Star Trek: Enterprise


1.5 stars.

Air date: 10/17/2001
Written by Rick Berman & Brannon Braga
Directed by Mike Vejar

"I prefer air I can't see." — Trip

Review Text

Note: This episode was rerated from 2 to 1.5 stars when the season recap was written.

In brief: Some good early moments worthy of this series' nature of exploration, but then downhill from there. Uneven, frequently silly, and with little lasting impact.

Why, oh why, do we need a holodeck in this episode? The episode features a first contact premise that's moving along nicely on its own terms when — presto — we get a holodeck, for which the audience's howls of familiarity will have far outweighed its story value. I'm thinking that holodecks on this series should be eschewed as a matter of principle.

"Unexpected" is a good title, because this is an episode with some strange, weird, and, yes, unexpected encounters that should be wondrous and new — and at first are — but which turn shallow in a hurry before being reduced to a lame punch line. And when we get moments that shout "prequel!" by including elements from the Trek-universe future (e.g., holodecks), we're more distracted than awed. The twist involving the appearance of the Klingons also turns out to be unexpected — so much so that it doesn't seem to fit in with the rest of the story.

The best part about "Unexpected" is its attempt to depict a truly alien encounter. The aliens are called the Xyrillians, and they need assistance in making repairs. (Why they need Trip's help to fix their own systems which he would presumably know less about is beyond me, but never mind.) The early passages document Trip's away mission to the Xyrillian vessel. The environment there is very different; this is the first Trek in a long while, maybe ever, that I can remember requiring a character to spend three hours in a decompression chamber before walking onto the alien ship. (Although I find myself asking, why not just have Trip visit the alien ship in an environmental suit rather than having him waste a total of six hours in a decompression chamber?)

When he steps onto their ship, he experiences strange sensory effects, reminiscent of the time-slowing effect in the wormhole scene of Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Trip teams up with their engineer, Ah'Len (Julianne Christie), to help make repairs.

Visually, I found some of this to be pretty good work. The set design is unique, and Mike Vejar, one of the franchise's best current directors, does a nice job establishing Trip's initial disorientation, with a dreamy, eerie quality to the camerawork, as if we're trying to move underwater. This is mostly razzle-dazzle, yes, but it serves its purpose; Trip's initial sense of being overwhelmed is a story aspect that works. For once, something as "simple" as visiting an alien vessel is seen as complex and taxing, both mentally and physically.

It's once the initial shock has passed that the story begins to lose its edge. For one, I began wondering exactly how Trip and the Xyrillians could even understand each other without an interpreter. It's established in the early scenes that a language barrier exists, but once Trip is on the Xyrillian vessel such problems immediately evaporate and take on the long-standing "invisible universal translator" solution that has characterized most of Trek. The concept of the universal translator has never made any real sense, but episodes of Enterprise had so far backed away from the device. That doesn't seem to be the case here; probably for logistic and acting reasons, the "everybody speaks English" shorthand is back.

Indeed, I'm wondering if the technical progression on this series might be a fine line to walk. This week, all the language translating goes much easier than in "Fight or Flight." While it would be very tedious to have to go through those kinds of translation gyrations every week on this series, setting it aside also begs the question of how quickly this Enterprise will grow immune to the very issues that make the series what it is.

Trip and Ah'Len develop a friendly rapport, and there's a scene that establishes a sensual curiosity between the two. The Xyrillians incite sparks wherever they touch someone or something; the visual effect is similar to one of those transparent globes with streamers you can buy in gift shops. "It's kinda nice," Trip notes.

But then we get a scene that had me almost laughing in disbelief, in which Trip has first contact with a Xyrillian holodeck. Berman & Braga, what are you thinking? Given how reviled the holodeck as a cliché has become, couldn't you at least go the first season — heck, the first month — without hinting at the possible historic origins of the holodeck?

After Trip reports his holodeck adventure to other shipmates upon returning to the Enterprise, Reed comments, in what must've been intended as a writer's joke, "If we had one of those on board, I can only imagine what it'd be used for." Yeah, like hijacking the ship! (Too funny.) I'm sorry, but even hinting at a holodeck seems to me like a bad idea if you're trying to push the notion of Trek going in directions we haven't seen before. (This proves one point I've argued before — that Enterprise faces the challenge of also having to be new to its viewers and do more than filtering old ideas through a crew that has yet to experience them. Yes, it may be new to them, but that doesn't necessarily make it fresh for us.)

Not long after Trip returns to the Enterprise and the Xyrillians head on their way, Trip notices that he's growing nipples. "You're pregnant," Phlox tells him. It apparently happened when Trip stuck his hands into a box full of granules at the same time as Ah'Len during a mental sharing process, permitting a Magical DNA Transfer™ of some kind.

