Star Trek: Enterprise

"Dead Stop"

3 stars

Air date: 10/9/2002
Written by Mike Sussman & Phyllis Strong
Directed by Roxann Dawson

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

Reed: "It can't be ethical to cause a patient this much pain."
Phlox: "It's unethical to harm a patient; I can inflict as much pain as I like."

In brief: A few missteps, but good continuity and plentiful sci-fi weirdness that's for the most part intriguing.

There can be something inherently disconcerting about artificial intelligence, particularly unfamiliar AIs with crude communication interfaces. I think it has to do with an underlying wariness that an AI is based on complex but ultimately uncompromising directives rather than flexible reasoning; when you don't know those directives you quickly develop the understanding that they could cause you harm rather than good. This kind of AI has no conscience; it does what it wants. Your benefit or harm is incidental.

In "Dead Stop" we have an automated repair station with an elaborate computer system that's obviously complex enough to qualify as an artificial intelligence, albeit with a crude user interface. There's something about it all that's slightly ... unsettling. It offers hospitality and promises miracles in repairing the Enterprise's damage, but one almost senses an ulterior motive somewhere beneath the surface. The price quoted is awfully low considering the services it will be providing. Damage that would take months for the Enterprise crew to repair on their own will take this repair station only a day and a half. All it wants for compensation is 200 liters of warp plasma. "Those repairs are one hell of a bargain at 200 liters of warp plasma, don't you think?" Archer muses, mildly troubled and suspicious. I'm inclined to agree.

"Dead Stop" is a good episode that benefits from genuine sci-fi weirdness. While artificial intelligence and the concept of a machine with its own implacable agenda are familiar elements, this episode employs them well and surrounds them with atmosphere. The repair station becomes a character of its own, simultaneously inviting and ominous.

Its docking bay reconfigures itself specifically to fit the Enterprise, and the air inside is made human-ready. (Beforehand it was "270 degrees below zero." I'm assuming that's Celsius, which is 3 degrees above absolute zero; can any computer really function at that temperature?) Inside, the walls are all white; there's a long entrance corridor. There's an unmistakable sense that we should all be waiting for the other shoe to drop. Kudos to the production designers, and the special-effects wizards who designed the CG model of the station; they succeed in giving this place a sterile yet creepy personality.

Who built this place and why? Archer would like his questions answered, but the station's computer is not prepared to give him any. "Your inquiry was not recognized," it repeats uselessly. A computer this advanced and with such an ability to adapt should be able to recognize and answer Archer's questions with a more human touch; my only explanation is that perhaps it's being intentionally vague. (Although not credited, I'm 100 percent sure the station's computer voice is supplied by director Roxann Dawson — a nice touch.)

Still, Archer and the crew don't much feel like they can refuse this invitation. The Enterprise has fairly extensive damage — borderline crippled — and needs to be fixed. Let's talk for a moment about continuity. As I'm sure many could've predicted, I was practically ecstatic to see that the damage sustained in last week's "Minefield" was not miraculously gone by the time this week's show began. Far from it — the gash to the hull has dire side effects. (I also liked the continuity surrounding the injury to Reed's leg; he's undergoing physical therapy at the beginning of the episode.)

The next question is whether it's a cheat to have a "miracle repair station" that can fix all this damage (and Reed's leg) in a single episode. Well, yes and no. Yes, it's a somewhat-cheat in that the setup claims this damage is a Big Deal, and instead of having the crew struggle, the plot drops a miracle cure in their laps. No, it's not a cheat in that the miracle repair station is given the storytelling weight necessary to more than justify its presence.

In the new-technology arena, the crew sees firsthand what in future Trek incarnations will be called a "replicator," capable of conjuring matter from energy. It's handy for scraping up a meal, or spare parts. Trip is particularly intrigued, and in what is clearly the show's stupidest action on behalf of the characters (but necessary to set up the plot's solution, alas), Trip convinces Reed to go sneaking through the station's crawl spaces to try to find the station's main computer. Reed points out this might not be such a good idea; the computer might not take kindly to trespassers. Trip's response: "I didn't see any no-trespassing signs." How brilliant. When the plan fails and the computer beams them back to the Enterprise, I was frankly glad Archer yelled at them. (Another nice little follow-up from last week: Archer, on Reed's case: "You've made it clear to me that you think discipline on board Enterprise has gotten a little too lax. I'm beginning to agree with you.")

