(written from a Production point of view)
Archer is called in to mediate a territorial dispute between the Vulcans and the Andorians.
Hostilities have escalated on the planetoid Weytahn (or Paan Mokar, as Vulcans call it). Commander Shran is managing the fighting when his subordinate, Tarah, informs him that the enemy, the Vulcans, have new deployments and may have found a weakness in their defenses. Shran, meanwhile, received a request for a cease fire. Neither of them trust the Vulcans, but Shran suggests they may have an option – Captain Jonathan Archer.
Captain Jonathan Archer is ordered by Admiral Maxwell Forrest to go the planet as a negotiator to address the conflict resulting from an unsatisfying and oppressing hundred-year-old Territorial Compromise treaty. Archer is skeptical, and not sure how they expect him to help in a conflict they have not been able to resolve in one hundred years, but Admiral Forrest emphasizes the importance of this mission, stating that this is the first time the Vulcans asked them for their help and that Archer is the closest thing Starfleet has to an ambassador out there. Despite initial hesitation, Archer agrees to get there as fast as he can.
During dinner, Captain Archer asks T'Pol about Paan Mokar, claiming that he doesn't really know much about it except that it is a class D planet, not much bigger than Earth's moon, and that it was claimed by the Vulcans in 2097. Trip Tucker notes that a class D planet is uninhabitable and wonders why they are fighting over it. T'Pol explains that when the Andorians first arrived a century ago, they began terraforming the planet; once an atmosphere was developed, they established a settlement. Archer asks why there is a problem if it was unclaimed at the time. T'Pol explains that the planet's sole value is its strategic location near Vulcan space and that Vulcans believed that the only logical conclusion was that the Andorians were setting up a military base there – even though, technically, they did not have any evidence of a military settlement built on Paan Mokar. She states that the Andorians refused to let the Vulcan High Command inspect the colony, upon which Paan Mokar was finally annexed to Vulcan territory. The Andorian colonists were removed by force and after this forced removal, a surveillance satellite was put in orbit to monitor the agreement. The planet had been deserted for nearly a century – until now.
- "Captain's starlog, Supplemental. In the three days it has taken is to reach Paan Mokar, the situation has grown considerably more tense."
When they finally arrive in orbit, Archer first meets with Ambassador Soval and Sub-commander Muroc. Soval makes it clear he is not very happy about the situation and the fact that Archer specifically has been asked to negotiate this. Archer learns an officer of the Andorian Imperial Guard personally asked for Archer's involvement in such a matter, and Soval directly asks Archer why that might be. Archer doesn't have an answer, and Soval makes it clear that given the nature of these negotiations, he does not really consider Enterprise's presence there an asset. Archer regrets that he feels that way and offers to leave if they so desire, but Soval does not seem to like this alternative either. He explains that six days ago, Commander Shran landed a force on Weytahn, occupying the settlement. While the Vulcans attempted to enforce the treaty of 2097, and successfully re-took half the colony, several were wounded in these efforts and three taken hostage. Shran has agreed to discuss terms for the safe return of the hostages, however, but only if Archer acts as mediator. Archer's presence during these negotiations therefore, seems indispensable and they need his help whether they like it or not. Archer agrees, however, Soval wants to send Muroc down with Archer to represent the Vulcans' interest. Archer refuses, saying that, if Shran trusts Archer, that would make matters worse. He says that the only Vulcan he will bring down with him on the planet will be his first officer – T'Pol.
Before they leave, Doctor Phlox tells Archer there's a mutagenic pathogen on the planet and needs to prepare him with analeptic radiation. During, they talk a bit about the situation. Archer ponders aloud to Phlox that his mission is about demonstrating the readiness of the Human race to join a much larger community. Phlox notes to him to be careful, as the battlefield can be unpredictable even when there's a truce.
Archer and T'Pol then proceed to the surface to meet with Shran, with their sensors gradually succumbing to the Andorians' jamming signal. On the way, T'Pol asks what preparation Archer has made for the negotiations. Archer says he "glanced" at all the materials given to him, but T'Pol seems concerned. T'Pol assures him she wants him to prove Soval's belief that he'll fail wrong, but Archer doesn't believe quoting Vulcan agreements will be effective. Instead, he explains to T'Pol that his first goal is to convince Shran that he can trust him. Then, he will "play it by ear." Again, not what T'Pol wanted to hear.
