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Story by: Rick Berman & Brannon Braga
Teleplay by: Rick Berman & Brannon Braga
Directed by: David Livingston
T'Pol asks Archer to help her in a top-secret mission to apprehend a Vulcan criminal. Meanwhile Trip, who is left in command of the ship, finds the job of Captain more than a little annoying.
Although I like the idea of fleshing out one of my favorite Trek species, the Vulcans, I was hoping they'd stop humanizing them in this series. If this keeps up they'll become nothing more than humans with pointy ears and lose their alien persona altogether.
I've liked how they've been portrayed so far and could buy Vulcans that lie (Spock did it more than once ie. "Star Trek: The Undiscovered Country"); Vulcans that want to stay on an alien planet to study the inhabitants (Mestral in "Carbon Creek"); Vulcans that show "some" emotion (Ambassador Soval); full-blown emotional Vulcans (V'tosh ka'tur or Vulcans without logic) as seen in Enterprise's "Fusion" and even T'Pol's need to undergo the Vulcan ritual of "Fullara" to help her forget that she killed another Vulcan but I find it hard to accept Vulcan criminals especially of the type in this story. There was a Vulcan serial killer in the DS9 episode "Fields of Fire" but he was more mentally ill than anything else. The criminal in this episode ("Menos" well-played by Bruce Davison) is not sick but "has chosen" a life of crime. He smuggles "bio-toxins" which are used to create transgenic weapons. He has made a literal fortune doing it. It's just hard to imagine a Vulcan placing profit before the lives of others or even just being interested in wealth. It is too human a trait and just too un-Vulcan. They went a bit too far this time I think.
Still, if you overlook all this, the episode has its merits. We get some nice continuity touches like the mention of the P'Jem sanctuary and the deuterium canisters. Jolene Blalock does a good job as the pressured and confused T'Pol. It's also nice to see her trusting Archer and asking him to help her. I like this aspect of the episode; that their relationship is strengthened. Mayweather (Anthony Montgomery) gets a bit part in this episode but it's a good one nonetheless and it's nice to see him again.
I also enjoyed the subplot of Trip Tucker being the acting Captain. When Trip has to pretend to be Captain Archer when speaking with the Vulcan Captain, Trinneer doesn't miss a beat. His comedic timing is perfect. Then again, I just find Connor Trinneer lovable. He just has that oh-so-cute expression on his face when he gets frustrated or annoyed and he does a great job here expressing these emotions. I also like the fact that he isn't perfect. He can't seem to make any decisions as Captain and that suits his otherwise outspoken and passionate personality. The more quiet Reed on the other hand probably wouldn't have any problem with