T'Pol brings Archer
with her on a top-secret mission when she is dispatched by the
Vulcan High Command to capture a fugitive that has eluded their
authorities for nearly two decades. Meanwhile, T'Pol reveals to
Archer a dark and violent secret that she repressed, and Trip, who
fills in for Archer while he is away, finds the weight of being the
Captain hard to bear.
Voigts' "A View From The Shuttlecraft" Enterprise Episode
The Seventh - Spoilers Involved
The previous episode, "Marauders," was full of light. It took place
in a dessert, the Enterprise crew and planet inhabitants all wore
light colored clothing, the threat was physical, and most of the
action took place during the day. This episode was the antithesis of
the previous episode. Most of the episode took place in dark places
and dealt with the darkness of the mind. The color of truth in this
episode is dark.
"The Seventh" was, again, an interesting look at Vulcans, and,
particularly, T'Pol. Seeing the character development is, in another
Vulcan's words, fascinating. All the statements we have heard over the
years about how Vulcans don't do this and Vulcans don't do that are
being refuted. Obviously Vulcans have developed over the years as well
The trust factor between Archer and T'Pol was developed
wonderfully. Menos' tricks were just convincing enough that there was
a little doubt in my mind - not as much as perhaps they wanted, as it
was laid on a little thick at times; however, overall it was done
fairly well. T'Pol's doubts as she regained her memory of the previous
events showed just enough in her face - the fight between logic and
emotion played wonderfully across her face. It was quite intriguing to
see Archer playing the voice of reason to a Vulcan. And, my, it was so
nice to see Mr. Mayweather get a little more action in the story -
actually helping to save the day quite well. He is an interesting
character of whom little has been shown and it needs to be.
The sub-story, with Trip as acting captain, was not written so
well. I did not find it funny at all. I can't see a Starfleet officer
being that indecisive in that situation, especially one at his level.
And Trip's impersonating the captain to a Vulcan officer was just
plain dumb. The whole story just reeked of being forced.
Great line. "He didn't want to be rehabilitated either." "We'll all
need to go through decon now." "Violent words for a peaceful man." "We
don't do quickly and quietly very well but we are good at arithmetic."
"Then trust me. You were sent to apprehend him, not judge him."
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
I finally realized who they SHOULD have hired to play Captain
Archer. I know Scott Bakula is really popular, and the whole cast
loves him, and so do the fans, so I understand that I'm a minority
of (possibly just) one. But imagine this, if you will: Captain
Archer as played by Benjamin Bratt! He would have been perfect. He's
gorgeous, commanding, has a twinkle in his eye, always has something
going on internally, looks great in a tight t-shirt, and he's just
the kind of person you'd trust to look after the crew. Remember him
on Law & Order? He was a cop with a morality streak, a sick wife at
home, and a complicated life. And doesn't he look the part?
Now on to the show. . .which wasn't as bad as the preview
indicated, but wasn't all that fabulous either.
T'Pol received a mysterious communication in the middle of the
night, and the next day informed Archer that she was being assigned to
an even more mysterious mission. I was happy to see that Mayweather
was going to accompany her (as her shuttle pilot), hoping for a little
interaction for the poor guy, since he almost never speaks. (He's
pretty much the Uhura of the crew, all he does is fulfill his
technical obligations and look good in a uniform.) That went out the
window when she asked Archer to join her, because she needed someone
she trusted. Sorry, Mayweather.
