“Two Days and Two Nights”
Written by Rick Berman & Brannon Braga and Chris Black
Directed by Michael Dorn
Season 1, Episode 25
Production episode 025
Original air date: May 15, 2002
Date: February 18, 2152
The crew draws lots to see who gets to go on 48-hour shore leave and who is stuck on board. In addition, Phlox chooses to take this opportunity to hibernate for two days, leaving Cutler in charge of sickbay.
Archer feels guilty about going down when so many of his crew aren’t, but T’Pol firmly reminds him that he needs a vacation. Rostov flies Archer, Porthos, Tucker, Reed, Mayweather, and Sato down in one shuttle, which is apparently the one labelled, “opening credits regulars.” They compare vacation plans: Archer has rented a villa on the water, where Porthos can run on the beach. Mayweather is going rock-climbing. Sato has deliberately left her universal translator behind as she wants to learn some new languages. And Reed and Tucker plan to get laid.
Archer discovers that he has a humanoid neighbor named Keyla, who also has a dog. At one point, her dog, Rhylo, gets loose and confronts Porthos. Keyla comes to rescue Rhylo (or maybe rescue Porthos), and while she turns down Archer’s dinner invitation, she does agree to meet up with him the next day. Later that night, she sees him looking through a telescope. She joins him and sees Sol through the telescope.
They talk, and soon Keyla reveals that her family was all killed by members of the Cabal. After Archer mentions that he’s encountered the Suliban, Keyla becomes more curious, almost getting to the point of interrogating him. They decide to go for a walk on the beach, but Archer is getting suspicious of the sudden questioning. He surreptitiously does a bioscan, then sends it to Enterprise while Keyla is getting a sweater. She’s revealed to be Tandaran, and while Keyla initially denies it, and says she has no idea who Colonel Grat is, she then drugs Archer, and disappears.
Sato converses with a Risan couple at a restaurant in their native language. They’re impressed with how quickly she’s picked it up. After they head out, an alien named Ravis approaches her. He’s curious as to whether or not she can learn his very complex language. She invites him to join her, and they continue to talk for some time. He picks up on English with great acuity and speed, while she struggles with his tongue. They go to a steampool, and eventually wind up spending the night together. On the final morning, Ravis expresses concern that he took advantage of her, but Sato reassures him that she didn’t do anything she didn’t want to do, and had a wonderful time.
Mayweather has an accident while rock climbing, and while he’s taken to a Risan hospital, he prefers to be treated on Enterprise. He’s more than a little nonplussed to be treated by Cutler. However, while Cutler has no problem treating his injury, Mayweather has an allergic reaction to the pain meds the Risan hospital gave him. They have to reluctantly wake Phlox up. Phlox is bleary, to say the least, and struggles mightily to be coherent, much less have enough of his shit together to treat Mayweather. However, he manages to stumble through and fix Mayweather’s anaphylaxia, and then he collapses on a biobed.
Finally, Tucker and Reed go to a nightclub. They scope out the alien babes, eventually finding themselves chatting up a couple of lovely humanoid women. After talking for many hours, one of the women asks if they’ve seen the subterranean gardens. When they reply in the negative, the women lead them down a staircase to some tunnels, where the women are revealed to be shapechanging male aliens who pull weapons on the pair of them. Since they don’t have many valuables on them, they take their clothes, and then tie them to a pillar. They’re there most of the night, finally managing to break a bottle of wine and using the shards to cut the ropes, at which point they have to come up into the club in their underwear.
On the shuttlepod back to Enterprise, nobody is specific about what they did, Tucker and Reed because they’re too embarrassed, Sato because it’s nobody damn business, and Archer—well, it’s not clear why Archer didn’t discuss an attempt by a Tandaran covert operative to interrogate him about the Suliban Cabal with his senior staff, but whatever.
I’ve been trained to tolerate offensive situations. T’Pol sends a copy of The Teachings of Surak for Archer to read while on vacation. It’s not clear if she’s misreading her captain or trolling her captain…
Florida Man. Florida Man And Friend Get Rolled By Shape-Changing Alien Seductresses.
Optimism, Captain! Denobulans hibernate six days out of the year, and Phlox is due, though he only hibernates for two, which he says will do in a pinch. But waking him up prematurely results in a certain lack of focus. Or ability to stay upright. Or remember where he is.
Good boy, Porthos! Porthos gets to galumph on a beach, meet another dog, and wake Archer up when he’s drugged by licking him a lot.
No sex, please, we’re Starfleet. Tucker and Reed go for the explicit purpose of getting laid and get rolled for their trouble. Sato doesn’t go looking for sex, but finds it anyhow. There’s a lesson in that…
I’ve got faith…
“Have you ever been to an alien hospital?”
“Yes—in San Francisco.”
–Mayweather asking a plaintive question and needing to be reminded that T’Pol (a) isn’t from Earth and (b) lived on Earth for several years before being assigned to Enterprise.
