Star Trek: Enterprise


2 stars.

Air date: 1/14/2005
Written by Ken LaZebnik & Michael Bryant
Directed by David Straiton

"When I materialized, the first thing I did was lose my lunch. The second thing I did was get stone drunk. Trick I learned form Zefram Cochrane. Now there was a man who knew the benefits of a little liquid courage." — Emory Erickson on the first human transport, performed on himself

Review Text

In brief: It ain't no "Visitor."

To write a review of "Daedalus" is to extract small victories from an overall failed episode. Here's a plot too transparent for its own good — painfully inevitable by what seems to be intentional design — yet with characters who are invested with believable qualities. But even though we may believe the central character is psychologically possible, his arc is developed from ancient archetypes, and nothing in the plot can possibly emerge as unexpected. The emotional payoff is so preordained, so inevitable, that it carries very little impact. The show sinks because nothing is ever in doubt.

For a sci-fi concept that evaluates the tragedy of losing a loved one to a fate more complicated than death, you may find your mind going back to DS9's "The Visitor," a show infinitely better than this one.

In "Daedalus," the brilliant scientific mind of Emory Erickson (Bill Cobbs), the inventor of the transporter, comes aboard the Enterprise with his daughter Danica (Leslie Silva) to conduct a scientific experiment for a new type of extremely long-range transporter that could in theory beam a person across light-years of space. In a line inspired by "The Ultimate Computer," Archer jokingly asks Emory if he intends to put starship captains out of business.

Emory was one of Archer's father's closest friends, and has been "like a second father" to Archer. Danica is, by extension, like a sister. But there's trouble quietly brewing. The first sign that something is wrong comes when we discover They Are Hiding Something. Danica tells Emory that she feels awful about lying to Archer about the real reason they are out here. The real reason quickly becomes obvious, although the dialog takes its time in getting to the scene where it's spelled out for us. It can be frustrating to be so far ahead of the plot revelations. The revelations, when they come, are more like confirmations.

The would-be experiment is being conducted in the Barrens, where "there's not a star system within 100 light-years." To briefly nitpick the jargon, I would like to point out that how far away you are from the nearest star system would depend on, well, how far into the starless region you've actually ventured.

About this time, a strange anomaly begins appearing on the ship. In a scene that is humorous in the way it pointlessly tries to be suspenseful, the anomaly makes all the lights in the armory go out. Lt. Reed and a nameless guy we've never seen before go walking slowly through the dark with their flashlights, trying to find the cause of the disturbance. Honestly, if the nameless guy hadn't died, the audience would've justly rioted. Obviously, a situation like this is the reason that red shirts will be invented at some point between Archer's time and Kirk's.

Cutting to the chase: Fifteen years ago, during a similar experiment, Emory sent his own son Quinn (i.e., Icarus) through a transporter beam. Quinn never materialized and was lost in transport. This experiment also took place in the Barrens. No points for surmising that 2+2=4, and that the anomaly is actually Quinn, trapped in some state of eternal transporter limbo (Alive? Dead? Who knows?), and that Emory and Danica have actually come aboard the Enterprise because they think they can rescue Quinn. Why must this be a secret? Beats me, although the story concocts a halfhearted reason. Why does the Quinn-anomaly seem to chase after people like a creature in a monster movie? I couldn't say. I suppose being trapped in transporter limbo for 15 years might piss you off a little.

The outcome of the story is never, for a moment, in doubt. We have no doubt that Emory's deception must be exposed, that his obsession will lead to urgent pleas to Archer, and appeals to his emotions (Quinn, go figure, was like a brother to him). And we have no doubt that the rescue attempt upon Quinn will end in failure, and that an old man's obsession to right a wrong from 15 years ago will only end up destroying him.

Fifteen years ago, Emory knew — but was in denial about — the possible risks, and that he could theoretically even lose his son. He went through with it anyway, because of his need to further advance transporter technology. The story's argument is that great minds are clouded by their own need to top themselves. Emory was relatively young when he invented the transporter, and from that point "there was nowhere to go but down." I wonder why it is people like this feel so much pressure to top their own breakthrough. Isn't it enough to revolutionize transportation in your society? Is it pure narcissism that drives a man to need this much achievement at any cost?

The irony of the situation is Emory's attempt to right a wrong by committing yet another wrong — lying to Archer — which indirectly causes the death of the crew member. Obviously, the writers are setting this man up for an inevitably tragic downfall (reckless actions are rarely rewarded in these types of stories). At times, Emory's sadness and regret approaches a poignancy, but the story can't carry the notions through to the end.