There's a plot "twist" that sets up the story's key revelation, and that's where I'm a little more skeptical about "Dead Stop." Mainly, my problem here is how the story decides to kill off a character in a way that, dramatically, doesn't work and smacks more of Trek cliché than anything. Ensign Mayweather is fooled by the station AI (using a faked simulation of Archer's voice) into going below decks into off-limits repair areas where he's zapped by an energy charge. This leads to Phlox finally getting to say, "He's dead, captain," followed by questions and frustration and autopsies and unexpected results and medical technobabble explanations and finally the conclusion that Mayweather is, in fact, not dead after all, but rather abducted after having been replaced with a dead clone. While there's some potential interest in seeing Archer's initial reaction to losing a crew member (after my discussion of said topic in last week's "Minefield"), this would-be death is probably more annoying than it's worth precisely because it's such a transparent plot twist.

Problem #1: Okay, so they introduce the woefully underutilized Travis Mayweather into a plot where up to this point in the episode he's been a non-factor. What do the writers do? Give him good dialog? Character development? An active role in the story? Nope — they "kill" him and have him lie on an autopsy table as a corpse. This indicates pure writer desperation in concern to this character. Have they no clue what to do with this guy?

Problem #2: Okay, so they're going to kill a character. How many people in the audience aren't going to expect a resurrection of the character when he's a member of the principal cast? If you want this twist to interest us, either (a) kill off a red-shirt (such that we're genuinely surprised by the eventual resurrection), or (b) kill off one of the main characters who is not so woefully underdeveloped (such that dying is not the most significant thing they've gotten to do in nearly a year).

I'm actually fine with where this setup eventually takes us — to the discovery (albeit a foreseeable one) that this station abducts living beings so it can tie their brains into its computer network and expand its processing power. It's an adequately bizarre sci-fi-ey idea, and I liked that the story did not dwell on the particulars or try to offer unnecessary explanations for how this station evolved into an AI beast that kidnaps people. It's simply a Halloween mystery and the episode wisely leaves it at that.

Under Dawson's direction, the show's pacing is dead-on. It begins slowly, quietly, mysteriously. As mysteries give way to revelation, however, the pace picks up and the camera moves with much more freedom. The Enterprise's escape from the station, accompanied by a crescendo of noise and explosions, is skillfully depicted, with good directing, editing, logical flow, and music.

By the end, it feels like we've been taken for a brief trip through the Twilight Zone. The last shot is of the ruins of the repair station beginning repair work on itself. Like all living things governed by instinct, its mission is to continue surviving according to the logic of its existence — an intriguing statement, conveyed with a compelling image.

"Dead Stop" is an episode I liked quite a bit. I might've liked it even better had its spell not been broken with Mayweather being cloned, kidnapped, and swapped with a corpse. Being manipulated as a plot device is about the last thing his character needs.

Next week: Judging by the trailer, Archer suffers from blue balls. Or something.

Previous episode: Minefield
Next episode: A Night in Sickbay

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60 comments on this post

Sat, Nov 24, 2007, 2:28pm (UTC -5)
I agree with you. If they made someone else get killed instead of Maywether than this episode would had been perfect. Maybe the actress who played crewman Cutler(RIP) would had been a better choice.
Admirable Chrichton
Mon, May 19, 2008, 7:55pm (UTC -5)
Yes the computer voice is indeed Roxanne Dawson.
Sat, Mar 6, 2010, 5:43pm (UTC -5)
I do like this episode, one of the better ones of the second season. And i laughed out loud with the exchange between Reed and Phlox at the beginning of the episode

"It can't be ethical to inflict this much pain."
"It's unethical to harm a patient; I can inflict as much pain as I like."

With the thing between Travis being dead, he's kind of like Harry in Voyager, he didn't get much character development within the first four seasons of VOY, unfortunately Travis will never get much more, as i think Montgomery is a fairly good actor and was too underutilised.
Thu, Mar 25, 2010, 3:35pm (UTC -5)
I liked this episode too, but why does this seem like it would have been better as a Voyager episode? Having this mysterious station in the Delta Quadrant where no one from the Federation will ever stumble across it again works better with this plot than the logical question of "why is there no subsequent mission to study or destroy the thing?"
Mon, Nov 8, 2010, 6:28am (UTC -5)
I like this episode. It had an original idea that was plausible.

But the Enterprise sure is reaking havoc.

For an exploration mission they sure blow up a lot of things.
Marco P.
Fri, Nov 19, 2010, 12:36pm (UTC -5)
I'll jump on the bandwagon: I liked this episode too (for a *change*!!).

This episode had many elements that make (made) Trek great over the years: the exploration and marvel over superior technology, a bit of an intrigue, and enough mystery to veil the ever-present flaws/inadequacies of the script (as usual, stop by for a complete list).

That is probably the best thing "Dead Stop" has going for them: the mystery of this sentient A.I., and the aliens that put it there along with this "benefactor" repair station. "Disconcerting" is an appropriate word here indeed.

