is sent to pick up a Vulcan Ambassador and T'Pol must ask for help.
When a Vulcan ambassador is accused of secretive criminal
misconduct, Enterprise is asked to transport her back to the
Vulcans. Following an attack by a corrupt alien race, T'Pol defends
the Ambassador and, for the first time, asks Archer for his help.
Meanwhile, after the Vulcan diplomat boards the Enterprise,
alien weapons begin firing from hostile ships, putting everyone's
lives at risk.
Voigts' "A View From The Shuttlecraft" Enterprise Episode
Fallen Hero - spoilers involved.
I loved the opening scene - although it had nothing to do with
the rest of the show, it was one of the most enjoyable scenes I have
watched all season. I was laughing with disbelief at what I was
hearing but thinking all the same that none of the “new” Trek
episodes could have gotten away with it. They were all too uptight.
I can't wait until they get on shore leave.
The first full scene reminded me of a scene from “The Trouble
with Tribbles” with a little role reversal, only Archer was much
more willing to consider shore leave than was Scotty. I enjoyed T’Pol’s
sniff when alone in Hoshi’s cabin - a nice touch of Vulcan humor.
From the beginning scenes, one would almost expect the whole episode
to be pretty humorous; however, the drama unfolded quite nicely,
including the Vulcan version of discomfort for T’Pol. I was
surprised at the amount of emotion shown by V'Lar and her ability to
actually sense emotions in others. While other fans may find it
un-Vulcan, I found it quite interesting. I hope this ability is
examined again later.
The mistrust on both Archer and V’Lar’s part was expected but
kept interesting. Good use of the phase cannon and foreshadowing of
the development of phasers for the ship. Archer and T’Pol’s
scene in his cabin reminded me of the ST:TNG episode “Yesterday's
Enterprise” where Guinan tries to persuade Picard that history is
wrong based solely on her own feelings. Both scenes were great - if
you’re going to borrow, borrow from the best. And who would have
thought that a simple increase in speed could be so exciting? I was
particularly pleased that, while warp 5 worked, it wasn’t perfect.
A nice touch of realism. And for those who may read the Terry
Goodkind series of books, I think Wizard’s First Rule was used
quite effectively here.
New things we learn - yes, Enterprise can go at Warp 5 but not
for long. Phase cannons don’t work at warp speed - yet. And I do
believe this is the first use of “Live long and prosper”
although I can't be absolutely sure of that.
Side notes - nice to see Porthos in the last two episodes, and to
see crew members in “regular” clothes. And Archer’s “Is
there a problem?” line makes an appearance again. Could this
become his tag line? And wasn’t it interesting that V’Lar’s
dermal regeneration was taking place in an Imaging Chamber? Exactly
what show are we watching?
Great Lines (Lots): Basically, the whole opening sequence, plus -
“If you’re wearing that to impress the women on Risa (sp?), you
may as well stay on board.” “Rule no. One: You’ve got to be
seen to get noticed and I plan on getting noticed.” “Forgive me,
Commander. My attempt at humor.” “If you must know, I prefer the
shooting back part.” “If we expect to continue our relations
with humanity, we have to earn their trust.” “If you’ve
learned anything about humans, you’d know - we don’t always take
the most logical course of action.” “Please tell me you’re
ready to slow down." "It’s called a warp five engine;
reply - On paper!” “If there was ever a time time to start
trusting us, this would be it!”
What does this rating mean?
C. A. Voigts starfleetlibrary.com
Copyright 2001, C. A. Voigts. All rights reserved, but feel free to
ask... This article is explicitly prohibited from being used in any
off-net compilation without due attribution and *express written
consent of the author*.
Laurie's No-Nonsense Review
Two for the price of one. Sort of. I'm not sure what's behind the
programming strategy of having two new eps back-to-back instead of
extending the season a little, but perhaps it's a sweeps thing. Yes,
there was a loose thread tying them together -- they wanted to go to
Risa for shore leave -- but apparently that continues into next week.
And then the week after that is the season finale, which is going to
be a cliffhanger. I hope it's good. There have been some kickass
cliffhangers over the years and a handful of crappy ones, so we'll see
how it goes.
Episode 1: Diverted from much-needed shore leave on Risa, the
Enterprise is sent to pick up a Vulcan diplomat named V'Lar from
Mazur, who has committed some crime so terrible nobody can even talk
about it. T'Pol is particularly concerned about V'Lar, who was a
childhood hero of hers. They do all this alluding to the length of the
Vulcan lifespan and I find it bizarre that V'Lar and T'Pol get into
this whole revolting "don't ask a lady her age" thing. It is
SO illogical for a Vulcan to care! That's a human attribute, keeping
your age a secret, and in fact I would hope that all that false vanity
would be gone by the year Enterprise is taking place. Don't you think?