The story goes -- with much too much exposition and back story for
my liking -- that 30 years ago, a slew of Vulcans were sent to work
undercover on a corrupt planet. They infiltrated gangs and weeded out
the bad guys, but not all of them returned. T'Pol was one of the
officers assigned to track them down, but she only managed to capture
5 of the 6 on her list. The 6th, a fella named Manos, had just been
found and it was considered a matter of honor that T'Pol be the one to
I'm sorry, but that just doesn't make any sense to me. Wouldn't it
be better to send someone he wasn't likely to recognize? Honor before
logic seems to be the way the Vulcans of the Enterprise series
was nicely played by Bruce Davison, who I've liked ever since I first
saw him in "Longtime
Companion". He gave his character a little depth and kept things
from getting too dull, at least as much as he was able. T'Pol, Archer
& Mayweather captured him fairly quickly, and then he tormented T'Pol
by making her remember that she had shot & killed one of her captives
the last time, that in fact she'd come back with only 4 of her
assigned 6, and that the one she killed may not in fact have been
reaching for a weapon. Manos had this whole sob story about how he
didn't want to be rehabiliated, just wanted to carry on with his
crappy job and his nice family, and he wasn't really a biotoxins
smuggler. And that's where Archer came in, giving T'Pol the strength
to acknowledge and fight her guilt, and keep him captive anyway, then
recapture him when he escaped. I'll skip the details, and they weren't
all that interesting.
In the meantime, Trip had command of the ship, which they tried to
use for comic relief, but it didn't quite work. I knew they were
desperate when Dr. Phlox said he wanted to inoculate the crew against
something, but the side effects included the runs. Surely they can
come up with something funnier than diarrhea, in a pinch?
All in all, an unmemorable show. I will say this, though. . .once
again the visuals were just stunning. The shuttle landing on the cold
snowy planet looked gorgeous, and I liked the giant alien who
threatened Archer in the roughneck bar where they found Manos. I'd
like to see more of those aliens, more of any aliens, but less of
Vulcans, Klingons, and Suliban. I also think it was lovely that Archer
started off the show by saying "Captain's Log supplemental", even if
by the end he was back to calling it a "starlog".
Next week, by the way, looks a lot more fun! I'm looking forward to
Land of Laurie
Lynch's Enterprise Episode Review
WARNING: "The Seventh" is the episode: the spoilers for
right after the next line.
In brief: Not a bad story about manipulation once it gets there,
takes an act and a half to get going ... and who the heck are those
characters claiming to be Vulcans?
Enterprise Season 2, Episode 7
Written by Rick Berman & Brannon Braga
Directed by David Livingston
Brief summary: T'Pol asks Archer along on a classified mission
which threatens to reveal an incident she has long hidden from
I'm starting to have the sinking feeling that "Minefield"
Stop" were the flukes of the season. Here we are, seven episodes
the season, and the episodes sitting at the "ho-hum" level
or lower are
outnumbering the interesting ones. That's not an encouraging sign.
In fairness, "The Seventh" isn't nearly as weak a show as
some of its
recent predecessors. It's not as horrifically unfunny as "A Night
Sickbay" or as baldfacedly generic as "Marauders."
has some interesting material at its core, which is of itself an
improvement -- the concerns this time are more related to the path
taken to reach some of that material.
One of the main goals here seems to be giving T'Pol a dark past. We
discover early on that she used to work as part of the Ministry of
Security and had at one time a mission to bring in Vulcan undercover
operatives who refused to return to Vulcan after finishing their
She missed one at the time, however -- one who has only just been
found, thus giving T'Pol an opportunity (and an order) to finish what
she once began. Unfortunately, a part of that past has been excised
from her memory: after killing Menos' partner and being unable to
tolerate the feelings of guilt and remorse, she underwent an ancient
ritual that let her simply forget that little event happened.
For the most part, that's all well and good. I find it a little
when characters are given a dark past in lieu of an interesting
but I've no real problem with the idea of T'Pol essentially being
someone who used to do special ops. There are certainly story
possibilities that can spin out of such a move, and there's no obvious
conflict inherent in giving her that job.
However, I have a lot of problems with it being used as the premise
for this particular assignment. When Archer asks why T'Pol has to
be the one to finish this assignment, her response is that the
of Security "considers it a point of honor." "How very
Well, Jon ... no. How very *Klingon*, perhaps -- but Vulcan?