The problem is that this all comes across as going through the motions, and Emory, while a character whose flaws and obsessions we come to understand, and who is nicely performed by veteran character actor Bill Cobbs, is a man we pity more because of his own inability to turn the mirror on his own actions than because of his dilemma and obsession. His hope is that he can redeem himself by rescuing his son. Part of me thinks a man this brilliant should be incapable of such blindness. (But then ultimately the whole reason for his deception feels contrived.)

Then there's Archer. He reluctantly agrees to see the rescue attempt through, even despite all the initial lies and the dead man lying in sickbay. Trip challenges Archer on this decision, accusing him of letting personal feelings get in the way of the ship's safety. I certainly can't say Trip is wrong. And Archer laying down the chain of command and making these kinds of questionable decisions without consequences is getting a little old.

Still, there are good things to find here. I liked the overall familiarity between Archer, Emory, and Danica — and Danica's dilemma of putting her life on hold to take care of an elderly parent. Despite the fact these are invented characters inserted retroactively into Archer's backstory, the actors do a good job of making the relationships believable. I also liked the credible notes in Trip's hero-worship of Emory. Trip is initially in awe of this man, and there's a scene early on where Emory tries to use this against Trip to get him to surrender control of the experiment. Trip tries to remain gracious even as he senses the old man trying to strong-arm him into something. Later, after the deception is revealed, Trip feels bitterly disappointed and betrayed, in scenes of equal believability.

In the periphery, it's also good to see that T'Pol is still reeling after all the Vulcan upheaval as a result of "Kir'Shara." She finds all of her beliefs being challenged by the newly unveiled writings of Surak. While the sweeping changes across Vulcan seem a little swift in their depiction, it is nice to see the storyline followed up.

Less successful is the Trip/T'Pol "breakup" scene at the end, which seems as clueless as the rest of their "relationship." I find it amusing that the writers think they need a scene like this when considering that after the "relationship" supposedly began with the sex in "Harbinger," T'Pol has since been married and divorced — and only now feels that Trip needs an explanation. (I suppose what happens here is more of an answer than a breakup, but still — the whole thing is just silly. Perhaps now we can move beyond the will-they-or-won't-they question.)

The emotional payoff, in which the rescue of Quinn is attempted and (inevitably) fails, is too much acting for what is not nearly enough story. Simply put, I never knew Quinn as a human being, and I just didn't care about him. And it seems to me that Emory's character arc ends up being too soft. Something like this, which has consumed the last 15 years of his life — should be crushing when it ends in failure. But the episode wants to let us off the hook by dodging anything too depressing. (And I don't even want to ask all the logical/tech questions about how Quinn survives 15 years in a transporter beam, but only now, conveniently, does Emory theorize that his signal is on the verge of degrading.)

Bottom line: This show is too dead at its core, as opposed to a show like "The Visitor," which was a lyrical journey that was alive and vibrant.

Next week: Aliens study the Enterprise crew.

Previous episode: Kir'Shara
Next episode: Observer Effect

Like this site? Support it by buying Jammer a coffee.

◄ Season Index

Comment Section

61 comments on this post

    Yep. The premise is bad. There really is no reason to keep the mission to 'locate his lost son' a secret to anyone. Any reasonable person would be sympathetic for that cause. A man of his clout could certainly put a bona fide rescue mission together. Why now? Why the secrecy? What makes the episode worse is that a member of the crew dies for no reason, and no one really cares (or sees any irony of the trade-off). I'd only give this episode a half star. I don't see why this story even got to the production level. It was a major let down after the last few episodes and story arcs. Reasonable acting, but bad writing.

    "And I don't even want to ask all the logical/tech questions about how Quinn survives 15 years in a transporter beam."

    Hasn't it already been established in the Star Trek universe (though of course not known to the characters in "Enterprise") that a human can survive in a transporter buffer for at least 75 years? I don't think this question needed to be addressed in the episode, and I'm glad it wasn't.

    Augh. Emory seems like a terrible actor. Really bad reads on much of his dialogue. Was the transporter at the end based on voice command? He sure didn't bother to like, push any buttons, or even look at the control panel...

    While I like the idea of a getting a little more info on the creation of the transporter (almost as equally important piece of starship technology as warp drive) I didn't care for how it was presented here. As usual Archer makes reference to Emory being like a second father to him, but we never hear about it until now. So I don't buy the connection.

    Also, it just seems a general stretch. I can buy Archer knowing Cochrane 'cause Cochrane and his father were warp specialists. But why would they necessarily become buddies with a man working on creating transporter technology? Oh well. It's not that big a stretch and in lieu of other logic gaps in the ST franchise this one almost doesn't register.

