Star Trek: Enterprise

“Vox Sola”

2.5 stars.

Air date: 5/1/2002
Teleplay by Fred Dekker
Story by Rick Berman & Brannon Braga & Fred Dekker
Directed by Roxann Dawson

"Are you staying for the movie tonight?"
"What's playing?"
"Wages of Fear. Classic French film. No, you'll like it. Things blow up."
"Hmm. Sounds fun."

— Mayweather and Reed

Review Text

In brief: Some nice moments and an ending that rings of genuine sci-fi, but overall just a little too average.

"Vox Sola" begins with a shaky alien first contact that sets the stage for an even bigger, shakier, more awe-inspiring alien first contact. This is not a story sold on an original premise or even new takes on old ideas. Rather, the truth here is in the details.

I sort of liked the details. This is an episode that goes to the core of the "seek out new life" clause in the Trekkian mantra and seems to genuinely believe in it. The question is whether this particularly journey is worth our time.

Almost. I sort of liked this episode, but not quite enough to give it a pass. In terms of fascinating content, there just isn't enough here. But I enjoyed the story's payoff, which manages to generate enough wonder to qualify as true sci-fi.

Something Is On the Ship. Our illustrious crew is not sure what, but it has webs of gelatinous tendrils that are good for reaching out and grabbing somebody. It starts by grabbing two engineers before the captain and Trip wander down to investigate and are also snared. The rest of the episode is an exercise in figuring out how to communicate with this lifeform and get our people released.

It also serves as a reminder, as Phlox says to Reed in a brief and calm argument I appreciated, that we're out here to explore and contact new life. This weird gelatinous thing would seem to qualify as a perfect example, but the crew is uncertain whether the creature is sentient. Meanwhile, the lives of four crew members, including the captain and chief engineer, lie in jeopardy.

Quite simply, I have little to say about the way this mystery is solved. The usual courses of investigation and tech are documented in competent ways that, gladly, do not threaten to grow too tedious. Nor are they worth the time of summarizing in a review.

On the character front we get Hoshi facing what is perceived as an early failure in translating an alien language, resulting in their becoming greatly offended and storming off the ship. For audience members paying attention, this should trigger the Full Circle Alarm. Will Hoshi be tested again in this new situation involving the strange lifeform's language, which seems rooted in mathematics and musical tones? Hmmm.

Hoshi doesn't appreciate the boss nagging her, though. T'Pol seems to go out of her way to remind Hoshi about the importance of having this second chance go right, with a little bit of attitude buried in that Vulcan calm. Or perhaps not. My take? T'Pol should be a little more forgiving, Hoshi should ignore subtle digs, and this might all be more interesting if it didn't feel quite so tired and forced anyway. (I liked the T'Pol/Hoshi interaction better in "Sleeping Dogs.") On the other hand, I liked the unforced humor in the dialog between Travis and Malcolm regarding a French film where "things blow up." (Insert grin here.)

Alas, Anthony Montgomery is less effective in serious scenes, as when he talks with the offended aliens over the viewscreen while on an empty bridge. Montgomery, who every day seems more like the weak link in the Enterprise cast, is far too wooden to make the scene work; the whole thing comes across as stilted. Perhaps there's a reason he's been getting so little screen time this season.

But never mind all the setup, which works only because of the cumulative effect of watching the crew tackle the problem at hand. Where "Vox Sola" comes together is in the payoff where Hoshi communicates with the lifeform. It's a strange and well-conceived sequence that uses sound effects, slowly building revelation, and Paul Baillargeon's surprisingly workable score to create an inspired moment that works as true science fiction; it feels like we're making contact with a truly alien presence rather than the usual routine involving humanoids and the universal translator. I was reminded of the communication at the end of Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

Granted, the moment doesn't make for a fully satisfactory episode. This is all pretty routine stuff — exploration of the Star Trek ideal in the most rudimentary, if reliable, of ways. The alien lifeform ends up as not much more than something you think of the crew later documenting in a report after the mission is complete: "Captain's log: This bizarre thing happened today." But hopefully in the details of such a report, it would reveal itself as a bit more interesting, and we'd see the curiosity of our space travelers emerge.