Anyway, V'Lar was played by Fionnula Flanagan, who you may have
recognized from the Nicole Kidman movie "The Others" as well
as a handful of the other Star Trek series'. I liked her, she made a
great Vulcan. She had that calmness that T'Pol completely lacks.
So it turned out that she wasn't really a criminal; instead, she
was going to tell on those bad, corrupt Mazurites. The Mazurites, by
the way, were very strange looking people with weird skin around their
heads and these little ponytails. Very strange. They behaved
themselves for a while and then attacked the Enterprise, which was
rescued by the Vulcan warship sent to retrieve V'Lar at the last
minute. This was all after a not very exciting chase scene in which
the Enterprise maxed out at Warp 5. I wish they'd found a way to make
it look like the ship was actually going really fast! It didn't look
fast at all and usually their flight shots and ships and docking bays
and space battles and the like are really gorgeous.
All in all, it was an okay episode. I still think that the dialogue
isn't always right for the characters. Trip is drawn very well and so
his Hoshi, but everyone else just says the line they're given because
they're in the room. T'Pol's always saying things that don't feel
right. I wish they'd made her more Vulcan, that's all. Instead she
wears a catsuit, takes everything personally, and tries to join in the
And one more note: the Enterprise crew rigged it so that once the
Mazurites boarded, they would think that they had killed V'Lar. The
Doctor said that she was in the regeneration chamber and the Mazurites
shot it up good. (I wonder how long it'll take to rebuild it.) Then of
course the Vulcan warship showed up to save the day, and in a burst of
stupidity, a door slid open and V'Lar revealed herself to be alive and
well...while the Mazurites still had weapons, and were angry. What is
the logic of showing them the whole deck for no other reason than,
well, gloating? It didn't make sense. It would have been more fun if
Archer and Trip had WANTED to do that and V'Lar had said no.
I did like the whole bit about T'Pol prepping for V'Lar's arrival,
though. I didn't quite get why Hoshi had to give up her quarters, it
reminded me of original Trek when Uhura had to give up hers for that
crazy Elaan who made Kirk fall in love with her by touching her tears.
Why do chicks give up quarters to chicks? Why didn't T'Pol give up
hers, which would have been more Vulcan-like? I guess it doesn't
matter that much because it made for some nice bits between V'Lar and
Hoshi, who of course would get along great. All in all....s'all right.
Not a particularly riveting story, but some good scenes kept the pace
Land of Laurie
Lynch's Enterprise Episode Review
WARNING: 'Ware the spoilers for ENT's "Fallen Hero."
In brief: Occasional moments that are hard to buy into, but very
Enterprise Season 1, Episode 22
Teleplay by Alan Cross
Story by Rick Berman & Brannon Braga and Chris Black
Directed by Patrick Norris
Brief summary: Enterprise is sent to pick up a Vulcan ambassador due
to an undisclosed emergency, only to find that all is not as it
"Fallen Hero" is one of the shows that reminds me why I
think Enterprise has potential has a series. It's a show that could
conceivably have taken place in any era without too many changes
(primarily you'd just have to change the Vulcans to some other race),
but at the same time gives us a taste of this different era we're
viewing while foreshadowing the changes that will eventually come.
It's also (almost certainly coincidentally) the first show in a few
weeks that hasn't started us off in mid-action, instead letting us
find out what's going on as the characters do. While most of the crew
is eagerly planning a trip to Risa (on T'Pol's recommendation), Archer
gets a call from Admiral Forrest, with an assignment. There's a Vulcan
ambassador on Mazar who needs to get off-planet as quickly as
possible, and the Enterprise is the closest ship that can do it. Why
does she need to leave so quickly? "Well, this may come as a
shock to you, Jon," notes Forrest, "but the Vulcans aren't
talking." It's a perfectly good scene taken on its own, but given
that human-Vulcan tensions form part of the backdrop of the story, I'm
very pleased in retrospect not to have seen the tension artificially
increased. (For comparison, consider that Quark's more boorish side
always seemed to be disproportionately dominant right at the start of
any "hey, let's have fun with Ferengi culture" episode on
Ambassador V'Lar does in fact come aboard moments after Enterprise
enters Mazar's orbit, and turns out to be not exactly what Archer and
company have come to expect from a Vulcan: she shakes hands, wants to
meet Hoshi in order to *thank* her for the loan of her cabin, and
generally seems one of the more personable Vulcans this side of the
renegades from "Fusion." She's still Vulcan in many ways --
for one thing, she's not entirely certain humans can be trusted -- but
she's also a diplomat, and unlike Soval a good one. As such ... when
on a human ship, do as the humans do. (It also made dramatic sense
that she had to be far less Vulcan than T'Pol was preparing the crew
for: otherwise you just get something like "Breaking the
Ice" over again, and I doubt there are many viewers out there in
a hurry for a repeat of *that* dinner scene.)