Of course, somehow the writers still managed to f*** things up in the end, with a disappointing use of an under-utilized character and a dubious plot twist with rather severe ethical issues. So the Enterprise crew wanted to save their shipmate, fine. Did they have to blow up the station and kill all the other sequestered people in there? The doctor explains it away as "they're all brain-dead anyway". How convenient.

Still ultimately, if a friend asked me to show him the best 5 episodes of ST Enterprise, "Dead Stop" would be one I'd pick. Partly because I'd want my friend to be spared the pain & suffering I had to go through, which is having to sit an entire season (and counting) of *regular* Berman & Braga nonsense.
Tue, Nov 23, 2010, 10:26pm (UTC -5)
I liked this one too! I always feel happily surprised after a good episode of Enterprise. There have been so few of them so far.

Travis is a totally undeveloped character. I rather like the idea of "boomers". It's too bad the writers chose to throw that plot point away so casually. I would have liked to have seen more interaction with freight ships in the beginning of the show. Travis could have been a really interesting character. But, instead the most interesting thing he ever does (as Jammer says) is get cloned and sort of get himself killed. That's unfortunate.

There were so many things that they could have done with this show, but just didn't. There are many episodes where it feels like they're doing "Voyager presents TOS!" instead of an independent show.

I want to see more of what lead to the federation. I want to know more about the species who founded it. I would have enjoyed a show that stuck close to the same areas much more than one like this; where they sort of drift around aimlessly saying hello to the random alien of the week. For example, I liked the episodes regarding the Vulcan/Andorian conflict last season. I would have liked to see more story arcs about that than the random stuff we've been seeing.

I second Boris in wondering why this thing was apparently never further investigated and Marco's thoughts on all the other "brain dead" people left inside the station.

However, I enjoyed the episode all the same. Also, I thought that last shot of the station repairing itself was very ominous and really well done.
Wed, Jul 6, 2011, 12:10pm (UTC -5)
I agree with every word of the review.

A few conveniences, and the whole deal with Mayweather was indeed a bit crap (why not kill one of the regulars off permanently like with Yar.. have some balls.. nobody would miss this guy anyway) but it had a lot of good to it.

As cliché as it is I always enjoy seeing them marvel at the technology that "we" took for granted in the future-set Trek series. And how rapidly it replicates huge sections of the ship and puts them into place at least goes some way towards explaining why Voyager kept getting nearly blown up and ending up perfect a week later.

Speaking of Voyager, a very Voyager-esque moment in the early part of the episode when they realise it'd take 10 years to limp back. I like that. Even though it was resolved a bit conveniently, I appreciated the feel of complete helplessness (and couldn't help but smile at the almighty Starfleet having to send out a distress call)
James Cray
Mon, Aug 1, 2011, 11:38am (UTC -5)
Possible spoiler warning here- this comment is to Boris there. There's a pretty good reason why they didn't plan a mission to this thing- because they blew the dang thing up completely when they left. There's no reason to go back to "investigate" a rather large pile of worthless metal chunks.
So far I've been watching episodes of Enterprise and I'm a bit saddened at how quickly they resort to blowing things up on this show. Klingons being bullies? Set 'em on fire! Mysterious space station kidnaps one of your crew? Blow it up!
Crush! Kill! Destroy!
One of the things I loved about Trek was that in a lot of episodes, especially TNG, there was a concerted effort to actually resolve issues BEFORE the phasers came out. Guns were a total last resort when diplomacy failed.
I'm only a few episodes into Enterprise Season 2 so far- does it stay on its violent course?
Fri, Nov 18, 2011, 4:13am (UTC -5)
Now that's more like it. This had a very TOS-like feel to it. Too bad A Night in Sickbay is next...
Sat, Jun 30, 2012, 7:36pm (UTC -5)
A great SF episode. A weird station, desolated. When did it become autonomous? Did it ever decide to replenish its diminishing power with living, yet comatose brains? Did it decide to do that on its own, or did the makers decide to use inferior species to function as their repair station's computer brain? So many weird possibilities, so many consequences.

Too bad the station seems to be in the vicinity of Earth and other inhabited planets in the overcrowded Star Trek universe. No doubt almost every species will eventually discover it and dismantle its dangerous ways. After all, we're not talking about tribal people being abducted, we're talking about civilizations with highly sophisticated spaceships and weapons and all.

Too bad most SF writers have no clue about the vastness and emptiness of space. But nevertheless a great episode. Reminded me of "Rendez-vous with Rama".
Sun, Jul 15, 2012, 7:49am (UTC -5)
My favorite episode of enterprise. This could have been a Twilight Zone episode, it's very weird and full of unanswered questions (as Ceebee noted above) with a cool last 5 seconds (the part where the repair station starts repairing itself).