On the surface, T'Pol and Archer slowly explore the area to which they were directed. A group of armed Andorian guards led by Tarah meet with them. She notes the Vulcan present, but Archer insists he wasn't told to come alone and that she helped expose P'Jem. She then takes them to Shran with bags over their heads. At their headquarters, the bags are taken off, revealing Shran to Archer.
Shran states that he believes in Archer's ability to handle the situation without prejudice. Archer is shown the Vulcan prisoners – not hostages, they insist. T'Pol states the Vulcan point of view and is immediately rebuffed by Tarah. Shran then states his demand: the immediate withdrawal of all Vulcan military forces, the rescinding of the so-called compromise, and the conceding of full sovereignty of Weythan to Andoria. Archer recognizes this as more of the same behavior, stating that if all Shran needs is someone to deliver his list of demands, then he should find someone else. But Shran says that he needs Archer's help because he wants to speak with Soval personally, someone who actually can make binding decisions without having to ask his superiors and drag on the issue forever. Archer agrees to see what he can do. Shran wants the negotiations to take place on the planet. In return, and as a sign of good faith, he agrees to release one of the Vulcan hostages.
Back on Enterprise NX-01, Soval finds the proposed conditions unacceptable. He says that if he agrees to a meeting, then it simply legitimizes the Andorian position, but Archer says that if he does not, then these negotiations end before they have even begun. Further, Muroc notes that Andorian battle cruisers are five hours away. Soval is reluctant, which in turn irritates Archer who is trying to reach a compromise between the two by opening up the channels of communication. Soval says that he did not ask for Archer's help and that he also does not feel obliged to accept it. Archer points out that at least the Andorians are willing to talk, which is more than can be said of the Vulcans; the next move has to come from the Vulcans, Archer tells him. Despite his reservations, Soval finally agrees to go down to the planet with Archer to speak with Shran.
On the planet, Shran prepares for the meeting. In private, Tarah asks him whether talking is really the way to go; after all, they have been talking for nearly a hundred years with the Vulcans without getting anywhere, except for the Vulcans constantly stalling the situation and lying to them. She believes that backing down now would be a bad idea. Shran knows her viewpoint, but says that he is willing to give Archer a chance, given P'Jem. Tarah believes that Shran is putting too much faith into the "pink skins", believing them to be nothing but the pawns of the Vulcans, working for their best interests accordingly. If they attack now, Tarah tells him, the Andorian forces will have the Vulcan warships on the defensive before any reinforcements can arrive. Shran simply notes her recommendation, but this makes Tarah more insistent. She continues to argue the point, so Shran dismisses her.
Meanwhile, T'Pol, Archer, and Soval make their way down to the planet via shuttlepod. However, upon entering the planet's atmosphere, they are fired upon by Andorian weapons and are forced to make an emergency landing.
They don't take much damage. Archer and T'Pol exit to secure the area, and Soval states he recognizes their location. He is already backing up, suggesting to fall back on Vulcan positions, but Archer insists on trusting Shran and giving this a fair chance. He points out that they really do not know what happened, while Soval is adamant about blaming the Andorians for the attacks that crash-landed them here. He thinks that Archer is naive not realizing that Shran is just using him, but Archer believes that it is Soval who is mistaken.
Meanwhile, Muroc communicates with Tucker, stating they have been ordered to find and recover the group. Their sensors have some idea of their location. Tucker wants to be involved in any rescue mission, but Muroc dismisses it, saying they have "more experience." Tucker openly questions that, mentioning the last rescue mission the Vulcans performed, but Muroc ends the call. Hoshi Sato will keep trying, despite the small chance of progress on her end. Travis Mayweather updates that the Andorian back-up is three hours away.
Shran is frustrated as he had ordered the shuttle to be allowed to land. Tarah confirms it wasn't their side, but Shran can't believe the Vulcans fired on their own ambassador. Tarah doesn't think that's unlikely, stating they only have their logic, not a conscience. Shran returns her questioning, now in front of other officers, with a challenge and she backs down. He then orders her to find and bring them to him, alive.
Archer and his group reach the rough border between Andorian and Vulcan control. Before they can reach Shran's base, Archer must leave briefly to investigate the area and find the best way forward. During, Soval talks to T'Pol, openly questioning her choices of the past year to stay on Enterprise, including her defense of the mission, when she could have gotten a better position on Earth. Further, he sees her as developing Human emotions and an accent. T'Pol dodges his accusations by stating clearly that Archer has earned her trust, and that doesn't mean she's developed emotions. Archer gets back and they move on. Meanwhile, Tarah has found the shuttle and guesses that Archer would rather keep his end of the bargain and head for the Andorian camp.
