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The Expanse

Zealousgirl’s EARLY EDITION

Production 052
First Air Date: May 21, 2003
Mission Date: somewhere around April 24, 2153

Director: Allan Kroeker
Written By: Rick Berman & Brannon Braga

Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with Star Trek or Paramount. I do this for amusement and not for profit. Be forewarned that this will be seen through the biased eyes of a proud Tuckerite!!! (and, a Trip/T’poler!) I will try to focus on what is happening with Trip in these spoilers. I will only briefly talk about non-Trip scenes, so if you want more details check out Li’s Trekpulse review.

About ‘Expanse’: Back to the short teaser, but this time it works! Very Trekky and quite interesting plot with involvement of both the Suliban and Klingons. Trip gets to show many emotions: grief, shock, anger, determination, and even a bit of humor. The overall feeling that I have about this episode is that it was more of a set-up for what will be happening in season 3, rather than the usual season finale cliff-hanger.

Synopsis (from StarTrek.com):
A probe from an unknown alien source unleashes a devastating assault upon Earth. Enterprise is recalled, and along the way home Captain Archer acquires information that the perpetrators come from a region of space known as the Delphic Expanse — a place where very bizarre things happen, and from which few ships that enter ever return. Starfleet must now decide whether to risk sending the NX-01 into the Delphic Expanse to prevent a possible second attack.

“Trip-centric” Enterprise SPOILERS

A small orb appears just above Earth (it’s like it came out of a ‘fold’ in space). It fires a beam directly at the centre of Florida. We see the laser-like beam start to cut the crust of the Earth, and it extends south all the way to Venezuela. It stops firing just as quickly as it started and then falls towards Earth.



Duras is in front of a tribunal – they are upset with him. They offer him a chance to regain his command by retrieving Archer.

~Ready room~

The senior staff are waiting for Archer, as he has called them all there. They are puzzled, especially since he has spoken to Admiral Forrest several times that day already. Even Phlox comments that he can’t remember the last time he was called to one of these.

Archer finally enters. “There’s been an attack on Earth.” ( the camera pans over to Trip who is standing with his hands behind his back)

Trip: “What do you mean ‘attack’?”

Archer: “A probe. They don’t know where it came from. It fired a weapon that cut a swath 4000km long… there may have been a million casualties. . . we have been recalled.” Everyone looks shocked.

Trip: “Did they say why?”

Archer: “I didn’t ask.”

Travis: “It’ll take a while to get back, sir.”

The meeting is interrupted by another communiqué by Forrest. Archer tells Travis to set a course, at warp 5 – and, they’re off.

~Captain’s room~

Archer is staring out at the stars when the door chimes. Trip comes in, and excuses his interruption.

Trip: “When you spoke to Admiral Forrest did he say what part of Florida was hit?” (He seems to be in a lot of emotional pain – I just want to hug him and make him feel better)

Archer says no.

Trip (in a hushed voice): “Ah, she may have been away. Architects take a lot of trips.”

Archer finally turns around to look at him. “Older or younger?”

Trip: “My baby sister.” (now looking devastated) “When we were in school, I made sure all the boys in her class got a good look at me. None of them ever messed with her.” (his voice cracks, his eyes start to tear up)

Archer: “Maybe, she was away.”

Trip (chokes back his emotions, nods and clears his throat): “Anything you can tell me about what the admiral said?”

Archer tells him that the number of casualties is up to 3 Million.

Trip: “Why would someone do this?”

Archer shakes his head. Just then the door chimes again, and T’pol enters. Trip has his back turned away from her as he tries to regain his composure. T’pol pauses as she seems to notice this, before she begins to tell them about her conversation with Soval. She tells him that a Vulcan vessel has located the debris of the pod in Central Asia, and it was brought to Starfleet headquarters – one alien was on board but did not survive the crash.

Trip: “Who the hell was he? Which species?”

T’pol: “They don’t know.”

Trip: “Did they say anything about what part of Florida was hit?”

T’pol: “No.”