The thing that always gets me about this episode is how damn well it conveys the sense that the station is being deliberately ignorant. It understands every word and it chooses it's "your inquiry was not recognised" reply very deliberately. I also really liked the scene where Archer gets angry with it, and the view shifts to inside the screen in the station - simple but very effective.

Did anyone else get that impression of the station as a living thing? sort of a predatory plant? it waits in space, then it opens itself to let prey in, and then pounces... it's.. just s wierd idea, is it sentient? How did it come to be like this, more creature than place. Jammer put it fantastically well when he suggested "its mission is to continue surviving according to the logic of its existence"

As a completely stand alone episode of sci-fi TV this is nice work, it definitely made me think afterwards more than most Enterprise eps.
Captain Jim
Sun, Jul 29, 2012, 10:29pm (UTC -5)
I notice that Jammer gave both this and last week's "Minefield" three stars. That seems about right in this instance; I liked this episode a lot. But it just goes to reinforce my belief that Minefield was rated too high. Dead Stop is a much, much better episode.
Sat, Nov 10, 2012, 8:35pm (UTC -5)
I've been relegating Enterprise to background TV, but the shot of the station expanding its docking area made me close the laptop and sit up straight. Some beautiful scenes in this episode.

As much as I loved the last moments of the station repairing itself, I had to wonder how it did that with its humanoid brainpower now gone. But that is really a small nit that I'm more than happy to overlook for a very cool episode.
Thu, May 23, 2013, 3:57pm (UTC -5)
And maybe.... the designers and operators of the station aren't gone at all, but lie amidst the other victims of the station.... (ominous music)
Tue, Sep 10, 2013, 8:21pm (UTC -5)
This episode had me intrigued. The mood, set up, visuals.... All well done. I would have liked more explanation about the motive of the station to use people as processing units - seems rather inefficient - but overall one of the series' best episodes so far.
Thu, Sep 19, 2013, 2:03pm (UTC -5)
I felt like the intro scene really deserves more mention than it's getting - I fully expected to see it lauded in Jammer's review.

A very humbling and poignant moment, it takes a lot for the captain of the flagship vessel to realize starfleet isn't above putting out a general distress call of their own. I want to say this has never been done before, but I might be wrong? Regardless, it was well played and not overdone - just the right amount of hesitation and resolve.
Sun, Aug 3, 2014, 12:37am (UTC -5)
I liked how this episode gave us a peek into what the future of the Trek universe would be like - replicators (even something close to the TNG replicator effect), enhanced voice controlled computers, dermal regenerators. Maybe some scientist on Earth was inspired by records of this incident? Wink, nudge!

Also, was it just me, or did I see a Cardassian body in the computer room?

Another good episode but I did have a few quibbles. Why didn't Enterprise beam Archer, T'Pol and Mayweather out of the computer room? Why didn't the computer beam them out, it was clearly aware they had penetrated the area!

I liked the station design though - it was *too* clean and brightly lit, in a way that unsettled you. Also, Archer was right to yell at Tucker and Reed - nice continuity from the last ep. The closing shot of the station repairing itself was spooky.
Wed, Aug 20, 2014, 7:59am (UTC -5)
Am I the only one that thought the station showed elements of Borg-like qualities?
Wed, Aug 20, 2014, 9:54am (UTC -5)

Another good episode but I did have a few quibbles. Why didn't Enterprise beam Archer, T'Pol and Mayweather out of the computer room? Why didn't the computer beam them out, it was clearly aware they had penetrated the area!


It's apparent that that function was designed to prevent folks from entering the chamber (location specific. The designers obviously didn't take into account that anyone would ever want or need to get past it. Another area that had location specific transport capability was the "payment" area. So at least they were consistent.
Sun, Dec 28, 2014, 12:01pm (UTC -5)
"which is 3 degrees above absolute zero; can any computer really function at that temperature?)"

Sir, please turn in your geek card. Now.
Tue, Feb 3, 2015, 6:15pm (UTC -5)
I agree with all the above comments. And not-bad-at-all episode. And, Aater seeing Archer and Trip a few times, and Reed once, shirtless, it was about damn TIME to see the cute Mayweather shirtless and in the bright blue undies.

That alone makes this my favorite episode so far! :)
Sat, Mar 28, 2015, 3:34am (UTC -5)
Archer: "I thought I told you to have that repainted"

Tucker: "I was getting around to it..."

*Archer gives him the look

Reed and Tucker discovered in the ship's upper corridors and teleported back to the Enterprise bridge, still on their knees.

