(written from a Production point of view)
Six weeks into the Delphic Expanse, the crew is tipped off by a freighter captain who knows a lone Xindi working on a remote mining colony. (Season premiere)
The Xindi Council is discussing the coincidental arrival of the "Earth ship." The Xindi-Reptilians and Xindi-Insectoids believe it is the beginning of an invasion. Jannar asks when the weapon will be ready. Degra says he needs time to run some more tests, but Dolim believes they will accomplish nothing if "all you do is run tests". Dolim is asked to learn everything he can about Enterprise.
Enterprise is en route to a trellium mining facility. A freighter captain of "questionable character" (according to Reed) has provided them with a tip that one of the miners there is possibly Xindi. Reed wants to proceed with caution. Archer turns to Reed and asks him what room they're in. It is the new command center, which used to be a storage bay for conduit housings. Archer tells Reed that they don't have the liberty of being safe or cautious anymore. In six weeks they haven't collected any data, so the lead given to them by the "freighter captain of questionable character" is all they have, then Archer is satisfied.
In the mess hall, Hoshi Sato approaches a table with MACOs sitting round it, so she joins them. They introduce themselves as Major Hayes, Sergeant Kemper, and Corporals Romero and Chang. When asking Kemper about Phlox, Sato surprises him by saying where he was from, Duluth, Minnesota. Major Hayes tells Kemper that Sato is a linguist, and that, given enough time, she could probably tell him which street he grew up on. Chang asks where they're headed, but Sato says that the captain will let them know at the right time. Excusing themselves, the MACOs leave for a briefing.
Tucker takes Archer to Cargo Bay 2, where all the equipment has stuck itself to one of the walls. Archer wonders if it is the grav-plating, but Tucker says it isn't. They watch for a moment as suddenly the equipment is sent flying to the opposite wall, where again it attaches itself. Archer asks Tucker to seal it off.
T'Pol enters sickbay where Phlox is studying epithelial cells taken from the corpse of the Xindi pilot recently recovered. It turns out that he has Reptilian characteristics. T'Pol asks Phlox why he needed her. Phlox tells her about Tucker, who is struggling with sleep because of the death of his sister. He has been using sedatives, but wants T'Pol to try Vulcan neuro-pressure with him. T'Pol thinks that Tucker wouldn't have the patience for it. Reluctantly, she agrees. Unfortunately, Phlox has already asked Tucker if he would like to try the neuro-pressure, and he declined.
Enterprise arrives at the mining facility, and Archer and Reed go down in a shuttlepod, to meet the foreman at the mine. When talking to him, he wants Archer to give him something so that they can meet the Xindi miner – half a liter of platinum. Reed says it would take some doing, but it is possible. Archer demands to see the man and confirm that he really is Xindi, however, the foreman gives them a finger belonging to the Xindi, claiming it was an "unfortunate accident."
In the meantime, Tucker wakes up from a nightmare of watching his sister die when the Xindi probe fires its weapon.
Phlox has studied the finger and found that he is and is not Xindi. In relation to the corpse however, the base-pair sequencing is much closer than that of Humans and chimpanzees. He notes that while the corpse was of a Reptilian, the finger isn't. Tucker enters, and tells Archer that 200 relays must be stripped, but it'll be done by the afternoon. Archer leaves, while Tucker asks Phlox for "something stronger" to help him sleep. Phlox tells him to return at 2200 hours, and he'll see what he can do.
Back on the planet, Archer prepares to hand over the platinum, but the Xindi's work group is still asleep. Archer tells him that he can wake them early, because it took his people half the night to get the platinum. The foreman agrees. Taking them down to one of the lower levels, Tucker asks the foreman what trellium-D is used for, to which the foreman replies, "insulation, mostly for interstellar vessels." The Xindi, Kessick, is shoved into the area, and Tucker gives the platinum to the foreman, who tells them to take their time, and promptly leaves with his guards. Archer gets straight to the point, asking him if he is Xindi and where their homeworld is, as he has "important business" with them. Kessick says he'll tell them, but only if Archer helps him escape. Tucker confronts Kessick angrily – and rather forcefully – prompting Archer to tell him to take it easy. T'Pol contacts Archer, telling him that three warships are on the way. Realizing that they have to leave, albeit without the information that they wanted, Archer and Tucker make their way to the door – only to find it locked from the outside. Kessick says he can take them back to the shuttlepod, but he has to go with them.
