Star Trek: Enterprise

“Fallen Hero”

3 stars.

Air date: 5/8/2002
Teleplay by Alan Cross
Story by Rick Berman & Brannon Braga and Chris Black
Directed by Patrick Norris

T'Pol: "It's my understanding that [human] mating ritual is effective in easing tension."
Trip: "That hasn't always been my experience."

Review Text

In brief: Further issues of human/Vulcan trust prove reasonable, and I thought the chase plot was pretty well executed.

There's nothing particularly groundbreaking about the storyline in "Fallen Hero," but it does a good job of using its characters, creating some conflict, and ultimately finding its way in an extended, well-directed chase plot.

The dialog and character interaction is good enough and nicely acted, but it's not the real selling point of this episode, in my opinion. Where "Fallen Hero" proves best is on the level of its understated action and its chase, where the Enterprise is tested on the basis of its engines and its crew's tactical ingenuity.

The mission: Escort a Vulcan ambassador from the planet Mazar and deliver her to a Vulcan ship with which the Enterprise will rendezvous. The catch: It turns out the ambassador, V'Lar (Fionnula Flanagan), has been expelled from the planet for committing an unspecified act of misconduct, something about which she's not at all forthcoming in disclosing. The Vulcans weren't even willing to explain why they needed V'Lar picked up when they asked the Enterprise go on this mission in the first place.

Archer certainly isn't happy about being left in the dark by the Vulcans yet again, but things get more complicated when a Mazarite ship comes after the Enterprise and requests — no, demands — they turn the ambassador back over to them to answer for unfinished business. When the Mazarite ship opens fire, Archer flees the scene, but V'Lar still won't reveal why she was forced from Mazar. Archer subsequently turns the ship around with the intention of handing V'Lar back over to the Mazarites. After all, why should he risk his crew's lives for a mission whose details he's not even granted access to?

One nice moment is Archer's discussion with Admiral Forrest (Vaughn Armstrong), who understands Archer's situation and his decision to abandon the assignment. Forrest's acknowledgment, "I'm not out there; you are. It's your call," seems quite reasonable given the reality of Enterprise's situation — alone, and solely facing the immediate consequences of what goes on out here.

If there's an aspect of the episode I didn't quite find convincing, it's V'Lar's refusal — given Archer's new decision to turn her over — to share the truth with him, especially given that it's not particularly sensitive information from where the Enterprise stands. It doesn't seem logical so much as simply distrusting — perhaps too much so — of humans.

What we have here is a continuation of one of this season's themes, which is the issue of the strained relationship and mutual distrust between humans and Vulcans — a situation that slowly is getting better. The theme is revisited in a mostly believable matter that proves consistently watchable, if not entirely absorbing. Also here is a personal complication for T'Pol, who regards V'Lar as one of her heroes of youth (although she wouldn't admit it in so many words). The topic of V'Lar having possibly committed a crime on Mazar is something that is unsettling for T'Pol.

V'Lar explains that the Mazarites have corrupt politicians in their midst that are responsible for her current predicament, and after a personal request from T'Pol — an action worth noting — Archer reluctantly agrees to protect V'Lar so she can eventually testify against the corrupters on behalf of the legitimate Mazarite people. This is all fine and good, though the issues of Vulcan/human trust are not explored in especially deep or subtle ways.

What's more exciting is the story's execution over the Enterprise being chased by the corrupt Mazarites, who have a ship that isn't much faster than the Enterprise, but is just fast enough to maintain a slow and steady gain. The pressure of the situation builds slowly and quietly, until we realize that a fairly standard action concept has been supplied enough momentum to be genuinely entertaining. We've seen the Pushing the Engines to the Limits™ routine before, but it comes across effectively here because of how untested the Enterprise is. (Archer: "They call it a warp 5 engine." Trip: "On paper.")

The final act — as the tempo increases and the game goes down to the wire — features some top-notch directing/editing/cinematography. Patrick Norris, a director I haven't seen in Trek before, keeps the camera on the bridge moving around with a semi-chaotic fluidity (an oxymoron, I know, but that's the best description that comes to mind). It has the effect of upping the pace without calling too much attention to itself — very well done.

