(written from a Production point of view)
Archer is captured by a Tellarite bounty hunter who plans to hand him over to the Klingons; a microbe induces the pon farr in T'Pol who finds herself confined to the decon chamber with Phlox.
The Enterprise NX-01 is exploring an uninhabited planet when a shuttle suddenly arrives. Captain Jonathan Archer and Charles Tucker, returning from the surface, greet a friendly Tellarite who eventually offers them to be their guide for a shore leave, as he knows the planet well. Unfortunately, as soon as Archer and Tucker meet him at the airlock, the Tellarite stuns Tucker with a phase-pistol and abducts Archer. Lieutenant Malcolm Reed, who is left in command, soon learns of this and sends security teams, but the Tellarite forcefully undocks and disables the Enterprise starboard warp nacelle before going to warp. Reed then orders everyone on the planet to return.
Sub-Commander T'Pol and Doctor Phlox return to the ship, however, they also bring back an unusual microbe and have to go through decontamination, leaving Trip Tucker in command. Phlox must try a few different measures to get rid of the microbe, including a gel applied to their whole bodies. They won't know the outcome for a few hours, so T'Pol must wait. Oddly, however, T'Pol gets a feeling as she helps to apply gel to Phlox' back, but it passes.
Archer wakes up on the Tellarite's ship behind a force field. Archer demands to know what he wants with him and where he's being taken. He also assures him the Enterprise won't stop looking for him. The Tellarite barely answers, but threatens to stun Archer for the rest of the trip if he keeps talking. After a while, Archer overhears the Tellarite talking to a Klingon captain, implying that Archer has a bounty due to his escape from prison. Archer states he doesn't even know what he was accused of, and the Tellarite says he doesn't care.
Archer tries to talk to the Tellarite, explaining his "crime" is not really a crime and that Starfleet will double what he's being paid. The Tellarite, Skalaar, isn't swayed, as every bounty he captures says they're innocent, but he does give pause when Archer says he'll probably be executed at Rura Penthe. He also says he's already promised his delivery to Goroth, which means he must follow through. Archer also appeals to his obligatory employment. He then admits Archer is probably not a bad person, just "unlucky."
Meanwhile, in the Enterprise's decon chamber, the microbe is giving T'Pol a hard time. T'Pol is trying to meditate, having more trouble suppressing her emotions. Phlox notes a fever and tries to address it, but T'Pol can't take him being in her space. She gets up forcefully and tries to exit, but Phlox locks the door and must disobey her order to open it. She then yells her order again, revealing her inability to control herself. She apologizes and Phlox suggests a sedative.
On Skalaar's ship, Archer sees that there is more to the bounty hunter's story. He contacts another Tellarite promising some kind of payment to get someone named Tezra back. The Tellarite is too skeptical that he'll have the money from the Klingons, saying he's made the same promise before. He cuts off the communication. Archer sees his chance and asks about it, learning it's a ship. Skalaar ends the conversation, but just then another ship arrives. Another bounty hunter, Kago-Darr, shows up to steal Archer from Skalaar, having learned of his position from Goroth. Skalaar dismisses him, saying he can't destroy the ship and collect the bounty. The ship is immediately attacked. This provides Archer another avenue to connect with Skalaar, promising to take the helm while Skalaar fixes the ship. Archer heads for a nearby Class L planet, hoping to out-maneuver the ship. Indeed, they are able to knock off Kago's engines and the ship makes an emergency landing. However, they soon need to land themselves for external repairs.
T'Pol continues to have problems suppressing her emotions. She starts to prematurely apply the gel to Phlox again and making sexual advances toward him. Phlox is able to stay very professional in spite of the science officer's attempts at seduction. He scans her, finding high hormonal levels. T'Pol knows what condition she's in, surprising Phlox. She explains it is the pon farr, though she is experiencing it early, a fact which is undoubtedly owed to the microbe. T'Pol states she must mate or she will die.
