Star Trek: Enterprise


3 stars.

Air date: 10/22/2004
Written by Mike Sussman
Directed by Allan Kroeker

"Seen any good movies while I was gone?"
"Another World War III epic. Swept all the awards."

— Archer and Hernandez

Review Text

In brief: A step in the right direction, although it still has some obvious flaws.

In what could end up being one of the most necessary and yet overlooked episodes of the season, "Home" takes a crack at supplying the coda for season three by showing us the Enterprise's homecoming after its grueling mission in the Delphic Expanse. In the parlance of our time: If "Zero Hour" was season three blowing its wad, then "Home" is the pillow talk that follows. (Don't ask me where that leaves "Storm Front" in terms of that metaphor. You probably don't want to know.)

The results of "Home" are good but not wonderful. I'm glad the writers did this episode rather than launching straight into a new plot line. But I also think they could've pulled this episode off better than they did. "Home" supplies some welcome things I was happy to see, but it doesn't go about it in the best ways. Some ideas are ham-handed in execution.

It starts with a heroes' welcome in San Francisco, where Archer acknowledges the dedication of his crew and especially the 27 crew members who did not return from the mission alive. It's good to see this moment on-screen rather than to hear about it in throwaway dialog. Similarly, it's also good to see the continuing construction of the Columbia, the Enterprise's new sister ship, which is nearly ready to launch. It even has a newly appointed captain, Erika Hernandez (Ada Maris), an old friend of Archer's.

In an episode that has a number of good ideas, the best is the introduction of Hernandez and the Columbia; I hope we see them again and that they become an actual part of this series' fabric. The notion that Starfleet is expanding its warp-5 fleet beyond the Enterprise is crucial to conveying the continuing growth and development of Starfleet.

Another idea I liked was Archer's mission debriefing. Honestly, the debriefing itself could've been an entire episode, possibly a fascinating one. We get a taste of the debriefing here: Soval, in his typically skeptical tone, begins asking Archer about the events of "Impulse," which ultimately ended in the destruction of the Vulcan ship Seleya and its crew. Archer tries to explain, but he doesn't like the implications of Soval's questions, and eventually Archer launches into a dramatically charged tirade against Soval that I must admit had me nodding in agreement: "I got more help from the Andorians than I ever got from the High Command! This planet would be a cloud of dust right now if we'd listened to you!"

What's interesting about Archer's admittedly unprofessional outburst is that we, as witnesses to Archer's ordeal over the past year, can understand the feelings and logic behind it. He's right that Soval has always been an obstinately uncooperative skeptic — and now Soval has the nerve to question Archer about the loss of the Seleya?

The debriefing is suspended and Admiral Forrest tells Archer he is out of line and orders him to take a few days to cool off. Archer decides to go mountain climbing in seclusion so he can clear his head. He unexpectedly runs into Captain Hernandez, who has followed him out here, no doubt sensing Archer could use an ear to rend. Is there some rule somewhere that says starship captains must inevitably turn out to be rock climbers?

Archer vents his doubts about space exploration in light of the vast amount of conflict and battle he's experienced. He suggests that Starfleet will now be more about defending Earth than exploring space. Hernandez thinks Archer is overreacting. "That's not the mission either one of us signed up for," she says. "Maybe you'll feel differently after you've delivered a few dozen eulogies," he responds.

Some of this works well, like when Archer talks about how his initial objections to weapons on the Enterprise were ultimately wrong, or when he confesses that during the mission in the expanse, "I lost something out there, and I don't know how to get it back."

Some of this is simply overstated, as when Archer says, "Maybe the Vulcans were right; maybe we weren't ready," and suggests that 7 million people might still be alive if the Enterprise hadn't been out "stirring up trouble." I simply don't buy that Archer honestly believes those words, even for a minute. He talks here almost like he's buying into the role of devil's advocate despite the actual truth. I can understand his doubts, particularly those about the ethical corners he cut (he specifically mentions the incident of torture as well as having marooned an innocent crew), but I think the writers, in putting forward the argument through Archer, vocalize more doubts than are actually believable given all the facts.

Still, it's good to see Archer questioning himself, and Hernandez turns out to be a loyal friend who offers her support in Archer's time of need. Indeed, it turns out that these two once had a relationship where they were more than just friends, and the episode indicates that they still have some more-than-friends feelings (although whether it will go anywhere is unlikely, since both are, as Hernandez puts it, "already married to Starfleet").

