(written from a Production point of view)
After apparently causing the destruction of an alien colony, the Enterprise is called back to Earth. Archer learns via Daniels that the Suliban are trying to sabotage Enterprise's mission. (Season Finale)
The Enterprise is on its way to meet with the colonists of Paraagan II. This colony has been growing very rapidly since the initial thirty miners arrived there twenty years ago. The population is now about 3,600. Since the mining operations release large amounts of tetrazine into the atmosphere, the shuttlepod from Enterprise has to follow a strict protocol to prevent igniting it with its propulsion system. However, something goes wrong and the atmosphere suddenly explodes, causing a massive shock wave that wipes out the entire colony in a few seconds, killing all the colonists.
An investigation is immediately launched, but yields no immediate results. Lieutenant Reed, who was piloting, swears he didn't make a mistake during the landing and the Paraagan protocols were correct. This accident leaves everyone aboard Enterprise devastated, especially Captain Archer, who puts full blame on himself. But the worst news comes to him from Admiral Maxwell Forrest when the latter says that, at the suggestion of Vulcan Ambassador Soval, Enterprise's mission has been officially canceled. Even if all logs seem to indicate that the shuttlepod did nothing wrong, and a strange reading discovered by Reed seems to suggest that there is more than there appears to be, Archer remains despondent. T'Pol visits him and tells Archer that as captain he has a responsibility to try and convince Starfleet not to cancel the mission, and that she's willing to recommend to the Vulcan High Command the same. Archer is grateful, noting this is likely the first time a Vulcan has tried to cheer up a Human.
When Archer goes to bed, he is suddenly transported back ten months in the past to the day before Klaang was brought to Starfleet Medical. This is exactly the same past and he can remember everything that happened all those months ago. He, however, is still the same man he was on the Enterprise and quickly establishes the last ten months were not a dream. He then encounters Crewman Daniels, who had brought him back in time. He wants to help Archer discover the truth, because the Enterprise's mission must go on to preserve the timeline. As this would probably be in violation of the Temporal Accords, he explains a plan that will uncover the Suliban's involvement in the explosion and warns the captain to follow it very carefully to prevent any butterfly effects in the timeline.
Back in the present, Archer tells his senior staff what happened and what they are to do next. The first thing they find is that the strange EM readings in fact came from a cloaked device whose purpose was to ignite the atmosphere while putting the blame on the shuttlepod's engines. They then proceed to check the specifications of a Suliban cloaked ship in a database still in Daniels' (now isolated) quarters. With the information (and a tip from Daniels saying where to find the ship), they plan an operation to steal data disks containing ship logs that will prove the Enterprise innocent.
With the information from Daniels, the assault team has a clear advantage over the Suliban and they are able to steal the data disks very easily.
Back on Enterprise, things looks much brighter, as they are able to prove that the explosion wasn't their fault, effectively exonerating Enterprise. T'Pol is, however, still skeptical about the time travel explanation for all this as the Vulcan Science Directorate has concluded that time travel is impossible. But trouble comes again, as the Suliban have help from the future as well. Enterprise begins experiencing warp field problems and soon detects Suliban cell ships surrounding them. Silik hails them, saying that he wants the captain.
Even though he is willing to sacrifice himself to protect his crew, Archer never makes it to the Suliban shuttle, as he is time-transported again, this time to the future. There he walks through ruins before encountering a frightened Daniels. He explains that he transported the captain to the 31st century to protect him, but he suspects his actions have not gone unpunished, as the ruins were his base of operation and there is no time portal left intact, trapping Archer in the future.
"There has to be someone down there."
"Sir, I tried to explain there's nothing left. No buildings, no trees, no people."
"That's impossible. There were 3,600 colonists."
- - Archer and Sato, after the devastation on Paraagan II
"Get me Admiral Forrest. This is not gonna be fun."
- - Archer, on informing Forrest of the disaster apparently caused by Enterprise's crew
"Ahh, to be Vulcan..."
- - Phlox, to T'Pol
"Tell him he's crazy! Tell him that's guilt talking, not Jonathan Archer!"
- - Tucker, to T'Pol when a resigned Archer accepts the cancellation of Enterprise's mission
"I can't believe you letting them do this to us. You've waited all your life to command this ship!"
- - Tucker, trying to get through to Archer
"Anyone tries to badmouth Captain Archer in front of me is gonna get an earful... in any language they want."
- - Sato
"You know, this has gotta be the first time a Vulcan has ever attempted to cheer up a human."
- - Archer, to T'Pol
"Commander Tucker told me you were dead... that Silik killed you."
"He did, in a manner of speaking. We need to talk, captain."
- - Archer and Daniels
"Can't you ever give a straight answer?"
"Depends on the question."
- - Archer and Daniels
"I thought you were supposed to protect the timeline, not screw with it."
"It's already been... 'screwed with', captain."
- - Archer and Daniels
"With all due respect sir... This is a level of quantum engineering that's beyond anything I ever learned. How the hell do you know this?"
"Remember Crewman Daniels?"
"Yeah. I saw him get vaporized by our friend Silik."
"Well for a cloud of vapor, he's one wealth of information. I just spent two hours with him."
- - Tucker and Archer
"Remember, no cheese."
- - Archer, to Sato
"I thought he was smarter than this. He could've saved all your lives. What a waste."
- - Silik, to T'Pol when Archer disappears from Enterprise while surrendering to the Suliban
"If bringing me here caused this... then send me back. I'll take my chances with Silik."
"Y- You don't understand. All our equipment, the time portals - they've been destroyed. Everything's been destroyed. There's no way to send you back..."
- - Archer, finding himself trapped with Daniels on a destroyed Earth in the 31st century (last lines)
- This episode marks the end of the first season of Star Trek: Enterprise. The installment had the working title "Untitled Season Finale" (evidenced by the episode's script).
