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Star Trek: Asterisk "In a Mirror, Darkly part 1"

Vital Information
Series: Enterprise
Episode: S04E18
Air Date: April 22, 2005
Written by: Michael Sussman
Directed by: James L. Conway

Premise
In the Mirror Universe, Evil Archer attempts to climb the ranks by going in search of a mysterious cache of future technology. [Spoiler alert: it's the U.S.S. Defiant.]

Review
If you didn't already know that this episode took place in the Mirror Universe, then the opening teaser would cause all sorts of mass confusion. If you didn't know that the Mirror Universe existed, you might as well just give up on all hope of understanding until halfway through the episode. These two possibilities make it an exciting mystery to solve, but if you're already in the know, the episode is just good, clean, evil fun from beginning to end.

We start out with a familiar scene to Trekkers everywhere. First contact between Humans and Vulcans in Bozeman, Montana, with the ultimate That Guy, James Cromwell, reprising his role as Zephram Cochrane. This time, however, instead of greeting the Vulcan ambassadors in peace, Cochrane pulls out a gun, shoots the Vulcan commander and leads a raid into the ship.
Surprise, suckers!
When the opening credits roll, they tell the story of Earth conquest through the centuries. Claiming the moon for the Terran Empire, building warships and blowing others out of the sky. The best part: the music is actually good for once. And then we meet an evil and sadistic Dr. Phlox who has worked with Evil Reed to create a perfect torture device which they are using on a Tellarite who must have done something wrong, but they can't seem to remember what. Later, First Officer Evil Archer expresses to Captain Forrest his desire to go to Tholian space to check out reports he heard of a mysterious vessel that the Tholians had captured full of awesome technology. Forrest dismisses this idea out of hand, however, because he believes Evil Archer just wants to steal command.

Well... he was kinda right. After that, Evil Archer joins forces with Evil Reed and stages a mutiny. He locks Forrest up in the brig and shifts around everyone's assignments. Not everyone is pleased with the mutiny, however. Turns out, during one of Evil T'Pol and Evil Trip's sexy sessions, T'Pol performed a mind meld on Trip to make him sabotage a Suliban cloaking device. When Evil Archer commands that he make it work with the Enterprise, it explodes. Trip is tortured, and in the ensuing chaos, T'Pol frees Forrest.

Unfortunately for Forrest, when he takes back control of the bridge, he finds that Archer has encrypted the controls so that there will be no turning back until they get to the coordinates they received by torturing a nearby Tholian pilot.
Surprise, suckers!
Well, while they're on their way to Tholian space, Captain Forrest reports back to Starfleet and it turns out they think Archer's plan is a good idea. So, they tell Forrest to check it out. That's when Archer has a chance to brief everyone on what his plan actually is. He says that his sources believe the Tholians opened an interphasic rift through which a vessel appeared from not just another universe, but another time; 100 years in the future.

Evil Trip finally gets the cloaking device working on the Enterprise, so they sneak up into Tholian space and find the U.S.S. Defiant NCC-1764, the very same ship that had been lost in The Original Series episode, "The Tholian Web".
Come quickly! Nostalgia beckons!
Forrest sends a team over, which, coincidentally, is pretty much the whole core crew, and instructs T'Pol to make sure Evil Archer doesn't make it back alive. When they beam over, they find the whole ship's crew dead; regardless, they manage to bring all the systems online.

And that's when the Tholian pilot back on the Enterprise wakes up from sedation and starts transmitting a distress call. Phlox is able to kill it, but not before the signal his heard. Several Tholians make a web around the Enterprise and start to attack it. Forrest is unable to fight back, so he orders everyone to abandon ship. Watching helplessly from the Defiant, Evil Archer and the core crew watch as the Enterprise explodes under the force of the Tholian attack.

To be continued...

Overall Thoughts
This and the next episode represent everything that this entire series was supposed to have been. Granted, it takes place in the Mirror Universe, but it expands on lore without destroying canon. It's a perfect combination of a new story and a nostalgic call-back. When a prequel series tries to make their own new stories, all that's left is to wonder why we hadn't heard of those stories before. When they do something like this that expounds on and fleshes out established lore, that's when it gets good! And there's even more to come in part 2...