Star Trek: Enterprise (2005): S04E14 – Aenar


Introduction

“The Aenar” is the fourteenth episode of the fourth season of the American science fiction television series Star Trek: Enterprise.

“The Aenar” was the third instalment of a three-part story which concluded the events of episodes “Babel One” (S04E12) and “United” (S04E13).

In this episode, Captain Jonathan Archer (Scott Bakula) and Commander Shran (Jeffrey Combs) travel to Andoria, a moon, seeking the help of the Aenar – an offshoot race of the Andorians – one of whom has been taken by the Romulans to pilot a drone vessel (first seen in the previous episode).

The episode showed the home world of the Andorians for the first time, with the sets for the planet’s ice tunnels being created on a sound stage. Alexandra Lydon and Alicia Adams made their first Star Trek appearances in “The Aenar”. Reviews of the episode were mostly negative, with critics citing issues with plot holes and unanswered questions from the story arc. On its first showing, 3.17 million watched the episode.

Outline

Senator Vrax (Geno Silva), fresh from the Romulan Senate, is disappointed that Admiral Valdore (Brian Thompson) and scientist Nijil’s (J. Michael Flynn) drone program has failed to provoke a rift between Human, Andorian, Vulcan and Tellarite races as they had hoped (seen in “Babel One” (S04E12) and “United” (S04E13)). In fact, the opposite has happened – political discord throughout the Alpha and Beta Quadrants has declined. Now that a second drone vessel is ready to be launched, Valdore suggests a mission against the Enterprise in order to impress the Senate. Nijil argues that the pilot requires time to recover from his previous exertions, but Valdore insists and prioritises the mission.

On Enterprise, analysis of data gathered in the previous encounter with the Romulan ship reveals that the ship is being piloted telepathically by an Andorian. Commander Shran (Jeffrey Combs) explains that the data indicates that the pilot is probably a member of the Aenar, a white-skinned and blind Andorian sub-race. This, however, seems unlikely, since the Aenar are few in number, reclusive pacifists, and inhabitants of the isolated extreme northern polar region of their moon. Shran and Captain Jonathan Archer (Scott Bakula) then beam down to contact the Aenar. The Aenar’s spokesperson, Lissan (Alicia Adams), initially declines to assist as the Aenar do not want to get involved in a war. However, a young Aenar named Jhamel (Alexandra Lydon) decides to help, since doing so may help locate Gareb (Scott Allen Rinker), her missing brother.

Meanwhile, Doctor Phlox (John Billingsley), Commander T’Pol (Jolene Blalock), and Commander Charles “Trip” Tucker III (Connor Trinneer) work in Sickbay on their own “telepresence” unit to help counter the drone ship. T’Pol volunteers to test it, and a concerned Tucker finds it increasingly difficult to balance his duties and emotions. Jhamel then tests the unit, with better results. Later, when the drone ships reappear and attack, she is able to contact the drone pilot, and it is indeed her long-lost brother, who was tricked into working with the Romulans. Learning the deception of his “helpers”, he turns the drones on each other and both are soon destroyed, and Valdore angrily kills him in retribution. With the threat resolved, the Andorians depart Enterprise and Tucker requests to leave the ship to join the Columbia.

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Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s): Mike Vejar.
  • Writer(s): Manny Coto.
  • Release Date: 11 February 2005.
  • Running Time: 45 minutes.
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

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