Next week: Two episodes for the price of one.

Previous episode: Detained
Next episode: Fallen Hero

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Comment Section

55 comments on this post

    I liked this one for the ways it brought the individual personalities and worldviews of the characters, particularly in the scenes with Reed and Phlox, and Hoshi and T'Pol.

    Another poorly executed episode.

    The premise of "crew-meets-lifeform" has been done in much better form in TNG episodes "Emergence" and "Galaxy's Child". And the result in those is much more satisfying.

    Also... water polo? REALLY?

    So...what were the motivations of this lifeform? It releases everyone once it finds out it gets to go home, which means its behavior until then was an intentional attack, but why?

    Also, why did it grow so huge, and more importantly, how did it shrink back down again, to a size much smaller than when it first came aboard? Phlox's "it needed contact with another life form" doesn;t explain the increase in size.

    Awfully boring, uninspired episodes so far. I am starting to think that buying Enterprise season 1 was a bad choice after all. It can't reach the TNG standards, even Voyager (with amazing characters like Tuvok, Seven, the Doctor, B'Ellana) was way better than this.

    I liked this episode because it struck me that the two first contacts it portrayed were much more realistic than most portrayed in ST:

    1) aliens who are deeply offended by us for reasons we don't understand, and

    2) non-humanoid life forms that are completely alien and dangerous to us.

    Dr. Phlox's refusal to let the tendril be tortured was admirable, but his rationale was rationally inconsistent: because it was intelligent. He keeps non-human animals in cages, as captives, which is a form of harm to them, though not torture, yet he balks at harming an alien because it is intelligent?

    Why is intelligence a criterion for non-harm? What about different levels of intelligence then? If humans are less intelligent than Vulcans does that mean it's okay to harm them? ST should confront the problem of specieism -- what is here called "inter-species ethics" -- more often, IMHO.

    The translation shown here was good, I thought: it makes sense that an alien language is totally foreign.

    Very similar to the Andromeda Strain, but in that film/book the parasitic alien did not communicate - it simply took over, like a virus.

    Confronting alien parasites and viruses and diseases will likely be the foremost challenge for early space pioneer, if humans ever do manage to survive global warming and resource depletion and the threat of war, and develop ward drives (improbable at this point, but not impossible).

    This episode is pretty average throughout, however I REALLY like the very ending sequence, when they go back to the planet. It's weird, eerie and very atmospheric - the music is fantastic... that whole part feels truly alien and could have been an iconic scene in a famous movie.

    On an intellectual level, this is good science fiction. But on a practical level, the episode seemed slow and boring. Two stars.

    I had to switch it off when the CGI tentacles 'attacked' the crew. They were too willing to use CGI before its time. It was used to great effect in DS9 for space vehicles and luckily they didn't use it for aliens or characters (not that I remember). Species 8472 was one of the first awful examples also. If Lucas couldn't get it right in the Phantom Menace with all the cash at his disposal, how could a weekly TV show hope to? It still often doesn't work 10 years later (Chris Pine's big hand; funny but looked cartoonish) and sometimes has the effect of making the older shows such as DS9 look more contemporary than subsequent shows like ENT.

    I honestly thought the creature died when it stopped honking and that it was dead in the box when they returned it. Then it wriggled away. Would have found it more compelling if it had died, right on the verge of a breakthrough. But then the ending would have been required to say something and it was just easier to... return Odo to the Great Link :P

    I don't agree. Vox Sola is probably best thinked (even if poorly executed/directed) ENT episode, but introduction of force field was ordinary fan service and Doc Brown's/Tony Stark's deus-ex-machina resolution.

