For each of the episodes, I used a different style of recapping, increasing in laziness.
The first, Terra Nova, I linked to an episode recap at the fabulous Memory Alpha site, but did my own recap with observations, too. The second, The Andorian Incident, I linked to the recap but included my own short summary, followed by a list of observations (so, basically, it would make sense to read the full recap via the link to associate the observations better with the plot, since I didn't annotate them much). And the third episode, Breaking the Ice, I copied the three sentence summary from Memory Alpha, with the link, and then followed with my notes.
For alternate episode recaps, it is pretty easy to also go to Wikipedia, too.
On to the eps...
Enterprise drops by the location of an experimental human colony that disappeared 70 years prior on an M class planet that was 20 light years (a 9 year travel distance at the time) away.
Basically, humans were itching to experiment with deep space colonization, so a ship went out for the 9 year journey to establish this colony, called Terra Nova. The colonists get into a spat with people on Earth and mysteriously are never heard from again. And since it takes so long to get to their location, no one goes to investigate. It is a classic exploration mystery that is well known on Earth. T'Pol claims to not know about it, but I think that is unlikely and just an easy way to get the exposition into the script.
Enterprise is now there and go to the planet to see if they can find out anything from the abandoned settlement.
- Ha. A welcome mat at the ghost town colony.
- Real location shooting must have been easier for some of these episodes, as this one and the one in Strange New World are Earth-like planets. No crappy "Planet Hell" sets like on TNG.
- I wonder when it necessitates going into the sexy decon gel chamber coming back from an alien planet or ship and when it does not.
And Phlox discovers that their water is now contaminated with radiation, and soon they will all die off.
Also... surprise! Scans reveal that the Novans are actually human! They don't really believe it at first, but the Captain makes a connection between the photo of a very young girl who was one of the colonists to an elderly Novan lady named Nadet. It turns out an asteroid hit the planet, causing the destruction of their settlement and all the radiation, and the deaths of everyone but some children, who became the Novans. This explains their distrust of humans, since they thought it was people from Earth sent to destroy their colony, and also why their language is kind of a childish version of English.
- Wouldn't that kind of be a big clue that they were closer to humans than they originally thought, if they are basically speaking the same language except with funny phrases or words for regular English words? For example: Sky ship = star/space ship . Track back = return. Shale = lies (I don't really get that one). Belly hollow = hunger. Overside/Underside = surface/underground. Go-befores = ancestors.
The Novans are reluctant to accept help relocating to a safer part of the planet. The crew contemplates sort of forcibly removing them and bringing them back to Earth.
Nadet eventually comes around and convinces the other Novans to accept the crew's assistance in relocating to the other part of the planet.
Yay. All is well. Novan cultures is preserved, their lives are saved, and they've accepted they really are humans. And the Enterprise crew gets to brag that they've solved one of Earth's great exploration mysteries.
The Andorian Incident
Some Andorians bust into a monastery at a Vulcan outpost. There is a history of discord between Andorians and Vulcans, and the Andorians think the Vulcan monks are up to no good. Meanwhile, the Enterprise crew just decide to drop by to visit the monastery, and oops, they happen upon a hostage situation. The Andorians keep T'Pol, Archer, and Trip as captives, too, but they manage to communicate with Enterprise and engineer an escape. But, oops! It turns out the Vulcans are up to no good and there was a secret spy station hidden in the monastery. The Enterprise crew exposes this, and the Vulcans are in violation of their treaty with the Andorians.
- Ah, Andorians. The teal aliens with the antennae like things. Why are they busting into a Vulcan temple of some sort?
- This was when I decided I'd almost had enough of making myself sit through the opening credits and listen to the theme song.
- Go on, Phlox. School T'Pol on diversity and the mission. (She seems reluctant to be associated with the humans when they drop by to visit the Vulcan monastery.)
- Protocol for visiting the Vulcan monastery: Don't touch anything. Be quiet. Be respectful Just... don't be Americans. (Maybe I'm reading too much into this, but I feel like that is kind of a theme during this season... learning about cultural sensitivity and not being obnoxious.)
- Trip: "Don't get your antennas in a twist." I like it.
