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After apparently causing the destruction of an alien colony, the Enterprise is called back to Earth. Archer learns via Daniels that the Suliban are trying to sabotage Enterprise's mission. (Season finale)



The Enterprise is on its way to meet with the colonists of Paraagan II. The crew talk about it in the mess hall. Trip Tucker is amazed to hear that the colony has a matriarchal society. T'Pol notes that recently the males have made great strides, though. Jonathan Archer is interested to note that the colony has been growing very rapidly since the initial thirty miners arrived there twenty years ago. The population is now about 3,600. Since the mining operations release large amounts of tetrazine into the atmosphere, the shuttlepod from Enterprise has to follow a strict protocol to prevent igniting it with its propulsion system. Lieutenant Malcolm Reed pilots the shuttle down accordingly to the protocol, however, something goes wrong and the atmosphere suddenly explodes, causing a massive shock wave that pushes the shuttle back into space.

Act One[]

The explosion causes a disaster as the entire colony appears to be wiped out, killing all the colonists. Devastated and angry, Archer starts an investigation immediately. Doctor Phlox tends to an unconscious Tucker who has a concussion as Archer tries to get information from the group. Reed swears he didn't make a mistake during the landing and the Paraagan protocols were correct. Hoshi Sato has done full sensor scans of the planet, confirming total loss of the colony. T'Pol encourages keeping a clear head and to conduct a thorough investigation.

Later, on the bridge, Archer enters to get progress, still clearly frustrated and taking a bit of it out on the crew. T'Pol is still processing the logs. Tucker reports that the tetrazine levels were even lower than the protocol, which eliminates that as the source of the problem. The flash point was at the plasma duct, but even the logs confirm Reed's belief that the duct was closed. He orders the logs re-checked as he finally decides to contact Admiral Maxwell Forrest. Forrest tells Archer to continue investigating while he talks to the Command Council. He also advises Archer to figure out how to help the crew deal with this, as they will be looking to him.

Archer can't help but keep to himself, prompting T'Pol to go to Phlox to ask him to make sure Archer is still fit for command, as his despair could keep him from effectively running the ship. Phlox understands her point of view, but reminds her it would be bad if he did not let himself feel.

Forrest calls back to the Enterprise as Archer dwells on the colony's personnel list in his quarters and as Reed finds an unfortunate atmospheric analysis showing traces of borocarbons, which also implies the shuttle caused the explosion. Reed is in disbelief as Archer enters the bridge, calling T'Pol and Tucker to the ready room. He reveals that, at the suggestion of Vulcan Ambassador Soval, Enterprise's mission has been officially canceled and T'Pol and Phlox will leave the ship via a Vulcan ship.

Act Two[]

The news reaches the whole crew. Sato and Travis Mayweather talk about what they'll do next. Mayweather's concerned the entire crew's reputation has been tainted, but Sato is determined to speak her mind – in any language required. Tucker helps Phlox pack for awhile, but soon remarks that Soval will probably get a medal for finally cancelling the mission. Phlox is disappointed in the shortened mission, but is confident there will be more opportunities out there. Tucker doesn't share in his optimism.

Meanwhile, Reed has found an unusual EM signal on the ventral hull of the shuttle and T'Pol gives the information to Archer. Still depressed, Archer doesn't think it's significant enough to bring to Starfleet. Even if all logs seem to indicate that the shuttlepod did nothing wrong, and a strange reading discovered by Reed seems to suggest that there is more than there appears to be, Archer remains despondent. Sensing his sulking, T'Pol suggests that Archer has a responsibility to dispute both the Vulcan High Command's recommendation to end the mission and Starfleet's acceptance of it by noting all of Archer's good decisions. Further, she is willing to argue to the Vulcans on his behalf. Archer is grateful, noting this is likely the first time a Vulcan has tried to cheer up a Human.

Future guy and silik

Silik receives his orders from the mysterious Humanoid Figure

When Archer goes to bed, he shuts off the lights and calls for Porthos. He doesn't come, so he turns the lights back on, however, he's no longer on the Enterprise, but in an apartment. He slowly realizes he was transported back ten months in the past to the day before Klaang was brought to Starfleet Medical. This is exactly the same past and he can remember everything that happened all those months ago. He, however, is still the same man he was on the Enterprise and quickly establishes the last ten months were not a dream. Soon, Daniels appears, who he encountered earlier. He explains that the explosion on Paraagan II wasn't supposed to happen, and, since it resulted in the cancelling of the Enterprise's mission, it means someone is tampering with the timeline, in violation of the Temporal Accords. To prevent other Temporal Cold War factions from knowing it, Daniels brought Archer ten months earlier so they could talk. He gives Archer a plan of action.

