(written from a Production point of view)
The Enterprise crew must cope with devastating damage to the ship, with another alien ship needing assistance nearby. T'Pol seeks help from Phlox with a personal problem, and dissent grows in the Xindi Council.
Enterprise, under attack from the Xindi-Reptilians, suddenly finds the firing has ceased, and the ships are moving back into the system. This leaves overwhelming damage, with most of the major systems have failed, apart from life support, and hull breaches on C, D, and E decks. Even thrusters are gone, leaving the ship motionless.
It was the Xindi Council that ordered the ships to retreat from Enterprise. On the Xindi Council ship orbiting Azati Prime, Dolim is infuriated and expresses it to them, emphasizing they should at least be taken prisoner. That's being considered, but they want to interrogate Jonathan Archer in open council. Dolim wants to pursue his own questioning, but the Council orders it, and, further, that the Xindi-Aquatics transport him to the council chamber, now not able to trust Dolim on his assurances.
The Enterprise is still assessing the damage. Lieutenant Malcolm Reed finds five are confirmed dead, dozens wounded. The hull is gone, and the launch bay is impossible to get to since E deck is still decompressed. Commander Tucker informs T'Pol that the primary warp coil is damaged beyond repair, and that they've got no spare parts to make a new one. He also needs some extra hands. T'Pol later asks Reed to pull resources to get some engineering components in the launch bay.
Archer wakes up to find himself on the Aquatics ship. He tries to get their attention, and sees one of them approach. It doesn't respond, simply sedating him via airborne agent. They release him in an escape pod back to Enterprise. Archer is informed of the damage. At least fourteen crew members have died from the attack, and there are further casualties in sickbay. With only one phase cannon and the aft torpedo launcher working as defense against another attack, the captain orders that they should try to find somewhere to hide, just in case the Reptilians come back to finish them off. They head towards a nearby comet dust field for cover. Archer tells T'Pol he may have gotten through to Degra. Oddly, T'Pol reveals her hands are shaking, and leaves to get back to her quarters to quiet it down.
The crew's morale is low as they continue repairs. Mayweather and Sato examine the Aquatics escape pod, wondering about if they will be home again. Archer and Tucker work in engineering, with small explosions still common. Archer gets word that there is a non-Xindi ship in distress. Archer decides to answer it, hoping they can help each other. The smaller ship, Illyrian, has sustained damage from the spatial anomalies, and the Illyrian Captain asks Archer for assistance. Captain Archer tries to convince him to part with their warp coil in exchange for a supply of trellium-D, but he must refuse, as it would knock out their own warp engines, leaving them years away from their home world. They part ways.
T'Pol continues to have trouble, experiencing withdrawal symptoms due to being cut off from the supply of trellium-D by all the damages sustained. She has an erotic dream of Tucker in the shower, which soon becomes a nightmare as she turns into a creature and attacks him. She is jolted awake, and, unable to sleep, she gets an idea. She uses an EV suit to get to it, nearly kills herself in the process and injects some into herself, relieving the symptoms.
From the escape pod, Ensign Sato was able to translate some coordinates and a stardate, indicating where Degra will be on that date, three days from now. Unfortunately, it's over four light years from their current position, and without their warp drive the Enterprise will never get there in time. Later, Archer considers his options as Phlox arrives with Porthos. Archer confides to him that he's about to cross a line he never thought he'd cross. Phlox reveals he has had to make unethical decisions before, and knows how many in forty years – two.
Archer goes to the armory and orders Reed to put together an armed boarding party. He's decided to board the Illyrian starship to steal their warp coil.
In the Xindi Council chamber, Degra and the Primate and Arboreal Council members meet with a trans-dimensional species member to question her if she helped the Reptilians with the bio-weapon. She admits to helping the Reptilians, but only did so in order to keep them and the Insectoids from leaving the Council. This angers Degra, and he questions if Archer's claim that her species built the spheres is true. She deflects the question, angrily demanding that Earth be destroyed for the benefit of all Xindi, and to not summon her again unless all the members of the Council are present. After she leaves, the Primate Council member asks why they should doubt her. Degra points out that Archer provides proof, something she does not.