Just before V'Lar arrives, however, Archer's also told (by the
Mazarites) that V'Lar has been removed from her post for criminal
misconduct. When T'Pol asks about the charges, V'Lar is strangely
circumspect -- and T'Pol takes her lack of defense as evidence of
guilt, reacting somewhat harshly in the process. Considering how
rarely Vulcans are accused of criminal acts (the base in "The
Andorian Incident" apparently notwithstanding), V'Lar is not
entirely surprised by T'Pol's reaction, but Archer discovers there's a
more personal reason as well: T'Pol has met V'Lar before, and V'Lar
was something of an inspiration when it came time for T'Pol to choose
her own path. Although she protests that Vulcans don't have heroes per
se, it's clear that V'Lar has always been someone whose opinions
mattered greatly to T'Pol, and that she's quite disappointed in the
current state of events.
Some people said that the point of "Fusion" several
episodes back was to flesh T'Pol out as a character. I agree that that
was the point, but I'd argue that "Fallen Hero" was a far
more effective way to make some of the same points. When T'Pol objects
to V'Lar's sensing emotion from her, V'Lar points out that Vulcans
have emotions as well: "we just hide them better." That gets
across the same general meaning that "Fusion" did, but
without casting it all in stark "Vulcans do not admit the
presence of emotions and repress them to the point of idiocy"
terms. V'Lar is perhaps a more open character than we expected, but it
didn't seem entirely strange -- just diplomatic. (After all, as has
been pointed out endlessly, Soval's statements have been somewhat less
than unemotional during his time on Earth: he just protests otherwise
every other sentence.) V'Lar made it clear that there is another way
than the one T'Pol espouses, but not by insisting on it -- simply by
being it. I much prefer that.
(Admittedly, some of this could be due to a slight bias on my part:
both of Fionnula Flanagan's past Trek roles, as Enina Tandro on DS9's
"Dax" and Juliana Soong on TNG's "Inheritance,"
impressed me to no end, so I was predisposed to like what she did here
What's more, V'Lar is just similar enough to the "Fusion"
renegades that there's a bit of speculation to be had. If T'Pol found
V'Lar's influence on her own life substantial when younger, perhaps
that's why she was subconsciously more willing to listen to said
renegades than she perhaps wanted to be on a conscious level: they
reminded her of V'Lar. An intriguing idea, particularly if intended
and followed through.
That said, "Fallen Hero" is also one of the few episodes
to date that combines a solid character core with a fair bit of
sweeps-style action as well. It turns out that the Mazarites have
decided they'd rather V'lar *not* leave the planet quite yet, and send
ships over to pick her up. When Archer demurs, they open fire.
Enterprise escapes the initial assault, but has to drop to impulse in
order to do it, because the recently-installed phase cannon doesn't
yet work properly at warp.
There's more action to come, but on this point I'll just comment
that I really enjoyed seeing that the jury-rigged phase cannon *isn't
perfect yet*. What's more, the reason it's not working at warp relates
to the same flaws we saw Reed and Trip work so hard to overcome in
order to get the cannon working in the first place. It's a plausible
flaw, and it's one that probably ought to be happening given the
novelty factor. Again, this is a moment that seems to fit the intended
tone of the series quite well.
This initial action, however, is just a setup for the real
character conflict, namely that between Archer and V'Lar (with T'Pol
feeling justifiably torn). Archer wants to know why his ship's being
shot at, V'Lar refuses to divulge anything, and Archer decides to set
a course back to Mazar to drop her off. If she can't justify risking
their lives, he says, he has no intention of actually doing so. (A
cute line in here has V'Lar saying that any extra information might
only put Enterprise at greater risk. Archer responds by asking
"how much greater could it *get*?")
Is his decision something of an overreaction? Maybe: I'm not sure.
