"Cease Fire"
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Story by: Chris Black
Teleplay by: Chris Black
Directed by: David Straiton

Admiral Forrest contacts Archer to inform him that Ambassador Soval has requested the captain's help in negotiating a ceasefire between the Vulcans and Andorians who are fighting over the possession of a small planet. When Archer arrives Soval tells him that it is Shran who wants him there to mediate, not him and that the Andorians are holding three Vulcans as hostages. Meanwhile, Trip must keep the Andorians from entering into combat with the Vulcan ships in orbit around the planet.

There's a heck of a lot going on in this fast-paced, well-directed episode which continues the Vulcan/Andorian arc which began in season one's "The Andorian Incident" and the followup "Shadows of P'Jem". Not only does this episode add to the overall premise of the series with the birth of the Federation storyline but we get wonderful continuity touches, development of recurring characters, great f/x, background music that enhances the tension, solid acting, plenty of action and subtle but effective humor.

In "The Andorian Incident" the Vulcans are shown to have violated a Treaty with the Andorians (although we don't know which one) by having a long-range sensor array beneath the P'Jem Sanctuary to spy on them. In "Shadows of P'Jem" we learn that the Andorians are helping Koridan rebels overthrow their government which they consider to be corrupt and which is backed by the Vulcans. Both situations show that Vulcan/Andorian relations are contentious at best.

In this episode, we learn that the Vulcan mistrust of the Andorians goes as far back as a hundred years ago. The blue-skinned aliens terraformed the planet but the Vulcans suspected that they were establishing a military base. When the Vulcan High Command insisted on inspecting the colony, the Andorians refused. The Vulcans then removed the colonists by force, put them in refugee camps and annexed the planet. Eight years later, a Territorial Compromise was reached. Now the Andorians have returned to lay claim to the planet once again.

So we learn more about three of the founders of the Federation and see that the humans do indeed play an important role in its formation. Needless to say I can't wait to see what role the Tellarites and Alpha Centaurians play. As Archer says to Dr. Phlox: "Maybe we're not out here just to scan comets and meet new species. Maybe we're out here to prove that humanity is ready to join a much larger community." Soval at the end of the episode also seems to be changing his attitude towards Archer: "Captain, your presence here has not been overly meddlesome.", quite a complement coming from a Vulcan. In addition, we see that Tarah

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