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Recap / Star Trek Enterprise S 01 E 07 The Andorian Incident

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Archer's about to have a baaaaaaad day.
Archer, Trip, and T'Pol visit a Vulcan monastery—and get captured by Andorians.

Tropes in this episode include:

  • Brick Joke: "I am in your debt, pinkskin!" Later? "I can't get a good night's sleep being in your debt!" Good thing Archer's a Captain and not an accountant.
  • The Bus Came Back: The Andorians had been referenced, but not properly seen since the Original Series, outside of a brief holodeck appearance in TNG's third season.
  • Butt-Monkey: Paranoid Andorians rough up Archer even worse than what becomes usual for him, so much so that Archer uses their ferocity to his advantage.
  • Chekhov's Army: The Andorian commandos will be seen again...
  • Chekhov's Gunman: ...but Shran in particular will return in future episodes as a recurring character.
  • Continuity Nod: Malcolm comments that the spy station could see what any Andorian has for breakfast. Something similar was said about the Obsidian Order, that no Cardassian could sit down for breakfast without the contents of the meal being logged by the Order.
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  • Cut Phone Lines: Star Trek version. As soon as Shran learns the crew has communicators, he threatens Reed back on the ship, then smashes every single communicator they have.
  • Description Cut: When Malcolm gets antsy about Archer not checking in, Hoshi suggests that he and the others are probably watching some meditation technique. Cut to Archer getting the crap beaten out of him.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: One member of Malcolm's team is shot twice by an Andorian rifle and because this is Season 1, he survives. It would later be established that Andorian weapons don't have a stun setting.
  • The Extremist Was Right: The Andorians were thugs, no doubt about it - hell, one of them threatened to have his way with T'Pol - but even they seemed taken aback that they were proven right.
  • Hiding Behind the Language Barrier: A straight example. T'Pol and the Elder converse about their smelly human companions in Vulcan.
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  • Hilarious Outtakes: A good way to have fun during Archer's first beating of the show.
    Shran: (hits Archer) Why a Vulcan?
    Archer: (beat) Because they're cute!
    (Shran struggles not to start corpsing)
  • Hostage Situation: The Andorians' general plan, which seemed fruitless at the beginning.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Shran uses this on Archer. This would be a running theme for Archer.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Said word-for-word by Trip.
  • Notice This: The giant Vulcan face in P'Jem Monastery is huge and is important as it leads to the Catacombs...
    • Also, the door to the Vulcan spy array inside of the Reliquary. In the Vulcans' defense, they hid it behind a curtain.
  • Obfuscating Insanity: Archer pretends that he's going mad from being locked up with the Vulcan monks, as part of The Plan.
  • Pacing a Trench: Jokingly referred to when Malcolm spends most of his time pacing on The Bridge during the Hostage Situation.
    Travis: Sir, you're wearing a hole in the deck plating.
  • Properly Paranoid:
    • Shran is convinced that the monastery is hiding a surveillance array that's being used to spy on Andoria. He's right.
    • Malcolm is the only member of the crew that bothers to scan the planet's surface (detecting the Andorian's ship in the process), and senses something is wrong when the away team fails to check in.
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality: Archer's decision to give away the secrets of the listening post to Shran is often ranked against Janeway's decision to destroy the Caretaker array. Sure, it was an idiotic move on the Vulcans to use the monastery as a sort of Human Shield for this post, but still, Archer is willingly giving away state secrets of Earth's only ally to one of their enemies. And from the Humans perspective, the Andorians had done nothing to suggest that they weren't the aggressors in this conflict. They spent much of the episode beating the crap out of Archer and one threatened to rape T'Pol.
  • Rewatch Bonus: The secrecy the Vulcans show about the monastery is perfectly understandable, in the context of their cherished relics and their Actual Pacifist nature, even if they seem awfully prickly. Then we see what's behind the curtain. It changes not only the Vulcans' whole demeanor in hindsight, but it winds up coloring the characterization of the Vulcans in the events after this episode.
  • Twist Ending/The Ending Changes Everything: Never once did T'Pol, Archer or any of the crew ever consider that the Andorians had reason behind their paranoia, so when the door is found and the spy array is uncovered it leaves T'Pol in utter disbelief, and Archer feeling betrayed and angry.
  • Unnecessarily Large Interior: The Vulcan spy array.
  • Wham Shot: The spy array being uncovered. It makes this a Wham Episode as well, as this discovery would have ramifications that would gradually play out over the rest of the series.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Archer calls this on the Vulcans, and the events of the episode later provide supporting evidence that something has gone badly wrong with Vulcan culture, that they would use a holy site for a spying operation.

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