Date: September 20, 2021
Season 1, Episode 12
Music Video of the Day:
Interstellar News: Apologies for being away the last few days. I was in New York visiting with a dear friend and we were super busy every day, mostly eating of course. I had very yummy pizza, ravioli, various sauces, fresh spinach pasta, and a variety of other things that are so hard for me to find in NC. While I did get to watch a few episodes of Enterprise, I also was able to stick in some Brooklyn 99, a Batman movie, and Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang. It was a wonderful trip and I am sad it’s over. The zoo, however, is glad to have me home… and it’s nice to sleep in my own bed.
TL;DR: We learn more about Dr. Phlox via his letters to a human doctor who is on Denobula as part of the Interspecies Medical Exchange. Denobulans are polygamous and have a very intense mating season. He works with Sato on her Denobulan and takes care of various creatures in his lab. He also has some interesting exchanges with crewman Cutler and it seems they decide to be friends with some to be named later benefits.
At the same time, Enterprise encounters a ship with two Valakians. They are pre-warp and are suffering from a deadly disease. They co-exist with the Menk, a separate species that they treat differently, and Phlox eventually figures out it’s genetic. They want a cure and warp technology, which Archer eventually refuses and gives a speech that’s very “this is the Prime Directive in all but name”, because they didn’t go out exploring to play god.
Dr. Phlox: It’s just a little gastrointestinal distress.
Archer: He hasn’t been himself lately.
Dr. Phlox: Well, you’ve been feeding him cheese again, haven’t you? You’ve got to learn how to say no, Captain.
Archer: No more dairy products, you hear that? Doctor’s orders.This was the best part of the whole episode.
“You need to know that my culture is different.”: I both love and hate this episode. I love, love, love learning more about Phlox and seeing him interact with the crew. From his morning routine of feeding his lab mates to his conversations with Sato and Cutler, it’s nice to finally know more about him and how he got to Earth. He treats T’Pol, Porthos, and all the humans on board with a pleasant demeanor and he’s easily my favorite doctor so far… and we’re only 15 episodes in! I also liked that he considered holding things back from Archer but eventually had faith in his captain as it shows he’s accepting his place in the command structure.
The parts on Valakia are all pretty awful, because you can see where it’s going as soon as the crew member is revived. They’re a desperate species, much like the Vidiians, but they are not as technologically advanced so they’re in the begging stage. The Ferengi are name dropped, which I think is the second time we’ve heard about them in this series. While Phlox does make a cure, Archer eventually decides to just give them medicine that will help them get through the next 10 years and to see what happens. While he isn’t condemning them to die, he’s not really helping them either and that’s a really grey area of ickyness. Archer’s doing his best with very little supervision, but this isn’t his finest moment. I’m super torn about the nature versus science versus ethics and such that I’m not giving Porthos any cheese!