    I guess I just don't buy the time line as it's presented here. In "Broken Bow" Mayweather comments to Reed that the transporter has only just recently been approved to for in beaming lifeforms. But would Emory still be alive at this point when we meet him? You would think the time needed to make transporting humans safe would be a lot longer than it seems to presented here.

    I could be off on my timelines here, but it's the impression I have. ST manages to jam in a lot of tech advancement in 400 years.

    I don't think it's a bad episode, but not the truly revelatory origin of the transporter story I would have liked.

    I would recommend reading the TNG graphic novel "Forgiveness" which gives an alternate version and creator of transporter tech. Much more interesting.

    This episode is just DS9's 'The Visitor' meets Voyager's 'Jetrel' - both of which were superior episodes because I felt I knew the charaters of Jake and Neelix. I really couldn't care about Emory or his son, mainly because the acting was cardboard and I knew I'd never see them again.

    Upon re-watching, it occurred to me that this episode is downright lethargic. The production - especially the lighting - is so low-key that the episode practically drowns in itself. There is just zero "set-energy" or whatever you want to call it. Sometimes I wonder if anyone actually directed "Daedalus" opposed to putting up a camera and going for lunch.

    Also, the Emory character takes "acting uppity" to an absurd level and his devotion to save his sun comes across as phony instead of tragic, leaving the viewer with no one to root for (unless one counts the poor son). Quite frankly I cared more about Scotty's lost friend in "Relics" after 20 or so seconds ("He was a good lad!") than I did about Quinn after 45 minutes.

    While this episode was mostly a snooze fest, I did enjoy Archer's "don't fail." line. That actually did get a good laugh out of me.

    "Lt. Reed and a nameless guy we've never seen before go walking slowly through the dark with their flashlights, trying to find the cause of the disturbance."

    Perhaps the clearest example of Reed's singular character trait: the solution to any problem is to point a gun at it.

    Problem with the "Barrens" -- even if you were in the middle of the region, real stars can still be seen from 50 light years away.

    Pretty much dead-on review, a very stale episode.

    I'd also add that unlike Jammer, I felt Bill Cobbs's portrayal of Emory was average at best. I've seen the actor do much better in other roles, but here he doesn't show the necessary range of emotions to make us empathize with his character. I had an initial bad feeling right in the opening scene, when Emory laughs at Archer's joke ("You're going to put us out of a job") just before the musical score plays... and it felt so fake! No surprise then to see the rest of the show follow suit.

    This is really a time where the use of flashbacks to show Quinn & Emery interacting (perhaps even with a young version of Archer) was necessary. If anything it would have made us care about these characters' fates and feelings for one another. I guess the episode chose to focus on sci-fi events (the mysteriousness of the anomalies, the damage to Enterprise, etc.) rather than emotional background, but alas the final result makes for a pretty weak whole.

    If the Barrens is "100 ly from any system", then it is well over 100 ly from did Emory get there (and then back) twelve years before the first Warp 5 vessel launched?

    If no one will speak for this episode, I will. I do agree that the writers should have put flashbacks and more scenes establishing the relationships between the characters instead of the sci-fi scenes showing the damage to the ship and the transporter effects on Emory's son. However, I felt the emotional weight of the characters here. Especially Emory's daughter.

    I can understand why he would think he would need to keep it a secret. Why would Starfleet divert their most powerful and fastest ship on a mission to save one person who they would presume to be dead? Maybe in a recover the body situation, but they wouldn't use their flagship to recover a dead body.

    This isn't a The Visitor, everyone's right on this point. But I don't think it tries to be. I honestly think it's trying to be its own episode with its own emotional weight and it works on that level.

    I didn't dislike it like most seemed to. It was fine, average stuff but fine.

    I'll just take the opportunity to comment on something I kept meaning to comment on during S3: I really like how they ended up going from using shuttles everywhere - with the transporter being something they used only for the most dire of emergencies and even then not always remembering it - to putting their faith in its use day to day.

    The catalyst for this change of course was the war. In a way, it's depressing: progress is always the fastest during mankind's darkest hours, even on Trek. But it felt very real and believable that they would end up using the transporter by necessity several times a day and eventually end up accustomed to it. Very good.

    Now then, quantum teleportation? I do believe they've achieved that. With some sub-atomic particle at least, and it's about transmitting data not matter. Still, interesting.