Back in the present, Archer tells his senior staff what happened and what they are to do next (without mentioning Daniels). Reed confirms the strange EM readings were, in fact, from a cloaked device whose purpose was to ignite the atmosphere while putting the blame on the shuttlepod's engines. Archer orders Tucker to start working on quantum beacons, promising some specifications later. Archer also orders communications to be "on the fritz" and the armory on full alert as the course is set back for Paraagan II. The crew stands briefly confused as Archer dismisses them. He happily mentions to Tucker on his way out that it wasn't their fault.

Act Three[]

Archer explains a very detailed set of quantum engineering principles to Tucker, who admits it's beyond anything he's done. Archer reveals he learned it from Daniels, who is apparently alive. Later, he orders Sato and T'Pol to figure out how to interface with the device they found on the shuttle, explaining that they'll be getting some Suliban data disks to access. T'Pol asks if Daniels can be trusted, but Archer says his story has checked out so far. Then, he goes with Reed to Daniels' quarters to retrieve the specifications of a Suliban cloaked ship in a database still in his (now isolated) quarters.

When the Enterprise reaches the planet, Archer orders Mayweather to head for a binary system, knowing where to look, with a tip from Daniels saying where to find the ship. Now the plan is set in motion. Using a steady course, they launch the beacons and detect the ship, which doesn't know yet that they've been detected. Archer orders Reed to stand ready with weapons and, just as the ship charges their weapons, fires in a precise manner to isolate the part of the ship they need. The hit is successful, and an assault team of Archer, Tucker and T'Pol board the ship. Tucker tosses a stun grenade out of the airlock and into the hallway of the Suliban ship, stunning several Suliban in the process. They find the disks and, with another blast from Reed to knock out more Suliban on their tail, they make it back to the shuttle. The docking clamps jam, forcing Tucker to punch it as another couple Suliban bang on the shuttle's hatch, and are consequently thrown into space.

Act Four[]

Fortunately, T'Pol and Sato were able to create the interface to the data disks and reveal the truth: the Suliban ship was able to get extremely close to the Enterprise as it orbited Paraagan II. Cycling through the images, T'Pol shows that a Suliban cell ship docked with the shuttlepod for two minutes as it attached their device. Archer happily contacts Admiral Forrest to give the good news. He tells Archer to find the Vulcan ship as soon as possible to relay the information.

Meanwhile, Silik reports the incident to the Humanoid Figure. Realizing they weren't acting alone, the Figure orders Silik to capture Archer but not to delay Enterprise. Silik wants the data disks, but the Figure dismisses that, saying not to fail him again.

T'Pol is, however, still skeptical about the time travel explanation for all this as the Vulcan Science Directorate has concluded that time travel is impossible. But trouble comes again, as the Enterprise begins experiencing warp field problems and soon detects Suliban cell ships surrounding them. Silik hails them, saying that he wants the captain. Archer says he can't trust him to leave the ship alone, but Silik gives his word. He decides to leave, putting T'Pol in command and asking the crew to follow her. Even though he is willing to sacrifice himself to protect his crew, Archer never makes it to the shuttle, as he is time-transported again. Silik, apparently, was not aware of this, and contacts T'Pol to express his "disappointment" that Archer didn't leave. The crew quickly realize he's not on the ship, and that the Suliban ships are targeting the warp core.

Earth 31st Century

31st century Earth in ruins

Archer finds himself in a destroyed hallway. He makes his way to a window, revealing he is in a building before encountering a frightened Daniels. He explains that he transported the captain to the 31st century on orders to protect him, however, the information must have been wrong. The ruins were his base of operation, destroyed long ago. Stunned, Daniels explains there is no time portal left intact, trapping Archer and himself in this future.


Memorable quotes[]

"There has to be someone down there."
"Sir, I tried to explain there's nothing left. No buildings, no trees, no people."
"That's impossible. There were 3,600 colonists."

- Archer and Sato, after the devastation on Paraagan II

"Get me Admiral Forrest. This is not gonna be fun."

- Archer, on informing Forrest of the disaster apparently caused by Enterprise's crew

"Ahh, to be Vulcan…"

- Phlox, to T'Pol

"Tell him he's crazy! Tell him that's guilt talking, not Jonathan Archer!"

- Tucker, to T'Pol when a resigned Archer accepts the cancellation of Enterprise's mission

"I can't believe you letting them do this to us. You've waited all your life to command this ship!"

- Tucker, trying to get through to Archer

"Anyone tries to badmouth Captain Archer in front of me is gonna get an earful… in any language they want."

- Sato

"You know, this has gotta be the first time a Vulcan has ever attempted to cheer up a Human."

- Archer, to T'Pol

"Commander Tucker told me you were dead… that Silik killed you."
"He did, in a manner of speaking. We need to talk, captain."

- Archer and Daniels

"Can't you ever give a straight answer?"
"Depends on the question."

