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Story by: Rick Berman and Brannon Braga
Teleplay by: Mike Sussman & Phyllis Strong
Directed by: David Livingston
Archer and Mayweather awake in what appears to be a Suliban encampment but soon discover that it is a Tandaran detention complex where they are being kept prisoner along with the Suliban. They had inadvertently ventured into a Tandaran military zone. The Tandaran are at war with the Suliban Cabal. The Suliban prisoners however are not part of the Cabal, they are civilians who are not genetically enhanced. The Sulibans' homeworld became uninhabitable some 300 years ago and in a sort of Diaspora, they had migrated to other worlds, Tandar Prime for one. The Cabal however attacked the Tandarans and now all Suliban are seen as dangerous, hence their internment in the Tandaran prison. Archer and Mayweather soon realize that these Suliban are innocent and decide to help them escape.
It's difficult to ignore the message in this episode, that you can't judge a whole race by some of its not so pleasant members. It is a timely one as it can be applied to so many situations in our world today; how Arabs view Americans, how Jews view Muslims, how Arabs view Jews and in particular how Americans view Arabs at this time and so on ad infinitum. Still, it is a little too black and white in terms of who is bad and who is good. It would have been far more interesting to be left wondering who was right and vice versa.
It's hard not to sympathize with Colonel Grat considering what we know about the Cabal. His arguments about why they are detaining the Suliban civilians is not that easy to dismiss. He explains to Archer that the Suliban are in the prison for their own protection and if free they would become part of the Cabal as what the Cabal has to offer is too great for the Suliban to resist. Archer doesn't see it that way of course as the thought of imprisoning people for who they are or who they look like is hardly acceptable.
Still, we never find out why the Cabal is attacking the Tandarans. It would have helped to explain why the Tandarans were so afraid of the Suliban and why they would feel it necessary to imprison them. All we find out is that the Cabal have killed many Tandarans but we don't know why. Is it part of the Temporal Cold War? Somehow Archer should have been curious about this but instead looks at the situation for what it is and makes his decision without knowing all the facts. It would have been interesting to see it backfire on him.
Of course it's understandable as to why he comes to his decision to help the Suliban. The guards at the facility are basically thugs who have no redeeming characteristics. The Suliban there are clearly victims but what if the Tandaran are right? Colonel Grat appears so desperate to find out what Archer knows about the Cabal that he tortures Mayweather to find out more. Why is he so adamant to find out what they know? Why is he so afraid of the