Archer pretends to help Skalaar repair the ship while continuing to try connecting with him, noting the Tezra (a cargo ship) must be pretty important. Skalaar explains it's a very good ship, impounded during a trip through Klingon space. He goes on about his story of him and his brother, Gaavrin, when he notices Archer is sabotaging something, knocking him to the ground. Archer confronts him, saying he can't expect him to help him be captured and executed. Skalaar hesitates to stun him, but then promises they'll make the rendezvous on time and helps him up.
On Enterprise, unfortunately, T'Pol soon becomes aggressive, wanting a "physical encounter" to address her symptoms instead of a medical treatment. Tucker interrupts them with food. Phlox tries to keep T'Pol hidden while he gets the food, but she makes herself visible to Tucker. He then sees her immediately eat the food with her hands, and wink at him. Phlox politely pushes her back into the chamber.
Tucker gets back to the bridge as they arrive at the same planet Skalaar and Kago landed on, but only Kago is left. He informs Tucker that Archer has a bounty on his head and is probably on his way to Klingon space. Tucker orders Mayweather to set a direct course.
Skalaar heads to his brother's workshop to get an antimatter injector. Gaavrin guesses he has no way to pay for it, but Skalaar insists he has a valuable bounty, pointing to Archer (who doesn't help his case, simply turning around). Gaavrin obviously doesn't believe in Skalaar's plan to get the Tezra back, and, unfortunately for Skalaar, tells him the Klingons already cannibalized his dear Tezra. Gaavrin promises the injector, but never wants to see his brother again, and leaves. Archer uses this, noting that, even if all goes according to plan, he won't get his ship back. Skalaar then asks what Archer would propose. Archer has a plan.
T'Pol is now delirious, speaking in Vulcan and pleads with Phlox to let her out. Phlox is adamant about injecting her with the treatment, but she refuses. Phlox tries to let her escape, giving her a false code while he injects her from behind. He's unsuccessful as T'Pol knocks him out. She rips the control pad off the wall and forces her way out. Phlox awakes and orders D-deck sealed off.
Reed leads a team to D-deck in environmental suits to capture T'Pol. T'Pol tries to seduce Reed, but quickly realizes he won't "help" her. She knocks him down, but is soon cornered and stunned.
Skalaar "locks" Archer with false handcuffs, a wise move since the Klingon captain, Goroth, decides to give him only 6,000 of the 9,000 promised darseks. On the Klingon ship, Archer eventually escapes from his holding cell and is able to make it to an escape pod. The Enterprise has no difficulty finding him after Skalaar gives them the Klingon ship's position. They catch up with the ship before they retrieve the pod. While disabling Goroth's ship's weapons, they use the grappler to tow the pod.
In the end, Phlox's treatment seemed to have worked on T'Pol, and he promises to respect her privacy. Skalaar also wishes best of luck to Archer, for the Klingons' bounty will probably double after his latest escape.
"I've learned never to cross a Klingon."
- - Skalaar
"You'd be wise to keep quiet. The Klingons pay me the same whether you're alive or dead."
- - Skalaar, to Archer
"Your endorphine and hormonal levels are dangerously high!"
"You don't understand, I'm not ill."
"These are hardly normal readings!"
"They're normal for a Vulcan in my condition."
- - Dr. Phlox and T'Pol, isolated in decon
"If I don't mate with a male, Vulcan or otherwise, I'll die."
- - T'Pol
"Our meals will be here soon."
"I wasn't referring to food."
- - T'Pol and Phlox
"Don't be frightened. I won't hurt you."
"You're disturbing my serum!"
- - T'Pol and Phlox
- The selection of this episode's antagonist came early in the writing of the installment. Brannon Braga recalled, "When we sat down to develop the episode, we thought, why not make it a Tellarite bounty hunter. Why do Klingons again?" (Star Trek: Communicator issue 145, p. 31)
- The first draft script of this episode was submitted on 7 March 2003. The installment's final draft script was issued a week later, on 14 March.
