Star Trek: Enterprise


3 stars.

Air date: 10/15/2003
Written by Phyllis Strong
Directed by Roxann Dawson

"Son of a bitch!" — Trip, as the shuttlepod floats away

Review Text

In brief: Quite respectable, although not transcendent.

"Exile" is a tale of two lonely people — one far lonelier than the other, although the other might be more lonely than she would ever admit to anyone, including herself. The concept reminded me somewhat of Voyager's third-season outing "Alter Ego," in which an alien taps into a holodeck character and through virtual reality becomes enamored with Tuvok. That episode might be more relatable to the real world, since the Internet has turned many of us into virtual conversationalists. "Exile" has more extreme (and ultimately less relatable, since it's clearly a fantasy) implications, because here an alien is able to tap directly into Ensign Sato's mind and read her thoughts.

With all due respect to my guilt-inducing three-star award to last week's all-execution, no-content "Impulse," the hour that is "Exile" is a much better, more rounded, more respectable three-star-rated episode, with actual storytelling and characters and advancement of the larger story arc ... and yet still only a three-star show. Funny how that works. This show is in no danger of transcending its material, although the material itself is clearly better than that in "Impulse."

I guess I have a soft spot for Hoshi. She's probably this series' most down-to-earth character, and seems like someone whom not only might you actually meet in the real world, but would want to. She's a real person with a real-world mix of vulnerability and strength (although she's certainly more brilliant than most when it comes to linguistics), and when there's a show focusing on her (all too rare, I would argue), you can be reasonably certain it will be a worthy character outing and not simply a testosterone-fest where people are thrown into holding cells and then freed in convoluted firefights. "Exile" plays like a throwback of sorts to kinder, gentler Trek, when manners could actually triumph over action sequences, rather than the other way around.

In "Exile," Hoshi is contacted by a telepathic alien who lives a life of seclusion on a desolate world. His mansion stands tall among a landscape of mountains and windy nothingness. The alien's name is Tarquin (Maury Sterling), who first appears on the Enterprise to Hoshi in her mind, leading to a series of familiar Hoshi-themed scenes pointing in the direction of That Darn Hoshi Is Imagining Things Again. These scenes remind us of similar scenes in "Vanishing Point" (a vastly underrated episode, in my opinion), where the only person convinced that something strange is happening here is the victim herself. These scenes are thankfully brief, and not overplayed, allowing us to quickly move forward with the story.

Meanwhile, sensors detect another storm of violent anomalies like the one encountered in "Anomaly," only stronger this time around. T'Pol runs a vector analysis of the distortion fields, or however the technical explanation goes (I draw the line at revisiting technical dialog), which indicates that the mysterious man-made sphere found in "Anomaly" — theorized as the source of the anomalies in that episode — might have a nearby sibling. This is an interesting discovery that plays as good continuity, and it should be noted that the jargon and computer graphics used to explain the discovery come across as straightforward, sensible, and refreshingly plausible. Captain Archer's response to T'Pol's discovery is a genuinely refreshing dose of understated excitement; he's able to show some enthusiasm in seeing a possible piece of the puzzle slide into place. It's nice to see his tone lightened when appropriate.

So the Enterprise briefly detours away from its new destination of this sphere to stop by Tarquin's planet. Tarquin has told Hoshi that he may be able to use his telepathic powers to help the Enterprise crew find the Xindi's homeworld (and, indeed, what he ultimately finds — a colony where part of The Weapon might be under construction — keeps the plot arc moving forward). Tarquin, however, has a very specific interest in Hoshi, and makes it a condition that she remain as his guest while he conducts his telepathic Google search. Meanwhile, the Enterprise ventures ahead to investigate the sphere.

At the crux of "Exile" is that Tarquin, who has been reading Hoshi's mind for several days, has come to know her quite intimately, leaving Hoshi at an extremely uncomfortable disadvantage. Tarquin knows things that she has never admitted to anyone. Furthermore, Tarquin is actually looking for a new companion; after years of loneliness (his previous companions have died of old age), and centuries of exile from a population that expels its telepathic minority, he has found Hoshi, whom he says has a "unique mind."

This begs the question: Isn't Tarquin's telepathic invasion of Hoshi's privacy ... well, just plain creepy? Let me tell you: If someone were reading my thoughts at will and knew things that I'd never confessed to anyone, I'd feel extremely violated, even if it was by a really attractive person who said she wanted to sleep with me (which, by the way, Tarquin is not). Much has been made of this story's "Beauty and the Beast" parallel, but that's not really much of an issue here (aside from Tarquin's seclusion and the fact that he has a nice dining room setup).