Also enjoyable are the various exchanges between Archer and the Mazarite captain (John Rubinstein), including the way Bakula answers terms of surrender with, "I have a better idea: Why don't you slow down before your engines explode." Archer's stalling efforts once the Enterprise is trapped also prove fun, probably because they are simultaneously desperate, amusing, and convincing. (The Mazarite captain isn't always fooled, which is also appreciated.)

As Vulcans go, V'Lar is a pleasant departure, showing that Vulcans need not always be portrayed in the same emotionless monotone and with unilateral disinterest in human traits. Indeed, V'Lar is the most individual-seeming Vulcan in some time, and still comes across as a Vulcan. The qualm I've sometimes had with T'Pol is that she doesn't come across as an individual so much as an iteration on an archetype: the perpetually cool and calm character speaking in monotone. It might be a good idea to somewhat head away from that since we've seen enough of it over the years. Heck, Voyager had two of them.

Next: Archer and Trip take a desert vacation they weren't intending.

Previous episode: Vox Sola
Next episode: Desert Crossing

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41 comments on this post

    This episode was threatening to be a risa episode for the first few seconds... I'm so glad they made that torture wait for a couple more weeks.

    All in all, I enjoyed this episode. This was a nice change from their usual "Vulcans are all unemotional a**holes" shtick.

    However, the true breakout star of this show remains the one and only... PORTHOS! They should just have him be the new first officer. He has more personality that Reed, Mayweather and T'Pol combined!

    Seriously, how come the only humanoid character with a real personality on this show is Trip? Honestly, Trip and Porthos are pretty much carrying this thing by themselves right now. Here's my breakdown of this cast so far:

    Archer - Whiney, irritable, irrational and childish; he often leads his crew into questionable situations based off of nothing more than his whim to go see "that brown dwarf nebula" or some random ass planet that just happened to pop up on the sensors. I know they're supposed to be exploring. But, I always get the impression that Archer is more lost than persuing any kind of mission. And his diplomatic skills? Damn, most six year olds have better diplomacy skills than this guy. I want to like Scott Bakula, because he has a likable sort of aura about him. But, the writers have managed to totally kill all of his natural charisma and turn him into the worst captain ever.

    T'Pol - What I like about T'Pol is that she is the only crew member with any amount of common sense. She frequently seems to share my frustration with Archer's idiocy, and I appreciate that. What I don't like about T'Pol is that she's always right. I'm all for having a woman be the hands down smartest person on the show. But, it gets tiring thinking "damn it, why isn't anyone listening to her???" week after week. Basically, because she's never wrong, she's kind of boring. Plus, I seriously question why she needs to wear that cat suit as a uniform. Don't get me wrong, she looks great in it! But, I don't see any other vulcans dressed like that. So, it feels cheap. She looks like 7 of 9 on laundry day to me.

    Reed - He's British and he likes to blow things up. He also seems horny a lot. Ok, done. That's his whole character.

    Mayweather - Is that guy still here? Seriously, who is he? The writers took an interesting premise with the whole "boomer" thing, and then we're just like "screw it. Let's just have him be the guy who says something when we need some filler dialogue."

    Hoshi - This girl really needs to take some Xanax. Every episode she's featured in seems to have some sort of anxiety related meltdown. "OMG! I can't learn an entire language in ten seconds! I don't belong on this ship! T'Pol's a bitch! I'm space sick! Something about syntax! I can't get the com system to work... Again! But, wait... Let me randomly show off by speaking in Vulcan. Can you speak Vulcan? No? I remain your superior." I will give Hoshi this though. I think she might be the cutest girl on the ship. Although T'pol could give her a serious run for her money if she didn't always have her bitch face on. All I'm saying is get the girl on zoloft or something, and she might be a more likable character.

    Trip - Besides Porthos, this guy is my favorite. As a chick, I can tell you that I have a bit of a trek crush on Trip. The accent, the fact that he's pretty much the only crew member given any real character exposition, his boyish charm... Swoon... I feely admit that Trip is the main reason I'm still suffering through this show.

    Phlox - Phlox is yet another example of how much smarter all the aliens on this show are than captain Archer. I like Phlox, and I enjoy his cheerful bedside manner. My only real complaint with him is that he looks a little too much like Neelix from Voyager. Even though I grew to like (ok, tolerate) Neelix on Voyager, I don't want to be reminded of the long journey it took for me not to want to shove him out an airlock midway through every episode for the first few seasons.

    Porthos - I want this dog on the bridge at all times. I'm pretty sure that would improve the show ten fold. More Porthos, less everyone else!

    In short, this show fails to live up to the expectations set up by Voyager in a big way. But, then again, Voyager totally failed to live up to the expectations brought forth by DS9, in my opinion. So, maybe we should all be glad they didn't try for one more series after this one.

    Considering the given character exposition in Enterprise, they probably would've just used cardboard cut outs and puppets to renact old TOS plots with amazing CGI phaser fights randomly going on in the background for the next series. They could have called it Star Trek: Valium. But, anyway, I digress.

    Not been watching these much recently, I've been too busy with My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Don't knock it until you've seen it; it comes to something when a show originally aimed at 10 year old girls turns out to be orders of magnitude better (in terms of story, wit, charm and interesting characters) than big shows like Voyager or Enterprise.

    So anyway, same old really. I've not seen many episodes of Enterprise that have much in the way of personality and whilst not as strongly loathing of them I agree with the above about the characters, they're not exactly the most interesting bunch in the history of Trek.

    And Risa, really? Thank goodness it didn't actually appear, but goodness, give this place a break. Are there not any other vacation destinations in the Alpha quadrant? Heck is vacationing in the space travel age all about using - let's be honest - prostitutes.. or do they ever just go and sit in the sun somewhere?

    That aside it was a good enough hour, and I share Jammer's appreciation of this very unique Vulcan. It's like she's definitely matured... to the point where she knows when it's okay let in subtle hints of emotion and charm whilst still being Vulcan enough to be accepted. Basically she's a Vulcan with a personality, which is nice.

    Cloudane said, "Heck is vacationing in the space travel age all about using - let's be honest - prostitutes.. or do they ever just go and sit in the sun somewhere?"

    To be honest, they're *not* prostitutes. Prostitutes do sex for money. As I recall, there's no money involved here; the residents simply enjoying bringing pleasure to others. And yes, sometimes they *do* just sit on the beach.

    Oh Cloudane, I used to enjoy your comments, but learning that you are a broney has tainted that. Tainted I say. I only hope you have learned a little and grown a little in the two years since you admitted being a ped- I mean furr- I mean broney.

    The crew is suffering from sexual tension. So nobody on the ship actually masturbates to deal with such problems ....

    At least a bit of continuity here and in the next one: they want to go to Risa, but are always distracted.

    What I did not get is: Why is the ambassador a fallen hero?! In the end she is the "hero" and I don't get why she was so reluctant to tell in the first place what was going on. Again this mistrust against humans... alrhigt.

    Please Sintek, don't even joke about that. FIM is superior show to Enterprise in every possible way.

    The best enterprise episode so far. An interesting Vulcan (an oxymoron if ever there was one) some background on T'Pol, a chase scene that had relevance to the story, Vulcan's appearing to help. A shame there weren't more like this one.

    @Jim - hah, fair enough, well I can see why everyone enjoys it.

    @Sintek - lol. Complete with the libe- er I mean near libellous comments. Good effort 10/10, good to see Trekkies aren't immune to casting aspersions about other people's choice of TV shows - I'll admit, I was curious about that. (I wouldn't bother compiling the inevitable list of why you find it evil and creepy, it's water off a duck's back in much the same way as the old comments about being a Trekkie were)

    @Mad - to be fair, that's not exactly a stretch :)

    FWIW I finished Enterprise and it was overall poor, but had some good moments in the final season.

    After dinner, T'Pol escorts V'Lar to her quarters and says "this is your cabin", which suggests she hadn't been there yet, but earlier at dinner, when V'Lar comments about the person who had her quarters, T'Pol suspects it's about "the smell", but if V'Lar hadn't been in the quarters yet, how could she have already smelled them?

    @ Jack,

    "After dinner, T'Pol escorts V'Lar to her quarters and says "this is your cabin", which suggests she hadn't been there yet, but earlier at dinner, when V'Lar comments about the person who had her quarters, T'Pol suspects it's about "the smell", but if V'Lar hadn't been in the quarters yet, how could she have already smelled them?"

    “this is your cabin” implies nothing other than T’Pol is identifying the room as her quarters. It’s a courtesy. They were walking and conversing, the Ambassador is not familiar with the ship… etc.

    Probably could have used another re-write. I hate when a guest character comes on under suspicious circumstances and the writers don't bother with a solid backstory.
    I agree some characters are under-written, but I find Reed enjoyable and sexy, and Phlox always a joy. Travis aka "that black guy" seems intentionally bland. Connor Trinneer is a superb actor, imo.

    Good stuff. Nothing special by any means but the chase keeps the action tension ratcheted up and the Vulcan ambassador plays up the tension between the humans and the Vulcans in believable style.

    Am I the only one to be disappointed that they didn't go to Risa though? 3 stars.

    Another enjoyable Enterprise Season 1 episode.

    This season is going to grade higher than I expected I think. Only a couple skipper thus far.

    We don't need the back-story of every visiting character right off the bat. I enjoy how we find out more about V'Lar as the episode progresses. ... T'Pol's view (memory) of her is also important.

    I really enjoy Fionnula Flanagan's Vulcan portrayal here. One of my favorite Enterprise guest actors.

    I haven't seen this one in quite some time, but I do remember the case scene at the end was very well done. I remember thinking "wow, this is really suspenseful". Well done.

    I really am enjoying the chemistry/trust/friendship developing between Archer & T'pol as this series progresses.

    Solid 3 star episode for me. Always an enjoyable watch.

    I enjoyed it.
    I seem to like the relationship touches to an episode (TPol and Archer getting a bit closer, Reed's reaction to Archer's comebacks etc). Maybe that's not very sci-fi but I like it.

    It was fun watching engineering as well.

    Solid episode I actually enjoyed with no serious misgivings. Flanagan is excellant as V'lar.

    Since I can't find much to add to what's been said, I'll use the opportunity to mention a gripe that's been pestering me lately.

    During the warp 5 chase, it's mentioned that the Vulcans can manage warp 7! Two hundred years later humans can hit Warp 9.9, and this doesn't seem unusual. Similarly, a few episodes back T'Pol tells Archer that a hundred or so years earlier it was 'a different time' because there were fewer warp-capable races.

    The universe is 14 billion years old. What are the chances that most species independently achieve more or less the same technological progress virtually in lockstep, and by sheer coincidence become warp capable within less than a Millenia of each other?

    I know there are quite a few exceptions to this rule, but even so, the degree of synchronicity Is absurd.

    I forgot to mention that Jolene Blalock was actually permitted to do some acting in this episode, and made a pretty good go of it. I'd like to think this means T'Pol stands a chance of becoming a permanently two-dimensional character, but I don't have my hopes up.

    Review activities aside, this episode had the faint aroma of "Face of the Enemy" and/or "Data's Day" (ST:NG) The whole idea of transporting a ranking officer or dignitary for unknown but semi-nefarious purposes... once again, we play "Spot the Plot Ripoff".... ah, nostalgia....

    V'lar is highly unusual in that she's a diplomat who is actually diplomatic. Except for her, Sarek and Odan, most diplomats on trek act as if they just came out of kindergarden.

    3 stars

    A decent--not great-- episode. Interesting plot clearly wasn't ENT's strong point. The plot is okay. What works is V'Lar and T'Pol

    Okay - not great.

    At this point in the first season I have still not seen what I consider to be an outstanding episode.

