Enterprise meets itself in an episode that involves even more time travel! Originally broadcast on May 5, 2004 this is E².
Captain’s Starlog date unknown
Enterprise finds the subspace corridor that is meant to take them to the Xindi Super Weapon but stop when another NX class starship is detected on scanners. They are surprised when the ship turns out to be themselves but from the future. Captained by a man named Lorian, the second Enterprise requests that Enterprise not enter the rift until they can explain.
It turns out that this Enterprise was thrown back in time when they went through the rift and have been kinda hangin around doing nothing since 2037 waiting for the chance to meet up with themselves to stop them from going into the rift. Things get more complicated when it is revealed that Lorian is Trip Tucker’s son with T’Pol and Enterprise had basically become a generational ship with the sole mission to prevent it all from happening. Old T’Pol, the sole surviving member of the original crew, warns Archer of their fate but Lorian is convinced that history will repeat itself. It seems however, that old T’Pol believes that Lorian’s plan will fail and that she could protect Enterprise allowing it to traverse the corridor.
Working together they manage to reconfigure the original Enterprise in a way that can protect itself from the accidental Time Travel but, In the process, Lorian attempts to sabotage the work by stealing original Enterprise’s plasma injectors so he can meet with Degra himself and finish the mission, preventing Original Enterprise from travelling the corridor. Original Enterprise attacks and, just when it looks like Lorian will destroy his past ship, Karyn Archer (Capt Archer’s great granddaughter!) convinces Lorian to step down and the T’Pols finish their work.
Just as they finish the ships are attacked by Kovaalan interceptors but, working together, they are able to end the attack fairly quickly. Using the new upgrades to the ship, the original Enterprise goes into the corridor and arrives to their destination safely. Waiting on the second Enterprise, it never emerges indicating that it did not survive yet, somehow, the Enterprise crew remembers them meaning that everything they experienced did indeed happen. Enterprise meets up with Degra’s ships and they begin their journey to meet with the Xindi Council.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
I have to say, this is among the best time travel episodes that Star Trek has ever been presented. Taking a nod from the STNG episode ‘Yesterday’s Enterprise’ and DS9’s ‘Children of Time’, but this time around a ship from the future arrives in the past and, unable to return, it sticks to the shadows for over a century preparing to help when the time is right.
The thing that makes this epsiode work so well is that, while they keep claiming that this future Enterprise is their ‘future selves’, what they really did was inadvertently create an alternate timeline where Enterprise essentially failed it’s mission and Earth was in fact destroyed. This gives the indication that the Federation had never had a chance to even form making a myriad new universe that is never even seen. You see, the Enterprise² had no information about the future of the galaxy, only information about a potential future for the Enterprise crew. So, by sharing this limited information, they really wouldn’t have a major effect in polluting the timeline, as, they really didn’t know any more about the future than the current crew. Whooo, that was a mouthful.
The most interesting, and honestly tragic, thing is that we never discover what happens to Enterprise² or it’s crew after they stopped to defend Enterprise. While they may have survived and were simply unable to join the current ship, it is more likely that some of them managed to escape via shuttle or escape pods, or could have even been captured, indicating that some of the quasi-future decedents of Archer’s Enterprise are still out there somewhere. While we never find out the fate of Enterprise², the fact that these decedents of the original crew stood firm and saved their ancestors is certainly a testament to the original crew’s legacy. Sure, Archer might have become a vengeful soul this season, but maybe, just maybe, over time he found some peace and was able to instill his drive for justice and integrity into this future crew. Personally, I would love to hear more about the Enterprise²’s adventures after they found themselves in the past. From the glimpse of the logs, it seems that ship had some interesting upgrades to be sure.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the biggest, and possibly most impactful story development that this episode provided. No, I’m not talking about the Xindi story, I am talking about the romance of Trip and T’Pol. Since earlier in the series there has been a growing connection between these two. Although a very unlikely couple, it seemed as if their relationship had finally reached it’s zenith when they, well, consummated it a few episodes back, However, it seems that T’Pol has been having second thoughts because she might have been under the influence of a drug and, is a might concerned that she is losing control of her emotions. To his credit, Tripp has been a gentleman and, even though he is sure that any chance of a relationship is over, he still wants to be her friend if she needs one. Enter Old T’Pol. Upon learning that she and Tripp had married and had a child together, young T’Pol found herself even more distraught and, eventually, sought out clarity from her future counterpart. It was there that her future self told her that what T’Pol is going through with her addiction will never be corrected and that she will have to learn to deal with her feelings from that point on. In fact, it was Tripp who helped save old T’Pol from losing herself in these new feelings and, it would probably be in young T’Pol’s best interest to treat him a little better. This, of course, sets up some future events that I won’t spoil for you here but, needless to say…well…this story is not quite over yet.
Overall, this is probably one of my favorite episodes this season. With it’s fresh take on the time travel trope, it finds a way to really stand out as something special. My only complaint is that we never discover the fate of Enterprise² or it’s crew, or learn of their adventures before this episode. I guess all of that will remain a mystery.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- It seems in the alternate future, Reed never finds love and dies alone, much to current Reed’s dismay.
- While Reed remains alone, Hoshi and Mayweather learn that they not only get married but have kids as well. Mayweather marries one of the MACO’s, Hoshi, well, she didn’t want the surprise spoiled.
- We also learn that Dr Phlox ended up with nine children and has MANY descendants on the E².
- It appears that Enterprise² has been updated with Andorian, Klingon, Ikaaran, Denobulan, and who knows how many other upgrades. This ship has really been through some things!
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: The Council
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Late To The Game 10/8/2021
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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