“The Shipment”
Page 4 of 5
realizes that Gralik is innocent and is willing to trust him if only to avoid what could be a worst situation.

A good episode always leaves you thinking, asking questions and wanting to see more and this one certainly does the job. For example, it brings up the question of whether or not the Xindi are evil. Archer does say that they are acting in self-defense since they believe humans will destroy their world in the future. Gralik suggests that while the Reptilians and Insectoids went too far in their civil war and ended up destroying their planet that it wasn’t their intention. He also mentions that the Xindi-Primates have always been trustworthy but that maybe now they’ve changed. Archer doesn’t tell him why the Xindi are planning to destroy Earth. Gralik finds out later when he speaks to Degra. Still, he doesn’t betray Archer as he doesn’t want to be responsible for the creation of such a devastating weapon that will be used for murder and it shows that he has a great deal of intregrity. You can’t judge a species (or race) by the actions of a few of its members. Communication, trust, cooperation and respect for life all stand out as Roddenberry ideals and they are all found here in this very, classic Trek episode and it leaves us wondering if a diplomatic solution can and will be found. Still, it’s good to see the Xindi being fleshed-out and becoming less and less two-dimensional.

Which brings up the question of who told the Xindi that humans would be responsible for their destruction. The Suliban leader from the future seems to be on Earth’s side. In season one, Silik prevented the Enterprise from being destroyed. It all seems to mean that someone in the future doesn’t want the Federation to be created but it’s not the Suliban faction or is it? I like how the Temporal Cold War is still part of the storyline and wonder how it will play out in this arc. Another question that comes up is now that the super-weapon will be delayed does this mean that the bio-weapon will be created and used instead?

I also enjoyed the interaction between Phlox, T’Pol and Tucker as they try to find out a way to eliminate the threat of the Xindi rifles. I like that T’Pol is the more cautious one while the guys heedlessly go ahead to test the weapon. Trip’s attempts at dealing with Expanse technology lately always seem to end up exploding as in the time when he and T’Pol were trying to synthesize Trellium-D. It’s good to see that things aren’t so easily solved and have consequences. In addition, the rifle’s bio-component must have been genetically engineered. In “Rajiin”, Phlox also mentioned that the Reptilian who died had committed suicide by activating “suicide gland” which Phlox said was also engineered. Is this Xindi technology or has it been given to them by the future guy who told them about Earth? And of course, who built the Expanse and why? So many questions make all this fun to think about.

Reed continues to be competent and works well with Hayes and other MACOs. Yet we see how they are not experienced in leadership as they are quite ready to blow up the facility and the settlement. Archer is very much the captain here as we see him think about the lives involved. He doesn’t want the settlement to be destroyed along with the facility. Still we wonder how he would have dealt with Gralik considering that he didn’t want anyone to know that the Enterprise had been there. Would he have had him killed?

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