(written from a Production point of view)
While T'Pol and Tucker discover that they have developed a psychic bond, Captain Archer receives three Orion slave girls as a gift for negotiating with the devious Orion Syndicate – with rather disastrous results.
While en route to the Berengarius system to scout prospective sites for Starfleet's first starbase on the system's seventh planet, Enterprise is intercepted by an Orion Syndicate vessel. Archer goes to tactical alert and hails him, seeing the captain, Harrad-Sar. He demands Archer power down his weapons immediately, or he'll attack.
Archer suggests they deactivate their weapons together, and Harrad-Sar agrees. He then offers a business proposal, inviting Captain Archer aboard his vessel in the name of "smoothing relations" between their peoples. Archer decides to accept and, with an away team, heads to the transporter. Along the way, Lieutenant Reed expresses his misgivings, given that their last unfortunate encounter with the Orions nearly turned nine Enterprise crewmembers into slaves. Archer tells him it is worth the risk just for the possibility of establishing diplomatic relations with the Syndicate and Starfleet, "to have one less hostile species out there."
In engineering, Commander Tucker is treated brusquely by Kelby, who feels that his promotion to chief engineer may be threatened by Tucker's continued presence. Tucker assures him it's only temporary and he will go back to the Columbia NX-02. T'Pol volunteers her services to help with the engines. During, she asks Tucker if he has been experiencing intense daydreams. He jokes around and says no. He asks her if she is going to tell him what this is all about but she refuses.
On the Orion ship, Harrad-Sar begins with small talk, pouring some Meridor that Harrad-Sar obtained from the Gorn Hegemony. "The less said about them, the better", the Orion man states. He also mentions Archer's reputation. When Archer asks Harrad-Sar what he had wanted to discuss with him, the Orion tells him that is poor custom to discuss business "before entertainment. If the food didn't arouse your hunger, this should." Soon, three Orion slave girls emerge, who dance, scantily-clad, in front of the mesmerized Enterprise crewmates. Afterward, Harrad-Sar offers Archer the coordinates of a planet rich in magnesite; he proposes to broker a deal between Starfleet and the Syndicate for mining operations. As a token gesture of good will, he gives Archer the three slave girls – Navaar, D'Nesh and Maras.
Meanwhile, Reed shows the Orions to quarters. Taken by them, he has a little trouble answering their questions about the ship and the location of Archer's quarters. He leads Navaar to quarters, first, and, awkwardly leaves her to see the other two.
As Enterprise travels to the coordinates to examine the planet, T'Pol reports numerous disruptions due to the presence of the women; she also reminds Archer of Starfleet's official stance on slavery. The crewmembers seem obviously distracted by the three very seductive women: the men begin competing with one another and exhibit aggressive behavior, while female crew-members experience intense headaches. Reed and Ensign Travis Mayweather discuss the recent arrival of the Orion women while working out in the ship's gymnasium. Mayweather recalls when he was fifteen years old, the ECS Horizon picked up some Deltan women whose ship was having engine trouble. He recalls that they "were very open." The only thing that helped him get through it was weight training with his father, as the pain of working out took the images of the females out of his mind. Reed decides to take his advice, but Mayweather suggests he use bigger weights.
Later, Ensign Hoshi Sato enters sickbay and asks for a treatment for a headache she's having. Dr. Phlox can detect nothing wrong with her – just as he did for Ensign Keeley, a fellow female officer, a few minutes prior. Oddly, Phlox nearly falls to the floor while preparing a medication for Sato. He notes that he seems to be nearing a new sleep cycle even though he just finished one recently, as Sato points out.
Numerous skirmishes and challenges to authority are also observed. Navaar then works her way closer and closer to the captain, while D'Nesh has chosen Kelby as the object of her affections and manipulations. D'Nesh goes to engineering and gets Kelby to show her around engineering. Kelby initially hesitates, but then does so, and neglects his duties as well. Tucker soon sees this and takes him aside to reprimand him, however, he refuses to comply and defies him, noting his existing concerns with Tucker's role over him. Tucker has to order him to quarters or to the brig. He finally backs down, in full view of D'Nesh. Navaar, getting a visit from the captain, is told that she and her sisters are guests, not slaves, but she says she can't imagine any other life other than slavery. Calling him an honest man, she says even though Archer doesn't wish to own her, she still wants to please him. They kiss, but are interrupted by the Enterprise arriving at the planet.