    Would have been a lot more interesting if Trip had actually refused the order the second time around and temporarily relieved himself of duty, the way they were always taking their badges off in TNG when given a ridiculous order by a blustering CO. Would've been a good way to point out that Archer really _was_ going too far and being irrational.

    Instead, he meekly goes along with it, perpetuating this incessant notion that "Archer always knows best" even when he's obviously being a moron.

    What was with the dumb scene where Danica stabs Emory's deformed back with a giant syringe? Maybe Phlox should introduce them to a hypospray.

    And some of the direction during the failed transporter shenanigans was awful.

    A very disappointing episode after a good start in this season. I started to warm up a little to Archer, seeing him become more reasonable. Well, they did it again !

    I was with Trip all the way. I couldn't emphasize with Emory, he surely didn't seem to care about a dead man and watching him smile and joke at the end didn't help. And Archer shouting at his team, then at Trip for presenting reasonable arguments was the cherry on top. I'm not sure if I must blame S. Bakula or the writers. His lines could have been told very differently, softly with feelings instead of rage.

    The episode wasn't complete crap, but wasn't very good either. Though I liked Danica and could feel for her, actually, I pitied her whole ordeal, being transparent to her father, forced to mourn her brother for years and coerced to lie to a near friend. And I liked T'pol's struggle with new beliefs being recognized.

    I didn't get why they tested the sub-quantum transporter with his son instead of an inanimate object.

    A boring redo of "The Ultimate Computer", except, unlike the renowned inventor of the M-5, who was actually interesting, Emory Erickson comes across as insufferable. Add to this the fact that Archer's decision to allow the experiment to continue even after he's lost a man is ludicrous, and you not only have a boring episode with a lousy guest character at its heart, but also a borderline offensive episode in which Archer's character is profoundly damaged. Simply put, Archer's actions here should warrant a court nartial. He did indeed put his personal feelings before the safety of his crew.

    Trek episodes where the captain is at odds with his senior officers can be compelling stuff when done well--look no further than TOS's "Obsession" as proof of this. But the captain needs a justifiable reason to be putting his crew at risk: Kirk was hunting a creature that had killed scores of people. Archer, meanwhile, is merely doing an old friend a favor and hoping the ship doesn't explode.

    Awful. There's nothing here I enjoyed, I was both bored and offended, and Archer's character has been damaged. Zero stars.

    They're 100 ly from anywhere, but they're going back to Earth on the "Sarajevo"? That isn't an NX Warp 5 vessel, so how long is that trip going to take?

    @Jay, and Jack, and all:
    Regarding the Barrens being "100 light years from everywhere":

    You shouldn't normally take that kind of information in Star Trek literally, unless:
    a) It is a statement of fact, as in "It will take us 8 hours at Warp 4.5" or "We are 600,000 km from the unknown vessel", etc., or
    b) It is provided by the likes of Spock, Data, or Seven of Nine, who famously tend to be quite accurate in their communication. But then again, none of them would have made such a vague, imprecise statement as this one, would they?

    In most other cases, this kind of information seems to be the usual hyperbole we all know from our daily lives: "I spent a year working on that project" - even if it was only nine months, etc.

    Taken literally, the Barrens being "100 light years from anywhere" can only mean that at its centre, that region is actually that distant from any other star system, effectively meaning it must be a region some 200+ light years across. But it's more probable that those "100 light years" is a typically inaccurate, casual human statement - as when a 43 minute television show, or train ride, is said to be about an hour long. It could actually just as well mean that the Barrens is something like a hundred light years across - being in the middle of it would still be pretty far from anything.

    This doesn't change the fact that even then it would still be at a considerable distance from Earth for say, a Warp 2 vessel, which was Jay's and Jack's point. My point is quite simply, that all too often I see commenters here taking bits and pieces of such information far, far too literally. Quite often this is just more or less casual dialogue - nothing to merit such literal interpretatons. Let's not nitpick.

    "Archer's decision to allow the experiment to continue even after he's lost a man is ludicrous".
    ---R.: Couldn't agree more. Enough said.

    "If no one will speak for this episode, I will."
    ---R.: I personally don't care much for this episode. But I am honestly and sincerely happy that you did.

    I think that the revelation of Erickson's dishonesty having caused the death of a crewman should have stopped his experiment right then and there. There is no way a responsible captain wouldn't feel betrayed and disgusted by such behaviour. Think Picard and Galen ("The Chase"), if the latter had done anything similar: "Professor, your experiment ends here! This far, no further!"