It is perhaps a measure of the story's civility, performances, and direction that we accept Tarquin's telepathic invasions at the level that Hoshi does — one of mild, rather than massive, discomfort.

Tarquin, as performed by Sterling, comes across as a well-intended but desperate man in need of a cure to his loneliness. Despite Michael Westmore's intentionally extreme makeup design, we never see Tarquin in anything but emotionally human terms — which is the point here. Given his powers and his predicament, Tarquin is as restrained and benign as he probably can be under the circumstances — and while he becomes aggressive in his attempts to persuade Hoshi to stay with him, he never pushes so far as to turn completely unsympathetic. Hopelessly unrealistic, yes — but not unsympathetic. (Although, the way he threatens the Enterprise at the end is probably pushing us to the limits of our sympathy; I could've done without the jeopardy notion altogether.)

What's also interesting here is that the episode gets into Hoshi's own personal feelings, which Tarquin cites in his efforts to convince her that he has something to offer her. It would seem that Hoshi is somewhat self-isolated; she doesn't feel that she's truly understood by many people and as a result is somewhat closed-off. Linda Park turns in a good performance in an episode where Hoshi listens far more than she's required to take action. She is patient and careful with Tarquin even in the face of what must be sheer awkwardness — sort of like being on a date with someone you are desperately waiting for the right opportunity to feed the line, "Let's just be friends."

It's perhaps worth noting, however, that the episode doesn't venture as far as it could've and perhaps should've. For all of Tarquin's dialog about Hoshi's repressed feelings, Hoshi herself is mostly silent on the subject. I'd have welcomed a reflective coda aboard the ship where Hoshi talks about all this, but we don't get it; the episode would rather scratch the surface of Hoshi's character without venturing too deep into her feelings. It's a bit of a shame. But even though we don't reach quite a satisfactory conclusion, the interaction between Hoshi and Tarquin works because of solid performances. Scenes like the dinner-table scene between Hoshi and this alien-looking but human-seeming person are the types of conceptual scenes that Star Trek is known for.

The B-story also works, and turns out to be of significant story-arc interest. Tucker equips a shuttlepod with Trellium shielding, permitting Archer and Tucker to investigate the sphere in a region where the unprotected Enterprise cannot venture. A mishap disables the shuttle's sensors and forces them to land on the sphere to make quick repairs.

This prompts an admittedly irrelevant but nevertheless great scene that's kind of brilliant in a Three Stooges kind of way. Trying to fix the sensors, Trip inadvertently triggers a thruster on the landed shuttlepod, which then begins to lift away from the surface of the sphere as Trip and Archer look on with surprise. They must then shoot down the shuttle by knocking out the thruster with a phaser beam. My thinking was: This is something I haven't seen before. It's a thoroughly fresh and amusing take on the uh-oh situation, warranting the best yet invocation of the Tuckerian exclamation, "Son of a bitch!" — which pretty much says exactly what needs to be said, and in the best way one could've said it.

T'Pol's subsequent analysis of the shuttle data indicates that these spheres are a part of a vast network of at least 50 spheres throughout the expanse. This conclusion in turn leads to the inevitable and sensible theory that perhaps the entire Delphic Expanse was artificially created by these things. And since this is the prequel to a Star Trek where the Delphic Expanse apparently does not exist, one could conclude that this series will at some point document how the spheres are turned off and the expanse is effectively dismantled. That, I must say, is a pretty neat story idea, with clues set up nicely here and in "Anomaly." Now all they have to do is execute it.

"Exile" represents a good balance between standalone storytelling and advancement of the ongoing story arc. Both story threads work on their own and within the larger context. If "Extinction" was an example of how not to plot this season of Enterprise, then "Exile" is an example of being on the right track.

Next week: A rerun of "The Xindi," and thus a week for me to slack off already.

Previous episode: Impulse
Next episode: The Shipment

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Comment Section

52 comments on this post

    The only thing that irritated me about this episode (as well as so many others) is the lack of Mayweather doing anything. As the pilot, don't you think HE should have piloted the shuttle on such a dangerous mission? I don't know how Anthony Montgomery managed to stay with the series for 4 years with the utter nothing he was given to do. I can only think the paycheck was awfully nice.


