Star Trek: Enterprise
"Two Days and Two Nights"
Air date: 5/15/2002
Teleplay by Chris Black
Story by Rick Berman & Brannon Braga
Directed by Michael Dorn
Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan
"You think this is my fault!"
"You were willing to follow two strange aliens into a basement!"
"Gorgeous aliens! Don't forget — they were gorgeous!"
— Trip and Malcolm, after being shot and left tied to a beam in their underwear
In brief: Pleasant. Fairly amusing and entertaining as lightweight shore-leave episodes go.
One lesson that seems to emerge in "Two Days and Two Nights" is that the nookie is awarded to those who aren't trying so hard. Or maybe it's not awarded in two cases because Trip and Malcolm are overly typical males being overly obvious and trying too hard at it.
But, hell — at least hooking up is actually on the minds of members of the crew. In previous Star Trek series it was almost as if human beings were above the very notion of having a sex drive, let alone expressing it. That's not saying "Two Days and Two Nights" is the least bit sophisticated when it comes to the topic, but when Trip and Malcolm get decked out in their nightlife threads and head out to a club to look for women ... well at least that's something that's socially recognizable in our own century. And when they fail miserably ... well, that's recognizable too.
The shore-leave episode is not a new concept in Trek, but this proves to be one of the better examples because it keeps things simple and observes regular human behavior. We follow a few characters through their separate adventures in (attempted) relaxation, as they shuttle down to renowned pleasure planet Risa.
Based on evidence here, Trip and Malcolm are destined to become the best-buddy partners-in-crime a la O'Brien and Bashir. It's nice to see that "Shuttlepod One," like DS9's "Armageddon Game," firmly solidified a friendship. Their storyline hardly has anything resembling depth (hanging out at a club, doing a fair amount of imbibing, trolling for dates), but something about it rings true. The actors bring a relaxed, unforced believability to light material; I found myself not thinking about the plot and just settling back and watching two people trying to have some fun. The emerging Trip/Malcolm repartee is adequately amusing. My one complaint is that the two thieves had to be shapeshifters. That's taking the Venus-flytrap routine just a little too far over the top; the two (non)women that rob Trip and Malcolm didn't have to be morphing shapeshifters to be criminals.
Another plot — less silly — involves Archer settling into a beach resort with Porthos and some books. A woman named Keyla (Dey Young, last seen in Trek in DS9's "A Simple Investigation") is checked into a room with a nearby terrace. Inevitably, Archer and Keyla meet and go out for a casual dinner. Somewhat initially confusing is the fact that Keyla looks so completely human to the point that I began wondering if she was a civilian who somehow got from Earth to Risa. Dialog reveals that's not the case, but it raises the point of aliens that are human almost to a fault.
Archer's storyline turns out to be an effective example of taking a lightweight premise and adding some fairly meaty larger-plot implications in an appropriately low-key way. It turns out Keyla is a Tandaran operative (the Tandarans were those who had imprisoned innocent Suliban in "Detained"). She was sent with a cover story to get close to Archer and convince him to reveal more information about the Suliban. The way she goes about doing this is sneaky and very believable given what we learned about the Tandarans in the earlier episode — a people who take the concept of "we need to know what you know" very seriously, to the point of monomania.
In a third storyline, Travis falls while rock-climbing and must be shuttled back to the Enterprise. Kellie Waymire reprises her role as Crewman Cutler, Phlox's medical assistant, but she encounters the unexpected in subbing as ship's doctor. This results in Phlox having to be brought prematurely out of hibernation to treat Travis for a medicinal allergy. Lesson of the week: Don't wake a Denobulan from hibernation and expect him to be clear-headed. Played for laughs, Phlox's drowsy/insane antics are milked for all they're worth, which is to say the results are mixed: Billingsley is game for these scenes but they're hit-and-miss — sometimes amusing, other times too broad and obvious.
In a fourth storyline, Hoshi meets a friendly man named Ravis (Rudolf Martin), who comes from a planet that's unpronounceable and probably even more unspellable. Ravis and Hoshi connect instantly on linguistic levels, and I must again express my approval at the use of subtitles in lieu of the universal translator, and the pleasant, easygoing chemistry between the two characters that ensues.
It serves as some sort of justice — or anti-justice — that Hoshi is the one who ends up getting bedroom time while not being the one who had set out looking for it. Meanwhile, Malcolm and Trip spend a night tied up unconscious in the basement of a bar in their underwear, because thieves have stolen their clothes. Whoever said "nothing ventured, nothing gained" was apparently not one who was shot, robbed, and left unconscious in the basement of a bar in their underwear.
