I've complained that Archer is way too wimpy when it comes to fighting before, but here I think the writers went a little over the top in making him the hero. Vulcans are meant to be three times stronger than Humans - just look at the occasions when Spock fought against a Human in TOS. Archer should have been toast in that fight, but he did better than either T'Pol or T'Pau.
T'Pol has now been cured of Pa'nar syndorme by T'Pau.
The Vulcan High Command has been dissolved.
Meanwhile, back on Vulcan, Archer, T'Pol and T'Pau make their way towards the capital bearing the Kir'Shara, a repository of Surak's original teachings in his own words. They hope to use the relic to force the High Council to back down from the attack - but can they make it before Enterprise is destroyed?
The inter-series continuity continues, albeit at a slightly reduced rate, with mention of Tomed, known for the disasterous "Tomed Incident" mentioned in TNG. the Vulcan soldiers carrying Lirpas as used by Spock and Kirk in "Amok Time". You have to wonder why the Vulcans don't have simple projectile weapons for use in this area though - hell, even a small crossbow would do!
The Andorian end of things wasn't really telegraphed in advance given that it was only introduced at the very end of Awakening, but it too was played out in a pretty straightforward way - Trip warns the Andorians, they intercept the Vulcans and spoil the surprise attack. It was good to see Reed questioning Trip's actions, but I would have liked to see a bit more wrestling with his conscience on that front. As Soval said, he was doing what Archer probably would have - but when Trip did that in "Cogenitor" he messed up badly. It would have been nice to see some more uncertainty in Trip.
The only unexpected element here was Shran's torturing of Soval. It was a shame to see Shran take a step back towards his previous hatred of the Vulcans, though it was a logical enough action given what was at stake and given that he was obviously acting under the direct orders of his superiors. Thankfully he was shown as being very hesitant in what he was doing, which does reflect the evolution of his character.
The resolution was satisfying; T'Pol's quickie divorce was a bit sudden and abrupt, but it made sense and it's nice that her husband is now out of the way; I also liked the talk of the new philosophy spreading slowly on Vulcan, taking root over a decade or more - it must have been tempting to show an instant transformation with all Vulcans bowing down to the original teachings, but that wouldn't have been terribly realistic.
The final scene was, of course, the one that generates the most interest. We're finally seeing the Romulans face to face! Apparently the powers that be have decided to go with the idea that nobody on our side will ever see a Romulan, which is perhaps the most gratifying bit of continuity in the trilogy. I've been dreading how this might be handled, and it's highly pleasing to see them respecting TOS. Now if only they could find a way to erase those cloaking devices from history...
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