Archer gets to the bridge, having left Navaar reluctantly. T'Pol states that, as promised, they detect significant amounts of magnesite. Archer appears unsteady on the bridge as he orders scans to find out how much. A small ship is soon detected and, with minimal weapons, fires on them. T'Pol says they're probably a science vessel and Reed says it's impossible for the small ship to damage Enterprise even if they keep continuously firing on the Starfleet vessel. Archer, shockingly, orders the phase cannons to fire and destroy the vessel, but Reed refuses the order. Archer tries to push him away to do it himself, but just then the ship moves off unharmed.
Meanwhile, D'Nesh has found Kelby's quarters and visits him.
Kelby and D'Nesh are in bed in the engineer's quarters talking, Kelby complaining about Tucker and thinking he's better than him. D'Nesh provokes his feelings by agreeing with him. When he tries to end the conversation, D'Nesh starts to leave, saying Kelby doesn't know what he wants. He says he will do anything to keep her there. They lay back in bed and passionately kiss.
Kelby covertly enters engineering and quickly makes his way to an engineering console on the upper level. While Tucker is operating controls on the warp core, an alarm goes off and he finds Kelby above him, sabotaging the EPS system. Tucker and Kelby engage in a fistfight and Tucker eventually subdues him, but the system is severely damaged.
In sickbay, Doctor Phlox reveals that Kelby is suffering from escalated levels of adrenaline, brought on by pheromones from the Orion slave girls. These pheromones are accelerating the crew's metabolism, causing aggression and delusional behavior among men and headaches and discomfort among women to divert competition; Phlox himself has been affected, he says, forcing him to rely on stimulants to counter his interrupted sleep cycle. Only Tucker and T'Pol appear to be immune. Phlox says for everyone else, the longer they're exposed, the worse the effects will be.
The slave girls are imprisoned in the decon chamber, and a search of their quarters turns up a communications device, which they have been using to speak with Harrad-Sar. Archer confronts them, and Navaar nearly convinces him to release them, but T'Pol brings the captain to his senses. The Orion women continue to deny everything.
T'Pol wants to go back to the bridge to keep an eye on Archer, but he orders her to Engineering to help Trip work on the repairs. T'Pol tells Tucker that there have been altercations throughout the ship, and she is worried about the Captain. Tucker says he can't figure out why he is the only male on the ship to be unaffected by the pheromone. T'Pol says that since Tucker and T'Pol have "mated", he is bound psychically to her, and thus he enjoys the immunity granted by her Vulcan physiology.
With Enterprise's engines disabled, Harrad-Sar returns. Archer hails him and defiantly says their weapons are still functional. Harrad-Sar isn't concerned, saying the Syndicate has put a reward on Archer's head, dead or alive – and they don't care if it is still attached to his body.
He is ready to claim his reward – the Enterprise and Captain Archer. After a brief battle, the Orion vessel knocks out the Enterprise's weapon systems, including both fore and aft phase cannons. The Orion ship hooks Enterprise and begins towing her away. He hails again, and Harrad-Sar then reveals that he himself is the slave – a slave to the Orion females on Archer's ship.
T'Pol and Tucker have a plan to release the Enterprise, and Archer tells her to try it. She just has to wait on Tucker's final adjustments. Just then, having convinced their guards to let them escape, the Orion females now emerge from the turbolift onto the bridge. D'Nesh begins fondling Reed while Navaar talks to the Captain. Navaar persuades Captain Archer to have T'Pol arrested, saying she is just jealous; Archer complies and orders Lieutenant Reed to arrest the Vulcan. Hoshi protests but the men ignore her. Reed draws his phase-pistol and begins to carry out the order, but is stunned unconscious by Commander Tucker, who also stuns Archer and Ensign Mayweather. He signals T'Pol, who uses the ship's deflector to send a positron burst through the grappling line to Harrad-Sar's ship, disabling it and releasing the grappler. The Orion females, after one final (failed) attempt to woo Tucker, are escorted off the bridge by phase-pistol and are later sent back to their ship.