    Well, I sincerely believe this episode is underrated. It's all about characterization and it's very "Trekian".

    We discover or are reinforced in the ideas of who each main character is. T'Pol is not human and her way of dealing with Hoshi is obviously wrong from a human perspective, but we also witness her adapt and give encouragement instead of "repression". Hoshi lacks confidence and is on a learning journey, which is great. Malcolm is a typical security man, focused on the danger (and likes things being blown up :p). Trip and Archer share a genuine friendship. The captain pouts when something doesn't go his way... Well, you get my point, I could continue on little details, but it's unnecessary.

    The plot was well conceived, but the pace was a bit slow. The truly alien life form was interesting and the developement of the force field was great. I was interested in watching more of Mayweather, but the last episode and this one make me agree with Jammer: his acting is unfortunately very very poor.

    Quite a futuristic 4:3 screen for movie night. Is it connected to their 32MB Radeon All In Wonder video card with a composite cable too?

    Strange for a series shot and broadcast in 16:9.

    The creature gave latitude and longitude coordinated, but longitude would be useless without knowing the Prime Meridian...

    I think this was a step up... good intercrew relationships, new type of alien, a role (shock, horror) for Mayweather... certainly an improvement

    I'll leave the debate on whether or not this was good Star Trek fair to others, but I just wanted to acknowledge Paul Baillargeon's incredible musical score in this episode.

    Having watched all other Star Trek series and most of the episodes therein, I want to say that this episode features what is in my opinion possibly The Very Best (TM) musical composition we've seen (heard!) to date, starting from when Hoshi and T'Pol work on communicating with the alien. You could almost see the music setting the pace and serving as the underlying structure for everything else. It was uncanny how it seemed the music was the real point of the show for those brief few minutes and everything else was just icing on the cake. Baillargeon completely outdid himself here.

    Side note: I think Enterprise's introduction of elements we're familiar with from "future" earlier shows is not necessarily a bad idea, but I'm always so disappointed to see it so quickly rushed. The usage of the force field in this show had a promising start: it was unreliable, ugly, and crude. But one "we'll need some adjustments to the lower right quadrant" later and it's a perfected technology.

    This same thing was seen with the transporter and the holodeck. It's a real shame as I think some of these, particularly the transporter and the force field, could have each been stretched out over the course of an entire season!

    Imagine how much better it would be if in the pilot references were made to emerging tech that would enable transportation and then an entire season sporting incremental improvements and accidents gone wrong, building up to the "let's risk the transporter and see if it can get us out of this situation" moment from the pilot used as the season finalé plot?

    The force field is an even better candidate for such development. Have Malcolm (as security/weapons) and Trip (as engineer, though until now I see him as a cowboy and have a hard time thinking of him doing anything that requires any sort of thinking) mention it in an episode, Archer demand they research its feasibility and design further when they find a different solution, realizing how much better/easier/safer things would have turned out with force field technology, and then carry that through a dozen or so episodes. Incremental improvements, a small, unsustainable field here, a dangerously lethal field there.. Why does everything have to be so rushed in this show!?

    For me, this episode is the one ENT episode so far that really made me feel like this was Star Trek.

    Seems like a mixed response. On the Blu-Ray release there's a behind-the-scenes documentary on the creation of this episode. It serves as a reminder of the hundreds of hours of hard work from dozens of talented people in front of and behind the scenes, all to create an episode that so many of us are pleased to casually crap on.

    Some episodes will always be better than others, but every single one of them took a heck of a lot of time and effort to bring into existence.

    Hoshi whining about not being good at her job. Wow ... what an original concept ...

    Not a bad episode, except for Dawson's incredibly annoying directing. Good directing is invisible; Dawson's is noticeable every single second, which is, at best, distracting and, at worst, STOP WITH THE FRICKIN' FOCUS PULLS!!!

