Its a miss communication which almost costs lives on the episode that originally aired on May 1, 2002. This is Vox Sola.
Captain’s Log Date undetermined
After a horribly botched first contact with a race known as the Kreetassans, a strange creature gets on board the Enterprise and begins attacking and capturing crewmembers. With the ship in danger they must determine a way to either destroy or communicate with the creature but both seem very difficult to do. Before long Hoshi, who is still reeling over her botched contact with the Kreetassans finds a way to communicate with the creature but it does not seem willing to cooperate. Soon the Kreetassans return and, now speaking English, indicate that they were offended by the fact that humans eat in public which is a private thing for them. They soon assist in identifying the web creatures homeworld and Enterprise returns it to it’s own people, which happens to basically cover the entire planet.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
This is a pretty typical ‘Creature of the Week’ episode but there are some fun moments giving us a chance to meet some of the ‘lower deck’ crew members while also seeing the crew deal with an invading force. Much of the episode builds on the suspense of ‘what is this thing on the ship’ much like that of Ridley Scott’s Alien but, unlike the Xenomorph, this alien ultimately just wants to go home and doesn’t try to actually eat the crew, just grow on them like a mold and eventually make them part of itself.
What makes this episode work well is that we get to see the crew operate during a crisis without their Captain available and with little to no information as to what is attacking them. We even see a moment where Doctor Phlox attempts to analyze an appendage from it only to discover that it is something very unique and sophisticated. This, of course, leads them to debate whether they should communicate with the creature or destroy it with T’Pol, interestingly, insisting that they don’t have time for the former option. In the end things work out, because, well, this is only the first season so it would be pretty unlikely for Captain Archer to get eaten by an alien, but there are some rather intense moments throughout.
Overall, this isn’t a bad episode but not one that really stands out or pushes the overall narrative forward. Heck, there really wasn’t much character growth either, just a basic ‘invading force that must be stopped’ story. Then again, seeing that this was directed (and partially written) by Monster Squad and Night of the Creeps director Fred Dekker, I should not have expected much more. Not saying he’s bad at storytelling, he’s just really good at monsters! I do also have to note, I really appreciate the fact that they used a non-humanoid alien for once. Not enough of those on these series.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- We get the first instance of a Starfleet force field.
- We never encounter the parasitic being again even though it covers an entire planet. I have to wonder if they left a warning beacon or anything to warn people to maybe stay away.
- This is not the last we see of the Kreetassans despite the botched first contact.
- We get a chance to see Dr Phlox really put his foot down when it comes to protecting a potential sentient species.
- We also learn that T’Pol has a rather high regard for Hoshi and truly believes in her skills as a communications specialist.
- Mayweather gets a chance to conduct second contact and succeeds wonderfully, I have to wonder if it was him that inspired ships like that of the USS Cerritos on Lower Decks.
Thanks for reading the Retro TV Review, I look forward to discussing the rest of the series with you, one episode at a time every Monday, Wednesday and Friday! Next Review: Fallen Hero
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Late To The Game 6/11/2021
Special Thanks to Memory Alpha as they are one of the best sources for details on Star Trek information available. Although I have a pretty deep knowledge on the subject, they have proven invaluable as a regular resource.
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