"Shadows of P'Jem"
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Story by: Rick Berman and Brannon Braga
Teleplay by: Mike Sussman and Phyllis Strong
Directed by: Mike Vejar
Archer and the crew are disappointed to discover that T'Pol has been ordered by the Vulcan High Command to leave the Enterprise - and equally frustrated at her seeming indifference to leaving their ranks. T'Pol's last mission as a Starfleet officer, however, proves eventful when she and Archer are kidnapped by a militant faction on an alien planet and find themselves once again at the mercy of the volatile Andorians. ~ StarTrek.com
Back on Earth, Vulcan Ambassador Soval announces that joint fleet operations with Starfleet will be suspended and that T'Pol will be recalled from Enterprise and reassigned. The Vulcan High Council blames Archer and crew for causing the discovery and subsequent destruction of the P'Jem sanctuary by the Andorians. T'Pol is also seen to be at fault for not stopping the humans from visiting the site. Archer decides to take T'Pol on a last mission to visit Coridan which is famous for its shipyards and where the Vulcans have a mining agreement. Radicals, who want to overthrow the Coridan government, force the shuttlepod to crash-land and kidnap Archer and T'Pol.
While this episode has its share of action and is entertaining, it is the possible future storylines that may evolve from what happens here that matter. Ambassador Soval considers Archer to be "too impulsive" and would have chosen a different Captain had it been his choice. He also states that the situation with the Andorians has "destabilized an entire sector" and points the finger at Archer as the main reason. Soval and the High Council are so peeved by what has happened to their monastery/spy base that not only do they want to cut direct ties with Earth, they want T'Pol off Enterprise. Furthermore, Admiral Forrest tells Archer: "Earth can't be getting involved in interspecies conflicts." So what will happen to Vulcan and human relations now that this has occurred? What will happen between the Andorians and the Vulcans?
It's great to see continuity like this. So far this show has a very "coherent" storyline which I have to say makes me like this show more and more. After "The Andorian Incident", I was hoping we would see the repercussions of Archer's involvement in the discovery of the Vulcan listening post at P'Jem by the Andorians. Moreover, it explains in some ways how the Andorians become part of the founding fathers of the Federation.
While they destroyed the monastery and rightly so, they also gave warning of its destruction so that the Vulcans there could escape; in other words, they're not villains. While Shran did help Archer because as he said "I need a good night's sleep", it does intimate the beginnings of an alliance between the humans and Andorians.