Star Trek: Enterprise (2005): S04E19 – In a Mirror, Darkly, Part 02


“In a Mirror, Darkly” is the eighteenth and nineteenth episodes of the fourth season of the American science fiction television series Star Trek: Enterprise.

This instalment was developed to be a sequel to The Original Series episode “The Tholian Web” (TOS, S03E09) and a prequel to “Mirror, Mirror” (TOS, S02E24).

The decision to set an Enterprise episode in the mirror universe originated with a pitch to enable William Shatner to appear in the series. The teleplays for both parts of the episode were written by Mike Sussman, with Manny Coto contributing the story for the second part.

Set in the 22nd century, the series normally follows the adventures of the first Starfleet starship Enterprise, registration NX-01. However, these instalments feature a mirror universe Jonathan Archer and evil counterparts of the normal characters, who serve the cruel and militaristic Terran Empire. In the first part, the ISS Enterprise learns of a Starfleet ship from the future of the main universe which is being stripped for parts by the Tholians, and seeks to take the ship from the aliens. The second part sees the surviving crew operating the USS Defiant and seeking to overthrow the Empire using its advanced weaponry.

The episode saw the reuse of footage from Star Trek: First Contact and the creation of an alternative opening credits sequence which included footage from other Paramount properties such as the film The Hunt for Red October. A three-quarters-around bridge from The Original Series era was constructed, as well as other sets from a Constitution-class starship. A Gorn and a Tholian were both created using CGI, with the Gorn utilizing motion capture techniques.

This instalment also saw the return of Vaughn Armstrong as Admiral Maxwell Forrest after his main universe character was killed on screen earlier in the season in the episode “The Forge” (S04E07). This episode subsequently appeared in several lists of the best episodes of Star Trek: Enterprise. It was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Hairstyling for a Series in 2005.


Several Tholian ships then create a web over the opening of the dock to prevent Defiant from leaving. T’Pol and Tucker restore power to the weapon systems, allowing Defiant to destroy enough enemy vessels to escape the trap. They recover 47 survivors from Enterprise, and Tucker is ordered to restore power to the warp drive. Sato goes to the captain’s quarters and finds Archer perusing the ship’s historical records, which includes parallel universe information about Starfleet, the United Federation of Planets, and their service records. Archer is surprised to learn his counterpart is an acclaimed and distinguished explorer, diplomat and politician.

Ensign Kelby is killed trying to repair the warp drive, and the crew discover, from Tholian slaves left on board, that a Gorn named Slar has sabotaged the ship. Archer, after hearing voices telling him to achieve more fame and honour, decides to lead an assault team and kills the Gorn. Tucker is able to repair the warp drive and the ship then leaves to rendezvous with the ISS Avenger, arriving in time to save it from four rebel spacecraft. Avenger’s commanding officer Admiral Black comes aboard for an inspection accompanied by his first officer, Soval. After Black refuses Archer’s request for captaincy of the new ship, Archer disintegrates him with a phaser pistol.

Archer gives a speech to the officers of both ships, saying that they should move against Starfleet and the Empire. Soval and T’Pol meet, contemplating a future where alien species are respected and treated as equals; they convince Phlox to join their movement and sabotage Defiant. As the sole alien allowed to remain on board, he succeeds in disabling the ship’s systems. Soval, on Avenger, then attacks, but Tucker disables Phlox and restores power. Defiant destroys its attacker. When Sato and Archer celebrate in the captain’s quarters, Archer dies after being poisoned by Sato and we see that Mayweather is now in league with Sato. Reaching Earth on the advanced and powerful Defiant, Sato contacts Admiral Gardner, demanding his surrender and declaring herself “Empress Sato”.

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Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s): Marvin V. Rush.
  • Writer(s): Michael Sussman.
  • Release Date: 29 April 2005.
  • Running Time: 45 minutes.
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

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