Vulcans will go with the logical and efficient solution, not one that
someone avenge a past injustice. And in this case, the logical choice
is to avoid using T'Pol at all costs. Why? Well, here are the top two
-- Menos knows what she looks like, since she nearly apprehended
him once before. Send someone from an allied race who can get
close without being recognized.
-- Since it's evident from later in the episode that T'Pol still
has a lot
of unresolved trauma from her previous attempt to apprehend Menos,
it's criminal stupidity to send her back out there where Menos can
play head games with her and get away again. Even if we accept that
the Vulcans didn't know that T'Pol's "therapy" would break
they knew that she'd had problems beforehand. So don't send her!
The unfortunate thing is that there's a very good reason for
T'Pol that remains completely unspoken: if it's taken seventeen years
to track Menos to ground, simply make it so that Enterprise is the
only ship in the neighborhood. If T'Pol is the only person with a
chance of apprehending Menos before he moves on again, *then*
you've got a good reason for sending her and an equally good reason
for the Vulcans to do so only reluctantly. As it is, the logic looks
entirely too tortured to justify the premise.
As long as we're on difficult things to swallow, did anyone out
buy even for an instant that Menos is a surgically altered Vulcan
who's refused to come home? I certainly didn't, and there was no real
reason to make him that in the first place. If he's a fugitive that
Vulcans want for some reason, that should be sufficient reason in and
of itself. Call me old-fashioned, but if he's a Vulcan I think he
to exhibit at least *one* Vulcan trait, be it a physical trait like
or a mental one like a relentlessly good analytical mind. Menos
showed none of those -- he was good at playing on emotions, yes, but
apart from that he's got more in common with Hannibal Lecter than
he does with any Vulcan I've ever seen. (Let's keep in mind that he
didn't even have any clue how T'Pol could have 'forgotten' the ritual
that let her remove her memories.) This is another part of the premise
that raises lots of plausibility questions without adding anything to
the story in the process.
Having said all that, once you put all that aside and simply accept
premise as a given, most of the show works reasonably well. At its
heart, it's a psychological duel between Menos and Archer with T'Pol
as the middleman: Menos plays on T'Pol's doubt and fears about
what happened on Risa, while Archer continually reminds her that
she's here to apprehend Menos and return him to Vulcan, not to play
judge and jury herself. It's a dynamic that's certainly appeared in
many other places and times, but in this case that's because it's a
dynamic that carries a lot of meat: even as telegraphed as some of the
ending was, seeing Archer in the snow effectively talking T'Pol into
shooting Menos down had a certain visceral appeal.
A lot of the episode's successes can be firmly laid at the feet of
Davison (Menos). He may not have been a remotely convincing
Vulcan, but I see that as more a choice than a fault -- because he
*did* convince quite nicely as a master manipulator. Menos made a
few dumb choices which were possibly out of panic (such as firing at
Archer in the bar when he was first apprehended), but once he
realized that he had T'Pol had a disadvantage when it came to
knowledge and to emotional control, he exploited it for all it was
worth. (I got the feeling that he was initially trying to bring Archer
and Mayweather over to his side, then switched to T'Pol when he saw
that she was a more effective target.) In nearly every scene after
Jossen's death is finally brought to light, Menos harps on T'Pol
having "killed an innocent man" and implies that bringing
him in will
be every bit as much of a death sentence as the one she carried out
herself. It may not be the masterpiece of manipulation that, for
example, Garak exhibited with Sisko in DS9's "In the Pale
Moonlight," but I'm not sure there's a character anywhere on the
roster who can match Garak for sheer guile ... and even being
reminded of such an example speaks somewhat well of the
Given my past reviews, you're probably expecting that I'll now say
that Bruce Davison did an especially good job compared to Jolene
Blalock. Surprise: I actually thought she did a decent job through
most of the episode. Granted, the "I said STOP TALKING!"
that we got in the preview ranks as one of the worst line readings of
the season, but it was also an exception: Blalock plays
reasonably well. Writing for T'Pol must be an interesting challenge at
this point, since all evidence suggests that Blalock plays the
*aftermath* of trauma well while falling down when it comes to
exhibiting the trauma itself -- I wouldn't want to have to write for
combination myself, but that's why I'm not on staff. :-) (Well, that
and many other reasons...)
