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Recap / Star Trek Enterprise S 04 E 21 Terra Prime

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"I have no intention of using this weapon again, provided that every single non-human in our system leaves immediately."
Terra Prime takes control of a particle beam array on Mars and threatens to destroy Starfleet Command and alien consulates if their demands are not met.
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  • Bittersweet Ending: Quite bittersweet. On the one hand, the conference moves forward, a significant step to what will become the Federation. On the other, Trip and T'Pol must endure the worst pain imaginable: a parent losing their child.
  • Butt-Monkey: Kelby was originally going to be The Mole who commits suicide, but the writers decided he had suffered enough and invented a new character Ensign Masaro. Kelby's just a brief Red Herring suspect.
  • Call-Back: Travis mentions that he has experience with comets. Didn't he break his leg on the last one? Probably best that he didn't mention that detail to Samuels.
  • Call-Forward: Trip says that Phlox found a flaw in the method used to create Elizabeth, and determined that there's no reason why a human and Vulcan couldn't reproduce. In a hundred years, there will be a human-Vulcan hybrid who will become a Starfleet legend. His name is Spock.
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  • Character Check: The scene where Archer leaves Hoshi in command alludes to the close platonic relationship they had at the beginning of the series. This sets up Hoshi displaying a little Character Development while in command.
    Archer: I remember when you used to jump every time the engines hiccuped.
    Hoshi: I still do. I'm just better at hiding it.
  • Continuity Nod: Phlox provides Malcolm with a vomit bag on the shuttlepod in response to his motion sickness. He wastes little time in using it off-screen.
  • Dead Guy Junior: Trip names the baby "Elizabeth," for his sister who was killed in the Xindi attack.
  • Die Hard on Mars: Couldn't let the final season end without one last episode of this.
  • Driven to Suicide: Masaro phasers himself in the head right in front of Archer.
    Masaro: (with a phase pistol) Captain.
    Archer: You don't want to do this.
    Masaro: I have to.
    Archer: Give me the phase pistol. That's an order.
    Masaro: I can't, sir.
    Archer: Ensign.
    Masaro: I wanted you to know...I'm sorry. I believed in what we were doing. Tell my parents...I'm sorry. I never wanted anyone to get hurt.
    Archer: Ensign!
    Masaro: (shoots himself)
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  • Grew a Spine: While in command of Enterprise, Hoshi demonstrates this by putting Minister Samuels in his place when he tries to order her around.
  • Hypocrite: As T'Pol points out, Paxton has a degenerative disease and is only being kept alive thanks to alien medicine. Had he been alive during Colonel Green's reign, he'd have been killed too. She also doesn't buy his attempt to justify it.
    Paxton: I'm not the first significant leader to fail to measure up to his own ideals.
    T'Pol: You're not significant!
  • "It" Is Dehumanizing: Paxton keeps calling the child "it." Trip calls him on it.
  • Manly Tears: Trip is clearly devastated by Elizabeth's death, as is Phlox.
  • The Mole: Someone whom we've never seen or heard of before. Also, Travis' girlfriend Gannet, who's actually with Starfleet Intelligence.
  • New Era Speech: Continued from last episode.
    Paxton: We do not seek war, but if the aliens do not leave, and force us to fight, I make this solemn promise to all of the sons and daughters of Earth. Our future will be secure because humanity will prevail.
  • Not So Stoic: You can see the Suppressed Rage in T'Pol during her confrontation with Paxton.
  • Remember the New Guy?: When the mole is uncovered in the last five minutes, the episode tries to establish that Archer and the crew are already familiar with him.
  • Rousing Speech: After an entire show of mediocre speeches, including the infamous "gazelle speech," Archer closes with his best speech.
    "Up until about a hundred years ago, there was one question that burned in every Human, that made us study the stars and dream of traveling to them. Are we alone? Our generation is privileged to know the answer to that question. We are all explorers driven to know what's over the horizon, what's beyond our own shores. And yet the more I've experienced, the more I've learned that no matter how far we travel, or how fast we get there, the most profound discoveries are not necessarily beyond that next star. They're within us, woven into the threads that bind us, all of us, to each other. A final frontier begins in this hall. Let's explore it together."
    • This prompts a Slow Clap that's started by Soval, cementing the fact that Archer has earned his respect.
  • Sadistic Choice: Hoshi is faced with one—destroy the verteron array and take out Utopia Colony with it, or let Paxton destroy Starfleet Command. Fortunately, Trip is able to Take a Third Option.
  • She Knows Too Much: Subverted when T'Pol finds out about Paxton's illness and Rigelian treatment for said illness. Rather than attempt to silence her, he practically dares her to tell his men, figuring that they're too drunk on the Kool-Aid to take her word over his. From what we see of them, he's probably right.
  • Surpassed the Teacher: Harris says this of Malcolm, though most likely in jest.
  • Talk to the Fist: When Trip's rage hits the boiling point, one of Paxton's mooks dares him to try something. Trip says "Okay" and slugs him.
  • Terraform: Mars is in the process of it. The terraforming has already yielded a thicker atmosphere, eliminating the need for pressure suits, though they still need oxygen and thermal garments.
  • Villain Respect: When Trip sucker-punches one of Paxton's mooks and sabotages part of the weapon system, Paxton is genuinely impressed. He even expected a man of Trip's principles to try something like that.
  • Wasn't That Fun?: Malcolm quips this in a very sarcastic and deadpan voice after the shuttlepod almost crashes during the comet ride.
    "Well, that was fun. Can we do it again?"
  • Wave Motion Gun: The verteron array on Mars is essentially a very big phaser cannon which is designed to adjust the course of comets for the purpose of terraforming Mars. The beam is wide enough to encompass Enterprise entirely, and even at 2% power it causes considerable damage. Paxton's plan is to use it to destroy Starfleet Command. Fortunately, Trip throws its aim off, and only San Francisco Bay is hit.
  • You Are in Command Now: Hoshi, for the first and only time, gets to command Enterprise.
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