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This episode suffers from the usual problems found in most Trek shows of this type. It's been done before for one thing (TNG's "Identity Crisis" for example ironically enough with Levar Burton as the main actor who changes into a new species due to a parasite and must return to the planet where he was infected and Brannon Braga as the writer) and the outcome is more than predictable. There is some continuity in that Archer is still studying the Xindi database and is still trying to find the Xindi homeworld. It doesn't hurt to take a detour from the story arc as such but it has to be more unusual and new for it to add to the storyline and be interesting.
The basic idea of a species altering others to become like them in order to prevent extinction is intriguing nonetheless and I wish the altered Archer and others had been more resistant to being changed back and had been more intelligent in their behavior and in what they were seeking. Still, I like the idea of an alien species that cannot reproduce finding a way or process (in this case a virus) to pass on its genetic makeup by altering another species to make it its own. It's an intriguing idea but it gets thrown away here by having the altered Archer and others be too, for the lack of a better word, stupid.
A couple of things add to the ruthlessness of the containment patrols. They kill one of their own when his suit becomes damaged and he as such becomes infected. Also the use of flame throwers does add to the era we are dealing with although phasers set to kill would do the job just as well somehow. Still, would they disintegrate their target as they do in the future?
It was fun to watch Trip and company use the transporter and I hope it continues to be used on and off. There's another nice little touch of continuity when T'Pol tells Trip that he said he wouldn't use transporters again.
Lastly, I don't know what to think about the Trip/T'Pol relationship. How he can be so reserved when she is wearing her low cut (in more ways than one) pygammas is a little hard to believe. He is very heterosexual and being in space for so long without any, let's say, interaction with the opposite sex, it's hard to fathom that he would be _comfortable_ with T'Pol in such an intimate (let's face it it is) touchy/feely situation. I doubt I'm in the majority but I find it humorous and somewhat titillating to watch them together. He complains about her cold hands and states that he is ticklish. I don't know why but he is very appealing to me in his _innocence_ however unbelievable it is. Still, this is already getting old so I hope they drop it sooner than later.
I give this one a C+. The + for Bakula's, Park's and Keating's efforts.
Gisele La Roche,