Enterprise visits a Vulcan monastery, only to find that it has been taken over by the Andorians.
In the ready room, Trip Tucker is telling Captain Archer that using the Vulcan star charts takes all fun out of being explorers. Archer replies that Humans have never been to these places and mentions that a protostar encountered a week before was nowhere to be seen on the charts. Trip jokes that if the charts are inaccurate, good luck getting the Vulcans to admit it.
T'Pol enters, saying that Archer wished to see her. He explains that while going through the charts he found a remote outpost on a planet a few light years off their current heading. T'Pol replies that she is aware of the outpost, which she calls P'Jem. She describes it as an ancient Vulcan spiritual retreat, a place for kolinahr and peaceful meditation. Archer's interest is piqued and he asks if they could visit. T'Pol replies that the Vulcans may object to the intrusion. However, Archer decides that it is worth a detour and has Ensign Mayweather change course. T'Pol notes that she will find the proper protocols for the visit, and leaves.
Later, she is sharing a meal with Dr. Phlox in the mess hall. He observes that she seems hesitant about being seen with a Human crew. She remarks that it would create a "certain awkwardness." Phlox states that he sometimes feels out of place aboard Enterprise and reminds her of the Vulcan motto 'Infinite diversity in infinite combinations'. Phlox states that the Human mission is to seek diversity, so a Human/Vulcan cultural exchange is simply fulfilling that mission.
In the launch bay, Trip incredulously asks that the monks don't even know that they are coming. T'Pol states simply that it was not possible to hail the monastery, as the monks consider technology a distraction from their spiritual pursuits. T'Pol then explains that they should not speak to anyone unless spoken to first, talk to anyone who appears to be meditating, or touch any relics or ornamentation. The three then enter the shuttlepod.
Planetside, the trio notes that door to the monastery looks bashed in. T'Pol rings for admittance, but no one answers. They enter anyway, but are told by a solitary monk that they have arrived at the time of kolinahr and that the order must remain in silent reflection for the rest of the lunar cycle. Disappointed, they only wait for the reception of the stone of J'Kah before leaving. However, T'Pol notes that there are too few monks in the main atrium, and that a figure of Surak appears to have been knocked over. Archer and Trip pretend to wander around aimlessly, looking at the monastery. When Trip remarks on a broken vase, the monk states that kohlinar encourages the members of the orders to face their emotions and that the repercussions can sometimes be violent. The threesome are not convinced, and continued to wander until Archer spots the reflection of a blue alien hiding behind a wooden frame. Trip and Archer rush the frame, knocking over the alien. Before they can restrain him fully, more rush in and take the three hostage.
The three are led to a back room where the rest of the monks are being held. The blue-skinned aliens are from the Imperial Guard of Andoria - Commander Shran, Tholos, Keval and Thon. When Shran questions Archer about their reasons for visiting the monastery, he explains that the Humans have come out of simple curiosity. But given that they are traveling with a Vulcan, the Andorians find this incredible. Shran states that their arrival has proved that P'Jem is far more than a spiritual sanctuary.
After the Andorians leave them in confinement, T'Pol and the Elder monk explain that Andorians are known for their suspicious and volatile nature. Vulcans and Andorians are from neighboring systems and have been in conflict for many years. A treaty was signed to alleviate tensions, but some Andorian factions still believe that the Vulcans are bent on the conquest of their homeworld. When Trip asks why the Andorians have invaded P'Jem, the Elder points to their suspicion that the Vulcans may be hiding a long-range sensor array here. The Andorians have actually come twice before, he says, both times leaving on the same day. Unfortunately, Archer's arrival has amplified their suspicions and--in the words of an initiate--"endangered us all." Learning that T'Pol has been aboard the Human vessel for "nine weeks and four days", the Elder asks her how she has been able to bear it. She tells him she has used a nasal numbing agent.
Back on Enterprise in the situation room, Lieutenant Reed points out an alien vessel that the sensors have detected. He is distressed that they had scanned for alien ships before sending down the landing party and that they have not heard from Archer in some time. Sato and Mayweather feel he's over-reacting - the Captain is probably on a tour or observing some meditation ritual.
Archer is brought out for interrogation. Shran wants to know where the sensor array is. Wrongly disbelieving Archer's protestations of ignorance, Shran beats him. He is no more satisfied with Archer's explanation for the use of a Vulcan Science officer aboard a Human vessel. Enterprise tries to contact its Captain by his confiscated communicator. Shran seizes it and declares the landing party to be prisoners of the Imperial Guard - and its hostages, to be killed if Enterprise attempts any action. Shran terminates the conversation and destroys the communicators, one after the other.
