Star Trek: Enterprise

Season 1 Episode 8

Breaking the Ice

Aired Wednesday 8:00 PM Nov 07, 2001 on UPN

Episode Fan Reviews (6)

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out of 10
193 votes
  • Not much happens in this episode, but it actually good.

    This is one of those "life in the Enterprise" episodes, where they shy away from any serious plot (this episode has none at all) and just show curiosities of life aboard a spaceship, focusing on character development. And, surpisingly, in this episode it works. It is funny, there is character conflict (again with T'Pol, apparently the only character that gets any sort of growth and conflict in this series) and the presence of the Vulcan spy creates a good sort of political suspense and allow for some good scenes, like the dinner one or when they offer help and T'Pol makes (everyday stupidier) Archer accept, especially given the actions of last episode (which very disappointigly isn't mentioned at all).
  • Weak Science

    This episode pissed me off. A 70k wide comet wouldn't have the gravity to pull anyone down hard enough to hurt their knee. I could see this coming when he climbed down into the blast hole, and the fact it was pulling as hard as an earth sized planet would just bugged the hell out of me. Then the ship business, that just made it worse. If you're writing for a show that has such a nerdy (scientific) fan base, you think they wouldn't gloss over these details like it wouldn't bother anyone. It's just insulting, and boring.
  • When the Enterprise stumbles upon a large comet, the crew jumps at the chance to study it more thoroughly. Subsequently, a Vulcan ship attempts to aggravate and impede them.

    Despite the fact that this episode is at least fairly well liked, it having a rating of around 7, this episode is a contender for the worst episode in all of Star Trek.

    Although it may be novel for the first starship to seek to learn more about a comet, the simple fact is that this episode is a yawn from beginning to end.

    The dialogue is trite, the acting from each character comes across especially flat, and it barely has a plot. Imagine TNG\'s episode \"Data\'s Day,\" but without the interesting characters, good/fun dialogue and interesting story and that seems to be what we have here... an utterly vapid \"day in the life of an astonaut\" episode; which has all the excitement of floating aimlessly in space... much like this episode seems to do.
  • Shortly after discovering a record-setting sized comet, Enterprise is approached by a Vulcan ship whose captain claims curiosity in Enterprises activities.

    This was a rather dull episode, if you ask me. A simple opening of Trip going through his nephew's 4th-grade class's drawings with Dr. Phlox. Moments after T'Pol's critiquing, the ship comes upon a comet bigger than any recorded by Humans or Vulcans (supposedly).

    T'Pol makes it clear that comets are of absolutely no interest, Archer disagrees (naturally). After leaving the bridge, T'Pol returns to her quarters where she receives an encrypted message from Vulcan. Moments later, the ship that sent it arrives at Enterprises doorstep "out of curiosity". Something Captain Archer finds completely ridiculous.

    Meanwhile, Trip has uncovered what appears to be a power surge in the communications array, which Hoshi reveals to be T'Pol's encrypted letter. They bring it to the captain who makes decrypting it Hoshi's top priority. Lt. Reed and Ensign Mayweather go down to the comets surface to mine a rare element from the core. They create a snow-vulcan, giving it big ears, a big smile, and a plasma cutter for a nose.

    By this time, Hoshi has decrypted the letter, but has refused to translate and read it. Trip does the honors, and quickly regrets doing so. He reports to Archer that the letter was not in fact spying instructions but was actually a very personal letter. Wishing to make amends, Commander Tucker confesses to T'Pol that he knows about the letter and its contents. She gets upset-even more so than you'd expect from a Vulcan-but proceeds with her work.

    Archer decides to invite the captain of the Vulcan ship over for dinner. Not long into the meal, it is quite clear that the commander of the Vulcan ship, Captain Vanik, has absolutely no interest in either Enterprise, the comet, or the food for that matter. Becoming frustrated, Jonathon Archer dismisses him, but not before demanding to know why the Vulcan's are spying on Enterprise. A snide remark later, Vanik leaves, much to Captain Archer's relief.

    T'Pol has a choice to make. The letter uncovered by Trip concerned her wedding plans, and an ultimatum to attend them. She is unsure what to do and asks Trip for advice. He says it's her decision, that she should choose for herself what to do.

    Down on the comet, Reed and Mayweather have blasted, and mined the mineral they were after, but their blasting has started to spin the comet, rushing the sunlight onto their position. Travis injures his knee, but they make it back to theri shuttle in time. Or so they thought. When they fire up their engines, the heat breaks the surface of the ice, and they fall into a cavern. Captain Archer pilots Enterprise to their position, and Trip unsuccessfully pulls the derelict shuttle to the surface.

    Meanwhile, Captain Vanik has hailed Enterprise, offering his ships tractor beam to assist, but Archer's pride has not let him accept. T'Pol points out that Captain Archer must put aside his pride and arrogance and accept help when it's needed. It's a tough decision, but Vanik is allowed to pull the shuttle free of the comet before the surface re-froze.

    Finally, when the Vulcan's are ready to be on their way, refusing even data on the rare mineral, T'Pol has made her choice to stay on Enterprise.

    Like I said. Dull. Well written! But dull. T'Pol's charcter devolement, however, was why I gave this episode an 8.5 rating. Up until this point she's been completely one dimensional, and I believe she didn't consider herself a part of the crew. Her not fitting in was beginning to become stale, and her constant berating of the Captain was beginning to grate. Now that she feels she has a real place, T'Pol can begin to make her mark in history.
  • nice episode

    The starship Enterprise discover a comet. Capt. Archer and his crew discuss of launching a scientific crew that will land on the comet and collect samples. There's no battle scenes on this episode, but it's still a good episode. The story was still entertaining to watch. The effect shot were awesome. The spaceships and the space scenes. I enjoyed watching this episode. The Vulcan ship and crew were a big draw for the episode, we get to see how vulcans behave in this episode. I really liked watching this, I just can't wait for the next episode. It's a good one.
  • "Breaking the Ice" is a example of what "Star Trek: Enterprise" could be. This episode is well written, contains series plot development, is well acted, has a bit of whimsy, and hits no viewer over the head with a moral judgment.

    "Breaking the Ice" is a example of what "Star Trek: Enterprise" could be. This episode is well written, contains series plot development, is well acted, has a bit of whimsy, and hits no viewer over the head with a moral judgment.

    "Breaking the Ice" revolves around a newly discovered comet, the "Archer Comet," and the crews efforts to explore it. One learns of the Vulcans' narrowly focused exploration efforts as a research ship arrives to watch the humans. Humans appear more interesting than the comet.

    Insight into Vulcan culture is gained as T'Pol receives an encrypted letter and the Vulcan Captain makes a non-cordial visit.

    "Breaking the Ice" has a comical moment as the landing party surveilled by the Vulcans makes a snowman, or snowvulcan.

    Lastly, one learns of Trip's love of pecan pie. Let's face it, any episode with pecan pie is a winner in my book. Which brings up the point, stay tuned for the last scene in T'Pol's quarters where pecan