Enterprise and their Xindi allies must stop the weapon before it can be used against Earth.
Tropes in this episode include:
- Action Episode, Quiet Drama Scene: Archer, Trip, and T'Pol having dinner before the battle. Also, Malcolm and Hayes discussing the upcoming rescue mission for Hoshi.
- All a Part of the Job: Hayes' response to Malcolm thanking him for rescuing Hoshi: "All in a day's work."
- Awakening the Sleeping Giant: It's made clear that the Aquatics are the most powerful Xindi species, but also the least likely to get involved in conflicts. When Archer does persuade them to help, it greatly turns the tide against the Reptilians and Insectoids.
- Big Badass Battle Sequence: Two opposing Xindi fleets fighting over the weapon.
- Call-Forward: T'Pol discusses the possibility of formalizing her role in Starfleet, so Trip muses about a Vulcan wearing a Starfleet uniform.
- Cool Spaceship: The Aquatic spaceships, which resemble giant manta rays.
- Damsel in Distress: Hoshi is captured by the Reptillians so they can force her to crack the launch codes.
- Divine Intervention: Right as the Reptilians and Insectoids are on the cusp of losing the battle for the weapon, one of the spheres activates and begins to disable multiple allied ships. Dolim interprets this as "The Guardians will not let us fail."
- Even Evil Has Standards: Dolim briefly calls out the Guardians for splitting the Xindi into a civil war in order to launch the weapon.
- Famous Last Words:Hayes: Use Mackenzie. She knows the team. Rely on her.
Malcolm: No more of that talk. That's an order.
- God's Hands Are Tied: The Sphere Builder claims they're unable to help the Reptilians arm the weapon. However, once Archer manages to unite the other species, they immediately unlock the weapon's computer. They also create new anomalies to disable the allied fleet and allow Dolim to slip away with the weapon.
- Hyperspeed Ambush: The attack on the weapon. Enterprise hitches a ride in the Aquatics' flagship.
- Indy Ploy: Archer attempts to reason with the Aquatics to gain their help. When they remain committed to waiting, Archer goes for the Hail Mary: he makes a big promise about shutting down the Spheres.
- Irony: To go after the weapon, Archer must use the ship that belonged to the man who designed it.
- Jumped at the Call: After reporting the news of Hayes's death to the MACOs, Reed says they're preparing a mission to destroy the Xindi weapon and that he needs three volunteers. Every MACO there steps forward.
- Kick the Dog: Dolim mocks Hoshi before the real work begins."Before your primate brain is too badly damaged to understand, I want to thank you for helping us destroy your world."
- Lock-and-Load Montage: On Enterprise before the battle, while Archer records his Captain's Log.Captain's Starlog, February 13th, 2154. We're preparing to enter a Xindi vortex, thanks to some help from the Aquatics. If everything goes as planned, we'll intercept the weapon in less than two hours. Enterprise may be coming apart at the seams, but I can't say the same for the crew. After nearly eight months in the Expanse they're ready to do what they came to do. No matter what it takes, no matter what the cost.
- Mighty Glacier: The Aquatic flagship is the most powerful Xindi warship, but it's also the slowest.
- Negated Moment of Awesome: As the Xindi weapon powers up its vortex drive, Archer orders Travis to fly in close for an attack. However, with all the anomalies and fighting ships around, the NX-01 is unable to reach the weapon in time.
- Neutrality Backlash: Archer tells the Aquatics that if they don't take action instead of endlessly deliberating, the Reptilians and Insectoids will make further deliberation moot.
- No OSHA Compliance: The interior of the weapon has lots of narrow walkways above deep chasms, and very few handrails.
- Oh, Crap!: Dolim, when he realizes that the Aquatics are incoming and then when Enterprise joins the fray.
- O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Considering the Aquatics once took six days to agree to attend a council meeting about a simple logistical matter, Mallora is astonished that they made a decision in only three hours.
- Puppeteer Parasite: The Reptilians inject Hoshi with them to force her to cooperate.
- Rousing Speech: Malcolm gives one to the MACOs.Malcolm: I've just come from Sickbay, where the Doctor assures me that Sergeant Kemper and Ensign Sato will make full recoveries. Unfortunately, Major Hayes' injuries were more severe. He didn't survive. I'm sorry. We've got less than ten hours before this weapon reaches Earth. The Captain wants to take a team aboard to destroy it. I don't imagine the Reptilians will make this easy for us, but that's why you're here. That's why Major Hayes picked each one of you for this mission. Because he knew you'd get the job done.
- Sacrificial Lion: Alas, poor Hayes...
- Spiteful Spit: Hoshi's response to Dolim's threats.
- Took a Level in Badass: Not only is Hoshi able to resist the initial injections, but she's able to stall the Reptilians by adding another code.
- Tranquil Fury:Archer: Feel like taking [the Xindi] on?
Malcolm: Give me the word, sir.
- Two-Keyed Lock: Each of the five Xindi species has its own set of codes; at least three out of the five are needed to control the weapon. The Reptilians and Insectoids only have two, so they force Hoshi to decode a third set.
- You Are a Credit to Your Race: One of Dolim's minions describes Hoshi as "surprisingly strong-willed - for a primate".
- You Called Me "X"; It Must Be Serious: T'Pol calls Trip by his nickname for the first time, so she can apologize for being out of sorts.
- You Got Spunk: Hoshi tries to fling herself over a railing to her death, rather than continue to decrypt the launch code. Dolim is actually impressed.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: When the Insectoid councilor begins to wonder whether Archer was right, Dolim thanks him for their launch code and fires on their ship. Not even the Insectoids will be able to rule in Dolim's new empire.