12/12/11

Star Trek: Asterisk "Awakening"

Vital Information
Series: Enterprise
Episode: S04E08
Air Date: November 26, 2004
Written by: AndrĂ© Bormanis
Directed by: Roxann Dawson

Premise
Archer gets a Vulcan history lesson from the katra of Surak in his brain while the Enterprise tries to deal with the Vulcan High Command.

Review
So, through the help of Surak's katra, Archer and T'Pol find he Syrrannite hideout. It's in a cave and, understandably, the Syrrannites hold them forcibly before they start to trust them. They start to trust them when T'Pol's mom, T'Les, comes out and recognizes them. T'Les is a part of the Syrrannites which immediately puts their "terrorism" into question. Ya know, in case you didn't think they were innocent already.

T'Pau, the de facto leader of the Syrrannites, attempts to extract Surak's katra from Archer, but apparently Surak is comfy in there. What's more, Surak starts to enter Archer's dreams and shows him the Vulcan of 2,000 years ago. Surak believes that, as a non-Vulcan, Archer is uniquely suited to see what's happening and help save the Vulcan race from becoming what Starfleet has come to know as an arrogant, petty and vindictive culture.

Speaking of an arrogant, petty and vindictive culture, V'Las, the leader of the Vulcan High Command, is pretty much done with the Enterprise and wants to bombard the Syrrannite camp within the Forge. Despite Soval presenting evidence to the contrary, they are insistent on blaming the Syrrannites for the bombing at the Earth embassy, and because Soval used a mind meld to obtain this evidence, he has been denounced from the council. Soval is finally beginning to rebel from this false Vulcan culture which makes him, for the first time in the entire series, a compelling and sympathetic character.
If this was a Joss Whedon show, he'd be dead by the
end of the episode.
Soval stays on board the Enterprise, but V'Las insists that the Enterprise leave orbit as their presence is no longer required. Trip, however, tries to stay as long as it takes to find Archer and T'Pol and retrieve them from the Forge. Trip sends Travis and Reed down in a shuttlepod, but V'Las is so aggravated that he tries to shoot the shuttlepod down rather than let it land. A very illogical thing to do, really.
Surak does not approve.
When Travis and Reed return to the Enterprise, V'Las is eventually victorious. He attacks the Enterprise who eventually leaves begrudgingly, knowing it's better to fight and run away and live to fight another day.

When they leave, V'Las begins bombarding the Syrrannite compound. That's when Archer says he can help T'Pau find the Kir'Shara, which is, apparently, something that Surak thought was very important, but no one knows what it actually is. While the bombing continues, Archer, T'Pol and T'Pau go into a cave and find this mysterious artifact. When they come back out, T'Pol discovers her mother dying from the bombardment.

So it wasn't Soval who died, after all. In fact, Soval has some very important information for Acting Captain Trip. While they move away from Vulcan, Soval says that the reason the High Command is attacking the Syrrannites is specifically because the Syrrannites are considered pacifists and, as such, would resist the High Command's decision to launch a preemptive attack on Andoria. That's right, the Ant-Man-Smurfs have a Vulcan army coming after them and they don't even know it. Armed with this information, Trip makes is way to Andoria.

To be continued...

Overall Thoughts
This storyline totally makes up for three seasons of hating Vulcans. I can't help but root for the Syrrannites. Granted, I know they'll come out on top anyway, but when you find out that the race you thought you knew is actually annoying and arrogant, you relish the opportunity for this to be changed. The next episode is, apparently the end of this arc, and I can't wait.