But it's not just Archer who has changed. Earth is also going through its own post-trauma, although this area of the story isn't as appealing. The whole situation with the barroom bigot and the ensuing brawl is handled with all the subtlety of a nine-iron to the temple. The setup comes when Reed warns Phlox to be careful while on Earth, because the Xindi attack has left people a bit jittery and xenophobic. Perhaps not an awful concept (I suppose it will do as an echo of some similar feelings in the U.S. following 9/11), but you'd think that 22nd-century sensibilities would draw the distinction between Xindi attackers and other aliens who are obviously non-hostile.

But, sure enough, while Reed, Mayweather, and Phlox are minding their own business in a bar, a patron (Joe Chrest) comes up and starts suggesting that Phlox should find somewhere else to drink. This is handled with such lazy, superficial contempt that it feels forced. Something more subtle would've been better. Reed and Mayweather end up in a bar brawl coming to their crewmate's defense. The scene ends with Phlox puffing up like a blowfish, which is so odd and unexpected that it's almost effective.

The idea that the Xindi attack has shaken Earth is fine, but I think there are better ways to demonstrate it than with witless bar fights.

That leaves the last strand of the story involving T'Pol and Trip, which is less interesting than what's happening on Earth but actually proves to be the most complicated from a character point of view. Of course, leave it to UPN to promote "Home" as if it was going to be a fun-n-festive Vulcan wedding show (which, thankfully, it isn't). The trailer couldn't be more misleading. The wedding itself doesn't happen until the very last minute of the show, and even then it's barely seen. And it's certainly more solemn than it is festive.

But this is not really about a wedding at all. It's about fulfilling family obligations and following old traditions — values that may seem as baffling to many Enterprise viewers as it does here to Trip. While modern American society tends to emphasize the individual over tradition, there are societies that still commonly practice arranged marriages (India in particular comes to mind), and what we have here is a human-Vulcan culture shock (right down to the fact that the guests are expected to make breakfast). What complicates things is that T'Pol finds that she has ventured recently toward human thinking and away from Vulcan traditions.

T'Pol returns to Vulcan to visit her mother (Joanna Cassidy). Trip, who has no hometown or family anymore (destroyed in the Xindi attack) tags along. We can see that T'Pol's relationship with her mother is somewhat strained, with T'Pol leaning toward individuality where her mother leans toward tradition. The tension between them is played fairly well, especially by Cassidy, who understands that Vulcans need not sound like robots to sound like Vulcans. When T'Pol starts to show cracks in her emotion-controlled facade, her mother asks, "What's happened to you?" in a tone that is just about perfect.

Things don't get any better when T'Pol's former fiance, Koss (Michael Reilly Burke), comes calling. He wants to resume the marriage plans. T'Pol doesn't. From here, the family negotiations begin, as it turns out that T'Pol's mother, who lost her teaching position because of the political fallout of T'Pol resigning from the High Command, can regain her job with the help of influence from Koss' family — if T'Pol agrees to marry him.

I'm not sure what to make of all this back-room maneuvering. Indeed, I can't claim to understand the terms of the marriage at all. What's the point of Koss marrying T'Pol if she's obviously just doing it out of obligation and to help her mother? I can wrap my brain around the concept of an arranged marriage, and even T'Pol's selflessness, but I don't understand where Koss sees himself in this. I guess he's willing to wait for T'Pol to maybe come around.

This, of course, leaves Trip sidelined. Trip realizes here that he's actually in love with her, although the sentiment doesn't really work, mainly because the way these two ostensibly got together was presented as so meaningless (see "Harbinger"). This is really the first real look we've had at the relationship. I would guess this represents a turning point in their relationship, which is kind of strange considering T'Pol marries someone else.

"Home" has its flawed rough edges. But what I appreciate about it, especially after the largely concocted and irrelevant "Storm Front," is that it puts us back in the legitimate Star Trek universe, where things are happening on Earth and the story services the characters. That's a step in the right direction for season four.

Next week: Brent Spiner, Klingons, Orion slave girls, eugenic soldiers. Does this signal the beginning of the Coto era?

Previous episode: Storm Front, Part II
Next episode: Borderland

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Comment Section

47 comments on this post

    Well, you put it right: "Good but not wonderful". It was at least as important as TNGs "Family", but not quite as strong.

    I liked this one. Phlox's puffer fish face was a very "WTF?!?" moment for me though.

    Archer said they wouldn't have survived the Xindi mission without the "sacrifice" of those killed along the way. For the record, whose deaths allowed the mission to go on?

    Hawkins, arguably, since the Sphere Claw might otherwise have grabbed T'Pol first, and she was pretty essential to the ultimate battle. For all the rest, their getting sucked out of hull breaches or fried by exploding consoles provided no tactical advantage.