Phlox begins treating the affected crew, who are slowly starting to recover. The after-effects will last for a few days. T'Pol makes a joke, and Archer says she seems to be picking up some of Trip's bad habits. As Enterprise warps away to continue its mission, T'Pol and Tucker walk down the corridor together. He says Captain Hernandez must want her Chief Engineer back on the Columbia, and T'Pol says there are still repairs to make on Enterprise. T'Pol asks him to remain on board as part of their crew to benefit the Enterprise. He asks if she wants him to stay for personal reasons and she says she doesn't understand. Angry, he turns to leave, but T'Pol pursues him, and says she does want him to come back. He says he'll think about it, and starts to walk away again. T'Pol grabs him and kisses him. Tucker agrees to stay, and reveals that he had actually made an official request to transfer back to Enterprise three days earlier.
"A Vulcan science vessel surveyed the planet over fifty years ago. The file states that it's an M-class world with a flourishing ecosystem. No intelligent life.
"They did report one distinctive feature that bears mentioning."
"And that is?"
"A species of flying reptile, some reportedly over two hundred meters long. They're also said to breathe fire." (The bridge crew gives T'Pol strange looks)
"There's been lingering questions over the accuracy of this report."
- - T'Pol and Archer
"We've dealt with your people before. The experience wasn't one I'd care to repeat."
- - Captain Archer, to Harrad-Sar
"Of course, creatures such as these come with troubles of their own. Women are the same throughout the galaxy, aren't they?"
- - Harrad-Sar, to Archer
"Have you seen them yet?"
"I ran into one of them in the corridor. They're really…"
"Yeah, I know, I know. What are you trying to do?"
"Get 'em out of my head! (Travis nearly collapses under the strain of the weights) The pain helps – you should try it."
"When I was on my parents' ship, we picked up some Deltans once. Their ship was having engine trouble."
"I don't know that species."
"The females are unbelievably attractive. Very open about… (he nearly collapses again) I was fifteen… I couldn't think straight, could barely breathe. Only thing that got me through it was weight training with my dad. He said if I was exhausted… idle hands and all that."
"Well, did it help?"
"Helped my biceps!"
- - Reed and Mayweather, in the gym discussing the Orions
"Please, release us."
(Archer's hand moves toward the release button)
(Archer regains his senses)
"I'm obviously not the only woman with power over you."
- - Navaar and T'Pol, as the Orion attempts to free herself (and her sisters) from the decon chamber
"There's a long-held belief that when a Vulcan mates, there's a shared psychic bond."
"We didn't mate."
"Uh-huh." (rolling her eyes)
- - T'Pol and Trip Tucker
"I'm immune to the pheromones because of my Vulcan physiology."
"And you're making me immune."
"Huhhellip; I don't know whether to be relieved, or (he sighs) really worried."
- - T'Pol and Tucker
"The Syndicate wants your head, Captain, and they don't really care whether or not it's attached to your body."
- - Harrad-Sar, to Archer
"What the hell, I've been meaning to lose a few pounds."
- - Tucker, as he orders power diverted from the grav-plating
"Yes, Captain, you've been operating under a misconception: it is the men who are the slaves, not the women."
- - Harrad-Sar, to Archer
"Commander Tucker, I'm impressed. I'm beginning to see who is the true master of this vessel."
"Oh, save it. Captain Archer runs this ship. You're sweet-talking the wrong guy. Let's go!"
- - Navaar and Tucker
"At least we've learned something about the Orions."
"Yeah, the women are in charge."
"It proves even the most disagreeable species have some … positive attributes."
- - T'Pol and Reed
"Was that my imagination?"
