(written from a Production point of view)
Archer and T'Pol endeavor to expose an ancient Vulcan artifact to Vulcan society, while Enterprise becomes involved in a standoff between the Vulcan and Andorian fleets.
In the chambers of the Vulcan High Command on Vulcan, Administrator V'Las shows the assembled Vulcans the Andorian ship movements around Paan Mokar. Kuvak points out that the Vulcans themselves gave the Andorians that planet when they signed a treaty. He wonders why the Andorians would mount a defensive position around it. V'Las tells him the Andorians believe that the Vulcans are intending to retake it because probes have been generating false warp signatures. Kuvak questions why the council was not informed of this but V'Las says that it is possible that Andorian agents have penetrated the High Command and that it was necessary to limit the information. V'Las then shows Kuvak the actual location of Vulcan forces preparing an invasion of Andoria. V'Las is preparing this as he believes that the Andorians are in possession of Xindi technology, namely a prototype of the Xindi weapon taken from the Calindra system. V'Las is convinced that the Andorians will make use of this weapon against his species someday.
Elsewhere on Vulcan, Archer, T'Pau, and T'Pol continue on towards the Vulcan High Command, Archer safely carrying the recently discovered Kir'Shara. Archer is intent on getting the artifact back to the High Command but it is two days away. T'Pau underlines the importance on getting the sacred object to the High Command, as it is the only surviving record of Surak's teachings and it would have an enormous impact on not only the High Command but Vulcan society itself.
On Enterprise, in Archer's ready room, Lieutenant Reed is informing Commander Tucker on the status of the ship's torpedo launchers. The lieutenant asks for permission to speak freely. When he is granted this, he asks the commander why they are heading for Andoria when Admiral Gardner has ordered Enterprise back to Earth. Tucker informs him they are going back; they are just taking a small detour first. When Reed asks him what Gardner will do when he finds out what Tucker is doing, the commander sarcastically promises Reed a seat at his court martial. Reed believes the Vulcans have legitimate reasons for launching the strike and if they alert the Andorians, they will be betraying their closest ally. Tucker tells the armory officer he is just trying to prevent a war. When Reed plans to go on how they should not get involved, Ambassador Soval enters and Reed is dismissed by Tucker. Soval asks Tucker why he had asked for him and he says he knows the Andorian Imperial Guard will likely not believe them about the imminent Vulcan invasion… but there may be one Andorian who will trust them – Shran. Tucker has no idea where the Andorian commander is but Soval reveals he may be able to help.
In the High Command's chambers, Kuvak tells V'Las that their patrol has returned with eight Syrrannites from the destroyed sanctuary. The Syrannites have revealed their leader Syrran is dead but there were three more survivors from the bombardment, two other Vulcans and a Human, Archer. Kuvak reveals that the Syrrannites have disclosed that Archer is carrying the Kir'Shara but V'Las dismisses this, saying the Kir'Shara never existed. He dismisses Kuvak and orders a sublieutenant to inform Talok to find and eradicate the remaining Syrrannites.
Enterprise arrives in Andorian territory, it stops near a nebula. Soval and Tucker telecommunicate with Shran, who has apparently concealed his own presence inside the nebula. Later, Soval, Tucker, and Shran meet aboard Enterprise. Soval and Tucker inform Shran that a Vulcan fleet is planning to attack Andorian space near Regulus. However, Shran is not totally convinced.
In the Vulcan desert, T'Pol and T'Pau observe a Vulcan patrol craft flying in the red sky – it is the fourth one they have seen just today. When T'Pol angrily informs T'Pau of the urgent need to get Archer (who is nearby, sleeping) to a doctor, she quickly apologizes, saying the death of her mother T'Les has affected her deeply. T'Pau sympathizes, telling T'Pol she valued her mother's counsel. She reveals to T'Pol that they also melded. When T'Pau offers to share the thoughts she experienced with T'Pol's mother, T'Pol informs her she has Pa'nar Syndrome, a result of when a Vulcan man improperly mind melded with her and that it is incurable. T'Pau tells her this is yet another lie perpetrated by the High Command. T'Pau tells T'Pol that Pa'nar Syndrome was known in Surak's time and is caused by an improperly performed mind meld. It can be cured by an accomplished melder. T'Pau melds with T'Pol, and presumably cures her Pa'nar Syndrome.
In the nebula, Shran orders the abduction of Soval. He's beamed into a restraint under guard.