    Dear God... was I just watching Star Trek Enterprise??? Because honestly this doesn't look like the same show! Between seasons 1 to 3 and the first 3 episodes of season 4 there is a NIGHT vs. DAY difference! I feel like I'm watching a *REAL* sci-fi drama for the very first time since I pressed PLAY on "Broken Bow".

    I honestly and truthfully have nearly *nothing* negative to say about "Home"! There are 3 story arcs and they all are perfectly paced, acted, and executed. More importantly there is REAL character exploration in all three, albeit at different levels.

    First we have Archer, facing his debriefing and yet another wave of Vulcan hostility. He snaps out at first, but it is an understandable emotional response, rooted in fact rather than a plot contrivance to create false antagonism between humans and Vulcans (like we often saw during Season 1). At the end of the episode the reconciliation between Soval and the captain rings true: not only have both had adequate time for reflection, but they are now capable of seeing the other's point of view. More importantly they both look like intelligent people rather than pig-headed idiots, and the viewer comes to same conclusion by himself (instead of being spoon-fed by poor dialogue).

    In between, during the mountain-climbing trek Archer comes to face with his inner demons. It is one of the first few times where I've genuinely empathized with Archer, because he sees the choices he's had to make over the Xindi war and they don't represent the idealistic notion of a StarFleet captain, a notion he fully embraced once he started off on his journey in season 1 and one he doesn't see now by looking at himself in the mirror. He feels he has lost a bit of his humanity and perhaps he's right. At any rate this character exploration, which was virtually non-existent during any of the previous seasons, provides the vital structural fabric necessary for us to finally FEEL for Archer, empathize with him and understand what he's going through on the human level. By the same token, the romance with Erika (who provides the ex-girlfriend shoulder to cry on and offers Archer some of his humanity back) has the same "right" tone to it. Both actors pull off the scene admirably and this provides very strong evidence in support of Scott Bakula: any distaste/indifference we might have had for Archer in previous seasons was not the actor's fault, but rather how the character had been written.

    Secondly, we have the T'Pol/Trip arc on Vulcan. For the very first time (and this perhaps why Jammer didn't buy it) we see these two interacting in ways that are neither cliché, openly saucy-and-sexy-for-viewer-ratings, or dumb. They act like *real* people. Yes, the root of their relationship and how they got together the first time... SUCKED (for lack of a better word). But I am drawing the same line here that I drew in my commentary of the "Storm Front Part II" episode. This line separates the period of Berman & Braga with that of Manny Coto, and if the latter wants to be successful it must treat events that took place in the former in a very particular way: it must focus on INTENDED effect (namely here, T'Pol & Trip *doing* it in a way that has emotional consequences) rather than the actual hash that was displayed on the TV screen due to inept writing.

    With that in mind it is fully conceivable the two characters developed a true emotional attachment to one another over season 3, and it is one that has a worthy resolution here with a backdrop of finely-tuned themes of arranged-marriage and Vulcan society/family obligations. T'Pol's mother, which during former seasons I have no doubt would have served as a hollow character, a mere tool advance the plot... instead looks and acts like a REAL person here. My only regret is the way the story was wrapped up, namely not the "love-conquers-all" ending I was expecting. Perhaps it's a good thing, and perhaps the show should be commended for avoiding an obvious RomCom cliché. Still, I couldn't help but "Aww" when the wedding does go through (I guess I'm a romantic).

    Lastly, we have the Earth post-Xindi war trauma/bigotry theme featuring Phlox (which also provides Reed, Mayweather, and Hoshi with some screen time). I will admit the barroom brawl feels very contrived and expected, and intelligent humans *should* make the distinction between Xindi and other obviously non-hostile aliens. That said, there is no evidence to attest to the intelligence of the bar patron picking the fight (quite the contrary in fact). So despite feeling expected, the whole scene does not have the otherwise "fake" feel I felt in similar outings of seasons 1-2.

    As for the whole puffer-fish reaction by Phlox, it provided a WTF moment of pure jubilation for me. Not only is it funny, but it has the effect of defusing the "serious" tone of the situation immediately and perfectly. I cannot believe I'm saying this in an Enterprise context but I thought it was a moment of PURE GENIUS by the writers, nearly surpassed later by one of Phlox's lines during his dialogue with Hoshi. "My osmotic eel is under the weather" has to be the BEST excuse to get out of a date in the entire history of dates.

    So in summary, this episodes features THREE simultaneous storylines and ALL THREE are worthy to receive full marks. when is the last time it happened on this show? I'll tell you when: NEVER.

