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Zealousgirl’s SPECIAL EDITION --> contains spoilers!

Production 057
First Air Date: Oct 8, 2003

Director: David Livingston
Teleplay By: Jonathan Fernandez
Story By: Jonathan Fernandez & Terry Matalas

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; please check Li’s Trekpulse for more details.

About ‘Impulse’: I enjoyed this episode. Some wonderful Trip/T’pol moments, although the scenes were short. The Zombie-Vulcans were hilarious – they reminded me of Frankenstein and the zombies from the ‘Return of the Living Dead’ combined (I kept waiting for them to start crying “Brains. . .brains. . .”). The action was interesting, but the camera shots were a bit odd; it seemed like it was ‘fast-forwarded’ in some parts, but that may have been the strobe light effect.

Again, there is a lot of action sequences that I just gloss over because I just can’t do it justice.

Synopsis (from StarTrek.com):

Boarding a damaged Vulcan vessel adrift in an asteroid field, Archer and his team discover that the remaining crew have mutated into violent, zombie-like creatures. When T'Pol begins to succumb to the mutation, the crew must fight their way out before they lose her forever.


“Trip-centric” Enterprise SPOILERS

{dramatic music playing}

Archer (bloody gash on his left cheek) runs into Sickbay, carrying a writhing T’pol. She fights him as he puts her on a biobed; at one point she tries to strangle him, and says that she’ll kill him. Eventually, Phlox helps Archer tie her down to a biobed. She then lets out a blood-curdling scream. . .



T’pol is struggling with the restraints on the biobed while Phlox is trying to sedate her. She calls them ‘murderers’ and is obviously very upset. Archer eventually holds her head still, and Phlox injects her with the hypospray and she passes out. He sends her into the scanner. . .


Trip and Archer are in the command centre looking at some star-charts, but Trip seems to be preoccupied with other things.

Trip: “I talked with Chef at dinner. He’s a little worried about the crew. (pause) People are skipping meals. He figures they’re either too busy, or the stress of this mission is starting to get to them.”

Archer: “I haven’t had much of an appetite myself.”

Trip (trying to casually broach the topic): “Movie night’s been on hold since we entered the Expanse. Maybe we should start it up again.”

Archer: “There will be plenty of time for movies after we’ve dealt with the Xindi.”

Trip: “No one hates the Xindi more than I do, Cap’n. But I’m telling you, this crew needs a little R and R. Unless you want Phlox to start medicating people, we gotta. . . we gotta find a way to boost morale.”

Archer: “What did you have in mind?”

Trip: “I was thinking about a comedy. One of the classic Hope and Crosby pictures.”

Archer: “Good choice.”

Just then, T’pol enters the command centre. “Captain?” (she looks a bit puzzled to find them there)

Archer: “We’ve been reviewing some of these Xindi star-charts. Trip thought they might be able to help us figure out if there are any more spatial anomalies in the region.”

T’pol stands between them, and all three stand facing the monitor displaying the star-charts. “I would’ve helped you do that.”

Archer: “It’s late. I didn’t want to get you out of bed. Beside, our resident insomniac was looking for something to do.” Archer walks to the back of the room, leaving Trip and T’pol still facing the star-chart display.

Trip smiles, seemingly finding what Archer just said to be funny. (I get the sense that Archer is not fully aware of Trip’s nightly visits to our favorite Vulcan’s quarters. . . Hmmm. . . ) Not looking at her, Trip casually asks, “Do you have plans Tuesday night?”

T’pol (seemingly busy entering something into the computer): “Not at the moment.”

Trip: “Messhall. 1900 hours.”

T’pol leans a bit towards him, but still does not make eye contact. “Movie night?”

Trip: “Back by popular demand.”

Just then Hoshi calls Archer, with an automated Vulcan distress call; the Vulcans are not responding.


Archer, Trip and T’pol arrive on the bridge. Hoshi has located the Vulcan ship. T’pol says that she recognizes the transponder frequency; it’s the Seleya – they entered the Expanse 9 months ago. They set a course.

