Star Trek: Enterprise (2003): S02E14 – Stigma


Introduction

“Stigma” is the fortieth episode (production #214) of the television series Star Trek: Enterprise, the fourteenth of the second season.

In the episode, it is revealed that Sub-commander T’Pol has a degenerative disease, Pa’nar Syndrome, contracted from her mind meld in “Fusion” (S01E17).

She must face being ostracised by Vulcan society and losing her position on Enterprise.

Outline

Doctor Phlox tells Sub−Commander T’Pol that his treatment of her potentially fatal disease, Pa’nar Syndrome, is losing effectiveness, so he would like to make confidential inquiries with Vulcan doctors attending an interspecies medical exchange on the planet Enterprise is now orbiting. T’Pol resists, but Phlox chooses to go anyway. Before he does, his second wife, Feezal, arrives to help install a new microscope, and she soon begins making amorous advances on Commander Tucker. Unfortunately, a confused Tucker cannot quite wrap his mind around polygamy, which, in Denobulan culture, is quite a normal practice.

On the planet, Phlox’s inquiries with the Vulcans yields little information. When the Vulcans request to visit and interview Phlox and T’Pol, it is clear that the subterfuge had failed, since the Vulcans trick T’Pol into providing a medical sample, which confirms their suspicions. Pa’nar Syndrome is only transmitted via mind-meld, a practice which is considered taboo on the Vulcan homeworld. Captain Archer is upset to learn about T’Pol’s condition from the Vulcans. Archer then pays his own visit to the Vulcans – a visit which is no more fruitful than Phlox’s first. One of the doctors, Yuris, sets up a secret meeting with T’Pol to give her the information she seeks. He reveals a closely guarded secret: he himself is a mind–melder. T’Pol tells Yuris that the meld which gave her the disease was forced on her. Yuris begs her to tell the others before the Vulcan High Command is informed of her condition, but she declines.

It then comes out that T’Pol could lose her commission since Pa’nar is a stigmatised disease. Archer uses a loophole in Vulcan protocol to force a hearing. T’Pol remains silent, but Archer stands by his science officer, all the while resisting the Vulcan doctors. Yuris then reveals his status as a melder, and exposes T’Pol’s secret. As a result, he is suspended, but T’Pol is allowed to remain on Enterprise. She continues to stand her ground and states her intent to inform the High Command of recent events, hoping to encourage others to challenge prejudice.

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Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s): David Livingston.
  • Writer(s): Rick Berman and Brannon Braga.
  • Release Date: 05 February 2003.
  • Running Time: 45 minutes.
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

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