The Great Star Trek Enterprise Rewatch: The Seventh

Many years ago, T’Pol worked for Vulcan internal security – and one of her missions was to apprehend six renegade undercover agents. One of those agents remains at large, and now that the Vulcan High Command has finally tracked him down, they want T’Pol to capture him. With the help of Archer and Travis, T’Pol heads to a frozen planet to finally put this mission to rest.

I want to say that The Seventh is a good episode. It has a presence and energy that Enterprise so rarely exhibits, bound as it is by its by-the-book plots. And yet, in order to achieve that, it does many things that I really don’t like. So, without further ado, let’s list all the ways in which The Seventh irked me.

Could have been better

  • T’Pol says the Vulcans consider it a ‘matter of honour’ for her to finish the mission she was originally assigned. That sounds suspiciously Klingon to me – surely the logical thing to do is have an active member of Vulcan security handle the mission instead of dragging T’Pol away from her current assignment.
  • Moreover, T’Pol had not only previously failed to capture Menos, but she’d been left with PTSD from killing his partner. Putting her into a situation where she would have to chase Menos again seems most illogical. Unless she had specialist knowledge about him that would help with his capture – which doesn’t seem to be the case – it would be better to put a fresh agent on the case.
  • This episode feels like it really ruins the Vulcans, given how emotional T’Pol becomes. It’s almost like this is the point at which the writers realised how far the Vulcans had strayed from their original remit, and that in future they would have to add an arc to get them back on track.
  • Conveniently, the plot twist hinges on another bullshit ancient Vulcan ritual. How many are there? And if mind melds are taboo in this era, why is it fine for a Vulcan priest to mess with your memories?
  • The plot twist is immediately given away by the episode title. “She said there were six Vulcans to track down, so why is this called The Seventh? Oh, I see what’s going on.” Of course, this is also the seventh episode of season two, so it could have just been incredibly lazy naming.
  • Why is Travis even present here? He barely speaks, and adds very little to the episode. In essence, he’s just the generic redshirt of the episode, except that he gets to survive.
  • Isn’t it convenient on everyone’s conscience that Menos did turn out to be an evil smuggler after all? We could have had a proper moral dilemma if that had been left open – did T’Pol just turn over a reformed man?
  • Archer just eggs T’Pol on to fulfil her orders, instead of helping her explore the moral implications. “Just do what they told you, and don’t worry your little head about what happens next.” Gee, thanks, Archer.

Summary – The Seventh: Only T’Pol can capture a fugitive.

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