*T'Pol gives them the look

Priceless. First time I laughed at an episode. Twice.
W Smith
Tue, Apr 7, 2015, 2:46pm (UTC -5)
Pretty good, though it felt like it should have been a Voyager episode. Would have made for a better Voyager episode based on the plot and premise.
Tue, May 19, 2015, 9:16pm (UTC -5)
Sure, you could pick it to pieces if you wanted to (like any other Trek show) but the exemplary direction, above average writing (for Enterprise, that is), and game performances engage you sufficiently that you're willing to overlook any weaknesses in the plotting.

I consider Dead Stop to be amongst the best episodes the series ever produced.
Thu, May 21, 2015, 4:39pm (UTC -5)
Agree Gil. This is a GREAT Star Trek episode; not just Enterprise.
Fri, Jun 5, 2015, 1:47pm (UTC -5)
I loved this episode. I literally laughed out loud at Trip telling the computer that the customer is always right. I had been thinking another old Earth saying through the whole episode that they appeared to have forgotten: If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Wouter Verhelst
Tue, Dec 1, 2015, 2:36pm (UTC -5)
The computer voice made me think of that other Roxann Dawson computer voice in "Dreadnought", even before I realized that it was her. It gave a certain creepy character to it, which only enriches the whole experience of this episode. Two AIs who turn to killing innocent living beings. Can't be a coincidence.

Dawson would be great as a villain in some show or movie.
Tue, Mar 8, 2016, 12:58pm (UTC -5)
Just a fantastic episode. I still remember the first time I watched it.

It never gets old.

The one thing I noticed was, is the a Cardassian body in the "brain"?

Easy 4-star episode. One of treks finest I think.
Diamond Dave
Sun, Apr 10, 2016, 12:15pm (UTC -5)
I can't help agreeing with others that this might have made a better Voyager episode - the station just seemed a bit too 'future-tech' for Enterprise. But it creates a fairly unusual and off-centre mood for a Trek episode - mysterious and foreboding all in one - and successfully plays its cards. I liked the Twilight Zone ending, and the fact it didn't resolve the origin or purpose of the station. Although I did have to wonder whether Enterprise blowing everything up was necessarily a good thing.

It also looks a million dollars - it seems the FX in this one won awards, and well deserved that would be too. 3 stars.
Wed, Jun 8, 2016, 10:03pm (UTC -5)
I thought that the sequestered aliens hooked up to the station computer (that scene reminded me of the 70's movie "Coma") was its method of existence. Now when it detonates, the brain relay is disconnected so how can the station regenerate itself?
Also, should it be that much of a shock to see that Travis Mayweather and Harry Kim, two non-Caucasians, are the most underused & underdeveloped characters in recent Trek memory?
Thu, Jun 9, 2016, 8:50am (UTC -5)

I could generate a bunch of reasons how it could work. Can you give us one reason you think the "brain relay" trips?
Wed, Sep 21, 2016, 9:48pm (UTC -5)
Part of me just admires the cheek of this episode: how can we stop Enterprise getting the same bad rep as Voyager for constant use of the reset button? I know, lets introduce a whopping big Deus ex machina which fixes all the Enterprise's problems, and Malcolm's leg to boot. All this while we get kudos for keeping the continuity: how's that for cunning? Trebles all around. Sigh. It was all right, but I'd rather have seen them honor the continuity by at least beginning the long haul back to Jupiter station. Plenty of room for scrapes along the way. Who knows, even a more subtle form of plot device?
Sun, Apr 9, 2017, 6:14pm (UTC -5)
The Strong/Sussman writing team delivered about 10 ENT eps, so it's not quite like Greg Bear dropping in, but isn't it noteworthy how many good ENT and VOY eps weren't written by B&B? Some fresher blood with a great one-off genuine SF idea so often does the trick.

For most of its duration 'Dead Stop' feels like the real deal: an effective. quite unsettling SF idea which could have come out a classic SF mag as a short story by a Silverberg, a Bradbury or even a Van Vogt. Trek - and this is pertinent with a new series apparently just a matter of months away - could do well to let the main writers take care of the main story arc, and field some episodes from talented relative outsiders.

Not much to add to what's already been said. I actually thought it may have been a good idea to keep Mayweather dead - except he'd probably not be replaced, and we'd be down to something like season 3 of TOS, with the same three characters talking to each other in a nearly deserted ship.

It faltered in its later stages, but a very solid 3 stars from me.
Mon, Apr 24, 2017, 3:32pm (UTC -5)
This had the feel of a very pure sci-fi episode - much more so than the usual ENT episodes. The eery space station that has all the solutions does give one the creeps and the ending with all the dead bodies from various races really confirmed the sinister nature of it.
Also what is good is the continuity from "Minefield" and the dialogue about needing more discipline between Reed and Archer, Reed's leg injury. Too bad TOS didn't have more continuity from one episode to the next.
Anyhow, this episode brings a really cool concept - although a bit beyond the realm of what's believable. It's AI gone wild with its own purpose.
It's 3/4 stars for me given the originality (by ENT standards) of the episode and evoking a feeling of suspense, not answering all the questions and a cool explosion scene at the end with the station trying to repair itself. Good episode.
Sun, Oct 1, 2017, 4:07pm (UTC -5)
A station liker this just 84 hours away at Warp 2 is a pretty fortunate happenstance, high price tag or not.
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 10:05am (UTC -5)
I loved when Archer yells at both Tripp and Reed...just to admit that he wants to know what they've seen, a few seconds later. I laughed a lot!

