(written from a Production point of view)
Hoshi is contacted by a mysterious telepath, who offers to help Enterprise in its mission... for a price.
Ensign Hoshi Sato is washing up in her quarters when she hears someone call to her. She enters the main part of her cabin, and sees a man. She quickly goes to the panel to call for security, but he's gone when she turns around.
T'Pol has been analyzing data on the Delphic Expanse sphere, and has discovered that there must be a second sphere to create the anomaly pattern the crew has discovered. She needs precise measurements of this second sphere, so Captain Archer has the Enterprise NX-01 set course for its probable location.
Meanwhile, Sato has been feeling watched and hearing whispers for the past several days, but Lieutenant Reed insists there is nothing on internal sensors. He empathizes that he thought he saw an Xindi-Insectoid the other night, but Sato thinks it's more than that. Doctor Phlox' examination leads him to suggest she may be hallucinating. With a dead end, Sato goes to translate the Xindi database as ordered. She soon is telepathically contacted again and experiences a lot more this time. The alien shows her a picture of his planet and says he is waiting, saying he's not on the ship, but the planet. Then, she finds herself off the Enterprise, in a building with the man. Afraid, she escapes only to find a cliff. Turning around, she sees Reed again on the ship.
Sato informs Archer of what she saw, and he orders more security even though it's still a possibility that she is hallucinating. Soon, she is contacted again. The man is named Tarquin, and tells her that he may be able to assist the crew in finding the Xindi and their weapon. She informs Archer, but he is skeptical, suspecting another trap, but decides to go.
On the planet, the crew finds the same building Sato saw telepathically. The eventually find the alien, but he looks very differently than Sato saw.
Tarquin apologizes for changing his appearance when he contacted Sato earlier, saying it was to prevent shock. He's glad to meet them, and explains that he can telepathically read the "imprints" that people leave on the objects they create or use. Archer agrees to bring something of the Xindi's down to the planet. When they turn to leave, Tarquin says he will only work on the condition that Sato stays with him while he's working. Talking on the ship, Archer thinks Tarquin is hiding something, but Sato wants to take the risk if he indeed finds the Xindi.
The crew returns with a piece of the weapon used to attack Earth. Tarquin says it'll be sufficient, and allows Archer to say goodbye to Sato, which he does reluctantly. Tarquin makes dinner for her later, able to figure out all Sato's favorite foods like pizza and burgers from her memory. Tarquin talks with Sato and tries to get to know her better, however Sato is disturbed by how much he knows about her. He explains he's been exiled from his people because he is telepathic, and compares it to Sato's childhood, as she had private tutors and generally alone because she was gifted. She has had enough and politely says she's tired. Tarquin then shows her to her room, and says she can go anywhere during the day. Before leaving, he also oddly says she doesn't have to feel alone there.
On the Enterprise, the crew searches for the second sphere. Eventually, the anomalies come back, starting with Archer's water polo ball getting stuck in the wall as he throws it. However, it ends with a large section of the saucer section hull being blasted into space.
Sato explores the building, and eventually comes across Tarquin as he's working. He invites her in, though he can only get impressions at the moment. She asks about his crystal on his desk, and he explains its purpose, offering her to try. Interestingly, she is able to use the crystal to see several images, including Earth, seeing targs on the Klingon ship, her visit to a pre-warp planet, and the visit to Narendra III, however, she then sees a Xindi-Reptilian and comes out of it. He offers for her to try again, and puts his hand on hers, but she feels they're too close and says maybe later.
Later, however, she roams outside a bit and finds headstones. Tarquin is closeby and tries to lead her back inside but she confronts him, demanding to know who they are. He then explains he is long lived and has had four previous "companions" while living out his exile, all with "unique" minds, like Sato's. She realizes he wants her to be next, and she clearly refuses that, going inside. He then appears to her as a Human, tries to appeal to her isolation on the ship and comparing her learning to like it there to her overcoming her claustrophobia. She objects to him using a Human figure and using her mind so deeply. She wants him to leave her alone, but then he brings up her grandfather, Michio, who she was close with before he died. She yells at him, and he finally stops.
Archer and Tucker explore the area near the predicted position of the sphere in the Shuttlepod 1, enhanced with trellium, and report back to Enterprise. They successfully pass through the cloaking barrier and find the second sphere. However, the sensor relay gets damaged, and Tucker needs to be outside the shuttle to fix it. Archer decides to land so he can do so.
