Star Trek: Enterprise: Home   Rewatch 
January 26, 2020 6:28 AM - Season 4, Episode 3 - Subscribe

It's been a long road / Flyin' home to lick our wounds / It's been a long trek / But this show gets real good soon…

What ye are about to witness comes down from the time of the beginning without change. This is the Memory Alpha soul. This is our way.

- On the bridge of the starship Columbia, Captain Archer mentions a Captain Jefferies. The remark is a reference to the second season episode "First Flight", in which it was first mentioned that Jefferies is a major contributor to starship design, and Commander Tucker is a member of his team. Both lines of dialogue are also homages to Matt Jefferies, who designed the Constitution-class starship USS Enterprise from Star Trek: The Original Series, and also the namesake of the Jefferies tube.

- This episode features both the first appearance of the planet Vulcan on Star Trek: Enterprise and the first glimpse of Vulcan cities in live-action Star Trek. (The Vulcan city ShiKahr had previously been depicted in TAS: "Yesteryear".)

- Episode writer Mike Sussman had hoped to finally establish in dialogue that the planet Vulcan orbits 40 Eridani, a long-held supposition among Star Trek fans (Gene Roddenberry himself endorsed the idea). The closest Sussman was able to come to this was Tucker's line to T'Pol: "You brought me sixteen light years just to watch you get married to someone you barely know." (40 Eridani is approximately sixteen light years from Earth). Curiously, Sussman's production entity is named "40 Eridani."

- Michael Reilly Burke makes his first of three appearances as Koss. He previously appeared as Goval in TNG: "Descent, Part II" and as Hogue in DS9: "Profit and Loss". Koss was previously mentioned, but not seen, in the first season episode "Breaking the Ice".

- Joanna Cassidy, who plays T'Les in this episode, originally auditioned to play the role of the USS Voyager's captain, Kathryn Janeway.

- T'Pol threatens to declare the kal-if-fee when her betrothed, Koss, informs her that he intends to go through with their prearranged marriage. Koss responds by suggesting that T'Pol's "Human friend" Trip Tucker might make a suitable challenger. In TOS: "Amok Time", T'Pring, a Vulcan woman betrothed to Spock, does declare the kal-if-fee with Spock's "Human friend" Captain James T. Kirk as the challenger. "Amok Time" was the first Star Trek episode to visit the planet Vulcan.

- Mike Sussman "dropped in a couple of references" to the Last Unicorn Star Trek RPG book The Way of Kolinahr. [I have this book, and it's great --ed.]

- At the beginning of the wedding ceremony, the official repeats the language used by T'Pau in TOS: "Amok Time".

- This episode marks the first and only time that Phlox puffs up his face like a blowfish.


"I've been told that people are calling us heroes. When it comes to my crew, you won't get any argument from me. But I think it's important that we remember the heroes who aren't with us – the twenty-seven crewmen who didn't make it back. Without their sacrifice, I wouldn't be standing here right now. None of us would. But I'm sure I speak on behalf of my entire crew when I say… it's good to be home."

- Captain Archer's address before the crowd at their "Welcome Home" ceremony


"You did everything you could to sabotage our mission. I got more help from the Andorians than I ever got from the High Command. This planet would be a cloud of dust right now if we'd listened to you!"

- Archer, to Soval, responding to insinuations that he was negligent in dealing with the crew of the Seleya


"I look at you and I see the person I was three years ago – the explorer that my father wanted me to be. I lost something out there. I don't know how to get it back."

- Archer, to Hernandez


"I'm sorry."
"You're sorry? You brought me sixteen light years just to watch you get married to someone you barely know."

- T'Pol and Trip Tucker


Poster's Log:
I want to shove myself into a locker and dump my own books for saying this, but the thing I seriously liked most was the large amount of screen time for Vulcan interior design.

Second was the fact that we got some meaty character development, just as one might expect from an analog of TNG: "Family." Archer and Soval's interactions here were enjoyable and believable.

I don't know how I feel about the implication that Archer's apparent PTSD just needed a little sexual healing, but I do know how I feel about the clumsy exchange about Cpt. Jefferies ("Ya know, he designed the NX-Class" / "I'm aware of that")—Screenwriting 101, lesson 1, is don't do that.

T'Pol's mom seems like she could be T'Pol's mom, so they got that right. And Trinneer walked just the right line, I think, between confidence and "HOLY CHRIST THIS IS AWKWARD, AND I'M ON VULCAN, SO IT'S AUTOMATICALLY LIKE TWICE AS AWKWARD", which really helped make that storyline work here.