Trip just stands there, overwhelmed with emotion. Archer explains this to T’pol by saying that his sister lives in Florida. She looks like she is about to say something to Trip but they are beeped – 8 Suliban ships are approaching at high warp! (first Klingons, and now Suliban!)


The power goes ‘wonky’, as we see the Suliban climbing on the ceiling. The lights come back on, and Archer is gone.

~Suliban ship~

Silik greets Archer, who immediately assumes that the Suliban are responsible for the attack on Earth. Silik tells him that someone wants to talk to him – about a great danger to the human species. Archer is brought into a room (which we have seen in the past - where the person from the future who tells Silik what to do, but we only see an opaque form within a cylinder of light). This person is there, and tells Archer that a species called the Xindi sent the probe. Someone from the future told the Xindi that humans would destroy their homeworld in 400 years, and that the Xindi decided to kill off the humans before they got a chance. The ‘Suliban Boss’ (my made up name for him) continues to explain the situation to Archer. He tells him that the probe was only a test, and that once they perfect the weapon, the Xindi will destroy all of Earth. The ‘Suliban Boss’ tells Archer that this different faction in the Temporal War will change the time line in such a way that it would not be beneficial to him.

~Captain’s room~

T’pol is reluctant to believe the explanation given by the ‘Suliban’s boss’. Archer tells her that he needs her support and not her skepticism.


{After we hear in a captain’s log that over 7 million people were lost}

Travis points out to everyone that the brightest star that we see on the view screen is ‘our sun’. Just then we hear something beep and Malcolm announces that a vessel has just dropped out of warp. The vessel starts to fire at them.


The battle continues, against a Klingon Bird of Prey. Hoshi tells Archer that the ship is sending a hail demanding his surrender. Archer figures out that it is Duras.

Meanwhile on the Klingon ship, they are preparing to board Enterprise as she is now disabled. But suddenly 3 Earth vessels show up to save the day, and the Klingons skulk off.

Back on Enterprise, Archer is greeted by the Captain of the Intrepid, briefly explaining the situation with the Klingons.

~Orbitting Earth~

The bridge crew are all staring at the viewscreen where the swath left by the probe can be clearly seen. Trip, however, is not looking, but rather has his head lowered (almost seems like he can’t bring himself to look)


Archer is meeting with Forrest and Soval. Both are skeptical about the story that Archer has told them. (the usual comment about the Vulcan Science Directorate has determined that time travel is not possible)

Archer asks to take Enterprise to try and find the Xindi – that the loss of a few people would be worth it, if it could save more lives on Earth.

Soval tells Archer that the coordinates that the ‘Suliban boss’ gave him, bring him to the Delphic Expanse – a region of space over 2000 light years in diameter. Several Vulcan vessels have entered but only a few have returned. (Archer jokes about it being a ‘Bermuda Triangle’) Soval says that there have been reports about dangerous species, and even places where the law of physics does not apply. He goes on to tell a gruesome story about a Klingon vessel that exited the expanse with every crewmember anatomically inverted (splayed open) but still alive.

Despite this, Archer still wants to go. Soval tells him that doing this without more proof would be foolish. Archer says that he does have proof.

They go to the hanger where the debris is stored. Archer starts to scan the debris using quantum dating. He finds pieces of the probe that were made 4 years ago, 12 years ago, and then. . . over 400 years in the future. Soval is unimpressed, but Forrest seems to be convinced.

Before leaving though, Archer requests to look at the body recovered from the wreckage. They open a cryochamber to show a strange humanoid species (most closely resembles a Narsicaan) – could this be a Xindi?

~Enterprise is in ‘drydock’ orbiting Earth~

Archer comes to Sickbay at the request of a Dr Fer’at (Vulcan) because he may have been exposed to some abnormal radiation while examining the probe’s debris. Phlox is there as well.

Dr Fer’at scans Archer, and starts to ask him some strange questions: his opinion about time travel, how he feels about people doubting his story (actually says ‘how does that make you feel?’), how it felt to meet someone from the future. During this questioning, we see the ‘wheels’ going in Phlox’s head – he is suspicious. Phlox checks something in the databanks.

