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North Star

zealousgirl’s SPECIAL EDITION

This season just hasn’t gone all that smoothly on the channel that shows it here. . . just found out that there will be no episode next Wednesday, so once again next weeks ‘Special Edition’ will only be posted on the Sunday night.


Production 061
First Air Date: Nov 13, 2003

Director: David Straiton
Written By: David A. Goodman

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 review for more details.

About ‘NORTH STAR’: Well, they should have renamed the show ‘Archer’s Enterprise’, not ‘Star Trek: Enterprise’ this season! Why, oh why does he have to be the focus of nearly every episode??? Phew, OK, that’s my little rant for tonight.

So specifically about this episode. . . Trip is ‘scrumptious’ in his cowboy outfit and comical on a horse. The T/T’er in me was pleased with the fact that they rode the horse together and went off to check out the Skagaran settlement but not much of OMT after that. The MACO’s are pretty useless yet again, but Malcolm gets to do something that he’s probably wanted to do for some time (see my review for details). Overall an entertaining episode, although I still feel that they could have done so much more with this.


Synopsis (from StarTrek.com):

After finding thousands of humans on a Delphic Expanse planet living in settlements seemingly straight out of the Old West, Archer gets embroiled in a dangerous cultural conflict once he discovers that the humans are systematically oppressing the alien race that originally brought them to this world.


“Trip-centric” Enterprise REVIEW

In a darkened street of a western-styled town, 4 men arrive on horseback. One is carrying a flaming torch and throws it on the ground. He then stops at a tree, throws a rope around one of its branches and places the other end (a noose) around the neck of one of the men on horseback.

Another man asked the ‘lynchee’ (who has funny scar-like patches in the pre-auricular area and on his forehead) if he has any last words. He replies: “Go to hell.” The other says: “I didn’t know Skags believed in hell.” The man then fires a pistol, spooking the horses which run off, leaving the ‘Skag’ hanging!

Back in the town, a man with a moustache and a black hat looks at the Skag, now in a simple coffin, and then speaks to a woman dressed in period garb. He comments about not expecting to bury the Skag in the cemetery. She replies that his people do not bury their dead. He apologizes for not getting there sooner to prevent the hanging, and to allow the Skag to have a trial. She bitterly states that it wouldn’t have made a difference as the jury would comprise on the same people that lynched him. She goes to walk away but is stopped by this man.

Man (later we find out his name is Sheriff MacReady): “Bethany. He killed a man. Self-defense or not, that’s a hanging offence for a Skag.” She does not reply.

Nearby, we see Archer dressed in western wear. He overheard the conversation but says nothing. He walks over to T’pol who is behind him and asks what’s she has found out. She confirms that they are human.

Trip (in cowboy outfit – Mmmm) catches up to them: “Looks pretty authentic Captain, right down to the spittoons.”

Archer: “And the hangings. (pause) If these people are from Earth, how the hell did they get here?”

They walk behind a building and Archer hails Enterprise. Malcolm informs him that there are about 6000 humans within a 100 km radius, and less than 1000 aliens. The nearest alien settlement is 10 km away. There are no signs of technology; but the earliest structures are about 250 years old and made from material indigenous to the planet.

Archer then tells Trip and T’pol to check out the alien settlement and to keep a low profile.

Trip and T’pol find a stable nearby, in order to procure a horse. The stable hand asks if he can help them.

Trip: “I hope so. We need a horse.”

Man: “What happened to yours?”

Trip: “Excuse me?” (seems a little panicked, while T’pol stands real close by and looks around)

Man: “It’s a long way from the next town. How’d you get here?”

Trip is at a loss for words and looks around uncomfortably. Luckily ‘Polly’ is there.

T’pol: “Our horses perished several miles north of your town, (pause) from heat exhaustion.”

Man: “You’re lucky the sun vipers didn’t get you, or them Skags.”

Trip stands with his hands on his hips and gives T’pol an approving look. They are then shown a horse, and the man asks for $20.

Trip: “Sounds kinda steep. (hands come up to his face and he rubs his chin) I don’t suppose you’d be interested in a trade.”

The man tells him that it depends on what it is. Trip takes out his harmonica and plays a few notes. (Is this is ‘famous’ harmonica? How could he give that up?) The man seems interested and takes it from him.

Trip: “Look, uh, I know it’s not worth a horse but we only need him for a couple of hours. We just want to ride out and grab our gear. We’ll be back before you know it. How about I leave my gun for collateral?”

Trip hands him his gun, which the man quickly inspects and agrees to lend him the horse. Trip leads the horse out of the stable.

A little way out, he pulls himself up onto the horse, shimmies his butt to get comfortable and then offers his left hand to help T’pol up.

She hesitates. “Do you have any experience riding these animals?”

