“Storm Front, Part II”
Written by Manny Coto
Directed by David Straiton
Season 4, Episode 2
Production episode 078
Original air date: October 15, 2004
Captain’s star log. We open with a propaganda film of Hitler leading a parade through Times Square, getting a tour of various landmarks and getting the keys to New York City. There’s also a mention of Hitler’s vow to eradicate the “financial profiteers” that have plagued America’s economy, which is code for Jews.
In the White House, a Nazi general is unhappy with the aliens’ help, and threatens to withhold requested supplies unless they see better results in the American resistance being put down. Vosk is less than impressed with the general’s threats, and threatens to erase the general from history if he doesn’t shut up.
On Enterprise, Travers has been placed in the quarters of one of the crew who died in the Delphic Expanse, Ensign O’Malley. Travers is disappointed that wars still happen in the twenty-second century. Archers explains that humans do all live in peace, but not every species they’ve encountered in space feels the same.
Archer offers to bring Travers anywhere she wants to go—including somewhere where the Nazis don’t have power—but she insists on returning to Brooklyn so she can continue to aid the resistance. She also promises to get the word out to try to find out where Tucker and Mayweather are.
Vosk no longer thinks that Mayweather and Tucker are temporal agents, but he also doesn’t think Enterprise is there by coincidence, either. A test of the temporal conduit fails due to a power surge.
Silik enters the cell where Mayweather and Tucker are both unconscious. Tucker wakes up to see the Suliban jumping him.
Reed has analyzed the radio transmissions Sato has intercepted and been able to figure out the alternate history. The turning point was 1916 when Vladimir Lenin was assassinated, which kept the October Revolution from being successful. Russia therefore was a non-factor in the war. This meant that Hitler could concentrate all his forces on the western front, enabling him to conquer France, Belgium, and England, as well as making inroads to America.
Since the Nazi aliens arrived only a couple of years earlier, this may mean another faction assassinated Lenin. The speculation is cut short by Sato telling Archer that Vosk is contacting them—he wants to meet.
Archer beams down with a couple of MACOs. Tucker and Mayweather are shocked to see Archer, since they still thought he was dead. Vosk allows them to be beamed up. The alien knows that they’re not temporal agents; while their technology is too advanced to be mid-twentieth century, it’s not advanced enough to be from an era with time travel. Archer admits that they came to this time due to assistance from a future agency.
Archer also says that he knows that Vosk is trapped in 1944, and that if Vosk returns to the twenty-ninth century, he’ll start a war that will wipe out time. Vosk insists that Archer is getting biased information from a very impeachable source. Vosk promises to restore the timeline if Archer agrees to help Vosk get the temporal conduit working.
Archer reports to sickbay, where Phlox is examining Tucker and Mayweather. Phlox shows Archer the results of his scans without saying anything, but soon “Tucker” figures out that Archer knows he’s not the real McCoy. After a struggle, “Tucker” escapes from sickbay, only to be shot by MACOs surreptitiously summoned by Phlox—at which point, he’s revealed to be Silik.
Travers is treating a wound Carmine got fighting Nazis. Carmine asks where she got the weird device (a communicator). Travers is angry that Carmine went through her jacket, but he insists he was just looking for cigarettes. She says it’s a radio, but Carmine says it’s like no radio he’s ever seen.
Archer questions Silik in the brig. Silik refuses to confirm Archer’s theory that the mysterious figure from the future sent him to retrieve the disc they found on Silik’s person, that that disc will enable the Suliban’s benefactor to fully travel back in time. Archer also threatens Silik, prompting the Suliban to comment that Archer has changed. Bitterly, Archer says the changes aren’t for the better.
Vosk contacts Enterprise, having discovered that Silik stole the disc. Archer refuses to give it back to him. Vosk fires on Enterprise, and the starship fires back. Alas, the alien facility is too well shielded.
Archer decides to accept that he and Silik have the same goal: to stop Vosk from using the temporal conduit. T’Pol has decrypted the disc and knows how to disable the shield. Silik and Archer beam down to Earth, Silik disguising himself as a human, Archer instructing T’Pol to fire on the facility ten minutes after the shields go down.
The general informs Vosk that the alien weapons must be used against American troops who have launched a counteroffensive over the Ohio River. Vosk needs six hours to prepare the weapons—and then he tells his lieutenant that they have six hours to get the temporal conduit up and running.
Archer and Silik recruit Carmine, Travers, and other resistance fighters to help them destroy a Nazi weapon. They agree.
Reed reports about fighting in eastern Pennsylvania and southern Virginia. T’Pol orders Mayweather to bring Enterprise into a low orbit.
When Vosk is told that the compound is being ambushed, he says to let the Germans handle it. They need to get the temporal conduit up and running.
While Carmine and his fellow resistance fighters continue the battle outside the compound, Archer and Silik are able to get in thanks to the latter’s shapeshifting abilities. They sabotage the shields, and T’Pol has Mayweather fly into the atmosphere, as the ship’s targeting sensors are down. Archer and Silik trade gunfire with many Nazis, one of whom delivers a fatal wound to Silik. The Suliban dies calling Archer a worthy adversary.
Archer needs to get out of the compound in order to contact the ship and be beamed out. He bumps into Tucker, whom Silik left in a darkened room, tied up. Tucker had managed to escape his bonds, and at first he thinks Archer is Silik in disguise, but eventually he realizes that it’s the real Archer when he sees Silik’s dead body.
