The Great Star Trek Enterprise Rewatch: Horizon

When Travis finally gets the chance to revisit his home ship, the ECS Horizon, he is distraught to learn that his father has died. Travis’s younger brother Paul has now taken over as captain, and friction soon ensues between the two brothers. Can they pull together to protect the Horizon from alien raiders?

I appreciate the intent of this episode. Given that Travis has been the generic redshirt of the main cast, it’s good that he finally gets another episode dedicated to him. Of course, said episode is a pedestrian tale of sibling rivalry, but it’s about the level we’ve come to expect from Enterprise season two. Workmanlike, by the book, on the rails – all of these terms describe this season so well.

Meanwhile, a B-story forms around Phlox and T’Pol being introduced to the Frankenstein movies on movie night. It’s mildly entertaining, but again nothing special. The highlight of this storyline is the sight of volcanoes erupting across a planet – far more edifying than the crew watching old horror films.

It’s also worth noting that I’m really enjoying much of the Enterprise background music at present, particularly in this episode and The Crossing.

Tropes

  • Travis was first in line to take over the captaincy of the Horizon, but he of course chose to leave to become a main character.
  • Paul has a massive chip on his shoulder about the fact that Travis left for Starfleet.
  • Travis’s mother acts as the family peacemaker.
  • Travis immediately wades in to improve the Horizon’s systems, annoying Paul.
  • Travis initially doesn’t believe that Paul is ready to be a captain.
  • Travis has a hot female childhood friend.
  • The two brothers must ultimately work together to defeat their enemies.
  • By the end, Travis trusts that Paul has what it takes to be the captain of the Horizon.

On the Horizon

  • What became of Travis’s sister? She seems to have left the Horizon since being first mentioned in Fortunate Son.
  • How does one become a cargo ship captain? Is it passed down from parent to child? Do they ever let women become captains or is it “sons and heirs” only? Did Rianna just not want to become the captain, given that she is already the chief engineer and medic?
  • Rianna says that it is four years since Travis was preparing to leave and join Starfleet. Since Enterprise has been in space for at least eighteen months, does that mean he only spent two and a half years at Starfleet Academy? I thought it was a three year course.

Other Points

  • This is the first time we get to see the Enterprise’s low gravity “sweet spot” since Broken Bow.
  • Travis and Malcolm talk about a future where families and psychologists will be found on Starfleet starships. This of course foreshadows the TNG era.

Summary – Horizon: Travis is the prodigal son.

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