Future Tense: Review
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The story starts off when Enterprise discovers a severely damaged vessel of unknown origin. Archer has the ship taken aboard to see what the ship is all about. When he opens the ship up, Archer finds a dead human inside the craft. Astonished that a human would be so far from Earth, Archer automatically thinks its Zephram Cochrane. Phlox examines the pilot and discovers hes a mix of Human, Vulcan, Rigellian, and other assorted species.
Trip and Reed are assigned the task of investigating the small craft for any evidence of how this human traveled so far, and how this technology works. The craft had no visible Engines or identifying marks. After scavenging around, they discover a biological residue in a bulkhead on the floor. The removal of the bulkhead reveals a passageway beneath the ship. The passageway leads to other rooms, which shouldnt physically be there. After detecting a small energy signature, they discover a small device of some kind and they remove it from the craft.
As Trip and Reed are leaving the craft, a small Suliban ship appears and demands that Archer hand over the craft immediately. As you would expect, Archer declines the offer and a small battle ensues. While the battle is going on, the Suliban beam a few soldiers onto Enterprise and they attempt to take the craft by force. After Reed drives them out, the Suliban ship escapes. After leaving the region to avoid more Suliban ships, Enterprise also encounters the Tholians. They too want the craft and grab onto Enterprise to take it. Only after Archer threatens to destroy the craft do the Tholians decide to leave.
Realizing this ship is more important than he originally thought, Archer contacts the Vulcans and arranged a rendezvous with one of their ships. Desperate for answers, Archer and TPol venture into Daniels quarters and finds his library device. They discover the ship is from the 31st century.
Archer is quickly recalled to the Bridge due to a small armada of Suliban attack ships coming into range. Travis pushes the ship to maximum warp and they discover the Vulcan ship has been severely damaged. Tholian ships also appear and disable Enterprise with an unknown energy weapon. Desperate to capture the craft, the Tholians attack the Suliban! The resulting battle destroys the entire Suliban fleet and they set their sites on Enterprise. The conflict is only ended when Trip activates the strange device taken from the craft and all evidence it was ever there disappears. All of it, the craft, the human, the device everything. The Tholians, having nothing to gain at this point, warp out.
Wow, Enterprise is on a roll. This is really the first episode of Enterprise that wasnt a rehash of VOY/TNG/TOS. The story itself left you hanging as you tried to figure out where all the pieces fit in. You had the mysterious ship, the Suliban, the Tholians, and the Black Box. I liked the continuity between this episode and Shockwave part 2. Both episodes had the extra space where it shouldnt be parts. Another huge plus is that they didnt explain with a long string of technobable how it worked. I can only take technobable in small portions before my head explodes.
Another aspect of the story I liked was that everything was left hanging in the end. We dont know why the mysterious ship was there in the first place. We dont know why the Tholians were involved. We dont know what was so important about the ship to have two races competing for it. I originally hated the idea of a Temporal Cold War arc, but Im really warming up to the idea, especially after the high quality of the past few TCW stories.
Overall, a really enjoyable episode.
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