything was.

* I probably would’ve traded Hoshi’s deleted scene back in and cut the Vulcan psychotherapist bit instead, just to actually get Hoshi some screen time.

* The line about ‘no more non-interference’ from Trip was pretty grating.

* The casualty figures at least made some sense. A lot of times, Star Trek features some pretty tiny populations - VOY was especially egregious there, during our last rewatch, (entire planets with only 5000 people and so on). Seven million felt plausible to me, and the number continuously going up was a good detail.
posted by mordax (11 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
This is a good beer episode. It’s not egregious, the 9/11 parallel is there- but so is the ties to the temporal Cold War bullshit plot and this episode has some good character beats. So crack open a can of something light and refreshing and enjoy the ep. It goes off the rails soon.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 9:39 AM on July 22, 2019 [1 favorite]

DS9 and VOY both had somewhat of a repilot/redefinition at their halfway points (“The Way of the Warrior” and “Scorpion”) so I’m not surprised that ENT does the same even if the producers didn’t know it was the halfway point. For me this is the turning point where things get good better, but we still have a ways to go.
posted by Servo5678 at 10:07 AM on July 22, 2019 [1 favorite]

I remember liking this episode a lot more when I first watched it. A lot of it is good: the performances are getting better, the action scenes are pretty good for what they are, the character-building and world-building is stronger than normal. Plus, I thought this episode had pretty good CGI for the early 2000s TV. Actually, huh, this episode was actually nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Special Visual Effects for a Series.

I guess I've just grown weary of the 9/11 parallel that somehow screams louder across time than it did the last time I watched it. It was remarkably uncomfortable seeing Trip going full nativist.

The whole Klingon thing seemed a little unnecessary, but I guess without it there isn't much of a plot of this episode.

And, um, it's weird that an attack from the future occurred that killed ~7 million people that leads eventually to [TKTKTKTK] is not in any way mentioned in future shows, so, um I guess playing fast and lose with continuity, but that's a super minor issue that I'm completely okay with ignoring.

Also the Xindi's plan makes absolutely no sense like mordax mentioned, and this may be the worst use of the Temporal Cold War of the season (and remarkably convoluted), but I guess you have to irrationally move some pieces around to get to your desired outcome. If I remember correctly, I liked the third season (and this arc in general) a lot more than the rest of the series, so I'm kind of hopeful.
posted by General Malaise at 10:52 AM on July 22, 2019 [5 favorites]

You hit the major points that I had thought of. Even though this is obviously a big course change for the series--it occurred to me that the Xindi arc stretches over parts of three seasons, since S3 ends in a cliff-hanger that concludes in S4's "Storm Front" two parter--it still feels like they were building up to something with Duras that got finished in a very peremptory manner. Clearly, they had to make that sort of course correction, although the initial steps in that direction had mixed results (I'll talk about that more next week, since I went ahead and watched "The Xindi"); I still think that they could have done a bit better than to simply copy Khan's following the Enterprise into the Mutara Nebula from STII. The weapon test makes no real sense; kill off millions of your ostensible enemy's civilians, but leave their military entirely intact, and further don't self-destruct the test weapon so that they could use it to track you down and find out more things about you? What could possibly go wrong? And I also thought that the casualty figures were more probable than, say, VOY's "Jetrel." I even picked up on the Event Horizon parallels, which the franchise has used before, with actual footage from the movie in VOY's "Random Thoughts", and deleterious effects of experimental starship drives in "Threshold" and Star Trek: Discovery.

I'm still seeing it as a generally positive turn for the series and franchise, regardless of the particulars of the 9/11 metaphor and what that will be used to justify in the season to come (which I will be quite critical of, when those episodes come). We've already spent a lot of bytes going over the general, The Right Stuff-at-warp-speed antero-nostalgia bent of the series thus far, and its various problems and deficits, so no need to rehash that now; the positive aspects of this change are that they'll be looking at the long game, and that the consequences are bigger than they have been in a while.
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:16 AM on July 22, 2019 [3 favorites]

I suspect Duras was written in largely or solely so that they could put some Klingon Action clips in the UPN promo spots for the big season finale. That subplot sticks out like a surplus thumb on rewatch.