T'Pol quickly accuses Trip of being unable to restrain himself. Here I must object. She should know better than most that there are alien cultures out here with different reproductive methods. As someone from a society that has been in space much longer than humans, T'Pol should be smarter about certain things rather than jumping to knee-jerk conclusions. Her attitude here seems to emerge from a distrustful grudge with Trip rather than from reasoned logic. And besides, why would the human definition of sex result in his pregnancy anyway? (Note: That's a rhetorical question.)

Much of the rest of the episode is played for mild laughs. It's not horribly unpleasant, but I can't say I was impressed. It's just sort of passive, content to follow Trip around as he complains about the prospect of possibly becoming the first human male to give birth to a child. Complains about the possibility of not finding the Xyrillian mother. Complains about having to possibly raise this kid and set aside his plans. Complains about thinking he's the laughingstock of the crew. Discovers his appetite increasing and plays out his unconscious paternal instincts in order to conform to the guidebook for Hilarious Pregnancy Clichés™. For a series supposedly about exploring the human condition, this reveals pretty small thinking.

When the Enterprise does finally track down the Xyrillian ship and Trip shows Ah'Len that he's carrying her child, what's her reaction? "I had no idea this could happen with another species!" Duh! By this logic, Trip could go sleeping around with non-human women and then claim surprise upon learning one or more of them was pregnant. Hello? What fool wrote the Xyrillian rulebook on contact with alien societies? I propose a new chapter for that rulebook: "Common Sense in Not Knocking Up Alien Men, Written Especially for the Common Senseless." Failure to observe this new chapter will result in immediately being locked into a torpedo tube and shot into space. It's nice to know humans aren't the stupidest people out here, but I hardly think the story intended Ah'Len or the Xyrillians to look so clueless.

Frankly, this premise could've been envisioned as a completely different kind of story, treated much more seriously, about child custody and/or parenting issues, and the importance of alien first-contact procedures. Instead it's a low-substance show played on the most superficial levels.

Before resolving Trip's baby storyline, the Klingons show up to provide a menacing tone that seems oddly out of place. While I appreciate the nod to "Broken Bow" and T'Pol speaking up on behalf of Archer possibly having saved the Klingons from civil war, I could've done without the excessively stubborn Klingon captain (Christopher Darga) who takes obstinacy to an extreme that plays like fingernails on a chalkboard. Yes, I suppose the Klingons are most definitely not the 24th century Klingons, but having an actor growl on about killing everybody is old hat.

It's funny how Trip is able to negotiate a truce and save the Xyrillians by offering up their holodeck technology to the Klingons. You'd think the Klingons would be more interested in the Xyrillian's stealth technology.

You know, I'm really going to have a long laugh if I find out that Starfleet later ends up acquiring holodeck technology from the Klingons. Perhaps such a transaction would be intended by the Klingons as a Trojan horse. There you go — centuries of holodeck malfunctions explained.

Next week: The mystery of the lost colony.

Previous episode: Strange New World
Next episode: Terra Nova

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Comment Section

62 comments on this post

    Performing a ritual (or game as she called it) which normally gets one party pregnant = sex.

    Performing said ritual when the other party doesn't have informed consent of the consequences = mostly likely RAPE!

    And said scenario is played for laughs on an episode of Star Trek.

    "Unexpected" is definitely a candidate for worst episode of ENT. The fact that this concept of "main male character gets pregnant" had been proposed and wisely rejected during the production of the other ST spinoff series makes me wonder why now it seemed like a great idea.

    Also, the fact that this could easily have been Reed or Mayweather getting pregnant for all the relevance it would have had just shows up nonvital this plot was in general and for Trip in particular.

    Definitely playing the entire situation for laughs was a huge mistake. To see Archer barely containing his amusement when he hears the news is not a good thing for his character. We're talking about a human being impregnated by an alien species. The possible medical difficulties arising from that should have provided some serious drama not to mention that fact that as a male, Trip is not biologically equipped to develop a fetus to term. I'm not saying that there couldn't have been some humerous moments, but the thought pattern never went beyond: Trip's pregnant, hee hee!

    Also, while the fetus was able to be transplanted back to Ah' Len Trip is still the baby's biological father (mother?). He has a child he has never seen nor shown any wonder in regards to what happened to him or her. Disappointing all around.

    And while the use of the Klingons does come from out of the blue, I did like the sense of apprehension the crew showed once they realized it was a Klingon ship. After years of TNG and DS9 it's easy to forget that Klingons and Starfleet were once enemies.
    I thought the crew's attitude regarding the sight of the battle cruiser was well done.

    Which just goes to show that even in the worst or silliest ST episodes there is always something of some value.

    Me again. I watched this episode again last night and had a few more thoughts about it.

    1) I do have to give credit to B&B for shaking up the first contact formula a little with Trip's decompression sequences. The idea of a slightly more alien environment then our heroes are used to doesn't really get talked about or visualized much and Trip's claustrophobia and impatience seemed in character and reasonable for the situation.

