Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)

Enterprise is sent to assist the Fortunate, an Earth freighter that has been attacked by Nausicaan pirates. But the Fortunate may not be as innocent as it seems.

Summary Edit

Teaser Edit

Aboard the cargo ship ECS Fortunate, Captain Jackson Keene and first officer Matthew Ryan play a game of low-gravity football in one of the cargo bays, while they discuss the ship's operations. Their talk is interrupted by the arrival of Nausicaan pirates, who launch an attack on the ship.

Act One Edit

The Enterprise is on a mission to drop subspace amplifiers when Admiral Maxwell Forrest calls Captain Jonathan Archer to help the Fortunate, being the only ship in the area. As they approach the freighter, T'Pol and Mayweather brief the rest of the crew on what they can expect to find, including that most freighters are slow and lightly armed, but that the crews are used to dealing with problems on their own. On arrival, Malcolm Reed confirms hull damage on the Fortunate with down systems and T'Pol reports that the Nausicaans have left the area. They don't respond to their hail but T'Pol does read life signs. Archer orders an away team and Mayweather flies Archer, Reed and Phlox over to the freighter.

On arrival, the Enterprise crew are greeted by Ryan and the rest of the freighter's command crew, who report that Keene was badly hurt in the attack, but that they can handle the damage and require no further assistance. Phlox insists on treating Keene, however, and then Archer insists on sending engineering crews over to help speed up repairs. Ryan reluctantly agrees to both of these with some trepidation. As he walks away with his team to another area of the ship, it appears the group does not want to raise suspicion, as they're holding a Nausicaan prisoner for information.

Act Two Edit

Aboard the Enterprise, Ryan is visiting the ship with Mayweather, visiting the transporter and engineering. He initially bonds with Mayweather due to their shared background of having grown up on freighters. Mayweather discusses his early life on the ECS Horizon and leaving to join Starfleet, while Ryan reveals that he was born on the ECS North Star, a freighter which was destroyed in a pirate attack; Ryan survived, but his parents, who were crewmembers, did not. In engineering, it's suggested that the Fortunate's warp drive can be upgraded to shorten their journeys, but Ryan dismisses it, in a polite but direct way. During lunch, however, Ryan starts to challenge Mayweather's choice to leave the Horizon. The mood of the discussion quickly sours, with Ryan accusing Travis of having betrayed his family by choosing to join Starfleet rather than staying on and replacing his father.

Meanwhile, aboard the Fortunate, T'Pol becomes suspicious when she finds that the crew have disabled the internal sensors, and decides to run a full scan of the ship when she returns to the Enterprise. She notifies Archer who, a little while later, summons Ryan to his ready room under the pretense of discussing the repairs, only for Archer to confront Ryan about the captive Nausicaan. Archer tells Ryan that taking prisoners is immoral and asks that the Nausicaan be handed over, so that he can be returned to his people. Ryan refuses to do so, as Starfleet does not have jurisdiction on his ship. Archer acknowledges that, but also decides to force the issue by telling Tucker to remove all the newly-installed components from the Fortunate, which will leave her stranded and helpless.

Ryan seemingly then caves in and allows Archer to see the prisoner, however, he dupes Archer, T'Pol and Reed into entering a cargo bay. Another of the crew is also present with a weapon, and they soon find themselves in a firefight. Ryan and his accomplice manage to make it back to the entrance, blast a hole in the wall, and detach the room from the rest of the ship.

Act Three Edit

The Fortunate attacks the Enterprise and disables her sensors before warping away. Tucker is unable to stop them, and forced to spend time retrieving the crew. Archer intends to go after them, and Mayweather states finding the Nausicaans is the key.

Once the Fortunate is safely at warp, Ryan interrogates the captive Nausicaan and demands the shield frequency of his ship, intending to take on and destroy it. When he gets them, he leaves to prepare for the attack. Shaw, however, has reservations about Ryan's methods, seeing as he almost killed the pirate. Ryan, however, insists they need to make a show of force and start inflicting damage on the Nausicaans for once.

