Written by Manny Coto
Directed by Allan Kroeker
Season 4, Episode 1
Production episode 077
Original air date: October 8, 2004
Captain’s star log. We pick up where we left off at the end of “Zero Hour”: Tucker and Mayweather in a shuttlepod being shot at by World War II-era P-51 Mustangs. They return to Company, and it becomes clear that (a) they’re in the 1940s and (b) it’s an alternate past as the Nazis have made inroads into North America. Also Silik is seen covertly infiltrating the ship.
Archer, having recovered from his injuries in the field hospital, is being transported by Nazi soldiers in a truck. Said truck is ambushed by American resistance fighters, who are, in fact, Italian-American gangsters. They shoot Archer in the arm and take him prisoner.
Some aliens are working with the Nazis, and they seem to be in charge of the American occupation. Vosk, the alien leader, gets a report from his subordinate, Ghrath, about Archer’s escape. Vosk is more concerned than Ghrath is, which he explains by showing Ghrath his communicator, which is obviously from the future. Vosk fears Archer is a temporal agent.
Tucker and T’Pol have a moment where they share what they had intended to do when returning from the Delphic Expanse, and express their frustration with dealing with time-travel shenanigans instead of those things.
Phlox’s attempts to get the desultory Porthos to eat is interrupted by the sudden arrival of a badly disfigured human—who he eventually realizes is Daniels, albeit with different parts of his body at different ages. Phlox isn’t sure what’s causing it, how he’s surviving it, or how long he’ll live.
Archer is brought to an apartment in Brooklyn belonging to Alicia Travers, a member of the resistance. She confusedly answers Archer’s questions, which are obvious to her, like what year it is. Travers also assumes that Archer is in the Navy, serving on the aircraft carrier Companybased on the patch on his uniform.
From the now-Nazi-occupied White House, Vosk demonstrates a plasma rifle to a German general. However, the power requirements to produce them are difficult to manage in 1944. The general is impressed, but also impatient, as Vosk’s assistance is less useful than promised, as far as Hitler is concerned.
Two members of the resistance, Sal and Carmine, enter Travers’ apartment. (They used to be loan sharks working for the Construction Workers Union before the Nazis took over.) The Gestapo are rounding up people and shooting them in their search for Archer, including interrogating one of their comrades, Vic. Archer claims his mission is classified and he can’t divulge it, playing into everyone’s assumption that he’s with the American military. Sal also has nothing good to say about the American military which, after all, failed to defend its own shores.
Daniels regains consciousness and informs T’Pol that the Temporal Cold War is now hot. Different sides are trying to alter history to their advantage. Company can’t return to 2154 because it isn’t the future they know anymore. Before passing out, Daniels says they must stop “him,” but he loses consciousness before identifying who that pronoun refers to.
Travers feeds Archer a meal. The captain has changed into civilian clothes, belonging to Travers’ husband, who is fighting in the Pacific theater. Archer impresses Travers by recognizing the music she’s playing on the phonograph as Billie Holiday. It’s an underground thing, as the Nazis have banned music by “coloreds,” but some folks pass the records around to each other in secret. Travers also mentions the rumor that some of the Nazis are monsters.
Silik tries to get Tucker to fly him in a shuttle down to the surface. Tucker resists, and Silik winds up stunning him and stealing the shuttle alone.
Archer, Travers, and Carmine meet to discuss the Nazi monsters, whom Archer believes to be time-traveling aliens, thus explaining the change in history. He also witnesses Nazi prejudice and brutality first hand.
T’Pol wonders if the “him” Daniels was referring to was Silik. And yet, the Suliban removed Tucker from the launch bay before departing, when he could’ve left the engineer to die. While Silik disabled the shuttle’s transponder, Reed is able to trace the shuttle in other ways and should be able to beam down to within three kilometers of the pod.
Sal and Carmine introduce Archer to an informant, a drunk named Joe, who has seen an alien working with the Nazis (he usually wears a hat, but Joe has caught glimpses).
Tucker and Mayweather beam down to the forest. They find the shuttlepod, which has crashed, but there’s no sign of Silik. They set some explosives to destroy it so the Nazis won’t get their hands on twenty-second-century tech.
Archer, Sal, Carmine, and Travers track down Joe’s hat-wearing Nazi, and they find Ghrath. Sal, Carmine, and Travers are shocked. Archer questions him, and Ghrath reveals that they know that Archer’s from the future and that Company is in orbit. They’re trapped in 1944, and using the Nazis to help them get the resources to build a time conduit. When more Nazi soldiers start approaching, Sal shoots and kills Ghrath. Archer takes the alien’s communications device.
Tucker and Mayweather are ambushed and captured by Nazis.
Archer, Sal, Carmine, and Travers are also ambushed by Nazis. Sal is shot and killed. Archer keeps trying to contact Company with Ghrath’s comm device, eventually getting through. T’Pol has him and Travers beamed up.