    2) The use of a holodeck aside, I had to rethink this entire Trip gets pregnant scenario. It doesn't make any sense. Trip and Ah'len are in the holo-boat using holo-crystals even. And from the idea of the crystals allowing you to read the other's thoughts (side question: How is this a game in the usual sense?) somehow this results in Trip getting pregnant. But how? The crystals weren't even real? If anything the explanation should have just been left at the electrical discharges transferring DNA or the egg or what have you. Obviously different species will have different methods of reproduction but this should have been explained just a little bit more.

    3) I need to retract one of my earlier complaints. I had totally forgotten that Phlox told Trip he was merely the host for the fetus. That there was no human DNA found in the fetus. So that lets Trip off the hook in a way, but you would still think Trip would be more than a little curious about the child. He certainly seemed to show more care and concern than anyone else in the crew about it's welfare.

    4) T'Pol was very illogical in this. In only the 4th episode T'Pol seems to have Trip pegged as a womanizer when nothing in the series so far that we've seen of him is the case. In fact the rest of the series will bear out that Trip takes romantic relationships seriously and is not frivolous about his or a partner's feelings. So where exactly is the basis in T'Pol's mind for her accusation? Granted, Trip being impregnated certainly raises eyebrows but no one seems to ask the question of what other method this species may use to procreate. Everyone seems to have the human idea of sex in mind. I suppose you could argue the fact that because the NX crew is so new to space it'll be a while before their minds are more open, but still I think T'Pol behavior to Trip was uncalled for and un-Vulcan.

    5) Again (and finally) it's a shame B and B didn't take the subject matter more seriously. The risk would've been to have Trip bring the baby to term and raise it on Enterprise. Similar to Worf and Alexander on TNG which had some good moments on its own until DS9 visualized Alexander as an inept klutz and Worf's absenteeism and abandonment of Alexander didn't paint him in the wrong as much as it should have (IMO). But certainly Trip raising a child so early in ENT's run would have changed the direction of the series fairly early, but there could've been some nice moments from time to time. Oh well.

    Gotta agree with Jammer and TB. This episode screams a lot more like "Date Rape" than "funny situation resulting from man being pregnant".

    Interestingly enough this echoes back to Trek in general, when during TNG's "The Child" episode Counselor Troi is impregnated by an alien energy lifeform interested in humans, who took it upon itself to experience human interaction by becoming one. The subject was at least treated more gracefully in that episode.

    Don't get me wrong: I'm not trying to play moral inquisitor here. But clearly, sensitivity and originality (vis-à-vis the holodeck) are obviously not B&B's forte. Once again rather disappointed.

    The closest we could come to water? Whaaaa?

    This episode is to ENT what Threshhold is to VOY.

    Minority bombshell alert!

    I... actually kind of liked it. It was funny, charming and showed us concepts of "alienness" the degree of which is extremely rare in Trek. It's completely and utterly batshit, and to be honest this weirdness makes more sense than most Trek aliens who are usually either human-clones, have one trait like emotionlessness or warrior..ness, or are hard headed morons.

    Strange new worlds and life forms, who'd have thought :)

    Nice to see the universal translator is up and running. Whilst I appreciated seeing the difficulty at first, all the talking in alien languages was already getting old.

    It does sort of seem like rape, but you have to bear in mind that's a human concept. Who says all aliens have the same rules and attitude towards procreation that we do? As T'Pol says, he should be careful where he sticks his fingers next time *smirk*

    It's odd... when Voyager was like this it never really worked for me. I always wanted deeper stuff, "facing the issues" etc. ENT seems to have some other vibe going where the light hearted general exploration stuff feels fresh and fun and.. enough. Maybe it's that I went into Voy with certain preconceptions and expectations after DS9, and didn't really go into ENT expecting much at all.

    And hey, at least the holodeck didn't break!

    A nice, intriguing overture, but it all went downhill the moment the floozy with an ample behind and a pair of impressive, um, personalities, came to the fore. Gee, whatever might happen next!

    Hurl-worthy schmaltzy music at the end of the boat ride. Is THAT what passes for romance in Hollywood these days?!?

    As others have remarked, the so-called captain is a disgrace. He projects no gravitas or shrewdness. And someone oughta teach Trip not to yack with his mouth full of food; my ears nearly fell off for all the grating they took.

    This was a decent show, despite the frivolity with which the subject was approached. The ending with the Klingons was kinda neat, too.

    I see, incidentally, that just about every "alien" species has two sexes, male and female, commensurate in height and physique to humans, females are shorter than males, weaker and usually sport a pair of knockers. Cheap, lazy and unimaginative.

    There was a (bad, IIRC) episode of TNG or VOY which addressed the reason everyone looks similar, but yeah, the real reason is budget I think.

    Not sure why they all know French kissing, but heyho.

    "I can see my house from here!" - Worst line from a Klingon EVAR!

    I appreciated the more alien--uh aliens, but geez, Trip's "pregnancy" scenes are straight out of a goofy 80s movie.

    I was also annoyed that Enterprise keeps throwing around technology that shouldn't exist for a hundred years or more (the holodeck in this case).

