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Recap / Star Trek Enterprise S 02 E 02 Carbon Creek

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The story of the Vulcans making first contact with humans. "But didn't that happen in Star Trek: First Contact," you ask? Turns out the first time was undercover.
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Over a glass of wine, Archer is curious why T'Pol visited an anonymous mining town in Pennsylvania. Her reason? It was the site of the real first contact between humans and Vulcans.


Tropes:

  • Alien Arts Are Appreciated: Mestral enjoys many aspects of 1950s American pop culture, including I Love Lucy.
  • Alien Non-Interference Clause: What the Vulcans follow, to the point where they nearly refuse using a particle weapon to save about twenty men who are trapped in a collapsed mine.
  • Artistic License – History: What we term today as velcro was invented by a man in Switzerland in 1941 and patented in 1955, not by a woman in the US in 1957. What is interesting is that the writers were apparently fully aware of this as the engineer in question was a man named George de Mestral, which is too much of a coincidence to be accidental.
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  • Clothesline Stealing: T'Mir and Mestral steal from clotheslines in order to blend in with the towns people. T'Mir accidentally puts her dress on backwards.
  • Company Town: Carbon Creek is a typical Pennsylvanian coal mining town.
  • E.T. Gave Us Wi-Fi: T'Mir anonymously pays for Jake's college by selling Velcro to a patent office. This was presumably an in-joke on writer Chris Black's part, as a reference to this idea was made in an episode of Sliders that he wrote.
  • Exact Words:
    • Maggie is slightly put off that Mestral says the kiss was merely "pleasant," to which he replies that he found it "very pleasant."
    • T'Pol invokes this when pretending that she made the entire story up.
  • Hilarious Outtakes: Scott Bakula, Jolene Blalock, and Connor Trinneer do an entire take of the penultimate scene where they pretend to be drunk.
  • Hypocrite:
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    • Stron, who is aghast that Mestral wants to use a particle weapon to free some trapped miners, even though he had no problem using a particle welding device to fix a leaking pipe earlier.
    • Arguably both him and T'Mir qualify, since they would never get into that situation in the first place had they not decided to risk living with humans rather than to kill and eat a deer.
  • I Choose to Stay: Mestral decided to stay on Earth.
  • Identical Grandson: Jolene Blalock (T'Pol) plays T'Pol's great grandmother.
  • Only Sane Man: Mestral is perhaps a bit reckless at times, but his companions are so rigid in their adherence to cultural norms and protocol that he has to act in their best interests, since they won't.
  • Sexy Silhouette: T'Mir, courtesy of some hanging laundry.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Trip calls her story of "two aliens walking into a bar, shooting some pool, and walking out with a bag of TV dinners" as sounding like something from The Twilight Zone (1959). The relaunch of The Twilight Zone (2002) aired immediately following ENT this season on UPN.
    • Also, a kid in town is fond of calling Stron "Moe" due to his similar haircut.
    • Mestral seems to be a fan of I Love Lucy.
  • Straw Vegetarian: T'Mir and Stron are aghast when Mestral suggests they kill a deer in order to survive, this despite them being in a desperate survival situation which often requires extreme measures short of cannibalism. Their refusal is what drives Mestral to head for the nearby town and interact with the locals.
  • We've Got Company: Said by the woman who kissed Mestral in the car when she spots T'Mir across the street.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: In-Universe with the Vulcan who chose to remain behind on Earth. T'Pol theorizes he managed to live until old age and presumably was buried/cremated without an autopsy. He makes a few appearances in the Expanded Universe. Apparently he was the one who introduced Lily Sloane to Zefram Cochrane, and was still around when official first contact with the Vulcans was made.
  • Whole Episode Flashback: Much like the VOY episode "11:59", this is a flashback about a main character's distant ancestor.
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