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upset by this and states that his family respected his decision. Ryan suggests that maybe his family accepted it because they didn't want him to feel guilty and leaves. Our poor boomer is left looking a little peaked and somewhat perplexed.
Meanwhile, T'Pol discovers that there is a Nausicaan on the freighter. Archer confronts Ryan and asks to see the prisoner. Ryan takes him, T'Pol, Reed and Phlox to a cargo module on the ship where the Nausicaan is supposedly being held. After a short firefight, Ryan locks them in the module which is then released from the ship along with the shuttlepod being jettisoned. The freighter takes off. After Archer and company are rescued by Enterprise, the Captain decides to go after the Fortunate.
Mayweather questions Archer's decision. He thinks that Ryan and crew should be left alone and allowed to do what they want. This is where we get the preachiness. Archer thinks it is wrong for Ryan to go after the Nausicaans for the sake of revenge although perhaps he's a little peeved that Ryan fired on Enterprise. He seems to worry about the Nausicaans being mistreated and frankly I can't sympathize here. After all they are obviously dangerous thugs and have been attacking and raiding Earth freighters for some time. Seems to me that since Starfleet has no jurisdiction over these cargo vessels that Archer is imposing rather "holier than thou" views on the matter. Perhaps if Archer had been dealing with these pirates for as long as the Fortunate crew, he would have a different take on things.
While Ryan's methods are questionable, he is right. The Nausicaans will continue to attack unless something is done to discourage them. At the end of the episode, Captain Keene, now recovered, demotes Ryan which is believable considering he fired on a Starfleet ship but nothing is mentioned of what is going to be done about the Nausicaan pirates which no doubt will continue their raids. It is all well and good for Archer to preach restraint but it doesn't address the problem. Of course this leaves open the future possibilities of Starfleet interfering with the goings-on of merchant ships. Keene seemed to be too easily resigned to it. Since it's clear in the episode that it's been a tradition for freighter Captains and their crews to make their own decisions, it doesn't quite ring true that Keene would have no objections.
The rest of the episode is fairly predictable. Ryan, thinking he has the correct shield frequencies but really doesn't, hunts down the Nausicaan ship, finds it but ends up being attacked by three of them instead. The Nausicaans want their crewman back. Just in the nick of time, Enterprise shows up and with Mayweather's help, as he convinces Ryan to give up the prisoner, saves the day.
Frankly, this one was a yawner. We do get some advancement in the overall storyline of Enterprise and some character development of Mayweather. Still we don't learn much that we don't already know about him, and all in all, this is more like a filler episode. If Starfleet had been contacted and had promised to help deal with the Nausicaans, this would have been a more balanced and complete episode.