Shran, suspicious of the information Soval has given him about the impending invasion, demands that Soval reveal the truth. Soval reminds him he was truthful through their previous negotiations, but Shran still proceeds to torture him. He's using a device that affects the Vulcan nervous system, causing Soval to soon lose control of his emotional barrier. Soon, Enterprise sees that Soval is missing and that he's on Shran's ship. Tucker hails, but gets no response. The Andorian ships head for the nebula and Enterprise follows, firing on Shran's ship, but they lose them in the nebula.
Archer, T'Pau, and T'Pol continue on, and, concerned for Archer's health, T'Pol suggests they stop. Archer does so under the guise that T'Pol really wanted a breather herself. While T'Pau scouts the area, Archer tries to talk to T'Pol to get her to take another look at the Syrrannite philosophy. He notes her previous disagreements with the High Command and that it was important to her mother, but T'Pol says there are a lot of groups who make similar claims with no evidence this group is different. She exclaims that the Syrrannites' beliefs have little to do with science as T'Pau comes back, and T'Pol breaks off the conversation.
Soval, even under this severe emotional stress and torture, insists that he has told the truth. Shran says he would never betray his people, to which Soval exclaims he's trying to save them. Soval gains temporary control and tells Shran about Nirak, someone who made a fatal mistake which led to the destruction of his village, who's name came to mean "fool" in the Vulcan language. He compares Shran to him, angering him and he orders the torture turned up. Soval screams.
Archer, T'Pau, and T'Pol encounter sudden resistance by members of the High Command, causing Archer and T'Pau to separate from T'Pol. T'Pol pretends to be a Syrrannite to convince the High Command officials to go to Mount Seleya.
While the officials continue on, T'Pol is sent to the High Command. Talok is one of them, and he reminds her he used to work under her and asks her why she betrayed them. She doesn't respond, but denies that Syrrannites are responsible for the embassy bombing.
Shran gets a communication from higher up for an update on the interrogation. He waves it off, and Soval starts laughing, thinking himself a fool for thinking Shran would believe him. Shran threatens to raise the setting even more, which would cause permanent damage, but Soval retorts that Shran is concerned for him, and he should keep that to himself. Just then, Enterprise fires on Shran's ship, and Shran finally relents, accepting Soval's information as true and returning him to the Human ship. The torture leaves Soval in a coma in Enterprise's sickbay, where Shran visits him to examine his condition. He reveals that the Imperial Guard is re-deploying their forces to Regulus and believe it would be helpful if Enterprise joined them.
On the way to Mount Seleya, Archer and T'Pau track their attackers. They're heading away from the capital, and T'Pol is with them. Archer decides to rescue her, despite T'Pau's concern for the Kir'Shara. They find a group and attack them, but learn that T'Pol is already at the High Command. Archer then performs a Vulcan nerve pinch on one of them; T'Pau says he's improving.
Enterprise and the Andorian fleet mobilize outside of the Andorian system, and encounter the Vulcan attack fleet. Unfortunately, the rest of the Andorian fleet won't get there in time – they're on their own.
Archer and T'Pau reach the outskirts of the city. They need to find a discrete way in, and Archer knows someone who can provide access codes for transport inside. Meanwhile, in the council chamber, Minister Kuvak continues to dislike the situation as he acknowledges to V'Las that the Andorian fleet is equipped with only particle weapons and there is no evidence of Xindi technology – they should call off the attack. V'Las says that their forces are committed and they must destroy Andoria.
Soon, Commander Tucker orders Enterprise to move between the two fleets, and Tucker hails the Vulcan fleet to buy time, since the Vulcans outnumber the Andorians two to one. V'Las receives the hail, and orders them to leave, but Tucker is insistent and has already talked to Admiral Gardner, making him aware of the situation. V'Las ends the call and orders the fleet to engage. Kuvak has had enough, and wants to call off the attack. V'Las has one of the guards on attention and promises Kuvak will be arrested if he tries to interfere again.
The Enterprise is quickly caught in the crossfire. Eventually, when the Enterprise fires on a Vahklas-type cruiser to aid a wounded Andorian ship, the Vulcans are ordered to destroy them by V'Las. During the firefight, the Kumari takes a hit for Enterprise, causing Shran to inform Tucker that Archer now owes him two favors.
