(written from a Production point of view)
Archer is ordered to transport Vulcan Ambassador V'Lar from the planet Mazar, where she has been accused of criminal misconduct. Following an attack on Enterprise, T'Pol defends the Ambassador and asks Archer for help.
In the captain's private dining room, T'Pol bluntly asks Trip Tucker and Captain Archer whether they suffer from a lack of sexual activity. A little amused and taken aback, they ask her why she feels that way. T'Pol says that it is her understanding that Human mating ritual is effective in easing tension and since officers are not supposed to fraternize with subordinates, she wonders what Archer and Tucker have been doing to relieve said tension. She has noticed a drop in crew efficiency. Archer points out that they all have gone for ten months without a break after all and that it was normal for people to get a little sloppy. T'Pol suggests that the crew take a little shore leave; in that regard, she has done some research and located a suitable planet called "Risa" whose humanoid culture, as she points out, is quite receptive to relieve tension.
When Tucker enters the bridge wearing a rather colorful Hawaiian shirt, T'Pol comments that the Risian women won't be as "receptive" to his choice of clothing as he'd probably want. While discussing the captain's shore leave plans, a message from Starfleet Command arrives. Admiral Maxwell Forrest explains the situation of an Ambassador V'Lar, the Vulcan ambassador to Mazar. The admiral orders Enterprise NX-01 to pick up the ambassador from Mazar and transport her to a rendezvous with the Vulcan ship Sh'Raan. Ensign Hoshi Sato has decided to give up her cabin for Ambassador V'Lar during her stay. The Mazarite High Council hails Enterprise, and immediately sends the ambassador to the ship. The High Councilman explains that Ambassador V'Lar has been "expelled for abuse of her position and criminal misconduct." Once the ambassador arrives, she surprises everyone by offering a handshake to the Human officers. In the captain's private dining room, V'Lar joins the senior officers for dinner. V'Lar continues to surprise her hosts by asking to meet Sato in order to thank her for allowing her to interrupt her routine, then even makes an attempt at humor; when her role in a treaty which predates Human-Vulcan First Contact is mentioned, Tucker asks how long she has been a diplomat, and the ambassador responds that she had been told that Human men aren't supposed to ask a woman how old she is – though when the commander desperately attempts to save face, she cuts him off and admits her response was in jest. Even more surprising, she seems to allude to her guilt in the charges brought by the Mazarites.
After dinner, T'Pol walks V'Lar to her quarters, obviously uncomfortable. When T'Pol tries to leave, V'Lar confronts her, saying that she senses her disappointment. With a curt good night, T'Pol excuses herself.
Later, T'Pol and Archer discuss the evening. Archer tells T'Pol that he is concerned about her, that the situation with V'Lar seems to be weighing heavily on her. T'Pol admits that she finds it troubling that V'Lar would return to Vulcan under such circumstances. If V'Lar were innocent, T'Pol believes that she would have stayed to defend herself. Then, T'Pol relates to Archer the story of her first meeting with V'Lar, her hero, a meeting that T'Pol believes V'Lar has forgotten. In the midst of the Mazarites' accusations, T'Pol is troubled to see her hero fall. Archer commiserates with T'Pol, telling her that he knows what it's like to see a hero's name be sullied. T'Pol assures Archer that Vulcans have no heroes. Then, Archer is called to the bridge.
On the bridge, a Mazarite ship is hailing the Enterprise, claiming that the Mazarite High Council sent them to take V'Lar back to Mazar for further questioning. When Archer tells the Mazarites that he must verify this with Starfleet Command, the Mazarites tell him to do whatever he needs to do. Once communications are ended, Sato reports that the Mazarites are jamming their long range communications. Then, the Mazarite ship attacks Enterprise.
Reluctantly, Archer returns fire, but their spatial torpedoes are ineffective. Dropping to impulse, the Enterprise begins firing with the phase cannons, damaging the Mazarites before jumping back to warp. Turning to T'Pol, Archer accuses her of knowing more about what's going on than she's telling him. Later, in private, Archer turns his accusations to V'Lar, who denies any further knowledge. However, when T'Pol confronts her, V'Lar concedes that anything further she might say could have unacceptable diplomatic repercussions. With nothing more to go on, Archer informs V'Lar that he has decided to set a course back to Mazar, in order to protect the lives of his crew. Later, Archer discusses the situation with Admiral Forrest, who assures Archer that he will talk with Soval, in order to learn more about the situation.