    It would have been far more interesting to take it from there, I think, than to play out the wholly predictable rest of the episode. This could actually have been an intriguing exploration of the price of technology and technological research, of crime and punishment (think "The Drumhead", and "The First Duty"), and the obsession and fall of a great scientist - true tragedy, instead of technobabble in order to boost the pattern buffer, or enhance the pattern cohesiveness, or whatever. But having said that, I read what you wrote, and I'm glad that you liked this episode. After all, we don't all need to think alike.

    Second Sight + The Visitor + Jetrel + Imaginary Friend. This is one Frankenstein's Monster of an episode.

    The IDEA of the premise was ok: first person to test the transporter got scooped up and lost in the machine, I've learned more now, and I can get him out.

    That's plausible.

    But the Archer actor's acting is just so awful that when he learns of the truth, he orders Trip and T'Pol to assist and the entire scene is created on this false tension build, that Trip and T'Pol are actually saying no.

    The scene would have been much more believable had it been set to the doctor, who is in charge of the entire crew's health and well being or even a subordinate 3 levels done, or someone close to the ensign that died, resisting assisting the creator of the transporter.

    It's just bad writing.

    In fact a crewman that was close to the dead ensign would have really created some tension, because we'd sympathize more with the crewman. Trip and T'Pol show no sympathy and simply are just sounding boards for Archer to have a fake conflict with.

    Awful. The guest actor was terrible. I never believed him. And Archer reverted to the illogical, bloviating version that I hate. He really did put his personal friends above the ship and crew, it was horrible. So un-Captainlike. His attitude was "So, some random crew member died, so what, let's risk more lives to save my friend's son, even though my friend lied, misused my ship, and risked all our lives." Because his friend's son apparently has more value than anyone else. I'm pretty sure the family of the crew member who died wouldn't feel it was worth it!

    Trip was in the right -- again -- and Archer yelled and screamed like a child. Ugh.

    1 star.

    I find it appalling that a man can die and the captain cant give two shits about him.
    The captain has been preaching about how import the crew is to him but suddenly its ok to put some random that's been stuck in space for 15 odd years before the rest of the entire crew.
    Screw the guy stuck in space, theirs already a **** load more people on the ship that don't want to die for some random person that "might!" be alive... They dont even know what the modifications will do to the ship either.

    Yes I realize the captain has a past with them and that should not effect him as the captain of a star ship.

    Personally this episode has blown out my judgement of the captain and I think tucker was right in questioning him and they should have left then and there. Worst episode of star trek enterprise so far...

    Archer's "Don't Fail" speech was something his dad said to him, if I recall correctly, when Archer was in the Academy. But a few episodes ago, Archer says his dad died when he was 12, right?

    So Archer's a prodigy then? Being in the Academy before he was 12 years old.

    Bad continuity, bad writing.


    I'm glad I'm not the only one that noticed this glaring lack of continuity.

    ENT certainly isn't the shining star in the Star Trek universe, but the shows have been getting better, like a light bulb getting brighter before it burns out.

    But, evidently, the powers that were didn't even watch their own shows.

    A pity. I'm sure I'm not the only one going through Trek withdrawal. Thank goodnes for Amazon Prime, and the ability to catch up on shows I wasn't able to watch the first time around.

    Yep-as stated above-Emory is a carbon copy of Richard Daystrom from 'The Ultimate Computer'-peaked too soon and then screwed up trying to exceed his earlier success.
    Daystrom managed to kill quite a few more people with his HAL-like overachieving M-5 computer thank Emory though before Kirk made it blow up by asking it what was its favourite colour or something.

    Not a very satisfactory outing and Archer endangered everyone for no good reason.

    Ridiculous, total waste of an episode. Some of Enterprise's best episodes illustrate the hard decisions faced by command. This shows the opposite: the scientist is a liar and murderer, and his daughter was an accomplice. Both belonged in the brig and on the way back to Earth. Really got the impression that the writers weren't all that familiar with the show

    After all these arc episodes it's almost a throwback to a different time with this standalone - and perhaps because of this it almost feels like an early season episode. Not least of which because asshat Archer is back in full effect, and that's something I thought we'd done away with.

    It's really the performances that drag this down, as it's impossible to get any emotional attachment with what's going on. The really off end to the teaser - as noted by another poster above - was indicative to me of an episode that just didn't really know what it was trying to achieve.

    On a positive note, though, I thought the final resolution of the Trip/T'Pol story was OK - it had been petering out for ages and the downbeat conclusion struck me as the most grounded emotional moment in the whole thing. 1.5 stars.

