Star Trek: Enterprise Rewatch

Star Trek: Enterprise Rewatch: “The Seventh”

“The Seventh”
Written by Rick Berman & Brannon Braga
Directed by David Livingston
Season 2, Episode 7
Production episode 033
Original air date: November 6, 2002
Date: unknown

Captain’s star log. T’Pol is reading a book when she gets a call from Vulcan. She then goes to Archer and informs him that he’s going to get a call from Forrest shortly, during which he will order Archer to divert Enterprise to the Pernaia system and to then let T’Pol take a shuttlepod and a pilot, as well as some weapons, for a classified mission.

Sure enough, Forrest makes that call, but neither he nor T’Pol have any specifics beyond that. Archer gives her a shuttlepod and assigns Mayweather to be her pilot, but he’s obviously cranky about not knowing the mission details.

Later that night, T’Pol goes to Archer’s quarters, interrupting his viewing of a water polo game, to give some more information. The Vulcan Ministry of Security had sent several deep-cover agents to Agaron to help the government take care of criminals who were running rampant on their world. When the mission was over, several of the agents refused to come home, and T’Pol, having recently joined the Ministry of Security, was part of the team sent to retrieve them. She was assigned six agents, and she retrieved five of them.

The sixth is Menos, who is the one they’re after in Pernaia. He’s continuing to live as a Agaron citizen, smuggling biotoxins used in transgenic weapons. T’Pol asks Archer to accompany her on the mission, as she says she needs someone with her she can trust. The captain agrees to go along.

Leaving Tucker in charge, they head out, with Tucker bitching about the fact that Archer won’t read him in on the mission, since apparently he slept through the explanations of what “classified” means during his training and career prior to that day.

The shuttlepod lands on a snowy moon and the trio head to a tavern, where they find Menos. He tries to run, but Mayweather is able to take him down. The Peraian authorities verify their warrant is legit, but they can’t take off yet as the landing area is undergoing maintenance that involves covering the deck in acid. They have to wait a few hours.

Screenshot: CBS

So they hang out in the bar. Menos tries to plead his case. He’s not a criminal, he insists—yes, he worked with smugglers as part of his job for the Ministry of Security, but now he just hauls spent warp injector casings to support his family. He lived for years on Agaron and doesn’t wish to have his ears re-pointed and his forehead smoothed out, he just wants to live his life.

Back on Enterprise, Tucker is enjoying being acting captain—including making use of the captain’s mess and having Reed and Phlox over for dinner—right up to the part where he has to make actual decisions that affect people, which he deals with by putting them off. (“I’ll get back to you.”) Then Sato contacts him and says that the Vulcan ship they’re rendezvousing with to collect T’Pol’s prisoner is early and wants to talk to Archer. The captain specifically ordered Tucker not to tell the Vulcans that he went with T’Pol for some stupid reason, so Tucker puts another pip on his collar and pretends to be Archer. Luckily for him, the Vulcan captain was only contacting him to pass on a message from Forrest about water polo scores…

On Peraia, T’Pol starts having flashbacks to her pursuit of Menos on Risa—except now she is remembering a second person she was chasing besides Menos, someone named Jossen.

She suddenly attacks Menos, but it’s not to hurt him but to remove some of the straps securing him to his chair and wrapping them around her boots so she can go on the acid-covered deck to check out Menos’ ship. To her frustration, the cargo containers all have only spent warp injector casings in them, just as he said. No biotoxins, no contraband of any kind.

T’Pol is starting to doubt herself, and Archer has to remind her that her only job is to bring him in, not judge him. He’ll be put on trial on Vulcan. Menos is less than thrilled with that because regardless of anything else, he is guilty of refusing the return-home order.

T’Pol then asks to speak to Menos alone. Archer and Mayweather take a powder, and T’Pol points her phase pistol at him who Jossen is and asks what happened on Risa. Menos thinks she’s just being annoying, but he soon realizes that she genuinely doesn’t remember the events on Risa or who Jossen is. She bribed a Tellarite captain to tell her where Menos was. But now she is starting to remember confronting Jossen and him reaching for a weapon and her shooting him.

She walks away from Menos and tells Archer the rest of the story: the act of killing Jossen was traumatizing to her. She went to P’Jem to try to deal with the emotions, and finally underwent fullara, a memory-suppressing ritual. She was actually going after seven fugitives, not six, and Menos and Jossen were the last two.

Screenshot: CBS

Menos kicks over a table that leads to a fire starting in the tavern and he escapes. Archer, T’Pol, and Mayweather go to Menos’ ship, but he isn’t there. Mayweather gets life support going, and while doing so he discovers there’s other systems running, even though the ship is theoretically powered down. Shutting it off reveals that there are holographic walls that fall to reveal Menos—and canisters of biotoxins for transgenic weapons. Menos manages to escape, and T’Pol hesitates as she chases him until Archer reminds her that her job is to apprehend, not judge, and she shoots him.

Back on Enterprise, Menos having been turned over to the Vulcans, T’Pol talks with Archer about how humans have an easier time putting trauma behind them because their emotions are closer to the surface.

T’Pol tells Archer that if he ever needs someone he can trust, he knows where to find her.

Can’t we just reverse the polarity? Apparently transgenic weapons, whatever those are, can be made with certain biotoxins.

The gazelle speech. Archer is cranky about his first mate being sent on a mission he knows nothing about, but he becomes less cranky when he’s read in on it. He also does exactly what T’Pol asks him to do, which is keep her on-point.

I’ve been trained to tolerate offensive situations. T’Pol served in the Ministry of Security before joining the Diplomatic Corps. Retrieving seven fugitives was one of her first missions, and it ended badly.