On the Enterprise, Sato does make some progress (but not enough), and Mayweather informs Tucker that the Andorian ships have arrived. Tucker puts the ship on tactical alert.
On the planet, the three come under fire and Soval is hit. They rush for cover.
Archer announces loudly their intentions, but the Andorian weapon fire continues. He sees their locations and intends to sneak behind them. With T'Pol and Soval providing cover, he manages to get around and neutralize one of them. Archer sneaks behind the other Andorian – it's Tarah. He gets her to drop her weapon and confronts her on her undermining Shran. She believes they need to fight for what's theirs instead of negotiating it all away. Archer tries to lead her away, but the floor gives and they fight. He eventually bests her and gets the weapon, just as Shran arrives. Tarah tries to accuse Archer of betraying them, but Archer tells Shran he'll find Andorian weapon signatures on Soval's injury and on their shuttle. Shran confronts Tarah and demands the truth. Tarah finally admits she was unwilling to follow "orders to do nothing, while you betray us." She once again urges him to take a stand against the Vulcans, but instead he places her under arrest.
Meanwhile, the Andorian ships head straight for the Vulcan ships, obviously to start a firefight. Tucker, resolute, realizes his course of action: to put the Enterprise right between them. Malcolm Reed, very surprised at this, asks what his plan is, but Tucker doesn't answer. Tucker receives hails from both sides, Muroc and Andorian captain Telev. They are both prepared to start firing, but not on Enterprise. Tucker states as long as his captain is in the middle of their war, this is a Starfleet matter and he will fire on either side that starts to shoot, giving time to those on the ground to do their jobs. Soon, Tucker's action is justified as Archer calls from the surface, saying that everyone is fine.
From there, negotiations can finally proceed, and while both sides are not fully happy with the terms of the cease-fire, they are at least equally dissatisfied, which is at least something they have in common at this point. Shran proposes a toast to their mutual dissatisfaction, which Soval accepts, though Vulcans usually do not drink, given the exceptional circumstances, a drink was merited. The negotiations will be continued on Andoria and Soval grudgingly acknowledges Archer's help in the matter.
In a deleted scene, right after Archer established negotiations with Shran, saying that Ambassador Soval in person should go to the surface, he is coming back to Enterprise in a shuttlepod with T'Pol and one of the hostages, a Vulcan commando, who had been released by the Andorians. Meanwhile Archer asks T'Pol why she is so quiet, if she is unhappy about how he handled the negotiations. She replies that as Shran said, this is a very tense situation, but she thinks he is doing well. However, T'Pol alerts Archer that her opinions often differs from those of the Vulcan High Command.
- "Captain's Starlog, supplemental. In the three days it's taken us to reach Paan Mokar, the situation has grown considerably more tense."
- "Captain's Starlog, supplemental. Ambassador Soval has begun talks with the Andorians. They have been difficult, but productive."
"Have you ever known a Vulcan who wouldn't lie to get what he wanted?"
- - Tarah, to Shran
"There is another option. Someone I've dealt with. A pink skin. He's proven to be quite even-handed in dealing with Vulcans. His name is Archer."
- - Shran, on who he wants to negotiate a cease fire between the Andorians and Vulcans
"Jonathan, this is the first time the Vulcans have asked for our help. You're the closest thing we have to an ambassador out there. You know how important this could be."
- - Forrest, when Soval requests Archer's assistance on Paan Mokar
"I don't like pushing the engines this hard. The injectors are running at 110 percent."
"They're rated for 120."
"And my underwear is flame retardant. That doesn't mean that I'm going to light myself on fire to prove it!"
- - Tucker and T'Pol
"Its sole value is its strategic location near Vulcan space."
"They were setting up a military base?"
"It was the only logical conclusion."
"Did you have any evidence?'"
"How much evidence would you need if the Klingons decided to set up a "colony" on Pluto?"
- - T'Pol, Archer, and Tucker discuss Paan Mokar
"Ironic… they weren't overly enthusiastic about you taking command of Enterprise in the first place, and now, your presence is…crucial to their interests."
"It's crucial to ours too… Maybe we're not out here to just scan comets and meet new species, maybe we're out here to prove that Humanity is ready to join a much larger community… I intend to do that – whether the Vulcans like it or not."