    Unrealistic leaps of logic? Tick
    Ridiculous premise? Tick
    Predicatable? Tick
    Lazy writing? Tick
    Poor continuity? Tick
    Misuse of guest actors? Tick
    Bad direction? Tick
    Un-necessary scenes that went nowhere? Tick
    Lame laughable action scenes? Tick
    Bad SFX? Tick
    Been done better and before by DS9 or another ST franchise? Tick

    Totally illogical episode that would have seen Archer relieved of command and in the brig for the second half of the episode. At least that would have been more interesting than this steaming pile of excrement.

    As Chris says a stale, shambolic, lethargic effort which was very poorly written and it totally shows through with every facet of production. Sets a new low for Enterprise and no real excuses for this considering the general improvement and higher standards seen in S4 so far.

    Enterprise takes a step back into the lame, lazily written episodes which plagued the first two seasons, and Archer reverts to the rookie captain with appalling judgement we thought we'd seen the last of long ago.

    I have nothing really to add to what has already been written, but I do disagree with Jammer on one point. I didn't think that guest star Bill Cobb's role was 'nicely performed'. It seemed to me that it was often borderline inept.

    I'm not a scientist, so maybe I'm missing something, but here goes. "To briefly nitpick the jargon, I would like to 'also' point out": The fact that there is not a star system within a hundred lightyears doesn't mean you still can't SEE the stars....

    I think of this episode as trying to be something like 60s Trek's "The Ultimate Computer" and DS9's "The Visitor". It doesn't live up to either of those episodes although trying to live up to the latter would be nearly impossible. We don't know Erickson and we certainly don't know his son Quinn so who cares about these characters trying to reunite?

    The faint B-plot of T'Pol reading the Kir'Shara and Trip trying to talk to her was boring -- more of T'Pol's complex Vulcan "feelings", being vague about it etc.

    With Erickson as inventor of the transporter and trying to retrieve his lost son -- there was bound to be a bunch of technobabble, none of which was interesting or made sense. I was not a huge fan of TOS's "The Ultimate Computer".

    The episode was slow paced, involved a lot of boring dialogue that revolved around worshipping/reverence for Erickson. Also was not a fan of Archer in this episode when T'Pol and especially Trip try and reason with him about continuing on Erickson's deceitful and dangerous journey. Archer pulls the command card and puts an end to the argument. T'Pol and Trip should have mutinied like they tried in "Hatchery" (if memory serves).

    "Daedalus" barely gets to 2 stars for me. What was the point of showing Erickson's back all covered in bumps etc. and getting injections? There were enough filler moments in this episode. Trip is probably the bright spot here being involved in both the A and B plots. He's the best actor in this series for me.

    At the end, when Quin briefly re-materializes, only to die, you can actually see his nostrils flaring, un-flaring, then flaring again; all when he's supposed to be dead.

    Once you see it, you won't ever be able to un-see it.

    Obviously youre wrong @navamske it did need to be answered. Your using the Scotty situation on TNG is silly. There was a concentrated beam locked into a ship. This was someone supposedly floating around in space. So yes you're wrong.

    For the Archer continuity issue, all it says in the show is that his father said that to him the day before he entered flight training. They didn't say it was at Starfleet Academy, so it could have been anywhere, and I can imagine Archer taking flight lessons when he was quite young, especially since his father was so involved with flight and warp engines and so forth. Just saying...

    But I pretty much agree with the general opinion of this episode.

    2 stars.

    Not a great episode. I found just one detail touching: when Tripp is told something like "how far would YOU go the day you lose a son?". Because it will happen on the finale...

    Nah, I liked this episode. Seemed to me that it could've been an alright TNG ep. I'd give it 3 stars. Emory didn't want to tell the truth about what he was doing because, given that it could risk the lives of crewmen, Starfleet may have said no to letting him use the Enterprise. I also don't see why Jammer assumes that Quinn's death was inevitable; I half expected the attempt to rescue him to work. And I'm glad we're back to one-episode storylines. I'm tired of these 2- or 3-parters which inevitably seem to drag on and get too long.

    Not terrible but largely a mash up of better TNG/DS9/VOY/TOS episodes. So plus one for recycling I guess.

    And Emory does have a good motivation for lying and if we take Archer's statement at face value he would feel obligated to help-other captains have made decisions on the basis of personal ties and emotion before.

    He should end up in prison though-and his daughter as well for going along with it as long as she did.

    NEIVESG: Surely you shouldn’t be posting spoilers. I was very sorry indeed to read your post, the first one in 4 seasons of perusing and enjoying the Comments that I’ve ever come across a post that spoiled a future episode.

