Air Date: January 14, 2005
Written by: Ken LaZebnik & Michael Bryant
Directed by: David Straiton
Dr. Emory Erickson, inventor of the transporter and personal friend of Archer's, comes to the Enterprise to run an "experiment" on the transporter that definitely won't put anyone in danger at all.
When the inventor of the transporter is scheduled to come aboard your ship, you do not wait for him in the shuttle bay. Trip is ecstatic to see one of his all-time heroes, and after he walks down some corridors with Archer, who knew Dr. Erickson personally, they wind up waiting for old man in the transporter room. This is the first time we realize that Dr. Emory Erickson is able to take his place alongside George Washington Carver, Otis Boykin, and Lonnie G. Johnson as one of the greatest African-American inventors of all time!
|Hello, I'm Lonnie G. Johnson, and I invented the Super Soaker.|
Meanwhile, T'Pol is learning more about the Kir'Shara and secretly dealing with the death of her mother. Trip understands this, so he tries to confront his Vulcan lover about it, but she pushes him away. Ya know, as she's prone to doing. She's dealing with two major issues right now. As mentioned, the death of her mother, but she's also reexamining her core beliefs - something that, as Phlox once says, some people never do. Luckily one of these issues will be confronted more head-on in this episode.
As it becomes clear that Dr. Erickson has ulterior motives, Archer has a word with him to find out that he's really just trying to bring back his son. They were experimenting with sub-quantum transporting fifteen years ago when his son, Quinn, was lost during the experiment and never materialized. And he ended up in The Barrens somehow? Anyway, Dr. Erickson learned that day that sub-quantum transporting would never work, and all he really wants to do is save his son.
And that's where the episode ends.
Except not really. See, it's a really intriguing concept, right? A son caught in mid-transport, a father trying to get him back, a chief engineer disillusioned by the duplicitous nature of his hero... But after we learn that Dr. Erickson is trying to get back Quinn, the rest of the episode just seems to drag on... So, here's the basic gist:
|WEIRD CAMERA ANGLES!|
|I'm coming back! But my cellular structure is too far decayed!|
|I'm dead, but at least I'm not stuck between life and death anymore!|
|I'm severely affected by the black guy's loss of a family member|
because I lost a family member, too.
This episode could have been a lot shorter, but they needed to fill the hour, so they filled it with a bunch of random set-up scenes and emotionless mother-mourning. They should at least have kept up Dr. Erickson's charade for a little longer and maybe made the connection to T'Pol's situation a little clearer/more interesting. you can probably skip this episode if you want.