A Vulcan Embassy under attack and a search for Vulcan extremists. Originally broadcast on November 19, 2004 this is The Forge.
Captain’s Starlog date unknown
After the bombing of the Vulcan Embassy on Earth, which claims the life of Admiral Forrest, Archer and the crew return to Earth to investigate the attack. They soon find that, while the Andorians are suspected, it is possible that a new, normally peaceful, religious order known as the Syrrannites could be responsible. While investigating the case, they find that a woman named T’Pau had been present at the bombing causing some issues with who has jurisdiction over the case. T’Pol is visited by her husband, Koss, who gives her an IDIC medallion from her mother that happens to contain a holographic map to Vulcan’s Forge that may lead to a hidden group of Syrrannites.
Visiting Vulcan and finding Arev, after being attacked by a Selat, T’Pol finds that the Syrrannites are indeed a peaceful group following the ‘true’ teachings of Surak. Arev explain’s that it is believed that Surak’s Katra had been found and transferred into another Vulcan. This has caused a rift in the religious beliefs of their people as the High Command believes that the Syrrannites follow the ‘wrong’ version of Surak’s teachings which promotes Mind Melds.
Back on Enterprise, Soval accuses Stel of bombing the Embassy after seeing him doing it during a mindmeld with a witness who is in a coma. T’Las is distcusted that Soval used a mind meld and insists that the Ambassador turn himself in, ignoring the fact that Stel is likely the bomber. Soval agrees to turn himself in and assures Tucker that it is for the best as he can finally expose the truth. On Vulcan, T’Pol, Archer and Arev are accosted by a lightning storm where Arev and T’Pol are struck. Just before dying, Arev mind melds with Archer asking the Captain to take something to the sanctuary.
Archer awakes from the mind meld and, he and T’Pol bury Arev. They continue searching through the sanctuary which, somehow is very familiar to Archer. Soon they find themselves captured by a group of Vulcans….
to be continued.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
Wow, that’s a lot of Vulcan names….
Anyhow, So far in this series the Vulcan’s have been rather….difficult? These are clearly not the Vulcan’s we have come to know and love, they are suspicious of outsiders, manipulative as all get out and, even though they claim to have control over their emotions, seem to be a bunch of angry and rather non-tolerant space elves. So, learning that they follow a VERSION of the teachings of Surak and that there are factions that believe other versions really brings in some clarity as to why these people are such….jerks? They are clearly a religiously oppressed people where one faction is in control of the government forcing others to believe as they do or be shunned….or worse. Sound familiar?
Yeah, this episode is clearly an analogy to the religious oppression that goes on today in, well, pretty much every religion at some point in time. What I find interesting is that, for a group who believe in logic so deeply, the Vulcans allowed themselves to fall into a stringent belief system that essentially defies logic itself. What is even more fascinating is that this story line serves as a prequel to the state of Vulcan that we see on the Original Series and beyond, even introducing T’Pau who will appear again on the Original Series! While this is only the first part in a multi-part episode, it serves as the intro showing that Vulcan still had some growing to do in the 100 or so years before Kirk and Spock begin their five year mission.
One thing I find interesting is that this final season seems to finally get to the purpose of this series, explaining the events that led up to the founding of the Federation while giving back story to the different races and species in the galaxy. Why this was not the focus of, well, the last two seasons, who knows? I get trying to do something different but, when you have a prequel, you kinda have a duty to set the stage for a play that has been in production for a while. Not an easy task but, seeing that much of this had already been explored in apocrypha form, well, seems this would be a much easier job than they made it out to be.
Overall, this is a great start to a new sub-story arc and I look forward to exploring where it goes from here….
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- We learn that Vulcan’s have inner eyelids to protect them from their planets harsh sunlight.
- It seems that Ambassador Soval can perform Mind Melds? really? after all that crap earlier in the series about how horrible they were?
- We see a Selat, an animal that we will see again…but in animated form…
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: Awakening
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Late To The Game 10/29/2021
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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