"When Trip Tucker assists an alien vessel with repairs, a "friendly" encounter with one of the crew leads to rather unexpected consequences."
Those unexpected consequences? He's "expecting". The dude gets knocked up. Star Trek likes unexpected alien pregnancies. Even funnier if they happen to human males!
So, the episode starts out with Captain Archer in the shower. The see-through shower walls have a zig zag pattern that conveniently covers the Captain's "bathing suit area". I wonder if all the showers have stylish, see-through stall walls, and if the zig zag pattern is tailored to each person, to hide their junk. It seems really unnecessary to have clear shower walls on this ship, anyway. It isn't like you are getting a bunch of natural light in your bathroom in the first place.
But, uh oh, the gravity plating seems to be malfunctioning and suddenly the Captain and the water are floating around in the air. When it comes back online, he crashes hard to the ground. Ouch!
Elsewhere on the ship, more strange things happen. For instance, T'Pol's request for water from the replicator results in some nasty, brown viscous liquid. Already she was complaining about the smell of human food. This can't help. I note that there is a fire, and they have to use fire extinguishers, because there are not force-field based fire suppression devices yet.
Anyway, it turns out that some cloaked ship is hitchhiking on Enterprise's plasma wake or something because their engines are broken. Trip volunteers to go over to help. He goes over alone, not having seen these aliens, which I think is a bad idea. There is some strange acclimation chamber he has to stay in for a few hours, and because the process takes so long, he has to stay over there for three days. When he gets over to the Xyrillian ship, its all very colorful and psychodelic and trippy. He is greeted by the Xyrillian engineer, a slightly lizard-like but attractive alien lady named Ah'len, who is the chief engineer. She is wearing the requisite, form-fitting space suit. I wonder if there is a friction problem on these ships or something that necessitates such tight clothing.
Trip is still having a hard time adjusting to the alien ship, so Ah'len insists he take a nap. Apparently, that fixes everythingt, and Trip is good to go. He works with her to fix the engines. Apparently, also, the best the Xyrillians can do to approximate water for Trip to drink is to make these jello-like water cubes. He seems to like them. What else will this wacky ship have in store?
A holodeck! Ah'len takes Trip into a room with some trippily holographic glittery wallpaper, and it turns out this is their holodeck technology, the first of its kind witnessed by a human. Trip is very impressed. He seems to really like getting to know Ah'len. She plays a "game" with him that involves sticking your hands in a bowl of granules which allow you to read the mind of the other person. That sounds like a boring game to me. Interesting for a minute or two, but I think the novelty would wear off quick.
The repairs seem to be done, and Trip returns to Enterprise and the Xyrillians go on their way. Trip describes his visit, and Malcolm totally gets pervy ideas about the holodeck. Then, Trip notices something odd on his wrist. The doctor checks it out and guess what. IT'S A NIPPLE. Say what? Yes. A nipple. The doctor's scans reveal that Trip is pregnant. I knew not to trust this mind-reading granule game!!
Aside: Jolene Blalock really has that walk/stop/pose thing down. Now, I know they hire model/actresses to be the sexy alien crew members in the catsuits, but sometimes it just looks awkward to me, and I don't really need to be associating, say, Paris Hilton-esque posing with T'Pol.
Okay, so really, Trip is a host and the embryo only contains maternal genetic material. T'Pol gets very judgy and sounds a little jealous that Trip may have been less than gentlemanly on the alien ship, even though he insists he did nothing of the sort except play the granule game. The ship goes on a search for the Xyrillian vessel, and in the meantime, ha ha ha, Trip has morning sickness and becomes weirdly emotional and irrationally preoccupied with safety/baby-proofing (specifically a hand rail on a lift which could hurt someone if they stuck their hands in it, to which the crewman he is yelling at about it replies, basically "Why would anyone stick their hand there?" Ha.) It is kind of ridiculous. Trip also is paranoid and still doesn't trust T'Pol, believing she is spreading the news of his secret pregnancy to the rest of the crew. He also begins to sprout more nipples on his arm. Dude. What is with this show and nipples??
Also, this life form is growing somewhere in Trip's rib area. How does that work? Where will it go when it comes out? The few who seem to know about Trip's situation seem to find it funny. I find it creepy! WTF, crew? Dude is mysteriously carrying an alien embryo! Trip, himself, is surprisingly not particularly angry or defensive about being the man-host of an alien baby. His masculinity seems to be unchallenged by this development.
So they find the Xyrillian ship hitchhiking on a Klingon ship. Immediately, I suspect this was all a scam to spread alien babies to other species and the Klingons are the next victims. But I'm wrong. Turns out the repairs didn't hold. There is a skirmish with the Klingons. The Klingons don't want to cooperate but eventually they go aboard the Xyrillian ship and negotiate to not kill them all in exchange for holodeck technology. Ah'len is surprised that the swapping of genetic material was possible with another species but informs them that the embryo can safely be transferred to another host, Trip gets to go down in history as the first impregnated human male, and they all live happily ever after. Or whatever.
Overall, I found this episode ridiculous and also creepy. It made me uncomfortable! Unexpected alien pregnancies are creepier than they portray them here, don't you think? Especially so early in the mission, don't you think they should have been more worried? Even though it turned out to be an accident, I would think Trip might have felt a little more violated. I don't think they could have been so casual about it if it had been a female crew member who accidentally got knocked up on an alien ship. Of course, there's less comedic potential there, because: men? having babies! HILARIOUS!
There's an episode of TNG ("The Child") where Deanna Troi is impregnated by some alien energy being because it wants to experience being a human, from birth to death, in an accelerated form. She even names the boy after her late father. That episode always made me uncomfortable, too. They did treat it as something, I don't know, kind of special, but I still found it creepy that the crew accept this sort of thing so easily. I'd be pissed off if an alien life form used me in that way, and I think it would be difficult to accept the resulting "child" as my own (particularly since its life was apparently very unnaturally accelerated). Not to get too deep about it or anything, but being forced into birthing an alien life form and used as an experiment seems a little too much like rape to me, even if the motives were benevolent and in the service of understanding other entities.
- Never thought I'd be googling the phrase "wrist nipple", but I had to find a pic somehow.
- Found it funny that pics of Tucker Carlson kept coming up when I was searching for "enterprise unexpected Tucker" in Google images. Unexpected, indeed!
- I wonder if having the word "nipples" in this post is going to introduce new people to this blog. (I'm looking at you, person who got here searching for "T'Pol's boobs").