- Archer and Daniels

"I thought you were supposed to protect the timeline, not screw with it."
"It's already been… 'screwed with', captain."

- Archer and Daniels

"With all due respect sir… This is a level of quantum engineering that's beyond anything I ever learned. How the hell do you know this?"
"Remember Crewman Daniels?"
"Yeah. I saw him get vaporized by our friend Silik."
"Well for a cloud of vapor, he's one wealth of information. I just spent two hours with him."

- Tucker and Archer

"Remember, no cheese."

- Archer, to Sato

"I thought he was smarter than this. He could've saved all your lives. What a waste."

- Silik, to T'Pol when Archer disappears from Enterprise while surrendering to the Suliban

"If bringing me here caused this, then send me back. I'll take my chances with Silik."
"You don't understand. All our equipment, the time portals, they've been destroyed. Everything's been destroyed. There's no way to send you back."

- Archer, finding himself trapped with Daniels on a destroyed Earth in the 31st century (last lines)

Background information[]

Shooting Shockwave

Ronald B. Moore discussing an element of this episode with Allan Kroeker and John Fleck

Story and script[]

Production history[]


Reception and aftermath[]

  • Shortly before the airing of this episode, Brannon Braga summed up the reactions to it among the creators of Enterprise, saying, "We're very happy with [it] […] It's very sentimental and exciting." (Star Trek: Communicator issue 139, p. 29) On the same day as the creative staff was due to lock the episode, Rick Berman concurred with Braga's sentiments by referring to the outing as "undoubtedly one of the best two or three episodes of the season." He went on to rave, "I think it will blow people away. It has some amazing things that happen in it. I am very proud of it." Berman also promised that the first season was going to "end on an exciting note." (Star Trek: Communicator issue 139, p. 11) In retrospect, Braga commented, "'Shockwave' was pretty good. That turned out good. I love the idea that there's a crew member that was embedded there. You know, that's very spy kind of stuff. I thought it turned out great. And I loved the visuals […] And I thought it came at around the right time. I'm like, 'Okay, this Temporal Cold War thing's working.'" ("To Boldly Go: Launching Enterprise, Part III: First Flight", ENT Season 1 Blu-ray special features)
  • On the first broadcast of this installment, the episode achieved a Nielsen rating of 3.3 and was watched by a total of 5.28 million viewers. [1]
  • The book Star Trek 101 (p. 260), by Terry J. Erdmann and Paula M. Block, lists this episode and the concluding part of its two-parter as being, together, one of the "Ten Essential Episodes" from Star Trek: Enterprise.
  • The "Ultimate Guide" in Star Trek Magazine issue 164, p. 70 rated this episode 3 out of 5 arrowhead insignia.
  • The book Beyond the Final Frontier (p. 370) comments about this episode, "A few of the running stories collide in an episode with both [Temporal] Cold War and Vulcan plots. The crew's reactions to the tragedy at the beginning of the episode really lay the foundation for a story that feels significant."
  • A script from this episode was sold off on the It's A Wrap! sale and auction on eBay. [2]

Video and DVD releases[]

  • UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, Paramount Home Entertainment): Volume 1.13, 18 November 2002
    • This was the last volume of Enterprise released on VHS, due to the dwindling home video market and PHE choosing to focus on the DVD format.

Links and references[]


Guest stars[]


Uncredited co-stars[]


2172; ability; accusation; agitation; Archer, Henry; atmospheric analysis; atom; attitude; bee; Bible movie; boarding party; borocarbon; breakfast; bread pudding; byproduct; cloaking generator; cart; centimeter; colleague; Command Council; concussion; data disk; debriefing; despondency; Denobulan; D'kyr (aka "the Vulcan ship"); dozen; Earth; EM signature; emitter algorithm; equal rights; flashpoint; gigawatt; grappler arm; guilt; hallucination; hull; hull temperature; Human nature; IME; inspection pod (unnamed); Klaang; Klingon; Klingon ships; logic; madman; matriarchal society (aka matriarchal elements); meter; mission; mining; New Sausalito; orbit; operations foreman; Paraagan; Paraagan colonists; Paraagan foreman; Paraagan II; Paraagan homeworld; particle weapon; parts per million; phase cannon; phase discriminator; plasma duct; plasma stream; positron-based; probe; prodigy; quantum beacon; quantum engineering; receptionist; retirement; Rutan Voyager; science officer; sensor log; Shuttlepod 1; "son of a bitch"; Soval; Starfleet Medical; stun grenade; Suliban stealth cruiser; temperature; Temporal Accord; Temporal Cold War; tetrazine; time portal; time travel; Unnamed planet (moon); Vulcan High Command; Vulcan Science Directorate; water polo ball

External links[]

Previous episode:
"Two Days and Two Nights"
Star Trek: Enterprise
Season 1
Next episode:
"Shockwave, Part II"