The one where T’Pol goes insane. Originally broadcast on October 8, 2003 this is Impulse.
Captain’s Starlog date unknown:
After picking up a Vulcan distress call, Enterprise finds the Vulcan ship Seleya only to discover that the entire crew has gone batshit crazy. Apparently this was the ship the Vaankara was sent to find, where that crew went insane as well, and, surprise, this Vulcan crew is pretty much the same. After boarding the Seleya, they are attacked by crazy Vulcans and attempt to discover what happened to this ship and crew. Soon T’pol begins acting erratically as well, even accusing Archer and crew to be trying to kill her. Before long they discover the reason for their madness is in fact the use of Trellium-D to protect the ship. Unable to save the Vulcan crew who have succumb to madness, Archer is able to save T’Pol, however her exposure has caused her to become slightly unhinged and seeing visions of the insane Vulcans. Unfortunately, this means Enterprise can not use the Trellium D they traded spices for and Archer is unwilling to leave T’Pol behind even if it means protecting the rest of the crew. Plus the large supply of Trellium Trip just brought back from his own excursion is placed in a biohazard locker for T’Pol’s protection.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
The episode itself serves as a way to simply make Enterprise’s time in the expanse all the more difficult. After learning earlier in the season that the only way to prevent the strange spatial anomalies from tearing apart their ship is to use a substance called Trellium-D, they, of course, do all they can to find this substance. Now, with it literally in their grasp, what happens? Oh, we can’t use it because one of the crew members will go insane. Seriously, I get the feeling that everyone aboard this ship broke mirrors, walked under ladders and crossed paths with black cats the last time they were on Earth because, jeezaloo this crew is cursed. I do get the ‘O’Brien Must Suffer’ episodes of DS9 but an entire ‘This Crew Must Suffer’ season is a little much. Give these folks a break will ya?
All that aside, this episode itself plays out more like a Scifi Zombie film than a Star Trek episode and, for what it’s worth, that really makes this episode worth while. Heck, just the shambling mindless Vulcan Zombies (Vumbies? Zomcans?) is rad but that combined with the tremendous range of Jolene Blaylock finally getting a chance to stretch a bit, yeah, totally worth the price of entry. Even though I really hate the fact that Enterprise can not catch a break and have to forego the protection they thought they were about to have, this episode marks a serious character arc for T’Pol herself. The Trellium-D and her slip into a more emotional state? yeah, that is far from over.
Overall, Impulse is well worth your time, even though it really does put Enterprise and it’s crew into a worse spot overall, you have to admit, this is a pretty resilient crew.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- We learn that there is a maintenance crew who probably hate Trip and the rest of the crew for the rather interesting messes that are left behind.
- It is established that Vulcans were not only once a Violent race but also a very paranoid one. Sound like any other species with pointy ears?
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: Exile
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Late To The Game 9/1/2021
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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