The Great Star Trek Enterprise Rewatch: Impulse

When Enterprise discovers a Vulcan ship that had previously gone missing in the Expanse, Archer leads a team to rescue the survivors. But something aboard the ship has driven the Vulcans insane, and it’s starting to affect T’Pol as well. Meanwhile, Trip and Travis decide to collect some trellium-D.

Impulse starts at the end, showing us the consequences before explaining how they came about. That means that the first thing we see is a psychotic and violent T’Pol – and it’s not pleasant viewing. To see such a calm person – a Vulcan, no less – in such a dramatically emotional state, is almost painful to watch. Here is someone who values their composure above all else, who has devoted her life to control and to not letting others see beneath the veneer – and we are party to her at her most extreme and vulnerable.

So it was with a feeling of awkwardness that I embarked upon the episode, and that may well have made a difference to my enjoyment. I couldn’t really engage much with the zombie horror vibe of the episode, or appreciate T’Pol’s slipping control – for one thing, I’d already seen a very similar sequence of events in DS9’s Empok Nor. Meanwhile, Trip and Travis’s B-story about collecting trellium-D from asteroids doesn’t really add anything to the episode, except to bulk out the running time to the correct length.

Franchise Nods

  • The Seleya is presumably named after Mount Seleya on Vulcan, where Spock’s body and katra were reunited in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock.

Points of Note

  • T’Pol explains the very thing that I’ve always been saying – it’s not that Vulcans lack emotions, but merely that they suppress them for fear of what might happen if they let such intense feelings loose.
  • Archer says he can’t save the human race by losing his own humanity. I’d say he’s already well on the way, given his new attitude and how he shoved Orgoth in the airlock in Anomaly.

Summary – Impulse: For once, Vulcans are the vulnerable ones.

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