Trip: “I’ve seen every John Ford ‘Western’.” (he says this is such a matter-of-fact tone, that I had to chuckle) His hand is still outstretched, waiting.

T’pol: “Who?”

Trip: “Look. How hard can it be?”

She quickly inspects the animal, grabs his hand and allows him to pull he up so that she is sitting behind him.

Trip: “Better hold on.”

She grabs him around the chest. Then he tries to urge the horse to go by gently pulling on the reins, and wiggling a bit in the saddle. Of course the horse does not move initially. After a few more tries, he is successful and they head off.

Elsewhere in a saloon, Archer takes a seat by the bar and starts to chat with the barkeep. He pretends to be going to his brother’s ranch down south to work, so is just passing through. The barkeep stands under a painting of a man called ‘Cooper Smith’ and asks if Archer sees a resemblance. The barkeep states that he is the last direct descendent of Cooper Smith – the man who overthrew the Skags.

A group of men arrive (the lynch mob) and take a seat, demanding a drink. They are rude ruffians. A young Skag boy serves them, and the leader of this group (Deputy Bennings) orders the boy to sit at the table (even though he is not allowed to) and forces him to take a drink. (Archer listening to everything that is going on) The topic comes to the man that was hanged the night before. Bennings claims that the Skag was drunk when he killed the man; the boy contradicts him. Bennings gets mad, and taunts the boy by passing him his pistol and trying to get the boy to shoot him. Finally Archer can’t handle it and gets up to ask the boy to get him more coffee. Bennings is none too happy as his fun was interrupted and asks who Archer is. Bennings tells Archer that he should learn more about manners and is about to threaten him when the Sheriff arrives. He asks Archer what he’s up to. They have a few pointless words and Archer leaves. The Sheriff asks Bennings to follow Archer and to leave the Skag boy alone.

Elsewhere, Trip and T’pol are crouched in some bushes looking at the alien settlement, in which a ship can be seen. T’pol estimates that it has been there for at least 2 centuries. She goes to leave, but Trip stops to ask her where she’s going.

T’pol: “The Captain said to learn whatever we could.”

Trip: “He also said to keep a low profile.”

T’pol: “I plan to.” She then starts off for the settlement. Trip hesitates only slightly and then follows her.

Back in town, Bethany is picking up chalkboards in her classroom when Archer drops in for a visit. She is understandably startled. He asks to learn more about the Skagarans, as there are none where he’s from. After some discussion, she asks if she would like to meet more of them and they head out of town. Unfortunately, Bennings is tailing him with his 2 goons.


Bethany brings Archer to the alien settlement (a shanty town). Trip and T’pol are there too. She is planning on teaching some of the Skagaran children.

Trip: “Kinda late at night to be teaching school.”

Bethany tells him that it’s illegal to teach Skagaran. As she is preparing her lesson, our trio whisper off to the side. T’pol shows Archer some data modules that she found in the ship. Archer asks them to return to the ship, but he will stay on the planet to learn more.

Later, Bethany is in the middle of a math lesson. Once the lesson was over, she decides to give Archer a history lesson by asking the children how the humans and Skagarans came to live together. We find out that the Skags took the humans from Earth to be ‘workers’ but that the humans did not like that. Then, Bennings steps out of the shadows, scaring the children away and takes Archer and Bethany into custody.

Now, in the local jail, Bethany is wiping the blood off Archer’s forehead (a gash from his little tiff with Bennings). Archer asks Bethany to tell him her version of their history. She tells him that over 300 years ago, the Skags were building colonies and needed workers, so abducted some humans to work as slaves. Cooper Smith, to the humans, is a hero since he liberated them from the Skags. But the Skags know him as the butcher; he and his men buried most of the Skags, including entire families. Smith wrote the laws to keep the Skags down-trodden so that they could never enslave the humans again.

Bennings comes to take Archer to see the Sheriff.

Archer, on his own, finds the Sheriff getting a shave at the barbers. He offers Archer some Skagaran whisky (illegal) and takes a shot himself. Sheriff questions him about his reason for being out with Bethany the previous night. They chat a bit, and then he tells Archer to leave town within the hour. Archer asks about Bethany; she will be going to jail for 10 years.

Outside the jailhouse, Archer hails Enterprise to get an update and to ask them to meet him at the landing coordinates within the hour, as there is something that he has to do first. He then storms the jailhouse, punches out Bennings, unlocks the cell door, lets out Bethany, places an unconscious Bennings inside, and they head off.

Moments later the Sheriff arrives, lets out Bennings and they gather his men. Archer and Bethany drive by in a horse drawn buggy at full speed. Bennings shoots at them and hits Bethany. She falls out of the buggy. Archer jumps down to assess her, calls up to Enterprise, and both of them get beamed out of there. All the while, Bennings and his men witness this and are left frustrated and confused.