    He didnt get paid and all footage of him is of the time he thought he was gonna get paid.

    He resigned when it was clear he was never getting any payment.

    Thats why he has nothing to do,there simply isnt enough material and they had to strecht the little they had for over 4 years.


    I liked this episode because Linda Park is the sexiest woman in all the Star Trek series. Just one man's opinion. :-)

    The shuttle pod starting to take off on its own and leaving Trip and Archer on the sphere was brilliant. It's the sort of thing I would likely do if I lived in the Star Trek world.

    "...because Linda Park is the sexiest woman in all the Star Trek series"

    She looks like a 12 yo, whatever floats your boat I guess. Seven of Nine for me, that's a woman (and Jeri Ryan is an awesome actress).

    This episode was throwing off a very strong Beauty and the Beast vibe (each term being relative of course) and it worked for me. I always find it such a disturbing idea if someone could read my thoughts. 99.9% of the things people conjure up in their brains wouldn't be appropriate to be known publicly. Heck sometimes the things I think even scare me and I say to myself "Where the hell did that come from?!"

    I very much enjoyed this episode, I’d go 3.5 stars for Exile. Since Hoshi is my fave it’s no surprise but the story, execution, and the guest star were all very good. Phlox is my 2nd fave on Enterprise so his scene as Tarquin with Hoshi in sick bay was tops for me! I liked that Tarquin was actually pretty dang ugly which precluded any typical physical attraction between him and Hoshi - he was all about company and love. The Dracula-style castle and sets were excellent - Enterprise really nails that stuff well most of the time. Seeing more about Hoshi’s background was cool and I think Linda Park again pulled off a very believable performance; she just seems very natural. I didn’t mind the b-story at all and the effects were neat. Sure, that sphere wouldn’t normally make enough gravity to pull the shuttle pod back the way it did but come on, this is the Expanse! It’s crazy physics in there. It was obvious that something was up with Tarquin but they played it out well. Maury Sterlin did an excellent job communicating his loneliness and slowly revealing his true intent. I thought Hoshi’s show down with him worked well and it was nice to see a conflict resolved without the typical pew-pew action sequence in Act 4. My only regret about the episode is the very last scene with Hoshi reporting to Archer about the info Tarquin just gave her. It was all about the data and moving on to the next episode. I’d rather had something more character oriented like in Battlestar Galactica; e.g. Hoshi comes in with a distance look on her face, hands the pad to Archer, doesn’t answer Archer’s questions, walks back to her quarters and picks up the alien book and fade to black. Put more focus on Hoshi and what she just experienced instead of “here’s the data, next episode please!” But this isn’t BSG though for Enterprise it was a darn good, character focused episode.

    I also kept thinking Beauty and the Beast. Hoshi is a natural beauty and so is Travis. I am glad Hoshi got another story but I am very annoyed when there are only a glimpse or two of Travis.

    One of the reasons my enjoyment of Voyager dropped was because of Seven. Her character was great as well as her acting but the catsuit had to go. Then Enterprise does the same thing with T'Pol catsuit which became more colorful as if the grey wasn't attention grabbing enough. The show became the Seven of Nine show and Enterprise seems to be the T'Pol show.

    I don't blame the actors. I am not sure what the writers, directors, and producers were thinking with this show.

    Trying to finish out the series since I made it this far.

    Wow, he uh... really comes across as quite a creep. I can understand his loneliness, poor guy, and the desperation that comes with it but he definitely needs to find less.. creepy ways if he wants to entice someone to be his life-long companion!

    His place reminded me of Trelane's in TOS.

    Nice to see Hoshi get a story (and I was kind of hoping she might retain some telepathy, give her something interesting to do apart from translate) and wonderful to learn so much about her... it's really helped to flesh her out. But unfortunately Travis remains a complete unknown apart from his cargo freighter history.

    An entertaining hour, and also liking that there's some progress with the arc.

    The problem with the kind of story arc progression we're getting so far this season is that it's more neat than deep. It's like slowly placing pieces of a puzzle rather than actually developing anything or progressing characters.

    With the A story, I like what they were going for with lonely alien and Hoshi but it just falls flat for me.

    I love that mind-reader dude cannot figure out the right things to say to Hoshi. If you could read someone's mind you'd think you'd know what they want to hear and mount a more persuasive argument. The story gives Hoshi and no reason to stay on the planet with this guy, relegating the drama to Voyager-like irrelevance.

