Star Trek: Enterprise

Season 4 Episode 11

Observer Effect

Aired Wednesday 8:00 PM Jan 21, 2005 on UPN
out of 10
User Rating
171 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Non-corporeal aliens study the Enterprise crew as they respond to a fatal viral infection brought on board from an away mission.

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  • the scientific premise is flawed

    A silicon based cellular pathogen reproducing rapidly in human beings kept inside isolation chambers on a Starship. As things are today the silicon content of human body is at maximum in trace amounts (1gm at best in an individual weighing 70Kg). Its unlikely that the pathogen would be able to absorb all of it quickly and would be able to multiply to significant numbers to become fatal without triggering the auto immune response. Just so we are clear the maximum number the pathogens can reach by absorbing the entire silicon content of human body is 45 million individual cells (assuming the same mass as viruses) and they would be against 31 billion white blood cells of the immune system to begin with. Coupled with the fact that Silicon doesn't get into the normal bio-chemical processes with other elements like oxygen, iron, calcium and phosphorus. Any conceivable bio-chemistry will likely require even the simplest silicon based life form to be composed of a host of other elements that are equally rare in the human body. But I guess no one was bothered about science while writing this story.moreless
  • the crew is observed by oncorporeal aliens while trip and hoshi have a silicon based virus

    very well done, beautiful filmmaking. You don't see Trip and hoshi together much, so It was nice to give them some scenes. It was good to have an episode based on character, the only reason this stays in the 8 range is because of the lack of trip?T'pol scenes. All in all, trek at it's finest
  • Good Sci-Fi. Good Star Trek. Good episode.

    Recently I'd come to the conclusion that Enterprise was merely okay.

    But, when they hit one out of the park, they hit one out of the park. This episode not only left the park, it never looked back.

    Great character deepening moments for Trip and Hoshi. Great performances by all the crew when taken over by the "organians."

    I was happy to see them do tie-ins with other Trek series during the entire run, and particularly happy during this fourth season.

    Mentioning the cardassians and the time it took to make decisions was classic.

    But above all these little things, it was a great story. yes, sure, since it's Star Trek, we know these characters are not really going to die, but we're willing to go on that journey. Perhaps in the end it's not that they were saved, it was how they were saved.

    I was very pleased with the way this was handled. Kudos.moreless
Dominic Keating

Dominic Keating

Lt. Malcolm Reed

John Billingsley

John Billingsley

Dr. Phlox

Jolene Blalock

Jolene Blalock

Sub-Commander T'Pol

Connor Trinneer

Connor Trinneer

Commander Charles "Trip" Tucker III

Linda Park

Linda Park

Ensign Hoshi Sato

Anthony Montgomery

Anthony Montgomery

Ensign Travis Mayweather

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (6)

  • QUOTES (7)

    • Archer : To the Organians after they refuse to help "You miss what it mean to be human. You need to do more than observe."

    • (playing chess)
      Lt. Reed/Organian: You're really starting to get a feel for the game.
      Ensign Mayweather/Organian: 32 pieces, 64 squares - it's not as if it's difficult. Total number of possible outcomes is limited.
      Lt. Reed/Organian: Ten to the 123rd power.
      Ensign Mayweather/Organian: That's what I mean. Chess is so predictable. I'm surprised anyone bothers to play it.

    • Trip: The next time I ask to go on a landing party, talk me out of it, okay?
      Archer: You're usually too stubborn to be talked out of anything - but I'll do my best.

    • Trip: You're a genius. The way you can pick up an alien language you've never heard before and start spouting it back to them. I got to tell you, I've always been jealous you can do that.
      Hoshi: I wish I could fix warp engines with duct tape and a pocketknife.
      Trip: It's a bit more complicated than that... sometimes.

    • (The Organians are getting ready to leave Enterprise and are talking to each other through Malcolm and Travis)
      Malcolm: You realize the consequences of what we've done. We will never be able to observe another species encounter this virus.
      Travis: Good. I'm looking forward to making my first report. After 10,000 year's the rules need to change.
      Malcolm: These humans have not been a good influence on you. I would not encourage further encounters.
      Travis: I don't think we can avoid them. I'm going to recommend that we start preparations for an Official First Contact mission.
      Malcolm: Indeed. At the rate they're progressing, that'd barely give us 5,000 years to prepare. Then we'd better get started.

    • (Hoshi is trying to unlock the door to the decontamination chamber)
      Trip: You can't break the lock-out code.
      Hoshi: Math is just another language.
      (doors open and an alarm sounds)

    • (talking with Hoshi, who is in decontamination chamber with Trip and coughing)
      Archer: Hoshi, what is it?
      Hoshi: Before Commander Tucker passed out, he started coughing.
      Phlox: Are you feeling any other symptoms?
      (Hoshi runs to bathroom and starts retching)
      Trip: I'm gonna guess that's a yes

  • NOTES (1)