It's a small miracle of sorts that these four unrelated plot threads manage to end up being not only watchable but fairly entertaining. Michael Dorn, who directed one of Trek's all-time best comedies, DS9's "In the Cards," brings a similar sense of restraint and straightforward humanity to the material. Admittedly, none of these plots on their own would be sufficient to sustain an episode, or even half an episode. But together they manage to work adequately for a low-key vacation episode.
And in the end, during the shuttle ride back to the Enterprise, everyone is content to forgo conversation about vacation. What happened on Risa stays on Risa. I like that.
Next week: A catastrophic accident suggests an end to the Enterprise's mission. (Season finale.)
Previous episode: Desert Crossing
Next episode: Shockwave
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68 comments on this post
Fri, Oct 3, 2008, 3:40pm (UTC -5)
Mon, Aug 10, 2009, 12:34pm (UTC -5)
Frankly, I had to stop myself from falling asleep during this big pile of nothing. Jammer, you're far too lenient on these episodes.
There's a reason a Two Days and Two Nights recap is featured in The Worst of Trek section of the Agony Booth.
Sat, Oct 16, 2010, 11:59pm (UTC -5)
I think you neglected to think about Riker, as he was well known for wanting sex wherever he could get it. "They have sex at the drop of a hat"
Kirk prolly had 18 varieties of alien Chlamydia.
I disagree with your statement that the previous series acted like humans are avove it.
Also, this is one of the less potent episodes of Enterprise. I think 3 stars is being very generous. But that's my take.
Thu, Oct 28, 2010, 9:48pm (UTC -5)
JANEWAU: Remember the old story? A man goes to Risa, where he meets a beautiful woman who invites him over for an evening of passion.
CHAKOTAY: He wakes up in the morning, feeling wonderful, until he discovers he's missing a kidney.
Would've been cool to see the genesis of this story told to Starfleet cadet for years to come.
Imagine how much more Trip and Reed would've bonded if one lost a kidney and the other had to donate one of theirs?
Wed, Nov 3, 2010, 5:09am (UTC -5)
Unfortunately, sfdebris.com's author eventually grew tired and his reviews turned into one-line micro-reviews near the end of Season 1. This made watching the show considerably duller.
Thankfully your agonybooth link just restored some of my faith (and entertainment) in humanity.
Tue, Dec 7, 2010, 5:26pm (UTC -5)
Tue, Jun 7, 2011, 5:09pm (UTC -5)
I too am most curious about the flying dog.
(Oh and the growling scene.... sorry but that was so terrible it was hilarious)
Phlox being woken up reminds me of myself on a morning. There's one very apt line though, someone mentions Mayweather to him and he says "er... who?" - heh, indeed.
Hoshi's story was pleasant and sweet though. At first the guy looked like one of those creepy types.. he reminded me of someone of that description off TNG (can't remember who) when he was standing there staring and eavesdropping - I don't know why, but he just has the face of a Creepy Malicious Guy - but I'm glad to see that he wasn't. A refreshing change.
All in all it was okay, but like most of ENT so far, I only consider it "okay". I'd have given it 2 stars.
Wed, Aug 17, 2011, 5:41pm (UTC -5)
Tue, Oct 18, 2011, 10:30am (UTC -5)
Oh well, another boring nonsense story.
Sun, Feb 5, 2012, 2:09am (UTC -5)
Sun, May 13, 2012, 4:19pm (UTC -5)
Sun, Jul 22, 2012, 11:43pm (UTC -5)
Am I the only one who thought those looked like Trill spots?
Fri, Nov 9, 2012, 3:32pm (UTC -5)
What does everybody mean "believeable situations?" I really thought Trip/Malcolm were playing the cliche. Has my gender fallen so far that this depiction is no longer comic but realistic? That is beyond saddening. This is why I prefer to live under a rock. All the garbage that convinced me to stop watching television in the 90s has now not only become the norm but is now accepted and real. Scary!
Jammer you didn't note Vorox from "Vox Sela" is the shuttle pilot to the surface. More Below Decks continuity.