But even if it is, there's enough sense to the decision that the rest
can just be due to Archer's past -- again, it's a plausible conflict
and plausibly shown. T'Pol's the one who ends up in the real bind: she
doesn't want to believe V'Lar is actually a criminal and thus wants to
believe all of this is happening for a good reason ... but she also
feels Archer's concerns are justified, and wants to be loyal to her
captain. One could argue that V'Lar caves a little bit too easily in
the face of T'Pol's opposition (particularly after we find out that
she *does* remember their previous meeting, decades ago though it
was), but I'm not sure I agree: she bends just enough to tell T'Pol
*some* of what's going on. She's basically still trying to keep
humanity in the dark as much as possible, and giving T'Pol just enough
information to let *her* convince Archer that the cause is worthwhile.
Archer, of course, doesn't buy it -- anyone surprised by that is
still new to the genre, methinks. T'Pol winds up making her first ever
personal appeal to Archer as a first officer: "I'm asking for
this now. Don't return the ambassador to Mazar. Please." That
"please," particularly given that it seems to have utter
sincerity behind it (rather than being something T'Pol has learned how
to do), makes for a powerful moment, both for Archer and for us. He
Most of the rest of the episode turns into action and intrigue,
which is too bad in a way -- but not very, as most of the suspense is
legit. Three Mazarite ships pursue, which is too many for Archer to
want to fight at impulse -- so instead, we get to see the engines
pushed to their limit for the first time. Enterprise reaches warp 4.8,
the Mazarites hit 4.9, and Enterprise matches, with Trip hoping like
hell they can maintain it. Eventually the ante is upped even further,
and the warp 5 engine has to actually live up to its name. The
question is now one of time: can the ship keep its speed up long
enough to either reach their rendezvous point with a Vulcan cruiser,
or long enough to have the Mazarites' engines give out? Given the
comparatively low-tech era the series is set in, the answer should be
substantially less clear than usual -- and for the most part, it is.
With the chase on, however, V'Lar decides to come clean, at least
somewhat, and tells Archer what she's really up to. Mazar's government
is mired in corruption, it seems, and a band of criminals is basically
running it from the inside, enriching themselves at the expense of the
general populace. A group of Mazarites had asked Vulcan to help ferret
out the criminal element, and V'Lar is scheduled to testify in a few
months -- her "disgrace" was a convenient alibi to get her
off-planet and to safety until that time.
This had some of the few false notes of the episode for me. One of
them is why the Vulcans would get involved in what appears to be an
internal dispute at all: it flies in the face of everything T'Pol's
been telling Archer all year, if nothing else. One could interpret
that by saying that there's more at stake than this one planet, and
that V'Lar is simply keeping a lot back: that wouldn't be shocking,
but it strikes me as something that could be clearer. I'm also a bit
confused, however, about why V'Lar would even tell Archer as much as
she did: if all of this was a prelude to her offering to surrender
herself to the Mazarites, why bother coming clean at all? If it's just
to get enough sympathy out of Archer to keep him fighting, that's a
*really* manipulative tactic, and one Archer should catch on to and
seriously resent down the line. If it's just an attack of conscience
... perhaps, but it's a little forced. Neither note rings so false as
to really get in the way, but they're not quite sitting right when I
stop and think about it.
The suspense continues, however, when it becomes clear that
Enterprise's engines can't hold out for much longer. V'Lar uses a
secret Vulcan diplomatic frequency to send a message out to the Chiron
(the cruiser waiting for Enterprise), but it's not clear whether it
got through the Mazarites' jamming or not. At that point, however, the
engines fail, and Archer needs to either hand over V'Lar, go down
fighting, or stall for time in the hopes that the Vulcan cavalry show
up in the next ten minutes.
He, of course, chooses option three, and the boarding Mazarites are
taken to sickbay and shown the regeneration pod where the
ostensibly-wounded V'Lar is recuperating after an explosion. When
Phlox refuses to open the pod and the Mazarite sensors go down (thanks
to a little of Malcolm's wizardry), the Mazarites simply draw their
weapons and shoot the pod up pretty fiercely. The Chiron arrives, too
late, and while the Mazarites turn over their weapons and back down,
their leader gloats that at least they did what they came to do.
Naturally, it's about then that a very alive V'Lar shows up in the
hallway, looking forward to adding this event to her testimony.
This was one of the other few false notes -- again, they're minor.
