(written from a Production point of view)
While Enterprise diverts to observe an unusual planetary event, Travis Mayweather takes time off to visit his family on the cargo ship where he was born and raised, the Horizon.
Ensign Travis Mayweather is in his favorite part of Enterprise that happens to have variable gravity parts to it. Soon, though, he gets a call to report to the bridge, as an important mission calls Enterprise to reverse course.
Captain Jonathan Archer briefs the crew on their mission from Admiral Maxwell Forrest. A certain planet 30 light-years away has recently shifted orbit to relocate between two gas giants and where there is a lot of volcanic activity to be expected due to the new gravitational environment. Enterprise is to make a detour to gather scientific data. Since most of the data collection is automatic, this also gives the crew some free time. Commander Tucker organizes daily movie nights and encourages Sub-commander T'Pol to join, at least for the first night. She reluctantly agrees, but tries to find a medical excuse from Doctor Phlox – no luck.
Meanwhile, since they will be passing near the ECS Horizon, the ship that Mayweather was both born and grew up on, the helm officer asks for a leave. Archer agrees and talks with him a bit. His parents are still there and will be surprised to see him. Archer even mentions he once considered a career on one of those ships.
Mayweather unfortunately gets an unhappy message from his mother: his father died six weeks previously. Since the ensign left on bad terms when he departed for Starfleet, it is even more shocking. Archer goes to find Mayweather in his secluded spot on the ship when he hears the news. Mayweather tells him how his father was not happy with him leaving as he had been groomed since childhood to be captain after him. Archer says that it must have been hard for his father to see him leave, but he knows for a fact his father was proud of him; Mayweather isn't so sure. Archer explains that when he was having a little trouble deciding among the few candidates for the conn officer position, he had requested recommendations from their former commanding officers, Travis among them. Captain Mayweather's letter was the shortest with one sentence: "[I've] never met a more natural stick-and-rudder man in [my] life, and [you'd] be a fool if [you don't] choose [him]." After seeing Mayweather handle himself at the helm, Archer knew that his father had been right. Mayweather wishes his father would have told him that.
Tucker sends Mayweather off with a compilation of pictures from Mayweather's experiences aboard Enterprise.
Mayweather first chats with his mother, her mentioning all the concerning things she's heard about (through her contacts), and him downplaying the danger. The ship is headed to Deneva Station to pick up supplies. He also sees Juan, who's happy to see him and wants to meet up later in the mess hall. His mom has arranged to have Mayweather's quarters available for him, and he's interested to find some of his old things, including a astrometric chart of all the places he wanted to go. His mom leaves to align plasma conduits, so he settles in and visits his brother, Paul, at work in the cargo bay. It's a more somber meeting, as Paul says he didn't expect to become captain so soon. Travis, looking around, notes business must be good. Paul seems to need to get back to work, so Travis bids goodbye until dinner. Before leaving, Paul makes an unfriendly comment about Travis changing into a "less conspicuous" uniform, noting Travis' choice to join Starfleet.
Friction between the Mayweather brothers starts when Travis tries to make some upgrades to the ship's navigational sensors and port stabilizers on the ship's bridge. Paul enters and sees what Travis is doing. Annoyed that Travis would perform upgrades without consulting him, he confronts him with the concern that, if the upgrades go offline after Travis leaves, they couldn't get them fixed. The coldness changes into sarcasm as he suggests Travis next build a warp 5 engine. Travis becomes awkward and simply leaves.
Later, he gets a visit from Nora and they happily catch up. While not wanting to spoil Travis' visit, she reveals that the ship has had its difficulties in the past few weeks, bringing concern that Paul isn't up to the role of captain. Travis is confident in him, though, and says it's only a few weeks. This sheds light on Paul's earlier greeting. Even though it appears that Paul still likes Travis, he apparently feels a little insecure with his new responsibilities and is under a lot of pressure. Travis' conversation with Nora is interrupted as the Horizon is attacked.
Travis gets to the bridge to learn they're being attacked by unknown aliens who don't respond to hails. Travis gets to a panel during the action. Paul decides to run instead of firing back. The ship successfully hits warp 1.85, but the aliens catch up. Then, they move away. Travis, however, finds they attached something to the freighter's hull – a subspace beacon with a dicobalt explosive to prevent it from being tampered with. Travis joins Paul, their mother and Charlie Nichols, who gathered some information about this same tactic used on the ECS Constellation. They can expect another ship to intercept them soon and demand their cargo, or they will be attacked. Paul wants to speed up and arrive at Deneva ahead of schedule, since it's safe there. Travis, wanting to fight, thinks he knows the engine configuration of the attack ship, like a Mazarite ship. Further, he thinks he can create a better weapon using a method Malcolm Reed came up with once. Paul dismisses it, saying it's too risky. He feels they have to run, and, if they are intercepted too soon, they will give up their cargo. Travis makes another plea, but Paul coldly states he's not a part of the crew anymore.