In the situation room, the senior staff reluctantly plan their attack on the ship. With the ship badly damaged, it won't be as easy as it should be. Tucker says they can't beam the coil off, as it might ruin their engines, and he can only guess it would be 10 minutes to decouple it by hand. Reed doesn't like that amount of time if they decide to fight, and the aliens could take out their starboard nacelle. Archer insists they need to do it right, and be quick, without any casualties. He orders Mayweather to set a course and leaves for his ready room. T'Pol enters to argue with him in private, ignoring his dismissal. Pointing out they are no better than the aliens who attacked them, she pleads with him to reconsider a peaceful option. Archer rationalizes it, giving her a PADD of the supplies they will leave them, but that doesn't convince her (nor him), since they will not be able to defend themselves if attacked. Despite T'Pol quoting himself that they must keep what makes them Human, Archer ends the conversation. T'Pol becomes visibly emotional, yelling that she won't let him continue and smashing the PADD on his desk. She explains it by saying she hasn't been able to meditate, apologizing for her words. He asks her to make the time to do so. He needs her on the bridge for the attack.
T'Pol then consults Phlox, who is shocked and needs to know precisely what's going on. T'Pol explains how she began to experiment with trellium after their encounter with the Seleya, and how injecting herself with the compound allowed her to access certain emotions, but that she has now become addicted. He decides to help her overcome her problem, and agrees to not tell anyone. Archer calls her to the bridge.
The Enterprise makes its approach to the Illyrians.
On the Illyrian ship, the captain is reviewing repairs when he gets the information that the Enterprise is approaching without answering hails. With a boarding party of Parsons and several MACOs, Archer and Tucker transport onto the vessel and search for the coil, stunning several Illyrians in the process. The Enterprise moves away, with the Illyrians in pursuit. T'Pol refuses to take out their weapons, for fear of leaving them defenseless. Tucker finds the warp coil, but, unfortunately, it is surrounded by a force field, slowing him down. It takes too much time. Parsons gets hit, forcing T'Pol to order Reed to fire on a power junction, which then takes out power from several areas, including where Tucker is. He easily gets the coil and his team is beamed back to Enterprise.
Archer is informed and they fall back to prepare for beam-out, however, they turn a corner and find the Illyrian captain waiting. He confronts him. Despite Archer's promise they have already beamed three containers of trellium-D as well as other supplies in "compensation," the captain asks why Archer is doing this, stranding them three years from home. Archer simply states that he has no choice before beaming out.
With the incident over, T'Pol and Phlox discuss her residual emotional instability. T'Pol fears that she may never fully be able to suppress her feelings again, but Phlox assures her she'll cope in time.
After integrating the coil into the Enterprise systems, Tucker reports they can make warp 3.2, more than sufficient to reach the rendezvous. Archer leaves to order maximum warp speed to the coordinates when Tucker assures him he did the right thing. He regrets having to continue telling himself that.
"At the very least, we should board their vessel and take them prisoner!"
- - Dolim, after Enterprise is critically damaged
"He will not be harmed any further. You have my assurances."
"That isn't good enough!"
- - Dolim and Degra, on Archer
"I really don't know what's holding us together. But let's hope it doesn't give out."
- - Reed
"A couple of weeks… if we had the parts. We don't. As it stands now, warp drive is out of the question."
- - T'Pol and Tucker
"I thought Insectoid was tough!"
"Almost sounds like music."
"My mother always wanted me to take piano lessons. I should've listened to her."
- - Hoshi and Travis
"Hard to believe we'll ever get this ship back the way it was."
"Just a simple matter of repairs." (Archer glances at him) "Well, perhaps not that simple."
- - Archer and Phlox
"How long have you been a doctor?"
"Nearly forty years."
"And in all that time, did you ever do anything you thought was unethical?"
"I'm about to step over a line, a line I thought I would never cross. And given the nature of our mission, it probably won't be the last."
"Probably not. May I ask what you're planning to do?"
"There could be more casualties."
"I'll be ready."
- - Archer and Phlox
""We can't try to save Humanity without holding on to what makes us Human." Those were your words to me."
"I'm no happier doing this than you are, but we're not going to make a habit of it."
- -T'Pol and Archer, the former reminding the captain his own words during the events on the Seleya.
"We've had our share of disagreements, but you've never taken it out on my desk before."
- - Archer, to T'Pol
"You're stranding us three years from home. Why are you doing this?!"
"Because I have no choice!"
- - Illyrian captain and Archer
"You did the right thing."
"It seems the longer we're out here, the more I have to keep saying that to myself."