    It was a pretty interesting episode but I feel they kinda dropped the ball right at the end. They figured out how to communicate with the species but then completely stop talking to it as soon as it started releasing everyone? Then they are speculating about its motives at the very end while they are perfectly capable of asking it? That just came off as super lazy and sloppy.

    Agree with most of the other posters here - this felt like a real "sci-fi" episode of Trek with reasonable special effects, good acting, excellent use of music and light and a totally believable story line that touched all the logical responses that you would have expected in a situation like this. From the attempts to destroy it, contain it, do the medical research on it, ask other people about it and try to communicate with it, all woven nicely with the characters and their roles in the crew. Something like this could have been really boring and predicatble but some of the scenes such as the Phlox/Read scene and the T'Pol/Hoshi scenes lifted it above ordinary in my opinion.

    If you take the charitable view that Enterprise was written by 13 yr olds for an intended 10 yr old audience then alot is forgivable.

    Indeed this had a fairly authentic 'Star Trek' atmosphere and had a suitably 'alien' creature, even if it did come over as something TOS might have done. The alien's language was also extremely distinctive and satisfyingly other-worldly.

    But overall this was another fairly slow paced episode that gave us half an episode of T'Pol and Hoshi snarking at each other to give us a very minor payoff between the two. Overall, not a classic by any means. 2 stars.

    Wonderful SCI-FI here.

    @ eastwest101
    Sat, Feb 28, 2015, 6:35pm (UTC -5)

    Agree with most of the other posters here - this felt like a real "sci-fi" episode of Trek with reasonable special effects, good acting, excellent use of music and light and a totally believable story line that touched all the logical responses that you would have expected in a situation like this. From the attempts to destroy it, contain it, do the medical research on it, ask other people about it and try to communicate with it, all woven nicely with the characters and their roles in the crew. Something like this could have been really boring and predicatble but some of the scenes such as the Phlox/Read scene and the T'Pol/Hoshi scenes lifted it above ordinary in my opinion.


    Best exchange in this episode?

    "HOSHI: Is that all we're talking about? You don't think I belong on Enterprise, do you.

    T'POL: On the contrary. It would be a great loss to Starfleet if you were not a part of this crew. If you feel I've been unfair to you, I apologize, but I hold you to a high standard, Ensign, because I know you're capable of achieving it. Shall we continue?"

    Love it.

    Also love the ending in this one. About as SCI-FI as you can get.

    One more thing, music DOES affect rating. Outstanding job here.

    The music and ending elevate this to a 3.5 stars for me.

    I always thought they were way too hard on Hoshi. She was expected to perfectly translate the language of previously unencountered aliens with no blunders. And from what? Usually only a line or two of greeting.

    I kind of loved this episode. It's certainly one of the few this season that has real Trekkian values to it.

    I also appreciated the Hoshi/T'Pol interactions in this one, they didn't feel too far off from "Sleeping Dogs". Poor Hoshi can't seem to get over her insecurities...

    And I really appreciated the Reed/Phlox conversation in sickbay. Both have good points, but I'm glad Phlox's more humane and compassionate view won out.

    Not to mention the score actually stood out for once. What is this? I don't remember Trek music standing out to me this much since the days of Ron Jones in TNG.

    Solid 3/4 stars from me.

    Only started watching Enterprise a week or so ago. Been really enjoying it so far. I didn't really like the episode though, for me there was little pay-off.
    It was interesting seeing the Hoshi/T'Pol bit, I liked the water polo bit as well. (not my cup of tea but Archer's mentioned water polo before and it wasn't Tripp's cup of tea either but he watched it with Archer anyway and the 2 of them showed some of their friendship).
    Anyway, for me there was too little communication with the creature. No reveal. It seemed obvious that the only answer it could give when they spoke to it was "take me home". Anything else would have resulted in 2 of the main characters dying.
    The reveal about the first contact was more interesting I think.

