The Great Star Trek Enterprise Rewatch: United

Archer and his crew have determined that the Romulans are behind the attacks on the Andorians and the Tellarites – but with tensions high aboard the ship, will Shran and Gral really be willing to set aside their differences? Meanwhile, Trip and Malcolm are trapped aboard the remote-controlled Romulan ship – can they stop the ship without putting their lives in danger?

United kicks the action up another notch, packing things in as densely as it can. The Romulan plot in itself would be able to carry the episode, but on top of that you’ve also got all the Andorian and Tellarite difficulties. Shran goes mental when his girlfriend dies, and before you know it you’ve got a fight to the death on your hands. This segues into a very typical “captain has to duel” plotline which we perhaps didn’t need, but at least it ensures that the pace never drops.

In the meantime, Trip and Malcolm’s plight injects some extra tension into the episode, as they try to disconnect the ship from its remote controlled operator. Of course, things don’t prove that simple, but their struggles against the Romulans make for good viewing – and the writers still haven’t broken the “no human must see a Romulan” continuity requirement.

And then there’s that cliffhanger, where the Romulans appear to be secretly working with the Andorians – but there’ll be plenty to say about that in the review of the next episode.

Franchise nods

  • A pair of Remans are seen standing guard in the drone operations room.

Andorian factbox

  • This episode seems to establish that Andoria is an ice planet – there’s mention of the first ‘ice cutter’ to circumnavigate the glove, and the traditional weapon of duels is an ice-cutting blade.
  • When an Andorian guard dies far from home, their blood is returned to Andoria.

Notes and Observations

  • How far is the drone ship from Romulus during this episode? It looks as if there’s no lag between the operator room on Romulus and the drone, which seems implausible.
  • Travis is useful for once, coming up with a ship deployment ‘net’ that could intercept the drone.
  • Given that Shran is a trained guardsman who has been handling ushaan-tor weapons since he was a child, how is Archer even able to beat him so easily?

Summary – United: What Archer seeks to join, let no Romulan put asunder.

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