Fri, Dec 7, 2012, 11:59am (UTC -5)
Sat, Feb 9, 2013, 12:26am (UTC -5)
I found very believable that Malcolm would want some woman, that's the way he's been depicted (first time when he looks so mesmerized watching the "eating-butterflies strip-teasers in a previous episode). However, until now, Trip hasn't been depicted (except by T'Pol) as such. He's been acting like a gentleman, even shy when around women. He said he's had only 3 relations so far and the way he described his first dance doesn't strike me as a guy who'd behave like that.
So, even if the continuity with the buddy-buddy with Reed is good, the theme is wrong.
For the rest... well, it was a Risa episode...
Tue, Feb 12, 2013, 11:19am (UTC -5)
I really disliked this episode. The only one of the plot strands that felt at all natural was Hoshi's one night stand; Tucker and Reed were painted as sleazy rubes, Phlox's resuscitation from hibernation was a painfully labored and unfunny attempt at humor, and Archer's femme fatale really wore my patience down to the bone as far as "aliens" who happen to look and act just like humans are concerned. (And she even had a dog? Come on!) The fact that she turned out to be a surgically altered Tandaran doesn't make it much better as the Tandarans look pretty much exactly like humans too. But my main problem with Archer's portion of the hour was the completely bland, lifeless dialogue between him and this mysterious woman; there was nothing interesting about these scenes whatsoever.
This episode doesn't even rate one star from me-- I'd give it half a star for Hoshi's scenes, which, while not riveting, at least played naturally. As for the rest, it was a lifeless bore of an episode. Easily my pick for worst episode of the season.
Mon, Sep 23, 2013, 11:39pm (UTC -5)
Sun, Jun 1, 2014, 10:30am (UTC -5)
Fri, Jul 24, 2015, 12:03am (UTC -5)
As for some of the complaints:
It didn't seem off that the Tandarians knew where the Enterprise was headed and that Archer had a dog.
The Tandarians seemed to have a strong intelligence agency. In "Detained" they knew a great deal about Archer and his interactions with the Suliban and the Cabal.
Also, it seemed Archer was becoming something of a legend with a lot a actual and exaggerated information going around about him.
As for the dog on the deck, I assume "Keyla" put her up there to orchestrate a "chance encounter" with Archer.
A better question would be how did the Tandarians acquire an Earth dog? Or was that hairless thing supposed to be an alien dog? I wonder if Porthos is just unfriendly or unaccustomed to other dogs or if he sensed something wrong about her. I was expecting the two dogs to have jamaharon rather than growl at each other.
Is my internal chronometer malfunctioning or were they only on Risa for one night? Didn't Reed and Malcolm get robbed on their first night there and return to Enterprise the next day?
Sun, Apr 3, 2016, 1:49pm (UTC -5)
"I learned several new conjugations" indeed. 2.5 stars.
Tue, Apr 5, 2016, 6:52pm (UTC -5)
Where would she get a Chinese Crested to connect to the Captain through Porthos? Are we to assume that due to humanities "improvements" that puppy mills have gone galactic to stay in business?
Sun, Jun 26, 2016, 12:15am (UTC -5)
Wed, Jul 20, 2016, 5:41pm (UTC -5)
I usually skip it. I did like how they portrayed Hoshi here. I felt happy for her.
Another alien "dog"... the writers must have watched Voyager. :-)
I know the stories revolve around our main cast, but I would have like to see some of the crew enjoying themselves.
2 stars from me.
Wed, Sep 14, 2016, 3:37am (UTC -5)
The somewhat amusing Reed/Trip stuff - Love those guys, another great Trek friendship in the making... but did they have to run into shapeshifters?? Shapeshifters! Again! Enterprise writers really love their shapeshifters this season.
Some of the Phlox stuff - I like Phlox and John Billingsley is certainly throwing himself into the situation, but it was a little obvious and overdone in spots.
Hoshi's "storyline" - So... how did that all work? I guess we just assume she had sex with this alien guy and it worked and it was great. And she had sex... with a random alien guy she barely knew. I don't think it was a "good" episode for her character, because she was the one person who was super nervous about away missions and I find it hard to believe a person like that would lower their securities so easily to an alien guy that she barely knows. It did not gel with what we have seen of her character this season.
Mayweather - This guy continues to be so bland and one note in every scene he is in. I really hope he gets better in the next couple seasons. He's making Harry Kim look like a good character.
Archer's storyline - Okay, so a pretty "alien" woman sort of seduces Archer and then blows her cover by awkwardly stating all of this Suliban related information out near the end? She just kept yammering on about them. Real subtle of her. Guess she couldn't keep up her "act". And then what? She knocks him out and leaves.... while I appreciated the callback to "Detained", is anything actually going to come of this? Will we ever see her again? I severely doubt it.
