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Awakening

Review

Series : Enterprise Rating : 4
Disc No : 4.2 Episode : 84
First Aired : 26 Nov 2004 Stardate : Unknown
Director : Roxann Dawson Year : 2154
Writers : Andre Bormanis Season : 4
Guest Cast :
Bruce Gray as Surak
Gary Graham as Ambassador Soval
Joanna Cassidy as T'Les
John Rubinstein as Kuvak
Kara Zediker as T'Pau
Robert Foxworth as V'Las
YATI : If the Forge stops technology from working, why doesn't it stop photonic warheads from detonating? For that matter, why doesn't it stop chemical rockets from firing?

In "Fusion", we saw the Vahklas type of ship and it was stated that "they have not been in use for a long time". Well, two of them take part in the battle with Enterprise in this episode. In a way it can kinda make sense though - if Vulcan is gearing up for a war maybe they have dusted off some mothballed ships to do planetary defence and free newer units for the front lines?

Great Moment : Enterprise battling it out with the Vulcans.
Body Count : An unknown number of Syrrannites were killed in the bombing of their base - T'Pol's mother was the only certain fatality, and they had enough warning that many if not most would have been able to evacuate.

Two of Enterprise's crew were seriously injured in the battle with the Vulcans, plus an unknown number of others suffering minor injuries.

Factoid : T'Klass was a student of Surak, and one of the first Kolinahr masters. Kolinahr, remember, was established in "Star Trek : The Motion Picture" as being the Vulcan ritual which purges all emotion.

More nice continuity - the Andorian's intent to develop a weapon based on Xindi technology is mentioned, something we saw as a goal of the Andorians in "Proving Ground".


Plotline

Archer and T'Pol have been captured by the Syrrannites, and Archer must determine whether they were indeed responsible for the bombing of the Human embassy - a task made more difficult as it gradually becomes clear that he is now carrying Surak's katra after melding with Syrran.

Meanwhile on Enterprise, Trip and Soval begin to realise that V'Las is using the bombing as an excuse to exterminate the Syrrannites once and for all. Desperate to rescue Archer and T'Pol from the Forge before V'Las has the entire area obliterated, Enterprise must engage in a dangerous game of brinkmanship with him - one which leads to battle with the Vulcans which Enterprise cannot hope to win.

As Archer uses Surak's memories to lead him to a long lost artefact the Vulcans move in and begin to blast the Syrrannite base into oblivion - whilst Trip decides to seek help from none other than the Andorians...

Analysis

It's another good episode, though not quite up to the standards of the first. It's become clear that V'Las arranged the bombing himself in order to frame the Syrrannites so that he would have an excuse to wipe them out. The stakes have been upped considerably with the revelation of the ultimate reason behind the plot - the Syrrannites believe that Surak was an avowed pacifist, and this is a philosophy that V'Las cannot afford to have gaining followers on Vulcan because he is planning a war with the Andorians.

I also have to say, I like the way T'Pau is being played. Whilst she wasn't one of the "evil Vulcans" so beloved of Enterprise until now, the woman we saw in "Amok Time" was not particularly friendly towards Humans. You can see the T'pau of this episode ending up as the T'Pau of TOS very easily. I have to say, though, the manner of speaking is a problem. The TOS T'Pau was all "art thee Human, Spock, or art thee Vulcan?", whilst this version talks perfectly normal English. You really can't see how young T'Pau winds up talking the way old T'Pau does, short of saying that it's a deliberate choice on her part to set herself apart from the Humans - which is a bit silly. Still, it would have looked really strange to have T'Pau talking like that in this episode.

The most interesting thing about this episode are the parallels with present day. Vulcan intelligence claims that the Andorians are developing a weapon of mass destruction for use against the Vulcans. The only solution is to launch a pre-emptive strike against the Andorians. But it seems that the evidence is equivocal, and it may be that the whole thing is just an excuse to settle scores with an old opponent. Meanwhile the government uses the threat of terrorism to suppress dissent in their own population. Hmm, sound vaguely familiar at all?

You can see the outline of where this is going - presumably the pyramid thing Archer recovers has some of the original teachings of Surak, and this will ultimately be used to show that the Syrrannites are right and the government wrong. You can even see the traces of dissent in the high council that will probably lead to V'Las's overthrow in the end. But even knowing this, we're still left with a good deal of suspense because the ending sees Enterprise heading for Andoria - it's not exactly a surprise twist as such, but there's no way to tell how this is going to play out so we're left looking forward to the next episode even though we can see part of it in advance.


Copyright Graham Kennedy Page views : 9,738 Last updated : 24 Nov 2014