Star Trek Ent - Season 1 - Episode 22
- This episode is the winner of my "Best Episode of Enterprise Award" and is therefore a candidate for my "Best Episode Ever Award."
- "Vox Sola" means "solitary voice" in Latin.
- Trip trying to cheer up Archer about the bad first contact.
- Travis: "Why don't you stay for the movie tonight?" Reed: "What's playing?" Travis: "Uh... 'Wages of Fear'. Classic foreign film." Reed: "Hmm." Travis: "You'll like it. Things blow up." Reed: "Hmm. Sounds fun."
- Trip: "I wouldn't want to be taking a swim if the gravity plating went offline." Archer: "No... no." I wonder if he's remembering his issues with the shower in Ent: Unexpected. ;)
- The alien creature capturing crewmembers, including Archer and Trip.
- Reed's EM emitters injuring the captured crew.
- The captured crew reading each other's thoughts.
- Phlox fighting for the rights of the severed tentacle.
- Travis answering the hail from the Kreetassans.
- Travis finding out why the Kreetassans were offended.
- Trip: "When Zefram Cochrane talked about new life and new civilization, do you think this is what he meant?"
- Reed testing his forcefield.
- Hoshi communicating with the life form.
- The crew visiting the life form's homeworld, returning it to its home.
This isn't the start of the war with the Klingons that we've been waiting for, or the start of the war with the Romulans that we've been waiting for, or anything that we've been waiting for, for that matter. But Vox Sola has a special charm to it. This episode was exceptional from start to finish. It's not filled with cliches or recycled plots; this episode is totally original and a perfect fit for Enterprise. It begins when Hoshi fails to communicate adequately with the Kreetassans. They storm off the ship for some unknown reason, and nobody gives it a second thought. But when the web aliens of this episode start gobbling up crewmen, they decide to contact the Kreetassans again and see if they know anything about the web aliens.
Because of circumstances, it's up to an underused character, Travis, to bridge the cultural barrier and make up for old mistakes. Normally, it would have been better to show Hoshi doing this, but I was pleased that Travis was given a chance to shine here. And shine he did. His solitary dealings with the Kreetassans in this episode was probably his best scene yet on the show. In fact, not a single character in this episode is neglected. Phlox gets to play the humanitarian, fighting for tentacle rights. Reed gets to play with gadgets and new technology, Archer and Tucker get several nice scenes depicting friendship and camaraderie, and Hoshi and T'Pol get several nice scenes showing contention and eventually the resolution of their differences as they work together to decipher the language of the web aliens.
But what I liked most about this episode was the web aliens themselves. Never have we seen a more unique alien on Star Trek. And it was the perfect opportunity to get the Enterprise crew thinking outside the box. I liked how well everyone worked together. Reed built the first prototype forcefield, T'Pol helped Hoshi decrypt the mathematical portions of the web alien language, and Hoshi reprogrammed the universal translator to adapt it to the alien language. The scene when Hoshi stood behind Reed's forcefield and tried her best to communicate with the web aliens, going from a hostile demeanor to an understanding in just a few minutes was the high point of the episode.
Then the scene when we watch as Enterprise returns the aliens to their home world was as symbolically impressive as it was visually impressive. Finally, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the episode's unusually beautiful scoring, which was way above average. The whole episode was true to the spirit of Star Trek more so than most others and a pleasure to watch. I've read a lot of other reviews of this episode and I've got to say that Vox Sola is highly underrated.
The following are comments submitted by my readers.
- From Pete Miller on 2006-12-10 at 6:45pm:
I agree that this is an underrated episode. There were lots of little things that made it a good episode to watch, like the prototype forcefield. It also had that Star Trekkish spirit to it. However, I don't think it's deserving of a Ten. I'd say more like a 7, maybe an 8.
- From JRPoole on 2011-07-23 at 8:36pm:
This is a remarkable episode for a lot of reasons. What I like most is the way that what could have been just another alien of the week episode gets some storyline/character building touches, like the Hoshi/T'Pol dynamic, the mention of Risa that gets explored later, the Univeral Translator drama, the force field development, etc. I wouldn't give it a 10, though, because the main plot, though executed well, is pretty much a rehash of a very familiar Star Trek meme: misunderstood alien turns out to be sentient and its hostility is only a miscommunication. How many times have we seen this? I can't remember episode names, but it all started with the Horta. TNG had the sand crystals, the huge baby space creature "nursing" off the Enterprise, and several others, as did Voyager and DS9 in their turn.
This episode also highlights the weaknesses of Enterprise for me. "Vox Sola" excels because it's character-driven. With the stiffest, most wooden characters Trek has ever seen--Archer and Tripp--safely tucked away inside the AOTW, the other, stronger characters can shine.