And I found clever something I also felt on Silent Enemy: when Reed &Trip skip a bit of the captain's orders, they're actually right. They aren't dumb rulebreakers, but senior officers, because: a) they are very skilled on their duty, and b) if they break their duty it's only to face the right questions.
This explains why they are senior officers: because they never disobey without a really good reason. Good touch.
Fri, Nov 10, 2017, 1:34pm (UTC -5)
Anyone else notice that the “panel” that Trip pulls out to get into the cooling ducts of the alien space station looks like your garden variety home air filter you buy at Home Depot or Target.
Sat, Jan 27, 2018, 11:11pm (UTC -5)
Jammer would you agree that even though the basic idea of sentient AI has been done before, the premise e of this episode is pretty original sci fi? At least somewhat unconventional and creative...
Thu, May 31, 2018, 10:38am (UTC -5)
"Problem #2: Okay, so they're going to kill a character. How many people in the audience aren't going to expect a resurrection of the character when he's a member of the principal cast?"

There was always Tasha Yar ;-)
Tue, Aug 21, 2018, 9:05pm (UTC -5)
The last scene reminded me of the end of Steven King's "Christine" where the car is crushed into a cube at the scrap yard but in the very last moment it starts repairing itself. I agree with the other posts wondering about how the station could do that with the computer, power and everything else destroyed. It was creepy but also very silly.
Tue, Sep 18, 2018, 9:21pm (UTC -5)
3 stars

A definite highlight of season two. Mike Sussman was definitely the best writer the show has. He was actually a fan who could also write. I’d have liked his outings to have had a bit more imagination and inventiveness when it came to payoffs rather than the standby that his episodes employed but he had potential with better head writers
Loved the sff feel of episode. The mystery was intriguing too bad we ended up with reveal that bodies taken to simply augment the computer processing. Been there done that. Was hoping for something a little more original.

Like the little details such as the prequel
Appropriate inclusion of a tellarite, the station damage report including the inspection pod scrape and squeak in archers ready room

I’m not a fan of open-ended mysteries. I think they’re lazy so i was Disappointed we didn’t find out who built station and why. And if the computer evolved to kidnap guests or constructed to do that.
Liked the way the Mayweather clone was discovered via the earlier vaccination

The escape was exciting The final scene was perfect.
Mon, Feb 11, 2019, 9:48am (UTC -5)
My speculation after seeing this episode is that the Breen (known in DS9 for being rather mysterious to outsiders, and for their extensive skills for freezing and refrigerating things) were the ones who built the station, and that they'd built it specifically to gather information about potential future rivals and enemies in the Alpha Quadrant by downloading information from their computers and collecting a further "hidden fee" by stealing a member of their crew for a kind of virtual vivisection. The station's very real capacity for rapidly repairing ships is what it uses to lure potential victims (though I imagine the Breen have some kind of backdoor code for when they need one of their ships repaired so that the station doesn't try to steal any of their crew). Of course, they also programmed the computer to "play dumb" and ignore any questions they wouldn't want it to answer by insisting it doesn't know what the inquirer is asking.

As to how the station could be putting itself together again at the end, my suspicion is that it never really *needed* that neural network to function; the network was merely a convenient way for it to get itself some extra processing power from its victims' wetware while waiting for the Breen to come pick them up for transport home and further study. Also, the reason the Federation didn't send any ships to attack that station later and shut it down for good (at least so far as we know) is that Archer and his crew figured they'd already done so. It's not as if they stuck around long enough to see that chilling final scene in which the station starts pulling itself back together.
Sat, Mar 9, 2019, 11:01pm (UTC -5)
Very good episode, weird, spooky at times, decent action and pace.
Mon, Apr 8, 2019, 9:36am (UTC -5)
I'm left with two things: 1) if the station could perfectly replicate Mayweather, why not simply replicate humanoids for the computing power? So there had to be another reason. 2) No one in this thread picked up on T'pals wet, near to cry, eyes in the last few second of the episode? This is on the heels of the very stoic Coal Creek. She clearly embodies her ancestor up to the last scene where she connects with a very sentimental purse. Why of all things did she bring a purse with her on the journey. It's value is only personal. This whole series is really about T'Pal evolving from a non emotional, distrusting, bigoted Vulcan. She is wholly subservient to the Science directorate- even in light of overwhelming evidence to a relatable trusting individual -- she becomes human.
Mon, Apr 8, 2019, 11:07am (UTC -5)
Hey Jerry,

1) It couldn't replicate a functionng brain. It could only replicate a dead one.
2) It's "T'Pol"... just went through the screen caps, it doesn't support your observation. Also, the previous episode is "Carbon Creek".

