Original Airdate: October 22, 2004
Archer and crew return to Earth for a welcome home ceremony in a large stadium.
Archer makes a speech about the 27 crewmembers lost in the fight against the
Xindi, but that the crew was glad to be home.
Later Archer meets up with newly promoted Captain Erika Hernandez, an old friend whom he apparently had a relationship with, and they talk about how things have been on Earth and Archer's mission, although not in much detail.
Then we go to the Enterprise where T'Pol is packing and Tucker is talking to her about having nowhere to go home to. She extends an invitation to her mother's house on Vulcan and he accepts.
Switch over to the bridge of the Columbia where Hernandez and Archer talk about necessary weapons upgrades to their ships because space wasn't as safe as he originally had thought. Erika also asks him for some recommendations on her choices for senior staff.
Back on Earth, Archer is in a debriefing at Starfleet headquarters. Archer gets grilled by Soval about the Seleya, the Vulcan ship that was lost in the Expanse, and why Archer didn't try harder to save the crew of the ship. Archer gets frustrated and has an outburst towards Soval and even Forrest. Forrest orders Archer to calm down and take a break from the hearing, but Archer just storms off.
Back on Enterprise, Phlox has Reed help him carry all of his baggage as Phlox is going with to visit Earth. Reed is surprised that Phlox wasn't deterred at all by incidents of a couple aliens being attacked because of a recent xenophobia being developed on Earth. Even the Vulcans were staying inside of their compound because humans were looking for someone to blame for the Xindi attack.
Archer actually does take some time to think through things by going mountain climbing, but to his surprise Erika shows up ready to accompany him.
Now we go to Vulcan and the home of T'Les, T'Pol's mother. Trip and T'Pol arrive there and talk about how scenic Vulcan is and how beautiful things are. Then T'Les shows up and T'Pol is surprised by her being there. T'Les speaks to T'Pol in Vulcan sternly about bringing a human companion with her. Trip is then told where his quarters are, and when he leaves T'Pol talks to her mother about why she isn't working. T'Les' explanation is that she had planned on retiring from teaching at the Science Academy for quite some time. T'Les tells her that a career isn't everything, which segways into her giving T'Pol a letter from Koss, the Vulcan who she was to be wed to a few years prior.
After that we see more climbing with Archer and Erika, and some discussion about the senior officer choices. Archer suggests that she put MACO's onboard, but she is hesitant.
We go back to Vulcan where T'Pol wakes up Tucker at 0400 because the guests are expected to prepare breakfast. They then eat breakfast and Tucker offers to help repair some of T'Les' food appliances since some of the food apparently isn't so great.
Then we go to a bar on Earth where Mayweather, Reed, and Phlox are enjoying some drinks, and Reed is signing autographs for some young women. A bar patron comes up and starts harrassing Phlox, trying to intimidate him into leaving. Phlox offers to leave, but Travis and Malcolm tell him to stay put. The conflict with the bar patron escalates into a brawl. After a bit of fighting, Phlox puts up a natural defense mechanism where his face inflates like a pufferfish and everyone is shocked by it, and the brawlers run off.
Back to Vulcan, Trip is repairing T'Les' food stasis chamber and T'Les confronts him about his relationship with T'Pol. Tucker didn't know that T'Pol had mentioned anything because she hadn't; T'Les just knew her daughter well. Then Koss shows up at the door wanting to speak with T'Pol. T'Pol goes outside with him to talk about their bethrothal. T'Pol tells him that she is not interested, but Koss is persistent. He tells her that their marriage could help T'Les get her job back. T'Pol is confused, but Koss sets her straight by telling her that T'Les didn't retire, she was forced to resign.
We return to the mountain with Archer and Erika where they are talking about the planet Archer visited in "Strange New World." He begins to talk more about how his exploring got humans into more trouble than anything. Erika tries to tell him otherwise, but he doesn't seem to accept it.
Once again back to Vulcan where T'Pol confronts her mother about her "retirement." T'Les tells her the truth in that she was forced to resign because she was accused of accessing some confidential records at the science academy. T'Les denies that it happened, and T'Pol realizes that it was probably attributed to her actions at P'Jem. She figures that the Vulcans were looking for someone to blame. T'Pol gets a little emotional and T'Les blames it on her exposure to humans and Tucker. She says that the two could never successfully be together, and T'Pol storms off.
Back to the mountain at night, Archer wakes up and hears some noises. He goes to investigate it and is attacked by two Xindi Reptilians. Eventually they get him and throw him off the cliff. Before he hits the ground he wakes up. It was all a nightmare, and Erika tries to comfort him. Archer explains that his trip to the mountain was an attempt to get away from everyone who thought he was a hero because he felt like the opposite with some of his questionable decisions. Archer decides to leave her, but she tries to talk him out of it. He tells her that he was peaceful and wanting to explore like her before the threat of the Xindi came along, and her best way of consoling him was with a kiss.
On Vulcan, T'Pol and Trip visit some of Vulcans landmarks. T'Pol tells him about her decision to marry Koss for political reasons, and Trip gets upset and leaves.
On the mountain again, Archer and Erika talk about why they stopped dating, revealing that they did indeed have a previous relationship. Archer mentioned that it was because he was her superior officer, but with her promotion to captain of the Columbia, it didn't matter anymore. They then embraced.