Back on Vulcan, Archer and T'Pau enter the High Command chamber. V'Las attempts to contact security, allowing Kuvak to quickly pinch the sublieutenant guarding him and grab his weapon, stopping that order. Archer reveals to the council that V'Las bombed the Earth embassy as part of his plan to round up the Syrrannites so they wouldn't find the Kir'Shara. Despite V'Las' insistence that the Kir'Shara is a myth, Archer activates it, showing the holographic teachings of Surak. Kuvak says they must study the artifact, and T'Pau reinforces that quantum dating will prove to the assembled Council that it was from Surak's time. V'Las angrily exclaims it's all lies and tries to destroy the Kir'Shara only to be stunned by Kuvak, who then contacts the assault fleet to call off the attack.
Aboard Enterprise, Koss goes to see T'Pol. It was his access codes that allowed Archer and T'Pau to transport. He also releases T'Pol from her marriage, as she only did it for her mother and she is gone, now. At the Vulcan High Command, a Vulcan priest removes Surak's katra from Archer. Soval informs him that the High Command will be disbanded and T'Pau says that "it's time for Earth to stand on its own."
In a cave, V'Las meets clandestinely with Talok who is actually a Romulan. V'Las is angry that they didn't kill Archer. The Romulan tells him to wait, that forcibly freeing him will cause his disappearance to be noticed. He says that the "re-unification" is only a matter of time.
"Tell Archer that's two he owes me!"
- - Shran
"I'LL TEAR THE ANTENNAE FROM YOUR SKULL!!"
- - Soval to Shran
"How do you feel?'"
- - Shran to Soval when Shran turns the torture machine on
"Open a channel."
- - Soval and Tucker
"Your technique has improved."
- - T'Pau, on Archer's use of the Vulcan nerve pinch
"Where is your fleet?!"
"Do you know the story of Nirak?"
"He was a soldier who lived a long time ago. He was standing watch over the gates of the city of Gol and he saw a cloud on the horizon moving toward him. He thought it was a sandstorm, so he told no one. It was an army. They destroyed the city, but they let Nirak live. His name now means "fool" in our language, just as yours will in Andorian!"
- - Commander Shran interrogating Soval, not believing in his truthful answers
"How do you feel, Captain?"
"Like a giant weight's been lifted."
- - Soval and Archer, at the Vulcan High Command
"You may be witnessing the start of a new era, not only for Vulcan, but for Earth as well."
"The Minister intends to pursue a less aggressive policy towards your people. The High Command will be dissolved."
"You'll no longer have us looking over your shoulder. It's time for Earth to stand on its own."
- - T'Pau and Archer
"You've failed. Decades of work have been lost."
"Am I to be blamed for your incompetence?"
"Archer should've been killed."
"You brought the Humans into this. I must leave Vulcan. My position here has been compromised."
"What about me?"
"Not now. Your disappearance would cause suspicion. This is simply a minor delay. The reunification of our people is only a matter of time."
- - V'Las and Talok
- This was the only Star Trek episode whose name begins with the letter "K" until LD: "Kayshon, His Eyes Open".
- The final scene in which V'Las meets clandestinely with a Romulan operative almost didn't make it into the finished episode for budgetary reasons. Originally, the Romulan was to have been a new, never-before-seen character, but there was no money left in the budget to pay for another speaking role. Writer Mike Sussman adjusted the scene so that the Romulan became the character Talok, a Vulcan role that had already been cast. The re-use of a Romulan uniform from Star Trek Nemesis allowed the scene to be included in the finished episode. Had the scene been cut, as it very nearly was, the Romulans' role in the Vulcan Civil War would have remained completely hidden, even from the audience. (Information provided by Mike Sussman)
- John Billingsley remarked that the story arc that culminated in this episode was "very strong." 
- The upper portion of a Vulcan capital building is a reuse of a model first featured in "Storm Front, Part II", as the Sarajevo – an Earth ship escorting Enterprise to Earth.
- The Andorian antennae in this episode were operated by special effects make-up technicians Allan A. Apone and Paul Elliot. (citation needed • edit)
- A Vulcan energy pistol used in this episode (and subsequently auctioned off in the It's A Wrap! sale and auction) featured portions of a Kazon raider's hull. 
- The damage report PADD which Tucker holds in his hand during the meeting with Reed in the ready room lists various appearances of the number 47.
- Tucker tells V'Las that by putting themselves in the middle of the fight between the Vulcans and the Andorians, Earth (via Enterprise) is returning the favor owed to the Andorians (specifically Shran) for helping them save their home planet. This is a reference to Shran's actions in "Zero Hour". The notion of being in each other's debt began in season one's "The Andorian Incident". Despite this, after having protected Enterprise, Shran instructs Tucker to tell Archer that Archer now owes him two favors.