    This prequel series concept obviously wasn't thought out. This series now has most of the technology ever seen in the later shows, that mean humans have known about all this stuff for 100 to 200 years and have failed to advance in any significant manner.

    On that note, all these aliens keep showing up that are never seen again in the 23rd or 24th century (but I'll let that go being that this is TV and they want to do something "new").

    Well, here's another dissenting voice. I actually liked it better than the previous two episodes. For the first time that I can remember, we actually see an alien ship that genuinely seems alien. And it's actually a chore to board the other ship instead of the typical "nothing to it."

    I thought it was kind of cool to see them on a holodeck. Since different planets are presumably at different stages of technological development, why is it odd that another planet might already have this in place? I think the objection has more to do with a dislike of the entire premise than it does anything else.

    True, some of this was played for laughs, but I'm not against a little humor in my Trek.

    Personally, I'd give this at least 2 1/2 stars. It's definitely better than anything we've seen since the premiere.

    T'Pol telling Trip he should be more careful where he sticks his fingers makes even less sense considering she admonished him to be diplomatic when he ate the aliens' weird food. So he needs to worry about not offending them about the food, but he's supposed to refuse to participate in what looks like a harmless, traditional activity?

    It sure looked like the holoboat was floating on water, not some crystals that were the closest they could get to water.

    Unlike some Trek fans, I enjoyed some of the themes in Enterprise and it was a difficult mission for the writers to come with something new while remaining canon.

    This episode is a mixed-bag: from very good to very bad. The worst being Archer and I'm not talking about a 24th century captain, but as a human being. I like the fact that the writers wanted to have the crew very flawed, but there are some limits. Archer doesn't show any empathy towards his crew (we've witnessed it in all first episodes): first he seems more interested in his dog than his crewman (and friend!) when Trip is obviously in psychological distress. Then, he doesn't even ask once if Trip's life is in any danger with the pregnancy, he's amused !

    Having said that, the encounter with these aliens was interesting and I'd hoped they had taken more time to get to know each other's cultures but the realisation was good.

    The other problems with this episode having already been written, I'll stop here.

    I really liked this episode. My mom came down with my pizza rolls right in the middle though, so I missed 10 minutes while she fed me and made sure I didn't choke.

    Yes, kudos where due for being a bit more original with the aliens, but yes, a little cheesy on the male pregnancy front, and surely had it been reversed the alien would have been presented as a sleazy creep. Not convinced by the Klingon capital city in its two appearances so far.

    In TOS, you had writers like Roddenberry, D. C. Fontana, and Harlan Ellison. Now, you have...

    Wow, all these comments about T'Pol's reaction to Trip's little "encounter" completely missed the subtext of that scene. It almost makes me believe the stereotypes about trekkers... has anyone on this board ever actually known a woman?

    I've only seen the first four episodes, so I may be wrong about where this is going, but it seems that the writers have been thrusting Trip and T'Pol together in subtle love/hate ways since the pilot; the gel scrubbing scene, their bickering with each other, the tense moments of the last episode which ended with Trip realizing he may have been pre-judging T'Pol too harshly, etc. It looks like there's some passion brewing beneath the surface with these two.

    So given that context, is it so strange that T'Pol gets all snarky when she finds that Trip has been sticking his fingers where they don't belong, and is carrying another woman's child? She's clearly miffed, most likely because Trip isn't, ahem, "parsing her syllogism" instead.

    And don't give me this "Oh no, you see Vulcans are emotionless and ... blah blah blah." T'Pol is written and acted in such a way that she often conveys impatience, frustration, annoyance etc. at the humans. Also, Vulcan/Human relationships are not unheard of (cough, Spock's parents, cough).

    So game on with the developing T/T lovefest I say!! I'd give this one 2* at least.

    So, does the Klingon battlecruiser design not change between this episode, the original series, the films, and Deep Space Nine?

    I get that the ones in DS9 were probably meant as second-rate ships pressed into service in an emergency, but still, that means this design was active for two hundred years.

    Someone on the production side did later say that the design of the Klingon battlecruiser was a mistake. It wasn't supposed to look like that.

    @Jason @Paul M.

    According to Memory Alpha, the CGI people had a pretty good model ready to use for this episode but were forced to scrap it at the last minute due to producer idiocy - i.e. they wanted "more windows" - no, I am not making that up!

    For more info:

    I'll let Picard convey my feelings on the situation:

    No wonder why Enterprise got cancelled. It was only a matter of time before the head honchos' incompetence caught up to them. They did more than kill the goose that laid the golden egg, they vaporized it with a phaser on full power.

    Wow, that was an interesting read. Thank you for the information.

    Getting hung upon the number of windows is really stupid, what idiotic producers . . . no wonder Enterprise sucks so much.