- - Phlox and Archer
"I imagined my first diplomatic mission would involve sitting around a big table, toasting with champagne, signing things with lots of pens…"
"The pink skin sense of humor."
- - Archer and Shran
"The ball's in your court now."
"It's a Human expression – it means the next move is yours."
- - Archer, then T'Pol, to Ambassador Soval
"Fifty meters. We need to reduce our speed."
"The ground is gonna do that for us!"
- - T'Pol and Archer
"My ears are less likely to draw fire than yours!"
- - Archer, to T'Pol and Soval
"What is their fixation with our ears?"
"I believe they're envious."
- - Soval and T'Pol
"Just because Captain Archer has earned my respect, doesn't mean I've been contaminated by their emotions."
- - T'Pol, to Soval
"I believe someone once defined a compromise as a solution that neither side is happy with."
"In that case, these talks have been extremely successful."
- - Archer and Shran
"Join me in a drink to celebrate our mutual dissatisfaction."
"Vulcans don't drink… but this occasion merits an exception."
- - Shran and Soval
"Captain, your presence here has not been… overly meddlesome."
- - Soval, to Archer, before his departure
"I think he likes you, pink skin."
"I wouldn't go that far."
- - Shran and Archer, about Soval
- The first draft script of this episode was issued on 12 November 2002. The post-production version of the final draft was submitted to archive on 4 February 2003.
- Jeffrey Combs and Christopher Shea both played Vorta in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Combs played perhaps his most famous role of Weyoun and Shea played Keevan in the season six episodes "Rocks and Shoals" and "The Magnificent Ferengi". Combs and Shea also appeared together in the latter episode, though Combs was playing the role of the Ferengi Brunt.
- Suzie Plakson (Tarah) previously played Dr. Selar, (TNG: "The Schizoid Man") K'Ehleyr, (TNG: "The Emissary", "Reunion") and a female Q. (VOY: "The Q and the Grey")
- This is the first episode of Enterprise to have all the monitors on the bridge changed to display alert status during tactical alert.
- This episode continues the Andorians versus Vulcans arc that started in "The Andorian Incident" and "Shadows of P'Jem".
- This episode introduces Archer's love of Andorian ale. Further references occur in "Proving Ground" and "Babel One".
Links and references
- Scott Bakula as Jonathan Archer
- John Billingsley as Phlox
- Jolene Blalock as T'Pol
- Dominic Keating as Malcolm Reed
- Anthony Montgomery as Travis Mayweather
- Linda Park as Hoshi Sato
- Connor Trinneer as Charles "Trip" Tucker III
- Jeffrey Combs as Thy'lek Shran
- Gary Graham as Soval
- Vaughn Armstrong as Maxwell Forrest
- Christopher Shea as Telev
- Suzie Plakson as Tarah
- Evan English as Tanner
- Glen Hambly as Andorian soldier
- Bryan Heiberg as operations crewman
- Douglas Lyons as Vulcan commando
- Marnie Martin as operations crewman
- Jessica Vash as command ensign
- David Venafro as Andorian soldier
2097; 2112; act of war; AM; analeptic radiation; Andoria; Andorians; Andorian ale; Andorian Empire; Andorian Imperial Council; Andorian Imperial Guard; Andorian rifle; Andorian warship (unnamed); annexation; assistant counsel; biosignature; blindfold; Border Incursions of 2112; champagne; Class D; commando unit; D'kyr-type (Vulcan cruiser, Muroc's starship); Denobulan Infantry; dozen; ear; Earth; envoy; expression; fixation; flag of truce; gesture; heart; jamming range; kidnapper; kilometer; logic; Luna; meter; military base (aka military outpost); mutagenic pathogen; navigational sensor; negotiating skills; negotiating tactics; negotiation; Paan Mokar; Paraaga II; P'Jem; pink skin; "play it by ear"; Pluto; prejudice; puppet; rebel; rescue mission (aka rescue operation); Revised Intersystem Agreement; Sector Two report; sense of humor; Shuttlepod 1; Shuttlepod 2; southeast; Starfleet uniforms; stun; sub-commander; surveillance satellite; tactical alert; terraforming; Territorial Compromise; toast; treatise; Treaty of 2097; underwear; unit; V'Lar; Vulcans; Vulcan (planet); Vulcan database; Vulcan High Command; Vulcan military forces; Vulcan space; west; Weytahn; Weytahn settlement
- "Cease Fire" at StarTrek.com, the official Star Trek website
- "Cease Fire" at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
- "Cease Fire" at Wikipedia
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