Star Trek 669: Cease Fire

669. Cease Fire

FORMULA: Shadows of P'Jem + Unification

WHY WE LIKE IT: The Andorians, as ever.

WHY WE DON'T: T'Pol, recalled again.

REVIEW: Another step is taken towards the Federation when the Andorians (well, Shran) request Archer to help settle a violent conflict between them and the Vulcans. One of the things that is obvious and perhaps strange in Star Trek (and perhaps SF in general) is how other cultures seem so homogeneous. Enterprise doesn't calling attention to that, and in fact, using it to make a point. The Andorians and Vulcans are one-faceted extremists (passion vs. logic). Only humanity, which alone in the galaxy has embraced diversity, can bridge the gap between them.

On a more character-driven note, Cease Fire also gives Archer the chance to prove himself to Ambassador Soval. He ends up with friends (or at least, allies) on both sides. Suzie Plakson makes yet another Trek appearance, this time as the angry Andorian Tarah. That she turns out to be a traitor to Shran's cause is perhaps a little sad and obvious, though the episode does a good job of keeping just who shot down the shuttlepod ambiguous for a good fair length of time. Ironically, Soval probably wouldn't have been convinced of Shran's sincerity if she hadn't been there opposing his efforts.

Take a drink if you noticed that Soval once again threatened T'Pol with a recall order. I did think it nice that in the middle of the action, Soval had time to express his disappointment with her career. It's true that she's ruining it running around with Archer (ergo, those recall orders).

Up in orbit, Trip gets a nice bit as he positions Enterprise between the Vulcan and Andorian ships, a metaphor for Archer down below AND humanity's role in general. Nothing really results from it, but it's cool and courageous of him. First time we see Andorian warships too. Rather basic and Star Wars-y, but it's a profile we haven't seen before. From some angles they look like spear heads or arrows.

LESSON: Only through humanity can aliens come to understand each other because we essentially contain them. (Oooh, deep.)

REWATCHABILITY - Medium-High: Possibly a crucial part of the Path to Federation story arc, with good guest-stars and a strong theme about humanity's place among the stars.

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