    Also nice how Hoshi realises pretty early on that this dude is creepy and may be interested in her yet decides to throw on a skimpy dress and heels.

    2 stars.

    I think his mind-reading abilities weren't nearly 100%. That's why she didn't feel extremely violated and why he didn't know all the right things to say to her.

    What was up with her choice of outfits? She knows this guy fancies her. She's has to spend the night at his house for work. It's weird that she would bring sexy outfits and nightclothes. The situation was uncomfortable to begin with, but she escalated it. I can't understand why she got out of uniform.

    Not a bad episode.

    >> I don't blame the actors. I am not sure what the writers, directors, and producers were thinking with this show.

    >> I can't understand why she got out of uniform.

    The producers were clearly selling sex on this show (and the later Voyager) which was just dumb. But even the original series had sexy girls, you say? Yes. And that was dumb too. Clearly, this approach didn't help either series.

    >> She looks like a 12 yo girl


    Lonely guy with a creepy interest in asian women? That's a Star Trek fan alright, although the alien is better looking and smelling.

    The episode wasn't that interesting, but my mind was blown when I realized that handsome Maury Sterling was not only the human "projection" but also the guy underneath all that makeup. Quite a difference!

    And I guess this is as good a place as any to say that I hate the new version of the theme. As the show gets darker, the theme gets peppier? Mmmkay.

    It's not hard to find distinction between two three star might be a 2.8 and the other a 3.2.

    Do people not realise that Mayweather got relegated to an extra because HE CAN'T ACT?? Look at the cheesy pudding of a scene where he appealed to the freighter commander in that Season 1 ep. He delivered it with the dramatic flair of a Chockablock narrator. In fact, every time he speaks you can hear the Chockablock theme playing. His best performance was in Dead Stop when he was dead. Why do people talk about his character like he was some kind of cosmic key who would have fixed the show?

    Anyway: Linda Park is a much better actor, her character has shown minor signs of development and there just seems to be more that the writers can do with her. I agree that Tarquin is presented in a creepy way and there is no way Archer would have let Hoshi stay with him, nor would Hoshi have any reason to do so, especially not if she had to do it with her legs out.

    That said, yet again this is an episode which builds a good atmosphere, it's just a shame Tarquin came across so badly as it made the events of the episode seem forced.

    Good episode. I was also reminded quite a bit of Beauty and the Beast, particularly at the beginning. As the episode moved along, it ultimately went in another direction.

    Archer: If it's there, how far is it?
    T'Pol: About 75,000 kilometers
    Reed: Pfft! Might as well be 75,000 light years!

    A subtle hat tip to Voyager there? That's how far from home they were at the beginning of the series.

    I'm a Hoshi fan, so 3.5* from me on this one! But I kept thinking "Phantom of the Opera" all the way through it, not "Beauty and the Beast."

    If Mayweather can't act, then they should have just kept him around for window dressing. We've seen MUCH more of Archer and Trip's bare torso than Mayweather's....and more's the pity.

    Linda Park was strong again as Hoshi. Jammer gets it right on the money that Park's down-to-earth portrayal of Hoshi makes her one of the series most popular and likable characters... though ultimately underused. I was expecting Tarquin to tell her not to go outside because it's forbidden a la the beast. The first half had strong elements of B&B but eventually headed down another path. Made no sense to have Hoshi wear skimpy clothing when the character would have known it would be dangerous to do so in such a precarious and solitary situation. I don't think Archer should have left her down there alone in any case, and that's even if it were a male crew member. Security protocols for landing parties are there for a reason, you can't just through away a crew member, especially one as critical to the mission as Hoshi, because they might get information from an alien.

    I agree with Jammer that if the 50 spheres revelation leads to a master artificial design of the Expanse that gets dismantled conclusion, then I'll be happy for continuity's sake and it would make sense then that we had never heard of it before. Let's see what happens...
    2.25 stars for this episode.

    Reading comments in the Enterprise reviews specifically...I did not realize that so many Trek fans were apparently Puritans. And for being Puritans, you all sure do a great job of unnecessarily sexualizing everything you're watching. How dare they show people wearing clothes they're comfortable in when off-duty! People surely don't do that in real life!!

    Yes there were a few juvenile "tee-hee" moments in this series but not nearly to the extent it's made out to be. Sometimes a cigar is, in fact, just a cigar. I guess I just tend to find enjoyment in things because I'm not in a constant state of sexualizing everything I see.

    Great - A Hoshi episode.