Cut to sickbay where Phlox is telling Hoshi that she is recovering well from her neural parasites. She asks him to go to a restaurant with her, but he makes excuses not to go. She knows that he doesn't want to go because of the fight and the xenophobic humans. She tells him to stand up against the prejudice, but Phlox declines.
We go back to the briefing where it is being finished and Archer apologizes to Soval for his previous outburst. Soval tells him the things he did were morally questionable, but necessary.
Back on Vulcan we see Trip getting ready for the wedding. He is wearing T'Pol's late father's clothing. He tells T'Les that he loved T'Pol, but that he didn't want to say anything to upset her. They proceed to the wedding and T'Pol gives Trip a small kiss on the cheek before approaching Koss. The wedding goes through and we cut to credits.
"Home" seems like a roundabout answer to Voyager's "Endgame." You have all of the things that fans were wanting when the ship returned: A hero's welcome, a debriefing, Earth's reactions, relations with family members, etc. All of this was jammed into one episode and may have fallen a bit short because of that. There was a lot going on focusing on all of the characters, and it all seemed very fragmented because of that.
Some of the plot items could've been developed a lot more and even been their own standalone episodes, or at least with some sort of B plot. The ordeals of Archer could've really been expanded on, like the debriefing. I can imagine a lot of different questions coming up about all of their experiences, especially with the sphere builders and Xindi. And on top of that the whole Nazi time travel experiences. This debriefing should've lasted for weeks with everything that they had to cover. Yet all we see is what Soval cares about, the Vulcans on the Seleya. It's really quite hypocritical of him as well since the Vulcans did nothing in their power to help their ships. Although this wasn't as clear because Archer's outburst noting all of this didn't really make his stance sound convincing. And said outburst just seemed too sudden and forced, and Archer just seems a little bit nuts.
But Archer's remorse was nice. It was good to see that he mentioned the differences in his personality and some of his questionable decisions. He really kept going on and on about it to Erika though. And speaking of Erika, Bakula and Ada Maris had no chemistry whatsoever. When they first met in the bar, I got no feeling that they were once together. When they were on the mountain climbing, they seemed to be just spouting off their lines. And when they kissed, there was no spark at all. It was as if two wooden dolls were flung at each other. But the concept of Archer having that kind of relationship is an interesting one, it just would've been better with someone who could act better or was more suitable for him.
And then there was just his dream sequence. More unnecessary action that could've been substituted with any number of answers to plot holes left over from "Zero Hour" like the issues with all the ships not being there, or Shran's ship and the aquatic ship got away just fine, and how all that time travel stuff was supposed to work out.
The other plot item that could've been shown more was the whole Trip and T'Pol fiasco. First, it was strange how there were a few references to them having a sort of relationship. If they meant a one-night stand and some awkward moments, then yeah, it was a relationship. And Trip goes to Vulcan, but where are his parents? We've never heard about them. And Trip doesn't have any other family that he can visit at all? So T'Pol invites him to Vulcan as what, a shield? This guy is constantly getting used by her and he should be fed up with it by now. Obviously he was upset, but he should well be over her by now. And T'Pol seemed quite emotional as well. Was she still feeling the effects of the Trellium? Or maybe her Pa'nar syndrome? She told Koss that she was ill, so maybe she was. Her mother, T'Les didn't seem the smartest either. She appears to us as yet another deceptive Vulcan, not telling T'Pol about what forced her resignation. And she seems so hesitant to let Tucker and T'Pol be together, yet she tells Tucker that he should tell T'Pol about how he feels?
The last plot that could've been elaborated on more was the xenophobic humans. First, I kind of have a hard time believing that humans who were supposed to be over racism and all that would take out their aggression on non-Xindi aliens. But I suppose it's not that hard to believe if humans are still getting liquored up in bars. And there didn't seem to be any solution for this irrational fear from humans, which makes me wonder if they'll handle it at all, or sweep it under the rug with the Xindi, the Temporal Cold War, the sphere builders, and all of the other loose threads the writers don't seem to care about.
All in all, the episode had some good ideas, but they were fragmented and put together in sort of a haphazard way. The pacing of the episode was off as they switched from idea to idea and tried to cram too much in. I suppose the hatchet must be buried quickly so we can move on to Brent Spiner (as we can see with the numerous ads for it). Of course the episode was on par with its set design, costumes, and visual effects as usual. The direction just needed to go somewhere, perhaps with a plot instead of a bunch of character situations. Even though they were much needed developments, they weren't enough to keep it afloat.
Grade: C- (6/10)
Click on the below thumbnails for the full image.
Scott Bakula as Jonathan
John Billingsley as Dr. Phlox
Jolene Blalock as T'Pol
Dominic Keating as Malcolm Reed
Anthony Montgomery as Travis Mayweather
Linda Park as Hoshi Sato
Connor Trinneer as Charles Tucker
Joanna Cassidy as T'Les
Michael Reilly Burke as Koss
Ada Maris as Captain Erika Hernandez
Gary Graham as Soval
Vaughn Armstrong as Admiral Forrest
Joe Chrest as Bar Patron #1
Jim Fitzpatrick as Commander Williams
Jack Donner as Vulcan Priest
Director: Allan Kroeker
Written By: Michael Sussman