It’s puppy love aboard the Enterprise on the episode that originally aired on October 16,2002. This is A Night In Sickbay.
Captain’s Log Date Undetermined:
After visiting the easily offended Kreetassans (remember them, they dont like seeing you eat) and not getting the plasma injectors they needed because of some unknown slight, Archer and team return to the ship only to learn that Porthos has picked up a nasty virus.
Discovering that there is a pathogen in the air that is deadly to his dog, Archer gets even more upset at the bothersome Kreetassans but is reminded that they have something the ship needs. Soon they discover that the reason the Kreetassans are upset is that Porthos peed on one of their sacred trees, and Archer must steel his anger. That night Archer spends his time in sickbay with Porthos and Doctor Phlox hoping that his friend will be okay. After a series of close calls with Porthos, his dog is finally healing well and Archer finally gets some sleep. Only, he begins to dream about having relations with T’Pol and begins to question his feelings toward his Science Officer.
In the end, Porthos has to have a kidney transplant from a Calrissian Chameleon and Archer participates in a lengthy ritual of apology for the tree being peed on by chopping wood….seriously. Enterprise gets the plasma injectors and makes it a point to apologies to T’Pol, explaining that he has discovered inappropriate feelings for her which he will work on suppressing. Soon Enterprise leaves with a recovered Porthos and a slightly humbled Archer.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
If you have had a four legged companion of any sort, this episode really hits home. While Porthos isn’t the first pet in a Star Trek series (Picard had a fish, Data had a cat and O’Brien had a spider), his regular appearance on the series makes him more of a costar to the rest of the cast than any other animal in Star Trek. So, needless to say, when the little fella gets sick, yeah, it’s like one of the bridge crew is nearly dying and boy is it impactful.
What I love most about this episode is that it really gives us a chance to get to know Johnathan Archer from a personal perspective. While we have gotten to know him as the Captain of the Enterprise, we really haven’t had a chance to get to see him in this personal of a situation. The revelations that come out of this are quite a few, not only do we learn that Archer is a significant animal lover, as well as very prideful when it comes to perceived slights, but he also has not had any kind of intimate relation in quite some time. So, there really isn’t any surprise that Archer has been getting a might irritable as of late. I mean, he hasn’t really been taking care of his personal needs and, having a loved one get sick is rather stressful, so…yeah.
We also get a chance to learn a little more about Doctor Phlox and his personal life as well. Not only do we learn that he has multiple degrees in several medical fields, including psychiatry, we also learn more about his married life with his 3 wives and their multiple husbands. We also learn that he has several children a few of which have become doctors themselves. It’s great to be able to get to know this incredible character a little more than before, showing that Phlox is very much the best choice for Chief Medical Officer aboard the NX-01.
Overall, this episode isn’t really a ‘monster of the week’ story, but much more of a personal tale dealing with love, affection and understanding. While the Kreetassans are used as a bit of a foil in this one, they really are there just as a catalyst for Archer to discover just how he is feeling about, well, everything. If you want to get a really good idea of the personal side of the crew, this is a fantastic episode to give a go.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- Apparently Dr Phlox also has a degree in Origami as he built an origami bird to help capture a bat.
- We get a hint that Archer had two dogs named Goldie and Duffy in his nightmare of Porthos’ death.
- It seems there is a Star Wars fan on the writing staff as we are introduced to the Calrissian Chameleon, name checking a certain scoundrel.
- We learn that sometimes Dr Phlox sleeps in sickbay and those nights are not the most restful.
- We also learn that, not only does Phlox feed his quick growing toenails to some of his menagerie of animals, but he has an extra long tongue.
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: Marauders
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Late To The Game 7/2/2021
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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