    4 Stars.

    P.S. Grumpy, why are you taking Archer's words so literally? That's just what a captain *has* to say when delivering an eulogy, every member of his crew is essential to the ship's effort. Whether each casualty *individually* provided a tactical advantage isn't really the point.

    Marco... I realize Archer was using a figure of speech. In effect, I was questioning the figure of speech itself.

    Well, having rewatched the episode today, I agree with Jammer on this one: "Honestly, the debriefing itself could've been an entire episode, possibly a fascinating one."
    According to me it not only COULD have been an entire episode - it SHOULD have been! Why suspending the hearing when it got hairy (and interesting)? To go rock climbing?? They should have shown us more of the debriefing or even a court martial. I mean: torture, piracy, heavy losses - Archer has quite a track record, hasn't he? And let him ponder over this things in breaks during the debriefing with (the wonderful caracter) Cpt. Hernandez! That would/could have been really powerful! (And why did they have to kiss anyway!?)

    The best episode ever! (The wedding made me cry though when TPol kissed Trip...) For the first time it goes deeper into the characters and we have a moment to relax from all that action.

    This is a 4 star for me, I loved it, maybe because it was just SO unbelievably needed.

    Sorry to be crude, but after the endless battles of season 3 (I loved Archer's comment "boldly going into battle") this was very similar to really desperately needing a pee, and finally having one. It's the most relieved and satisfied I've felt with the show for a while!

    It's just so nice to quieten down and see the characters a bit more. To see Archer beating himself up about some of his choices (as he perhaps should), reminding us that yes he does have a conscience, yes he is a decent human being still etc. I support his love story and it being fairly important for his mental and emotional health, and it's a shame it can't really develop like say Sisko and Cassidy Yates. Alas, the life of captains.

    The Trip/T'Pol "I already have a fiancé" thing is rather cliché (two accents in one sentence, mannn) but worked well enough not to bother me and it's nice to see a bit more of Vulcan parenting. I'd also add that the house and area are indeed beautiful, and much nicer than the grim looking place Spock went to way back when :)

    Story C with the rest of the crew, yeah, that was a bit overblown with a sort of "Wild West Saloon" thing going. Can't win them all. The blowfish thing evened it out!

    Trip has no family left, the episode seems to state. But all we heard prior to this is that he lost his sister in the Xindi attack. No one else.

    But he also had a brother. He practiced dancing with him because he wanted to ask a girl on high school prom or something similar. He told that to the renegade Vulcan engineer at odds with his dad.

    Or did his brother die earlier? If he died in the attack as well, why wasn't he mourning him as well?

    Hoshi has a father, Reed had a father and a mother, Travis had a mom and dad...
    What about Trip's father or mother? Were they both deceased, or killed in the attack as well or whatever? He never mourned them, either.

    The disappearance of his family always nagged me. Maybe someone here knows what was wrong with his brother and family?

    T'Pol's clothes are way too trendy for Vulcan's attire. She doesn't stand out among the humans or the Vulcans of this time period or any other in the Star Trek universe. She looks like a teeny popper from 2004.

    I meant to say that T'Pol does stand out among Humans and Vulcans.

    Overall, I enjoyed this quite a lot. As Jakob said, very much like "Family", though not quite as strong. Although, I think I'd qualify: not quite as strong in the same areas.

    "Home" does not do for Archer what "Family" did for Picard. It was close. But as soon as Hernandez kisses Archer, it jumps over that cliff Archer only dreamed about. However, I think this is the best that the T'Pol/Trip relationship has been portrayed, and their scenes are all wonderful. For them, it's "Family" and more.

    Restraint. This is the key to what works in the episode. All the Vulcan scenes have restraint, even though T'Pol is near bursting and everyone, Vulcans and Trip, have emotions bubbling to the surface.

    It makes these scenes appear low-key, but there's this charge and energy beneath it all that just crackles. Also, I have to say that I'm very glad that all the Vulcan scenes felt exactly right. For a series that typically makes them one-dimensional jerks, it's refreshing to see Vulcans that look and act, well, Vulcan for a change.

    Archer and Hernandez have this restraint, until they cross the line. I particularly liked Archer owning up to torture and marooning, as we as viewers constantly wonder if the writers forget these things. It's nice to see his character reflective, and see the contrast of war-weary Archer and starry-eyed Hernandez. It's a shame that her offer to help Archer find what he lost ended up in her pants. (I have nothing against Archer getting some, or relationships between senior officers, but it just seems to trivialize everything Archer is going through to say that all he needs is a good lay. It's a simplistic, lazy out.)