When Archer is returned to confinement, Tucker is appalled by the signs of torture. Even the Vulcans now relent : there is a transmitter which the Humans may use, it turns out, in the monastery's catacombs, amongst the sacred relics.
Following the initiate by torchlight through the catacombs, Trip spots some natural light coming in through holes at the top of a stairway. Next he is startled by the remains of Haadok, one of the founders of P'Jem, and addresses the other dried bodies as "fellas". Just before reaching the transmitter he asks about another passage, and is told it leads to the reliquary of sacred artifacts. Trip recognizes the transmitter as using a krellide power cell and is sure he can fix it. He gets back in time for the Andorians' midnight head-count.
The merits of a transporter landing are debated. The Andorians do not have this technology, T'Pol says. Archer offers to share his blanket; she says she'd rather freeze, as "it's been 24 hours since I took my nasal numbing agent." Finally lying down beside her captain, she debates his planned resort to non-pacifistic means, and looks very much like an annoyed Earth woman when she turns away and snags the blanket from him.
Trip raises the Enterprise and tells Reed that the landing party has walked into a "hostage situation". Reed has read about the Andorians in the Vulcan database. Trip tells him that they suspect P'Jem to be a covert spy station, and have left Archer with "a face full of bruises". Nonetheless the captain's orders to Reed are to wait.
In the morning the monks and the landing party make a model of the catacombs. The Elder lies to Archer about the Reliquary, saying "no one has entered it in years." T'Pol notes that the stairway must be under the Atrium. Trip models the pattern of light he saw there and Archer wonders if it might not be the large face on the Atrium wall. He braves one more torture session, feigning such desperation to escape confinement with the Vulcans that he would even promise information for Shran and then delay giving it. After a punch in the kidney and a kick in the stomach, Archer offers trivia about Earth - the fact that bacteria accounts for 70% of the planet's lifeforms, and amusing anecdotes about historical Humans in Canton, OH, USA and in Denmark. Archer is returned to confinement - but he has tossed a green figurine through one of the openings in the Atrium wall for Trip to recover.
Reed has the two tactical crewmen in his rescue party set their phase pistols on stun. One expresses hesitation about beaming down; Reed dismisses his fears and orders him onto the transporter platform - but confesses to some nervousness of his own.
The rescue party is packed off into the catacombs. The Andorians come fast but are too late to find anything that might account for the energy surge. T'Pol suggests that their detection equipment may be at fault; Shran prefers the possibility that the Vulcans may have equipment of their own. He leaves Tholos to watch the prisoners.
Reed's party finds the stairway and places charges inside the Atrium wall face.
Tholos pays T'Pol unwanted sexual attention, telling her what he has heard of her world's exotic mating rituals. Intervening, Archer is threatened with death.
Reed blows the charges and Keval is knocked forward onto the floor. The rescue party enter the Atrium and stun Thon before he can rise or fire. Shran fires and hits the hesitant beamer; Reed drags him to safety. Keval has come to; Shran calls his name and tosses him a weapon. The two escape the Humans by plunging into the exposed stairwell.
In the confinement room, Trip has failed to subdue Tholos and been beaten for his efforts. Archer nearly succeeds but he too is thankful for Reed's entry. The Elder hypocritically--and with some emotion--says: "You've turned a place of solitude into a war-zone." Reed, Archer and T'Pol prepare to hunt for the two Andorians in the catacombs. Trip is given a phase pistol and told to stun Tholos if he wakes. The Initiate takes up Tholos' weapon and will come along, saying to the Elder meaningfully: "We must protect what is ours."
T'Pol locates the fugitive aliens in the Reliquary. The Initiate tries to block the Humans but Archer pushes through. A firefight ensues, smashing several religious treasures - but sparing a statue of what looks very much like a horse. Even the Initiate gets off a shot.
A great metal portal is uncovered and Archer opens it. Beyond it is a huge multi-level spy station. Archer calls a ceasefire and invites the Andorians to look. The sensor array is powerful enough, Reed observes, to tell the Vulcans "what every Andorian is having for breakfast." Archer commands T'Pol to make full scans of the station. The Initiate takes Archer hostage in a last attempt to protect the remaining secrets of the base. The blow which handily disposes of this threat is quick but "boy," Archer says, "did it feel good."