At the same time, T'Pol enters the mess hall to find V'Lar and Sato sharing a drink. Sato quickly excuses herself. Once she and V'Lar are alone, T'Pol attempts to convince V'Lar to tell Archer the truth about what is going on with the Mazarites, admitting to V'Lar that Archer resents Vulcans for holding back Human development. V'Lar defends the Vulcan way, which T'Pol insists only fuels Human resentment – the Vulcans must earn Humanity's trust, though V'lar shoots back that her century-long diplomatic career would not have been possible without earning people's trust. T'Pol apologizes, but V'Lar responds that she merely spoke her mind – just as she'd always done. Noting T'Pol's surprise, V'Lar reminds her about the blunt way T'Pol had addressed her years ago, when they first met – an experience that would be difficult not to remember. T'Pol apologizes for her youthful exuberance, but V'Lar replies that it actually helped her, encouraging her to rethink her methods. Finally, V'Lar confides in T'Pol.
Cryptically, T'Pol reports her findings to Archer, defending V'Lar and asking for his help. She explains that the charges are false, merely a diversion to allow for the removal of V'Lar and her safe return to Vulcan territory. T'Pol believes that V'Lar will be killed if she returns to Mazar. Archer, however, cannot accept her story. Without further proof, he will have to return the ambassador to the Mazar. Desperate, T'Pol pleads with Archer, stating that she has never asked for anything until now. Reluctantly, he agrees.
The Mazarites pursue Enterprise, but she speeds away at a speed warp 4.9, with the Mazarites slowly gaining on them. V'Lar comes to the bridge, concerned about the situation. Captain Archer explains that they are being pursued by hostile Mazarites, something that obviously upsets the ambassador. V'Lar asks if they will be able to outrun the Mazarites. When Archer admits that he doesn't know, V'Lar asks to speak with him privately. She admits to him that their pursuers are criminals, members of an organization that has infiltrated even the highest levels of the Mazarite High Council. These criminals will kill anyone who stands in their way, even V'Lar. She finally admits to being undercover, collecting information in order to build a case against them. The allegations were a ruse to protect her and get her off of Mazar safely. Since it obviously failed, V'Lar asks Archer to drop the ship out of warp so that she may surrender herself in exchange for the safe passage of the Enterprise. Archer, much to V'Lar's surprise, refuses. V'Lar argues that it is the most logical course of action. Archer reminds her with a smile that Humans aren't known for following the most logical course of action.
T'Pol calls Archer to the bridge when the Mazarites contact Enterprise. They demand the return of V'Lar, offering in exchange the safe passage of Enterprise out of Mazarite territory. Archer, again, refuses, stating that he has orders to deliver her to the Vulcans and that he will do just that. Suddenly, the Mazarites end communications and increase their speed to warp 4.95, fast approaching weapons' range. Archer contacts Tucker, telling him he needs more velocity and has decided to take Enterprise to warp 5. Tucker warns that while although the warp engine was designed to reach warp 5 it isn't recommended and if anything Enterprise could really do with slowing down at this point, but Archer tells him they have no choice. Slowly, Enterprise accelerates. Warp 4.93, 4.95, 4.97 … The Mazarites match speed. Finally, warp 5. Enterprise begins to shudder at the exertion. Then, Reed reports that the Mazarites are still gaining on them.
T'pol reports that their rendezvous point with the Sh'Raan is 53 minutes away but, if a message could be sent, they could rendezvous in twelve minutes. V'Lar offers a special diplomatic channel, but just as she thinks a message may have gotten through, the engines begin to catch fire. After Mazarite weapons fire cripples one nacelle, Enterprise falls to impulse with the Sh'Raan still eight minutes away. The Mazarites slow to impulse and hail them. Archer sends V'Lar to sickbay, asking her to simply trust him. Once she leaves, the captain opens communications with the Mazarites. While Archer tries to stall, the Mazarites threaten to and eventually send boarding parties. Archer meets the boarding party and explains that V'Lar was badly injured in the attacks and she is currently in sickbay undergoing treatment. The boarding party demands to be taken to sickbay, where Doctor Phlox refuses to allow them access to V'Lar who, he explains, is in the imaging chamber and cannot be removed since premature removal would kill her. When the Mazarites hail their boarding party to tell them that their communications are being jammed, the Mazarites open fire on the chamber. Just then, the Vulcans arrive and quickly disable the Mazarite ships. Once the situation is under control, the Vulcans hail Enterprise, demanding that the Mazarites hand over their weapons and surrender, after which their leader tells Archer that they had accomplished their goal, and that is what really mattered. As the Mazarites leave sickbay, however, they are greeted by an uninjured V'Lar, who smugly apologizes for disappointing them, and promises to mention the day's actions in her testimony. Beaten and indignant, the Mazarites depart.