They approach an amazing, chaotic, and unpredictable asteroid field. The Seleya is located within the field. Trip notes that the asteroids are rich in Trellium D, and concludes that this must be what the Vulcans were interested in. Archer decides to take a shuttle pod into the field, and asks Trip to try to get his hands on some of the Trellium in the meantime.


Archer, T’pol, Malcolm and a MACO navigate the pod through the asteroid field (quite spectacular). Archer asks T’pol about the Seleya. We find out that she served on that ship for over 1 year; it was her last commission prior to working at the Earth consulate. She explained that the Seleya came to the Expanse to chart the thermobaric perimeter, but got caught in a subspace eddy, and were pulled into the Expanse. The Vankaara was sent to find them – and we all know what happened to them (refer to last year season finale).

{Transporter pad}

Trip and Travis are working on retrieving some of the Trellium from the asteroid field. Travis is manning the controls while Trip supervises the beaming up of bits of ore. (strange camera angle here, like it’s from the floor of the transporter pad looking up; Trip’s boots are seen real close up and look funny). They successfully beam up one sample. But on the second attempt, something strange happens and the transporter coils become fused together. On the transporter pad, bits of rock are stuck on the floor wall and even ceiling now.

Trip is frustrated. Travis suggests taking a shuttlepod down to one of the big asteroids. Trip asks if he thinks he can do it. Travis is willing to try.

Before leaving, Trip sighs, motions towards the bits of rock all over the transporter pad and says, “This’ll be a new one for the maintenance crew.”


They eventually dock with the Vulcan ship, after noting that there are lots of biosigns still on board, many of the systems are down, and no one is answering their hails.

The ship is in disarray. There is a strobe light effect from the sparks from live wires all around. Malcolm notices that it seemed that the Vulcans were trying to line the bulkheads with Trellium. T’pol detects biosigns nearby but can not isolate them. They divide up to search the ship. (I thought this funny as the MACO and Malcolm head off in one direction with these massive weapons ready, and T’pol and Archer seem to saunter off in the other direction, scanners out but weapons not drawn – wouldn’t it had made more sense for one security personal to accompany one senior officer???)

After some time, the action picks up when T’pol and Archer isolate a biosign nearby. T’pol bypasses the security panel on a door; when it opens a scary looking Vulcan pops out and starts to beat on Archer (scratches his face). The Zombie-Vulcan had a metal rod and tries to attack T’pol but she stuns him.


T’pol is visibly shaken by the event. As they prepare to go back to the pod, they encounter more Zombie-Vulcans (Z-V). In another part of the ship, the MACO and Malcolm are battling a slew of Vulcans who seem to work together wordlessly with one main purpose – to kill them. The Z-V are very resistant to the stun setting on the weapons and need to be shot several times before they will pass out, although do wake pretty quickly.

The Team meets up to battle more Z-V and are able to get away from this latest group. The MACO sets his weapon to kill, but T’pol orders him to place it back on stun as these are Vulcan officers and they are on a rescue mission. The MACO tries to convince her otherwise, but Archer steps in to order him to keep weapons on stun.

In another corridor, they encounter 2 more Z-V who block their route to the airlock where the pod is docked. Then behind them more Z-V show up and start to attack (they only carry metal rods, no weapons) Again, they get away. After determining that there is not many places that they can reach they decide to go to the sickbay as the MACO is losing lots of blood from an arm wound. Before heading there though, T’pol confesses to Archer that she thinks that whatever happened to the crew of the Seleya is happening to her – she can feel her anxiety building.

{on an asteroid}

Trip and Travis fly a pod to one of the asteroids, and despite a rocky landing Trip tells Travis that he’s “gonna recommend they give you a medal”.


They reach the Sickbay, are attacked by a flying Z-V but stun him. T’pol examines this Vulcan – a friend of hers, Solin. She tries to speak to him but all he does his grunt and scream. He doesn’t recognize her. T’pol’s voice gets more frantic as she tries to reason with him; she even takes to yelling, which is very disconcerting – she can feel her control slipping away.

Archer tells her that they are going to get off this ship, and back to Phlox. He’ll be able to help. He gets her to focus on the task of getting the bulkheads open so that they can get to the pods.