    Aside from the person cited above, I agree with many of the comments on continuity (or more accurately, lack thereof); Archer’s irrational behavior; and plot predictability.
    When the unknown guy with Malcolm appeared I started shouting, “Where’s your red shirt,” and was looking around for Archer’s little ones from The Hatchery when he pulled his I’m-the-Captain card with Trip. And wait: Do you mean to tell me Trip and T’Pol haven’t broken up yet?

    Unlike most here, I thought Archer's decision to carry on with the rescue attempt was reasonable. It wasn't about punishing (or not) Erickson, it was about trying to save the innocent Quinn.

    Think of it this way - the same set-up, but instead of a transporter accident, Quinn is trapped in some minefield. Enterprise is there, now the lie is revealed... everyone is rightly angry at Erickson, but there's no way they would just turn around and leave that innocent person languishing without trying several ways - and, yes, risking lives (Archer's, of course) - to try to get him out. Risking all to save one or a few is pretty standard Star Trek fare.

    Archer said it simply: you don't leave someone behind. Consistent with his character, and consistent with the ethics seen in some ST episodes (others take other positions, which is fine too). And in real-world terms, consistent with every hostage-rescue mission, every wilderness rescue, every time a fire-fighter goes into a burning building to try to save someone. That's Starfleet's evolving job, and though the proto-redshirt should have known the true story (which might have saved him), in the end he, and everyone, were facing the risks they signed up for.

    Trip and T'Pol, and of course the writers had to mess that up. This is what I am talking exactly, the show is good and then it sucks, the show is bipolar.

    T'Pol did not want to be with her ex and then when he releases her she then has feelings for him and starts to cry and now she has no feelings for Trip. Just stupid writing no wonder the show was canceled with writing like this.

    What I was trying to say in my last reply is that you want to have likeable characters, who you can get attached to and keep watching the show. How can you get attached to someone who is flaky like T'Pol.

    @Lupe The minute that you said that Bill Cobbs performance was bordering on being inept you lost all credibility.

    Why? Cobbs was terrible in this episode. Half a star at best, don't know why Jammer gave it two.

    I appreciated this episode allegorically in relation to the garden variety version of losing someone too soon. Though it does go through the "no twists and turns here that you don't see coming" narrative, that worked for me. That pointless aching hope that your loved one could somehow come back decreases in intensity with time, but it never goes away completely. Seeing that laid out dramatically as the obvious path and conclusion helps.

    I was nervous that Quinn would come back 'wrong', like inverted or missing parts, or something horrific. So I'm glad they didn't go there.

    I've grown quite tired of Archer's "I've made my decision!" schtick, which he seems obliged to wheel out every other episode at this point. It was one thing at the height of the Xindi arc but in situations like these, it feels wildly inappropriate not to hear your senior officers out, especially after a crewman just died.

    Pretty terrible episode, almost laughably so during the climax. Hopefully things get back on track.

    The transporter is totally safe, you guys, except for those five or six times per series when it isn't. But we don't talk about those. Beam me up, Scotty!

    Nothing would have saved this poor, lethargic script, but better casting for Emory surely would have helped.

    If you watch T'Pol's face closely, it is almost as if she's a different person in this episode. I think the subtle "Vulcan arrogance" she displayed throughout the series, knowing herself to be more intelligent, better than everyone around her, is suddenly gone. This would happen, of course, if you realized everything you based your superiority on was fake!

    Great continuity with the Vulcan arc. Archer, on the other hand... No sooner is Surak's katra gone from his mind that he reverts back to pig-headed order-barker. Maybe that's why removing Surak's katra was like lifting a load off his mind. Can't have all that logic in there... it hurts him.

    There is one possible in-story explanation for the way Emory was played. Emory is aware of the low probability of saving his son 15 years after he disappeared (BTW, Scotty was in a pattern buffer, Quinn was in a transport beam), and is just going through the motions to convince himself he tried everything possible.

    Emory and his daughter will at least get involuntary manslaughter, right? In fact, Emory can only be given "full access" to a ship's resources if he has some Starfleet credentials, which means he will be court martialled. He should be.

    1 star. Im going to pretend it didn't happen. The Temporal Agents should erased it from existence.

    Archer's first duty is the protection of his ship and crew and this piece of shit episode said nah to that.
    Also we've been told Henry Archer died when Jon was 12 and wasn't mentally with it from after he was 10 so when was flight training again?

    I really enjoy reading the comments on this page because I always feel like I get more out of the episodes than just watching them. I'm not saying Enterprise is deep or philosophical, but sometimes I do change my mind, or have a clearer understanding.