And yeah, there's reason to be optimistic (even on rewatch) about a shift to a big serialized arc…and yet it's remarkable to me how little I concretely recall about season 3. IIRC, it's darker and more anxious in tone, Archer commits a war crime or two, there are Xindi and spheres…and it caps off with


Nazis, which might be an even stranger choice for a plot development than the "Duras died on the way back to his home planet" thing here.

Shit, one line of dialogue would've fixed the Duras issue.


Old Klingon (to another): Ssssooo… Archer's cleaned up our little Duras problem for us, as expected.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 11:26 AM on July 22, 2019 [6 favorites]

it's weird that an attack from the future occurred that killed ~7 million people that leads eventually to [TKTKTKTK] is not in any way mentioned in future shows, so, um I guess playing fast and lose with continuity

I thought of that too, and it might be a better idea to revisit that at the end of the season, on the off chance that this is a first watch for someone, because going into it involves discussing plot twists further on in the season. Suffice it to say that, even with the staggering casualty numbers, it may have not come up simply because that's not what the 23rd and 24th century Federation decided to commemorate, at least not in any way that would have come up, even in casual conversation, in the Starfleet-centric settings of the Trek shows. (As a real-life example, consider all the commemorations around the centennial of World War I, but not so much with the worldwide flu pandemic that was deadlier by far.) Of course, that's always going to be a challenge with a prequel--come up with something significant, but not so significant that it changes continuity--and some retconning is to be expected.
posted by Halloween Jack at 2:08 PM on July 22, 2019 [1 favorite]

Good idea, Halloween Jack. Let's stick a pin in this for the end of next season (or the series).
posted by General Malaise at 5:16 PM on July 22, 2019

I'm still seeing it as a generally positive turn for the series and franchise, regardless of the particulars of the 9/11 metaphor and what that will be used to justify in the season to come (which I will be quite critical of, when those episodes come)

Same and same. S3 is where I remember starting to warm to the show even though a lot of the particulars are really grating. Going to be a lot of mixed reviews coming up, I believe.

As a real-life example, consider all the commemorations around the centennial of World War I, but not so much with the worldwide flu pandemic that was deadlier by far.

That was how I justified this on first watch: seven million people is a lot right in the moment, but the trauma doesn't necessarily stick.

When I saw this the first time, I was more surprised/irritated by the existence of the Delphic Expanse, practically next door to Earth. Like, 'by the way, the Space Bermuda Triangle is right there!' caught my eye, especially after how close they put the Klingons during the pilot.

(I'm honestly impressed it made any kind of sense in retrospect.)

I thought of that too, and it might be a better idea to revisit that at the end of the season, on the off chance that this is a first watch for someone, because going into it involves discussing plot twists further on in the season.

To fair, this is explicitly a rewatch thread.

That said, I'm going to wait until Storm Front to explain the absurd/gonzo Star Trek Online missions that tie a bow on the Temporal Cold War. (It'll be a good distraction from actually talking about Storm Front itself.)
posted by mordax at 2:47 PM on July 23, 2019 [1 favorite]

Correction: d'oh, I didn't flag these rewatch. Well. I'll try to remember going forward, since I have never actually been careful about that. My bad. :(
posted by mordax at 2:50 PM on July 23, 2019

(It'll be a good distraction from actually talking about Storm Front itself.)

That episode is not a beer episode. That episode is a half bottle of vodka and the edibles of your choice episode. It’s an episode that makes you want to walk up to a paramount executive and throttle them episode. Braga knows what he did.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 7:29 PM on July 23, 2019 [2 favorites]

I guess they were writing this one right during the invasion of Iraq. So fucking gross.
posted by fleacircus at 6:48 AM on November 3, 2019

« Older Book: The Happiness Project, T...   |  Book: Shades of Grey... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments