Star Trek: Enterprise – 1×08 – “Breaking the Ice”

Star Trek: Enterprise
“Breaking the Ice”
Originally Broadcast November 7th, 2001
Reviewed by T’Bonz

The Story

Enterprise discovers a comet. Captain Archer decides to explore it, and bring back a core sample, sending Reed and Mayweather to do the job.

The bridge crew of Enterprise answer questions that a class of children from Earth has submitted to them. Basic questions about what the crew eats and the waste reclamation process are explained to them.

A Vulcan ship is discovered lurking in the vicinity of Enterprise. This is not the first time that has happened, evidently Vulcans are keeping a wary eye on the humans. Suspicion is further heightened when it is discovered that T’Pol has received a communication from the Vulcan ship. However, the transmission is discovered to be of a personal nature, in the nature of an ultimatum to T’Pol, she is to return to Vulcan for her wedding, or it will be called off. She asks Trip for advice; the only advice he can give her is to do what she wishes to do. The Vulcan captain joins Archer, Trip, and T’Pol for dinner, but makes quite clear his disdain for humans. The dinner does not go well.

Back on the comet, unexpected problems arise, necessitating a rescue. Captain Vanik offers the services of the Vulcan ship, which Archer at first declines, until T’Pol points out that the Vulcans expect the humans to be arrogant, etc. and wouldn’t it be wiser to prove them wrong. Archer accepts the help, Reed and Mayweather are rescued and the Vulcan ship prepares to leave. Before it’s departure, T’Pol asks to send a message to the ship to be routed to Vulcan. Looks like the wedding is off!

Review

The Good

There are nice little touches of humor in the show, from Trip’s discomfort at answering the “poop” question, to the Vulcan ears on the snowman. It was also amusing when Trip was advised to take a phase pistol with him while confessing to T’Pol that he read her letter.

The Bad

Sigh…the Vulcans. More and more they seem more like the Romulans than the Vulcans with whom we are familiar. However, one can easily see how the Romulans are related to THESE Vulcans. This makes one wonder how long ago the Vulcan-Romulan split actually was.

My Opinion

The story was interesting. I found the T’Pol story more interesting than the comet exploration one. One can see T’Pol gradually gravitating more towards being with the humans and less with her own people.

Unfortunately, the view we continue to get of the Vulcans is most unpleasant. They really seem more like Romulans. While I’m all in favor of a more rounded out race as opposed to the little we have seen of the Vulcans in Star Trek, I find it disturbing that thus far, it is all negative. Were Sarek and Spock aberrations and T’Pau and Solok the norm? After thirty years of being a Star Trek fan, I’m not so happy with the way the Vulcans have been portrayed in modern Trek. I don’t expect every Vulcan to be Sarek; however, it seems to me that modern Trek is going the other extreme, to make them as unpleasant as possible. I wouldn’t care about this, if they balance them out later with both good and bad Vulcans, but thus far, other than T’Pol, who seems to be an aberration herself, they have been nothing but unpleasant, arrogant and nasty.

The comet exploration was interesting, although would the gravity be the same as on Earth? That doesn’t seem right somehow.

Nice touch at the end when T’Pol has that pecan pie in her room. She is moving towards humanity. However, why does the alien ALWAYS have to move towards humanity? I would have found it more interesting to explore her as a representative of the Vulcans, not as the human-wanna-be that she seems to be in the process of gradually becoming.

Grade: 7/10

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