    MY god... seems like the execs on Trek were a bunch of very... interesting guys. I read a bunch of horror stories like this one; who the hell knows what their deal was. I remember, Moore was it?, saying that it was discouraged for writers to be on stage for the shooting of their episodes. I think it was even considered taboo to have any kind of direct line between the writers' room and the set. Everything had to go through the production team. I guess Berman had some kind of ultra hardcore anal control freak attitude toward the whole thing.


    Looking at the current problems Paramount is having with the script and the director for the new film, not much has changed. For such a venerable piece of pop-culture (which has been around now for half a century), it's amazing how those in charge really have NO idea what makes the franchise work.

    Case in point? Jonathan Frakes isn't even being considered as a candidate for director, yet we have two directors from the Fast and Furious movies high on the inside track. Fast and Furious?!? That's just what the new ST movie needs: more jump cuts, swearing, and idiotic catchphrases.

    So so sad.

    The opening and establishing visit to the alien ship was very well executed - hats off to the set and lighting people because it was a stunning start, unfortunately the episode veered wildly off-course which sort of detracted from all the good work done in the first part.

    Sue me, I like(d) this episode. Granted, I haven't seen it in a while, but it was the only episode of this show I willingly re-watched. All the negative things Jammer and others say about it is true. But the dumbness of it made it funny, as opposed to the over-seriousness of so many other episodes with the cheesy acting/writing. If something can't be good, then it should be really, really bad, and thus worth watching.

    Was all going so well up to the pregnancy reveal. The time on the alien ship took on a very pleasingly psychedelic 1960s vibe, so full credit to the production designers for giving us something different. I'm not sure we needed the holodeck too, but there you go.

    But the pregnancy story was too broad and played for cheap laughs when actually there could have been quite a serviceable story there, and the Klingons equally seemed like cartoons of the more sophisticated Klingons we've seen elsewhere. That may be justified, but it seems jarring at the moment. 1.5 stars.

    After having sat through 3 episodes of Enterprise today(the other 2 being Acquisition and Precious cargo) I can say this is one of the better season 1 episodes Iv'e watched so far.

    I'll admit I laughed when the Klingons where laughing at Trip for getting knocked up. but only because I couldn't believe the writers actually do a guy gets Pregnant after being unknowingly raped episode, and they decide Its funny.

    dammit Archer why are you laughing at poor Trip? for all you know that things gonna burst out of his chest Xenomorph style.

    meh This one could have been worse the aliens could have given Enterprise a holodeck along with the Klingons. of course Iv'e seen a few episodes from next season so a holodeck episode couldn't be any worse than "A Night in Sickbay" or "Stigma" 2 Stars.

    This one had it's moments. I don't think Trip could have worn a space suit and been functional under their warp core.

    But Klingons, again... (sigh)

    I applaud them for trying something different with the atmosphere on the alien ship. Nice to see an attempt and something truly "alien".

    T'Pol's continual harping on Trip was misplaced I think, it would have been better coming from Malcolm I think.

    2 star episode.

    I wonder if a female character had nipples growing on their arm, would they be allowed to show that on TV?

    Trip trips out on alien gas then gets impregnated by an alien hand bath. (*)

    I actually enjoyed the unintentional hilarity of this episode. T'Pol totally out of character as a vulcan but brilliantly barely controlling a smirk in sick bay and then the klingons having a good laugh about the whole thing too. Good stuff.

    The first of ENT's silly episodes -- there will be more than a few turkeys in this series -- and this one's pretty silly. Dumb premise of Trip getting pregnant mysteriously. I don't think it was resolved how it happened, coming to think of it. But conveniently, the embryo can be transferred to another host and so everything's cool in the end.

    What's well done about this episode is the portrayal of an alien species and making them fairly different -- food growing on the ship walls, different looking technology etc. So they got holodecks (and give them to the Klingons), I don't know if this is consistent with how the Federation eventually got them by the time of TNG. Why didn't the Enterprise get the holodecks for all the work Trip did? How does the Enterprise get paid for the work Trip did or are they just flying in space to do charitable deeds?

    A lot of this episode was based on meeting a very different alien species and the symbiotic relationship -- it seemed ok at first but not that interesting in terms of sci-fi. The first half of the episode was slow and boring. But Trip is also being prepped for being one who gets into romantic situations time and again. Here it was ineffectual.

    The aliens' problem makes them tag on to other ships but then they have to hope that other ship is going their way. So this whole setup seems flawed to me -- just finding another warp-capable ship must be like finding a needle in a haystack.

    The Klingons appearing was also one of the better parts of this episode -- they were well portrayed, being belligerent but also doing what serves their interests (not just destroying the aliens). Liked how they threatened Archer & Co. after getting their business done -- that seemed appropriate to me.

    1.5 stars for "Unexpected" -- pretty clumsy episode with a dumb premise but reasonably well-done for portraying a new alien species encounter. Another good episode for Trip showing him deal with an uncomfortable, embarrassing situation. The character is showing its flexibility after "Strange New World."

