Enterprise must attempt to get some peace. Originally broadcast on February 12, 2003 this is Cease Fire.
Captain’s Starlog date undetermined
The Vulcans and the Andorians find themselves at odds over a planet they both claim at their own and Archer is sent in to negotiate seeing that he has prior experience with both species. It seems that Andoria had originally had a settlement there but Vulcan forced them to leave when they annexed the planet in fear that the Andorians would use it as a military outpost.
Upon arrival, Archer is met by Ambassador Soval who makes it clear that he is not pleased with the presence of Enterprise. Archer then goes to the surface with T’Pol where they meet with Archer’s old friend Shran. Shran explains that he requested Archer as Shran believed that the Captain would remain a fair and neutral party in the matter. Shran provides his demands and asks that he have a meeting with Ambassador Soval on the surface to formalize their negotiations. It is clear that Shran’s partner, Tarah, is not pleased with the situation, and when Archer and T’Pol leave, she makes her position clear. She firmly believes that Shran is too dependent on Archer and that the humans are only puppets of the Vulcans. Shran refuses to accept this.
Ambassador Soval is not pleased with the arrangement but, after initially refusing to participate, agrees to meet with Shran in the designated area. Taking Soval to the surface, Archer and T’Pol soon find their shuttle under fire but they are able to land safely. Soval is convinced that this was a trap however Archer assures Soval that the Ambassador is mistaken.
Enterprise is contacted by the Vulcan vessel informing them that the shuttle has been shot down. Trip insists on being part of the rescue knowing that the Vulcans tend to shoot first and ask questions later. They then note that there are Andorian ships incoming and only a few hours away.
On the surface Archer and his team come under fire and Soval is hit. In the fight Archer discovered that Tarah has been firing on them. Shran arrives and Tarah tried to convince him that Archer and the Vulcans are trying to set them up. Archer tells Shran that Soval has been shot by an Andorian weapon and it would be easy to detect when scanned. Shran confronts Tarah who finally admits that she was taking matters into her own hands as she felt Shran was unable to lead them. Tarah is arrested.
In orbit, the Andorian ships arrive and are about to attack when Trip places Enterprise between them and the Vulcans. Both sides hail him and he explains that Enterprise has been sent there to broker peace and will do so even if they have to defend themselves. Trips plan plays out when he is contacted by Archer who indicates that negotiations will be beginning as planned.
In the end, the Vulcans and the Andorians agree to a cease fire and begin their negotiations. While neither are currently satisfied with the current state of affairs both Shran and Soval agree that this could be the start of something after all.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
To me, this is exactly the kind of series I expected Enterprise to be from the start. Being a prequel series about the origins of the Federation I really thought we would see more stories of Archer’s crew pulling together the Andorians, Vulcans, Tellerites and the rest of what would become the United Federation of Planets. So far we have had little things like ‘Reed Alert’ and the early use of the transporter, and of course the on-again off-again temporal cold war, but nothing significant or historical until now.
This episode marks the earliest stages of the inception of the Federation. Seeing that both Vulcan and Andoria were founding members of the Federation, it is interesting to find these two species at war with one another during this time period. Watching the original series and on, we are given a sense that Vulcans are a more peaceful and understanding species but that seems pretty far from the truth. In fact, from what we have seen so far, the peace-loving and understanding Vulcans are more of a subculture much like those that can conduct mind melds. I guess that a species can take the idea of Logic a little too far allowing them to use it more as a crutch than as a way to seek truth and enlightenment. The Andorians, on the other hand, are very much a warlike race who, through the guidance of Shran, are striving for equality and Peace in the cosmos. Sure, Shran is not one to lay down arms if he doesn’t have to but, seeing how open he has become with Archer, it is a wonder that the Vulcans haven’t noticed this shift in the Andorian culture. I guess this goes back to the rather arrogant nature of the Vulcans we have seen so far, although they believe themselves to be unemotional, the seem to use emotions to be blind to things they do not wish to see when it suits them.
Cease Fire also gives us some very great moments for several of the characters. Not only does Archer get a chance to show how dedicated he is to maintaining peace, but we get some great moments for both T’Pol and Trip Tucker giving them some significant character development. Starting with T’Pol, while it is clear that she is still struggling between her loyalty between Vulcan High Command (VHC) and Archer, it is also clear that she is finding a level of comfort and appreciation for her human crewmates. In fact, there is a brief exchange between T’Pol and Ambassador Soval where he point out that he insistence to remain on and defend Enterprise has all but stalled out her career with the VHC. In turn she makes it clear to him that she sees this human crew as proof that, maybe the Vulcan’s need to lighten up a bit.
Trip gets a chance at command this time around and he does so with quite a bit of panache. Not only does he manage to prevent a battle above the planet but he does so by maneuvering Enterprise between the enemy combatants daring them all to star a war he plans to finish. Knowing that Enterprise wouldn’t last very long considering it is still a prototype, this is a serious bluff that he pulls off admirably with his demeanor and command authority. Seems our Chief Engineer has learned a thing or two from Captain Archer.
One thing alone that makes this episode worth the price of entry is the fact that we get not one but two Star Trek alums as guest stars. Jeffery Combs returns in his amazing role as Shran who, every time he appears on this series, just steals the show. I have said it before but seriously, this guy is one of the best and it is always a joy to see his name in the credits. The second guest star that we havent seen in a while is non other than Suzie Plaksin who you might remember as Doctor Selar and K’Ehleyr from STNG as well as the Female Q on Voyager. This time she appears as the traitorous Tarah and but does she dominate the screen every time she appears. I really hope Plaksin comes back to Star Trek on one of the new series, she is one of the best.
Overall, this is one of the best world building episodes that begins to provide the building blocks for the future we all know will eventually happen. THIS is what I had hoped for from this show, unfortunately these kinds of episodes seem far and few between.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- We learn that Vulcans traditionally ‘do not drink’
- You might also recognize Trek Alum Christopher Shea who played the Vorta Keevan on DS9.
- We see Andorian Ale for the first time on the series as well. This wont be the last time.
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: Future Tense
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Late To The Game 7/26/2021
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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