(written from a Production point of view)
|ENT, Episode 3x07|
Production number: 059
First aired: 29 October 2003
|←||58th of 97 produced in ENT||→|
|←||58th of 97 released in ENT||→|
|←||687th of 728 released in all||→|
| Written By|
Chris Black & Brent V. Friedman
Enterprise discovers a Xindi mining outpost where components of the Xindi superweapon are being assembled.
In the Xindi Council chamber, Degra and two Xindi-Reptilian soldiers view a hologram of the latest version of the weapon. Degra reports that the weapon prototype is nearly complete and will soon be tested in the Calindra system. However, the Xindi need at least one hundred additional kilograms of kemocite before the weapon can be tested. One of the soldiers says that he will contact Gralik and inform him about the new shipment. He then asks Degra how long until the weapon can be launched should the test be successful. Degra replies, "A matter of weeks."
Archer, T'Pol and Reed are in the command center discussing the co-ordinates Tarquin gave them, a planet with seemingly no defenses of any kind. Archer wonders about the energy readings, and surmises they could be from a weapons complex. T'Pol lists the alternatives, including a sensor glitch, but Archer wants to take the chance that he's right. He says that Enterprise will stay hidden on the far side of the planet's moon, to keep out of sight. He tells Reed that Major Hayes will be joining them on the mission.
Archer is flying the shuttlepod down towards the surface. T'Pol notes that their signal is breaking up; this is because the shuttlepod is on a steep vector, making them look, according to Reed, like a meteor. Archer looks through his binoculars, and watches three Xindi walking in and out of the building. Hayes wonders if they're Reptilian, but Archer just says that they're "one of the other species we saw in the database". They are, in fact, Arboreals.
Archer reports back to T'Pol, saying that there is a lot of energy coming from their location. T'Pol says that Corporal Hawkins is on standby with an assault team, however Archer doesn't want to "send in the troops" just yet. He believes that he, Reed and Hayes can get into the compound undetected and wants to keep communication silence when they're inside; he'll call back at 0400. Using a phase pistol, Archer makes a hole in the fencing around the compound. When inside, they make their way to one of the control rooms, where Reed discovers several hundred kilos of a radiolytic compound. At that moment they hear voices and hide, as Gralik enters, with two associates. Overhearing the conversation, the three officers find out what the radiolytic compound is: kemocite. Gralik tells his associates that they have to increase production by 60%, to which one of his colleagues opines that "Degra" isn't being realistic. As his associates leave, Gralik notices that one of the canisters from the crate is missing. Spotting it on a nearby table, he holds it in his hands as he looks around, as if suspicious of something. Dismissing it quickly, he replaces the canister, and leaves the room.
Archer beams back one of the canisters and asks T'Pol to begin an analysis on it. Meanwhile, Reed and Hayes tell the captain what they think should happen with the compound. Hayes suggests using two spatial charges, but Archer wants to wait until they know where the kemocite is being taken; it may help them locate the weapon.
Gralik leaves the compound, obviously tired after a long days work. As he arrives at home he skims over a PADD, then pours himself a drink, as Archer, Reed and Hayes burst in.
Sitting at a table, Gralik asks who Archer is, as the latter is looking out the window for signs of Xindi heading his way. Archer tells him to sit down, pointing his phase pistol at the Arboreal. Reed and Hayes report back saying there's no-one else around. Archer tells them to stand watch outside. After asking for his name, Archer asks Gralik about kemocite. Gralik says it can be used for a number of purposes. Archer then asks about Degra, but Gralik tells him that it's not his concern. Archer tells Gralik that Degra is using his kemocite to make the weapon that will destroy Earth, and he wants to know where it's being built. Gralik doesn't know what he's talking about, but Archer thinks otherwise. Pointing a phase pistol squarely at Gralik's chest, Archer demands answers.