    There are always enticing moments that tickle the Trekkie in me, but still things that make me groan each time. I don't think a crewmember has died yet which is making me think that no situations will ever lead to life or death excitement. Mayweather is the first red shirt I'd sacrifice.

    Am I the only one that gets annoyed with the Enterprise being fired upon until "One more hit like that Captain and we can kiss our arses goodbye" but that last fatal volley never comes? In this episode all the Mazarites needed to do was destroy the Enterprise when they had the chance and they would have killed V'Lar; which I was led to believe was there intention. Heck they already fired on a Federation Ship. They didn't have much more to lose by finishing the job.

    It seems the Enterprise is always outgunned somehow and miraculously they get spared. Give the Enterprise some weaponry that can kick some ass!!

    Decent episode with a good guest actor for V'lar and a well-executed starship chase scene. This episode could be a turning point for the relations between Vulcans and humans as the distrust between the two at the start is pretty clear, nearly getting everybody killed.

    One thing Archer has going for him is he's good at buying time (i.e. bullshitting). We saw this in "The Andorian Incident". Liked it when he tried getting the Mazarite captain to talk about how fast his ship can go...Anyhow the few minutes bought were crucial for "hiding" V'lar and giving the Vulcan ship time to arrive and start kicking Mazarite ass.

    Allowing the Mazarites to board without resistance seemed odd -- perhaps its understood they aren't trying to kill anybody (except V'lar) with the space chase + with the Enterprise beaten, Archer has little choice but to use the tactic to buy time. Under different circumstances I'd imagine Archer wouldn't be so docile if enemies tried boarding.

    The distrust thing is annoying -- why should the investigation and work of V'lar not be disclosed to Archer? He has reason to be pissed. But he trusts T'Pol despite not being told specifics and maybe that's one key takeaway here.

    One of my big disappointments with ENT is how Vulcans are portrayed -- and even here T'Pol lies to the Mazarites when they board (about V'lar's supposed injuries). At this stage in the series, T'Pol still isn't a very engaging and likeable character.

    2.5 stars for "Fallen Hero" -- good space ship chase action / confrontation between the captains and some trickery in the end from Archer & co. with the backdrop of Vulcan/human relations getting another test. Nothing close to exceptional for sure, but pretty credible story given the Star Trek paradigm.

    One thing I don't get about this episode - why did they ask Enterprise to transport the Vulcan? The Vulcan ship could go warp 7. Why not just send it?

    Nothing groundbreaking? A Vulcan who is personable and honest around humans, and dare I say likeable? A Starfleet ship going faster than its engines can take, pushing the boundaries of human technology and human experience? A Starfleet ship that isn't comdortably able to run at 135% engone power, and that is instead rocking, unstable and burning out? A warp 5 engine that, like most modern engines, does not quite manage the speed or power that it's named for?

    Methinks someone needs to re-assess what "groundbreaking" means. We are hearing it with droning regularity, often inappropriately.

    This was another solid episode with good writing and acting, a growing sense of tension, and now the NX-01 is almost starting to hold its own. The writers did return to the "run for the Vulcans" well too often but it's done well here, and you've got to remember that Starfleet are still the minnows in a big pond.

    I have to admit I never got into Enterprise, and this is one of only a few episodes I've watched. But one thing I'll say I liked about this one: V'Lar is actually plus size.

    I think it must have been part of Roddenberry's universe bible that not only is the Federation post-scarcity, post-poverty, and post-bigotry, but also post-obesity, even post-paunch, at least for women. (Let's face it: Shatner's girdle was only so effective.)

    While that's a lovely dream, every so often it would have been nice to see a female character in a costume sized in the double digits. I'm not sure if we ever did before V'Lar.

    Interesting episode, had a decent pace, good acting. Plot was a little thin, but they seemed to be lacking so far in the series, but still enjoyable.

    So the criminal gangsters thought V'Lar was dead after shooting up the medical pod (allegedly containing her body) and in an act of Ferengi like stupidity neglect to check the pod. Then ambassador dumbass waltzes in to show them she's alive and nya nya nya to them in their faces. Except the joke's on her because in two months she has to return to their world to testify in open court. Hey um ambassador don't you think the bad guys thinking you were dead would have been kind of sort of massively useful?