One is that it wasn't at all clear to me whether we as viewers were
supposed to actually think V'Lar was dead or not. If we were, it was a
pretty unsuccessful ploy, particularly since Archer and company didn't
seem all *that* distraught to have their work all go for nothing. If
not, and it was only meant to fool the Mazarites, then again I think
their reactions were a little underplayed. A second problem is that
frankly, the Mazarites were too quick to give up. Granted, there's a
Vulcan cruiser outside telling you to turn over your weapons ... but
you also have the captain and first officer of the Enterprise in your
weapons sights. Are the Mazarites not willing to take hostages? This
one can be explained with a simple "no," though --
particularly since they'd believed they'd carried out their primary
mission, there may not be much point in exacerbating the situation.
(Another minor concern I had is that John Rubinstein tended to be
just a little too smug in terms of facial expressions, even after his
defeat. I'm not sure whether it's a smirk, a sneer, or some of each,
but it looked a little forced to me.)
The last scene was again a mixture of true and false notes for me.
V'Lar's observation that T'Pol and Archer appear to have developed a
fair amount of mutual trust is both on target and a good sign for the
decades to come, and I wish she'd left it there. Instead, she also
said that she saw evidence of friendship between them, and that to me
seems like jumping the gun. I felt as though I were being told,
"Look, it's Kirk and Spock all over again! Get it? Get it?"
-- and that's not something you can get across simply by saying it.
Just as T'Pol correctly pointed out that Vulcans need to earn humans'
trust if they wish to keep a good relationship with them, you can't
just tell me about a friendship and expect me to buy into it.
All told, however, "Fallen Hero" satisfies an awful lot
more than it disappoints. The Archer/T'Pol/V'Lar conflict is both
realistic and sensibly resolved (insofar as it needs to be, anyway),
and the suspense held together better than a lot of scenes of its
type. All in all, it was one of the more enjoyable episodes we've had
in a while.
-- About that opening scene, with T'Pol wondering if Trip and
Archer are suffering from a lack of sexual activity: Okay, so it sets
up the Risa episode down the line, which is good, but ... somehow I
can't quite see T'Pol asking about that, particularly given Vulcan
sexual mores. (It also came off as *seriously* at odds with the rest
of the episode in terms of tone.) On the other hand, the reaction to
Trip's Hawaiian shirt on the bridge was pretty good, particularly the
response to Trip's "Cap'n, you need this as much as I do!"
"NO ONE needs this as much as you do."
-- V'Lar: "They are members of an organization that's
infiltrated all levels of the government, making themselves wealthy
and powerful at the expense of many innocent victims." Me:
"Ah. So they're with Enron, then." (Okay, cheap shot, but I
can't have been the *only* one coming back with that line, can I?)
-- Enterprise has now been in space for about ten months, which
seems to fit nicely with the usual "one season = one year"
-- Since I mentioned earlier that Fionnula Flanagan played Juliana
Soong, Data's "mother," this is a good time for a plug: the
TNG novel _Immortal Coil_ came out a few months ago, and is one of the
best Data-centered stories Trek has ever had, whether on film or in
print. If you check into the novels at all, this one's well worth a
-- "It's called a warp *five* engine." "On
-- V'Lar's "attempt at humor" at Trip's expense came off
That should do it (and good thing, too -- this is coming out longer
than usual). "Fallen Hero" has some minor moments here and
there which don't quite ring true to me, but they're most assuredly
minor. I expect this one'll be one of the half-dozen or so from the
season that people tend to come back to and re-examine: it certainly
provides a lot of food for thought.
So, to wrap up:
Writing: When both the suspense side and the character conflict
hang together well, it's a good sign -- and scripter Alan Cross's
dialogue didn't hurt, either. Directing: Nothing jumped out as truly
spectacular, but certainly no complaints. Acting: Rubinstein was
slightly iffy in spots, but fine overall -- Flanagan was terrific, and
both Bakula and Blalock did standout work.
Overall: Let's call this one a 9, at least for now. Good work.
Desert Survival Training 101.
Tim Lynch (Castilleja School, Science Department)
"If there was ever a time to start trusting us, *this* would
Copyright 2002, Timothy W. Lynch. All rights reserved, but feel free
This article is explicitly prohibited from being used in any off-net
compilation without due attribution and *express written consent of
the author*. Walnut Creek and other CD-ROM distributors, take note.
Where to Watch - Local channels
VHS, Laserdisc and DVD availability.
Scott Bakula as Captain
Connor Trinneer as
Chief Engineer Charles
Jolene Blalock as Sub-commander
Dominic Keating as
Lt. Malcolm Reed
as Ensign Travis
Linda Park as Ensign
as Dr. Phlox
Directed by: Patrick Norris
Teleplay by: Alan Cross
Story by: Rick Berman
& Brannon Braga
and Chris Black