He commands T'Pol to hand her scan records over to the Andorians; she commands Enterprise to allow them to leave the planet unmolested. Shran remarks that he is in Archer's debt.
"Okay, okay. Don't get your antennas in a twist!"
- - Trip, to Keval
"I'll enjoy having you - as a prisoner."
- - Tholos to T'Pol
"The smell must be intolerable."
"You get used to it. And I was given a nasal numbing agent."
- - The Vulcan Elder to T'Pol, on living with Humans
"Whose idea was it to visit this place?"
- - Archer
"I don't take orders from a com voice, Ensign, unless that voice belongs to the Captain."
- - Reed to Mayweather
"So if anyone has a suggestion... I'm all ears. No offence."
- - Archer, to Vulcan monks
"For people without emotion you sure have a flare for the dramatic!"
- - Trip, upon witnessing the Vulcan elder open the secret entrance to the catacombs
"Andorians, yes. I've been reading about them in the Vulcan database. Militaristic, blue-skinned?"
- - Reed and Tucker
"I've heard about your mating rituals... that Vulcan women force their men to fight to the death. Would you like me to kill someone for you?"
"Leave her alone."
"Would you like me to kill him?"
- - Tholos to T'Pol and Archer to Tholos
"Violence in a sanctuary, Captain?"
"Very disrespectful, but, boy, did it feel good!"
- - Reed and Archer
"All this time...they've been calling these monks liars - and all this time, they've been right!"
- - Archer, after discovering the listening post
- Captain Archer and Commander Tucker make first contact with the Andorians in this episode.
- This episode was chosen as the #2 "fan favorite" in an on-line poll conducted by UPN. It was re-broadcast on 1 April 2005 in this capacity. (Note: The poll was conducted before the final six episodes of the series were aired.)
- When aired as a fan-favorite, the opening credits were updated to the Season 3 and 4 version. However, this is not the case on the DVD release.
- This episode was the first episode to prominently feature Andorians since the Original Series.
- The long conflicts between Vulcan and Andoria, first shown in this episode, could arguably be rooted in "Journey to Babel", when the Andorian Shras advises Spock, investigating the murder of the Tellarite ambassador, to "forget logic" and consider passionate motivations as to why someone would kill.
- This episode marks the first appearance of Commander Shran (Jeffrey Combs) and the updated makeup design for the Andorians by Michael Westmore.
- Surak is mentioned for the first time on ENT in this episode and later appears in the Season 4 episodes "The Forge" and "Awakening".
- It is implied that Reed came up with the future stipulations that landing parties had to check in every ten minutes and scan for alien ships before arriving at their destination.
- T'Pol notes that she has been on Enterprise for 9 weeks and 4 days, placing this episode on June 19, 2151.
- This is the first mention of Pon Farr in Enterprise (although not mentioned by name).
- The fate of P'Jem is revealed in "Shadows of P'Jem".
Video and DVD releases
- UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, Paramount Home Entertainment): Volume 1.4, 24 June 2002.
- As part of the ENT Season 1 DVD collection.
Links and references
- Scott Bakula as Captain Jonathan Archer
- John Billingsley as Doctor Phlox
- Jolene Blalock as Subcommander 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
- Jeffrey Combs as Commander Shran
- Bruce French as Vulcan Elder
- Steven Dennis as Tholos
- Jeff Ricketts as Keval
- Richard Tanner as Vulcan Initiate
- Bill Blair as a Vulcan monk
- Solomon Burke, Jr. as Billy
- Amy Kate Connolly as a science division crewman
- Evan English as Ensign Tanner
- Jack Guzman as a science division crewman
- Martin Ko as a command division ensign
- Monica Parrett as a command division crewman
- Gregg Sargeant
- Larry Tolliver as a Vulcan monk
- Thelma Tyrell as an operations division crewman
- Cynthia Uhrich as an operations division crewman
- John Wan as an operations division crewman
- Gary Weeks as an operations division crewman
Andoria; Andorians; Andorian Empire; Andorian Imperial Guard; bacteria; Blarney Stone; Brahe, Tycho; Buddha; Canton; Haadok; IDIC; kolinahr; krellide power cell; mummy; nasal numbing agent; Ngari; Ohio; P'Jem; "pinkskin"; protostar; salad; San Francisco Zoo; Stone of J'Kah; string; Tibet; Vulcans; Vulcan database; Vulcan High Command; Vulcan star charts; Surak; Thon
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"Breaking the Ice"