    No appreciation for Admiral Forrest in the comments? Seriously, I think that this guy gives Ross a run for his money for best Admiral in a Trek TV show.

    @ Jericho Drakane
    Tue, Aug 6, 2019, 3:21am (UTC -5)

    "No appreciation for Admiral Forrest in the comments? Seriously, I think that this guy gives Ross a run for his money for best Admiral in a Trek TV show."

    I think he is hands down the best. Vaughn Armstrong as an actor and how this ADM is written has no parallel in Trek.

    Funny - I WAS in the seventh grade when this episode came out, and even then I thought Hoshi’s shirt getting ripped off was completely lame and unfunny. Not to mention embarrassing - I was watching these with my parents! The decon scenes always made me want to crawl under a rock.

    IMO T’Pol’s character arc is the one of the best things about ENT. It’s done subtly and believably. In “Breaking the Ice” last season, we saw her make the choice to stay on Enterprise and open herself up to her surroundings a bit more. Here we see her completely go to bat for Archer and stand up to Soval with quite a bit of barely repressed anger about the P’Jem affair. Blalock is hit-and-miss for me, but I think she’s great in this and the final scene. I’m not sure if the writers planned an arc for T’Pol; considering how loose and improvised ENT’s long-term story arcs are in the first two seasons, probably not. But as much as they failed in other areas, they did a great job at letting T’Pol evolve naturally from episode to episode. Trineer is my favorite actor in ENT, but T’Pol is my favorite character.

    Well, it took 22 episodes but finally a really good episode. 3.5/4, maybe 4 stars..

    When watching this episode I was provided with a good way to articulate what I found wrong with T’Paul... and that is that she should have been played more like V’Lar. I always found T’Paul, unlike other main character Vulcans (Spock and Tuvock) to be played too robotically, more like an Android than a Vulcan. V’Lar does a good job of showing how Vulcans, despite being beings that dramatically emphasize logic, are still “people” (I would have said “still human” but of course that wouldn’t have worked).

    Aside from that I thought I’d add that this was a very good episode... perhaps if Enterprise had been more focused, not necessarily totally serialized but focused the way DS9 was, around Volcan politics in episodes like this, it could have turned out better. It just seems laughable to me today that the Suits at Paramount thought they could squeeze out another episodic Star Trek series at this point... Voyager was shaky enough but to start a whole new series while continuing to insist it maintain an episodic nature so that viewers could see episodes out of order? Paramount killed the golden era of Trek with that requirement... yes it worked incredibly well (I think TNG may hold a record for most money made from a TV Drama) while it lasted with TNG but that was where there were fresh pastures...

    Jason R - "So the criminal gangsters thought V'Lar was dead after shooting up the medical pod (allegedly containing her body) and in an act of Ferengi like stupidity neglect to check the pod. Then ambassador dumbass waltzes in to show them she's alive and nya nya nya to them in their faces. Except the joke's on her because in two months she has to return to their world to testify in open court. Hey um ambassador don't you think the bad guys thinking you were dead would have been kind of sort of massively useful?"

    I thought this for a moment too. Then I considered, maybe in thinking ahead to the trial (which she mentions) she decided they should have eyewitness proof that she didn't get killed.

    Or it could be, once again, lazy writing.

    I actually almost didn't watch this one because I thought it was going to deal with Risa and immorality. I'm glad I read the synopsis, or I would have missed a good episode! I like the Ambassador. She wasn't "out of character" for a Vulcan, but she WAS friendly! Which would be realistic-an ambassador couldn't expect much success if she acted superior all the time'

    Good to see the younger actor from Crazy Like a Fox as the alien baddie. I like how the chase played out-suspenseful and interesting!

