12/31/11

Star Trek: Asterisk "Affliction"

Vital Information
Series: Enterprise
Episode: S04E15
Air Date: February 18, 2005
Written by: Mike Sussman
Directed by: Michael Grossman

Premise
A plague spreads through the Klingon Empire, and Phlox is kidnapped to help cure it while the rest of the crew is back home to watch the Colombia leave space dock.

Review
This is the two-parter that I have been waiting for since the first episode. And here it is, seven episodes away from the end. In the teaser, we see a Klingon doctor sticking needles into another Klingon and that Klingon's forehead begins to wibble-wobble as he yells in pain. It is immediately clear that this is the episode that Worf said in Deep Space Nine that Klingons don't like to talk about. We finally get to find out why.

Meanwhile, back on Earth, Starfleet prepares for the launch of the Colombia. Trip, if you remember, has requested a transfer to that ship, so he's getting ready to go, and Hoshi is sharing a meal in San Francisco with Phlox. When Phlox and Hoshi finish their meal, however, they are attacked, mugged and Phlox is kidnapped.
Have a wonderful time!
Phlox is taken to a laboratory on Qu'Vat and forced to come up with a cure for a Klingon disease that's spreading from planet to planet. Which is complicated when they bring in a live subject for him to perform an autopsy on. Of course, in order to properly examine the virus, Phlox would prefer to work on a body that had already succumbed to the virus's effects and died. So, what does the Klingon commander do? Shoots the subject. Easy.

Meanwhile, back on the Enterprise, T'Pol performs a mind meld on Hoshi to find out who kidnapped Phlox. This established that T'Pol really was capable of such an act and is probably more psychic than she expected. And on the Colombia, Trip shared a meal with his new captain explaining to her why he thought it might be a good time for a change in his career. Which is bunk because when T'Pol goes to meditate later, she has a day dream about Trip and Trip is having the exact same daydream. They are psychically linked now.
Deal with it.
And then Reed is approached by a mysterious man named Harris. We've already got two plots going on here, is it possible we can squeeze another one in? Apparently Reed was involved in some black ops kind of deal and now Harris is asking him to do another super secret spy mission. It would mean deceiving Archer, but Reed understands that his spy life takes precedent, apparently.

When the Enterprise catches up to the Rigelian freighter that they were after, which was supposed to have Phlox on board, they find it destroyed. Reed, however, changed some of the data to make it look like Orions had destroyed it. In the meantime, flat-headed Klingons board the Enterprise and run amok. They sabotage Enterprise's systems while being attacked by MACOs (which, for some reason, are still on board? I thought they were special for the Delphic Expanse... whatever.) One of them falls behind while the rest transport out. The one that fell behind, Marab, is taken to sickbay for examination and interrogation. That's when they find out that, despite his flat head, he is actually Klingon.

The reason for which becomes clearer when the Klingon doctor helping Phlox explains what's really going on. Phlox discovered Augment DNA in the Klingon he was examining and demanded to know why. The Klingon doctor said, basically, that the Klingons had been attacked by the Augments (which was true - the Augments used a Klingon bird-of-prey through that whole three-parter) and they were afraid that Earth was using eugenics to get ahead of Klingons. So the Klingons decided to use the Augment DNA to augment their own warriors! Good plan right? Well, the Augment DNA flattened their heads and made them more human, but when it came into contact with a Levodian flu virus, it mutated and spread. Well, now everyone has the disease and will eventually have the augmentation.
Seriously, just shut up; it's embarrassing.
Well, the Klingon commander wants Klingon Augments, but Phlox and the Klingon doctor just want a cure, so they tell the commander that they will have the Augments, but they're secretly only working on a cure.

Meanwhile, Archer found out that Reed had screwed around with the sensor data and is pissed. When Reed refuses to explain himself, Archer throws him the brig. T'Pol had told Archer that the real people who had attacked the Rigelian freighter were Klingons. So, with that information, they head off to Qu'Vat, which is the closest research facility in which Phlox would be most useful.

Things take a turn for the worst, though, when the sabotage that the flat-headed Klingons did on the Enterprise start to take effect while in high warp. Once this ship drops below Warp 5.0, it blows up!
Whoa.
To be continued...

Overall Thoughts
A good start to a two-parter. There's a complex plot, but it's easy to follow. The explanation for the Klingon foreheads is completely acceptable because the Augments were have already been established in the timeline and it is extremely plausible that Klingons would take steps to retaliate. Thumbs up! I'm glad I'm finally seeing this.