    Restraint is the thing the bar scenes most definitely did *not* have, and they suffered for it. The scene where Malcom cautions Phlox before he goes to Earth is effective, because it seems so unfortunate yet all too believable.

    Then it becomes a bad cartoon. Barfights are a tired enough cliche as it is, but they really don't work for a serious episode or issue. There's a way to tackle this kind of sentiment. That way is not "Stupid prejudice is bad. Let's punch each other."

    I thought Jolene Blalock was fantastic, striking just the right note of a barely-contained T'Pol. It would have been easy to go too far, but she provides just enough contrast to the normal Vulcan facades.

    I think the biggest difference between "Home" and "Family" is that "Family" kept its eye on where the characters came from, what was going on in their lives, and where they needed to go.

    This worked beautifully for Trip and T'Pol, encompassing all those aspects and developing them. It's no surprise that these scenes were my favorites, but I think they were just all-around the most satisfying.

    The Archer scenes come close, but drop the ball in the resolution. Yes, we want Archer to get his optimism back. But this was the pivotal crisis for Picard in "Family", and it was wrenching. Here, it's just a little too easy. In more than one sense of the word.

    Finally, the Phlox story, while no less deserving, is just not well developed. Phlox's attitude is nuanced, but nothing else is. I don't know if this will be referenced later in the season, or it would have been better just to junk it in favor of more Vulcan scenes and giving Archer's turnaround a bit more meat on that bone.

    I'd agree with your review Jammer.

    The Archer stuff is best, although I think it degenerated a bit after the kiss.

    The Vulcan part was second but still very annoying. I just can't buy the way they portray Vulcans in this series. Too emotional, too passive aggressive.

    John Billingsley makes the 3rd part watchable but that's about it.

    As everyone has stated; the episode we (mostly) had to have.

    It's a shame, in a 4th season with mini-arcs, that they didn't make "Home" a two-parters. What worked in "Family" was the fact that it was focused mainly on one character to describe the aftermath of the encounter with the Borgs.

    I think there was much more to be done with each of the three stories. I agree with everyone, it was a delight to have a quiet and deep episode and I still rate it very high. The idea of xenophobia was good, but that's the topic they did partially wrong. The context was good, in a bar; though taking it against the doctor who was on the ship that saved earth is a bit hard to swallow. They could have started it against an anonymous andorian or tellarite.

    I also agree that I had liked a long debriefing and more exploration of Archer's guilt. I enjoyed the little insight we had here, but it wasn't enough.

    T'Pol's mother is a true vulcan, very logical but not impervious to human's emotions, recognizing that her daughter should have all the facts before making a decision. There are even hints that she sees Trip as not unreasonable, even for a human. Wonderful and tragic story.

    I guess that they didn't want to spend more than three episodes dealing with season three. However, I wonder if it wouldn't have been better to have wrapped up Stormfront in one episode and spent two on this one.

    I did like the barfight, or at least its resolution, basically because I think its a fourth-wall-breaking visual gag (the man with the rubber forehead is actually *supposed* to have a rubber forehead) played deadpan, so you don't necessarily notice until later.

    I loved how Trip fixed one of the appliances in the Vulcan kitchen... human men can be useful!

    Whoever started the rumor that season 4 is the best, most focused, etc., should go into marketing, or at least porn. The waves of raging unquestioning boners for what is just another season of "Star Trek: Wasted Potential" is mind boggling.

    All I could think about in this episode was how bony T'Pol looked. Someone please give her a donut - JB has always been slender but she looked almost skeletal in 'Home', and it was not attractive.

    I agree the bar fight was lame. If I were Reed, my reply to the idiot complaining about Starfleet would be a reminder that I had just freaking saved the planet!

    At the end of the last episode, the timeline repaired itself, according to Daniels, but how much was "undone"? THe Xindi swath and the 7 million casualties are still "real", since Archer whines about them here.

    Jammer says that Trip’s and T’Pol’s relationship was presented as “trivial”. I disagree. T’Pol *said* it was trivial, but remember she always was deeply conflicted about her feelings towards Trip, and her retroactively claiming that it was nothing actually hints that much more strongly at what she really feels, but is afraid to admit to anyone, least of all to herself.

    One thing, though, that strangely doesn’t seem to have come up much is how she feels about Archer. In the alternate timeline where the Xindi succeed, she ends up hinting strongly that she ends up falling in love with Archer, not Trip. Furthermore, when Archer turns out to be alive after all after saving Earth, I thought the look on her face was one of someone relieved that a loved one had survived, a look of wide-eyed admiration, even adoration. (In fact I've been quite taken by how well Blalock has portrayed quite subtle changes in facial expression. I think she’s a much better actress than people have given her credit.)

