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Similitude (episode)

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"Similitude"
ENT, Episode 3x10
Production number: 062
First aired: 19 November 2003
61st of 97 produced in ENT
61st of 97 released in ENT
  {{{nNthReleasedInSeries_Remastered}}}th of 97 released in ENT Remastered  
690th of 728 released in all
Charles Tucker 17
Written By
Manny Coto

Directed By
LeVar Burton
Unknown (2153)
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During an engine performance test, Trip Tucker is critically injured and left comatose in sickbay. Phlox suggests that Tucker's only hope for survival is the creation of a "mimetic simbiot" – in other words, a clone. The crew and Trip's clone have to face the unforeseen emotional ramifications of his creation.

SummaryEdit

At a funeral ceremony, Captain Jonathan Archer is eulogizing a dead crewman who appears to be Charles Tucker III.

In a flashback to events that began two weeks earlier, Tucker wants to do some tests to see about compressing the antimatter stream in the warp core in order to get the engine running more smoothly to achieve greater speed. Unfortunately, only seconds after the experiments have begun, a primary injector flare forces Tucker to do a manual shutdown. While on the top of the warp core, he is injured by a nearby explosion and falls.

In sickbay, Phlox informs Captain Archer that Tucker has slipped into a coma due to extensive neural damage. He proposes to use a Lyssarian Desert Larvae to make a clone of Commander Tucker (which will grow to maturity very rapidly, and have a lifespan of only about fifteen days) and harvest neural tissues from it. Because of highly sensitive ethical implications, Archer does not make a decision right away.

T'Pol informs Archer that particles from the field they are inside (possibly the cause of the initial injector flare) are building on the ship's hull. The highly magnetic properties of the particles could become a problem if they are not able to clear the field in time. Archer agrees to allow the cloning procedure, sacrificing the ethical implications for the sake of the mission's objective, and perhaps the life of his friend.

The clone quickly grows from an infant to a child and eventually begins to ask questions about its existence. At a very young age, the boy demonstrates that he has the memories of Tucker at the same age, including his family. The captain finally tells him the truth. As the clone, named Sim, ages, the repairs to the warp drive go slowly. Because the particles building on the hull have a dampening field effect, at the rate the crew has been proceeding, every system on the ship will fail before the repairs are complete.

When Sim becomes an adult, just days later, he helps with the repairs. He comes up with a solution to the particles problem, which although risky, appears to be the only viable option. It involves having two shuttle pods tow the ship to create enough acceleration so it can float free of the particle field. Sim wants to pilot one of the pods since it is his plan, but the Captain assigns Reed and Mayweather instead. The plan succeeds.

It is around this time that he confesses the feelings for T'Pol he has inside him, wondering if they're his or Tucker's.

Later, Phlox informs the captain that according to his predictions, and contrary to his earlier views, Sim won't survive the transplant because human DNA is not as resilient. What would only seem a couple of days for everyone else would seem half a lifetime for Sim And he begins to question why his life is not seen as as valuable as Trip's. The doctor tells Archer about an enzyme he discovered about that could slow down the aging process, but after hearing an extensive report from T'Pol, Archer says that the odds are too thin and that he is not willing to jeopardize the mission.

Meanwhile, Sim still questions why he is expected to give his own life to save Tucker's. He plans and begins an escape, but at the last minute he aborts it. When the captain meets him in the launch bay, Sim says that what stopped him was the thought of his sister, insisting on the fact that she was his sister as well as Trip's, and that he doesn't want what happened to her to happen to anyone else.

Just before the surgery, T'Pol comes to Sim's quarters to say her goodbyes, giving him a kiss, something she had never done with Tucker. Sim returned the gesture, showing that he meant something to her, more than just being a clone to save Trip's life.

Sim goes to Sick Bay, where Phlox and Archer are waiting. Sim tells Phlox he doesn't just remember Trip's childhood, he remembers his own, and Phlox was a "damn good father." Phlox says Sim was a damn good son. Sim then tells Archer that just as Archer was meant to be a starship captain, he realizes saving Trip's life is what he was meant to do. In his final preparations, he stands near the comatose Trip and says, "You owe me one."

At the funeral ceremony, the dead crewman seen earlier is revealed to be Sim. The crew, including a recovered Trip, pay their last respects as Sim is placed in a torpedo tube and fired out into space.

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Memorable quotes Edit

"The most difficult test facing any captain, any crew, is the loss of a shipmate. We've come here to honor one of our own. In the time we knew him, he showed us just how much one life can truly matter. We will never forget what he did for us, and for the ship he loved so much. We will go forward with renewed determination to complete this mission, so that his sacrifice won't just have been for the people on this ship, but for all the citizens of Earth."

- Captain Archer's eulogy for a lost crewman, apparently Trip Tucker


"Regarding the Lyssarian procedure Doctor Phlox proposed, may I ask if you've reached a decision?"
"I approved it."
"Are you aware that the Lyssarian Prime Conclave has banned the creation of simbiots?"
"We don't answer to the Lyssarian Prime Conclave."
"Simbiots are living, conscious entities. We'll be growing a sentient being for the sole purpose of harvesting tissue."
"I'm aware of the ethical implications. If we weren't in the Expanse, maybe my decision would be different. But... we've got to complete this mission. Earth needs Enterprise. Enterprise needs Trip. It's as simple as that."

- T'Pol and Captain Archer, discussing the controversial procedure Phlox has proposed in order to revive Tucker


"Can he do any tricks?"
"I haven't taught him any. Mostly what he does is eat, sleep, and, uh, not fetch."

- Young Sim and Archer, discussing Porthos


"I'm not talking about an adolescent crush. That was... well, that was two days ago."