Captain Archer records a log, explaining that the Vulcans allowed the Mazarites to leave. V'Lar thanks Archer, then comments on the bond that Archer and T'Pol share, a bond of trust, respect, and even friendship. This bond, she says, bodes well for the future of their people. After shaking Archer's hand, V'Lar offers T'Pol a traditional farewell and departs.
"I asked if you've…"
"We heard you. What makes you think we're suffering from a lack of sexual activity?"
- - Tucker, T'Pol, and Archer
"It is my understanding that your mating ritual is effective in easing tension."
"That hasn't always been my experience!"
- - T'Pol and Tucker
"If you're wearing that to impress the women on Risa, you may as well stay on board."
"'Rule No. 1 – you gotta be seen to get noticed… and I plan on gettin' noticed."
"Don't say she didn't warn you."
- - T'Pol, a Hawaiian shirt-clad Tucker, and Archer
"Well, this may come as a shock to you, Jon, but the Vulcans aren't talking."
- - Forrest and Archer
"I'm just a transport captain. I never try to make sense of what government bureaucrats are thinking."
"I'll have to contact my superiors."
"There's really no need."
"I'm just a starship captain. You don't think they'd trust me to make these kinds of decisions on my own?"
- - The Mazarite captain and Archer
"Vulcans don't have heroes."
"No, I'm sure they don't."
- - T'Pol and Archer
"The Vulcans are raising holy Hell about this, Jon!"
- - Forrest
"I read those Nuvian masseuses have twelve fingers… on each hand."
"Huh. Well then, I'd say Starfleet needs to make its presence known on Risa."
- - Tucker and Reed
"This must be awkward for you, having a foot in two worlds… loyal to your captain, yet still a Vulcan."
- - Ambassador V'Lar, to T'Pol
"We've kept many things from them, all for good reason."
"But situations like this only reinforce their resentment. If we expect to continue our relations with Humanity we have to earn their trust."
- - V'Lar and T'Pol
"I can no longer put you and your crew in danger, captain. Please drop out of warp - I plan to surrender myself to them."
"It hasn't gotten to that yet."
"It's the most logical course of action."
"If you've learned anything about Humans, you'd know – we don't always take the most logical course of action."
- - V'Lar and Archer
"It's called a warp 5 engine."
- - Archer and Tucker
"They're matching our speed."
"4.99… Warp five!"
- - Mayweather and Reed, announcing their progress as Enterprise reaches warp five for the first time
"We did what we came to do – that's all that matters."
(The sickbay doors open, and the Mazarites realize just how wrong they were)
"I am sorry to disappoint you… (the Mazarites look back furiously at a smirking Archer) …I look forward to adding this incident to my testimony at your trial."
- - The Mazarite captain and an alive-and-well V'Lar
"Someday, I'd like to walk into a room without it feeling like a state visit!"
- - V'Lar, upon seeing her sombre aides at the airlock, after docking with the Sh'Raan
"Live long and prosper."
- - V'Lar, to T'Pol
- "Captain's starlog, February 9, 2152. The Vulcans have allowed the Mazarites to leave. Ambassador V'Lar says there's a good reason for doing so, though she's certainly not sharing it with me."
- The story for this episode originated simply with the idea of a disgraced Vulcan ambassador to be ferried home. "And when we sat down and started kicking around the story," reflected Enterprise staff writer Chris Black, "I was the one who said, 'Well, what if we make it a woman and someone who had been an idol of T'Pol's?'" (Star Trek: Communicator issue 143, p. 30)
- The final draft script of this episode was issued on 25 February 2002.
- V'Lar actress Fionnula Flanagan previously appeared as Enina Tandro in DS9: "Dax" and Juliana Tainer in TNG: "Inheritance".
- Chris Black once pointed out two references which this episode makes to Star Trek: The Original Series. The first of these is when Trip Tucker becomes worried about pushing Enterprise's engine too hard, which was an homage to very similar anxieties which Montgomery Scott occasionally displays in TOS. Also, the observations made by V'Lar in the episode's conclusion, about there existing "a great bond" between Archer and T'Pol, was a "glimmer of what is going to come when you get to the original series," noted Black. (Star Trek: Communicator issue 143, p. 30)
- This marks the first time Enterprise manages to reach warp 5.