As Fer’at starts to try to delve into Archer’s emotional state, Phlox interrupts, as he has discovered that Fer’at is a psychoanalyst, and not a pathologist as he had claimed. Phlox is livid, “where are you medical ethics!”

Fer’at says that he was only doing what he was told to (by Soval).

Archer demands that Fer’at leave Enterprise, and asks Phlox to show him out. Phlox responds, “Gladly.”


Trip and Malcolm are standing on the edge of the canyon (the swath) left by the probe. Both are stunned as they look at the surrounding devastation.

Trip: “The house was over there. (pointing) Less than a kilometer. . . See over there, that was the old movie theatre. When we were kids, if I didn’t take my sister with me, she’d scream like a banshee.”

Malcolm: “Are you certain she was here when this happened?”

Trip: “Someone would have heard from her if she wasn’t.”


~Outside Enterprise, still in drydock~

Forrest and Archer are in a pod examining the ships, including the NX-02 which will be ready in 14 months. They talk about the new ship’s armaments, which will be the same as Enterprise once the refit is completed.

Forrest asks how many will be staying on board Enterprise for this next mission, and Archer doesn’t think that more than 8 or 9 will be leaving. They then discuss the fact that Archer will be bringing on some non-Starfleet military personnel – ‘some muscle’.

Finally, Forrest gets around to asking Archer about whether the ‘Suliban boss’ was able to tell him anything about the Xindi weapon. Archer says no, but that he wouldn’t have told them anything if he didn’t think that the Xindi could be stopped.


T’pol comes to find Phlox to question him about his decision to stay on board Enterprise. Phlox turns the questions around so that he asks her what her decision is.

T’pol explains that Vulcan High Command does not want her to go. Phlox says that he’s more interested in her opinion on the matter.

T’pol: “It’s not my place to disobey the High Command.”

Phlox (cheerfully): “Nonsense. You’ve done it before. (pause) It’s interesting. . . you and I. . . the only aliens on board this vessel. To go or to stay.” He continues by saying that the answer was easy for him, especially knowing how much the captain will need him in the upcoming months. But for T’pol, where do her allegiances lie – with the Vulcan High Command or with the Captain.


Malcolm is explaining the nuisances of the new photon torpedoes to Trip. (he is always so chipper when he talks about weapons – it never ceases to make me chuckle) Trip is to help him integrate into the power grid.

They are now walking towards Engineering (I suppose). Malcolm asks if there is going to be a service of some sort.

Trip: “If you’re talking about a funeral, there’s really no point when there’s nothing left.” (anger in his voice)

Malcolm says that he was talking about a memorial.

Trip: “My sister wasn’t big on memorials.”

Malcolm: “I read that there was a day of remembrance for all of the victims a couple of months ago. I’m sorry you missed it.”

Trip (real snippy): “Why are you so obsessed with memorials?”

Malcolm: “I’m not obsessed.”

Trip: “She’s dead! So are 7 million others. She was no more important than any of them.”

Malcolm: “She was more important to you. There’s nothing wrong with admitting that.”

Trip: “I’m getting real tired of you telling me what I can and can’t do. And while we’re at it, I don’t need you to remind me that Elizabeth was killed. So just let it alone.” He starts to walk away, but turns to say one last thing. “Maybe you should pay more attention to upgrading your weapons, so you can blow the hell out of these bastards when we find them.” Trip storms off.


Archer, along with T’pol, meet with Soval and Forrest. Soval wants to show him a video recording from the Vaankara, a Vulcan vessel that was in the expanse for less than 2 days. The video is very disturbing with screaming Vulcans, strangling and beating each other (very graphic). Soval then tells them that soon after the ship was destroyed – likely at the hands of the crew.

Archer is not going to give up his plans to take Enterprise to the Delphic Expanse. Soval asks to speak to T’pol privately before she has the chance to leave with Archer.

~somewhere around Starfleet HQ’s~

Soval comments how it will be a year before T’pol will be back on Earth, and that her new post in the Ministry of Information will be quite refreshing. T’pol wants to remain in San Francisco, but Soval feels that she has spent too much time with humans already. She questions his decision to remove a Vulcan from Enterprise. She argues that it should be her decision. Soval says that she will lose her commission if she remains on Enterprise.

