"Vox Sola"
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Story by: Rick Berman and Brannon Braga and Fred Dekker
Teleplay by: Fred Dekker
Directed by: Roxann Dawson

A strange tentacled life-form enters Enterprise through a docking port door after a Kreetassan ship leaves. It wanders about the ship until it settles in Cargo Bay Two and starts affecting the ship's systems. A crewman proceeds to the cargo bay to restore power and is captured by the creature. After another crewman contacts Archer to tell him there is a life-form in the bay and their communication is abruptly cut-off, Archer, Tucker and Reed proceed to investigate. Archer and Tucker are both trapped by the creature but Reed manages to escape. It's up to Reed and the rest of the crew to help save the Captain, Tucker and the crewmen.

It's been a while since I've had something good to say about Enterprise and I'm glad to have something positive to say for a change. While the story is standard sci-fi fare, it's the character interaction that makes this show a good one. We get to see all the crew including some new members work well together and see some off-duty crew activity to boot. The only negative thing I have to say about the story is when we see Reed, Archer and Trip walk around the creature when investigating. There are already two crewman who are cocooned by the creature and somehow I think it would have made sense for them to keep their distance so as not to become trapped too. Archer and Trip could still have been captured by the creature without appearing so careless.

This enjoyable ensemble episode features some cool special f/x, a neat looking alien creature and a somewhat more original than usual way of resolving the story. The good thing is that the crew are all in character and doing what they can and should be doing. Reed wants to destroy the creature and wants to experiment on the piece of the lifeform he managed to get to determine how to stop it. Phlox being a doctor doesn't want the creature to be tortured and offers an alternate way to do it and their interaction together is interesting and believable. Reed also works on a force field. It's great to see the gradual development of this particular future technology. Mayweather has a good and useful part to play for a change and his interaction with the Kreetassan Captain (Vaughn Armstrong, great as usual) was a hoot and it highlighted the theme of the episode: how communications can be so easily distorted, hence the title, "Vox Sola" or lone voice. T'Pol and Hoshi team up using both their respective abilities to try and figure a way to communicate with the life-form and we see how although Hoshi initially misunderstands T'Pol, the two are gradually growing to understand each other.

The off-duty activity is also fun to watch. Archer and Trip drinking beer watching a water polo game. Their friendly banter is just right. Reed, Mayweather and crew members getting ready to watch a movie seems all very natural. Mayweather getting Reed interested in the movie by telling him there will be explosions is a nice touch of humor and there is quite a bit in this

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