Star Trek: Enterprise (2004): S04E08 – Awakening


Introduction

“Awakening” is the eighth episode of the fourth season of the American science fiction television series Star Trek: Enterprise.

The episode is the second of a three-part episode arc which started in “The Forge” (S04E07) and concludes in “Kir’Shara” (S04E09).

Set in the 22nd century, the series follows the adventures of the first Starfleet starship Enterprise, registration NX-01. In this episode, the Vulcan government seek to make the Enterprise leave orbit so they can attack a renegade faction of Vulcans, and afterwards the long-standing enemy of the Vulcans, the Andorians. Meanwhile, Captain Jonathan Archer and Commander T’Pol have been captured by the Syrrannites, and it is discovered that Archer has the katra of Surak. He has visions which lead him to find an ancient Vulcan artefact called the “Kir’Shara” as the group come under attack from the Vulcans.

Elements of the plot of the episode were compared by executive producer to the Protestant Reformation with the Vulcan High Command representing the Catholic Church. The producers took care to cast actors in the roles of T’Pau and Surak who looked similar to the actors who portrayed those parts in The Original Series. Nielsen ratings for the first run of the episode saw a decrease from the first part of the trilogy, down to 1.8/3. The critical response was mixed, saying that whilst they were entertained by the episode, there were several elements in the plot which were problematic.

Outline

Ambassador Soval is summoned before Administrator V’Las and the High Council to face punishment over his use of a mind meld. Since the act is widely considered to be criminal by the Vulcan authorities, Soval is summarily dismissed from the Ambassadorial service. Meanwhile, Captain Archer and Commander T’Pol are questioned by the Syrrannites. After a short while, T’Pol is taken to see her mother, T’Les, and the two disagree about the tenets of the group – the Vulcan authorities call them extremists, a term T’Les disagrees with. Soon, Archer begins to see visions of an old Vulcan, and the dissidents determine that he had the katra of Surak transferred into him via mind meld.

V’Las, now largely unopposed on the Council, becomes increasingly obsessed with decisively ending the Syrrannite threat once and for all. He postpones his plans to bombard the encampment, after delays in convincing Enterprise to leave orbit. He contacts Starfleet, and the Admiralty give Commander Tucker direct orders, which he refuses to carry out directly. He attempts, with assistance from Soval, to send a rescue shuttlepod to “The Forge”, but they are intercepted by Vulcan patrol vessels. V’Las then finally orders Vulcan warships to directly engage Enterprise, and Soval suggests that they should retreat before they are severely damaged.

A ritual is performed to transfer the katra into the mind of T’Pau, but the attempt fails. Archer continues to see Surak, who informs him that he must find the relic known as the “Kir’Shara”. The Vulcan military begin to bombard the complex. Archer, T’Pol, and T’Pau remain behind to search for the relic, and Archer is able to use his knowledge to unlock a door to reveal it. As they exit, T’Pol finds her mother, but she soon dies after being seriously injured in the attack. On Enterprise, Soval reveals that the Vulcans, despite the recent peace accord, are preparing a pre-emptive strike against the Andorians, and Tucker orders an immediate course at maximum warp.

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Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s): Roxann Dawson.
  • Writer(s): Andre Bormanis.
  • Release Date: 26 November 2004.
  • Running Time: 45 minutes.
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

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