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Star Trek Ent - Season 1 - Episode 05

Star Trek Ent - 1x05 - Unexpected

Originally Aired: 2001-10-17

After discovering the presence of a damaged alien vessel, Archer dispatches Tucker to its aid, but the engineer's encounter with a Xyrillian female has an unexpected side effect. [DVD]

My Rating - 6

Fan Rating Average - 4.87

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# Votes: 29 3 1 6 9 14 17 14 13 9 9

- This episode aggravates the holodeck invention date problem. See comments.

- According to Archer, Trip's case is the first interspecies pregnancy involving a Human.
- According to T'Pol, Trip is the first human male to ever become pregnant.
- Randy Oglesby, who plays Trena'L in this episode, played Kir in Voy: Counterpoint, Silaran in DS9: The Darkness and the Light, the twins in DS9: Vortex, as well as one of Riva's chorus in TNG: Loud as a Whisper.

Remarkable Scenes
- The loss of gravity while Archer was taking a shower. :)
- Trip trying to adapt to the truly alien environment aboard the Xyrillian ship.
- T'Pol: "Three days. You were only there for three days and you couldn't restrain yourself."
- Trip defending himself against allegations of ungentlemanly behavior.
- Archer's less than perfect attempt at diplomacy with the Klingons regarding the Xyrillian ship.
- T'Pol using her knowledge of Klingon culture to diffuse the situation somewhat.
- The Klingons ridiculing Trip.
- Klingon, impressed by the holodeck: "I can see my house from here!"

My Review
Like Ent: Fight or Flight, this is another well thought out episode that uses the prequel premise well. We are shown a few annoying things though. For one, the Xyrillians are a new, made up race. Again, I'm wondering why it was necessary to introduce a new race rather than use one shown before. I am willing to cut a lot of slack in this case though seeing as how I'm at a loss to come up with a race anything like the Xyrillians previously featured that would have been appropriate for use here. I was also pleased at how alien the Xyrillians were. It was a most credible rare treat to show Trip having such a hard time adapting to the Xyrillian atmosphere. Unfortunately though, the episode is clouded a bit because we're shown a fully functional holodeck, sans interactive characters. We've seen technology this advanced as early as TAS, but that's still a very long way off. Granted, Enterprise did not acquire this technology. But the Klingons did. This episode, as well as the use of a holodeck on TAS both seem to contradict TNG, in which all the characters were amazed at the holodeck. This is only a minor inconsistency though. It's possible creating landscapes was nothing new by the 24th century, but creating people and interactive settings was. Then again, in Voy: Once Upon a Time, Janeway mentioned having played the Flotter program when she was a child. Given that she's middle aged, this connotes interactive holodeck technology being in widespread use at least twenty or thirty years before the first episode of TNG. It would seem TNG has been contradicted on three fronts now. We'll just have to accept that on TNG, holographic technology was "new to them," or that it made significant advances, warranting a renewed "wow" reaction. That said, this episode's story was quite amusing without becoming too silly. I love how Trip was forced to admit to Klingons that he was pregnant. It much reminded me of Spock's line in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier: "Please, Captain. Not in front of the Klingons." (Which was a relatively nice scene in an otherwise abysmal movie.) The crew handles the situation as professionally as they can; I rather liked how arrogant and presumptuous T'Pol was in the beginning regarding Trip's alleged behavior. I also liked how she made up for it by using her superior knowledge of Klingon culture to assist in the diplomatic negotiations. She damn near cracked a joke at the end too with her little history book statistic. Suffice it to say, I liked T'Pol more in this episode than in previous ones. She's starting to show that, yeah, she's a stuffy annoying killjoy, but she can be cool at times.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From JRPoole on 2011-07-10 at 2:58pm:
    I'm trying convince myself to be a Star Trek completionist and watch all of Enterprise, but, with the exception of the two-part pilot, the episodes here haven't really made the case. None of them are horrible, but the characters--most notably Archer and Tripp are pretty flat, and the forced contention between Archer and T'Pol is annoying.