    Still undecided if the problem is a crap character or a crap actress.

    Probably a bit of both.

    1 star.

    I thought after last time's unusual full horror outing that this was going to develop into a full on psychological drama initially, what with all of the directorial tricks. But it didn't, and we actually got something (lonely alien seeks companion) that almost feels like a TOS episode. And a pretty flat one at that.

    I do like the increased continuity - references to previous episodes are made without context, which at least feels like we're part of a bigger story - and the 50-sphere revelation at the end was a good moment, but the B-story never offered anything else and to me there wasn't much to the A-story either. 2 stars.

    I agree somewhat with Jammer's desire to not have the short jeopardy scene in the alien's last ditch effort to make Hoshi stay. However, it's not the scene itself that bugs me its the fact that (unless I missed something) this alien inexplicably shuts down all the power on enterprise with no explanation of how he's able to accomplish this.

    I'm really trying to like season three of ENT, but by now I can't help feel that the goodwill and promise created by the season premise, and the excellent 'Anomaly' has been largely frittered away by four successive substandard episodes.

    This isn't BAD. I didn't skip it on re-run after the opening scenes, like a Grand Negus episode of DS9 or a Troi's mother episode of TNG - but the main story, like a couple of others lately, was just unremarkable and irrelevant to the main plot, or at very best contrived as a vehicle for the story arc while mainly providing padding.

    This is the main problem: the bits of the episode which were actually intrinsically germane to the main story arc are relegated to the episode's B-story. If the episode had been mainly about the Enterprise hunting for the second sphere and subsequent discoveries, with a B-story about Hoshi's telepathic contact with an alien (or anything, really) things may have gone a lot better.

    I'm now sadly coming to the conclusion that B&B went into this season under-prepared; that the concept was thrown together near the end of season 2 and not thought through in enough detail to permit the season premise to directly occupy sufficient screentime. Babylon 5 this ain't.

    Funny, I have seen this before, and my recollection was that this season was a big improvement. Maybe that's still to come, or maybe I'm thinking of season four. But at the moment, on second viewing, it seems to me that far too much time is being wasted on filler which is either non-essential (this episode) or utterly irrelevant ('Extinction').

    BTW I was just flicking through channels and caught a preview of an episode of 'Malcolm in the Middle', which drove home to me how glad I am Enterprise exists, even when I'm laying into it.

    Cue the Disney ballad. "Hoshi must remain..." Yikes! red flag red flag red flag

    This is a more interesting outing than 'Impulse', but it's still not particularly deep. The writing is dull and predictable, but Linda Park does an admirable job with what she's given. Maury Sterling sounds like he's struggling to speak clearly through the mask and makeup, but otherwise he does a good job of portraying the awkward exile desperate for companionship. The biggest cliche (aside from the resemblance to 'Beauty and the Beast') comes along after Hoshi refuses to stay, with a sinister Captain Archer who's obviously not the real deal; I'm surprised it took Hoshi more than 30 seconds to catch on. At least Tarquin isn't completely nuts and so Hoshi, with the leverage of the orb, is able to reason with him. Two and a half stars.

    Lupe makes a good point above; the season DOES seem to be frittering away its potential after a mostly promising start. I've yet to see anything since 'Anomaly' that engages me on a level I would expect from a Star Trek series. I can handle pedestrian storytelling; I put up with plenty of that during Voyager ... for a year or so, anyway. What's really getting on my nerves is the cheesecake. As a man, I don't particularly object to seeing attractive women in silky outfits, but as a Star Trek viewer, I don't need to see that. It's not the reason I'm watching the show and I don't believe for a second that Hoshi would dress like that while staying with some creepy alien she barely knows. Even more so than during Voyager, UPN seemed to think every week was sweeps week and they had to showcase a half-naked woman to grab attention. It's okay now and again, but when they do it in practically every episode it gets old fast. Despite the new storyline, ENT still looks like a series that's drifting in network limbo with no particular reason to exist except that "Star Trek shows get high ratings, so let's do another one."

    Decent episode that doesn't go gung-ho on the action scenes and that has a good A/B plot structure. Hoshi episodes can be more about feelings and emotions -- she's an interesting character, brilliant but vulnerable, tough but also down-to-Earth.

    Tarquin's mind-reading is definitely creepy, Hoshi gets pissed off about it but not to the extent that I think she should. Surprised Archer doesn't get a testosterone overload and try and intimidate Tarquin only to return with his tail between his legs.