They are now crawling through some Jefferies tubes of sorts, approaching the auxiliary control room on the engineering deck. Archer and Malcolm go on ahead to check it out first, leaving the MACO and T’pol behind. He apologizes for the earlier incident with the ‘kill’ setting; he is surprised that the Vulcans are so emotional. T’pol tells him that it is a common misconception that Vulcans have no emotions; they are just able to suppress them. She goes on to tell him that there was a time when Vulcans were very violent – “paranoia and homicidal rage were common”.

Meanwhile, Archer and Malcolm are once again ambushed by some Z-V, but of course are able to knock them out, and then call T’pol and the MACO to meet them.


Trip and Travis are collecting rocks. Travis says that he heard about the accident that Trip and T’pol had in the lab.

Trip: “Ah. . . it was minor. Nothing to write home about.”

Travis asks if he’s sure the Trellium is safe to be brought on board.

Trip: “Don’t worry, it only tends to blow up in its liquid state.”

Suddenly the ground starts to shake, and we see the area around them warp (ie an anomaly). Hoshi hails them to say that they have detected an anomaly nearby and that it has caused the asteroid to change directions and they are heading towards a denser area of the field. On the asteroid, Travis and Trip look up above them to see more asteroids heading their way as their surroundings darken.


Trip and Travis are able to lift off from the asteroid, and after tons of shaking and damage, they are able to get back to Enterprise.


Now in the auxiliary control room, T’pol is furious. The transceiver is damaged. Archer tries to have her focus on the task at hand. They decide to try the auxiliary transceiver.


Travis and Trip are inspecting the damage to the pod. Hoshi calls to say that Archer is hailing – she sends it down to him. Archer asks Trip to come rescue them, but Trip says it’ll be a few hours because the pod is damaged. Archer tells him that there is something wrong with the Vulcan crew; they are sending info to Phlox for him to review.


T’pol is trying to re-route the bulkhead controls through the auxiliary grid, with the help of Malcolm. Some sparks shoot off and zap her; T’pol is livid and blames Malcolm. She pushes him away. She throws the damaged circuits at them. Then becomes paranoid, stating that this was all planned. That Archer was hiding things from her, by examining the star-charts – undermining her work.

Malcolm recommends overloading the ship’s systems to override the bulkhead controls. T’pol says that that may overload the reactor core. Then she thinks she has figured out this big plan to get rid of all Vulcans – that Archer has blamed them for holding humans back. She has a weapon, set on kill, and threatens to fire at them. She refuses to believe Archer’s plea. Suddenly she is distracted, and Archer gets the weapon away from her.


Trip: “It doesn’t make sense. T’pol and I have been working with Trellium for weeks. She hasn’t shown any symptoms.” (genuinely concerned)

Phlox: “I don’t imagine she would have. Despite your best efforts, you weren’t able to synthesize it in any significant quantities. The crew of the Seleya however had the misfortune of wandering into an asteroid field filled with the compound.” Phlox explains to Trip that the Trellium is a powerful Vulcan neuro-toxin – the info sent to them from the scans of the Z-V show extensive, and irreversible damage.


Phlox informs them of the findings – they need to get T’pol back ASAP, but the rest of the crew are too far advanced so they will die. T’pol is upset, and says that Phlox is lying, that he wants the Vulcans to die. The transmission is cut off; then the room they are in starts to fill with vapors – the Z-V are flooding the room with hexafluorine.


They initiate a system overload, despite T’pol’s angry counter-arguments. They escape from the Auxiliary control room just in time and now are heading back to the airlock. Of course, they are chased by the ghoulish Z-V, all with metal rods in hand. T’pol fights them all the way.

They come upon a big hole in the floor just before the airlock. Archer finds a long metal 2X4 and places it across the hole. T’pol refuses to follow so is stunned and she is carried like a sack of potatoes by Archer across the hole. Meanwhile, Z-V are coming from every corner, so the MACO and Malcolm are shooting non-stop. They all make it across and into the airlock just in time.