With its faster warp drive, the Enterprise is able to effect repairs and begin chasing down the Fortunate before it leaves sensor range. Tucker, trying to get the sensors back online, talks with Mayweather about the odd situation of a Starfleet vessel hunting one of its own. Mayweather understands the nature of cargo crews, and knows the problems that would arise if Starfleet started micromanaging his father's ship. Tucker replies that times are changing, and Ryan will have to change with them. Feeling conflicted, Mayweather goes to talk to Archer. He wonders whether they should be interfering with this matter, possibly letting Ryan on his own. Archer, however, tells Mayweather that Ryan's actions are immoral and driven solely by revenge, and this is against Starfleet code of ethics. Furthermore, the idea of letting a large group of Nausicaans be killed doesn't sit well with him, regardless of the fact they're alien. Mayweather understands, and Archer dismisses him by jokingly reprimanding him for questioning his orders.

When the Fortunate finally chases down the Nausicaan freighter to an asteroid field, it turns out that not only did their prisoner give fake shield frequencies, but that the asteroid field is home to a heavily armed Nausicaan base. Ryan only becomes even more determined, believing that they can destroy the entire base and deal a crippling blow to Nausicaan operations in this area of space, but the rest of his crew argue that they're out of their league. The matter is soon rendered moot, as the Fortunate is attacked and quickly loses all engine power, and the Nausicaans begin to board her.

Act Four Edit

The Enterprise arrives on the scene, and hails the Nausicaans. The base's commander is initially bullish, saying that because the Fortunate attacked them, the ship and the lives of her crew are forfeit. He orders the Enterprise to leave the area, threatening them with same fate if they do not comply. Archer, on the other hand, points out that while the Nausicaans may have the numerical advantage, Enterprise is far more heavily armed than any of their ships. The Nausicaan Commander sees sense, and consents to letting the two Earth vessels leave if the prisoner is returned unharmed.

Archer tries to get Ryan to hand over the Nausicaan, without much success, as Ryan continues to point out that unless they send some message to the Nausicaans, their attacks on Earth freighters will continue. Archer and Mayweather dismiss his argument, however, pointing out that he has surrendered the moral high ground by taking a hostage and launching a sneak attack on the Nausicaan base. Mayweather further points out that, if anything, Ryan's actions are guaranteeing that any future attacks by the Nausicaans will be even more violent, and that not only will he be responsible for the death of his own crew, he will be endangering the lives of many more freighter crews, including Mayweather's own parents. On hearing this, Ryan finally caves in and surrenders.

Some time later, Archer meets with Captain Keene, who has finally regained consciousness. Archer offers to take Ryan into custody and take him back to Earth to stand trial for his actions, but Keene asks that Ryan not be charged with anything. He intends on punishing Ryan himself, by demoting him to the lowest-ranking crewmember on the Fortunate. Both captains regret that things got to this point and that Ryan could not look past his need for revenge, but agree that it is the right course of action, and Keene says that next time the Fortunate makes port, he will install the warp drive upgrade that Ryan had earlier scorned. The two captains shake hands, before the Enterprise departs.

Log entries Edit

  • "Captain's starlog, supplemental. We've picked up a faint warp trail that could be the Fortunate, but we won't know for sure until our long-range sensors are back on-line."

Memorable quotes Edit


Mayweather explains a side benefit of traveling in a ship with a top speed of Warp 1.8

"The Earth Cargo Ship Fortunate. Y-class freighter. Maximum Speed: Warp 1.8. Crew complement: 23."
"Not counting newborn babies."
"I grew up on a J-class. A little smaller, but the same basic design. And one thing I can tell you is that at warp 1.8, you've got a lot of time on your hands between ports… That's how my parents wound up with me."
"Do you have any helpful information on this vessel beyond its… recreational activities?"

- T'Pol and Mayweather, as T'Pol gives a dry briefing on the Fortunate

Nadine playing hide and seek

"Ready or not, here I come! Have you seen Nadine?"
"I'm sorry. I don't know which child is named 'Nadine'."
"I just told him the truth."

- Boy, T'Pol, and Nadine during a game of hide and seek as Nadine hides

"I want those codes!"

- Matthew Ryan to his Nausicaan prisoner

"They say that for a split second, you can actually feel yourself in both places at once."
"Why do you think I wanna try it?"