    Predictable that the exiled Tarquin would try to convince Hoshi to stay with him. In a way, he reminds me of Flint in "Requiem for Methusalah" with his palatial mansion and old artifacts. Maybe he should learn to build android women. Hoshi wandering around with minimal clothing won't help her cause in his palace.

    Of course Tarquin is a tragic figure, but with incredible capabilities. Clever that Hoshi got his magic crystal ball and put an end to his shenanigans, otherwise the Enterprise would be screwed.

    Trip/Archer spend some time in the shuttlepod goofing around on the sphere in a minimal B plot. But the important thing is all this intelligence gathering gets them to the conclusion that the whole expanse with its anomalies was artificially constructed with like 50 spheres. That's a pretty cool thing to consider for what aliens have created. ENT is dreaming big with this season-long arc, so that much is good.

    2.5 stars for "Exile" -- bit of an unusual episode for ENT with the Tarquin A-plot being a good character exposition for Hoshi. The B-plot is more standard ENT advancing the main arc but with an intriguing conclusion that builds up the scope or scale of what the Enterprise is up against, so that's good.

    There were undertones of the worst aspects of online dating in this episode - meeting someone based on limited information who has done way too much research on you, lied about their appearance, and treats their loneliness as an excuse for ignoring your wishes.

    Oh and everyone who says that Hoshi is 'escalating' the situation through her clothing - please stop it. People's bodies are their own, to dress as suits them. No outfit makes a person act badly. Tarquin's creepy behaviour is entirely on him.

    A reasonable episode, although I found Hoshi holding the crystal orb hostage rather amusing... would the alien not keep something as valuable as that safe? Or agree to let her go back, then when she put the orb down simply change his mind? lol

    Fine episode, in everything. Except...
    ... Things just became a bit too much when telepathic talents were not enough for Tarquin and had to be added storywise by sort of demi-god powers, as to switch off all energy on a ship in orbit.

    A guy with such capabilities and no ambition to take over the ship Archer should make one of his crew members, a win-win-win situation indeed:
    (1) Tarquin no longer lonely and has some adventure
    (2) Archer gains a joker card working by telepathy and super powers for the mission and maybe beyond (alien lives for hundreds of years)
    (3) Hoshi finds time on board to learn to appreciate his character just as he does hers. Without the dire circumstances of the creepy hideout on the planet. I think she was not rejected by his looks, more by his infiltration and obtrusion. He is quick to apologize and withdraw, so there is something to play with....
    Just some ideas. :) And for whatever reason I don't miss Mayweather content.

    Finally, a solid Enterprise episode! Both the storyline and atmosphere reminded me of classic TOS!

    Here we have a powerful but very lonely alien (“Who Mourns for Adonis?”) by himself in a sort of Renaissance/Victorian castle (“Squire of Gothos”) and wanting desperately to win the live of an earthling who won’t be too put off by his possessive nature and the lack of privacy a psychic bond entails (the Companion from “Metamorphosis”). Of course, it’s all inspired by the classic tale of Beauty and the Beast, and the writers made it work within the developing Xindi storyline.

    On top of that, we get a story focused on Hoshi, who is an appealing character. I loved this one! It may not be strikingly original, but the pacing, atmosphere, and allusions to familiar stories I enjoyed all made for a very pleasant viewing experience.

    Good episode, creepy, but believable. The telepath stuff gives me the Heeby-Jeebies

    I already reviewed this nearly three years ago, and don't have much to add on my third trip through this series . I still feel that at this point of the season, with I think four meh episodes in a row they'd squandered the goodwill generated by the season concept, and the excellent 'Anomaly'. At least the next episode was a substantial improvement.

    But, this time as soon as I saw Tarquin I was certain it was the same actor who played Laas, the Changeling who tries to talk Odo into abandoning DS9 in 'Chimera'. I would probably still believe this had I not bothered to check.

    I'm afraid this episode finally tipped me over my limit in terms of how many times I can watch characters angrily tell other characters that "I didn't imagine it". They're in a completely uncharted part of the universe where ships disappear into invisible pockets of space and gravity switches around in localised areas - just assume that your crewmate is right, for goodness' sake.

    The guy who said Hoshi looks like a 12 year old girl is a creepy weirdo. What the Hell does he think 12 year old girls look like? He shouldnt be allowed around children.

