Star Trek Guide

Star Trek: Enterprise - Episode Guide - Season 1

Though noted elsewhere on Star Trek Guide, this bears mentioning again in order to properly understand just what in the name of Cochrane happened with this season- and this show in general: What ultimately saw production as the premiere episode “Broken Bow” was originally conceived to be played out over an entire season. This could also explain the ridiculous reticence on the studio’s part not to include “Star Trek” in the title of the series, as the crew wasn’t supposed to be, well, star trekking in season 1.

Instead, Enterprise season 1 ends up as a run of padded episodes bogged down with intensely slow pacing. Pressed for ideas in a hurry, Braga & Berman plus a handful of writers could not spontaneously produce the scripts of, likesay, season 4, but instead result in the derivative and (let’s face it) boring stuff cluttering this inaugural run of episodes.

1-2. Broken Bow – It starts so strong … The Enterprise series-opener ends up one of its very best. Amid a complex story (guess that’s what happens when a story arc meant to span 25 episodes or so is compressed into a 90 minutes of screen time. And underneath the hints of the Time War, a handful of Klingons and the Enterprise’s initial launch, “Broken Bow”, like DS9’s “Emissary”, sneaks in a wonderful story about a boy and his father. ****

3. Fight or Flight – Perhaps the most common Enterprise trope (seriously, half the first two seasons are about this one) gets introduced very early in the series: Sato and Reed are dispatched to an Empty Alien Ship. In this case, the entire crew has been wiped out and others ships soon arrive to hash things out. Toss on the other classic trope of the Improperly Outfitted Starship and you’ve got some standard Enterprise stuff. ***

4. Strange New World – Literal head trip for Tucker, T’Pol, Mayweather and two near-Red Shirts. This away team investigates a planet whereupon the dominant life form is a flowering plant which dispenses hallucinogens into the air. We learn that endless tripping sequences cannot substitute for plot. **

5. Unexpected – So … this is Enterprise’s version of Junior? The accent is on the humorous as Tucker’s seemingly innocuous visit to an alien ship has somehow left him pregnant. T’Pol’s “Three days” line is easily the best in all of Enterprise season one. ***

6. Terra Nova – The Enterprise is sent to investigate the site of Terra Nova, an Earth colony established some 79 years previously. While the colonists’ descendants have survived, they eke out an existence in caves underground. ***

7. The Andorian Incident – Remember the Andorians, rarely seen outside of cameos and crowd shots since TOS? They return in this episode, spearheaded by Tholos, who proved popular enough to become a recurring character on the show. ***

8. Breaking the Ice – Subplots of Reed and Mayweather investigating a comet and Vulcans who may or may be spying on the Enterprise are intertwined in this one. Minus points for Archer’s ridiculous staring contest with the Vulcans while his crewmembers’ lives are in peril. **

9. Civilization – An interesting pre-Prime Directive story in which Archer, Tucker, Sato and T’Pol disguise themselves to investigate a high-tech power source within a pre-industrial society, only to find a second alien culture also undercover and surveying the local inhabitants. ***

10. Fortunate Son – The Enterprise encounters a freighter which has been attacked by Nausicaan pirates … but their crew appears to be keeping secrets … **

11. Cold Front – The Suliban, mysterious aliens of “Broken Bow”, are back in an attempt to destroy the Enterprise. Luckily, Daniels, a Federation time agent from the 31st century (still the furthest that the ST franchise has reached into the future), is on hand to help – and enigmatically drop hints about the Time War, which won’t see final resolution until season 4. ****

12. Silent Enemy – While on a technical mission involving the deployment of communications equipment, the Enterprise is attacked a few times by an alien starship about which little is learned except for how to disable its warp drive. **

13. Dear Doctor – Phlox takes center stage in a well-written tale of two sentient races sharing a planet, but not the destructive genetic disease that is slowly exterminating one of them. ****

14. Sleeping Dogs – A Klingon ship whose crew has been nearly completely wiped out is trapped within the orbit of a gas giant. Archer decides that the Enterprise will assist, whether the Klingons want it or not. ***

15. Shadows of P'Jem – Archer and T’Pol are abducted by Andorians, who seemingly are just plain really into abductions. Tucker and Reed, together with a separate group of Andorians led by Tholos, go on a rescue mission to save the pair. ***

16. Shuttlepod One – Whilst on a shuttlecraft, Tucker and Reed rather spuriously deduce that the Enterprise has been destroyed. They’re left with 10 days of air, which Malcolm happily starts using up by recording messages to his so-called friends. *

17. Fusion – A classic “Vulcans Are Weird” episode of Enterprise; this one has the crew meeting a group known as “Vulcans without logic.” T’Pol is affected by her comrades psychologically, but shockingly little actually happens in this episode. **

18. Rogue Planet – Archer, T’Pol, Sato and Reed end up smack in the middle of an interplanetary “hunt” involving one sporting race of aliens hunting difficult-to-track beings known as “wraiths.” ***

19. Acquisition – Ferengi in Enterprise? Apparently so, despite the fact that about 200 years later Captain Picard notes that the Ferengi had never established visual contact with the Federation. (Okay, so technically he’s correct because the Federation doesn’t yet exist in the time of Archer et al, but come on.) In a welcome retcon, here the Ferengi are portrayed as pirate types in similar fashion to their introduction in “The Last Outpost.” Essentially, they’re tougher to beat as mega-capitalists… ***

20. Oasis – An away team finds survivors still aboard a transport ship that crash-landed some 22 years previously. Naturally, the leader of the group and the situation itself is not as it seems – but is incredibly predictable. **

21. Detained – Head trip for Archer and Mayweather: The latter finally gets his chance to be abducted with the captain. The two wake up in prison. The plucky Enterprise crew then devises an escape plan, as by this point they’re all really quite good at them. **

22. Vox Sola – A rather straightforward episode about an alien creature slowly taking over the Enterprise is enlivened by the linguistic machinations and philosophy from the highly underrated and underemployed Hoshi Sato. ***

23. Fallen Hero – The Enterprise is tasked with transporting a Vulcan ambassador from her planet of assignment to a Vulcan cruiser ship. Along the way, they are attacked by aliens with a grudge against her. ***

24. Desert Crossing – The Enterprise answers a distress call and then before you can say “here comes the abduction”, Archer and Tucker are falling for the old “come visit my home planet” routine by a dude who seeks to recruit these two humans into his terrorist organization. ***

15. Two Days and Two Nights – Risa! Whoo hooo! While on shore leave, Sato enjoys a positive relationship, Archer not so much, and those wacky dudes Tucker and Reed are liberated from their major possessions. Meanwhile, Dr. Phlox is awakened from his necessary six-day hibernation to address an emergency, with effective if bizarre results. ***

26. Shockwave, Part I – After an accident apparently caused by an Enterprise shuttlecraft results in the deaths of 3,600 colonists, the ship is recalled to Earth. However, Daniels returns to war of a Suliban plot. Getting to work in clearing their names results in a direct confrontation with the Suliban. However, at a decisive moment, Archer is whisked away to the future – a future which has paradoxically advanced without time travel thanks to the very rescue of Archer in the first place… ***