    But what really bugs me are little flaws, like Hoshi's slug, which they leave on a totally different planet. The biggest one, though, is in this episode. "This is the closest we can come to water," the Xyrillian says, handing Tripp a cube of not-ice. So we're supposed to believe that the species are closely related enough to mate together and have similar technology, but they can't make H2O? That's ridiculous.
  • From Vincent on 2011-10-25 at 3:25am:
    You have mentioned the "problem" of adding new species to Star Trek in a prequel, but I don't necessarily believe it is a bad thing. A number of things could have happened to a species between Enterprise and TOS. They could have been wiped out in a war (aren't there supposed to be wars between the Federation and the Klingons and Romulans at some point), or they could have decided to remain neutral and stay out of the Federation, which would limit their appearances in Federation starships of chronologically later series.

    I do agree that it is kind of annoying that history as told by previous series does not always match up with the events of Enterprise.
  • From happydude on 2013-04-16 at 2:02am:
    Ah, the good ol' comedic rape episode. Not only one of the worst episodes of this series, it manages to do this seemingly progressive franchise a disservice through its mere existence in trivializing one of the most heinous crimes one can commit.
  • From DK on 2013-04-24 at 2:55am:
    I have to sort of agree with happydude.  Imagine if the gender roles were reversed; the femmes would be out for blood.   Example: Phlox lecturing a female crew member:  "Seems you did a little more than repair work",  and pointing out where nipples are growing.  Can you imagine a male lecturing a woman about not being able to restrain herself and sticking her fingers where they didn't belong after being unintentionally raped the way T'pol lectured Trip?  And all this happened in just one scene and not to mention how much differently the impregnator would be viewed (would "oops, I didn't mean to" really fly for an excuse?).
    The reversal of traditional gender roles just does not work for me much of the time and newer incarnations of Star Trek are notable offenders; some of the things Keiko does to Miles would be grounds for boycott had the gender roles been reversed (if I remember right she was a botanist with nothing to do on DS9.  Shouldn't she have been cooking his dinner once in a while rather than criticizing, complaining and giving him dirty looks all the time?).  Much of the time it seems that 'a strong female character' translates to 'symbolically emasculate all males around' in the more recent Star Treks.  And in Enterprises' 'Unexpected' they come near to literally doing it.
  • From tt5 on 2014-09-21 at 5:42pm:
    Am I the only one who thinks that turning on the gravity without warning is like... dangerous.
  • From Zach on 2015-07-03 at 7:27pm:
    @DK: Trivializing Kako like that means we see less of her, which is a good thing. We also get to see more Miles, whick is also goo.
  • From President Obummer on 2020-01-17 at 6:10pm:
    Also, Keiko does prepare food for him on several occasions. DK seems to have some deeper problems with females ^^
    Gender roles could have easily been reversed in this episode, it just would have been even more boring.
  • From Azalea Jane on 2021-07-28 at 6:55am:
    I was also bothered by the casual and humorous way in which Trip's violation was treated. Even granting that it was accidental, that Ah'len genuinely had no way of knowing her "game" with Trip would have any lasting consequences with a different species, it still flirts with the "male rape played for laughs" trope a little too hard.

    I did like a lot of other aspects of this episode. T'Pol coming to Archer's defense was cool. I'm sincerely hope the writers end up doing more with her character than "sexy resident buzzkill", because she's got plenty of potential for development. I'm always curious to see development with the Klingons, knowing we'd be at war with them at some point.

    In general with this show so far I'm really appreciating that they're not glossing over so many details that other Treks have glossed over. Whether it's better budget, better VFX, or the technological limitations in the show, it feels so much more real. The three-hour compression/decompression is a good example, or the crew wearing actual environment suits in "Fight or Flight", or the limits of translator technology, trying to avoid transporters, having paltry weapons... it's refreshing after seeing so much Trek ignore many of the practicalities of space exploration.
  • From President Obummer on 2023-02-15 at 9:27am:
    Rape? How is it rape if nothing involuntary is done and no naughty parts are even touched? It is more like the story from various religions of involuntary conception by gods.

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