~outside docking bay~

Forrest gives Archer an uninspiring pep talk and leaves.

{Enterprise leaves space dock – while the Klingons watch a good distance away, preparing to chase after them}



Archer and Trip (dressed in ‘civvies’) are each having a drink, complaining about not being able to sleep.

Trip: “How’s Porthos holding up? If no people have returned from the Delphic expanse, I doubt any dogs have.” (takes a swig)

Archer: “He must be doing better than we are. He’s fast asleep.”

Trip: “You picked a new science officer.”

Archer: “No.”

Trip: “You’re gonna miss her, aren’t ya?” (I don’t know if I’m reading too much into this, but hey I’m a T/T’er – I felt like he was projecting more of his feelings than actually asking this question. He can’t even look at Archer when he says it.)

Archer: “When they first assigned her, I felt like strangling Soval.”

Trip: “Eh, she does kinda grow on you.”

Archer: “I would think you’d be the first one to show her to the airlock.”

Trip: “Nah.” (sighs) “To Henry Archer.” (clinks glasses) “I wonder what he would have thought if he knew his engine was going to help save the human race.”

Archer reflects on the huge responsibility that he thought commanding the first warp 5 starship was going to be, and that was nothing to the responsibility of an entire world.

Trip (determination in his voice): “I can’t wait to get in there, Captain. Find the people who did this. And, tell me we won’t be tiptoeing around. None of that ‘non-interference’ crap T’pol’s always shoving down our throats. Maybe it’s a good thing she’s leaving.”

Archer: “We’ll do what we have to, Trip. . . whatever it takes.”

Trip nods in agreement, and then we hear weapons fire (and of course the resultant shaking of the ship)


Archer and Trip arrive, and T’pol tells them that it is Duras. Archer tells Malcolm to try the new photon torpedoes. {the Klingons are not happy} Malcolm sends more, at higher yield. { Klingons’ warp drive fails} T’pol estimates that it will take them 3 hours to repair their engines. Archer asks Travis to increase from warp 3 to 4.5, hoping to reach Vulcan space before the Klingons catch up to them.

~Captain’s room~

T’pol tells Archer that they are 2 days from Vulcan. Archer tries to be cheerful and find the positive by pointing out that she will soon have real Vulcan food, get away from the stench that humans exude, and also get away from human emotions. T’pol replies to each by saying that she has adjusted, and no longer minds them. She finally tells him that she does not wish to return to Vulcan, and that with his permission she would stay on board. She will resign her commission with High Command. Her rationale is that they need a science officer and that she can not abandon them.


Archer tells Travis to change course, as they are not going to Vulcan. (Hoshi and Malcolm send each other knowing looks)

~7 weeks later, at the rim of the Delphic Expanse (purplish cloud)~

They look at the Expanse in awe. Apparently it will take 6 hours to get through the thermaberic clouds that surround the expanse (according to the Vulcans). They detect nothing on long range sensors, but still decide to head in.

Later, back on the bridge, they are still flying through the purplish cloud 6 hours later. Trip arrives to say that the communication buoy that they have launched is working – they are maintaining contact with Starfleet.

T’pol then notes that something is on sensors – 3 somethings to be precise. They are being trailed by 3 Birds of Prey, which start to fire on them.

Archer orders them to increase to full impulse so as to get into the expanse quicker (he thinks that the Klingons will not follow). Duras hails them, and demands Archer’s surrender. Archer tells him to go to hell and then cuts off the transmission.

T’pol detects clear space ahead (almost at the expanse). The other 2 Birds of Prey back off as they will not go into the expanse. Duras is too stubborn to give up now and keeps shooting at Enterprise.

Archer tells Travis to do a fancy bit of flying (an L-4), whereby he flies into a thick cloud, so that temporarily Duras can’t see them, then loops up and around. They come up behind the Klingons, and fire into the back of them – a beautiful explosion ensues and the Klingon Bird of Prey is destroyed.

Enterprise is now in the expanse. Archer: “Let’s see what’s in there.”


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