- This is the first episode to state that ships cannot fire phase cannons while at warp, as Malcolm Reed tells Archer.
- Enterprise will finally reach Risa two episodes later, in "Two Days and Two Nights".
- This is the first use of the Vulcan salute, "Live long and prosper," in Star Trek: Enterprise, said by V'Lar to T'Pol near the end of the episode.
- "Fallen Hero" turned out to be one of Chris Black's favorite episodes from the first season of Enterprise. "There's great insight to T'Pol in that episode," he enthused. "Plus, I love the fact that we ran the ship up to Warp 5 for the first time – and it's not even good enough!" Black also opined that the homage to Montgomery Scott, with an exasperated Trip Tucker worrying about Enterprise's engines, is fun. He commented, too, that depicting a Vulcan character so noble, self-sacrificing and eventually truthful to the Humans as V'Lar is in this episode answered critics who had been disappointed with the way the Vulcans had been shown in Enterprise and helped restore balance to the series' portrayals of the species. (Star Trek: Communicator issue 143, p. 30)
- On the first broadcast of this installment, the episode achieved a Nielsen rating of 3.2 and was watched by a total of 5.34 million viewers. 
- Star Trek Magazine's "Ultimate Guide" rated this episode 4 out of 5 arrowhead insignia. (Star Trek Magazine issue 164, p. 79)
- The unofficial reference book Beyond the Final Frontier (p. 368) comments about this installment, "This is a fine episode, and Fionnula Flanagan, once again, puts in a memorable guest appearance."
- V'Lar is one of only a handful of female Vulcans whose name does not begin with the letter T, the others being Saavik, Selar, Sakonna, and Valeris, though her name still includes the apostrophe common to female Vulcan names.
- During dinner, V'Lar comments that she and T'Pol are likely the oldest two people on the ship. V'Lar must be at least 89 to have been alive during Human-Vulcan First Contact and T'Pol was 64 at the time.
Video and DVD releases
- UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, Paramount Home Entertainment): Volume 1.12, 21 October 2002
- As part of the ENT Season 1 DVD collection
- As part of the ENT Season 1 Blu-ray collection
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
Special guest star
- Adam Anello as an operations division crewman
- Jef Ayres as Haynem
- Glen Hambly as a operations division ensign
- Dieter Hornemann as a Vulcan Sh'Raan crewman
- John Jurgens as a command division crewman
- Martin Ko as a command division ensign
- Bobby Pappas as an operations division crewman
- John Richards as a Mazarite guard
- Adam Segen as a Mazarite guard
- Thelma Tyrell as an operations division crewman (deleted scene)
- Cynthia Uhrich as an operations division crewman
- Walter Warner as a Vulcan Sh'Raan crewman
- Mark Watson as an operations division crewman
- Gary Weeks as an operations division crewman
- Todd Wieland as an operations division crewman
- Prada as Porthos
2058; acceleration; accusation; Andoria; Andorians; antimatter injector; astrometric survey; beach; boarding party; bureaucrat; crime; dermal regeneration; diplomatic frequency; drive plasma; dry spell; energy shielding; Earth; English language; guilt; Hawaiian shirt; hero worship; humor; iced tea; imaging chamber; jamming signal; Ka'Tann Conference; linguistic seminar; logic; magistrate; masseuse; mating ritual; Mazar; Mazarites; Mazarite High Council; Mazarite ship; Mazarite shuttle; meter; neurological trauma; Nuvian; occupational hazard; passion fruit; path; phase cannon; pon farr; plasma burn; polarized hull plating; power coupling; Risa; science officer; sexual activity; Sh'Raan; shock; shore leave; Soval; speed; star chart; Starfleet Regulations; state visit; steward; subspace bandwidth; Suurok-class; Treaty of Ka'Tann; Vulcan; Vulcan; Vulcan database; Vulcan combat cruiser; Vulcan Consulate; Vulcan database; Vulcan High Command; Vulcan Science Council; Vulcan shuttle (Sh'Raan's shuttle); Vulcana Regar; warp coil; warp five engine; World War III
References (deleted scenes)
- "Fallen Hero" at StarTrek.com, the official Star Trek website
- "Fallen Hero" at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
- "Fallen Hero" at Wikipedia
| Previous episode:|
| Star Trek: Enterprise|
| Next episode:|