    Just once, I would like to see an actual helpful alien on this show that isn't a bit twisted. I vaguely remembered the alien in a castle by himself, but I forgot almost the entire plot of the episode, and his backstory. It would have been nice if he wasn't so manipulative to Hoshi.

    But then again, Hoshi's attitude toward him was standoffish even before he showed this. Odd behaviour on both of them

    I think the expanse's perilous conditions are the one thing that to me save continuity. I mean, like the "Briar Patch" of Insurrection, I can see this sector of space not being mentioned before in the sense that why would someone go to it if it is so inhospitable. I like to tell people that I've been all over Canada in my travels. Now obviously, not every time, just like Starfleet would never travel every square meter of even Federation space-there's just to much of it (I mean empty space, not star systems). But still, when I say I've traveled all (most) of Canada, I don't mean Nunavut! Especially the northern islands! So, it is possible Starfleet has never been back here again (or has had a very limited travel thru it)

    **Note-like I said, it's been awhile since I've seen this. If the Expanse is cleared or destroyed or something before series finale, disregard all of that**

    One more thing: I don't understand how Tarquin can immobilise Enterprise. I mean, he can only contact very few people, Hoshi being one. And there was never mention of other powers, or of vast technology. So, how did he kill their systems? That is a big flaw for me.

    I also don't understand why people feel uncomfortable if their minds are read. I feel that if someone is doing nothing wrong, it doesn't matter. Actually, that might help some to curb bad thoughts!

    I read the comments, and I think rather than going over things piecemeal, I'll just give my overall impressions:

    --I don't think Tarquin lusted after Hoshi. It was more of a mind thing

    --I totally agree about Hoshi's inappropriate attire. But sadly, in the world we live in, it is seen as normal to dress immodestly (look at 7 of 9, and T'Pol-or honestly, look at the way people dress and carry themselves in real life), so it isn't surprising. I will be glad when this changes, but until then, I limit my tv viewing, and just have to endure it

    --I agree about Tarquin still being kind of a sympathetic character. I still think that the whole possessive issue could have been left out. And especially the Enterprise in danger threat. That didn't even seem to make sense. Actually, if he was lonely, a much better way of handling it would be to ask the Enterprise crew to take him with them.

    --I don't think Hoshi looks 12. Actually, besides Crewman Cutler, I think Hoshi is the prettiest girl on the show (and probably of all 5 shows that I can think of at the moment)

    --Someone mentioned Tucker's swearing. I have a program that eliminates bad words. If you want it, let me know!

    "Inappropriate Attire"

    "Bad Words"

    Tell me, @Sean J Hagins, are you a religitard, or just trolling to be one? Or just a precious oversensitive snowflake?

    This episode was written by Phyllis Strong and directed by Roxann Dawson--both women. I can't help but wonder if there was some personal experience being put to paper/film here. Tarquin is TOO hateable to have been created out of thin air; someone REAL inspired this character.

    I had not thought to connect this episode's theme with the real-world consequences of online dating. Very good catch, and more relevant today in 2021, given the rise of dating apps and social media, than it was when it first aired in 2003.

    Today, everyone posts their whole daily lives online to an obscene degree and with often no concept of basic security such as creating unique usernames for each social media platform. This can lead even an...ahem...halfway decent amateur sleuth who knows his way around Google to learn a great deal about almost anyone based on only a first name and a city of residence...much like having Tarquinesque "psychic powers" would. But I digress.

    Overall, the episode barely held my interest. It's only value (to me) was in the story lines that can connect to the modern world. I agree Tarquin is a weirdo/incel, and I found his attempts to make us empathize with him only made me despise him more. The confidence in his tone/demeanor when he confronts Hoshi with private information about when she almost left Enterprise early in its mission (and his attempts to connect her decision to stay on Enterprise with the situation he was placing her in) made me clench my jaw. Man, Strong/Dawson knew just what they were doing and who they were mocking with his character's flux between "socially awkward loner" and "overconfident stalker". Well done.

    Ultimately, though, for all his powers, Tarquin's been exiled by his society and ends up as alone at the end as he was at the beginning. All he has are his memories of past "successes". A cautionary tale for basement-dwelling redditors and beta males everywhere.

    It's always nice when the show holds up a mirror to the worst of their fan base. But will the fan base dare to take a good look?