- Sim, to T'Pol


"I have his memories. I have his feelings. I have his body. How am I not Trip?"

- Sim, to Archer


"I must complete this mission! And to do that I need Trip! Trip! I'll take whatever steps necessary to save him."
"Even if it means killing me?"
"Even if it means killing you."

- Archer and Sim, arguing over his right to survive


"I was all ready to do it."
"What stopped you?"
"Where the hell was I going to go? We're nowhere near any habitable planet. Didn't really want to spend the rest of my life floating around in a shuttlepod, which doesn't even have any toilet facilities. Can you imagine a lousier way to spend your old age – cooped up in that thing, peeing in a bottle? Actually, I can imagine a worse fate."
"What would that be?"
"Being stuck in there with Malcolm!"

- Sim and Archer, with an obvious reference to Tucker's experience as documented in the season one episode, "Shuttlepod One"


"It's not that I'm scared of dying. It's just that...I can't imagine not being here tomorrow."

- Sim, to Archer


"Do me a favor when this is over. If Commander Tucker decides to do any more modifications to the engines... tell him to watch his ass!"

- Sim, to Archer


"I'm sorry I doubted you, Doc."
"No need to apologize."
"Yes, there is. You see, I don't just remember Trip's childhood. I remember mine. You made a damned good father."
"You were a damned good son."

- Sim and Phlox


"You said to me once that commanding a starship was what you were meant to do. I guess this is what I was meant to do. Good luck, Captain."

- Sim's last words to Archer


"You owe me one!"

- Sim's last words, to the still comatose Tucker

Background informationEdit

Shooting Similitude

LeVar Burton and Connor Trinneer contemplate this episode

  • This episode marks the first written contribution of then-new Co-Executive Producer Manny Coto.
  • The final draft script of this episode was archived on 12 November 2003.
  • In the final draft script of this installment, Archer replied to Sim hoping that his sister's fate doesn't happen to anyone else by commenting, "That's why we're out here." In the final version of the episode, though, Archer instead says, "That's why I gave the order to create you."
  • Adam Taylor Gordon, who played a younger version of Tucker in "The Xindi", played the version of Sim at age 8 in this episode.
  • John Billingsley named "Similitude" as one of the strongest episodes of the third season. [1]
  • The model Archer played with as a boy in "Broken Bow" reappears in this episode.
  • This is the first occurrence in the Star Trek universe, chronologically, to have a funeral on board the starship.
  • This is also the first chronological mention of a tricorder (in reference to Phlox's medical tricorder) and the only occurrence of that word in the series.
  • Pondering his final moments in a shuttlepod, Sim mentions sharing his agonies with Malcolm Reed which is a reference to Trip's memories from ENT: "Shuttlepod One", where he was trapped with Reed in a pod.
  • This episode establishes that NX type shuttle pods do not have any bathroom facilities.
  • Chronologically, this is the first time we witness a photonic torpedo casing being used as a coffin for the deceased in Starfleet funeral proceedings. The practice is essentially repeated, though with a photon torpedo instead, in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.
  • Brannon Braga was delighted with this episode. "Manny just knocked it out of the park," Braga remarked. "He wrote a great script. Connor Trinneer gave a terrific performance. And you know the arc is working because 'Similitude' just wouldn't have worked last year. You needed the context of the Xindi arc to give it its power, to give Archer those tough decisions. Additionally, T'Pol learns that Trip's in love with her, but the real Trip doesn't know that she knows! That set up great dynamics for upcoming episodes." (Star Trek: Communicator issue 151,  p. 30)
  • This episode won an Emmy Award for Velton Ray Bunch's music composition.
  • This outing was popular with fans due to its moral complexity. (Star Trek: Communicator issue 151,  p. 30) The episode was chosen as the #3 fan favorite in an online poll conducted by UPN. It was re-broadcast on 25 March 2005 in that context. Note: The poll was conducted before the final six episodes of the series had aired.
  • The book Star Trek 101, by Terry J. Erdmann and Paula M. Block, lists this episode as one of the "Ten Essential Episodes" from Star Trek: Enterprise.

Links and referencesEdit

Main cast Edit

Co-stars Edit

Uncredited co-stars Edit

ReferencesEdit

A-3 injector port; A Night at the Opera; antimatter injector; Archer, Henry; architecture; Bedford; birthmark; cerebrum; Cochrane, Zefram; coma; clone; Delphic Expanse; Dennis; Denobulan; diagnostic; diaper; DNA; dollhouse; Earth; engineer; Enrique; epidermal layer; ethics; EV team; feces; ferric ion; fertilizer; field coil; funeral; fusion overburn; garden snake; genetic memory; genetic sequencing; glue; horse; injector flare; key lime pie; kilodyne; kilometer per hour; Lyssarian; Lyssarian Desert Larvae; Lyssarian Prime Conclave; magnetism; Martian; Marx Brothers; Massaro; medical tricorder; mimetic simbiot; name; neural nodes; neural tissue; nucleonic particle; Orsic fern; phase cannon; plasma assembly; plasma rifle; playing cards; REM cycle; salve; Shuttlepod 1; Shuttlepod 2; Steven; system tap; targeting scanners; toilet facility; teething stage; Tucker, Charles II; Tucker, Elizabeth; urination; Velandran Circle; Vulcan; Vulcan neuro-pressure; The War of the Worlds; warp drive; Xindi weapon; Zefram Cochrane's statue

Deleted referencesEdit

ocean skimmer; statistics; suspensor coil

External linkEdit


Previous episode:
"North Star"
Star Trek: Enterprise
Season 3
Next episode:
"Carpenter Street"

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