T'Pol is contacted by the mine foreman, who tells her that Archer and Tucker will be "slightly delayed", as they've had to start deionizing the landing decks for the three incoming "cargo ships." He explains that the ships are heavily armed because trellium-D is highly valuable, but Reed doesn't buy it.
Archer, Tucker, and Kessick are wading through waist deep sewage and reach an access port. The trio gain access, and start climbing.
Reed and Hayes are discussing their plans as T'Pol enters. Hayes thinks Reed's security team is too valuable to send on the mission, saying that they'd be better off defending Enterprise should an armed force come on board. T'Pol agrees with Hayes, but leaves the decision to Reed. He asks Hayes to select six of his men, but Reed himself will lead the mission. After Hayes leaves, Reed tells T'Pol that coming from a military family, he's seen men like Hayes all his life. Hayes just thought his team would be more successful than Reed's.
Back on the planet, one of the guards reports to the foreman telling him that Archer, Tucker, and Kessick have escaped. The foreman tells the guard to put a security force at the shuttlepod.
Meanwhile, the escapees are scaling a vertical wall, with small indents so they can hold on to it. Archer asks Kessick why he hasn't used the duct before, but the atmosphere is about 30 times more toxic on the surface and there has never been a ship "waiting for him" before.
Mayweather pilots the second shuttlepod down to the planet's surface, and tells them that they only have half an hour to complete the rescue mission.
Meanwhile, the foreman has detected the escapees. He asks the guard to reroute the plasma flow into their section.
Kessick tells Archer about the five species of Xindi. Their conversation is interrupted by the emergency baffles being closed, and the sound of the plasma coming towards them. As they don't know how far up the next access port is, Tucker suggests they go back to the previous one, which means sliding down – and fast. Archer makes it in time, and Tucker and Kessick push each other out of the way to get in safely as well. Both are pulled in by Archer, who closes the port just in time. Tucker fumes at Kessick, who can only stare open-mouthed at the guards who have just arrived. Kessick tries to feign innocence, claiming that they took him with them. He thanks them, and receives a hit in the face by one of the guard's rifles.
Archer and Tucker carry Kessick to an open area, where the foreman says that they are too much trouble – so they must be killed. As they are taken away, the MACOs abseil in, starting a firefight. The foreman gets away, but the Earth commandos make short work of the mining guards, killing several. One of the MACOs is injured, but Archer helps him up. When the firefight is over, Kessick begs Archer to take him back to Enterprise as well, promising him the co-ordinates of the Xindi homeworld. Archer agrees. As Reed contacts Mayweather, telling him to set down, more shots come from the mist. One hits Kessick, who collapses. One of the MACOs uses his scope to shoot down their attacker – who just happens to be the foreman.
On Enterprise, T'Pol asks Sato to tell the shuttlepods to dock simultaneously, as the warships are closing. The Enterprise then goes to warp.
- "Captain's starlog, supplemental. The three alien warships followed Enterprise for nearly an hour but couldn't keep up with us. I guess they'll have to look elsewhere for new additions to their labor force."
Phlox enters Archer's ready room and apologizes, telling him there was nothing he could do. Kessick has died. Fortunately for Archer, Kessick told Phlox something with his dying breath, saying that Archer would know what he meant. They are the co-ordinates.
Tucker tells Reed that he's been in the shower for two hours, but still can't get all of the trellium out of his hair and from under his nails. He also tells Reed that the rescue team did a pretty good job, but he's sure that Reed's security team could have done just as well, which Reed dismisses with a smile. Reed says goodnight to Tucker, who enters sickbay. He asks Phlox for something to sleep, so Phlox gives him an injection. He then asks Tucker to deliver some bioscans to T'Pol's quarters, as he is busy with work. Tucker says it is no problem. As he leaves, Phlox walks to a comm panel and contacts T'Pol, saying that she has her work "cut out for her." He also says that he injected Tucker with a placebo.
