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Story by: John Shiban
Teleplay by: John Shibank
Directed by: James Contner
Archer and crew come across an uncharted system with a Minshara class planet. Archer suggests that this would be a good time for shore leave and begins to make plans when an explosion rocks and damages the ship. Upon further examination of the area, Archer and crew discover that they are surrounded by a minefield. With one of the mines attached to the hull of the ship, Reed volunteers to go out and defuse it. Meanwhile, unfriendly Romulans want Enterprise to leave the system but with the undetonated mine still attached the ship can't go to warp. Moreover, one of the mine's spikes has pinned Reed to the hull of the ship.
I wonder why they bothered having Romulans in this episode? Maybe for the ratings or maybe to tease the Trek purists who are watching continuity on the show like hawks but whatever the reason these aliens could have been any species as they really didn't do anything here. Still, I loved the look of the Romulan ships. Too bad they and the Romulans can't be featured all that much more in this show as it would break continuity with TOS. Not that it would bother me any.
I found some of the dialogue in the show annoying. When Archer and Reed are having breakfast, the armory officer is definitely uncomfortable but Archer saying things like: "This isn't a visit to the principal's office...at ease." and "Didn't your mother ever tell you not to bring your homework to the table?" just makes Archer sound stupid. I'm starting to notice a pattern here. When Bakula has meaty lines to say or lines that have some emotion to them he's fine. But when he has to say rhetorical things or silly lines like the above it's no wonder that Bakula sometimes has trouble sounding natural. I realize this isn't DS9 and that the show is not solely aimed at adults but it would be good if they raised the level of writing. In addition, TOS wasn't a kid's show either and it attracted young and old afterall.
There's a really nice touch of continuity in that the quantum beacons from "Shockwave" weren't forgotten and are put to good use here. This is one of the things I like about this show. What happens in a previous episode is not forgotten in the ones that follow. Also, the characters are consistent as can be seen by how Reed reacts to his predicament.
Nice to see Mayweather again and see him do his job here. In fact everyone gets something to do but it's Reed (Dominic Keating) that shines. Still, it was a bit of a rehash of "Shuttlepod One" somehow. I found Reed a little less appealing this time though as he seemed too much of a fatalist. His "selfless" act of trying to commit suicide to relieve Archer from making a decision about leaving him out there was in character nonetheless. I also liked when he states his views about Archer's command style and ship's protocols. Reed may be a stickler for rules