Star Trek: Enterprise – 1×04 – “Unexpected”

Star Trek: Enterprise
“Unexpected”
Originally Broadcast October 10th, 2001
Reviewed by T’Bonz

The Story

The story opens with Enterprise afflicted with an amusing series of system malfunctions. They soon discover the cause: a cloaked alien vessel riding in the wake of their plasma exhaust.

Their freeloading companions turn out to be a friendly race called Xyrillians who are simply trying to get home with a broken warp drive. Tucker is sent to assist them with repairs to their engines, requiring him to stay aboard their ship for three days. After an uncomfortable three hours in decompression, Tucker is pleasantly stunned by the culture and advanced technology of the aliens. He is almost mesmerized by his female alien co-worker, Ah’Len, who shows him a holodeck, and introduces him to a game that enables the players to read each others minds.

The repairs completed and the Xyrillians headed for home, Tucker returns to Enterprise and discovers a small lump on his arm. He is obviously shocked when Dr. Phlox tells him the bump is a nipple, and he’s …pregnant!

As Tucker’s pregnancy progresses, they set out in search of the Xyrillians for help, and find them riding in the wake of a Klingon Battlecruiser. Once they have uncovered the Xyrillians, the Klingons want to destroy them. Captain Archer tries unsuccessfully to persuade the Klingons not to harm the Xyrillians. T’Pol finally convinces the Klingons that the Empire “owes Archer a favor”. The Klingons reluctantly agree to help Tucker get a new Xyrillian host for his baby in exchange for the alien’s holodeck technology.

Thankful for their cooperation, Archer offers to help the Klingons in the future, but they promise that Enterprise would regret it, should their paths meet again.

Review

Tucker – Tucker is becoming my favorite character in this show. He seems to be a very down to earth kind of guy, in a Leonard McCoy kind of way – quite possibly the intent, played opposite the “Cowboy Captain” and the “Vulcan First Officer”. He reacted in a way I would imagine any man would react to being pregnant, and Connor Trinneer played his part superbly.

Archer – His reactions to Tucker’s pregnancy were priceless, and it was obvious that Scott Bakula had a great time filming this episode. I can only imagine how many retakes were required!

T’Pol – This is the first time she has managed to make it to my “good” list, and this week, she deserves it. She had some great lines, and her arrogance seems to be fading just enough to make her bearable. I hope this trend continues in future episodes.

The Dialogue – There were a lot of great lines in “Unexpected”, suitable for sound bites. I found myself laughing out loud when Phlox said to Tucker, “You may very well be putting those nipples to work before you know it.” And the “That Joke’s So Bad, It’s Funny” award goes to the Klingon in the holodeck who says, “Hey! I can see my house from here!”

The Klingon Battlecruiser also gets an honorable mention here. We haven’t seen an old Battlecruiser since DS9’s Trials and Tribble-ations, and it looked great!

Last but not least is Porthos. Having a dog onboard is a fresh idea, and he livens up the moment once again, if only briefly in this episode. I can only hope he isn’t forgotten as their travels continue.

The Not-So-Good

The return of the holodecks. C’mon guys, did you have to go there? We meet a friendly alien race with advanced holo-technology in Enterprise’s fourth episode. If we knew about it so early in the timeline, why did it take 200+ years for them to be implemented in Starfleet? This is TNG technology, and it should have stayed there. Including this seemed like a poor judgment call, in my opinion.

As much as I like Tucker, I do not want to see the show revolve around him like Voyager seemed to revolve around Seven of Nine in the later seasons. This is the second show in a row to focus heavily on him. There are some wonderfully unique personalities aboard Enterprise, and they all deserve a chance to shine. Leave Tucker alone for awhile, and let us get to know the rest of the crew.

Overall

I was dreading this episode, because I was expecting to see “Star Trek meets Junior”. Instead, I got a very entertaining, very funny story that held my interest by providing great dialogue and wonderful characterization. We’ve seen the “human gets pregnant by alien” storyline a million times, but this one was done in good taste and with humor only Enterprise could deliver.

The bottom line…this show was fun! I hope they continue to “boldly go” in the same wonderful direction that these first four episodes have taken us.

Grade: 9/10

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