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Story by: Rick Berman and Brannon Braga
Teleplay by: Phyllis Strong and Mike Sussman
Directed by: Rob Hedden
On their way to explore a nebula, Enterprise encounters a civilian Vulcan ship in need of repairs. These are not your typical Vulcans. They have been in space for eight years and are explorers. What they've been exploring however are emotions and how to reintegrate them into their lives. In effect, they are "V'tosh Ka'tur" or "Vulcans without logic" as T'Pol calls them. The Vulcan captain, Tavin, explains that while they experience emotions, they control them and have not abandoned logic.
The Vulcans offer to help with charting the nebula and Archer sends a reluctant T'Pol to the ship to monitor the data. Her assistant on the Vulcan ship, Tolaris, takes an interest in her and encourages her to experiment with her feelings. Meanwhile, Trip helps with the repairs and befriends a Vulcan engineer, Kov.
This is an interesting character driven episode. The focus is on emotions and Vulcans and in particular T'Pol and Tolaris. Seems an unlikely combination, but it works well here to define T'Pol's character and her Vulcan nature. Makes me wonder however if these atypical Vulcans are prototype Romulans?
We find out that if Vulcans don't meditate before going to bed, they have "wild" dreams or nightmares. Seems even their subconscious emotions have to be controlled. Tolaris is very interested in T'Pol. As she is on a human ship and has lived on Earth for two years, he feels that her emotions are not as repressed as other Vulcans. He encourages her to experiment and not meditate before going to sleep. She does as he says and indeed has a very vivid dream. The dream sequence is well done however I couldn't help but feel that the music gave a "sleazy" feel to the scene when she and Tolaris are in bed. In fact, a sexy T'Pol scene seems to be a recurrent theme in the show and while I like the show to have more sexiness, I hope this won't become overdone.
I also couldn't help comparing the episode to the ones where Voyager's Seven discovers her humanity or a new emotion. In fact, there were times in the show when even the music reminded me of Voyager and I found this disappointing and annoying. While this episode was not exactly the same as Seven's, it was nonetheless of the same type. I hope we won't see anymore of this as I'm quite tired of the Spock, Data, Odo, Seven and Doc "discovering emotions" storylines. This type of character has been done to death and frankly, it doesn't matter what new spin they give it, it's old hat and redundant at this point.