- Robert O'Reilly is better known for his role as Gowron in Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Jordan Lund also appeared in both those series, playing Kulge in "Redemption II" – in which O'Reilly also appeared – and Woban in "The Storyteller".
- This episode was filmed between 19 and 27 March 2003.
- This is the first appearance of the revised Tellarite makeup by Michael Westmore and first appearance of the Tellarites since Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, discounting stock footage.
- The interior of Skalaar's shuttle was a redress of the Class 2 shuttle set from Star Trek: Voyager.
- The space station visited by the bounty hunter Skalaar and Archer was a reuse of the Cardassian repair facility CGI model from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. They appeared in the Monac shipyards in "Shadows and Symbols", as the Kelvas repair facility in "Tacking Into the Wind" and one was seen in orbit of Cardassia Prime in "What You Leave Behind".
- A D'kyr-type Vulcan ship can be seen docked at the station with its warp ring in a horizontal position. This is the first and only time we see the ship in this type of configuration.
- This is the last episode of the "original direction" of the series occurring just before the Xindi attack on Earth, as is depicted in "The Expanse". The premise of Enterprise being a ship of exploration was scrapped in favor of the year-long Xindi arc in season 3 and the usually short arcs (as well as a few single episodes) that were more often closely related to Star Trek: The Original Series in Enterprise's fourth season.
- Captain Archer ejects in an escape pod off the Klingon vessel, though T'Pol claimed that Klingon vessels did not have escape pods in "Sleeping Dogs".
- A Klingon stunt button panel from this episode was sold off on the It's A Wrap! sale and auction on eBay. 
- This episode featured the last on-screen usage of decontamination gel in the series, though it would be mentioned in dialogue during some subsequent episodes.
Links and references
- Scott Bakula as Captain Jonathan Archer
- John Billingsley as Doctor Phlox
- Jolene Blalock as Sub-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 Tucker III
- Eddie Conna as Klingon officer
- Daphney Dameraux as operations division ensign
- Duncan Fraser as Walsh
- Scott Hill as Hutchison
- Aric Rogokos as science division crewman
- Ben Scott as Klingon officer
- Todd Wieland as operations division crewman
- Unknown performers as
- Vince Deadrick, Jr. as stunt double for John Billingsley
- Mark Ginther as stunt double for Jordan Lund
accusation; anticoagulant; antimatter injector; bearing; biochemical imbalance; brother; bounty; bounty hunter; cargo ship; cellular damage; Chef; class L; conduit; court martial; curtain; cycle of mating; damage; darsek; declination; decon chamber; decon gel; Denobulan; disembowel; D'kyr-type (D'kyr-cruiser); docking clamp; dopamine; engine damage; escape pod; execution; fever; firesalt; first officer; freighter; freighter captain; fugitive; G-type star; girlfriend; Goroth's starship; grappler; hand hold; helm; helmsman; homeworld; hypospray; impound; infection; island chain; Kago-Darr's starship; kilo; kilometer; Klingon; Klingon Empire; Klingon escape pod; Klingon Judiciary; launch bay; lava tube; light year; limbic system; livelihood; lock pick; manacles; mating cycle; medical scanner; medical ethics; meditation; meter; metric ton; money; morality; nacelle; navigation log; navigation sensor; Orion slave girl; phase-pistol; pilot; plasma injector; polar; pon farr; port; power relay; prison; pyroclastic; Qo'noS; ravine; refugee; Ren-gham; rotation; Rura Penthe; Rykos; saliva; science team; sedative; serum; shore leave; shoreline; Starfleet regulations; subspace beacon; surface; tactical alert; Tellar; Tellarite; Tellarite freighter; Tellarite Mining Consortium; Tellarite shuttle; Tellarite station; temperature; test tube; Tezra; theta radiation; toenail; trade; unnamed class L planet; unnamed food; upper atmosphere; Vulcan; Vulcan database; warp field regulator; warp signature
- "Bounty" at StarTrek.com, the official Star Trek website
- "Bounty" at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
- "Bounty" at Wikipedia
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