"Fortunate Son" brings to a boil the preachy writing that would curtail the promise of "Star Trek: Enterprise." Good science fiction has well written underlying themes that add to the plot in subtle ways. This is done crudely.
The conduct of war, treatment of hostages, state response to terrorism, and ethics and value of torture are all current topics at the time of the filming "Star Trek: Enterprise." "Fortunate Son" pits a small crew of a cargo vessel against a group of terrorist raiders. A hostage is taken by the crew ravaged many times in the past. Worthless data is obtained by the novice torturers and a plan falls asunder.
The silliness of the plot has the cargo crew attacking a Star Fleet Captain and his boarding party as Enterprise is along side. The cargo crew is portrayed as one dimensional, reactionary, duplicitous, and unintelligent. This may be how the writers feel about protagonists in the real world, but makes for bad drama.
The episode name "Fortunate Son" and the ships name of the same is reminiscent of Herman Melville's "Moby Dick."
"Fortunate Son" had potential, but it was lost in poor writing. Scripts can explore complex ideas and moral questions, however, the writing must be as thoughtful, wise, intelligent, and with the common sense the topic deserves. "Fortunate Son" was limited by lack of all in the its writing.