For the Vanguard novel, see Harbinger. For the DS9 video game, see Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - Harbinger.

The Enterprise rescues an alien from a massive spatial anomaly, but its lone pilot refuses to explain why he was there. Reed and Hayes confront each other over their roles on the ship.



Commander Tucker is in his quarters, practicing Vulcan neuropressure on Corporal Amanda Cole's foot rather than his usual partner, T'Pol. After completing a few other pressure points, Cole turns round, and stares at Tucker. She kisses him, and then walks out, leaving him looking surprised, but happy.

Act One

"Captain's starlog, December 27, 2153. Using the coordinates we got from Degra, we're en route to the location of the red giant star and with any luck, the Xindi weapon."

Captain Archer calls Lieutenant Reed to his ready room to discuss training sessions with the MACOs. Major Hayes has already discussed including the senior officers in the training sessions, but Reed has some objections to taking orders from the major. However, he accepts his orders.

On the bridge, Ensign Mayweather comments that the stars directly ahead appear to be shifting positions. The Enterprise proceeds to investigate the phenomenon. They arrive to find that it is a convergence of a large number of spatial anomalies. Ensign Sato picks up a weak transmission coming from within the disturbance. T'Pol identifies its source as a small pod containing one humanoid life sign. Archer instructs Reed to deploy the grappler, and they attempt to remove the pod. Upon trying to pull the pod out, the disturbance suddenly expands and envelops the primary hull. Small spatial disturbances begin forming on the bridge, disrupting a few systems, and ammonium sulfide starts accumulating in the atmosphere. The captain orders full reverse from the engineering crew, and the Enterprise manages to escape, along with the pod. Dr. Phlox asks T'Pol to join him in sickbay to discuss Corporal Cole. She has been to see the doctor because of headaches, which Phlox associates with the neuropressure sessions she'd been receiving from Commander Tucker. Phlox recommends that T'Pol should try to remedy the situation by conducting further sessions with the corporal, and that Tucker should be discouraged from continuing with her.

In the shuttlebay, Archer, Reed and Tucker open the pod, and discover a humanoid inside, alive, with many electrodes connecting him to the pod.

Act Two

They take him to sickbay, where Phlox tries to revive the alien. In the command center, T'Pol has been working on the readings from the disturbance, and has gathered some interesting data. She has deduced that the disturbance is located exactly in the center of five spheres. Archer hypothesizes that the spheres are the cause of the disturbance.

Meanwhile, Reed and Hayes argue over the timing of the training sessions, much to the major's exasperation. Reed is unhappy about the major going over his head with his recommendation to the captain. The captain wants the doctor to revive the alien, but Phlox states that's unethical. Archer says they're going to have to bend a few ethics.

Act Three

In T'Pol's quarters, she is conducting a neuropressure session with Cole. They discuss Cole's apparent attraction to Tucker, which she admits to, much to the surprise of T'Pol.

The doctor confirms to Archer that the alien is dying, but not just dying – he is disintegrating. There isn't much that Phlox can do to stop the alien's demise.

In one of the cargo bays, Major Hayes has set up a session of hand-to-hand combat, and the MACOs and the senior officers are paired up against each other. Both groups appear to be equally matched, much to Reed's relief. The session goes well, until one of the MACOs goes over the top with Mayweather. Mayweather seems to not be too badly hurt, but Reed stops the session, and demands that the major keeps control of his soldiers.

The alien's condition continues to deteriorate, and he continues to demand to be returned to the disturbance site. However, Archer is adamant that he needs more answers about why he was there. He reveals that he is from a trans-dimensional realm, and then experiences a further development - his hand starts to phase.

Hayes sets up a weapon targeting session as part of his new training regime. Reed doesn't score very high in his first attempt, much to his disappointment, and he isn't consoled by the major's comments. Afterward, in the crew's mess, Tucker engages Reed in discussion concerning the training sessions. Reed doesn't wish to discuss Major Hayes, but is more interested in the rumors of a relationship between Cole and Tucker. Tucker is equally not keen to discuss this conversation.

"Captain's starlog, supplemental. With Travis' adjustments in place, we've resumed course for the red giant."

Tucker goes to see T'Pol for his neuropressure session, and discusses his situation with Cole with her. T'Pol learns that Tucker is attracted to her, and quickly kisses him before taking off her clothes and kissing him again...

In sickbay, the Doctor talks to the steadily sickening alien about Denobula and Earth. As the Doctor turns away to consult a medical screen, the alien attacks him, knocking him unconscious, before discovering that he can pass through solid walls - he walks through the sickbay wall.

Act Four

The alien's passage through the ship causes ship-wide power failures that T'Pol notes are a way to track his progress. Meanwhile, Reed and Hayes' conflict has escalated, and they are in the middle of a big fight, when they are called to duty to attempt to track down the alien. They intercept him, but their weapons have no effect.

In engineering, Tucker encounters the alien, but is knocked unconscious seconds before the MACOs and Reed arrive. The alien then pushes his hand into the warp core, destabilizing the magnetic seals. With Hayes' help, Reed is able to reverse the polarity of the field coils, and this repels the alien.

The next day, Tucker and T'Pol discuss their intimacies over coffee and tea in the crew's mess. T'Pol attempts to dismiss the event as her "exploration of Human sexuality". They both agree to keep their secret between themselves and also agree to continue their sessions together.