T'Pol's analysis is complete; she and Trip Tucker have found that the isotope used is the same one that the Xindi probe used in the first attack. Tucker also found the quantum imprint on the rifle they "picked up". He wants to take it apart so Archer lets him. Reed congratulates Archer on how much progress they've made; however Archer wants to prevent a war. He says that if they destroy the weapons complex they'll be confirming the Xindi's worst fears about Humanity. Reed reminds him of the seven million people killed, and Archer asks him to get Major Hayes to lay down blast suppressors, so that when the weapons complex is destroyed the settlement isn't. Reed then asks, "What about Gralik?" Archer says he won't let anyone know they were there and will deal with Gralik when the time comes.
Archer asks T'Pol and Tucker for the fragment from the Xindi probe, to "prove a point". Gralik wants to go to his study to work, but Hayes keeps him where he is. Archer enters, throwing the fragment across the table to Gralik and asking him to explain it. Gralik doesn't know. Archer thinks he does, telling him about the seven million who are dead. Gralik wants to know why Archer is trying to prove he is a "mass murderer", claiming that the probe fragment is just a "twisted piece of metal". Archer pins him against the wall as Gralik explains that he knows nothing about Earth, Humans or even the probe. Archer takes his hand away from Gralik's shoulder, thinking for the first time that Gralik may be telling the truth.
Phlox is called to the armory by Tucker, who says that the Xindi rifle has organic components. He believes that Phlox will know more about it. Tucker opens the casing to reveal two worm-like creatures, which are generating synaptic impulses. He removes one and asks Phlox if it's alive. Phlox tells him that it's definitely organic, placing it in his hand and smelling it. The rifle then makes a sound and the two look at it as another worm takes the place of the one just removed, to which Phlox comments that it also must have reproductive capabilities.
Archer is talking with Gralik, who explains that when Degra requested such highly-refined kemocite, he and his workers celebrated, knowing the wealth they would gain from it. But he admits they never considered what it would be used for. Archer learns that Degra is a Primate, and that usually the Primates are fair and truthful; this is why Gralik believed Degra when he said the kemocite would be used for research. Gralik tells Archer that there used to be a sixth species of Xindi, the Avians. They are now extinct. Gralik tells of the war that destroyed his planet. Archer says that they found some debris. (ENT: "The Xindi") The war went on for nearly a hundred years. The species changed sides constantly, and most likely forgot what even started the war. But they all knew what ended it - the Insectoids and Reptilians detonated massive explosions beneath the eight largest seismic fissures. Gralik says that the Xindi who escaped the planet before its destruction are now scattered across the Expanse, and many of them are peaceful.
Hayes interrupts the conversation to tell Archer that the blast suppressors are in place, and that there seems to be an increase in activity around the compound. T'Pol contacts Archer and tells him that a ship is approaching – one of the ones that attacked them. The Reptilians have arrived.
Archer watches as the Xindi shuttle opens, and two Reptilians appear with two Primates - one of which is Degra. Reed notes that the Reptilians seem "rather upset about something". Phlox is analyzing the weapon on the monitor in sickbay. Phlox is seemly impressed with it, saying it's the "most sophisticated example of biomechanical engineering" he's ever seen. Tucker asks him for the good news. Phlox has been trying to "kill" the worms in the rifles by infecting them with different viruses and pathogens, but they were immune to all of them. He then started using different radioactive spectra, and found that delta radiation could kill them. Tucker explains that he could use portable EM emitters to irradiate an area so that the weapons would become useless as quickly as possible. However Phlox says that it would take a lot of radiation and that it would be extremely hazardous to Humans in the area. He advises against using omicron radiation, showing Tucker a large canister with at least ten worms in it.
Back on the planet's surface, Gralik explains that the Xindi are three days early. He says that Archer might not have much time left as they are collecting their final shipment. As he is the primary technician at the facility, he surmises that the Xindi will want to talk to him first. He says that he may be able to obtain some information about the weapon, but Archer thinks it is too dangerous. Gralik says he will take that chance. Archer wonders if Gralik will expose them but Gralik doesn't want another attack to happen on Earth. He says that if he'd chosen his clients more carefully he could have avoided the incident involving the probe's attack.
