“Carbon Creek” is the second episode of the second season of the science fiction television series Star Trek: Enterprise, the 28th episode overall.
This episode features a flashback story as told by the character T’Pol; the audience sees the story about her great-grandmother’s experiences on ancient Earth as played by Jolene Blalock.
One review of the episode have suggested it explores themes of acceptance, and is filled with the atmosphere enhancing characters with warmth, familiarity, and humour.
Captain Archer, Commander Tucker and Sub-Commander T’Pol are having dinner in honour of the first anniversary of T’Pol’s assignment aboard Enterprise. During conversation, Archer asks why T’Pol travelled to Carbon Creek, Pennsylvania, before she joined Enterprise. T’Pol reveals that, contrary to human belief that the first contact between humans and Vulcans occurred in the mid-2060s (as seen in Star Trek: First Contact), it actually occurred a century earlier. Tucker and Archer react incredulously to this claim, so T’Pol offers to tell them her great-grandmother’s story.
T’Mir is a member of a four-Vulcan crew studying Earth from orbit in 1957, when they witness the launch of Sputnik, the planet’s first artificial satellite. A mishap with their impulse manifold forces the craft to crash-land in Pennsylvania. The captain is killed and T’Mir, as second-in-command, takes charge. A distress signal is sent, but after more than two weeks no reply is received. One of the Vulcans, Mestral, chooses to enter a nearby town, and T’Mir reluctantly accompanies him. Over the next few months the Vulcans successfully integrate themselves with the townsfolk, renting an apartment from Maggie, a tavern owner.
One day there is a firedamp explosion in the mine; Mestral helps rescue a dozen trapped miners by covertly blasting through a rock wall with a phaser. Eventually, a Vulcan vessel signals that it will arrive to retrieve the crew. Before leaving, T’Mir learns a human lesson in compassion, and travels by train to Pittsburgh where she “sells” the rights to Velcro. The money she receives is more than enough to pay for the college education of their landlady’s son. As the Vulcan ship nears, Mestral announces that he intends to stay on Earth and observe the great advances he knows lie ahead. T’Mir reluctantly agrees, and tells the rescuers that Mestral had died along with the captain. The story ends with Archer and Tucker not sure whether to believe T’Pol’s story, but the final scene of the episode is of T’Pol returning to her quarters and retrieving T’Mir’s 1950s-era handbag.
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Production & Filming Details
- Director(s): James A. Cortner.
- Writer(s): Rick Berman, Brannon Braga, and Dan O’Shannon.
- Release Date: 25 September 2002.
- Running Time: 45 minutes.
- Country: US.
- Language: English.