Welcome aboard. Dey Young plays her third Trek role as Keyla, her second time playing a character who is an alien in disguise and whose flirting with a main character is a cover, having previously done so as Arissa in DS9’s “A Simple Investigation.” She also played Bates in TNG’s “The Masterpiece Society.”
Rudolf Martin plays Ravis. Martin is probably best known for his recurring role of Ari Haswari on NCIS, and he also has the amusing distinction of playing both Dracula (on Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and Vlad the Impaler (in Dark Prince: The True Story of Dracula).
We’ve also got recurring regulars Kellie Waymire as Cutler and Joseph Will as Rostov.
Trivial matters: This, sadly, is Kellie Waymire’s last appearance as Cutler. She died unexpectedly in 2003 at the age of 36. The producers had intended to bring her back, but never did before her untimely death.
It was established that Denobulans hibernate for six days a year in “Dear Doctor.”
Tandarans, and their conflict with the Suliban Cabal, were seen in “Detained.”
The producers considered using an original series planet for their shore leave episode, including the amusement-park world from “Shore Leave” (and “Once Upon a Planet“) and Wrigley’s Pleasure Planet mentioned in “The Man Trap.” The former was rejected because it was new to humans in the original series episode, and the latter was rejected because it sounded too human to be a world Enterprise would encounter this early in its mission.
This was the last appearance of Prada as Porthos. Breezy, a beagle who’d been used as a stand-in for Prada when Porthos needed to be friskier, took over after this episode, alongside another beagle named Windy.
The copy of The Teachings of Surak that T’Pol gives Archer is translated by Skon of ShiKahr. Skon was established as Spock’s grandfather (Sarek’s father) in The Search for Spock, while ShiKahr was established as the hometown of Spock and his family in the animated episode “Yesteryear.”
It’s been a long road… “You don’t sound very relaxed, Captain.” After two episodes of buildup, the actual arrival of Enterprise at Risa is a huge letdown. Trek is now three for three in having their Risa-focused episodes be dreadful, as both TNG’s “Captain’s Holiday” and DS9’s “Let He Who is Without Sin…” are both also pretty lousy.
This may be the worst, though, mainly because the episode is just cheap. Cheap laughs, cheap sets, cheap visuals, cheap everything. At least in the other two episodes, Risa looked like a fun, relaxing place, with beautiful scenery, and even a bit of location shooting. In this episode, Risa looks like a bad soundstage, with some particularly mediocre 2002-era CGI to make it look even worse.
To add insult to injury, we keep hearing about cool places to visit: the boat where they eat fresh seafood that Keyla recommends to Archer, the steambaths Ravis and Sato go to, Mayweather’s rock-climbing. For that matter, most of the alien women that Reed and Tucker check out remain off-camera, and their daring escape from the catacombs also inexplicably happens off-camera.
Reed and Tucker’s plotline is by far the worst of the four. The moment they walked into the club in their jackets I was just waiting for Haddaway’s “What is Love?” to start playing and the two of them to bop their heads to it. While their getting rolled by shape-changers was played for laughs, I mostly just thought it was what they deserved after watching their sleazy behavior, and I was rooting for the thieves. And rooting for Enterprise to leave without them…
Archer’s plot is serviceable, but not that exciting. It’s a little too reminiscent of Dey Young’s last role, but with less subtlety, and with a significantly less interesting person for her to play off of. Odo is a tragic figure trying to figure out his place on a station where he’s unique and different, and where he’s been rejected by his people, whom he has also rejected because they’re fascists. Archer, by contrast, is a dude with a dog.
(Oh yeah, the dog. We did this in Voyager’s “Ex Post Facto,” too—how is it that this alien woman has an Earth dog? What the heck?)
Anyhow, Scott Bakula’s rather tiresome inability to make Archer into anything other than a mediocre white guy pretty much torpedoes this whole plot, as there’s nothing really there. Having more unintended consequences to “Detained” is nice, but rather than build on it, this is instead the last we’ll ever hear of the Tandarans, rendering the whole thing pointless, since it kind of ends on a cliffhanger with Keyla buggering off after slipping Archer a Mickey.
What one thinks of the Mayweather-Phlox storyline depends entirely upon how funny you think John Billingsley’s goofball antics are while being half-asleep. I found the whole thing to be a tiresome sitcom plot—which we already had too much of with Connor Trinneer and Dominic Keating channeling Chris Kattan and Will Ferrell on the planet—and I just found it irritating. But I freely admit that that’s particularly subjective, and your mileage may vary.
The only part of the story I actually liked was Sato and Ravis’s whirlwind vacation. There was genuine chemistry between Linda Park and Rudolf Martin, and their conversations were all fun and engaging, unlike the leaden banter between Bakula and Young or the idiocy with Trinneer and Keating.
Warp factor rating: 4
Keith R.A. DeCandido is also reviewing the current Trek shows as each new episode is released. Look out this week for his overview of Picard‘s second season and his review of the “Children of the Comet” episode of Strange New Worlds.