Hayes and Reed are called to the Captain's ready room for a dressing down because of the wounds they inflicted on each other during their fighting. He orders their dispute to be ended right now, though Reed and Hayes confirm that the dispute has already been settled. When the Captain leaves, a bit of humor is added when Reed and Hayes are left wondering if they're dismissed yet.

Back in sickbay, the alien deteriorates further, and disintegrates completely, but not before telling Archer that his people are involved with the Xindi plan to destroy Earth.

Memorable quotes

"I've noticed that you and Corporal Cole have become somewhat friendly."
"Last week you were eating together in the mess hall, and in the training session yesterday she touched your behind."
"You've been keeping a pretty close eye on us."
"You're hard to miss."

- T'Pol and Tucker

"Captain, this man is dying a painful death. To keep him conscious is unethical."
"Until I get the answers I need, we're going to have to bend a few ethics."

- Phlox and Captain Archer

"You and Commander Tucker appear to enjoy each other's company."
"We do have a lot in common. Did he tell you we grew up less than fifty kilometers from each other?"
"He didn't mention it."
"Our high schools were rivals. We went to the same movie theaters. What are the odds?"
"Extremely low."

- T'Pol and Corporal Cole, discussing Trip Tucker

"You two really ought to declare a truce."
"Oh, no. This is a fight to the death."

- Tucker and Reed

"You have to admit, the extra training isn't such a bad idea."
"Just... drop it."

- Tucker and Reed

"Why were you giving Amanda Cole neuropressure, anyway?"
"What's it to you?"
"Well, from what I'm told, it's a pretty intimate procedure... for just friends."
"I do it with T'Pol. Are you implying there's something going on there as well?"
"That's the rumor."
"Look, for the last time, there's nothing going on with any of us... between any of us."
"Right, you're all just friends."
"That's right."
"Huh. I guess this Vulcan neuropressure isn't that intimate, after all."
"In that case, I've got a nasty little pain just..."
"Just drop it."

- Reed and Tucker

"That's it! Stay loose... excellent! You're improving."

- Reed, sarcastically, to Major Hayes as they fight

"As you were!"

- Reed, to a crewman, seconds before Hayes punches him in the head.

"What was that?"
"It was a little Klingon move I picked up."

- Hayes and Reed, after he knocks Hayes down during their brawl

"I don't know who did more damage to the engine, the alien or Malcolm."

- Tucker, to T'Pol

"Think we're dismissed?"

- Reed, to Hayes, after Captain Archer leaves them standing at attention

"When the Xindi destroy Earth, my people will prevail."

- The alien, to Archer (last line of the episode)

Background Information

T'Pol naked

A controversial scene in which T'Pol's naked posterior appears

  • As originally filmed, the famous "love scene" between Tucker and T'Pol featured a look at actress Jolene Blalock's naked posterior. Two versions of this scene exist, however, depending on where and how the episode is watched: US audiences watching the original broadcast on UPN (or later on the Sci-Fi Channel) were shown a version in which the frame was "enlarged", enabling the network to crop the picture just above Blalock's bare bottom. Canadian viewers, however, were treated to the scene as it was originally shot – with Ms. Blalock's bottom shown (see the picture to the right). The "unedited" version of this scene is intact on Paramount's Star Trek: Enterprise - The Complete Third Season DVD release and HDNet's broadcast. It has been speculated that this was due to a recent uproar involving nudity on television - the episode aired a mere ten days after the infamous "wardrobe malfunction" during halftime at Super Bowl XXXVIII.
  • Thomas Kopache, who played the test subject here, has portrayed a number of different characters and aliens over the years. He appeared as Mirok, (TNG: "The Next Phase") the engineer, (TNG: "Emergence") USS Enterprise-B communications officer, (Star Trek Generations) Viorsa, (VOY: "The Thaw") Kira Taban, (DS9: "Ties of Blood and Water", "Wrongs Darker Than Death or Night") and Tos. (ENT: "Broken Bow")
  • T'Pol references Sim, a short-lived clone of Tucker seen in "Similitude", who revealed his feelings (and thus Trip's feelings) for her to her.
  • This is the first appearance of a member of the species that was later revealed as the Sphere Builders.
  • When the tactical alert was initiated, an alarm was sounded that has never appeared in any episodes prior to this or since.
  • The MACO training fight sequences were choreographed by stuntman Ron Balicki.

Links and references

Main cast

Guest stars

Uncredited Co-Stars

Stunt doubles


ammonium sulfide; biometric data; canary; cellular degeneration; corporal; Degra; Chosen Realm; Denobula; Earth; ethics; feedback pulse; Florida; Friday; gravimetric disturbance; hand-to-hand combat; headache; helm; high school; Jupiter Station; kidney; Klingon; life support; light year; lunar survival training; magnetic containment; Makers; Military Assault Command Operations; miner; movie theater; navigational sensors; neuro-pressure; osmotic eel; plasma coil; pressure point; private; rat; red giant; retina; senior officer; sergeant; Sim; spatial anomaly; Sphere Builders; Sphere Builder transport pod; Starfleet training; trans-dimensional realm; Triannon; Triannon mythology; Tucker, Elizabeth; Tuesday; Wednesday

Previous episode:
Star Trek: Enterprise
Season 3
Next episode:
"Doctor's Orders"
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