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This was an interesting episode with no real main plot but rather three stories going on at the same time and this is great for a change as it made the episode more complex. We get some character development from it but it's not all that good in the sense that Reed's development is lacking somewhat and this has an effect on what goes on here. I'll get to that later.
I wondered about the flashbacks at the beginning. They seemed more like a cluttered mess than anything else. Not that I don't like a *previous on Enterprise* intro, but it's better when it makes sense. Considering they wanted to touch on the related episodes dealing with the three stories in the show, I guess that's why it seemed so mixed up. Still, re-watching it, it didn't come off the second time as being as jumbled.
I found the date of the episode interesting, December 27, 2153. It didn't look to me as though they had celebrated Christmas and this is noteworthy. I wonder if they'll celebrate the new year?
So, we have three stories: Archer dealing with a weird, desintegrating alien; a sort of menage a trois with Trip, T'Pol and Corporal Cole and a *too many chiefs, not enough Indians* scenario with Reed and Major Hayes.
I'll start with the easiest first, that of Reed and Hayes. It's a pity that Reed's development is not as in depth as it should be. We don't really know why he is so against Hayes; why he thinks he'll take over security. Reed is from a military family but so what? If there was a precedent to go by, it would help make Reed look less small here. I like Reed and I don't like to see him portrayed this way. In the flashback, we see him say: "I've seen men like Hayes all my life..." We also get to see Trip and Cole talk about how alike Hayes and Reed are but it still doesn't really help. Reed just looks petty here in his behavior towards Hayes and it's a shame. Still, I loved the fight between the two and the dressing-down they get later from Archer. Reed certainly can fight and that's good.
The interaction between T'Pol, Trip and Corporal Cole make up another storyline. I remember when I saw the first neuro-pressure session between Trip and T'Pol, I wondered how Trip could be so cool about it all, it being rather intimate and T'Pol being so skimpily attired. I was hoping we'd see some of the consequences of all this. I certainly didn't expect T'Pol to be the one to initiate things however and was pleasantly surprised. In addition, we get Corporal Cole, cleavage and all, taking the initiative and kissing Trip. Not that I am all *that* surprised I suppose. Trip is just the kind of gentleman that elicits that kind of response from women. Well, at least, I certainly felt like Cole and T'Pol and have to admit it a guilty pleasure to vicariously enjoy watching Trip and the ladies get it on.
The scene with T'Pol and Trip at the end was a hoot. I loved how coy and yet cool T'Pol was here and then the turnabout and how uncomfortable she looked when Trip suggests they continue the neuro-pressure treatments. I know I've said it before but I love Blalock's eyes