Tucker arrives at T'Pol's quarters, giving her the bioscans. T'Pol asks him to sit down. Tucker says he wouldn't be very good company, and still needs to take a few showers. T'Pol offers him a cup of tea, but he graciously declines. T'Pol says that she has been having trouble sleeping as well. She says that Vulcan science teaches them to prompt their own bodies to create medicine, but she can't reach the neural nodes that need stimulating. She asks Tucker to help her, then offers the same in return. Unfortunately, Tucker thinks she's making sexual advances, before claiming that his 'sedative' is starting to kick in, but T'Pol tells him about the Vulcan neuro-pressure that Phlox wanted him to try. T'Pol says she told Phlox this wouldn't work, that Trip is intransigent and unwilling to compromise. Trip protests that he is too willing to compromise. "Then take off your shirt." He does, and T'Pol begins the treatment.
Enterprise arrives at the co-ordinates given to them by Kessick. There is no sign of technology, ships, or even planets. Archer fumes that he lied to them, but Trip questions why the Xindi would use his last breath to lie about the location of his homeworld. Mayweather detects a debris field, too big for a ship. T'Pol discovers that it was a planet, 120 years in the past. Trip detects indicators that there had been a civilization there, including an alloy that matches the probe that attacked Earth. Archer orders them deeper into the Expanse, although Reed detects more concentrated spacial distortions ahead.
In the Xindi Council chamber, Dolim reports that Enterprise has scanned the debris field and left. They are headed for the Orassin distortion field. Jannar laughs, saying that it is unlikely they'll survive. The Xindi-Insectoid councilor thinks they may survive, and wants to destroy them instead. Degra says it would be best to remain hidden, in case it is the first ship of an invasion force. The Xindi-Insectoid tells them to finish the weapon quickly or he will destroy Enterprise, with or without the council's approval.
"Military Assault Command..."
"Captain Archer said he wanted the best."
- - Hoshi Sato and Major Hayes
"Try not to breathe."
- - Archer, to Reed while on the mining planet
"I'm certain, with your delicate guidance..."
"'Delicate' is not a word I associate with Mr. Tucker."
- - Phlox and T'Pol
"Why would you do this?"
- - Archer and the Alien Foreman, discussing how he came to be in possession of Kessick's finger
"You know, I'm not sure why but I'm just itching to kick the hell out of you!"
"Trip – take it easy."
- - Tucker forcefully grabs Kessick while Archer tries to calm him down
"If they get back to their starship, I'll lose nearly a hundred new workers!"
- - Alien Foreman, when Archer and Tucker escape and head for Enterprise
"Sewage takes on a whole new meaning when it comes from... a dozen different species."
- - Archer
"The son of a bitch lied to us!"
- - Archer, after discovering the destroyed Xindi homeworld Kessick sent Enterprise to
"The doctor injected you with a placebo. He sent you here because he wanted me to persuade you to try Vulcan neuro-pressure. As I predicted it was a pointless exercise."
"Why didn't he just ask me?"
"He did. You refused."
- - T'Pol and Tucker
- - T'Pol, to Tucker
"The doctor knows how intransigent you can be."
"Unwilling to compromise."
"I know what it means, but it just so happens, it's not true. I'm as willing to compromise as everyone else..."
"Then take off your shirt."
- - T'Pol and Tucker
Story and script
- This was the opener for the third season of Star Trek: Enterprise and the beginning of the year-long Xindi incident story arc. ENT co-creator and Executive Producer Brannon Braga recalled, "We looked at 'The Xindi' as a pilot of sorts. We were re-establishing an Enterprise that was going to be a little bit different this year, so we had to think of it in those terms [....] We wanted to set the new tone right away, that this isn't going to be your typical season, and get everything rolling. So we really wanted to set up the MACOs and to establish the Xindi right away. We thought it would be kind of startling to just plop them out and say, 'Here they are.'" (Star Trek: Communicator issue 151, p. 27)
- This episode's final draft script was submitted on 17 June 2003.
