A journey to the sex planet begins but of course issues to block them from their ultimate destination. Originally broadcast on May 8, 2002 this is Fallen Hero.
Captain’s Log Date February 9, 2152
After T’Pol advises Archer and Tucker that the crew should visit the pleasure planet of Rise to ‘relieve some tension’, the Enterprise sets course for some much needed shore leave. However, the journey is cut short when they are contacted by Starfleet command and ordered to rendezvous with the Vulcan Ship Sh’Raan after retrieving an Ambassador from Mazar. Picking her up, the crew learns that Ambassador V’Lar is being expelled from her post for criminal misconduct. Immediately it is clear that V’Lar is unlike most of the Vulcan’s they have encountered, even making attempts at humor. T’Pol is not pleased with V’Lar and is concerned that the Ambassador is not attempting to exonerate herself from whatever it is she did.
Before long the Mazarites return and demand V’Lar be returned to them. After Archer refuses, a short battle commences causing Archer to question what is really going on here. On the way, Archer and T’Pol learn the truth of what is going on from V’Lar and Archer is asked to help defend the Ambassador. It seems that her removal as Ambassador is only a diversion so that she can be taken home to Vulcan safely. After refusing to believe their story, T’Pol convinces him otherwise and they begin to take V’Lar home. Soon Enterprise is attacked by the Mazarites again but the Mazarites prove a match for them in Enterprise’s attempt to escape gaining on the Enterprise even at full warp. Contacting the Sh’Raan to join them to save V’Lar, the Enterprise is soon boarded by the Mazarites who demand V’Lar’s return. Archer claims that V’Lar was wounded in the fight buying them time for the Vulcan’s to arrive. The Mazarites take matters into their own hands and attempt to kill V’Lar but soon the Sh’Raan arrives and V’Lar reveals that she was never injured to begin with while the Mazarites depart in an attempt to avoid further confrontation.
After the Mazarites depart, V’Lar informs Archer that T’Pol thinks very highly of his leadership and that this gives the Ambassador hope for their two peoples. Enterprise resumes course for Risa…
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
Fallen Hero is very much a T’Pol story showing that even Vulcan’s have icons and when a Vulcan’s icon disappoints them, well, the result is a bit more than just feeling bad about it. You have to understand, Vulcans are a very emotional people who, through the use of logic, have managed to suppress their emotions although not quite purge them. Don’t let them fool you, they may claim to have purged all emotion, but time and again, we have all seen this to be merely a conceit on their part. Having spent some time with humans, T’Pol has had to reinforce her logic training and determination to remain unemotional. The problem is, Vulcans are also empathic, if not telepathic, and to have a constant barrage of emotions on a daily basis must be taxing. Compound this with the fact that one of her ‘heroes’ has essentially let her down and you have the makings of a very hurt T’Pol. This changes when V’Lar explains the situation to T’Pol making the Vulcan science officer realize that sometimes it is okay to embrace the customs and habits of those she is attempting to work with. It is through this method that V’Lar has been able to find success in her negotiations for the years she has been at it.
What I love most about this episode is the inclusion of actor Fionnula Flanagan in the role of V’Lar. You might recognize Flanagan from other Trek roles from DS9 as well as Data’s Mother and fellow android, Juliana Tainer. Her portrayal of V’Lar is perfect and gives us a glimpse of the Vulcan’s to come and not the rather stuffy and distrustful Vulcans that we have been dealing with so far in this series. On that, I do find it interesting that many of the Vulcans we meet that are not from the homeworld seem to have allowed themselves the comfort of pushing Logic aside on occasion. I have to wonder if it is not these Vulcans, as well as T’Pol’s experience on Enterprise that didn’t cause some changes by the time we meet them again on Discovery and the Original series, or that the Vulcans assigned to Earth were really just a big bag of asshats and Vulcans are actually pretty decent folk after all.
Overall, This is a great character development episode that really gives us a solid glimpse into who T’Pol is and how her relationship with Archer and her crew has developed on her short time aboard. This relationship will grow in the coming seasons including an unexpected relationship, but we are getting ahead of ourselves…
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- Enterprise hits Warp 5 for the first time, essentially breaking the ‘current’ speed record at the time.
- We never encounter the Mazarites again even though they sound like they were forming an early version of the Orion Crime Syndicate.
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: Desert Crossing
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Late To The Game 6/14/2021
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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