"Why of all things did she bring a purse with her on the journey." It's very personnal to her... her great grandmother obviously had a huge impact on her and peaked her interesting in human's. She was probably resposible for T'Pol serving on a star ship full of humans.

"This whole series is really about T'Pal evolving from a non emotional, distrusting, bigoted Vulcan. She is wholly subservient to the Science directorate- even in light of overwhelming evidence to a relatable trusting individual -- she becomes human."

You obviously aren't watching 'Enterprise'. She learns to tollerate humans but she's never been bigoted and her dedication to her ship and Captain were always impeccable.
Mon, Mar 30, 2020, 9:37pm (UTC -5)
The station AI will eventually be recruited by the Think Tank! It was probably just a prop re-use, but I can imagine a cool story of the AI's evolution from a body snatching creep repair station, into a creep member of the Think Tank.
Fri, Jul 17, 2020, 7:27pm (UTC -5)
Given how advanced the ship is, I wouldn't be surprised if it could move on its own.

It _was_ a coincidence that after drifting along at Warp 2 for a relatively short while, they stumble across this magical repair-topia.

This is just conjecture of course, but it would also explain why Starfleet never investigated afterward. The repair ship has simply moved on.
Mon, Aug 24, 2020, 9:45am (UTC -5)
"which is 3 degrees above absolute zero; can any computer really function at that temperature?)"

See: quantum computing requirements.
Sun, Aug 30, 2020, 12:38pm (UTC -5)
Jammer you say the revelation at the end was foreseeable, but don't you think it was very surprising and orginal also..not something we've seen before in Trek or most other sci fi? What does everyone else think?
James Band
Thu, Sep 3, 2020, 2:37pm (UTC -5)
PHENOMENAL episode. 4 stars, or at least 3.8 stars.

I just realised that it's B'elanna's voice playing the computer. It was very cool to see future technology of the Federation at work. Great space station.

I liked that it was able to repair the ship the way it did. I'd have rather not had the "stealing people" plot though. I found it was a bit confusing on first viewing, though now I understand it was trying to increase computing power using the power of the organic cortex. However, perhaps that would be better served by the Station requesting one person in return, or something to join it similar to the "Think Tank" in Voyager.

I thought that Trip and Reed should have been demoted after such stupidity. They were violating the agreement that they had entered into.

It was very cool to see this "AI" station and how it operated. Rather scary that it was repairing itself at the end. Frightful.

Perhaps a plot line could have been added that this was an ancient Iconian station, and various species were also trying to lay claim to it to possess its technology.
HK Star Trek
Fri, Nov 13, 2020, 9:23pm (UTC -5)
Enterprise so far has been below par. Although it is great to see that the Universal Translator is a work-in-progress & can't always be relied upon during this time period.

Circling back to this episode, I thought Dead Stop was pretty good. Not just imaginative & creative, but also eerie. The setup and reveal of this mysterious repair station was executed very well and I like that they maintained the sense of mystery all the way.

Easily one of the best episodes so far, and I agree with earlier comments about it being perfect as a Voyager episode.
Sean J Hagins
Fri, Nov 27, 2020, 11:34pm (UTC -5)
Very good episode! Maybe I am morbid, but if I were Mayweather, the first thing I would have asked is to see my lifeless replica!

Anyway, I love that the station still has mysteries (who built it, and why) It really doesn't make sense to open a repair bay just to steal a member of each crew. Maybe some alien race who wants to study different races?

It was neat seeing the station repair itself at the end. I don't think this was ever touched on again, but I could be wrong
Sat, Feb 6, 2021, 3:08pm (UTC -5)
If it appears too good to be true, then it is. Why does every star fleet captain fall prey to these types of traps? Enjoyed this episode. I didn't think they exposed Enterprise to advanced tech too quickly. Earth is new to the galaxy, the galaxy is not new, this tech should exist in some civilizations.
Sat, Feb 13, 2021, 5:07am (UTC -5)
Almighty Archer still quite fresh into space makes it his job to answer every distress call and be self righteous all through the quadrant can't stand the fact that he has to ask for help, that's hilarious. His ego is too big for his own good.

Otherwise this was a interesting and unique episode. Nice concept, visuals and suspense. After so many Trek plots it's hard to come up with something new. I like how the previous episode ties into this one's plot. Continuity isn't a must but it's always nice to see.