Reed alerts Archer to two Xindi heading toward them; they are some of Gralik's colleagues coming to tell him that the Reptilians and Degra have arrived to receive the kemocite. Archer is hiding inside the house and Gralik keeps quiet. The two Arboreals leave. Gralik says that the next time they come to look for him they'll probably bring armed Reptilians with them.
Tucker is about to test the Xindi rifle with T'Pol and Phlox watching. He plans to shoot at four inches of solid duranium, to see how powerful the weapon really is. T'Pol wants to find a more suitable environment to test it but Tucker explains that there's no time.
Degra is in the control room inside the compound as a Reptilian walks in, claiming that although they are early the Arboreals should have been finished by then, and calls them "such lethargic creatures". Degra states that the Reptilians could learn something useful from the Arboreals, "patience, for example". The Arboreals enter and tell Degra that no-one can find Gralik, also saying that he sometimes takes walks outside the settlement. They'll organize search teams, but the Reptilian interrupts them saying that they'll look for him themselves.
Archer, Reed, Hayes and Gralik are walking through the forest when Reed detects someone moving towards them. Reed can't identify if they're Reptilians or not, but they're very fast. The four of them hide behind trees as two Seekers appear. One of them locates Archer, who abruptly shoots it down. The other appears behind Reed, who fires, missing it. As it flies off it takes a hit, but it disappears into a vortex not unlike the ones that the Reptilian ships use. The Seekers, it turns out, are used for reconnaissance by the Reptilians. They were used to great effect in the Xindi war. Gralik tells them about some caves which should protect them from the Seekers.
Tucker is about to test the rifle, and as the force field is in place, he aims and pulls the trigger... but nothing happens. He tries again, but with no success. He doesn't understand why it won't fire. As Phlox thinks that it may have a safety device, the rifle begins make noises. Tucker sees little green icons disappearing one by one on it, and surmises it is a countdown. T'Pol's scans show that the power is increasing, but Tucker can't shut it down. Suddenly thinking of an idea, he sprints off with the rifle, knocking over someone on the way. Placing it on the transporter pad, he beams it into space... just in time. The rifle explodes harmlessly. Tucker half-jokingly tells T'Pol that yes, they should have found a nice empty asteroid to test it on.
T'Pol suggests to Archer that he return with the others to the ship as they may have been detected. Archer says that he'll stay as he has a few loose ends to tie up. Reed can't find any trace of the Reptilians and Gralik explains that the topaline ore in the caves will protect them from scans. Gralik asks Archer on what he plans to do next. Archer tells him that as the people in the colony had nothing to do with the probe's attack it would be wrong to sentence them all to death. He asks Gralik if he is still willing to help them, and he tells Archer to trust him. Archer says that they'll give the Xindi their kemocite, but it won't be "what they ordered".
Gralik goes home as Reed and Hayes speak their mind, stating that they didn't think it wise to let Gralik go. Back at the compound, Gralik arrives. His colleagues are surprised to see him. The Reptilians and Degra aren't there so Gralik asks his colleagues to do another refinement test.
Archer receives a canister which is identical to the ones found in the crates at the compound. Hoshi and T'Pol have modified the radiolytic signature of it so that they'll be able to track it.
As Gralik works, the Reptilian rushes in with Degra and grabs Gralik, demanding to know where he has been. Gralik says that it's personal; however the Reptilian brings up the destroyed Seeker. Gralik says that he was hunting tree scarabs and that the drone was scaring them. Degra asks why Gralik didn't return when he saw the Seeker as he must have known the Xindi were there to collect the shipment, and Gralik reminds them they are two days early. The Reptilian asks why the shipment isn't ready, Gralik says he's running some final tests. He has been running the facility for 42 years and says that he wants every gram of kemocite to be perfectly calibrated. Degra tells him to hurry up.