- Andorian: "Answer me, pink skin!" I want to call people "pink skins" from now on.
- Why do Vulcan temple statues look like Chinese people?
- Eww, skeevy Andorian wants to rape T'Pol. "I'll enjoy having you... as a prisoner."
- Ok. Andorians are suspicious and volatile. And, of course, they are jealous of Vulcans' awesomeness.
- Those communicators are not very rugged. The Andorians smash them pretty easily. You'd think they'd make them a little more robust.
- Oh, now the Andorians are going to try to coerce Archer by decapitating Vulcans? Who are they, Al Qaeda?
- Vulcans are obsessed with how humans smell bad. T'Pol is given a nasal numbing agent to cope with human odor. Did Spock talk about his sensitive sense of smell and how humans stink?
- Ha. Archer: "I'm all ears. No offense."
- Trip is right. Vulcans ARE dramatic.
- Why do alien species all share the same hair cuts among their people. Andorians all have the same hair. Vulcans all have the same hair. What is up with that?
- Archer and T'Pol = America and allies. Have to convince them sometimes there isn't a peaceful solution and must respond with violence.
- Gross. Andorians are aggressive and skeevy. Stop talking about Vulcan mating rituals and how T'Pol smells different than the other Vulcans.
- Wait. Why do Andorians speak English?
- It IS a sensor array. The vulcans are spies. Some "reliquary". I guess the Andorians aren't as paranoid as we thought.
- And T'Pol proves her loyalty. And probably is suppresing a bunch of conflicting emotions. The end.
Breaking the Ice
"The Enterprise discovers the biggest comet ever seen by Man or Vulcan and decides to investigate. A Vulcan ship observes, and T'Pol receives an encoded message from them which Tucker intercepts and reads. There are complications, and eventually Captain Archer breaks the Human stereotype Vulcans have for Humans and accepts their help."
- Aww, cute. Trip's nephew's class sent drawings to the Enterprise. T'Pol: "Crude but surprisingly accurate." Indeed. I actually enjoyed this scene enough to watch this part a few times immediately. I love it!
- The frankestein-esque Vulcan kid-drawing has a cat in a space suit in the background apparently named "Lady".
- Ohh, they discovered a comet!
- Fastforwarding through the song....
- Something is wrong with T'Pol. What's up?
- Caffeine has little effect on Vulcans? That's a shame. (That's not the thing that is bothering her, though.)
- I appreciate that Trip is trying to share Earth culture (well, Pecan Pie) with T'Pol. She's so damn aloof though. Maybe moreso since something is wrong? He noticed.
- Archer: "If Vanik is the type to like to watch, let him." Gross. Captain Picard would never say that!
- Awww, transmission back to the kids on Earth! In Ireland! They are answering questions the kids sent it! Adorable.
- Hoshi - Explaining the Universal Translator. Woo hoo!
- Trip gets the POOP question: Where the toilet flushes go... heh. Waste reclamation and resequencing. The ultimate recycling.
- On the comet surface, Travis makes a snow blob man ... Malcolm adds facial features. (and eventually Vulcan ears!)
- Trip suspects T'Pol is up to something when he notices she receives a secret message from the Vulcans.
- Oh, what does T'Pol's encrypted message reveal? PERSONAL STUFF. What does it reveal about humans? They are sometimes douchebags. Well, not really. (Well, yeah, but not in this case exactly). They are idiots who make mistakes and sometimes are honest about them, though.
- Vulcans = smug bores. (Another recurrent theme.)
- Whoa. T'Pol is confiding in Trip! He suggests other ladies for girl talk. Because it is about an arranged marriage. Ha. Vulcans = super traditional.
- This comet is way better than the one in Armageddon. Or was that Deep Impact?
- Pre-tractor beam grappler thing is kind of funny.
- Saved by the meddling but convenient Vulcans with a tractor beam.
- I am not as good as Trip. I totally would have gossipped with the Captain about T'Pol's personal business.
- Oh, T'Pol decided to try pecan pie after all. OMG YOU GUYZ T'POL TOTALLY LOVES TRIP!!!
Also, I did not have to mention boobs or nipples at all in this whole post.... d'oh!