"The Shipment"
Page 3 of 5

Gralik asks Archer if he will kill him and if he will destroy the facility. Archer tells him that it's not his fault that the weapon was built and asks him if he will help give Degra the "shipment" but not quite in the condition he was expecting. Archer decides to trust Gralik and let him go alone back to the complex.

Archer contacts T'Pol to tell her to "hold off on those spatial charges" and that he has an assignment for her and Hoshi. Gralik returns to the complex and tells his employees to test the shipment again while he runs submolecular scans presumably to alter the kemocite and render it unusable. Hoshi beams down the canister they had taken and tells Archer that they have modified the radiolytic signature and will be able to track it if he can get it on the Xindi ship. Meanwhile, Degra and the Xindi-Reptilian come back to the complex and question Gralik. He manages to hold them off and tells them he wants to make sure the shipment is up to standards.

Archer makes his way onto the Xindi shuttle and replaces one of the canisters with the modified one. Meanwhile, Gralik asks Degra and the Xindi-Reptilian, as they are about to leave, what the shipment is for. Degra tells Gralik there's a "ruthless alien species" that is out to destroy the Xindi. Archer contacts T'Pol to ask if they can track the signal and they can.

Back at Gralik's house, Archer asks if something is wrong. Gralik says: "I may have just betrayed my people to a ruthless alien species." Archer tells him it's not the case. They drink and make a toast to trust. Gralik tells him that Degra's plans will be delayed. Archer is concerned that the Xindi ship has gone into an energy portal and they've lost the tracking signal. Gralik tells him that the portal's range is only a few light years and to keep searching. Gralik tells Archer: "If everything you've told me is true, of the attack on your world, I hope you remember that not all Xindi are your enemy."

There was a quiet, subdued tension maintained throughout this episode that kept me on edge as I watched it. There were no big explosions (save for the rifle) or frenetic action sequences and no space battles and yet there was plenty of suspense nonetheless. Straiton does a great job here in terms of pacing and brings out the best in Bakula and Cothran (Gralik) and the solid dialogue and character interaction helps to make for an engaging show.

The interaction between Scott Bakula and John Cothran Jr. as Gralik stood out to me as quite believable. Archer is brash at first with Gralik while the latter is calm and attentive. The progression from the first moment they meet to how they finally decide to trust each other is done realistically and believably. Of course, it's a little hard to believe that Gralik would trust Archer so easily and in essense betray his own kind and vice versa. But the fact that Gralik knows the history of his people and how they destroyed their own world suggests that he is aware of how violent they can be, especially the Reptilians and Insectoids. We've also seen in the past how in the Xindi Council meetings that the Xindi-Sloth appears to be more cautious, intellectual and reasonable so Gralik is not out of character in his behavior. As for Archer, he

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