    Overall I think this episode was excellent. Admittedly the barroom brawl was a little over-the-top, but to me it was entirely plausible, even in the 22nd century. In particular what I found interesting was how Archer seemed to be answering the critics of the series by showing that he, too, didn’t think all his decisions were the right ones and he was angry at how he was robbed of what his hoped-for “real” mission was supposed to be. He simply wasn’t at all prepared for what he ended up going through, and was forced to make it up as he went along. Unfortunately many people seem to have interpreted that as “Archer is a bumbling idiot”, but that makes the character that much more believable and sympathetic to me. Thus I didn’t think his frustration, thin skin, questioning himself, and lashing out were at all wrong, they were actually a very insightful portrayal by the writers of a thoroughly traumatized and disillusioned human being. Having gone through some major crises and a big downfall in my own life, I can readily sympathise.

    So ironically this episode may have made Archer my favorite of the Star Trek captains, not because he’s perfect, but because he’s the most human of any of them. Well done.

    I agree with Marco P. Definitely 4 stars. Very well done episode with great characterization.

    The Trip/T'Pol stuff really was genius, with its Vulcan take on a daughter bringing a guy home to meet her mother. Any human parent would think, "This Trip fellow is a good guy, an officer with a great career, plus he's polite and helpful around the house--well done, daughter!" Instead, T'Pol's mother starts out cold and skeptical. I found myself laughing out loud more than once at how our human expectations were turned on their head. I also thought the way mom wanted her daughter to have all the facts was wonderful (Trip was winning her over), as well as Trip rationalizing not telling T'Pol (though it was damned frustrating as a viewer -- that's who Trip is.)

    And the ending made me so sad! I've been rooting for these two crazy kids. I disagree that it came out of the blue--it started early in the first season when T'Pol was obviously annoyed (yes, jealous) that Trip got impregnated by the alien chick. Jammer thought her reaction was out of character, but her attraction to Trip perfectly explains her over-reaction. T'Pol has clearly been struggling with the fact she's falling for a human, which goes against everything she has ever considered or expected of her life. In Harbinger, she gave in to her desires, but was terrified of what it might mean to have such strong feelings for Trip, so she attempted to dial it back. It's standard RomCom stuff. Granted, earlier episodes were not written with the same finesse that this episode shows in developing their relationship.

    I also love how this plotline is giving depth to the idea that a Vulcan and human can fall in love. I think of this as a look at one of the first (maybe THE first?) human/vulcan relationships -- it makes me think about why and how Spock's mother would ever marry a Vulcan man. Sarek couldn't have been an emotionless robot who never showed her affection, nor was he portrayed that way in "Journey to Babel," just as T'Pol has deep feelings for Trip.

    The Archer thread was nicely done -- while he interests me the least (I hate him going off all the time in undiplomatic fashion), at least he recognized how he wasn't really the hero Earth thought he was, and was struggling with that realization. I also am glad he came around in some ways. But frankly, he bores me.

    The Phlox thread dealing with prejudice, and harking back to people hating on random Muslims or Sheiks or anyone who looked different after 9/11, was also very well done. I love Phlox, and that puffer-face trick was neat.

    4 stars from me!

    On the question of Trip's family...

    In a following episode, Trip said his parents were living in Mississippi (T'Pol is missing their conversations and asks him about them.) Even though this episode made it sound like he had nowhere to go, in retrospect it seems he wanted to spend time with T'Pol (that whole in love thing), which is why he stopped by her cabin fishing for an invite. LOL. Since T'Pol had two weeks to spend on a non-honeymoon after the ceremony, Trip probably visited his family then.

    It bothers me that Archer never set out to rectify his decision to strand the alien vessel from "Damage" after Earth was safe. One would think, considering the unethical gravity of his decision to steal the alien warp-coil, that it would have been on the back of his mind (if he survived the Xindi arc) to make that one wrong, right.

    @bhbor - It WAS on his mind.

    "ARCHER: You want to know why I'm out here? I figured this is the last place I'd run into anyone who'd want to shake my hand or take my picture or tell me I'm an inspiration to their children. If they knew what I'd done.
    ERIKA: You did what any captain would have done.
    ARCHER: Does that include torture? Or marooning a ship full of innocent people? Because I don't remember reading those chapters in the handbook."

    The question is just if it was worth it to go back for them. I mean, we get the feeling Enterprise has been at Earth awhile and we aren't sure what direction they went. By the time we sent one of the only 2 Earth ships after them, it could take months to find them and their journey home was only 3 years. Not to mention they likely found the journey easier once the expanse was blown away.