"I don't think so!"
"It almost sounded like you were making a joke."
- - Archer and Reed, responding to T'Pol's obvious attempt at humor
"I assure you, if I ever decide to make a joke, you'll know about it."
- - T'Pol, to Archer, Reed, and Tucker
- Orion slave girls were also featured in "The Cage" and "Whom Gods Destroy", while the Orion Syndicate played a part in DS9 episodes such as "Honor Among Thieves" and "Prodigal Daughter". Both appeared in the "Augments" story arc in Season 4 of "Enterprise".
- Chronologically, this is the first episode of Star Trek to mention either the Gorn or the Gorn Hegemony.
- This is also the first mention of the Deltan species, of which Lieutenant Ilia (Star Trek: The Motion Picture) was a member.
- Both William Lucking and Cyia Batten appeared on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine playing Furel and Tora Ziyal respectively.
- T'Pol mentions that a Vulcan survey team had made note of a species of flying reptiles on Berengaria VII. The reptiles were over two hundred meters in length and breathed fire. This was a nod to the TOS episode "This Side of Paradise", where Spock mentions seeing a dragon while visiting Berengaria VII.
- The "mysterious" ship that attacks Enterprise is said to be an unknown configuration. However, the studio model itself was a reuse of the Nausicaan ship from the first season episode "Fortunate Son".
- Among the costumes and props from this episode which were sold off on the It's A Wrap! sale and auction on eBay, was an Orion table. 
- This was the last Star Trek episode for which Marvin V. Rush provided the cinematography. Rush stepped down from the position for the remainder of the season in order to focus on directing "In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II" and "Terra Prime", and so camera operator Douglas Knapp took over cinematography duties on what would turn out to be the final five episodes of the series. Had Enterprise continued for a fifth season, Rush would almost certainly have returned to his usual position.
Links and references
- Scott Bakula as Captain Jonathan Archer
- John Billingsley as Doctor Phlox
- Jolene Blalock as Commander T'Pol
- Dominic Keating as Lieutenant Malcolm Reed
- Anthony Montgomery as Ensign Travis Mayweather
- Linda Park as Ensign Hoshi Sato
- Connor Trinneer as Commander Charles "Trip" Tucker III
- William Lucking as Harrad-Sar
- Cyia Batten as Navaar
- Derek Magyar as Kelby
- Crystal Allen as D'Nesh
- Menina Fortunato as Maras
- Jef Ayres as Haynem
- Solomon Burke, Jr. as Billy
- Mark Correy as Alex
- Joe Davis as an Orion servant
- Evan English as Tanner
- Henry Farnam as command division crewman
- Tamara Hambly as an operations division crewman
- John Jurgens as an operations division crewman
- Scott Kolak as an Orion servant
- Ricky Lomax as W. Woods
- Bobby Pappas as an operations division crewman
- Cesar Rodriguez as a science division lieutenant
- Cecelia Specht as an operations division crewman
- John Wan as an operations division crewman
- Aaron White as R. Ryan
- Unknown performers as
adrenaline; aggression; alien science vessel; Berengaria VII; biceps; Columbia NX-02; communication device; confined to quarters; decon chamber; defense mechanism; Deltans; Deltan ship; delusion; dizziness; dragons; EPS conduit; field matrix; five systems; gesture; Gorn; Gorn Hegemony; Harrad-Sar's barge; Hernandez, Erika; Horizon, ECS; Human; Keeley; magnesite; Masaro; Meridor; metabolism; meter; Milky Way Galaxy; mining; M-class; Orions; Orion language; Orion slave girls; Orion Syndicate; phase diagnostic; pheromone; positron burst; privateer; protocol officer; psychic bond; science vessel; slavery; sleep cycle; spiking; stranded Deltans; Suliban; tactical alert; transfer conduit; treadmill; Vulcan; Vulcan science vessel; weight training
- "Bound" at StarTrek.com, the official Star Trek website
- "Bound" at Wikipedia
- "Bound" at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
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"In a Mirror, Darkly"