Unfortunately, once in the pod the docking clamps are jammed. But Trip and Travis arrive just in time to zap the clamps, and the 2 pods get away just in time to miss getting blown up with the rest of the Seleya.


Trip and Archer are examining the Trellium that has been obtained (enough for the forward hull). Archer says that it may be a while before Phlox discoveries an inoculation to help T’pol, so to store the Trellium in the Cargo bay with biohazard precautions.


Archer visits T’pol. Phlox tells him that it looks like T’pol is going to make a full recovery although it may be a few days before she has her emotions under control.

T’pol asks about the Seleya; Archer informs her that all were lost. T’pol is grieved by this. She then asks if Cmdr Tucker was successful. Archer says yes, but that it was the Trellium that poisoned the Vulcan crew and her. She volunteers to be dropped off at the nearest inhabited planet, but of course he refuses.

She is barely able to contain her emotions when she tells him that he can not compromise the mission for the sake of one crewmember. He says they’ll figure it out, and that he is not leaving anyone behind.


T’pol (wearing a purple catsuit) is sitting in the front row watching a black and white film (don’t know who’s next to her). Phlox and Trip are sitting behind her discussing the movie.

Phlox: “Something tells me that we haven’t seen the last of the detective in the bow tie.”

Trip: “No. He died in the house fire.”

Phlox: “Ah, did he, hmm? The autopsy was inconclusive. I wouldn’t be surprised in the body belonged to the delivery man. Hmm? With the strange limp. We never did see him leave the house.”

Trip: “What about the gardener? He was there too.”

Phlox: “Too tall. Even the primitive forensics of the mid 20th century would have determined that.”

T’pol (eyes fixed on the screen in front of her): “Perhaps we should watch and find out.”

Trip (great expression – almost taunting): “Part of the fun of a mystery is trying to solve it, before it ends, using logic. And you, of all people, should appreciate that.”

T’pol turns around slightly. “Then use logic more quietly.” She returns to watching the movie. Here Trip gives the most wonderful facial response to this – he opens his mouth wide as if to say ‘what did she just say to me’ although is noticeably amused by the banter. (my favorite for this episode!!!)

Suddenly, a tactical alert is called and everyone heads to their stations. As T’pol walks alone towards the turbolift we see what looks like people whisking by her in super fast-forward. She enters the turbolift and is attacked by a Z-V. Trying to get away, more Z-V come at her. She is surrounded and is having difficulty fighting them off. We hear Phlox’s voice calling out to her. She suddenly wakes from her nightmare, sweat dripping off her face. Phlox calms her and she lies back down in the biobed, looking confused but relieved at the same time.


Return to Miscellany

Three people have made comments

I have been rude not to thank you sooner for your work. I look forward to the play by play and commentary every week.

This episode disturbed me, because it set my imagination running in a direction that I did not like to contemplate. Does there not have to be a middle ground between violent paranoia and suppression of emotions for Vulcans? Without it the Trip/T'Pol dynamic will implode in a way that will harm their budding friendship causing it to end in rejection of the advances made this season.

Which might be a good thing for Enterprise, but for a hopeless 'shipper it is unthinkable.

Aquila, T'Pol doesn't think there is a middle ground between the two extremes of emotions for Vulcans, because in the 22nd century there is an almost fundamentalist approach to their heritage which doesn't allow for any emotion. But V'Lar and Kov are examples of Vulcans who can change things, who do take the risk of exploring emotions and humor, who are curious and explore other cultures. T'Pol is afraid of her own nature because she is so different from the acceptable Vulcan. T'Pol has to find a middle ground for herself, and that is what her time on Enterprise might bring for her. The problem with suppressing their emotions is that they don't face the questions they have - T'Pol clearly harbored a lot of suspicions about Archer which she never expressed and maybe never talked about.

I don't know what will happen with Trip and T'Pol and their budding friendship.

Thanks for the thanks Aquila! I remain forever the optimist that things will work out in the end. It is interesting how people can take the same thing but get something completely different out of it. I was not disturbed by this episode, although now that you point this emotional dicotomy, I will have to re-examine a few of my own opinions. Hope you keep reading these!