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to wait for the Osaarians to show up. When they do, Enterprise attacks the alien ship but has to get close enough for Hoshi to tap into the Osaarians' computer. They manage to get the information and damage the Osaarian ship. Archer returns the Osaarian prisoner to the sphere. He then studies the Xindi database as the ship moves on.
This is an exceptionally well-directed action episode and it advances the story in interesting ways. We see the effects of the Expanse on the crew and the ship and find out what may be causing all the anomalies in this region of space. Straiton uses great camera angles and maintains the tension throughout the show while bringing out the best of the actors. The writing is top-notch save for one piece of dialogue that seemed a little stupid. Hoshi tells T'Pol at one point that the pirates are tying to download the ship's database and T'Pol tells her to lock them out like Hoshi wouldn't know to do that. It would have made more sense for her to ask if she _could_ lock them out. Other than this, I can't fault how the episode is written.
The special effects are awesome as usual especially when we see the how the anomalies affect the ship. The teaser for this episode was perfect. Seeing the ship's halls get contorted and knocking people over is unsettling. Watching the plates and cups in the mess hall suddenly jump up and hit the ceiling is oddly amusing and unexpected. The coffee cup in Archer's quarters also adds to the feeling of weirdness and when he returns to his quarters it is still hanging in the air. In addition, Jay Chattaway's score adds much to the action scenes and is fresh and original. Still, it is what we would expect from any good sci-fi show today.
What makes this a grade A episode, is that it is character-driven as well and as such has substance. We see how Archer has changed a great deal and is willing to overlook his morals to get the job done. He literally tortures the Osaarian prisoner to get the information he wants and needs. Yet at the end, he lets the prisoner go so we know he's not gone mad with vengeance in spite of one of his crew being killed. Moreover, we get a name for the dead crewman, Fuller and we see how it affects Archer, Reed and Tucker. The Osaarian alien is well-written and well-acted by Robert Rusler. We don't know this villain and yet we can see how he may not have been so jaded at one time. He's cynical and dismissive of Archer and doesn't expect the Captain to push it too far. He's been through a lot and it shows. He also tells Archer that he and the others of his crew tried to leave the Expanse but couldn't. This makes his dilemma and his crewmates' behavior more credible.
Trip has become a fatalist and has a defeatist attitude as we see when he speaks to Reed. He is still having nightmares and difficulty sleeping. In the one and only but well-placed humorous moment in the show he visits Dr. Phlox after having burned his hands. The loss of sleep is affecting his work. He pleads with Phlox to give him some drugs to sleep but the doctor again refuses as he did in the last episode. Phlox suggests another way to help Trip sleep if he doesn't want T'Pol's help anymore by suggesting the use of Aldeberan mud leeches. "What am I supposed to do with them?, Trip asks Phlox. Replies the doctor: "Place one on your chest and one on your abdomen one hour before going to bed.