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Star Trek Ent - Season 4 - Episode 07

Star Trek Ent - 4x07 - The Forge

Originally Aired: 2004-11-19

Earth's embassy on Vulcan is bombed, and the ensuing investigation puts Archer and T'Pol on the trail of a Vulcan religious faction hiding in a treacherous desert. [DVD]

My Rating - 9

Fan Rating Average - 5.73

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- So if it took Vulcans 1500 years to recover from their wars and begin space travel and Surak lived 1800 years ago, it can be inferred that Vulcans have been in space for 300 years. This is a far too short period of time, why, even the monastery on P'Jem is supposed to be 3000 years old, which is before the time of Surak! Maybe Vulcans had space travel many years before their great wars, then fell into a bout of war, and Surak returned them to their original golden age?

- T'Pau is 32 years old in 2154.

Remarkable Scenes
- Soval and Forrest discussing Vulcan's relationship with humanity.
- Soval: "We had our wars Admiral, just as Humans did. Our planet was devastated, our civilisation nearly destroyed. Logic saved us, but it took almost 1,500 years for us to rebuild our world and travel to the stars. You Humans did the same in less than a century. There are those on the high command who wonder what Humans would achieve in the century to come. And they don't like the answer."
- Phlox... the natural at basketball.
- Reed and Travis discovering another bomb in the Earth embassy on Vulcan.
- Soval vouching his support for Archer beginning his own investigation.
- Trip referring to the Forge, a Vulcan desert, as a "hell hole."
- T'Pol: "Over the centuries his followers made copies of his teachings." Archer: "Let me guess, With the originals lost whatever's left is open to interpretation." T'Pol: "You find this amusing?" Archer: "I find it familiar."
- Archer and T'Pol being chased by a sehlat.
- T'Pol regarding domesticated sehlats: "They're smaller, slightly." Archer: "How slightly?" T'Pol: "You have Porthos." Archer: "Porthos doesn't try and eat me when I'm late with his dinner." T'Pol: "Vulcan children are never late with their sehlat's dinner." Archer: "I can believe that."
- Archer regarding the sehlats: "Sounds like that Klingon opera that Hoshi made us listen to."
- T'Pol telling Archer about her lack of need for water for several more days and about her inner eyelid, a nice connection with TOS: Operation: Annihilate. I like her little quote, justifying these physical qualities... "My species evolved on this planet." As if to say, why didn't you know these things about us?
- Arev: "What is Kiri-kin-tha's first law of metaphysics?" Archer: "I'm familiar with Newton's first law of motion. I imagine they're pretty much the same!"
- Soval performing a mind meld on the comatose witness to the bomber.
- Arev giving Archer Surak's katra.
- Archer finding the Syrranites.

My Review
This episode is the culmination of the odd Vulcan behavior arc that Enterprise started and never went anywhere with since the pilot. The new showrunner, Manny Coto has become the loose thread man. We learn in this episode that the root of the "evil Vulcan syndrome" is not just a conservative vs. liberal societal clash like we were led to believe in episodes like Ent: Fusion and Ent: Stigma, but in fact has more to do with the Vulcan religion centered around Surak (which is somewhat similar to Buddhism) and the two different interpretations of it. This nicely parallels human history and serves as a marvelous explanation for the behavior of the Vulcans over the last few seasons. The bombing of the Earth embassy on Vulcan and the handling of the situation couldn't have been more perfect. The tragic loss of Admiral Forrest brings out the true loyalties in Soval, and we finally get to see the guy stand up for what he believes in, performing a mind meld against the High Command's wishes. It can be inferred that sometime between now and TOS that the Syrranites will prevail over the Vulcan High Command--this may perhaps have something to do with why the Federation is formed--for all Vulcans will believe as Arev and T'Pau do. In fact, we know T'Pau from the previous Star Trek episode TOS: Amok Time. She performed Spock's wedding ceremony and was a respected figure at that time. (And very old!) Indeed, this episode is a continuity gold mine. Firstly, when Archer received Surak's katra from Arev, Arev spoke the same words Spock did to McCoy in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan... he said "remember," albeit, in Vulcan. We also get to see a sehlat for the first time since TAS: Yesteryear. We get another mention of the Vulcan inner eyelid that was first revealed by Spock in TOS: Operation: Annihilate. We get to see the T'Karath Sanctuary again, which was last featured in TNG: Gambit, Part II. A Surakian artifact was discovered there 12 years prior to this episode. This detail is fascinating seeing as how it was stated in the TNG episode that one of the last conflicts of the Vulcan civil war was fought there. A marvelous site for the discovery in this episode. Finally, the two questions that Ariv asked Archer regarding Vulcan philosophy were taken directly from the questions that Spock was asked by the Vulcan computer in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home during his re-education. Obviously, Manny Coto has done his homework. Bravo.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From EvanT on 2011-06-24 at 4:51pm:
    I think it's fair to say that Vulcans already had warp travel during the Awakening. After all this is the time that the Romulans leave Vulcan ("those that marched beneath the raptor's wings"?) and obviously they didn't reach Romulus on sub-light speeds.

    It's reasonable to assume that Vulcans suspended their deep space exploration until they could rebuild and 1500 years is what? 30 something generations? (perhaps less) It's not that much time to rebuild a society and restructure it around an entirely new philosophy, working out the problems as they went. And I DO believe that the general tone in Star Trek is that Vulcans take things slow and don't rush (similar to D&D elves) simply because they can afford it due to their lifespans.
  • From Mitch89 on 2013-01-04 at 6:38am:
    The parallels to the DS9 two parter "Homefront" and "Paradise Lost" is astounding, right down to the actor playing the crazy power hungry leader trying to take control of everything!

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