    I agree with the commenters who were not impressed. The continuity problems were jarring. Archer's dad's life story changes depending on what the episode requires (also, if Archer is best friends with Starfleet elite, why isn't he better at this?), and I thought in the Kir'shara episode T'Pau said it would take years to translate Surak's writings. Did I miss something... how is T'Pol reading it now?

    But Archer's attitude is definitely consistent. I must have missed the part where he grew and learned lessons. He never stopped grimacing and shouting platitudes in absolutes ("We never do X!" "I'll always do Y!" "Z is unacceptable all the time!") and yet there hasn't been a boundary he wasn't willing to cross and somehow not be made out as right in the end. His helping this Emory guy, disregarding Trip and T'Pol's warnings, pulling rank, and facing zero consequences was unimpressive, but unfortunately, not surprising.

    Trip was probably the highlight of the episode-- at least his scenes with Emory had some nuance (I agree though, that Cobbs was not great in this). The whole T'Pol breakup though... what? I literally had no idea they were ever a couple. I thought she was telling him they weren't going to have sex anytime soon, which seemed kind of weird since I didn't get the impression that's what he was after... there is so much reading between the lines with their "relationship" I literally missed the entire thing (except what he told her mom, which seemed implausible, honestly). Agree with the poster who said those scenes were boring. Hopefully we're not coming back to that when she's done with her Kir'shara.

    Dreadful outing in the middle of a good run of episodes. Guest actors were terrible; zero stars. Still a great season that I'm enjoying immensely.


    "Emory and his daughter will at least get involuntary manslaughter, right? In fact, Emory can only be given "full access" to a ship's resources if he has some Starfleet credentials, which means he will be court martialled. He should be."

    Not likely. The death would've had to be foreseeable and due to his negligence. It wasn't since the phenomenon didn't appear dangerous the one time it had appeared in Starfleet records.

    And I don't know where you get the idea that Emory had to be a member of Starfleet to have full access to ship's resources. Aliens who weren't even a member of the Federation have been given that access at times. Inventors on many episodes were given that access across different franchises.

    Lets look at a real life example:

    Josef Papp was a quack engineer who claimed to have invented and patented an engine that ran on some sort of chemical (?) reaction of noble gasses. This is considered theoretically impossible according to current physics. Papp had been publicly criticized by Richard Feynman, a famous highly respected physicist. At a public demonstration of Papp's engine, Feynman noticed that while the engine was running there was a part of the apparatus plugged into a wall socket. He concluded that the engine ran off of electricity from the socket and demanded it remain unplugged to reveal Papp's "fraud.". Papp claimed the electricity was for a control circuit that was critical to the safety of his engine's operation.

    Without it, according to Papp, the reaction could become dangerous. Feynman somehow obtained Papp's permission to keep the plug to the control circuit. The engine continued to run. Papp became increasingly agitated until he demanded that Feynman return the plug. Reluctantly Feynman agreed and gave back the plug, which Papp promptly plugged back in. The engine also promptly exploded, killing one person and injuring two others. Papp blamed Feynman for interfering in the demonstration and settled a lawsuit with Caltech. Feynman claimed Papp must have blown up his own engine to prevent his "fraud" from being discovered.

    Who was to blame for the death and injuries of three people? Why did neither the world famous physicist, who interfered with a demonstration, nor the quack, who allowed him to after admonishing him on the danger of doing so, end up behind bars?

    This episode was gloomy, awkward, and soooooo tired. It could barely rouse itself to tell a story. There was something here. The three-second shot of Emory’s back, which had some kind of deformity. When a show goes through the motions as this one did, suspense falls by the wayside. We could tell Emory had a Really Bad Secret from the word go. Death by/through transporter has been done before. The transporter death scene in TMP was genuinely terrifying. The one in Daedalus was contrived and ignominious

    Any episode which shows Porthos, even briefly, should automatically add a star to the rating. How they manage to stuff a small actor into that dog suit and make it look so real always amazes me

    Major letdown after the awesome Vulcan trilogy. Very unappealing one-and-done character. A stinker!

    @Markus I think the bruising on Archer's cheek is leftover from his time on Vulcan, but I don't think they showed it consistently (or I didn't notice). Sorry it took 10 years for someone to answer your question!

    And I agree with @Karel that these comments aren't the right place for spoilers, since most of us are enjoying Jammer's great reviews as we watch these series for the first time. They're particularly unwelcome attached to such a pedestrian episode of an otherwise great season. But I suppose I'm years too late for that comment as well 😅

    Submit a comment

    ◄ Season Index