Everyone on board is thrilled to see Archer, whom they had assumed was killed on the Xindi super-weapon. Archer is brought to sickbay, where a dying Daniels explains that Vosk is the main bad guy in the Temporal War. If they stop him building his time conduit, the Temporal War will end. Daniels then dies before he can explain how that makes anything like sense.
Vosk informs his new prisoners, Tucker and Mayweather, that they haven’t found Archer yet, but they will. He then gets ready to do another test of the time conduct…
To be continued…
Can’t we just reverse the polarity? The aliens are trying to construct a time conduit with stone knives and bearskins…
The gazelle speech. Archer does a decent job of leaning into the assumption that he’s a Navy operative on a classified mission. He also scores points with Travers by recognizing Billie Holiday.
I’ve been trained to tolerate offensive situations. While in charge of the ship T’Pol pretty much accomplishes nothing, and kinda sits around with her thumb up her ass while Silik takes a shuttle and then the Nazis kidnap her landing party.
Florida Man. Florida Man Taken Prisoner By Space Nazis!
Optimism, Captain! Phlox doesn’t accomplish much more than T’Pol, as he can’t get Porthos to eat and can’t really tell what’s happening to Daniels.
Good boy, Porthos! Porthos is despondent over the apparent death of his human, but he’s very happy to see Archer when he’s beamed up to Company.
I’ve got faith…
“What was that back there?”
“That was an extraterrestrial.”
“I don’t know what planet he was from.”
“Where are you from?”
Upstate New York.
–Sal having his first contact with alien life, and Archer helping him through it.
Welcome aboard. We’ve got three guest stars who were better known for their roles on other contemporary shows: Golden Brooks, who played Maya Wilkes in the UPN show Girlfriendsplays Travers, while Steven R. Schirripa and Joe Maruzzo, who played, respectively, Bobby Bacala and Joe Peeps on HBO’s The Sopranosplay, respectively, Carmine and Sal.
Jack Gwaltney plays Vosk, while Tom Wright (last seen as the title character in To travel‘s “Tuvix”) plays Ghrath. The human Nazis are played by Christopher Neame (last seen as Unferth in To travel‘s “Heroes and Demons”) and J. Paul Boehmer (who was also in the final scene in “Zero Hour,” and previously played a holographic Nazi in To travel‘s “The Killing Game” two-parter, as well as One in To travel‘s “Drone,” Vornar in DS9‘s “Tacking Into the Wind,” and Mestral in “Carbon Creek”).
Plus we have recurring regulars Matt Winston as Daniels (last seen in “Zero Hour”) and John Fleck as Silik (last seen in “The Expanse”).
Brooks, Schirripa, Gwaltney, Neame, Winston, and Fleck will all return for Part 2.
Trivial matters: This episode takes place entirely in an alternate 1944, with no scenes in the show’s “present” of the twenty-second century. It’s only the second time trekking has had an episode take place entirely in the twentieth century, the other being the original series’ “Assignment: Earth.”
The aliens are called the Na’kuhl in the script. Ghrath’s name is also only seen in the script.
The Billie Holiday song playing over dinner for Archer and Travers is “My Old Flame.”
It’s been a long road… “How do we return to our century?” This episode starts out promising, with Tucker throwing a nutty on the bridge after he and Mayweather were shot at by .50-caliber bullets, Archer being taunted about American movie stars of the 1940s by a Nazi, and the American resistance apparently being made up of Italian-American gangsters.
But it goes absolutely nowhere interesting. The human Nazis are inexplicably jaded about taking orders from an alien that looks like the lead in Nosferatu. At no point in this episode filled with Italian-Americans (most of whom are likely first- or second-generation) does the fact that Italy is allied with Germany come up. T’Pol is utterly ineffectual in command, and while one can come up with reasons for this—not the least being total exhaustion after the events of the end of season three—the episode itself does not provide that reason, or examine it in any way.
The Temporal Not-So-Cold-Anymore War continues to make nothing like sense. The aliens are so incredibly critical to the whole thing, yet we’ve never seen them before (or since). No explanation for what they’re doingexactly, beyond changing history, is made.
Then it all ends on more of a curb-hanger than a cliffhanger, as Vosk watching a machine being tested isn’t exactly seat-of-your-pants stuff.
It’s disappointing, but perhaps not surprising, that rather than deal with the aftermath and fallout of last season (which will finally happen in the season’s third episode), they instead open with SPACE NAZIS! It’s a lot more disappointing, however, that the space Nazis are spectacularly uninteresting.
About the only scenes that work are the banter among Steve Schirripa, Golden Brooks, Joe Maruzzo, and Scott Bakula. The former three do an excellent job of creating their characters, an interesting transposition of French resistance fighters to 1940s America. And nobody ever went wrong using Billie Holiday as part of the soundtrack. But it’s all in service of a nothing story.
Warp factor rating: 5
Keith RA DeCandido will be in the exhibit hall at GalaxyCon Raleigh this coming weekend in North Carolina, where he’ll be selling and signing his books and comics, as well as some hand-made stuffies created by his wife Wrenn Simms. Come by and say hi!