Florida Man. Florida Man Struggles With Responsibilities Of Acting Captain, Lies To Alien Dignitary.

Optimism, Captain! Phlox has detected a lymphatic virus on board and needs to inoculate the crew against it. Because diarrhea is one of the side effects, Tucker is reluctant to authorize the inoculation (because, apparently, Tucker is an eight-year-old boy).

Good boy, Porthos! Porthos is happily watching water polo with Archer when T’Pol comes to visit. The pooch very generously gives up his seat so T’Pol can sit down.

Screenshot: CBS

The Vulcan Science Directorate has determined… Vulcan helped Agaron take down criminal elements that were dominating the planet with a very large number of deep-cover agents, nineteen of whom went native, which doesn’t speak particularly well of how they train their agents…

I’ve got faith…

“I had Chef prepare a special lunch—bangers and mash for you and Denobulan sausage for the doctor.”

“Very nice.”

“Are you sure the captain wouldn’t have a problem with you using his dining room?”

“Acting Captain, Captain’s Mess—I don’t see a problem.”

–Tucker taking advantage of his temporary position despite the comments of Phlox and especially Reed.

Welcome aboard. The big guest is the great Bruce Davison, last seen in Voyager’s “Remember,” as Menos. We also get Stephen Mendillo, David Richards, Vincent Hammond, Richard Wharton, and Coleen Maloney in tiny roles.

Trivial matters: The Vulcan Ministry of Security was referred to as the V’Shar in the TNG episode “Gambit, Part II.” Another one of T’Pol’s missions for the Ministry of Security was seen in the novel Kobayashi Maru by Andy Mangels & Michael A. Martin.

Phlox hypothesizes that the lymphatic virus he discusses with Tucker came on board one of the deuterium canisters. Enterprise obtained a mess of refined deuterium in “Marauders.”

Enterprise visited the monastery at P’Jem in “The Andorian Incident.” T’Pol was very familiar with the place at the time, and this episode reveals a bit of why.

The title refers to both Jossen, who is the seventh fugitive T’Pol was assigned to apprehend, whom she had deliberately forgotten, and also to the fact that this is the seventh episode of the season.

Screenshot: CBS

It’s been a long road… “He was an innocent man, just like I am.” I was having a serious issue with this episode as I was watching it, because I mistook T’Pol’s flashbacks to getting the fullara on P’Jem for her being sexually assaulted, possibly by Jossen. So I was waiting for that to pay off and was pissed when it didn’t. Then I went back and realized that I completely misread those flashbacks.

Once I got over my dumbass misunderstanding, I really appreciated this episode. One of the things these rewatches have done is make me appreciate certain aspects of the shows that I didn’t really get when watching them the first time through when they initially aired, whether good (a greater appreciation for the characters of Riker and Chakotay) or bad (liking the character of La Forge a lot less, frustrated by several choices made by DS9’s writing staff in the later seasons).

In the case of Enterprise, it’s a much greater appreciation of both the character of T’Pol and the actor playing her. Jolene Blalock does excellent work here, showing T’Pol’s anguish and confusion and anger. I particularly like a more realistic look at the downside of emotional control: when something emotional does happen, most Vulcans aren’t equipped to deal with it. And I appreciate that the act of killing someone—which is so often treated cavalierly by dramatic fiction—is sufficiently traumatic to affect T’Pol this badly, which is as it should be.

Matching Blalock is the always-excellent Bruce Davison, who is just sincere enough to make you think that maybe Menos isn’t the horrible person the Ministry of Security says he is, but just dodgy enough that he might well be bullshitting them. Of course, he’s bullshitting them, and it bites him on the ass, as he gets himself shot and arrested.

Points to Scott Bakula, too, who gives us a supportive ally in Archer, who keeps T’Pol in bounds, as it were, and gives her room to work out her issues without compromising the mission.

Points off for the stuff back on Enterprise. This isn’t the first time Tucker’s been in charge of the ship and to see him flail like this is just silly. Plus, his bitching and moaning about not knowing what the mission is comes across as petulant and idiotic. Classified missions are a thing, after all. I can accept Archer being annoyed at his first mate being sent off on a mission he’s not allowed to know about, what with being her superior officer and all, but Tucker has no call to complain at all. Between that, his pathetic impersonation of Archer, and especially his unwillingness to allow a necessary inoculation because of the potential of diarrhea as a side effect, Tucker comes across (again) as a total jackass.

Also, someone needs to edit the scripts. T’Pol refers to the fullara as an “obsolete” ritual, which is, um, not the right adjective to use to describe a ritual that was performed only seventeen years earlier. I mean, if it’s obsolete, it had to have been replaced with something, so why wasn’t T’Pol given that treatment? And if it hasn’t been replaced, it can’t really be obsolete…

Warp factor rating: 8

Keith R.A. DeCandido urges everyone to support the Kickstarter for Thrilling Adventure Yarns 2022, an anthology of pulp stories edited by former Trek comics editor and longtime Trek prose stylist Robert Greenberger. The anthology has been funded, so if you support it now, you’re guaranteed to get what you pledge for. Keith will have a story in it called “Ticonderoga Beck and the Stalwart Squad.” Among the other contributors are Keith’s fellow Trek word-slingers David Gerrold, Peter David, Greg Cox, Michael Jan Friedman, Geoffrey Thorne, Aaron Rosenberg, Paul Kupperberg, Glenn Hauman, and, if a stretch goal is reached, Diane Duane. There’s also a new story by Lester Dent, the creator of Doc Savage, plus tales by Raymond Benson, Jody Lynn Nye, Mark Verheiden, Will Murray, and tons more! Check it out and please consider supporting it!

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