"Stigma"
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Story by: Rick Berman and Brannon Braga
Teleplay by: Rick Berman and Brannon Braga
Directed by: David Livingston

Archer and crew arrive at Dekendi Three to pick up a neutron microscope and to attend a conference that is being held by the Interspecies Medical Exchange. After examining T'Pol, Dr. Phlox informs her that the treatment he has been giving her for Pa'nar Syndrome is not working anymore. He wants to go to the conference and ask Vulcan doctors if they have done new research on the disease. T'Pol doesn't like the idea since having the disease is considered shameful. Phlox tells her that she may die if a new treatment is not found and promises not to let the Vulcan doctors know that his inquiries are for her. Meanwhile, Dr. Phlox' wife, Feezal, arrives on Enterprise to help Trip install the new microscope.


They have many choices with this show's premise. They can focus on the development of space travel as it will ultimately unfold in the future and do it in a realistic way or they can show us how the Trek universe came to be. They can also follow Trek tradition and give us stories that have meaning and reflect on the world we live in. Somehow I don't find the first of these to be really interesting as it would be second-guessing for the most part. Still it's not something to ignore altogether. The second option is very appealing and I think the show has touched on some things already. For instance in this episode we learn more about the Vulcan and Denobulan cultures. Next week we will have another Andorian installment. Three of the founding cultures of the Federation (Terrans, Vulcans, Andorians) have been portrayed so far on Enterprise and I really hope they will get to the other two (Tellarites and the Alpha Centaurians) sooner than later. The way the Vulcans and Andorians have been depicted so far fits in with the way the Federation came to be it seems:

"As the United Federation of Planets moves towards the midpoint of its second century, its members can look back on a past of harrowing near-disaster and hard-won but lasting success. It is difficult to imagine that the founding members of the Federation were once a squabbling mob of barely civilized, expansionistic races on the brink of war with each other."

Source: http://www.lcarscom.net/fasafederation.htm

Interesting and intriguing as next week we will be seeing more of the Andorians. Up to now, we've seen that the Vulcans and Andorians are enemies. Vulcans and humans are also at odds with each other. Although Terrans and Andorians are somewhat friendly to each other they are not altogether trusting of one another. I find this all very engaging and hope that TPTB don't veer away from the premise too much in favor of stand-alone action episodes (although I like those too) and continue to give us continuing storylines that explore the founders of the Federation and the main characters.


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