    This story has given me a great idea for an episode of modern family. The youngest girl brings her new frat house boyfriend over to meet the family. The frat boy comes in the house and notices that the dad's fly is open. Without telling the dad his fly is open, the frat boy leaves in a huff, comes back later that night and toilet papers the house. he then throws industrial waste slime on the toilet paper. After all, he was deeply offended by the dad's open fly so the punishment had to fit the crime.
    The dad finds out that frat boy toilet papered his house and made it a health hazard so he asks frat boy why. Frat boy tells him that he was deeply offended by the dad's open fly. the dad apologizes profusely and frat boy gives him the name of someone who will clean up the toilet paper and industrial waste slime.
    Sounds like a winner doesn't it?

    I always saw Mayweather's somewhat stilted apology as a sign that he, the character, couldn't take the alien's sensibilities seriously, and was just telling them what they wanted to hear, so he could save his crewmates.

    Decent episode with a couple of nice, truly Trekkian parts and chances for the whole crew to get involved in varying degrees as the 2 main guys Archer and Trip are out of the picture for the most part.

    The 2 scenes I liked was the ending when the creature joined up with its larger self on the planet. This felt like real sci-fi, a totally new sentient life form that seemed to enchant and amaze the landing party. Nice touch with the musical score throughout the episode. The other scene I liked was Phlox preventing Reed from torturing the part of the creature that had been severed. Some good ethical reminders here as well as what Trek's mission truly is.

    With the whole crew (minus Archer/Reed) working on the problem we get insights into each one's character. Obviously it's not hard to assume the creature is hostile and we get another view into Reed who has no issue with using force (and also is interested in movie night as stuff gets blown up). Ultimately he comes good with getting the forcefield going. Hoshi overcomes her initial failure and chalks up a win for communicating with the creature after sorting out her working relationship with T'Pol (albeit childishly). As for Mayweather he clears up the misunderstanding with the aliens the crew pissed off in the opening scene -- although this wasn't well acted. T'Pol proves to be an able 2nd-in-command, albeit a bit a hard-ass toward Hoshi initially.

    2.5 stars for "Vox Sola" -- good to have the whole crew solving a problem as well as getting a sense of what downtime is like with movie night and Archer/Trip watching water polo replays. A bit of creativity with this new type of alien who is sentient and whose actions are misunderstood initially leads to a couple of nice Trek nuggets.

    Loved this episode. So glad the doc didn't want the Intelligent being harmed. It's not an animal so should be treated with respect unless it gets hostile.

    Jammer even though you say this episode didint have an original premise..the alien life form was original though wasn't it?

    I quite liked this episode. Good, solid sci fi, a new alien, not too preachy, and no plot holes - the creature liked to integrate with things, so it integrated with the humans through instinct. When it realized it was going home it was able to let them go.

    Another thing I liked about it was the development of the rudimentary force field, showing that at that time they didn't have sophisticated warp field technology and were having trouble getting it right. A nice touch. 3 stars.

    1. T'Pol was more likeable here.
    2. While at first I jokingly referred to the alien as our current plastic "soup" having reached the Enterprise or Alien lite I have to say that it did come across as a genuinely alien being in the end. That shot of its homeworld was impressive.
    3. Let's see, we've gotten our first glimpses of where the holodeck may've come from and now we're seeing the origins of the force field. Nice. Didn't we also get to see where true replicators instead of specialized synthesizers may have come from?

    Ah, “The One With The Jizz-Monster”.

    The VFX detract from, rather than enhance this episode, and not just because seeing Sam Beckett half conscious and covered in spunk is a tough watch.

    Great alien, nice language scene and the scene with Phlox about torture was okay. But it all was a bit slow. T'Pol with Hoshi just didn't feel right. And I'll just ignore Mayweather. But just speaking a few words and all problems are solved? I have the feeling Enterprise really rushes the endings because the writers can't provide a plausible theory. That's ashame because the devaluates the very nice ending scene.