2/4 from me.
Sun, Nov 13, 2016, 9:39pm (UTC -5)
Trip and Reed go down looking for a good time and meet two women. Clearly the plot is not going to just be "they find two women and have sex". Something suspicious is coming. I was expecting them to be the comic relief, striking out by trying too hard. Not getting into real jeopardy.
Meanwhile, Archer randomly meets a woman. I was really hoping this would be a bit more of an emotional storyline, but it too comes out as a "not what it seems" storyline.
Hoshi, however, has the most creepy-seeming person come up to her (based on the way it is directed) and I would have bet you significant money that he would turn out to intending to use Hoshi for some evil purpose.
One might say that they way these expectations don't come to pass makes this a "great episode". However, at the end of the day, we get the crew going to a pleasure planet and we have three crewmen run into nefarious aliens, and we have another that SEEMS like she is going to... Also, in the meantime, Mayweather manages to get somewhat injured, leading to a serious medical situation because the Risans don't know how to treat a human.
I found nothing redeemable about the silly Phlox stuff. Okay, decent acting by Billingsly, but no character development, more poor acting by Montgomery, and no lasting relevance.
I guess I just have no idea what this episode is supposed to be. We have Mayweather AND Trip and Malcolm in comic relief plots, Hoshi in a plot that seems like it is going to end up being EITHER comic relief or serious jeopardy, but turns out to just be mundane nothing. This is juxtaposed against a pretty comedy-free Archer plot. None of this seems to fit together at all.
I'd give it 1.5 to 2 stars, tops. Sorry Jammer.
Fri, Jan 6, 2017, 11:27am (UTC -5)
Mon, Apr 17, 2017, 2:47pm (UTC -5)
Didn't think Hoshi would be so loose - would have been better if she didn't get in bed with the stranger even if things went along well. Tripp/Malcolm's escapade was entirely predictable. I actually enjoyed Phlox's revival - did make me chuckle. But what was more interesting was Archer's incident with the disguised Tandaran although it was slow in developing. Does set the stage for more to come on that storyline.
Overall almost a waste of a total episode, not sure how Jammer gives it 3 stars - it's definitely one of the weaker episodes. 1.5/4 stars for me.
Wed, Jun 7, 2017, 3:36am (UTC -5)
Must have been something wrong with my audio, I couldn't hear the laugh track, but still plenty of chuckles to be had...
Sat, Jul 29, 2017, 8:19pm (UTC -5)
Fri, Nov 3, 2017, 8:55pm (UTC -5)
Wed, Apr 4, 2018, 7:49am (UTC -5)
Sat, Jun 23, 2018, 2:38am (UTC -5)
Hoshi, contrary to a some others i find it perfectly OK that she takes the opportunity. Leaving the medical topic aside , not having sex with an alien that you do not know , this reflects our world and also today and perhaps tomorrow. I find it perfectly OK for a woman to decide over her own body. If it is OK for Trip to satisfy his bodily need why not for Hoshi. It is not bad for her character. But she should perhaps have apologised taking advantage of the situation. It was perhaps improper for his culture to get intimate so fast. On the other hand, it was on Risa.
I liked watching it again, but as with the other Risa storys, they looks more promising before than after.
Wed, Sep 12, 2018, 5:45pm (UTC -5)
Thu, Nov 29, 2018, 4:00pm (UTC -5)
"Am I the only one who thought those looked like Trill spots?"
Tue, Jan 8, 2019, 9:37pm (UTC -5)
5 stars on social commentary. Trek pretty much used this episode to tell us that women decide when you are getting any and that guys have to waste a lot of time to get any unless they get lucky and sometimes trying to get lucky gets you in trouble.
Tue, Jan 8, 2019, 11:35pm (UTC -5)
Men decide that. That seems pretty clear when you begin to notice that the desire to complain about "not getting any" seems to be more important than the desire to "get any" itself.
Wed, Jan 9, 2019, 6:34pm (UTC -5)
Women are the ones who ultimately decide whether or not a sexual encounter takes place. The only time that isn't the case is in cases of rape, which this episode obviously didn't depict.