Reed and Hayes look through the binoculars and tell Archer that there are two Xindi loading containers. As they move back toward the compound, Archer goes to the shuttle. Once inside, he replaces one of the canisters of kemocite with the one fabricated on Enterprise. Reed then contacts Archer telling him that three Xindi have just exited the complex. With Archer coming out of the shuttle, Gralik sees him and realizes he has to stall Degra and the Reptilian for time, as the shuttle is out in the open and Archer's escape would be seen easily. Gralik asks Degra what the shipment is being used for, and he confirms Archer's statement - they've learned that a "ruthless alien species" is going to destroy them if they don't act.
As the Xindi ship leaves orbit, Hoshi Sato picks up the tracking signal, and tells Archer. Meanwhile, Archer and Gralik share a toast – to trust. Archer worries for Gralik; when Degra discovers that some of his kemocite is sabotaged he will come back. Gralik says that he can deal with Degra. As Archer prepares to leave, Gralik tells him to remember that not all Xindi are the enemy.
"I have some questions for you."
- - Archer to Gralik Durr after he, Reed and Hayes barge into his home
"Who are you? What do you want from me?"
- - Gralik Durr, who then has a phase pistol aimed at him by Archer
"I thought we were here to try to stop a war, not start one."
"They struck first."
"Because they were told we're going to attack them. They think they're acting in self-defense. By destroying this complex, we'll be confirming their worst fears about Humanity."
"Let's not forget the seven million people who were killed."
- - Archer and Reed
"You burst into my home, show me some twisted piece of metal, and tell me it proves I'm a mass murderer? I've never seen your species before, I've never heard of a planet called Earth, and whether you believe me or not, I had nothing to do with killing millions of its inhabitants."
- - Gralik Durr
"Such lethargic creatures."
"You could learn something from them. Patience, for example."
- - Reptilian Commander and Degra
"You were right. We probably should have found a nice, empty asteroid to test it on."
- - Tucker
"If everything you've told me is true about the attack on your world, I hope you remember that all Xindi are not your enemy."
- - Gralik Durr
- Archer actor Scott Bakula once referred to this installment as "a great episode." (Star Trek Magazine issue 113, p. 7)
- As of this episode, Enterprise has been in the Expanse for three months.
- Gralik Durr reveals how the Xindi homeworld was destroyed. Enterprise saw the remains in "The Xindi".
- The kemocite with the modified radiolytic signature in it was detected and tracked down six months later, in "Proving Ground".
- Enterprise started its mission in the Expanse around late June 2153 or later (April 24th plus refit time plus seven weeks' travel, according to the log entries in "The Expanse"). The fact the ship had been in the Expanse for three months as of this episode means "The Shipment" must be set around late September. "Proving Ground" is set in early December 2153, making it over two months before the Enterprise detected the altered kemocite.
- Several costumes and props from this episode were sold off on the It's A Wrap! sale and auction on eBay, including a canister of processed kemocite  and a Xindi-Arboreal mining guild patch. 
- This is the only episode of Star Trek: Enterprise wherein the opening recap starts with the narration, "Previously, on Star Trek: Enterprise...." All other episodes with recaps start with "Previously, on Enterprise,..." sans the Star Trek title, even in future episodes.
Links and references
- Scott Bakula as Captain Jonathan Archer
- John Billingsley as Doctor Phlox
- Jolene Blalock as Subcommander 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
antiproton; binoculars; biomechanical engineering; blast suppressor; bloodhound; Calindra system; Degra's ship; Delphic Expanse; delta radiation; diamagnetic ore; duranium; Earth; electrical storm; EM emitter; force field emitter; F. Hawkins; kemocite; Kessick; kilogram; meteor; multiphasic isotope; omicron radiation; parts per million; positron; power cell; radiolytic compound; seeker; seismic fissure; spatial charge; submolecular scan; subquantum imprint; subspace vortex; Tarquin; technician; topaline; tree scarab; Xindi; Xindi-Arboreals; Xindi-Arboreal colony; Xindi-Avians; Xindi database; Xindi Civil War; Xindi-Primates; Xindi-Reptilians; Xindi-Reptilian warship; Xindi technology; Xindus
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