SCORE: (4/5 stars)
In a fun but obscure callback to the original series, we’re reintroduced to a non-corporeal species that we first met in the same episode that introduced the Klingons. The Organians negotiated a peace treaty between Klingons and humans in that episode, though in this one I daresay they are a bit more callous, a bit less interested in the sanctity of life, however inferior it is. They’ve taken residence in Reed and Mayweather while they observe how the Enterprise crew reacts to a deadly virus they’ve picked up on a planet. Sad, that one of the last episodes where Mayweather gets a lot of speaking time, he’s not even playing himself. They jump around into other bodies as well, but for the sake of simplicity (and because Reed and Mayweather have no other role in this episode) I’ll refer to them by those names.
They’ve observed countless species come to this planet, become infected by a silicon-based virus, and document how they respond and react, as a primer to determine which species are worthy of official first contact. Reed’s been doing this for 800 years, while Mayweather’s new to this assignment and has more moral qualms about what they’re doing. Reed’s happy to let it play out as Trip and Hoshi slowly deteriorate in decon, but Mayweather recognizes that they have the power to interfere and cure these people. Although Reed’s initial observation was that the humans would do exactly what the Klingons did, their determination to save their crew despite the odds surprises him, as he’s not seen such determination in 800 years.
Hoshi succumbs to the virus and dies moments before Phlox can give her the radiation treatment, so he applies it to Trip instead and Archer, who’s also become infected, stays with Trip in sickbay to watch the progress. It fails, and Trip dies, only to immediately wake up as the Mayweather Organian possesses him, with Reed taking Hoshi. They explain their situation and how fascinated they are with humanity, but Archer is disgusted that these supposedly “superior” beings would do nothing to help. He suggests that if they want to understand human compassion, they should perform a little. They agree, and bring Trip and Hoshi back to life, before wiping Archer’s memory of the event. As Archer leaves a beacon around the planet warning of the virus, the Organians discuss how they ought to prepare for official first contact in 5000 years or so.
- Why would a silicon-based virus even attack carbon-based lifeforms? Assuming it works similar to carbon-based viruses, it attacks cells to turn them into viral factories, which means our cells would be wholly uninteresting. We don’t generate silicon polymers, we’d be useless to it. Now, the Horta might have a lot to worry about with this disease…
- Reed: [as an Organian] You’re really starting to get a feel for the game.
Mayweather: [as an Organian] 32 pieces, 64 squares, it’s not as if it’s difficult. The total number of possible outcomes is limited.
Reed: Ten to the 123rd power.
Mayweather: That’s what I mean! Chess is so predictable, I’m surprised anyone bothers to play it.
- Trip: You ever see The Andromeda Strain?
Sato: Strain of what?
Trip: No, it’s a movie. Mid-20th century.
Sato: Let me guess. Dr. Andromeda builds a monster, and it kills him in the end.
Trip: It’s about an extraterrestrial disease.
Sato: All your movies are the same. I can’t keep the stories straight.
- Sato: Math is just another language.
- Phlox: If you have that ability, you must be able to help my patients!
Archer: [as an Organian] We could.
T’Pol: [as an Organian] But we won’t. Thank you for your help, doctor.
Phlox: No wonder you erase memories. Your behavior is appalling!
- Mayweather: [as an Organian] How many have to die before you admit humans are different? We need to stop this!
Reed: [as an Organian] I will not depart from protocol. This incident isn’t over. When the first death occurs on the ship, there’s a 68% chance the rest of the crew will become infected.
Mayweather: What more will that teach us about them?
Reed: All this would’ve happened whether we were here or not. We are not responsible!
Mayweather: Maybe we should be.
- Sato: We’re much more advanced than humans.
Archer: Not from where I’m standing.