    I also like how T'Pol acted when she thought her "hero" was "fallen"

    I guess it is possible that once the Federation was formed, starfleet suddenly achieved Warp 7 (I guess it makes sense that the Vulcans would have a leg up on humans since they already had warp technology when Cochrane did his famous flight-I actually kind of see it as compared to another sci-fi series-Animorphs! In that, the Andalites was kind of stuffy, and Ax (the main Andalite character) told our humans that they were actually a little afraid of humans. He mentions "your species went from their first heavier than air plane flying to landing on the moon in 66 years! Andalites took over 2 centuries to achieve that!" The implication is that humans are very quick to learn and inventive. Perhaps this is the case with humans in the Star Trek universe compared to other races We've met Ferengi and Nausicans already, and while we didn't see much of their tech, it seems that it isn't much different in the 22nd century than it is in the 24th. After all, if those Ferengi thought Enterprise had stuff cool enough to steal, they can't be much more advanced than them, and in the 24th century, it really seemed like their stuff made them a joke compared to Starfleet (maybe I'm reading that incorrectly)

    Anyway, it is a good show, and again, I like the prequel feel to it. I'll bet Malcolm is REALLY wishing they had shields like everybody else!

    Annie O'Shea: Have we won?

    Jackie O'Shea : No, but it got my apple tart brought in now didn't it.

    That line from Waking Ned Devine is what I always think of when I see Fionnula Flanagan.

    Good episode. Flanagan was a good guest star. The Warp five scene was well done. This is one of the better B & B stories, imo.

    Two nitpicks about the writing. There are two lines of exposition that were poorly written, imo. The first is when the Enterprise comes under attack:

    ARCHER: Would the phase cannons be more effective?
    REED: Undoubtedly, but we can't fire them at warp.
    ARCHER: What do you mean, we can't fire them at warp?

    The writers feel like they have to explain to the audience why Enterprise has to drop to impulse to go into battle. But having the captain of the ship be surprised by this fact doesn't work. "We'll have to come out of warp and make a stand" or "Malcolm, is there ANY way we can use the cannons while still in warp?" would have told the audience what they needed to know without making the captain look clueless.

    A similar scene takes place later. T'Pol is giving Archer updates on the ETA for Enterprise's rendezvous with the Vulcan ship.

    ARCHER: How long now?
    T'POL: If they received our message, another ten minutes.
    ARCHER: I thought it was down to eight.
    T'POL: That was before we dropped out of warp.

    For some odd reason the writers felt the need to preemptively answer a possible question by the less observant members of the audience. Which is a fool's errand.
    What makes it worse is that they put the silly question in Archer's mouth. The man is an expert pilot who can fly a fucking spaceship, but he can't understand that it takes longer to get somewhere if you slow down? Jesus Christ.

    @ Lupe
    Just for the record, Kirk's Enterprise hit Warp 14+ in "That Which Survives". It did take an alien to modify the engines to improve efficiency, but the basic mechanism was there..... And I forget what the Kelvans got it up to as well.... (but they could fly to Andromeda in 300 years).

    I understand they redid the Warp scale for TNG....

    Between non-jerk Vulcans and "let's go Warp 5".... 3.5 stars

    Didn’t like the heavy handed attempt to turn them into kirk and spock. they tolerate each other. There’s no great friendship brewing. Even Archer’s raised brow at the end said the same

    Highly watchable! Fionnula Flanagan was a real standout as V'Lar. She somehow was convincingly Vulcan even as V'Lar showed off unusual interspecies social skills. The handshake scene is a good example - Flanagan made the gesture just awkward enough to project a combination of inexperience, affability, and Vulcan stiffness, a perfect portrayal of a Vulcan not quite fluent in the ways of humans but going out on a limb for diplomatic reasons.

    I agree with Jason R about the 'rubbing it in' scene. Completely out of character, as we've been led to believe Vulcans guard information jealously when it suits them. Why would V'Lar reveal she survived?

    I also thought the chase scene was very well done. Sure, the plot may have been a bit paint-by-numbers, but the execution was far above similar scenes I recall from the other series. Alas, if only they had the stones of Battlestar Galactica, the episode might've ended with V'Lar captured, the Vulcans pissed, and Enterprise limping back to Earth with a crippled engine. But perhaps that would never feel right in Trek.

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