And another thing, DAMN Travis hiding all that body under that uniform. Ok, I'm done.
Frake's Nightmare
Mon, Feb 22, 2021, 11:19am (UTC -5)
Maybe they could have just traded Tucker in for a contract payment - then they would never had to worry about repairs and his slow ass team ?
Sat, May 1, 2021, 2:10pm (UTC -5)
The Enterprise crew are surprised by the replicator but not by the transporter, because, of course, they have a transporter themselves, but not a replicator. One would think, isn't that backwards? Isn't a replicator just the "printer" half of a transporter?

No it isn't! According to quantum physics it is easier to transport quantum information than it is to replicate it. In fact it is impossible to replicate quantum information exactly, but transporting it has already been demonstrated today. So weird as it may seem, I think ENT got it right with the crew being surprised by the replication technology on the repair station.

= = = =

The pure-white station and the passionless computer voice together creating a sinister effect was seen before in 2001: A Space Odyssey. It is used well in this episode.

= = = =

I liked that the mystery wasn't completely solved. I imagine the station evolved to its present status. It obviously accepted payments for its own upkeep. When it realized its computer needed repairs, it began demanding crew personnel. When it met with resistance from its customers, it began to hide the fact that there was another secret payment involved. I can imagine a self-evolved AI to be sociopathic like that. It has no real sense of sentient morality. All it is doing is keeping itself alive by trading.
Mon, Sep 13, 2021, 10:51am (UTC -5)
I with others that this was an entertaining hour of Enterprise that worked well, despite its overall implausibility. It's nice once in a while for Trek to veer towards a more eerie and perhaps traditionally hard sci-fi plot. But that decision was not without its problems. I agree with the general sentiment that this would have worked better as an episode of Voyager. A Delta Quadrant setting makes a lot more sense if the origins of the species that build the repair station are somehow going to remain a mystery, and its technology is somehow going to remain inaccessible to the major powers we know about for another two centuries.

There was a reviewer 'Z' in February 2021 who stated that the new tech was not out of place, because the Galaxy is not new (only Earth is). I agree in principle that tech much more advanced than the Vulcans' should exist *somewhere* in the Milky Way due to the presence of civilizations millions of years older than our own. What I take issue with is that technology being so readily available, not just in the Alpha Quadrant, but essentially a stone's throw from Earth. And I'm not simply referring to the repair station (which may have been thought to have been destroyed, explaining no follow-up by Starfleet). Heck, a throwaway line from T'Pol suggests that she saw matter replication technology similar to the repair station's, but on a Tarkalean *freighter*. There's pretty good evidence that the Tarkaleans are fairly ubiquitous species, considering that everyone's constantly going around sipping Tarkalean tea by the time the TNG era rolls around. The point being: everything we've seen so far on 'Enterprise' makes it impossible to reconcile the fact that replicators, holodecks, (and perhaps cloaking devices, Treaty of Algeron notwithstanding) aren't standard-issue tech on Federation starships by the time of TOS. This episode "Dead Stop" is just another example of the advanced tech (particularly of the Suliban) that pervades the series, making it impossible to take it seriously as a TOS prequel (and making it nearly unwatchable for me). So no, Z. The new tech is definitely out of place, for the era and context (i.e. for this particular stellar neighbourhood).

Of course, the previous episode, "Minefield", was much more egregious than "Dead Stop" when it came to violating established TOS Canon. In the 2150s, the Romulans shouldn't have had warp drive, let alone cloaking tech and Birds of Prey that look far more advanced than their counterparts from 100 years later. TOS "Balance of Terror" made it clear that the BOP was a completely new class of vessel unknown to Starfleet, that its cloaking technology was also a surprise, and that it could only travel under impulse power. Given that the Earth-Romulan war took place completely with *audio-only* subspace radio communication (so that no one new until Balance of Terror that the Romulans looked Vulcanoid), I think it would make more sense if we Enterprise used the Romulans sparingly, and didn't even reveal their name until the Earth-Romulan War began. I seem to recall that either the Star Trek Chronology or the Star Trek Encyclopedia had an example of what potential 22nd century Romuan warships looked like, and they were much clunkier than the TOS BOP. I wish they had gone with something like that. (But the Klingons of this era already have a freakin' K'Tinga, so stupidity in depiction of ship classes on Enterprise is not limited to the Romulans).
Tue, Feb 1, 2022, 3:10pm (UTC -5)
I thought the station with all those different people kidnapped and connected to the computer might have been the beginning of the Borg.
Sun, May 15, 2022, 12:37am (UTC -5)
Isnthe premise oft his episode ORIGINAL..Jammer calls the revelation foreseeable..but is it?

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