    I do agree that Archer would want to, I'm just not sure it makes sense for Starfleet to do it. Of course you never know when the people you pissed off might come after you.

    Agree w/ John TY regarding the Vulcans. Their emotions are too close to the surface. Understandable in T'Pol's case (if a little too convenient) but the others did not act in any logical, detached manner. The writers really should have paid more attention to the original depiction of Vulcans played by Leonard Nimoy, Mark Lenard, and even Tim Russ.

    Ironic that Spock himself was half human. Yet he chose to embrace the Vulcan half of his heritage. His wanting (and succeeding) to be more Vulcan than a full blooded one really exposed a particular human trait, namely desire.

    Well it is good Archer remembers the aliens from Damage he stranded but who knows whether he would be able to organise a rescue mission.

    This was a really bad episode! All three storylines were badly paced, and compared to the stupid fight sequences of the last two episodes, this was really boring. I am officially announcing Enterprise as the worst Star Trek spin-off ever!

    I really liked this episode but how in the world did Koss's line about wanting T'Pol to be "happy" ever get through? Wow.

    A very welcome change of pace, and a very rare character piece that serves as a counterpart to TNG's "Family". It's to the credit of the series that it tries to wrap up some big picture issues, but in all honesty I found the presentation of those issues to be fairly uninspired.

    Archer's story had some really good moments, but I thought Trip/T'Pol just kind of petered out to nothing, and the alien discrimination sub-plot was only noticeable for perhaps the most unexpected and certainly one of the funniest moments of any Trek as Phlox goes all puffer fish on us. That it features in a standby as hackneyed as a bar brawl to me sums up the whole thing - 2.5 stars.

    Well for me that was a bit of relief that the show may be turning around, but maybe only because the previous two episodes of Stormfront PtI and II were so bad.

    It was all very much more understated with more stuff that worked than stuff that didn't. Personally I wasn't taken much by the internal mountaintop ruminations of Archer, and thought the debreifing could have been elaborated a bit more, nice scene between Soval and Archer to wrap up that story. The Trip/T'Pol B story was interesting to me if only because it was a closer look at T'Pol's past and a bit of a look at Vulcan. It was diverting enough to guess whether T'Pol would go through with the wedding (or not) and the script and acting all sort of worked for me. I liked that they inserted a bar brawl into Enterprise - a bit of a nod and a wink to other "bar room brawling" scenes in TOS.

    As a lot of others have commented on - some nice character development and some nice setting up stuff for the future.

    Gee, I'm going to have to disagree on this one. I spent most of the episode just wishing it'd hurry up and finish.

    Don't get me wrong; I can see why this episode needed to happen, if for no other reason than as a punctuation point. And I completely understand that it's a sign of a now mature show that it takes the time to deal with consequences, digest what we've just been through, and spend time working with developing characters and relationships (well, for the core trio anyway.) It's just that I didn't find very much of it interesting. My highlight was Phlox's puffer fish moment.

    So I see why this was probably nescessarily - though I really didn't quite buy the Earthlings xenophobia- at least not the hostility toward Phlox, who after all is supposed to be one of the heroes who saved Earth - but now that we've had our measured, mature moment, let's get on with whatever this season is actually going to be about.

    Almost perfect aftermath. The TPol marriage was clumsy, forced drama

    I guess I compare "Home" to TNG's "Family" -- both crews coming back to Earth after their most difficult missions. It's also a character episode unlike "Storm Front" which was all action and very light on meaning.

    Like Picard in "Family", Archer comes back with a ton of fame but wants to get away from it: "I lost something out there. I gotta get it back." he says. Then the cliche of the other captain kissing him -- knew that one was coming. Then we find out they used to be dating...OK fine.

    Better is Soval apologizing to Archer - the old Vulcan's always been a dick and Vulcans have been portrayed in ENT as suspicious/deviant but maybe the apology goes some way to the Vulcans being thought of as how they ultimately become in 60s Trek / TNG etc.

    The more interesting subplot is T'Pol/Trip going to Vulcan. I wonder if Blalock has lost weight over the past few episodes. She looked frail in "Home". We see some ramifications of her dissing the Vulcan academy for Star Fleet. It's a decent plot with T'Pol reluctant marriage / Trip's feelings for her. I didn't find T'Pol's mother or fiancee to be good Vulcan actors -- they seemed to have emotions when speaking, subtle facial expressions etc.

