Trek loves to push the heavy issues. In the past, Trek
series have tackled such controversial topics as the environment,
homosexuality, and drug abuse. This week's Enterprise
explores the conversation no parent wants to have with his
or her son
dangers of cloning becoming more and more real it's important
that prime time television bring the issues to our attention,
and make us realize the horrible reality that clones face
begins with the familiar Federation funeral. Everyone stands
at attention in the torpedo bay as the captain delivers a
eulogy to bag pipes. Just where the bag pipes are coming from
without Scotty around, no one knows. Maybe they have it on
MP3. They look down at the dead face of Chief Engineer Charles
"Trip" Tucker III.
the commercial break we go back "two weeks earlier."
Trip is alive and doing rather well, playing Vulcan masseuse
with T'Pol. The two of them lay on the floor, rubbing each
other's feet, talking about intake manifolds or something.
No one's really paying attention, not even Trip, cause T'Pol
then puts his head in her lap and doubles over, putting him
in orbit around her chest.
did catch their conversation, Trip devised a way to get maximum
efficiency from the warp nacelles. The next day during the
experiment they're launched into a strange nebula, and Trip
heroically risks his life to save the crew. In process he's
shot into a coma.
some of his own tissue grafted onto his brain in order to
survive. Since duplicate organic tissue doesn't grow on trees,
Phlox reveals a super sci-fi creature from an alien desert
that can clone a person and live their life cycle in fifteen
days. Okay, so duplicate organic tissue actually grows on
any Trekker knows that body sitting in the torpedo during
the opening is the maggot clone's full grown body.
is it the real Trip and we live with the clone for the rest
of the season? Much like Nemesis where Data dies and
we're left with his retarded brother.
the only real question left in the episode. Early on they
explore the moral dilemma of creating a clone. Is it right
to create a person who will only live for fifteen days. Is
it right to grow him with the sole intention of harvesting
his tissue? Is it right to allow five people to play the same
character in the same episode without flashbacks?
Archer grants the morally challenging request. This information
is relayed to the audience using an old school convention
often forgotten in the newer Treks The good ole
Captain's Log. Kirk used to make log entries at gunpoint after
commercial breaks to remind the audience what was happening.
Archer rarely busts open his log maybe the Enterprise's
operating system has some loading errors. Yes, there's still
a Microsoft in the future.
enough, Phlox uses his Medical Log to explain away the first
three days of baby Trip's life. Through a quick montage we
watch the fetus grow into an eight-year-old boy.
where things get sticky. While young Trip, now named Sim,
grows, the real Trip's memories are activated in his mind.
He's living a dual life. It gets a little confusing, and hard
to imagine what that would be like but then again, this
is science fiction
that excuse only goes so far. When Archer explains to Sim
why they created him, and uses the visual aid of Trip's comatose
body, Sim instantly understands. Maybe as a clone he's born
with the understanding, but it just seems a little too convenient
that he'd learn that he was born to die and then want to go
Sim, well six-day-old Sim, lets it bother him a lot more.
Acting as a junior engineer, and looking about eighteen, Sim
strolls around the ship assisting and hitting on T'Pol. She's
not interested or is she ? More on that later.
that caused Trip's accident traps the ship like an ant in
maple syrup and it's Sim that figures a way to escape. After
his success, Sim has a really hard time believing he should
that heavy issue. The moral battle ground, if you will. The
fate of Earth rests in Enterprise. But Enterprise can't work
without Trip. But Sim - an exact copy - can save the day.
And there may be a treatment that could extend his fifteen
day life span into a normal human's. But the treatment is
Archer lose his engineer and friend for Sim's life? Or does
he kill an innocent person, who never asked to be born
And what if Sim grows up to be the next Hitler or Genghis
Khan has he really done the right thing? And what is
the right thing, really? It's a question of perspective
And if a tree falls in the forest
a Zen story short; Archer decides Sim will die to save Trip.
His main reason hasn't changed since he ordered the creation
of Sim. The Xindi threat is too great - and therefore worth
Sim's life. With the great level of continuity flowing through
Enterprise it's very important that the Xindi are mentioned
every episode this season. But it's been nice that this week
and last the plot didn't revolve around the new arch villains.
Not every episode needs a Klingon.
a forfeited escape plan Sim gives in and volunteers for the
procedure. But not before the KISS!
comes to say goodbye to Sim and plants a juicy one on him.
T'Pol will have a hard time explaining that to Trip when he
wakes up. Especially since in episode six, he'll be revealed
to be her long-lost brother. Did she kiss Trip or some warped
version of him? And why oh why does she act on impulse? She
really does need to get off the human ship. Her grip on her
emotions is about as tight as a buttered monkey's paw.
and Archer have their touching goodbyes with Sim. And honestly,
you may just find a lump in your throat. If you set aside
the IMPOSSIBLE situation, the acting is still supreme. Connor
Trinneer, now playing both Sim and Trip, does a fantastic
job of making his own character's clone believable. And it's
worth noting this very complicated episode is directed by
Star Trek veteran LeVar Burton. A less experienced
person may have let this delicate piece completely crash.
back to the opening. Sim is now wearing Trip's uniform
why? Not sure. But it does justify the opening. And Trip watches
what looks like his own funeral, as his body double is launched
into space Only to land on the Genesis planet, and be
reborn! Then they'll all go back in time on a Klingon Bird
of Prey to save some whales .
second here. NEXT WEEK ON ENTERPRISE:
goes back in time to Earth to save humanity
So, in two weeks William Shatner will direct the biggest flop
of the entire series. And God will need a star ship.
history repeats itself too badly, let's check in with the
Alien Species Scale. This week's scores a
Voyager did this same plot. Neelix and Tuvok were joined in
a transporter accident and formed Tuvix. The crew fell in
love with him, but in the end he was ordered to be destroyed
to restore the much more boring original main cast members.