    This. THIS is what Star Trek is supposed to be about. Alone among all sci-fi, Trek can create a sense of wonder and terror and yet pay the episode off with a resolution that felt natural and was earned by the crew's hard work.

    I thought everything about Vox Sola worked perfectly. A strange new life-form which lives and communicates in an alien and inexplicable way, yet which can find enough common ground with humans to work together for the betterment of both species, thanks to the tireless efforts of humans working with yet other, more experienced alien races (Vulcan and Denobulan). The script was really good for a change; the acting was top-notch all round; the episode title is so evocative (and reminds me of 40K, always a plus). Even the music was much nicer than the usual atonal mess Berman calls a soundtrack - even if they repeated the same bit too many times.

    I loved the confrontation between Reed (this thing is an immediate threat, let's blow it up) and Dr Phlox (this thing is a living being, let's find another way). I also loved the interplay between Sato and T'Pol, the first glimmerings of respect and understanding between them. Forget all the ridiculous modern-day crap we keep hearing about how perfect women are, many women can barely stand to be in the same room as one another (ask any honest woman and she'll tell you that having men around keeps women from killing each other!). The way that there's been a cold and somewhat hostile edge between Sato and T'Pol until now has been spot on so far; Sato is a young and emotionally vulnerable woman, T'Pol lacks empathy, so they were hardly going to become best friends. And yet in true Trek spirit, they find common ground.

    A pity that almost every other Trek species is humanoid and has a language, culture and technology that can be perfectly understood by humans upon first contact, with ENT being literally the only show which shows people struggling with first contact scenarios. What a missed opportunity in each series - particularly in Voyager, in which they were exploring a totally unknown and extremely dangerous region of space - imagine if they ramped up the mystery and fear of the Delta Quadrant, and hard-won allies were rare like shining lights in the dark. Imagine how much more interesting if Chakotay and Janeway had differing ideas on how to greet new aliens (Chakotay assessing for threat and also for potential as allies in terms of receiving supplies and safe harbour, Janeway going by the book and, in a later season, realising that she's going to meet more species than either Kirk or Picard, but most likely no-one will ever recognise this).

    It's hard to understand how anyone would criticise Vox Sola. How could anyone say it lacks originality? When was the last time you saw a Trek episode that dealt with so many things, so brilliantly?

    I wonder why they didn't consider beaming the crew members out of the cotton candy. Of course, it wouldn't have worked, because that would have been the end of the episode, but they could have at least mentioned it, with Phlox saying something like, "The transporter can't tell the difference between the crew members and the cotton candy," i.e., "Their neural patterns and the creature's are far too joined to risk using the transporter."

    I enjoyed this episode quite a bit. Other commenters have mentioned the phenomenal, innovative score for this one, but given it’s a rare trek that deals with a non-humanoid intelligence, I especially appreciate the premise here. It’s far from perfect execution but what they give us is excellent food for thought. I’d rate this one a 3.

    I am also certain that Anthony Montgomery would have grown into the role if they’d given him something to grow with, an actual role and more consistent characterization to work with.

    So the Doctor has no problem having an entire race killed off (a few episodes back), but hurting a creature to save his friends/crewmmembers is a line he won't cross. Err.... okay. Way to have your priorities in check.

    Hoshi is so beautiful and a good character. I love seeing any episode with more of her.

    Washington is TERRIBLE. he always looks happy. Even in scenes where he is not supposed to.

    Beautiful episode and quite refreshing to see from ENT kind of late in Season 1 where there have been too many middling episodes. I'm kind of surprised Berman and Braga were involved in creating it as I feel they're responsible for most of the series worst episodes due to running out of good ideas, which is understandable.

