We last left off with Rewriting the Classics at the end of “Shockwave, Part II,” entering into STAR TREK ENTERPRISE’s second season. This season, in canon, is largely forgettable, save for a small handful of episodes: “Minefield,” “Dead Stop,” “Regeneration” and “The Expanse” being the most remarkable episodes of the season. This redo of season two will keep these episodes, mostly in tact. Let’s touch on the follow-up to “Shockwave, Part II” which will be “Minefield.”
This episode is slow, torturous and boring, even in canon. That is, if you’re not into character driven stories. “Minefield” was character-heavy and not very action-intensive. It was a moral question, and showed the lengths Reed would go to save his ship versus the lengths Archer would go, as a captain, to save a member of his crew.
The only alteration would be when Archer was told about the Romulans. In canon, he stated that Daniels wouldn’t let him read more into them. However, in this version, Archer will simply quip, “Romulans? Never heard of ’em.”
Hoshi, however, recognizes the language. After-all, the Romulan ship that harasses Enterprise in this episode is of the same class of ship from our redo “Silent Enemy” from season one. Hoshi now has a name to put to these mysterious bullies.
Without the Suliban cloak-detector from the future that we got in canon, how is Enterprise able to get out of the minefield? Well, that is a little trick that Hoshi is able to negotiate. Another character driven element will involve Hoshi and her communications counterpart on the Romulan vessel, a young Ulan by the name of Tagaara; a young Romulan girl who also has a knack for alien languages. Basically, Tagaara expresses her deep hatred for humanity, especially Enterprise. Hoshi uses that to convince Tagaara to help Enterprise leave Romulan territory. She gives Hoshi the transponder frequencies of the mines so Enterprise can plot a course out of the minefield and out of the Romulans’ hair.
It works, and Enterprise leaves to encounter the automated drydock facility in “Dead Stop,” as presented in canon.
A few filler episodes later and we come up on:
So basically, this episode happens exactly as canon presented it… with one twist.
At the end of this episode, we are whisked away to the white nether realm where we see two female figures squaring off with each other. “This is problematic,” one says to the other. “That chain of events from two hundred years into the future has brought this timeline into question.”
“We came so close,” says the other figure. “They would’ve been wiped out!”
“Your insolence has caused this timeline to continue on its course,” the first argues. “Careful manipulation of events is required, not a temporal bludgeon!”
“It’s the consensus of all that the Federation must be destroyed-” (this is our first ever mention of the Federation in ENTERPRISE).
“And it shall be,” assures the other. “The assembly gathers. There will be another opportunity, but you must be punished for your failure.”
“I understand,” says the other figure.
After some other filler episodes, including “First Flight,” a fan favorite, (leaving out the Klingon and Suliban episodes), we come to the Season 2 closer. It happens just as canon revealed: an unknown probe comes out of a vortex and attacks Earth, killing millions. Enterprise is recalled.
Our bully, Grusleth, makes his return in place of Duras from canon. Grusleth gives Enterprise a hard time, making it next to impossible for the ship to return to the Sol System. However, the Nimitz, along with the ships we saw in the canon episode, fend off Grusleth. Angry and determined to take out our heroes, he sets a collision course with Enterprise, only to be destroyed by Nimitz. In that same exchange we saw in canon, Archer explains who Grusleth was and why they were being chased by the Orions.
With Admiral Forrest, Archer immediately points the finger at both the Orions and the Romulans. “It’s the only explanation,” Archer swears. “I suspect the Orions more because that’s exactly what they said they wanted to do in the first place!”
“It’s not the Orions,” Sovol explains. “We have encountered this technology before. It’s a race called the Xindi, they’re native to what you call the Delphic Expanse.” Sovol and Archer both go over the probe debris and examine everything.
Archer finds it odd that his scanner is reading an odd quantum signature, reading in the negatives. He has no idea what this is all about. The Vulcans are at a loss to explain it as well.
A large part of this episode is Archer trying to convince Admiral Forrest to let him take Enterprise into the Expanse to kick some ass. Most of his crew has already volunteered to go, with only a few staying behind to mourn. We are also introduced to General Kasey, himself, who volunteers his MACO team to Archer. It’s the final push Forrest needed to approve the mission, since he and Kasey are old friends.
Of course, the Vulcans protest, just as canon explained. However, Sovol’s protests are out of a need and desire to protect humanity – not to hold them back. A genuinely compassionate moment between Sovol and Archer helps them begin to form a friendship that starts with understanding. “I do not know the first thing about acting on illogical impulse,” Sovol says to Archer. “However, logic does dictates that whoever did this must face justice. You have my support.”
Enterprise is refitted for the first time in her short service. The hull plating is modified. Starfleet developed the phase cannon based on Enterprise‘s technical specifications from the initial encounter with the Romulan ship. They have two working prototypes which are installed in place of the two forward-facing particle laser cannons. More atomic warheads are loaded as well as an experimental antimatter torpedo salvo of twelve (precursor to the photon torpedo). The warp drive gets the most important upgrade, as Enterprise‘s research and experiment notes pay off and a genuine Warp Five Engine is installed – the first of its class.
Administrator V’las makes an appearance in an attempt to recall T’pol, who refuses V’las’s invitation to return with a promotion. V’las allows T’pol to remain, in order to “represent Vulcan’s interest” in the mission.
As Enterprise races towards the Delphic Expanse, we see that the Romulans also take an interest. An unnamed commander on an unnamed ship monitors the mission progress from a cloaked position. We learn that this is strictly out of curiosity, as news of this alien attack from out of nowhere reached the Senate. With as much trouble as the humans have caused, some would say that the humans got what they deserved, while others are convinced that something far more sinister is afoot.
Enterprise enters the Expanse, without incident, and begins season 3…
Stay tuned for the changes to season 3!