When Enterprise’s route takes it past the Vulcan monastery of P’Jem, Archer decides to pay a visit. Unfortunately, his timing is less than perfect, as the monastery is under attack by a group of Andorian soldiers. The Andorians and Vulcans have been at loggerheads for years, and the Andorians are convinced that the innocent-seeming monastery is actually a secret Vulcan listening post.
One of the exciting things promised by Enterprise back in the day was that it would prominently feature a race who had never had much screen time – the Andorians. Despite being founding members of the Federation, the Andorians had ever featured much in Star Trek, and this always felt like something of an oversight. Besides, Enterprise was airing in the 21st century, which allowed for fun developments like giving them movable radio-controlled antennae.
With all that in mind, The Andorian Incident had some high expectations placed on it. Fortunately, it does a decent job at living up to them. The episode is not only a decent story in itself, but it does a good job at (re-)introducing the Andorians, as well as establishing some more background about 22nd century Vulcans. On the surface, they are the Vulcans we know and love – the monks are working on kohlinar, and are pacifists who would never rise to the aggression of the Andorians. But these Vulcans are also lying about a hidden listening post under a monastery. To be honest, it’s probably a pragmatic move – what nation doesn’t spy on an aggressive neighbour – but it’s a far cry from the simple naivete of the 23rd and 24th centuries.
Points of Note
- This episode introduces Jeffrey Combs’s last regular recurring role on Star Trek, that of the Andorian Shran.
- We learn that T’Pol uses a nasal numbing agent to deal with the smell of humans. Did Spock and Tuvok do the same?
- Malcolm has a very strange way of pronouncing “catacombs”.
Summary – The Andorian Incident: Vulcans never lie? What makes you say that?