Cast and characters
- Stephen McHattie, Randy Oglesby and Rick Worthy all appeared in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. McHattie starred as Senator Vreenak in "In the Pale Moonlight", Oglesby starred as both Ah-Kel and Ro-Kel in "Vortex", as well as Silaran Prin in "The Darkness and the Light", and Worthy starred as Kornan in "Soldiers of the Empire".
- Scott MacDonald previously appeared as N'Vek (TNG: "Face of the Enemy"), Tosk (DS9: "Captive Pursuit"), Goran'Agar (DS9: "Hippocratic Oath") and Rollins (VOY: "Caretaker").
- Steven Culp appeared in a deleted scene from Star Trek Nemesis, as Commander Martin Madden.
- Daniel Dae Kim previously appeared in VOY: "Blink of an Eye", as Gotana-Retz.
- The "Trellium-D dirt" in the mine was created by throwing lots of blue-painted Styrofoam into a wood chipper. Bits of the Styrofoam stuck to everything, and was tracked all over the Paramount Pictures lot. ("The Xindi" text commentary, ENT Season 3 DVD & Blu-ray special features)
- The Xindi-Reptilian uniforms were actually Reman costumes from Star Trek Nemesis with metal coils added to the shoulders.
- This is the first episode to use the newly modified version of "Where My Heart Will Take Me" in the opening credits.
- This episode marks the first appearances of some of the Xindi regulars: Degra, Jannar, Commander Dolim, Kiaphet Amman'sor, the Xindi-Primate councilor, the Xindi-Insectoid councilor and the Aquatic councilor. The Aquatic and Insectoid species are subtitled; the other species are heard in English.
- This was the first episode to feature T'Pol and Tucker's neuro-pressure sessions.
- This episode features the first appearance of Enterprise's new command center as well as T'Pol's new civilian look. In addition, her eyebrows are now swept up in the traditional Vulcan manner.
- An orange Benzite-looking species can be seen in the trellium-D mining facility.
- The scene where the MACOs descend on a rope, firing, during the rescue of Captain Archer from the mining facility was used in an altered opening credit sequence for "In a Mirror, Darkly" and "In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II".
- When asking T'Pol to give Tucker neuro-pressure, Phlox asks if she has any siblings, and says, "Commander Tucker had one – a sister." The script, and the remainder of the series, neglects the brother he mentioned "practicing the two-step with" in ENT: "Fusion".
- The concept of abducting crews from passing ships, and forcing them to work at the mining facility was previously visited in the Star Trek: Voyager episodes "Workforce" and "Workforce, Part II".
- This episode takes place six weeks after the events of "The Expanse".
Reception and aftermath
- Brannon Braga commented about this installment, "It was a big episode, [...] very ambitious." Braga more specifically remarked that – because this outing established the MACOs and the Xindi, as well as featuring "an adventure with us and the Expanse" – the episode set up "a lot of stuff." (Star Trek: Communicator issue 151, p. 27)
- Following this episode's production, bits of the Styrofoam used in this installment was often found on the Paramount lot during the rest of Star Trek: Enterprise, even when the main sets were being taken apart after the series finale, "These Are the Voyages...". ("The Xindi" text commentary, ENT Season 3 DVD & Blu-ray special features)
- The costume worn by Adam Taylor Gordon as the young Trip Tucker in the Florida dream scene was auctioned off in the It's A Wrap! sale and auction. 