On Enterprise, the crew is preparing for the stellar event and the social event. Tucker and T'Pol are re-calibrating equipment while Hoshi Sato is ordered to get a communications link to Admiral Forrest so he can view. Archer finally gets T'Pol to go to a movie night by using arguments about crew fraternization. He suggests to "make a night" of it and do dinner as well, taking T'Pol as his date (and promising to be a gentleman). T'Pol is very unsettled, for a Vulcan, and feels she must accept. That night, the crew watches Frankenstein, and typical movie behavior ensures. T'Pol soon becomes bored and reads a PADD, but Archer reminds her she was going to give it a chance. Phlox, sitting behind T'Pol, notes similarities of Dr. Frankenstein's procedure to some culture he's seen, and gets excited about it only to be cut off by T'Pol. She further "indulges" in some popcorn.
On the Horizon, Nichols sees someone is tampering with the impulse relays. Paul goes down personally to see Travis making upgrades to the ship's weaponry against his wishes. Paul now becomes openly hostile, throwing irrational accusations at his brother about him leaving their father and not being around even though he knew his father was sick. Travis states that isn't fair and that any captain needs to put his or her personal feelings aside. Paul retorts that Starfleet is the problem, enticing potential freight recruits on the promise of "exploration." He demands Travis take the upgrades offline, but Travis leaves. Fortunately, after a conversation with his mother in the mess hall, Travis understands that only time will help his brother. Paul is now in a worse situation than his father was in when he first took command of the ship, and that no upgrades or extended leave (for Travis) will make it faster or easier.
In the captain's dining room, Tucker and Archer want to know T'Pol's reaction to the movie. They are both surprised by her conclusions. She views Frankenstein's monster as the protagonist, an individual persecuted for being different. Further, she makes an analogy between the villagers' reactions to the creature and the reaction Humans had when the Vulcans first arrived on Earth. She says that she will suggest to Ambassador Soval that he show the movie to every Vulcan newly arrived on Earth. They are interrupted by the volcanic activity, which prompts Archer to order Enterprise to move farther away. Furthermore, there are microbial species unearthed by the activity.
When the aliens return for the Horizon, they want the crew to evacuate the freighter. Paul offers just the cargo, but the alien doesn't accept. Forced into defending their home, Paul decides to make use of the new weapon system – to protect not only his ship, but the whole freighter fleet in general. With Travis at the helm, they disengage the mooring clamps from the cargo section and the light J-class tug outmaneuvers the aliens' ship and, using the enhanced plasma weapons, disables the alien ship's weapons. Paul allows them to leave so that they can warn their fellow pirates that ECS freighters are the wrong ships to attack. Paul is much more friendly at the end as he finally understood that Travis was not trying to undermine his authority and he leaves his brother with his best wishes.
"Well, they'd better post a psychologist on board because I'd need one if my parents were roaming the corridors."
- - Reed, on Mayweather's idea of putting families on starships
"We're going to be showing the three greatest horror movies ever made: Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein, and Son of Frankenstein. We might even throw in Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein."
- - Tucker, to T'Pol on his selections for movie night
"I promise you'll like it. Reanimated life forms, science run amok. They're right up your alley."
- - Tucker, to T'Pol on the film's subject matter
"You come here a lot?"
"Every now and then."
- - Archer finds a distraught Mayweather in the "sweet spot" of Enterprise after he learns of his father's death
"He wrote the shortest recommendation. Just one sentence. He said he'd never met a more natural stick-and-rudder man in his life and I'd be a fool if I didn't choose you."
- - Archer, explaining the letter he got from Mayweather's father strongly recommending his son for the helmsman position on Enterprise
"It might be a good idea for you to go, too. It might be fun, and a little fraternizing couldn't hurt."
"I don't understand how sitting silently in a darkened room constitutes fraternizing."
- - Captain Archer and T'Pol, regarding Tucker's invitation to movie night
"This Dr. Frankenstein, his technique is not dissimilar to a practice on B'Saari II."
- - Phlox, to Commander Tucker
"We can stop the film if it's disturbing your conversation."