The "twist" ending, where it turns out that Menos is in
biological toxins, was something of a mixed bag. I suppose it'd be
more difficult to actually make T'Pol responsible for an innocent
man's death, but in principle that's the only real down side -- and
Davison did a great job switching from playing the wounded innocent
to someone substantially more calculating and cold-blooded. On the
other hand, the ending suffered a bit in execution, since Our Heroes
had to act like fairly serious idiots in letting Menos get away during
the final firefight. So far as I can tell, when he's proven this
calculating and this slippery, as soon as he gives up you stun him and
be done with it: that's why you *have* the damned stun setting,
As a "bring back Menos" story of psychological warfare,
Seventh" wasn't bad. I have trouble tying any of it to Vulcan,
have the nasty sensation to boot that Vulcan is being made into far
more of a dystopian society than I'm even remotely comfortable with,
but in and of itself the main plot was okay.
Meanwhile, back on the ship, our time was completely wasted by
watching Trip learn that being acting captain means more than special
lunches in the captain's mess. The big Trip/Phlox/Reed scene ran
almost three minutes, and was worth maybe a third of that time.
Some other observations:
-- Editing glitch: at one point, Menos is referred to as "Mai-nos"
"Mee-nos" only a sentence apart. I can understand when
actors will read names a little differently, but in this case it was
same actor a single sentence apart. Sheesh.
-- Kudos for tying P'Jem into T'Pol's memory purge. If you're going
to purge memories from your mind, a hidden recon base is probably a
good place. :-) (Actually, it also begs the question of whether T'Pol
might have seen something *there* she shouldn't have as well and
had that purged at the same time. Could be interesting.)
-- So T'Pol underwent the "falara" ritual to purge the
Jossen's death from her mind. All well and good ... but since
"Fusion" already established that Vulcans of this time don't
about mind-melds, does anyone else wonder how such a ritual would
even be possible?
-- Boy, that "you can't go out, the deck is covered with
evaporated awfully quickly, didn't it? Menos' big escape attempt
comes only minutes after T'Pol returns, and the implication is that
deck was still dangerous as of the time she came back.
-- Note to smugglers: when shipping dangerous biological toxins, be
sure to put them in transparent containers so that everyone can see
Really Cool Bright Green Glowing Stuff That Doesn't Raise Any
Suspicions At All. Mm-hmm.
That's probably about it. "The Seventh" is a step up from
"Marauders" and "A Night in Sickbay" simply by the
virtue of not
making as many mistakes, but I'm still getting the ugly feeling that
"Minefield" and "Dead Stop" were the exceptions
and not the norm.
Here's hoping I've proved wrong as soon and as often as possible.
So, wrapping up:
Writing: A decent core with lots of horrible plot contrivances to
Direction: Nothing especially striking one way or the other.
Acting: Kudos to Davison; Blalock was uneven, but positive on the
OVERALL: 5.5. Just enough meat to come out ahead of "dead
An attempt to retrieve lost technology results in ...
Tim Lynch (Castilleja School, Science Department)
"If all of the Ministry's reports about me were true, I could
shapeshift and slip out of these restraints, or sprout wings and fly
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
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
Bruce Davison as
Richard Wharton as Jossen
David Richards as Dockmaster
Vincent Hammond as Huge Alien
Coleen Maloney as Vulcan Officer
Stephen Mendillo as Vulcan Captain
Directed by: David Livingston
Written by: Rick Berman
& Brannon Braga