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 Tucker III
- Richard Lineback as Kessick
- Stephen McHattie as Alien Foreman
- Tucker Smallwood as Xindi-Primate councilor
- Rick Worthy as Jannar
- Randy Oglesby as Degra
- Scott MacDonald as Dolim
- Marco Sanchez as M. Romero
- Daniel Dae Kim as D. Chang
- Nathan Anderson as N. Kemper
- Aldric Horton as Xindi-Arboreal councilor
- Steve Blalock as alien mine guard
- Dean Bower as alien mine guard
- Gary Buckner as alien slave miner
- Cole Chipman as alien mine guard
- Jason Collins as R. Ryan
- Marvin De Baca as alien mine guard
- Drew Delaine as alien mine guard
- Kevin Derr as Kelly
- Evan English as Tanner
- Mike Flanigan as alien slave miner
- Duncan Fraser as Walsh
- Tim Gallegos as alien slave miner
- Hilde Garcia as Rossi
- Jeff Hatch as alien mine guard
- Rabia Louis Haynes as alien slave miner
- Michael Hugghins as B. Scott
- Noriaki Kamata as alien slave miner
- Lalita Lauren as sciences ensign
- Clint Lilley as alien mine guard
- Michael McAdam as command crewman
- David McElhinny as alien slave miner
- Dorenda Moore as S. Money
- Michael Northern as alien mine guard
- Louis Ortiz as Xindi-Reptilian councilor
- Bobby Pappas as operations crewman
- Scott Pierce as alien slave miner
- Erin Price as Elizabeth Tucker
- Cesar Rodriguez as sciences lieutenant
- James Sauder as alien mine guard
- Teddy Schilz as alien slave miner
- Tim Sitarz as alien mine guard
- Paul Sklar as R. Richards
- Monika Spruch as sciences crewman
- Rob Steiner as alien slave miner
- Walter Tabayoyong as alien slave miner
- Chris Torres as B. Moreno
- Michelle Van Den Broeck as sciences crewman
- Chad Wolfinbarger as alien slave miner
- Scott Workman as alien mine guard
- Susan Yee as sciences crewman
- Unknown performers as
- Shawn Crowder as stunt double for Connor Trinneer
- Vince Deadrick, Jr. as stunt double for Scott Bakula
- Derek Mears as stunt double for Chris Freeman
- Tom Morga as stunt double for Richard Lineback
- David Keith Anderson –
- Jef Ayres – stand-in for Connor Trinneer
- Dominic Calandra – hand double for Scott Bakula
- Evan English –
- Tarik Ergin –
- John Jurgens –
- Stand-in for Steve Blalock
- Utility stand-in
- Louis Ortiz –
- Stand-in for Steven Culp
- Utility stand-in
- J.R. Quinonez –
- Stand-in for John Billingsley
- Utility stand-in
- Andre Rhodes – stand-in for Chris Freeman
- Richard Sarstedt – stand-in for Scott Bakula
- Jessica Vash – stand-in for Jolene Blalock
- Susan Yee –
- Stand-in for Linda Park
- Utility stand-in
- Unknown performers as
alloy; analogy; antimatter relay; Atlanta; base pair; boarding party; cargo bay; Celsius; centimeter; chimpanzee; cobalt; command center; conduit; corporal; cup; debris; Delphic Expanse; Denobulan; Duluth; duranium; Earth; epithelial cell; EV suit; finger; flattery; foreman; freighter captain; grav-plating; hypospray; insomnia; insulation; junior high school; Kiaphet Amman'sor; landing craft; lever; lie; line of fire; linguist; lining; liter; logic; MACO; maintenance cycle; major; McFarlane; meter; Minnesota; Neanderthal; neural node; neuro-pressure; Orassin distortion field; physiometric profile; placebo; platinum; prison break; REM pattern; reptilian; saliva; scale; sedative; sergeant; sewage; sexual advances; Shuttlepod 1; Shuttlepod 2; skin pigmentation; sleep; spatial anomaly; steel; tactical alert; tea; tissue sample; trellium-D; trellium mining planet; vertebra; Vulcan; Vulcan (planet); wind turbine; worker (aka workforce/labor force); Xindi; Xindi-Arboreal; Xindi-Aquatic; Xindi-Aquatic councilor; Xindi Council; Xindi-Insectoid; Xindi-Primate; Xindi probe; Xindi-Reptilian; Xindus
- "The Xindi" at StarTrek.com, the official Star Trek website
- "The Xindi" at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
- "The Xindi" at Wikipedia
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