    I liked this. i thought Arlen was sweet. and i think she is given unfair stick. She may honestly have just believed they were playing a telepathic game. He is an alien, she may genuinely have believed that this couldn't happen because they were so different. My only question is, if they are so different, how the hell did it happen? But she honestly may have been innocent. Calling her a date rapist is a bit mean. And one more thing: How hard is it for trip (who I really like, by the way) to understand the order, "TAKE A NAP!"?

    Yes it silly but I liked it, it was funny for me and I loved the Klingon battle cruiser it looked awesome, 3 stars in my book

    I always find it pretty goofy when a man (and maybe especially a Southerner) refers to himself as (acting like) a gentleman. Otherwise, pretty bland/a little tired but not bad.

    I really didn't mind the episode unexpected. it was weird but funny at the same time, but there was a few things that weren't told. like if tucker had the child how would he give birth. Why did T'pol make fun of tucker being pregnant. and of all of it why did the Klingon's find it funny that tucker was knocked up. If I were a Klingon I would be dead silent from weirdness.

    Ivanov@ Wow, srsly? "They might not recognise it as rape" and that makes it ok? Tucker sudenly has no right to feel violated? Are you for real?

    All the translation trouble is of course to give an excuse to Hoshi to do something. What do you mean that the concept of the universal translator never made any sense?

    I think this should be two stars. And Unexpected is the 1.5 stars episode. The alien vessel deserves points. Although they should know they can't hitchhike with every vessel. I like how they are advanced enough to have a holodeck and cloaking device but still need a human engineer to fix their engines. Okay, maybe 1.5 stars is fair.

    I don't like the all American crew on Enterprise. Trip really seems like a rather narrow-minded hillbily and Reed is a cliche British guy. There are two aliens but no European, African or Asian member of Starfleet? Mayweather and Hoshi both being really American.

    I do really appreciate the skip intro feature of Netflix for this series.

    I really liked this episode apart from the funny rape.

    Interesting how something that would fill women with horror and despair is chuckled at when it happens to a man - and another woman blames the man.

    "Male privilege."

    In addition to my previous comment, if I met a female alien, then did the equivalent of putting my penis to her lips, then later on told her it was "a game" for me to put my penis inside her and eject my core up her chuff, then pretended I didn't know she might get pregnant, that wouldn't be me being naive or innocent - that would be cold, calculating rape, taking advantage of HER innocence. (Despite my real-life boasts, my penis is most likely NOT famous across our galaxy - she might not even know what one was!) I would be a rapist - a monster. There would be no excuses, no fanboys falling over themselves to excuse my behaviour.

    I have a female friend who the Xyrillian reminds me of. If she could get away with it, she'd do what the Xyrillian did, and she would know that people would take her side.

    Nopoet, as far as I can tell it’s all men not taking this seriously, from the writers to the commenters here. And your example is a bit extreme compared to what Trip experienced in the episode. He wasn’t raped just because he got pregnant and human women can only get pregnant through sex. As he was quite keen to point out, he didn’t have any sexual contact with anyone.

    I found it quite appalling though. Why wasn’t abortion even mentioned? They did in that Troi episode and it was simply that she didn’t want to, so there’s no excuse here. He clearly doesn’t want to be pregnant and Archer acts like he’s being childish instead of a victim of a violation with a potentially serious condition.

    I hadn’t clocked the water under the boat thing. That’s pretty silly.

    I really liked the alien ship and Trip adjusting to it. Organic ships and partially organic ships are very cool. And their holodeck is beautiful. Shame the story is so stupid and offensive.

    Sigh... I was just thinking "at least with all the tech being this old, there's not gonna be a holodeck. Yay!". Like literally between episodes 3 and 4 I was thinking that. And what do we get? Holodeck!

    Oh god I jinxed it

    So...The alien female knew she was initiating a form of sex and Trip didn't. Bit rapey. It feels like they just wanted the comedy associated with a male pregnancy (is it though) and didn't care what surrounded it.

    Good God! I think, as Jammer states, the only excuse for this existing is to suggest that Klingons introduce holodecks to undermine the Federation & Starfleet. Either that or the people behind Enterprise just hate the Star Trek franchise ?

    Capitalist said: "Wow, all these comments about T'Pol's reaction to Trip's little "encounter" completely missed the subtext of that scene. It almost makes me believe the stereotypes about trekkers... has anyone on this board ever actually known a woman? "

    ^I just thought that beared repeating. The Trip/T'Pol relationship was planned from day one.

    As Diamond Dave said, the first half of this episode is good. They did a fantastic job of creating a truly "alien" race. And then the nipple shows up.

    At that point this turkey was done.

    Ah yes, the episode where Berman and Braga decided that rape is funny as long as the victim is male.

    Troi was raped in "The Child" and while the episode didn't acknowldge it as such, at least Troi's violation wasn't played for laughs.

    I know peoole thought the firdt half was oiringal and imaginative but did t ANYONE ELSE think the second half was original and funny and pretty imaginative aside from potential rape issues which never occurred to me..first male pregnancy is pretty original . And even the form of insemination is pretty unique and imaginative..and procreation doesn't necessarily hsve to involve sex, as shown here..