- Ryan and Mayweather on Enterprise's transporter

"Warp 1.8 works just fine for us. Any faster and there'd be no time to enjoy the trip."

- Ryan, after Tucker tells him things are going to change when faster engines get installed in freighters

"You ever think about doing something else?"
"You mean join Starfleet?"
"The food's not bad."

- Mayweather and Ryan

"Get down!"
"Under the circumstance, I defer to your experience."

- Reed and Phlox, in the middle of a firefight

"Ryan, you're making a big mistake!"

- Archer, when Ryan and Fortunate personnel fire at him and the away team

"The Nausicaans. Ryan's after revenge, sir."
"A very primitive emotion but it would explain his irrational behavior."
"It's rational to him."

- Mayweather and T'Pol, trying to determine Ryan's motive

"Just because someone wasn't born on Earth doesn't make them any less Human."

- Archer, explaining to Mayweather why the crew of the Fortunate can't kill Nausicaans as a matter of revenge

"Any other orders of mine you'd like to question?"
"Not today, sir."

- Archer and Mayweather

Background information Edit

Script, cast, and production Edit

Continuity Edit

  • Mayweather mentions to Ryan that Starfleet has plans to build three more NX-class ships in the near future (Enterprise itself, the lead ship of the class, having launched only four months previously). The next NX-class ship, Columbia NX-02, was seen when it was introduced later in the series: first while still under construction in the season two finale "The Expanse", as well as when it was ultimately launched, in the season four episode "Affliction".
  • This episode features the first on-screen appearance of the Nausicaans in Enterprise. The outing also depicts the first official contact between Starfleet and the Nausicaans.
  • Admiral Forrest references the scans Enterprise took of the comet in "Breaking the Ice" as being "incredible."
  • The end-of-transmission screen from Admiral Forrest references the signal as relayed from Relay: Echo 1/Transponder 4. A Relay that hadn't been deployed yet.

Reception Edit

  • This episode achieved a Nielsen rating of 3.8 and was watched by an average of 6.11 million viewers. [1]
  • The "Ultimate Guide" in Star Trek Magazine issue 164, p. 78 rated this episode 3 out of 5 arrowhead insignia.
  • The unofficial reference book Beyond the Final Frontier (p. 362) calls this installment, "A nice episode, a rare Star Trek story where both sides in a dispute are equally wrong and equally hot-headed."

Video and DVD releases Edit

Links and references Edit

Starring Edit

Guest stars Edit

Co-stars Edit

Uncredited co-stars Edit


References Edit

384.20 GHz; 47; able crewman; Archer's Comet; asteroid; away team; batter; bioscan; "boomer"; cargo handler; cargo module; Chef; Columbia NX-02; debris; dilithium; dilithium ore; distress call; Draylax; Draylaxian whiskey; Earth; Echo One; ECS; end zone; football; football (ball); Fortunate, ECS; personnel, ECS Fortunate; freighter; generation; gravity; hide and seek; Horizon, ECS; hydroponics; ice cream; inorganic; J-class; Jupiter Station; Jupiter Station cargo handlers; kiloton; Mayweather, Rianna; meatloaf; Milky Way Galaxy; "mystery meals"; Nausicaa; Nausicaans; Nausicaan attacked sector; Nausicaan pirate ship; neural pathway; North Star, ECS; personnel, ECS North Star; NX-class; NX-03; NX-04; nutri-pak; pet skunk; pirates; plasma cannon; polarized hull plating; Protocol DSN-03A; quartermaster; relay; sector; sector attacked by Nausicaans; Starfleet Command; Starfleet Com Net; steak; subspace amplifier; subspace band; Teneebian skunk; Theta 309; touchdown; Transponder 4; transporter; valve seals; Vega colony; warp three engine; warp five engine; Y-class

Unreferenced materials Edit

charge; Earth standard; escorts; government; patrols; policeman; postcards; ramp rats; Ship Toss; stores; technical briefs; Voltaire; Vulcan High Command; Vulcan ship

External links Edit

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Star Trek: Enterprise
Season 1
Next episode:
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