They get outside to where Carmine is, in his words, having too much fun shooting Nazis. However, when Archer tells him to get the hell away as the place will be “bombed,” he listens.
German airplanes attack Enterprise in the sky, some armed with alien weapons. Once Archer is beamed up, Reed fires on the compound, destroying the temporal conduit before Vosk and his people can use it.
Archer finds himself next to Daniels on an astral plane. Daniels is back to his old self, and he assures Archer that his actions have saved time. Daniels promises that this is the last time Archer will ever see him, and he says it was an honor to know him. Then Archer finds himself on the bridge, the ship now in the twenty-second century and in orbit of the Earth they call home.
Can’t we just reverse the polarity? Reed is forced to fire weapons manually, as targeting scanners are offline. Because that means the margin of error for aiming is huge, T’Pol has Enterprise come into the atmosphere so he can fire at point-blank range and lower the risk of collateral damage to innocents.
The gazelle speech. Archer is very aware of how much less of a pleasant person the mission to the Delphic Expanse has made him. He also promises Travers to do everything he can to restore the timeline and keep American safe from direct Nazi attack.
I’ve been trained to tolerate offensive situations. T’Pol saves the day by getting the information on how to disable the alien shields and being the one to move Enterprise into place to blow up the time conduit.
Florida Man. Florida Man Kidnapped And Replaced By Shape-Changing Alien!
Optimism, Captain! Phlox discovers that Silik is disguised as Tucker by the simple expedient of a medical exam, which you’d think Silik would be smart enough to know would be an issue…
I’ve got faith… “Our greatest scientist once said: ‘Every moment we live, we are moving through time.’ We’ve earned the right to choose which direction. The mastery of time has allowed us to perfect ourselves, to reach our full potential as a people, and to vanquish those who oppose us!”
Vosk giving an inspirational speech that hints at a much more interesting culture than the rest of the episode gave us.
Welcome aboard. Back from Part 1 are Golden Brooks as Travers, Jack Gwaltney as Vosk, Christopher Neame as the German general, Steven R. Schirripa as Carmine, and recurring regulars John Fleck as Silik and Matt Winston as Daniels, who both make their final appearances.
Trivial matters: This episode obviously continues from the first part, and also concludes the Temporal Cold War arc that has been part of the show from jump. The Temporal Wars will next be mentioned in Discovery’s “That Hope is You,” when it’s revealed that—in the wake of the Temporal Wars—time travel was outlawed by the thirty-second century, a restriction that was universally adopted due to no one wanting more time wars to happen. In addition, the messing with the timelines that Daniels mentions in this episode is seen, after a fashion, in the SNW episode “Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow,” as La’an and a Kirk from an alternate timeline encounter a Romulan temporal agent who is trying to change Earth history.
John Fleck has appeared in a dozen episodes of Star Trek between 1991 and 2004, and this is the only one of those twelve in which he appears without any facial prosthetics. (Besides his Suliban persona as Silik, his other characters have included two different Romulans, a Cardassian, and a Karemma, as well as an unidentified Delta Quadrant species.)
It’s been a long road… “I would’ve preferred to die fighting you, but I suppose I can settle for this.” What an absolute mess of a two-parter this is. It’s never good when you can see the strings, and the strings are in technicolor on this one. It’s obvious that Manny Coto’s instructions for this episode were to dispense with the Temporal Cold War by any means necessary, and it’s equally obvious that “come up with a convincing story” wasn’t one of the means Coto employed.
The storyline makes absolutely no sense—which, to be fair, puts it in company with every other TCW story—and the resolution is just pathetic. Enterprise blows up a building and the TCW is all over and we’ll never see Daniels again. Yeehaw.
It is never explained who the aliens are, why their not returning to the future from the alternate 1944 is so pivotal an event, what their motivations are.
Well, that’s not entirely fair, we get a hint of it in Vosk’s speech at the time conduit. It hints at a society that believes in the power of time travel to improve their lot in life. More to the point, it hints at the possibility of a very interesting science fiction story.
Alas, we never do get that story, instead being stuck with this nonsense. Ultimately, it’s paperwork, disposing of a storyline nobody involved with the show actually wanted, and which nobody involved with the show ever gave enough of a damn about to even try to make sense of. Unfortunately, that level of contempt for a storyline will shine through to the viewers, and if you don’t care about your story, the viewers won’t care, either. Which is one of many reasons why the show didn’t get enough viewers to justify further seasons beyond this one, which starts so unbelievably poorly.
Warp factor rating: 2
Keith R.A. DeCandido has stories in two new anthologies out now: Double Trouble: An Anthology of Two-Fisted Team-Ups, which he also co-edited with Jonathan Maberry, and which features team-ups of classic characters (Keith paired H. Rider Haggard’s title character from She with the Yoruba goddess Egungun-oya), with other contributors including fellow Trek scribes David Mack, Greg Cox, Dayton Ward, Derek Tyler Attico, Kevin J. Anderson, Diana Dru Botsford, David A. McIntee, and Rigel Ailur; and Sherlock Holmes: Cases by Candlelight Volume 2, which has four tales of Holmes & Watson by Keith, Christopher D. Abbott, and two more fellow Trek scribes Michael Jan Friedman and Aaron Rosenberg.