    Back when Enterprise was first airing, this was the moment the show "jumped the shark" for me.

    Firstly, it's episode four, and it's a comedy episode. Episode FOUR! We don't even know who these characters are yet. And you want us to laugh at their expense? You haven't earned it. And THIS was the most compelling story you had in mind to tell so early on in the show's run? THIS is why you created a new show, a new ship, a new cast of characters, a new very specific setting earlier in the timeline, a new everything? By episode four of a show you should be telling stories that are bursting out of you, that are crying out to be told, that are the raison d'etre for why THIS just had to be the show you made.

    And yes, I know Naked Now is the third episode of TNG. But no one should be looking to TNG's first season as an example, and television had vastly changed in the interim as to what people expect from it, anyway.

    Secondly, it's a male pregnancy episode. Seriously? Not even Harry Kim got put through this.

    Thirdly, it's episode four, and you already couldn't resist bringing out a holodeck! WHAT?! What happened to exploring all the "cool" 22nd century tech--shuttlepods and grappler hooks and . . . I don't know, whatever you could have invented instead. Why did you set the show in THIS time period if you wanted to tell stories about holodecks? I mean if all you have are stories involving holodecks, why go to the trouble?

    Fourthly, at the end of the episode, the aliens give the holodeck technology to the Klingons. In the 22nd century. The writers could not have sent a bigger signal to fans that "we don't care about the integrity of the thing you love and we're not even trying." And "we have no appreciation for why Star Trek is special and of a higher standard than other science fiction fare."

    Consider that last one the straw that broke the camel's back after Temporal Cold War nonsense, Sulibans, jerk Vulcans, and decontamination gel softcore porn scenes (that just seemed to confirm to anyone flipping channels that all Star Trek fans are basement dwelling masturbaters who get off on green aliens . . . it's hard to remember from the lens of 2021 now that nerd culture has completely conquered pop culture, but we used to get mocked and belittled mercilessly because of such perceptions, and then here comes Enterprise, seemingly making it true). From this point forward, I could never love this show. It could never have my trust. Anytime I would start to warm up to it, it would slap me like this.

    Writing this was cathartic.

    The first half wad wonderful. It was about learning about new species totally different from ours instead of just forehead aliens. Different food, different "water," and different atmospheric pressure. It was refreshing to just have an alien experience where they were not shooting at or capturing the crew, or taking a hardheaded position that the captain must overcome.

    The pregnancy plot is creative, but kind of dumb. Not sure why Klingons needed to be involved.

    I was glad to see that the aliens did not have an ulterior motive and the pregnancy was merely an accident.

    Enterprise Re-watch review, originally watched in 2017

    This episode I remembered well. It’s just as I remember it. The pregnancy story was too routine, but I did like the scenes showing Tucker’s acclimation to the alien ship

    Years late to the discussion, but a long-time reader here. :)

    I agree sexual assault against men is taken far less seriously than against women, and that it's often men themselves who brush it off the most. But in the context of this episode, I always felt that it was less a sexual act (as Trip and Ruth above mentioned) and more a weird DNA transmission that was completely unique/unexpected. Maybe I'm just too acclimated Star Trek explanations for creating life; there's definitely been some questionable stuff over the years I've not seen at first.

    On some lighter notes, I agree the Trip/T'Pol tension was deliberate when she's being snarky. I also will echo almost everyone that one of early Enterprise's greatest strengths was trying (even if not always succeeding) to really these encounters feel like new life, and new civilizations. Remember in TNG's Darmok when they actually tried to have communication be more than literal word meaning? Love this stuff.

    I didn't have a problem with the holodeck aspect in of itself, just that it contradicts canon. In TNG, the first usage of the holodeck is met with total wonder and awe, as though the characters have never imagined such a thing. Yet we are supposed to believe that a 22nd century Starfleet officer encountered this and logged about it?

    The writers have to be careful about showing aliens with that kind of advanced technology because we have to keep in mind that those amazing inventions are usually a product of the collaboration of dozens of Federation worlds. It's not just a matter of "some species are more advanced than others". Notice how on the one hand, the writers depict most species in the alpha quadrant being at more or less the same level: minimal shields or no shields, minimal weapons or proto-weapons of what we know of from the 24th century, etc. But then on the other, a species randomly has something as advanced as a holodeck? It doesn't add up. The region's future advancements are all because of the Federation, and the Federation-Romulan-Klingon rivalry. They don't exist in a vacuum (no pun intended).

    The main problem I had with this episode was the treatment of Trip's pregnancy. The "miraculous pregnancy" theme has been overused with female characters, and it's usually done to weaken them, create drama, make us feel sorry for them, and make the crews want to come to their rescue. But in this case, Trip who was essentially raped and possibly incompatible with the pregnancy (the Captain orders Trip to see the doctor every 8 hours) is treated like a spectacle of amusement... on a starship... of highly trained professionals and explorers... who did tons of space-based training and alien species study on earth....

