"The Communicator"
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Story by: Rick Berman & Brannon Braga
Teleplay by: Andre Bormanis
Directed by: James Contner

After a visit to a pre-warp civilization, Reed discovers that he has left a communicator behind. He and Archer return to the planet to retrieve it but are taken prisoner by soldiers who think them spies. Meanwhile, T'Pol, Tucker and Mayweather plan to rescue them using a Suliban Cell-Ship that was captured in a previous encounter with the shape-shifting aliens.


This is the type of episode that's best viewed as a whole rather than looked at too closely. It's sort of like looking at a painting from afar in order to see how the colors and brushstrokes blend in to make a picture. It's a reasonably good, interesting story with decent acting and direction. The problem comes when you start paying too much attention to the details. There are so many things that don't make sense.

The first problem is with the communicator itself. Why couldn't it be beamed back to the ship? It's a little difficult to believe that they couldn't pinpoint its location since it is advanced technology and as Archer points out: "These people haven't split the atom yet". It's not like they'd get too much interference from other technology on the planet. They could have sent a signal to the communicator and once located, beamed it up?

Still, in TOS' "A Piece of the Action", Kirk and company end up leaving their communicator on the planet but then that wasn't a serious episode as this one is. Leaving the communicator on the planet made for a very humerous punchline to a funny show. But this episode tries to be serious as it prepares the way, once again, for the anticipated introduction of the "Prime Directive". Considering what happens in the episode, they are in dire need of some sort of directive for sure.

The second problem is the most obvious. T'Pol tries to hail Archer and the call is received instead by the aliens who have captured the Captain, Reed and their equipment. Somehow, the aliens are capable of translating her call and know exactly what she has said. How is this possible?

Another problem arises when Archer and Reed are being interrogated. After being punched, Archer's disguise is discovered. The choice here is for Archer to tell the truth or give some sort of story as to why he and Reed are so different from the inhabitants of the planet. Archer decides to tell them that they are part of the "Alliance", the enemies of their captors, and Reed compounds the situation by telling them that he and Archer have been genetically altered. Towards the end of the episode, the alien General Gosis (well-acted by Francis


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