- - T'Pol to Phlox
"Captain, I'm reading bio-signs on the planet. To quote Dr. Frankenstein, "It's alive.""
- - T'Pol to Captain Archer
- Shortly prior to the filming of first season finale "Shockwave", Mayweather actor Anthony Montgomery gave an interview in which he expressed an interest in seeing both the sweet spot make a return appearance – after debuting in Star Trek: Enterprise's pilot episode, "Broken Bow" – and Mayweather's parents appear in the series, most of which occurs in this episode. (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 3, Issue 3, p. 19)
- During Mayweather's conversation with Nora in his old quarters on board the Horizon, a copy of Chicago Gangs can be seen on a bookshelf in the background. This was an homage meant to reference TOS: "A Piece of the Action", in which a book with a similar title, Chicago Mobs of the Twenties, was left on a planet by crew members of the Horizon.
- Nicole Forester previously played a dabo girl (in Julian Bashir's mind) in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Distant Voices".
- Mayweather and Reed's conversation about allowing families to live aboard Starfleet starships, and Reed's subsequent comment that a ship's psychologist would be necessary retroactively predicts Star Trek: The Next Generation and the USS Enterprise-D, which showed both regular family life aboard a Starfleet vessel and the role of a ship's counselor in detail.
- The bridge of the Horizon was built using a redressed Enterprise bridge set.
- Mayweather states that Enterprise has traveled 150 light years and seen twenty-two inhabited worlds in eighteen months.
- This episode marks the second instance of T'Pol breaking the Vulcan taboo of refusing to touch food with one's hands; she partakes in popcorn during movie night. She previously broke that taboo during the events of "Shadows of P'Jem".
- The tables in the Horizon's mess hall are actually from the USS Voyager's mess.
- In Mayweather's old room on the Horizon, a model of the Phoenix can be seen in the background.
- The music was composed by Mark McKenzie.
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
- Adam Anello as an operations division crewman
- Mark Correy as Alex
- Jared Patrick Cox as a Horizon crewman
- Evan English as Tanner
- Nikki Flux as a command division crewman
- Glen Hambly as a operations division ensign
- Scott Hill as Hutchison
- Aldric Horton as an operations division crewman
- Amina Islam as a command division ensign
- Roy Joaquin as science division crewman
- John Jurgens as a command division crewman
- Aouri Makhlouf as a medical crewman
- Rene Marentes as a Horizon crewman
- Marnie Martin as an operations division crewman
- Michael McAdam as a command division crewman
- Marlene Mogavero as an operations division crewman
- Bobby Pappas as an operations division crewman
- Lidia Sabljic as a command division crewman
- Jan Shiva as a science division crewman
- Monika Spruch as a science division crewman
- Warren Tabata as Horizon crewman
- Scott L. Treger as a Horizon crewman
- Unknown performers as
- Archive footage
Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein; Advanced Technology Warfare; babysitter; book club; B'Saari; B'Saari II; Bride of Frankenstein; cargo container; catwalk; Chef; Chicago Gangs; clockwork; Columbus, Christopher; Cochrane, Zefram; Constellation, ECS; Constellation, ECS crew members; Demerians; Deneva Station; deuterium; dicobalt; Earth; Earth Cargo Authority; electrode; emotional response; family reunion; flight path; forklift; Forrest, Maxwell; Frankenstein; gas giant; grav-plating; great aunt; harmonica; heart; high orbit; holometric camera; homesick; Horizon, ECS; hull fracture; hull plating; imaging relay; impulse relay; J-class; kilometer; kiloton; larva; Magellan, Ferdinand; Mayweather's grandfather; Mayweather's sister; Mazarite; Mazarite ship; meter; metric ton; microbial species; movies; movie night; navigation sensor; neutronic storm; nutri-pak; Orion freighter; phase cannon; pitchfork; plasma injector; plasma turret; pon farr; popcorn; prophecy; protagonist; Reed, Mary; Reed, Stuart; referee; reserve power; Rianna's contacts; Romulan; Romulan minefield; San Francisco; Sea Witch; Shelley, Mary; Son of Frankenstein; Soval; spatial discriminator; standard astrometric chart; Starfleet database; Starfleet (Earth); strawberry shortcake; storm; stromatopod; subspace postcard; Takrets; tarul-etek; Trelkis III; thermal scanner; thermal shear; torch; Vega colony; VIP; Vulcan; Vulcan; warp jump; words of wisdom
- "Horizon" at StarTrek.com, the official Star Trek website
- "Horizon" at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
- "Horizon" at Wikipedia
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