Star Trek: Enterprise (2004): S04E07 – The Forge


Introduction

“The Forge” is the seventh episode of the fourth season of the American science-fiction television Star Trek: Enterprise.

It formed the first part of a three-episode arc which continued in “Awakening” (S04E08) and concluded in “Kir’Shara” (S04E09).

In this episode, the crew investigates the bombing of the Earth embassy on Vulcan. The evidence led them to suspect a group called the Syrrannites, and Captain Archer and Commander T’Pol seek to cross an unforgiving Vulcan desert, known as “The Forge”, to find them. Meanwhile, on the ship, the crew discovers that the evidence was planted by elements linked to Vulcan High Command.

The episode picks up on several references from Star Trek: The Original Series and The Animated Series. Scenes were filmed in Simi Valley, California to represent the Vulcan Forge itself, which was augmented with additional CGI to represent the firestorm and a Vulcan animal called the sehlat. The ratings for “The Forge” had a decrease from the previous two episodes.

Outline

Enterprise is ordered to Vulcan after 12 Vulcans and 31 humans die in the bombing of the United Earth Embassy, including Vice-Admiral Forrest, who is killed saving the life of Ambassador Soval. Captain Archer meets with the head of the Vulcan High Command, Administrator V’Las, who concedes that the Syrrannites, a Vulcan faction, might have been responsible. This is possible since, although they claim peaceful tenets, they follow a “corrupted” form of the teachings of the Vulcan philosopher and father of Vulcan logic, Surak. Further, initial video and DNA evidence lead to a Vulcan named T’Pau, a known Syrrannite.

Koss arrives on board Enterprise to speak to his wife, T’Pol. He gives her an IDIC pendant from her mother, who he explains is also a Syrrannite. The pendant projects a map showing a path across a desert on Vulcan called “The Forge”, which Archer believes will lead them to both T’Pau and T’Pol’s mother. T’Pol and Archer leave the ship and begin to make the crossing, following the map. They soon encounter another traveller, calling himself Arev, who assists, but remains distrustful of them. A sand-fire storm kills Arev, but before he dies, he forcefully performs a mind meld with Archer to transfer his katra. After burying him, a focused Archer leads T’Pol directly to the concealed T’Karath Sanctuary, where they are quickly captured.

Back on Enterprise, Doctor Phlox discovers that the DNA was planted. Commander Tucker and he then examine security scans near a checkpoint in the embassy and single out a hooded man holding a suspicious package. Furthermore, they notice that the guard at the checkpoint seems to already know who the bomber is. Unfortunately, the guard is in a coma from the blast, and Archer and T’Pol are incommunicado. Though it violates standard Vulcan ethics, Phlox and Tucker consider a mind meld, and Soval decides to perform it himself. To his surprise, he discovers that the suspect is Stel, a Vulcan investigator attached to V’Las. Soval then resolves to inform the High Command.

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Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s): Michael Grossman.
  • Writer(s): Judith Reeves-Stevens and Garfield Reeves-Stevens.
  • Release Date: 19 November 2004.
  • Running Time: 45 minutes.
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

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