    There's so much of what makes good sci-fi to me here. From a problem solving standpoint, different aspects need to be tackled from building the forcefield (Reed) to analyzing the creature (Phlox) to communicating with it (Hoshi with an assist from T'Pol) and even Travis plays a role (albeit poorly) of communicating with the pissed off aliens who find it offensive to eat in public (whatever). From the standpoint of problem-solving-Trek, "Vox Sola" does it better than just about everything on TNG which really championed the genre (if there is such a thing). No ridiculous technobabble and nothing felt too farfetched.

    Hoshi, as a character, is in focus here much like in "Fight or Flight" and she does quite well by juggling the self-doubt and then persevering. T'Pol provides the "tough love" and can understandably come across as a hard ass to a human but she also shows she's a capable manager and can get the best out of Hoshi. These are things that should be seen in Trek.

    When I think of good or great sci-fi, the soundtrack is a big part of the overall enjoyment for creating the right mood. Kudos here. "Vox Sola" is not about action and it is an understated episode but there is an urgency. I thought every scene was purposeful and logical. Every character has their chance to shine and delivers -- just the one scene with Montgomery apologizing fell a bit flat.

    Really feel this is a 3-star episode, high-quality Trek here. ENT has a very good cast and can come up with a number of 1-on-1 interactions that are very realistic and well acted. "Vox Sola" is the total package with very few flaws.

    Very solid 3 star episode. Felt like a updated 2004 version of a TOS episode. Bonus points for their movie night being Wages of Fear. Classic movie that has a just as good English remake called Sorcerer. Also the special effects in this episode were top notch maybe the best I’ve seen from Trek outside of the films.

    I felt they could have done more with the "our minds are linked" thing, but the character interactions are very enjoyable here. Especially those with the engineers, who manage to rise above the usual disposable red shirt level (and even live to the end!). The last act, with the communication and the trip to the alien's home planet, was also very good. 3 stars.

    I LOVED the music in this episode! It had that quality of mystery and spookiness that the episode more than lived up to. It was good to see what I think of as a classic Trek episode. In that there were no villains, just communication with a very different lifeform! Great! It was also good to see the captain's hobbies and his friendship with Trip

    Jammer on Mayweather: " Perhaps there's a reason he's been getting so little screen time this season."

    If only you'd known aseason one was by far when he got the most screen time!

    Surely the aliens (Kreetassans) had come across species who eat in public before? They are a space faring species and as far as I know the only species in the galaxy who prohibit eating in public. They should have mentioned it before coming aboard.

    It was interesting to see a strange new life form. Hoshi translating "You eat like you mate" was funny.

    Over all score: 6/10

    Jammer HOW CAN YOU SAY this episode didn't have an original premise..the alien life form here is VERY ORIGINAL AND UNIQUE AND SO IS THEBWAY they communicate and how the alien life form acts..wouldn't you agree? Hope to hear from you.

    First off, Wages of Fear is great and everyone should check it out. The re-make, Sorcerer (1977), is also surprisingly good.

    As for Vox Sola, well, I don't care for it. The effects, both CGI and practical, are very bad. And, no , they weren't good for their time either. The basic idea is interesting, but the bad special effects and the way that the story seems to plod along ruined this one for me. I didn't notice the music that so many people seemed to enjoy so I may need to watch it against o give it a listen.

    Marco P. said :"The premise of "crew-meets-lifeform" has been done in much better form in TNG episodes "Emergence" and "Galaxy's Child". And the result in those is much more satisfying. Also... water polo? REALLY?"

    I don't really have a reason for quoting Marco, but I just find it amusing that someone with his name has a beef with water polo.

    I agree with @Thomas about Travis: I pictured him thinking "WTF? They want an apology because we *ate* in front of them?. Ok, whatever....." I thought he played that role well.

    So... the alien: Unauthorized entry to a starship. Initiated unprovoked and unwanted physical contact with the crew (I'm bending over backwards to avoid the word "attack"). Given the inter-crew telepathy, it likely sensed that the contact was a) unwanted and b) harmful.
    Hostile? Yeah, it's presumed hostile.