In Sickbay, Phlox is working on a barely clothed Bethany. In the background, T’pol asks Archer if the transport was observed, which of course it was. She warns him that his disappearance may have consequences as these people are suspicious and volatile. Phlox interrupts to give an update; although the injuries were severe, she will probably be OK. Also, she is ¼ Skagaran – she looks human because the cranial genes are recessive (good old Mendelian theory).

On the planet, Bennings is trying to convince the Sheriff that Archer is working for the Skags. He is very suspicious and nervous. He wants to go and get rid of all remaining Skags. The Sheriff refuses and tells him that as long as he is his deputy he will not proceed with his plan. So Bennings resigns his commission and leaves.

In the command center, Hoshi is reporting on her translations of the Skagaran data modules. These confirm that the Skags did abduct the humans to work in their colonies, but within 6 months, after much disciplinary problems, the logs end. Archer comments on how the Skags seemed to have kidnapped the wrong people.

Trip asked what they are going to do. “They’re humans. We can’t just leave them here.”

Travis (yeah. . . he speaks!!!): “We can’t transport 6000 people back to Earth!”

Archer says that once they have dealt with the Xindi, they will come back to help. But for now, they deserve to know that Earth has not abandoned them.

Back on the planet, the town folk watch as a shuttlepod lands in the middle of the town. (everyone is spooked, even the horses) The Sheriff is out in the street watching as Archer, T’pol, Malcolm and 3 armed MACO’s step out. Archer tells him that they need to talk.

In one of the buildings, the Sheriff and Archer have a conversation in private. He convinces the Sheriff that they are indeed from Earth. He asks if Archer will take them back. Archer says he can’t right now but that they will come back. He then gives a spiel about how things are different; that there is no prejudice on Earth anymore (blah blah blah).

Meanwhile outside, Malcolm is getting fidgety and wonders what taking so long; T’pol tells him that it is likely that the Sheriff has a lot of questions.

Finally, Archer and the Sheriff step out. The Sheriff announces that everything is alright, that these folks are not going to hurt anybody. He is introduced to T’pol from Vulcan and they are about to take him to Enterprise when a shoot rings out and the Sheriff falls to the ground. People scatter.

Bennings and a few of his men have them surrounded. They demand that Archer and Co drop their weapons.


Bennings refuses to believe that Archer is not working for the Skags despite the Sheriff’s pleas and Archer’s powers of persuasion. A man comes out on a balcony and is about to fire but ‘cool hand’ Malcolm shoots at him first, which starts a great gunfight. The next few minutes have lots of ducking for cover, shots being fired and people being hit. Archer heads off on his own to find Bennings, while the MACO’s and Malcolm stay by the ship. Unfortunately, after taking out a couple of men, Archer is hit from behind with a shot through the right shoulder (this was a great ‘shot’ as we see the projectile pass from his posterior shoulder and out the front – that must have hurt!). Despite being severely wounded, Archer is able to run away, and hides out in a stable. Bennings is searching this stable, when Archer jumps down from the rafters. They fight with each other (didn’t Archer have a similar fight with one of the Xindi in last weeks episode?)

Outside, the gunfight continues. All is quiet suddenly, when one of the men take T’pol at gunpoint and threaten to kill her. Malcolm, almost casually, smirks and then shoots T’pol who falls to the ground (guffaw! Bet he’s wanted to do that for a while!); he then shoots the man. He does check on T’pol briefly and then asks the MACO’s to find the captain.

In the stable, Bennings and Archer continue to fight, but of course Archer (the superhero!) wins.

Now back on Enterprise, Bethany and Archer are staring out a window at the planet down below. They talk about how much Earth has progressed; she says that even if Enterprise could take them back to Earth, they would not be ready. Archer is optimistic that in light of recent events that things will be changing faster than she thought.

Back on the planet, Bethany is now teaching a class of human and Skagaran children about the Wright brothers. . .


Return to Miscellany

Four of you have made comments

Thanks again, Oh Zealous One...

Do you think there is going to be an inordinate number of John Ford Westerns rented over the weekend?

Thanks for the great review! I too share your frustration over "Archer's Enterprise" - share the love, man!!

Trip was so cute on that horse - and so nice in cowboy gear. I hoped he kept the hat (image of Trip looking into a mirror, shirtless, saying "reach for the sky", just popped in my mind.)

I want to know if the Xendi race and the constellation that includes Xendi Sabu and Xendi Kabu are related at all. At both of these star systems Jean-Luc Picard encounters the Ferangi DaiMon Bok. An answer may need to come from new episodes of "Enterprise" when Future Man gives more info. However, if you do know anything please leave your comments on the facts.

Another interesting bit appeared on my monitor when searching for Archer and Picard related events. The planet named Archer IV is the sight where the Enterprise Class D runs into the Enterprise Class C that has travelled to the future through a time rift. Has this planet been named for Captain Jonathan Archer?