Wed, Jan 9, 2019, 9:44pm (UTC -5)
Mon, Feb 25, 2019, 4:54pm (UTC -5)
Thu, May 2, 2019, 2:17pm (UTC -5)
Sun, Aug 18, 2019, 4:24pm (UTC -5)
Fri, Feb 28, 2020, 10:19am (UTC -5)
Fri, Apr 3, 2020, 6:15pm (UTC -5)
Tue, Apr 14, 2020, 12:52am (UTC -5)
This... this Enterprise episode... this doesn't have anything fun in it. Not a bit. Unless you've just been watching the bland as heck first season of Enterprise and are now quite used to it. And I admit, I fell for it a little bit in that regard. I'd give it half a star for watching airheaded girls turn into alien baddies. I guess. I mean, that's it. Archer's plot is as vacant and tedious as any episode of Love Boat ever was. The boys' adventure with the ladies/aliens/thieves is just stupid.
And wait... what was the other plot? Yeah.
On this recent rewatch of mine this one and Desert Crossing both completely lost me. Seasons one and two of Enterprise were nearly begging to be canceled except for just a few bright spots. And if one checked in for just one or two of these hours to see what the current Star Trek was like in early 2002, well, one could be forgiven for then giving up on the series. Fortunately Trek kept moving on. But also, fortunately, Enterprise itself moved on very nicely in 2003. But I've got most of another season of rewatch to get through until Judgment.
Tue, Jun 9, 2020, 6:32am (UTC -5)
Sun, Aug 16, 2020, 4:27pm (UTC -5)
Thu, Sep 3, 2020, 8:51am (UTC -5)
Wed, Sep 16, 2020, 3:33pm (UTC -5)
Wed, Sep 16, 2020, 7:47pm (UTC -5)
I like your sense of humour.
Tue, Dec 15, 2020, 8:21am (UTC -5)
At least Hoshi made a genuine connection and had a good time.
Tue, Dec 15, 2020, 3:40pm (UTC -5)
Tue, Dec 29, 2020, 2:17pm (UTC -5)
It was a different time. A better time. Far less toxic political correctness, far more common sense. Trannies are an abomination.
Wed, Dec 30, 2020, 8:24am (UTC -5)
Wed, Dec 30, 2020, 9:37am (UTC -5)
Wed, Dec 30, 2020, 10:17am (UTC -5)
Wed, Dec 30, 2020, 11:40am (UTC -5)
Poster is a troll surely. I never feed a troll.
Wed, Dec 30, 2020, 12:01pm (UTC -5)
Yes, don't feed the troll is very popular for quite some time now. What do you think about "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing." I always wonder how people differentiate between trolls and actual evil people.
Wed, Dec 30, 2020, 12:06pm (UTC -5)
I feel you have lured me into a trap here Booming and I will not be commenting further on this thread.
Wed, Dec 30, 2020, 12:11pm (UTC -5)
When I saw the comment I wondered if people would just ignore it. So I waited. That's all.
Wed, Dec 30, 2020, 1:35pm (UTC -5)
Wed, Dec 30, 2020, 2:05pm (UTC -5)
- The golden rule: Keep things respectable and civil. Honest, good-faith debate is encouraged, but please avoid personal or ad hominem attacks or accusations, or blatant rudeness or profanity directed at other contributors.
-Do not post anything illegal, libelous, defamatory, harmful, threatening, harassing, abusive, hateful, invasive of another's privacy, or racially, ethnically, or sexually objectionable.
Wed, Dec 30, 2020, 4:38pm (UTC -5)
My point was that whoever posted this was just saying so because of the drama in the Discovery thread.
Fri, Mar 5, 2021, 10:59pm (UTC -5)
And then we had more Porthos (aya!) and we learned a little bit about Denobulans. Everything else else was trite.
Sun, May 23, 2021, 3:24am (UTC -5)
You've been tougher on brilliant DS9 episodes.
One of the worst Trek shows I've ever seen, and I've watched all TOS, TNG, DS9 and Voyager.
Fri, Jul 8, 2022, 4:55pm (UTC -5)
Tue, Nov 1, 2022, 12:04pm (UTC -5)
T'pol: "Yes. In San Francisco."
Y'know, sometimes Vulcans annoy me, but they also have some of the best lines in the entire show. XD
Fri, Feb 17, 2023, 4:53pm (UTC -5)
Hopefully we get some equal underwear time for T’Pol and Hoshi now! I mean fair is fair!
Sat, Mar 25, 2023, 11:12am (UTC -5)
T'Pol in the decontamination chamber. She needs to be on every away mission.
Also, dogs don't fly, they get placed by their characters who have an agenda to meet another character who has a dog.
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