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Story by: Stephen Beck and Tim Finch
Teleplay by: Stephen Beck and Tim Finch
Directed by: Robert Duncan McNeill
When the Enterprise comes in contact with an alien vessel transporting stargazers to observe a spectacular stellar event, Archer invites them aboard the ship not realizing that Silik, a Suliban enemy, is among them. Archer quickly realizes that Silik is engaged in a nefarious time-travelling mission and must stop him before he can tamper with the course of history. ~ StarTrek.com
I love complex story arcs, which is why I loved DS9 so much and it's great to see Enterprise following up on the Temporal Cold War storyline and not resolving it, as so far I find this plotline very intriguing. The Suliban are unpredictable and menacing villains at par with DS9's shapeshifting Dominion aliens as is the mysterious man from the future who leads them. We still don't know what is happening with these aliens and their leader or what their plans really are. We do learn that without Silik's help, Enterprise would probably have been destroyed so they don't want Enterprise out of the picture it seems. They are trying to alter the future, but why? This is all very engaging as was this episode.
Enterprise comes across a stellar nursery where they meet up with a transport ship carrying religious pilgrims who are there to view the "Great Plume of Agasoria", basically a protostar that gives off a neutron blast periodically. To the pilgrims this is a sacred event.
Archer invites them over to Enterprise to better view the phenomenon. After greeting the visitors, a discussion ensues about the religious views of the pilgrims. Dr. Phlox likens them to the beliefs of the Hindus of Earth; when there he studied several religions. We find out that Buddhism and Catholicism still exist as well. While it seems logical that religions would still be practiced 150 years from now, this goes against Gene Roddenberry's philosophy of the future. He believed that humankind would outgrow the need for religion. He saw religion as a source of conflict and as being devisive rather than unifying (see TNG's "Who Watches the Watchers", Roddenberry's favorite episode). Still, Archer is shown to be somewhat agnostic when asked by one of the visitors about what he believes in: "I guess you could say I try...to keep an open mind." While I'm not too trilled to see any of this in Trek, at least free thinkers are represented as well.
Tucker takes the visitors on a tour of the ship and shows them engineering. While there, one of them strays from the group and proceeds to disconnect a conduit in an antimatter junction. Meanwhile a plasma storm is raging outside, and a power surge occurs when the ship is hit by a bolt from the storm. This creates an antimatter cascade which is stopped when it reaches the disconnected conduit. Good special effects here.