The Great Star Trek Enterprise Rewatch: The Shipment

Using the information they acquired from Tarquin, Enterprise sets off for a mining outpost where a vital component of the Xindi weapon is being refined. But when Archer discovers that the Xindi miners have no idea what their ore is being used for, he decides to try to win them over.

The Shipment uses the meanderings of the previous episode to get us back on course, as Archer uncovers more information about both the Xindi and their weapons. This episode highlights the sloth-based arboreal Xindi, who not only look relatively benign and fuzzy (I wouldn’t go so far as to say cute), but are also easy enough to win over to humanity’s side. In fact, the main thing I took away from this episode was just how easy it is to guess the good and bad Xindi species based on their appearance alone. The fuzzy arboreals are friendly and harmless; the primates are complex but overall sensible and rational; the aquatics are largely indifferent, and of course it’s the reptilians and insectoids who are the most evil. It’s a narrative that you could guess without ever hearing a word of dialogue.

Other than that, this is a serviceable episode. Archer decides not to just kill everyone, which is something we’d have taken for granted before, but which is now heartening and something of a relief to witness. There’s also a B-story in which Trip, Phlox and T’Pol try to reverse engineer a Xindi firearm; it’s nothing special, but fills the time well.

Franchise Nods

  • Kemocite was the ore Quark was smuggling to Earth in Little Green Men.

Points of Note

  • There was a sixth Xindi species, the Avians, but they went extinct when the Xindi homeworld was destroyed.
  • Why isn’t there a place on Enterprise where Trip could test fire the weapon and then immediately blow it out the airlock when it started to overload? That run for the transporter was extremely perilous.

Summary – The Shipment: Archer makes a new, fuzzy friend.

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