Captain Archer stays at sickbay after Dr. Phlox quarantines his dog Porthos in an isolation chamber. Dr. Phlox races against time to find a way for Porthos to fight the deadly virus that he contracted from an alien planet. This episode centers about Porthos, but it's also about Captain Archer's personal life aboard the starship. It's a good episode, we get to see life aboard the enterprise, it's not all battle. It's not the best episode, but it's still a very entertaining episode. Dr. Phlox is a show stealer, he gets to be a very entertaining character to watch. It's not painful watching him talk. It's a nice episode.
If you like your episodes to be fast and pulsating with action, then this episode will disappoint I'm afraid. Yet it does contain a good amount of drama.
For the story is decent, graced with tad of intrigue and dipped in a "fair" amount of emotion. Though it didn't get my adrenaline rushing, I am sure that you will find the plot is pleasant to follow with just enough hooks to get keep you watching.
However, the diplomatic incident is supposed to be the main strand, but it turns out to be rather limp. Character development is the order of the day in this episode. Perhaps the threat to Porthos' life shouldn't have been used as the main anchor. I didn't find it strong enough to keep my interest, but Im not a dog lover (nor hater). If you are, then I'd wager you'll care more than I did. Archer getting involved in saving his pup should have been the key factor keeping me watching. In the end though, it was the interaction between Phlox, Archer and T'Pol.
If you can get past the lack of intensity and danger, this charming story does reveal more of Archer's character as he worries about his pet, struggles to sleep in the med bay as Dr. Phlox's quirk-filled routine pushes him to the point of despair and he begins to realise his feelings for T'Pol. The main stay of dialogue is used to keep things moving along and bounce of the slow story in order to demonstrate more of the character traits of the crew.
Given the subject matter, locations are as you would expect mainly in sick bay and so sets are kept to a budgetary minimum. If this had happened for any other episode, we'd be looked at 5-6 mark and classed as a Filler. Yet the real star of the show are the scenes between Archer, Porthos, T'Pol and Dr
Phlox. Especially the dialogue and the acting by Bakula. One of his better performances. Explains the Hugo award.
Think twice before watching if you are an action-hog. I recommend you watch it if you want to see some of Bakula's better acting though.
First off - why take Porthos on a diplomatic mission???!!!
The whole premise of this episode is that we are to believe Captain Archer (having already insulted the aliens on a previous visit) goes to their home planet to apologise and takes his pet dog with him?! Data from TNG would have never have taken Spot! It just serves to undermine Archer as a Captain you can respect and rely on.
The rest of the episode is padded out with unnecessary scenes involving Archer's supposed repressed feeling for T'Pol and dream sequences involving him and the scantily clad Vulcan. I nearly choked at this point, this would have never occurred on one of the previous series (save for The Original Series - but that was the 60's!!!) and clearly shows that the producers were slowly losing it thinking that if you throw in a bit of nudity and 'sexual tension' you will get big ratings. This is not what Star Trek is about. Plus for sexual tension you need someone who represses their feelings for the right reasons - a Vulcan is not one of them.
Don't get me wrong the episode has the odd nice touch, mostly involving Phlox with his nightly rituals and the insight into his family but that is all. The rest is an example of how to kill a series.
Not even Vaughn Armstrong can save it in his guest appearance which didn't help from me continually thinking "Admiral Forrest!!!".
If you can avoid - do so. It will be 45 minutes of your life spared to put at better use watching Spock's Brain.
When I first watched Enterprise, a few years back, I wasn't much impressed, especially when I compared it with previous Trek series, and even more when compared with a real SciFi series like Farscape.
Now that I'm re-watching, though, I find my previous judgment to be too harsh. Enterprise has some very good episodes (Dead Stop, the one preceding this one, for instance was great), and a lot of fairly good ones.
A night in sickbay, however, is not one of those.
I guess this has to do with viewing an episode for the second time. You remember the ones that were exciting, and look forward to the plot developments, or you don't remember an expisode very well and start recognising things as you go along. Episodes like this one, however, you remember immediately as going nowhere: "Oh yeah, the one where the dog got sick but didn't die, and nothing happened". Which means you can prepare yourself for 45 minutes of solid boredom.
This episode features Archer at his stupidest. Apparently they had already met and inadvertently insulted this race, and yet Archer thinks it's a good idea to bring his dog (you wouldn't expect a dog to misbehave around these very sensitive beings, would you?). After the dog indeed does a terrible deed, Archer complains that he'd supplied the aliens with the canine's genome, so it's their own fault: they could have figured out that with a genome like that the animal would have an irrepressable urge to pee on ceremonial trees. Archer apparently doesn't know what a genome is: it doesn't describe very specific behaviour like this...
If this isn't enough, we are treated to some of the most painful amateur psychology ever seen on Star Trek (and I've seen some in my time...). The way Archer reacts to T'Pols questioning of his behaviour is immediately diagnosed by Phlox as having to do with unresolved sexual tension existing between the two. Archer denies this, but immediately makes two of the worst Freudian slips ever to be seen on TV, not counting comedy shows ('Bring me your lips' instead of 'list', and one more I've forgotten or repressed). Archer now realises he's wrong, and that resolves it: as soon as the realisation is there, the hormones are no longer a problem, and Archer reverts to his capable self. The fact that the dog recovered will probably have had something to do with it as well, I suppose.
The ritual apology at the end was not bad, though, and I diddn't mind seeing T'Pol and Hoshi in Decontamination, so the episode was not a complete loss...
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