Phlox remains the worst: "I can't blame those men for behaving the way they did"?! Um, yes, you can; they're fucking racists. Next time, skip the face-puffing and spray those shitheads with your toxic spines. Didn't you just get done fighting Nazis?

This is the point in the show where new showrunner Sussman starts to be unshackled, because Berman and Braga knew the show was about to end and they (and the network) stopped caring and interfering. That's per The Fifty-Year Mission, but I won't add more detail here because the next episode is the first of Season 4's many multi-episode arcs, and Jack may have more to say on this topic.

Poster's Log, Supplemental:
We might remember Joanna Cassidy as Zhora in Blade Runner.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil (4 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
I just rewatched it for the second time relatively recently--near the end of S3, I went ahead and finished the third season and the first three episodes of the fourth--and I still enjoyed the experience; the improvement in quality is still startling and very welcome. At first, Soval's behavior at the hearing is appalling and infuriating, not just for the ass-covering but the absolute cravenness of it--not only did Vulcan not tell them about the Seleya, but didn't offer any assistance with their mission in the Expanse, and also had superior technical expertise--did they really expect the Enterprise to subdue and contain the surviving crew while they hunted for the Xindi weapon and the Sphere Builders? Nothing logical about that. But then you put that together with the Vulcan Science Academy firing T'Pol's mom because of what her daughter did, and Soval's later private admission to Archer that he was right--noticeably, out of earshot of the other Vulcans--and you start to get a better picture of just how oppressive the Vulcan government is. This being a rewatch, we know what's being set up for later in the season, but it's still neat to see it in action.

It's also neat to see them setting up the xenophobia on Earth, which will also yield results later, although I agree that Phlox does not come off looking good. On the other hand, I also hoped that at least a few people would have come forward and made the point that that alien that the bullies wanted to run out of town had just saved their fucking planet; maybe that's a little #NotAllHumans, but he had just been in that big stadium Welcome Home the Heroes event. But, as I said, we'll see what all that comes to, eventually.

As for Archer's thing, well, yeah, treating PTSD does involve more than just exercise, fresh air, and high-altitude humpin'. Then again, we never heard about Miles O'Brien's PTSD again, and he came a lot closer to killing himself. I'm just glad that they brought it up at all. And I really liked Erika Hernandez. Of the many regrets about the show's truncated run, that we didn't see more of her is one.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:54 PM on January 26 [3 favorites]


the first glimpse of Vulcan cities in live-action Star Trek.

Honestly, that's kinda wild.

Despite nothing really happening, I liked this one. It had a sort of DS9 feel to it: spending more time on character beats than plot, unlike earlier seasons. It's a feel that I could really get into if I didn't know this would be the last season and we'd be quickly moving towards the conclusion soon. But it feels earned after last season's plot-fest (even if it was interspersed with pointless and frustrating side quests).

I liked how Trip, after earlier declaring that he couldn't wait to spend every day on a new beach, decided that was actually pretty boring and went to Vulcan. I've spoken before about how much I hate T'Tripol (or whatever), but it was fine here. It was also cool seeing a lived-in Vulcan, even if it feels a little weird that these are the people who are apparently more advanced and wiser than humans.

However:

- This episode marks the first and only time that Phlox puffs up his face like a blowfish.

This was by far the highlight of the episode, if the racism stuff was a little rough to get through.

On the other hand, I also hoped that at least a few people would have come forward and made the point that that alien that the bullies wanted to run out of town had just saved their fucking planet; maybe that's a little #NotAllHumans, but he had just been in that big stadium Welcome Home the Heroes event.

RIGHT!?
posted by General Malaise at 4:23 PM on January 27 [2 favorites]


I'm watching this youtube video by Renegade Cut: Berman Trek. It's not very flattering!
posted by fleacircus at 8:26 AM on January 28 [2 favorites]


Boy that stadium design in San Francisco is really terrible, and very small.

I did like T'Pol's mom's house.

It's good to see Archer fucking up meetings with his thin-skinned boorishness and it being A Problem. It's funny, though -- that's really the same way he left Earth. He'll never be ready for an adversarial debriefing. Maybe his anger is justified but his behavior doesn't win friends. Still, good on him for getting laid.

A neat thing would have been if they brought the chef up to the spaceship for Phlox, turned a cargo bad into a restaurant and big crew party.

Wow this episode just ends with Trip watching the wedding and that's it. Cold. Well, it's not going to get in the way of the romance and will just add a little spice to it, I guess.
posted by fleacircus at 10:56 PM on January 28 [1 favorite]


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