Enterprise is surprised to run into another NX-class ship in the Expanse – another version of Enterprise! This ship is from a timeline where a journey through a subspace corridor sent them over a hundred years into the past, and is now in the care of descendants of the original crew. With over a century to prepare, they are ready and willing to assist in Enterprise’s original mission.
At the outset, E2 boasts a set up a lot like Children of Time – in both cases, temporal shenanigans mean that the crew gets to meet their own descendants. But where Children of Time was about the moral dilemma of letting a crew get stranded so as to preserve a particular timeline, E2 is about changing the timeline, hopefully for the better. The dilemma arises from how exactly to go about that – is older T’Pol the one to listen to, or should Archer listen to her son, Lorian?
In and of itself, the story isn’t too bad. Lorian is a strong enough character to play off against Archer, Trip and T’Pol, even if none of the other Enterprise descendants are more than paper thin. Overall, the plot feels like “proper Star Trek” without being too tediously derivative of previous episodes. So far, so good.
Unfortunately, it’s not all good news. There’s an attempt to anchor E2 into the season narrative so far. Apparently the presence of this second Enterprise is why the original kept picking up sensor echoes of another Starfleet ship – if this was remarked upon in previous episodes, it completely failed to attract my notice. And Archer thinks that this is why the Xindi were so insistent on finding out how many Starfleet ships are in the Expanse – really? Maybe the Xindi simply thought that Starfleet would likely send more than a single ship on such an important mission. At any rate, it feels like a standard question to ask, second Enterprise or not.
Future Crew pairings
- Archer gets together with an alien woman.
- T’Pol and Trip get married and have a son, Lorian. Trip dies when Lorian is fourteen years old. Oddly he never teaches his son any engineering knowledge in that time, and was seemingly waiting until Lorian was older. Why not start young?
- Phlox marries Amanda (Cole?), and has nine children. That randy bastard.
- Hoshi has two children, a girl and a boy.
- Travis marries a MACO.
- Reed dies alone. When present Reed hears this, he instantly decides he must hit on the first woman he sees in order to assert his masculinity.
Points of Note
- At what point did Lorian decide it became okay to meet up with the original Enterprise and intervene in the timeline? He explains that they had to hide for a century in order to preserve the timeline, and that they actively failed to stop the first weapon, but then what? Surely the second Enterprise could have met up with the first sooner, to tell them where the weapon was being developed. Archer wouldn’t have needed to interrogate Degra or do the whole kemocite thing. Lorian could even have started gathering evidence that the Sphere Builders were behind everything.
But what of temporal paradoxes, you say? Well, let’s not start with all that again, or none of this will ever make sense.
- Karyn is the one who says that the crew can’t fight their family, and goes against Lorian’s wishes. As the only one to have personally known the original crew, you could argue that Lorian should be the one who was least likely to want to fight and hurt them. Then again, he has his logic and his century of commitment to the original mission to prioritise, whilst the other crewmembers might have accumulated paralysing levels of respect for their amazing ancestors.
- Phlox says Karyn has DNA from four different species, but her non-human ancestry seems to only involve Archer’s wife. I guess Mrs Archer could have been mixed-race herself, and perhaps she also has Denobulan ancestry from one of Phlox’s many kids.
- Apparently Phlox was the one who found out how to combine human and Vulcan DNA into a viable embryo. One day, such techniques will be used to enable Spock’s conception.
Summary – E2: Double Enterprise!