(Season Four episode list here
has its hand full, escorting a delegation of Tellarties to a meeting with Andorian diplomats to settle a trade dispute, and picking up survivors of an attack that destroyed an Andorian ship - Shran's ship - apparently at the hands of a Tellarite vessel. Enterprise
is later attacked by an Andorian ship, and Archer orders pursuit.
They eventually spot a derelict ship with no life signs aboard. Reed and Tucker lead an away team, clad in environmental suits. The "derelict" powers up; all but Reed and Tucker are beamed back on board before the ship starts attacking Enterprise
. T'Pol learns that it is a Romulan vessel, operated by remote control and housing an elaborate holographic array that allows it to masquerade as other ship classes. The Romulans evidently want to start a war between Andoria and Tellar.
Shran and his mate Talas get past a guard and seeks revenge in a confrontation with the Tellarites. Archer intervenes, but not without phase pistol fire, and Talas is gravely injured by one of the aides, Naarg. Archer presents evidence that the Romulans were behind the attacks. After receiving word that a Rigelian freighter is attacked by what appears to the the Enterprise
, Archer begins to assemble ships to hunt down the marauder. He can't get enough without Andorian and Tellarite support, an encounters an obstacle as Talas dies and Shran challenges Naarg to a duel. Archer finds loopholes in the Andorian honor code to take Naarg's place and to win the match without killing Shrans - he cuts off an antenna, which will eventually grow back, and which incapacitates the Andorian long enough to end the duel. Shran later thanks Archer for honoring Andorian custom. The fleet action can now commence.
Meanwhile, Reed and Tucker are battling the Romulans. By the end of the first episode, the two managed to get to the bridge despite the Romulans' knocking them around with wild piloting maneuvers - and no inertial dampers online to counter the effects. Tucker disables the warp matrix, but is coerced into undoing the damage by the remote Romulans. They manage to escape from the ship during a battle with Enterprise
. The marauder makes it back to Romulan space.
Archer learns that the rogue ship is being controlled by technology that requires a powerful telepath to operate, and that the pilot is part of an Andorian subspecies known as the Aenar. Archer and Shran locate an Aenar settlement, and learn that Gareb, one of their people, had vanished some time back. His sister Jhamel accompanies Enterprise
on its mission, but not without initial resistance by her pacifist leaders who want no part in the inevitable conflict.
The Romulans send two
of the experimental craft after Enterprise
. Destabilizing the region is vital to their plans to reunify with Vulcan, and those pesky Earthlings are getting in the way. As the battle gets underway, Jhamel operates a makeshift telepresence unit built in sickbay and manages to contact her brother. Gareb makes one of the ships destroy the other and leaves the survivor defenseless against Enterprise
. Valdore, the project's commander, shoots Gareb. Jhamel is comforted in his heroism and in that, via the telepresence unit, he didn't die alone.
As the last episode of the three-parter closes, Tucker puts in for a transfer to the NX-02 Columbia
, believing that his feelings for T'Pol are interfering with his work.
One of the more enjoyable elements was Archer's adaptation to the brutal honesty of the Tellarites. Trek Nation's review
of Part 1 agrees:
What's not to enjoy about hearing a Starfleet captain say "You people are even uglier than I remember" as a negotiating ploy? That whole scene, really - Gral announcing that Enterprise is small and unimpressive, and Archer noting, "I was about to say the same thing about you." Whee, Scotty should have tried that on the Klingons when they said his Enterprise should be hauled away as garbage! I'm with Tucker: it's very refreshing to hear people speak their minds without having to hear them making speeches.
This is the series' last appearance by the Romulans. We know that they want reunification with Vulcan. But is that an end in itself, or does Romulus have much larger goals to which reunification is just a step? In the Trek timeline, the Romulan War is just a few years away; perhaps in a future film we will be given that answer. Hopefully without the overused superweapon plot device (scroll to bottom of post for reference).