- Enterprise was the first Star Trek series to end on a cliff-hanger at the end of its first season. There was some discussion, between Executive Producers Rick Berman and Brannon Braga, about whether Enterprise's first season finale would be a cliffhanger. On 16 January 2002, Berman stated that the odds of it being so were "most likely." (Star Trek: Communicator issue 137, p. 85)
- According to the unauthorized reference book Beyond the Final Frontier (p. 370), the scene of the ruined city which simultaneously ends both this episode and Enterprise's first season was "deliberately evocative" of the World Trade Center site, following the September 11 attacks.
- For a short time, the writers of this episode contemplated revealing the identity of the mysterious Humanoid Figure herein. In the interim between the first and second seasons, Brannon Braga stated, "It just seemed too soon and it didn't service the story." (Star Trek: Communicator issue 139, p. 29)
- In an interview for Star Trek: The Magazine conducted shortly before the filming of this season finale, Mayweather actor Anthony Montgomery stated about the episode, "When I read the finale, I got chills." (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 3, Issue 3, p. 19)
- This episode continues T'Pol's disbelief in time travel based on the Vulcan Science Directorate's conclusions (as previously seen in "Cold Front").
- In the scene where Archer and Reed are exploring the holographic device in Daniels' quarters, various future Federation starships can be seen, including the Defiant-class, Intrepid-class, Excelsior-class, and the Nova-class.
- Shortly before the airing of this episode, Brannon Braga summed up the reactions to it among the creators of Enterprise, saying, "We're very happy with [it] [....] It's very sentimental and exciting." (Star Trek: Communicator issue 139, p. 29) On the same day as the creative staff was due to lock the episode, Rick Berman concurred with Braga's sentiments by referring to the outing as "undoubtedly one of the best two or three episodes of the season." He went on to rave, "I think it will blow people away. It has some amazing things that happen in it. I am very proud of it." Berman also promised that the first season was going to "end on an exciting note." (Star Trek: Communicator issue 139, p. 11) In retrospect, Braga commented, "'Shockwave' was pretty good. That turned out good. I love the idea that there's a crew member that was embedded there. You know, that's very spy kind of stuff. I thought it turned out great. And I loved the visuals [....] And I thought it came at around the right time. I'm like, 'Okay, this Temporal Cold War thing's working.'" ("To Boldly Go: Launching Enterprise, Part III: First Flight", ENT Season 1 Blu-ray special features)
- On the first broadcast of this installment, the episode achieved a Nielsen rating of 3.3 and was watched by a total of 5.28 million viewers. 
- The book Star Trek 101, by Terry J. Erdmann and Paula M. Block, lists this episode and the concluding part of its two-parter as being, together, one of the "Ten Essential Episodes" from Star Trek: Enterprise.
- Star Trek Magazine's "Ultimate Guide" rated this episode 3 out of 5 arrowhead insignia. (Star Trek Magazine issue 164, p. 79)
- The book Beyond the Final Frontier (p. 370) comments about this episode, "A few of the running stories collide in an episode with both [Temporal] Cold War and Vulcan plots. The crew's reactions to the tragedy at the beginning of the episode really lay the foundation for a story that feels significant."
- A script from this episode was sold off on the It's A Wrap! sale and auction on eBay. 
- 16 January 2002: Rick Berman publicly declares this season finale will "most likely" end with a cliffhanger
- 22 March 2002: Final draft script is issued
- 9 April 2002: Production wraps
- 22 May 2002: Premiere airdate
Video and DVD releasesEdit
- This was the last volume of Enterprise released on VHS, due to the dwindling home video market and PHE choosing to focus on the DVD format.
Links and references Edit
- Scott Bakula as Captain Jonathan Archer
- John Billingsley as Doctor Phlox
- Jolene Blalock as Sub-Commander T'Pol
- Dominic Keating as Lieutenant Malcolm Reed
- Anthony Montgomery as Ensign Travis Mayweather
- Linda Park as Ensign Hoshi Sato
- Connor Trinneer as Commander Charles "Trip" Tucker III
Guest stars Edit
- John Fleck as Silik
- Matt Winston as Daniels
- Vaughn Armstrong as Maxwell Forrest
- James Horan as the Humanoid Figure
Uncredited co-stars Edit
- Jef Ayres as Haynem
- Mark Correy as Alex
- Hilde Garcia as Rossi
- Glen Hambly as a operations division ensign (deleted scene)
- Cheri Isabella as an operations division crewman
- Martin Ko as a command division ensign
- Marlene Mogavero as an operations division crewman
- Thelma Tyrell as an operations division crewman
- Mark Watson as an operations division crewman
- Gary Weeks as an operations division crewman
- Unknown performers as Paraagan II personnel (display graphic)
Archer, Henry; atmospheric analysis; bee; Bible movie; borocarbon; breakfast; bread pudding; byproduct; cloaking generator; colorful metaphor; Command Council; concussion; data disk; Denobulan; Earth; EM signature; emitter algorith; equal rights; foreman; gigawatt; IME; inspection pod; Klaang; logic; matriarchal society; mining; New Sausalito; Paraagan; Paraagan II; Paraagan homeworld; particle weapon; parts per million; phase cannon; phase discriminator; plasma duct; plasma stream; positron-based; probe; quantum beacon; quantum engineering; receptionist; retirement; Rutan Voyager; Shuttlepod 1; Soval; Starfleet Medical; stun grenade; Suliban Stealth Cruiser; Temporal Accord; Temporal Cold War; tetrazine; time portal; time travel; Vulcan High Command; Vulcan Science Directorate
| Previous episode:|
"Two Days and Two Nights"
| Star Trek: Enterprise|
| Next episode:|
"Shockwave, Part II"