    Sure, you can say it was ignorant... but that's *dangerously* stupid....

    I didn't think the episode was that bad, just cringeworthy at a few points.

    Could've done without seeing the Captain and Trip act like "one of the guys" watching water polo. They couldn't make these two people look any more All-American White Bread, which is something I found annoying about this series in general. It comes across as "Americans in space", even more so than Voyager did. When I see these scenes, I just think, "Rick Berman and Brannon Braga run this show which is why everything is through their male gaze." Might as well have the Captain and Trip watching the superbowl with a six pack.

    Could've done without the alien misundestanding side plot. Really? You're offended that other species eat in front of you, and you're warp capable, traveling the stars? That seems like a cultural curiosity they would have had to sort out as soon as they entered space. And what about other non-sentient species on their homeworld who eat in front of them? It's just stupid.

    Could've done without Hoshi's whining and the artificial tension between her and T'Pol. They made the only human female character a crybaby. Again... the show is written through the male chauvinist gaze. The egos of the creators shine through in what they think female drama should look like.

    The only thing that saved this episode was the uniqueness of the non-humanoid alien, which I call the Alien Jizz Monster (because let's be honest). The translation/communication scene was pretty cool. Trip and Archer trying to stay conscious by talking about water polo when their minds were linked was tedious and boring. They could've gone in any number of interesting directions with that. "Wait... Captain, you think I have a cute butt?" "No no... you're delirious because of the alien Trip! Let's talk about water polo." Just kidding. But seriously... that part was boring.

    Reed's force field is another "too advanced" moment on the show. Humanity should not have that. The whole reason why humans are advanced in the other Trek series is because of the Federation. You know, 150 planets working together? Humans can hardly come up with anything on their own. The showrunners lacked the creativity to work with the limitations of the 22nd century, even though it was their idea in the first place. By the end of the series, Enterprise has photon torpedoes, phasers, and they even use their transporter on humans for routine "emergencies". The only thing missing was a tractor beam.

    I give this episode 3/4 stars because the alien was believable and interesting. The humans, however, were not.

    When they first go into the cargo bay, they see two crew members trapped in some kind of ecto-web, so they take just two short shots at it with a phaser set on stun and that’s it?

    Light that thing up, man! Phasers on kill!

    Then T’Pol: “We’re not even certain that the organism’s hostile.” Lol, it attacked five members of the crew, wrapped them up in ecto-goo, and she’s not sure it’s “hostile”? Come on!

    Also what about the chain-of-command here? Phlox opposes Reed’s experiment on the severed tentacle because it might be “an intelligent being” and only the captain can overrule the doctor in sick bay. Then they both agree Archer is in no condition to offer an opinion on the matter. So doesn’t that mean T’Pol is in charge? Is it not her call?

    Most of the science and the overall plot was good but there are 3 questions I have:

    1. Where did they originally get that tiny piece of the creature from? I know the offended aliens that were on board knew about it but did they deliberately leave them with it to get back at the crew for offending them, was it accidentally introduced? Because the Enterprise was never near that planet before? Unclear on this.

    2. I don't get the Universal Translator. Besides the point that it is impossible to purely translate a language based on its syntax (nouns and verbs can still be totally random and arbitrary), and assuming an alien language even has a logical syntax, how does it figure it out after only 3 lines or 5 seconds of communication? How is that enough no matter how efficient the algorithm is or the "decryption syntaxes, is as it said on the pad? Further they could have done something less lazy than just having random strings of numbers on the pad, like they lazily do anytime they show a star trek panel or screen up close.

    3. Why do they have warp drive before force fields? Why was warp drive the first thing developed in all of star trek? Wouldn't that be the hardest thing to engineer? We already can create rudimentary force fields using superheated gas particles in something called "plasma windows" that can exert pressure, in real life, so why is this an "advancement" in a warp powered star ship? I understand replicators coming later, but this makes no sense, especially since they already have energy weapons.

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