    I agree with Jammer that it was a missed opportunity. However, a custody battle seems irrelevant because it's stated in the episode that the female Xyrillians create the embryo and the males just carry it. Genetically, the fetus is all Ah'len's.

    The klingons appearing was random and unnecessary. They could've used that air time, and the time time they spent depicting pregnancy cliches, to delve deeper into the implications of the first human interspecies pregnancy.

    The episode rings shallow.

    According to the TAS episode "The Practical Joker", Kirk's Enterprise actually had holodeck technology -- except that they never called it that. I just think they called it a "recreation room", if memory serves. But I think how rigorous the writers were with canon depends on the series -- so with TAS, it's very hit-and-miss. Obviously with TOS, adherence to canon would be much stronger. One thing that would make sense to me is if Kirk's Enterprise got holodeck technology after TOS S3 -- one of the things the showrunners for TAS have always said is that using animation could enable them to have any kind of landscapes and aliens - no limits.

    Anyhow, the holodeck by the time of "Encounter at Farpoint" shouldn't be anything special. The Federation has had the technology for several decades already.

    My Head Canon is that the holodeck only gained the ability to produce complex simulations of people, rather than just landscapes, after the events of 10001001. This requires a rejiggering of the order of Season 1 to move The Big Goodbye a few episodes forward. But otherwise it makes a hell of a lot more sense - especially since the holograms from The Big Goodbye had already basically achieved Moriarty level sentience, which is all sorts of nonsense in light of 1001001 and Elementary My Dear Data.

    Incidentally, the alien holograms on Enterprise were merely landscapes, like what was shown in Encounter at Farpoint. And I might add that since the Enterprise was largely a military ship it makes sense that it would have more limited recreational facilities.

    It's a sex act. It's an exchange of genetic information between a male and a female that results in a pregnancy. If that doesn't fit the definition of sex act, then I don't know what does.
    And it's a non-consentual sex act. Which in human terms is rape.

    Tucker freak out 2.0
    Ok Trip is going to have sex with the alien.
    hmm maybe he just did?!
    Oh so they actually had sex but !twist! Tucker is pregnant. I smell hilarity!
    T'Pol being annoyed about him getting pregnant in THREE DAYS is pretty funny.
    Of course Trip wants to keep it a secret because embarrassing, Bro! Trip becomes very emotional and gets a nice pair of hand nipples and I wonder if he also gets mammary glands in his wrists?? Trip's behavior borders on offensive. Pregnant men, am I right?!

    Well, I can safely say that this was... an episode.

    Fanedit time:

    A Plot: Take the script of Silent Enemy and remove all of the goofy "The Hunt for Malcolm's Favorite Food" scenes. There are a lot of them. Replace Trip's scenes with various other characters as needed.

    B plot: Take the Xyrillian plot from this episode, strip out the Klingons and all the terrible pregnancy "comedy." These scenes would bookend the episode and would end with Trip saying adios to the Xyrillian's and the ENT flying away.

    One plot shows the dark, mysterious, and terrifying aspects of being in deep space that makes you ask "Why the heck are we risking our lives for this?!" and the second plot gives you the answer by showing you the exotic and wondrous things to be found in the universe if we're willing to take a chance.

    I kinda liked the look of the aliens and their ship.
    Otherwise a cringe fest!

    "It's the first recorded instance of a human male getting pregnant".

    If Berman and Braga only knew... if they only knew.


    I said the same thing two years ago; Tucker was raped regardless of how people try to sugarcoat it. And this episode plays it for laughs.

    This episode had a good premise, but the way it was executed was dumb. The child being depicted as some sort of skin rash, all the other characters casual attitude toward Trip's "pregnancy" almost joking around about it like a comedy without any real concern about the effects on him, almost like a "ha ha now you get to see what's it's like for women" type of smugness. The whole idea of a stealth ship hiding in the warp field or whatever to use their plasma exhaust was cool, but it ended up being useless later in the episode. The whole klingon behavior was ridiculous from start to finish. They never even bothered to expand on the "transfer" of the fetus to another living host or whatever, kind of like a cliff hanger, which was annoying. And like everyone said here yeah the double standard rape aspect was disturbing, if the genders were reversed and it was Trip who knocked up the alien he'd be reprimanded or maybe even in the brig for a few days, but since he was a guy it just became a laughing stock for the crew. I don't blame the aliens as much as the crew (although I would think aliens with such advanced technology would have considered the possibility of something like an accidental interspersed pregnancy, it even happens on earth between certain animals), but the crew's dismissive sarcastic attitude the whole time ticked me off. They literally showed no concern whatsoever, even Phlox had a half-smirk the entire time. How was he supposed to "give birth" if they never found the ship again? What was the embryo located in his rib cage or something (hard to tell from the computer image they showed). The plot had an interesting intention, but it was written in a very weird, out-of-character, almost in a comedy way with a mild dose of feminism.

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