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Story by: Michael Sussman
Teleplay by: Michael Sussman
Directed by: Allan Kroeker
SYNOPSIS FOLLOWED BY REVIEW ON PAGE 5:?
A shuttlepod lands in what appears to be a stadium in San Francisco. It is a homecoming celebration for the Enterprise crew. They emerge from the shuttlepod and proceed to a stage. The crowd is applauding. Admiral Forrest is there and welcomes Archer: “Well done Jonathan!” Archer starts speaking to the assembly. He tells the audience that people are calling him and his crew “heroes” but not to forget the 27 who died. He ends the speech with: “It’s good to be home! (Benzinga) ”
Archer enters a bar. A woman there, Erika Hernandez, knows him. They talk. Archer congratulates her on being promoted to captain of the NX-02. She asks about the Expanse. He tells her that he’ll talk about it tomorrow at the “debriefing”. He asks her about Earth. She tells him people were afraid that “the Xindi would come back and finish the job” but that “on the bright side there have been more weddings and births than ever before.” He replies: “I don’t see a ring.” She tells him: “I’m married to Starfleet…just like you.”
On the ship, T’Pol is packing. Trip arrives. They talk. He tells her he returned to the ship to “supervise the refit” but that Archer has ordered him “to take a break”. He adds that he has nowhere to go: “Lizzies gone. My hometown doesn’t exist anymore (see season three’s “The Expanse”). I guess this is home now.” T’Pol suggests he come with her to Vulcan. She tells him: “There’s a guest room in my mother’s home.” He asks whether her mother knows about him. T’Pol says no and that she’ll introduce him as “Commander Charles Tucker, III”. He’s obviously pleased and goes off to pack.
We see an exterior shot of the NX-02. It’s still being built. Captain Hernandez is there. She tells him there have been improvements to the ship. She asks Archer to help her decide on a choice for senior officer. They talk about the upgrades: hull polarization is up by 12%, there are now ventral and dorsal torpedo launchers and pulse phased cannons. These are all upgrades that Archer recommended. He tells her he had argued with Captain Jefferies, one of the designers of the NX class, about weapons. Archer wanted the ship to be for exploration and not a warship. He adds “Jefferies was right. We needed those weapons and a hell of a lot more.”
Back at the Starfleet debriefing, Archer is still being questioned. He talks about what happened to the Vulcans and their ship, the Seleya, in the Expanse (see season 3’s “Impulse”) and the effects of Trellium on Vulcans. Vulcan Ambassador Soval asks about the “reactor breach” that destroyed the Seleya. Archer tells him that it was an accident. Soval asks why he didn’t save them. Archer replies: “There was no point. They were too far gone.” Soval tells him they’ve examined the records and he questions Phlox’s diagnosis. He adds that T’Pol recovered from the effects implying that the ship need not have been destroyed and the