10/11/11

Star Trek: Asterisk "Impulse"

Vital Information
Series: Enterprise
Episode: S03E05
Air Date: October 8, 2003
Written by: Jonathan Fernandez
Directed by: David Livingston

Premise
Remember the video Archer saw of Vulcans going crazy inside the Delphic Expanse? This is what happened to the ship that ship was looking for.

Review
You know it's going to be a good episode when the teaser scene is of T'Pol letting out a blood curdling scream as she awakens from unconsciousness while being carried into sick bay by Archer.

So, this is what happened the day before T'Pol went crazy. In the middle of Trip trying to reestablish a movie night because of crew morale problems, Hoshi gets on the com to make Archer aware of an automated distress call from a Vulcan ship. Which is odd because there aren't supposed to be any Vulcans in the Delphic Expanse. The last we'd heard about Vulcans in the Delphic Expanse was from a video shown to Archer to warn him not to go. Those Vulcans were acting like animals and killing each other. So... I'm not sure what they expected to find when they went over to the derelict vessel.

When they find the Vulcan ship, it's in the middle of an asteroid field and the asteroids are loaded with trellium ore. In case you've forgotten, Trellium-D can be used as an insulator against the spatial anomalies that are rampant in the Delphic Expanse. With this in mind, Trip and Travis take it upon themselves to transport some onto the ship.
Oops....
Or... failing that... pick some up with a shuttlepod.

While Trip and Travis go get some ore,  the rest of the crew get on board the Vulcan ship. And it's super-creepy in there. All banged up and covered in smatterings of trellium and Vulcan blood. When Archer and T'Pol come upon a locked door, they force it open and what do they find?
Zombie Vulcan!
After being attacked by a crew full of zombie Vulcans, a couple crewmen are injured and they can't contact Enterprise for whatever reason. So now they need to get to the bridge to use their comm system and stop by sick bay to patch up wounds. That's a long way to go when there's a ship full of zombie Vulcans between you and the bridge. When they get to the sick bay they find the Vulcan's chief engineer tied up in a bio bed. Trying to get some information out of him, T'Pol yells in frustration and then remembers that she's Vulcan and not supposed to be frustrated. She's losing control. She knows she'll soon be a zombie, too.

To make matters worse, while Trip and Travis are getting ore, a spatial anomaly sets their asteroid on a collision course with another asteroid. So now they have to work as quickly as possible and get off the asteroid before it gets smashed. When they lift off the asteroid, the two asteroids collide and send little asteroid bits flying toward the shuttlepod, damaging it enough that they can get back to Enterprise, but it'll take a few hours to repair. Which is unfortunate because Archer and his team really want to get off the zombie ship.

Instead, Archer sends Phlox some bio data so they can figure out what happened to the Vulcans. As a contingency plan, Archer and Reed plan to blow up the Vulcan ship, and that's when T'Pol flips. In a rage, she turns her phase pistol on Archer and sets it to kill, accusing him of wanting revenge on Vulcans for holding the Humans back. Let's face it: that was really annoying. But, clearly, T'Pol is actually losing it.

And why? After looking over the bio data, Phlox determines that it's the trellium's fault. Trellium-D has become a potent neurotoxin to the Vulcan nervous system, and it is stopping them from controlling their emotions. So, apparently, this is how Vulcans acted before logic came along. But now there's only one problem. They can either use Trellium-D to protect from spatial anomalies, or they can have a calm and logical T'Pol, but they cannot have both.

While the rest of the zombie Vulcans try to crash their party, Phlox tells Archer that the Vulcan crew is beyond help, but they can still help T'Pol. T'Pol gets enraged saying that Phlox is lying, but they have no time to argue. They escape from the zombie Vulcans and activate the core overload that's meant to destroy the ship. When T'Pol gets too much to handle, Archer stuns her and carries her across a small beam into the shuttlepod. Trip in Shuttlepod Two comes along and shoots off the docking clamps and they both fly on their way to Enterprise while the Vulcan ship explodes behind them.
Cool guys don't look at explosions.
That's where we get all caught up to the teaser. T'Pol makes it safely to sick bay and is promptly treated. And then she has a dream about movie night. That's right, I spoiled it without making you think it was real. IT'S A DREAM! They try to trick you into believing all is well and that the zombie Vulcans somehow got onto the Enterprise, but then T'Pol wakes up in sick bay. It's not real, but apparently she'll be haunted by the images of zombie Vulcans now for the rest of her life.

Overall Thoughts
I love a good zombie story. And this is an excellent zombie story! Trapped on a starship with out-of-control Vulcans - it doesn't get much better. Do not miss this episode!