- - Tucker and Archer
- The archival version of this episode's final draft script was submitted on 24 May 2004. The script included a scene that is not in the episode. It took place in the inspection pod, with T'Pol and Tucker touring Enterprise after the Battle of Azati Prime. The script also detailed the horrific T'Pol seen in a nightmare by describing her as "the spitting image of the homicidal Vulcans seen in "Impulse". Also, the scene between Phlox and Archer in the captain's ready room was slightly different, Phlox initially mentioning that Porthos kept eyeing a Droxin field mouse in sickbay. In response to Archer saying (later in the scene) that a line he intended to cross would probably not be the last one, Phlox replied, "Sometimes you have to draw a line… sometimes you have to step over one… ethics are not the only consideration," instead of merely responding, as he does in the final version of the scene, "Probably not."
- The actions of the crew here are reflected back to their own encounter with piracy in "Anomaly".
- As a result of the Xindi attacks, fourteen members of the crew are dead and three are unaccounted for, probably the ones flying into space in the previous episode.
- This episode contains the first mention of stardates in the series. The stardate is communicated to Enterprise by Degra.
- Casey Biggs (the Illyrian captain) is better known for playing the recurring character of Damar in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Three of his co-stars in this episode are also former Deep Space Nine guest stars; Rick Worthy played Kornan in "Soldiers of the Empire", Scott MacDonald played Tosk in "Captive Pursuit" and Goran'Agar in "Hippocratic Oath", and Randy Oglesby played both Ah-Kel and Ro-Kel in "Vortex" and Silaran Prin in "The Darkness and the Light".
- Dorenda Moore plays one of the MACOs who participate in the incursion to the Illyrian starship; however, her character is referred to as "Parsons" and not as "S. Money", a character already established in the season.
- Among the items from this episode which were sold off on the It's A Wrap! sale and auction on eBay was the costume of stuntman Eric Norris, which was previously worn by a background actor in the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Alliances" and by actor Bob Rudd in the VOY episode "Nightingale". 
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 "Trip" Tucker III
- Casey Biggs as Illyrian Captain
- Randy Oglesby as Degra
- Scott MacDonald as Dolim
- Tucker Smallwood as Xindi-Primate councilor
- Rick Worthy as Jannar
- Josette Di Carlo as Sphere-Builder woman
- Geneviere Anderson as operations division ensign
- Brian Avery as Illyrian
- Solomon Burke, Jr. as Billy
- Mickey Cassidy as Illyrian
- Zane Cassidy as MACO
- Mark Chadwick as Illyrian
- Mark Correy as Alex
- Daphney Dameraux as operations division ensign
- Kevin Derr as Kelly
- Duncan Fraser as Walsh
- Peter Godoy as operations division crewman
- Glen Hambly as operations division ensign
- Tamara Hambly as operations division crewman
- Scott Hill as Hutchison
- Amina Islam as command division ensign
- John Jurgens as operations division crewman
- Ricky Lomax as W. Woods
- Andrew MacBeth as E. Hamboyan
- Dorenda Moore as Parsons
- Eric Norris as Illyrian
- Cesar Rodriguez as sciences division lieutenant
- Paul Sklar as R. Richards
- Jeff Smolek as Illyrian
- Pablo Soriano as Illyrian
- Ator Tamras as sciences division crewman
- Scott L. Treger as Xindi-Reptilian guard
- Windy as Porthos
- Curtis Wong as Illyrian
- Unknown actors as four Illyrian crewmembers
ability; addiction; Ansara; antimatter; anxiety; boarding party; cargo bay; club; cometary dust cloud; damage; damage report; day; Delphic Expanse; diamagnetic field; dozen; drug addiction; Earth; emergency power; Enterpise inspection pod; EPS grid; evasive maneuvers; exhaust manifold; force field; hour; hull; Illyrian; Illyrian starship; impulse power; injector system; inspection pod; Jaina; kilo; kilometer; kiss; life support; maintenance request form; neural pathway; NX class decks; O'Malley; one-way trip; Osaarian; paranoid; phase cannon; piano; Piral; plasma injector; region; Sato's mother; Seleya; space; stardate; stun grenade; symptom; synaptic pathway; threat; trans-dimensional being; trellium-D; Trenia; Vulcans; warp coil; warp engine; withdrawal
- "Damage" at StarTrek.com, the official Star Trek website
- "Damage" at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
- "Damage" at Wikipedia
|Star Trek: Enterprise