    Trinneer is the best actor in the series. I think his portrayal of Trip being jilted by T'Pol after going all the way to Vulcan not knowing what could be up was convincing. Blalock acted well here too as a Vulcan having emotions due to her addiction and having evolved with humans. Her face always seemed to be trembling with frustration/anger.

    The xenophobia against Phlox was kind of poorly acted - standard bar brawl. Nice to see Phlox inflate his head like some kind of lizard...

    I'd give "Home" 2.5 stars -- good episode to relate Enterprise's mission with those around them, fill in some holes before getting on to the next mission. I think I prefer this type of episode more than the "Storm Front" type although both are of the same quality -- decent but not great.

    Really good, solid episode, dealing with what only DS9 usually bothered with -- the repercussions. I love how dark and angry Archer is while Hernandez is still a naive explorer. It's also the last appearance of any Xindi in any episode of Trek.

    However, the opening scene is pretty terrible. I could have made a more convincing ampitheatre on my Commodore 64 and I suck at programming. The obvious low-rent feel is a slap in the face to the Enterprise crew and cast, who were struggling to do their best in a failing and poorly conceived series that was nevertheless starting to find its feet.

    And I was heartily sick of the show's portrayal of Vulcans by this point. I thought they were supposed to be intelligent explorers, and they're almost never portrayed that way (in any series).

    In addition to my previous comment: I'm just watching this episode again and am struck by how much I have become like Archer in this episode, and Hernandez is like my new girlfriend.

    Ex-girlfriends are more damaging and frightening than any hostile aliens!

    I agree that the debrifing only would make a hell of an episode. The destiny of the zombie Vulcans as presented was too contrived. They were mere disposable plot devices, since Enterprise couldn't give them a ride.

    I enjoyed this episode, but the scene where T'Pol and her mom are speaking in Vulcan so that Trip won't understand what they're saying confused me. Does this mean they were all speaking English before? Did Trip forget his universal translator on Enterprise?

    'Hello we're the Vulcans and in this version of Trekiverse we've controlled every emotion except rampant snittiness. Luckily being patronising isn't an emotion or we'd have problems with that too. And by the way our guests have to do all the cooking. Welcome, I'll show you to the kitchen.'

    This was trying to be like TNG's 'Family' after 'BOBW' but was a shadow of that episode.

    I found it a bit boring and obvious at times (eg T'Pol's homecoming was predictable). They should have made much more of the debriefing and earth's population reacting to the events.

    2 stars.

    Why was Hoshi missing in the victory celebration at the beginning? Even Phlox and Travis were there.

    "Whoever started the rumor that season 4 is the best, most focused, etc., should go into marketing, or at least porn. The waves of raging unquestioning boners for what is just another season of "Star Trek: Wasted Potential" is mind boggling."

    yea nah. its a good season, this is a good episode. is it as great as the best moments of tng/ds9? no.... is it better than the worst moments of those shows? definitely. there are weak episodes of this show too, id put it on the same level as voyager or even tos, a mix of good and meh episodes. ultimately its all so much better than what we have now for "star trek" that ive really enjoyed my rewatch of enterprise.

    it was nice to get a break from all the action of the xindi war arc and i have to say i think the second half of the xindi war arc season is great other than the very very end that starts the time travel nazi stuff, kinda felt like a weird way to end it, but im glad it also got rid of the temporal cold war which is the weakest aspect of the show. at this point its all about the federation getting together via multiple events among different species, and the augments situation w the klingons which i sort of forgot about, but im very excited for the vulcan and andorian based episodes of this season. some of the episodes later this season are as good as any of the best trek epiosdes. probably the closest feel to the good episodes of TOS out of any season in any series (other than the first two seasons of TNG but that was like bad TOS lol)

    also want to add, ive only seen every single trek series for the first time 2 years ago, within a single year. so i dont think i have any nostalgia blinders on. even as flawed as ENT can be sometimes (and tbh, most of the series including TOS have quite a few flaws and dud episodes too) and as much as i dislike the theme song (lol) it feels a billion times more like star trek than the stuff that is being put out now as star trek (picard and disco) ... if you like those shows thats fine but yea, they have become a chore to watch and i dont feel that way about any other star trek series except for maybe the most dated of TOS or early TNG (code of honor lmao)

    I thought the xenophobic bar scene was a good allegory for military personnel returning from the middle east and being blamed for stoking the fires of terrorism. Archer says something like “If we weren't out there causing trouble, 7 million lives wouldn't have been lost”, which I took to mean if America wasn't involved in the first Gulf war then may be 9/11 wouldn't have happened. I didn't find all the Trip & T'Pol scenes appealing. Not a great deal happens in this episode.

    Over all score: 3/10

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