    Jammer et al, I think you would.agree that the theory tjat the delphic expanse was created by the spheres.was NOT AT ALL.OBVIOUS or inevitable even in this episode or no sooner than that final.scene in this episode..and that it wad a very original and unpredictable revelation..Indeed,was I the only one who thought the first sphere reveled in Anomaly was actually the Xindi weapon that would destroy Earth hidden under construction in the cloaking field?? Hope someone can PLEASE respond with feedback.

    The fact that Tarquin has lived most of his life away from people makes him desperate for company. It also makes him not well equipped to acquire said company. His mental capabilities means he can tell precisely how Hoshi has reacted to his advances, but his inexperience makes him unable to predict her reactions in advance. It is the pathos of Tarquin that his loneliness makes him ill-equipped to remedy his loneliness!

    In the best of Trek tradition, this episode turns a spotlight on an overlooked and even easily derided aspect of the human condition. While we feel relieved for "the Beauty" Hoshi, we cannot but feel the plight of "the Beast" Tarquin yearning for some company. The fairy story has a real-world ending, and just like the real world, the ending is pre-ordained making the pathos more palpable.

    = = = =

    @Leif: Yes, it was not obvious that the spheres are causing the Delphic expanse. Especially because of the livable-but-deserted-space-station that the first sphere was shown to be. It suddenly makes the Delphic expanse exciting (much more than the cardboard-villainish Xindi).

    Boring! Can't believe Jammer gave it 3 stars! Especially as he has given less to much better DS9 and TNG episodes.

    As for the shuttlepod scene. I thought it was poor visual effects plus I was scratching my head. Did the sphere have gravity? If not, disabling the thruster wouldn't bring it back to the sphere; the pod would keep moving in the direction it was heading. Guessing I missed that detail about the sphere as no one else has mentioned it.

    The scene with the malfunctioning thruster is wrong both with- and without gravity:
    * No gravity - the shuttle wouldn't have come back after they shot the thruster.
    * Gravity - the shuttle would've spun/rolled around on the ground while the thruster was doing its thing, since the thruster was on the side of the shuttlepod.

    The "creepy lonely guy who resorts to telepathic manipulation to get a companion" plot seems overdone and not even worth commenting on. The physics of the spheres is much more interesting. says that the Delphic Expanse spheres are typically only 19 km in diameter. In planetary terms, that's *minuscule*, and so these spheres should have negligible surface gravity. But we can quantify that. In Newtonian gravity, gravitational field strength g (in newtons per kilogram) if given by

    g = G*M/R^2


    G - is the Universal Gravitational Constant
    M - is the total mass of the body
    R - is the radius of the body (in this case 19km /2 = 9.5 km)

    The total mass is

    M = rho*V


    rho - is the density of the body
    V - is the volume of the body

    In this case V = 4/3*pi*R^3 (volume of a sphere)

    Substitute rho*V in for M in the first equation, and you get

    g = (4/3)*pi*rho*R

    So all we need to know is the radius and *density* of the sphere. We know the spheres are hollow, so they are probably less dense than a rocky planet like Earth. But we can use Earth density as an overestimate. The radius of the sphere is 9.5 km (compared to Earth's 6400 km radius. So if you feel 1g on Earth's surface, you'd feel on the surface of the sphere

    (9.5 / 6400)g = 0.0015g

    So based on normal physics, the sphere surface gravity is only 0.15% of gravity on Earth's surface, or less than 1/600 of what it is on Earth. If you weigh 200 lbs on Earth, you'd weigh less than 1/3 of lb (i.e. 5 oz) on this sphere. You'd be effectively weightless in the vicinity of this body. The people shouldn't have been able to walk around on its surface, let alone the shuttlepod 'falling' back down after the thruster stopped firing.

    Of course, in the story the spheres generate gravitational (or "gravimetric") distortions, so I"m sure some fans will just handwave this away by saying that the sphere was generating artificial gravity greater than just the gravity associated with its mass alone. :p

    Maybe the telepathic alien planted a little mental suggestion in Hoshi and that’s why she put on the sexy dress?

    No complaints from me!

    It was too much beauty and the beast for me but the revelation about the spheres was well done.

    I have liked this episode for many years. I think about it now and then, when I think about Enterprise. For people like me, who has been alone and also lonely for a long time, the episode resonates more I think than for someone who do not know what it means. This is why I don't care so much about the weaknesses of this episode.
    I think 3 stars is correct. This episode reminds me a little bit about Tin Man of TNG season 3, although that is one of my top 3 TNG shows, and also it reminds me about Honour amongst thieves of DS9 season 6. Also one with loneliness as a theme.

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