- The final scene of this episode foreshadows the events of TNG: "Unification I" and "Unification II", in which an attempt at re-unification was initiated by Ambassador Spock in the 24th century, though the re-unification V'Las and Talok spoke of was likely not one of a peaceful nature, as Spock intended.
- Finally, T'Pol is cured from Pa'nar Syndrome in this episode; she had contracted the disease in "Fusion" and was diagnosed in "Stigma".
- In "The Andorian Incident", T'Pol stated that the Andorians did not have transporter technology. They do possess such technology in this episode.
- This is the only episode to feature Shran having no interaction with Captain Archer, either in person or over a viewscreen.
- In terms of this episode's chronological (not production) order within the franchise, Talok is the first Romulan character to appear on-screen in Star Trek. The Romulan Star Empire had been mentioned for the first time during the second-season premiere "Shockwave, Part II", and Romulan ships and technology had appeared a few episodes later, in "Minefield", when Enterprise also exchanged audio-only messages with the Romulans.
- The book Star Trek 101 (p. 261), by Terry J. Erdmann and Paula M. Block, lists this episode as one of the "Ten Essential Episodes" from Star Trek: Enterprise.
- In addition to the aforementioned Vulcan energy pistol, other items from this episode that were auctioned off in the It's A Wrap! sale and auction include a Vulcan High Command display table (which was bought for US$466.00) and a pair of boots worn by Jeff Smolek.  
Links and references
- Scott Bakula as Captain Jonathan Archer
- John Billingsley as Doctor Phlox
- Jolene Blalock as 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
- Robert Foxworth as V'Las
- Jeffrey Combs as Shran
- John Rubinstein as Kuvak
- Gary Graham as Soval
- Michael Reilly Burke as Koss
- Kara Zediker as T'Pau
- Todd Stashwick as Talok
- Jack Donner as the Vulcan priest
- Joey Anaya as Vulcan commando
- Peter Godoy as Enterprise operations crewman
- Glen Hambly as Andorian officer
- Dieter Hornemann as Vulcan High Command member
- Melissa O'Keeffe as Enterprise operations officer
- Louis Ortiz as Vulcan High Command member
- Jeff Smolek as Vulcan commando
- Tim Storms as Vulcan commando
- David Venafro as Andorian officer
- Unknown performers as
- Vince Deadrick, Jr. as stunt double for Scott Bakula
- Diana Lee Inosanto as stunt double for Kara Zediker
- Jeff Wolfe as stunt double for Todd Stashwick
- Boni Yanagisawa as stunt double for Jolene Blalock
47; amusement; anarchist; Andoria; Andorian; Andorian battle cruiser (unnamed); Andorian cruiser (unnamed); Andorian Empire; Andorian general; Andorian Imperial Guard; Andorian system; Andorian territory; Andorian battle cruiser; Andorian cruiser; army; Battle of Andoria; biosignature; court martial; D-deck; D'kyr-type (cruisers); Earth; fleet commander; gallicite; Gardner; G-deck; Gol; helm control; hull breach; hull plating; insurgent; internal sensors; interrogation; interrogation chair; katra; Kir'Shara; Kumari; lead ship; leader; lirpa; major; melder; mind meld; Mount Seleya; neuro-synaptic field; nervous system; Nirak; operative; Pa'nar Syndrome; Paan Mokar; path; particle cannon; particle flux; phase cannon; physician; pink skin; priest; quantum dating; radical; Regulus; reunification; Romulan; sanctuary; sandstorm; security division; security grid; sehlat; shield generator; Starfleet; status quo; sublieutenant; subspace distortion; suppression system; Surak; Syrran; Syrrannites; tactical alert; task force; T'Karath Sanctuary; T'Les; Tomed mission; torture; transporter; United Earth Embassy; Vahklas-type (cruisers); Vulcan; Vulcan (planet); Vulcan capital city; Vulcan's Forge; Vulcan High Command; Vulcan language; Vulcan nerve pinch; Vulcan patrol craft; Vulcan patrol ship (Patrol ships); Vulcan salute; Vulcanian space; warp signature; Xindi; Xindi technology
- "Kir'Shara" at StarTrek.com, the official Star Trek website
- "Kir'Shara" at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
- "Kir'Shara" at Wikipedia
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