Tucker makes good progress on the relays, but accidentally triggers the port thruster, sending the shuttle back into space. Confirming they don't necessarily need it, they both try a few times to shoot it with phase-pistols, successfully disabling it and watching the shuttle come back to the sphere in its gravity. They get all the scans T'Pol needs and set a return course for Tarquin's planet.
Tarquin enters and tells Sato he was successful in getting the information they need and that the Enterprise is on its way. Sato tells Tarquin she won't stay, and he accepts it. He gives her the book as a parting gift; she thanks him, saying she was hoping to find out how it ended. When Sato sees Archer, however, he also says Tarquin will continue helping throughout their mission, as long as Sato stays. He stops short of ordering her, and she reluctantly agrees, knowing what's at stake. He then makes every effort to prevent her from having to go back to the ship. Further, he mentions Travis understanding she doesn't say goodbye, who Sato was just thinking about. This makes her realize it's a trick. She confronts Tarquin, who then says he can't let her leave, revealing he's just disabled the Enterprise's systems, including life support. Sato counters with a threat to destroy his telepathic enhancer, and he relents and lets her go.
With the data from the second sphere, T'Pol is able to figure out a startling fact: there are over 50 more spheres in the Expanse.
Tarquin visits Sato one last time to provide her with the coordinates of a Xindi colony where part of the weapon is being built. Despite her refusal to stay with him, he does not want to see her harmed.
"My only contact with the outside world has been through telepathy."
- - Tarquin
"Did you bring a phase-pistol?"
"I'll keep it under my pillow."
- - Archer, before leaving Sato with Tarquin
"You often feel isolated even around other people. You don't have to."
- - Tarquin, to Sato
"The next time you invite someone for a visit, you might want to let them know that you're looking for a lifelong companion."
- - Sato
"Archer to the bridge."
"I assume we're getting close?"
"You assume correctly."
- - Archer, contacting T'Pol after his water polo ball gets embedded in the wall while Enterprise heads towards a sphere
"Sometimes I don't know what is worse, being alone or having to bury the people I've come to care about."
- - Tarquin, when Sato sees the graves of his previous companions
"Why would someone want to create a web of crippling anomalies?"
- - T'Pol, on the vast number of spheres generating gravimetric energy in the Expanse
- In the final draft script of this episode, the scene (numbered 53) showing images telepathically witnessed by Hoshi Sato was described as follows:
- The stained glass windows seen in Tarquin's castle are taken from Shinzon's dining room on Romulus from Star Trek Nemesis. As well, the chairs in the castle were used previously on Ventax II in TNG: "Devil's Due".
- The prop piece of Xindi debris that Tarquin examines has been used before as a cloaking device in DS9: "Profit and Loss" and Neelix's malfunctioning heating coil in VOY: "Live Fast and Prosper".
- The style and the plot of the episode is an obvious reference to the movies and books like Bluebeard, Beauty and the Beast, or Phantom of the Opera, showing the old, lonely genius with unusual abilities, searching for a young woman to bring some light into his existence.
- This was the first episode of Star Trek to air in high definition.
- The plot of this episode also bears a striking resemblance to the Star Trek: Voyager season three episode "Alter Ego". Both episodes center around a lonely alien who projects themselves remotely to a member of the crew (Tuvok in "Alter Ego", Hoshi in "Exile") in an effort to find a companion. The alien in both episodes appeals to the target's feelings of isolation in an effort to convince them to stay.
- In 2013, Brannon Braga mentioned that he thought this episode was "pretty crappy." ("In a Time of War, Part Three", ENT Season 3 Blu-ray special features)
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
ability; Arakon system; artifact; auxiliary power; cheeseburger; childhood; cloaking barrier; Delphic Expanse; Delphic Expanse sphere; Denobula; Denobulan; Earth; EV suit; Fiorella's; Fountain Street; hallucination; Klingon language; macaroni and cheese; micro-fracture; mind-altering substance; mind reader; oxygen recycler; paranoia; phase-pistol; prefrontal cortex; pizza; Sato, Michio; San Francisco; sensor relay; shore leave; Shuttlepod 1; soba noodles; Sphere 2; Starfleet Regulations; stomach; Taal, Morianna; tactical alert; Tarquin's homeworld; Tarquin's planet; telepathic amplifier; telepathy; thruster; toast; trellium; universal translator; unnamed dessert; vasodilation; Vulcan root leaf; water polo; Xindi-Arboreal colony; Xindi database; Xindi-Insectoid; Xindi starcharts; Xindi weapon
- "Exile" at StarTrek.com, the official Star Trek website
- "Exile" at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
- "Exile" at Wikipedia
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