12/24/11

Star Trek: Asterisk "United"

Vital Information
Series: Enterprise
Episode: S04E13
Air Date: February 4, 2005
Written by: Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens
Directed by: David Livingston

Premise
In the middle of trying to reconcile the Andorians and Tellarites, the Romulans try to make trouble with a remotely controlled drone that can take any form.

Review
When we last left Reed and Trip, they were stumbling around the Romulan drone ship trying to figure out how it worked. Their assumption at the moment is that it's a robot ship running completely independently. What they don't know is that while they're fooling around on an empty bridge, the prototype is being controlled back on Romulus by Valdore. And Valdore wants to cause a scene, so he makes the drone attack a random by-standing ship while in the form of the Enterprise.

The sector is quickly put on alert, but Archer is just as quickly able to report that they were in pursuit of a ship that could change form. So... crisis averted, right? Well, they still have to prove it... and save Reed and Trip. Speaking of whom, while they're screwing around on the bridge, Valdore remotely opens up a service junction and starts leaking radiation coolant. While Trip goes to fix it, Valdore closes the door, effectively taking him hostage while his voice comes over the loud speaker and starts issuing commands to repair some necessary components.

Meanwhile, Shran is back on the Enterprise trying to comfort his lover while she's laying in bed with a lethal wound given to her by a Tellarite in the last episode. And while that whole drama is going on, T'Pol comes up with a plan to reveal who's really in control of the Romulan vessel. This plan would require the use of 128 ships. And Starfleet has... wait for it... 2.
Srsly?
So, in order to get the necessary amount of ships, they have to rely on cooperation between Andorians and Tellarites - something that has been shaky at best since the beginning of this arc. (Apparently, Andorians don't really get along with anyone that well.) There's just one problem...
Yup. She's dead.
With an Andorian dead by Tellarite hands, negotiations will be downright impossible. Especially with Shran vowing revenge against Graal at the edge of an Ushaan-Tor's blade. Apparently there's some kind of Andorian honor code he has to follow where he fights to the death against the one who killed his lover. Understanding that their plan to find the Romulans isn't going to work if this death match happens as planned, Archer plans to take Graal's place and fight his good Andorian friend.

And then Travis acts like a lawyer, but that's not important.

What is important is that Archer found a way to get through the fight to the death without dying or killing.
Basically, establishing dominance by removing a phallic symbol.
So, back on the Romulan drone ship, Reed and Trip are having some bro time while they escape from certain doom. This is where Reed turns his phase pistol into a bomb, like Starfleet officers are sometimes wont to do. After the bridge is blown to smithereens, they get in their space suits and jump out of the airlock. The Enterprise beams them aboard and all is well.

When it all blows over, Archer is pleased to find that the Andorians and Tellarites are willing to go back into negotiations. The downside? When Valdore brings the broken drone back home, he tells the pilot to take his helmet off, revealing that he is what appears to be a white Andorian!!

To be continued...

Overall Thoughts
Amazing! I love this storyline. The Romulans are being as sneaky as you suspect they would be and Starfleet is never getting a good picture of who they are. Meanwhile Shran grows even more as a character and reveals some more Andorian culture. Shame about the next episode, though.