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Enterprise 1.17 FAQ

What’s it called?

Well, here’s the wacky part. TV Guide says “Equilibrium,” but the actual title is “Fusion.”

Who’s responsible?

Teleplay is credited to Phyllis Strong & Mike Sussman (“Strange New World,” “Shadows of P’Jem”).

What else does TV Guide say?

“A renegade Vulcan sect gets under T'Pol's skin in this well-scripted episode. Like most Vulcans, T'Pol (Jolene Blalock) buries her feelings beneath layers of logic, but the same cannot be said of the Vahklas, a group that embraces emotion. When the Enterprise encounters a ship carrying the sect, the disciplined T'Pol is wary, but agrees to experiment with their alternative lifestyle under the tutelage of the Vahkla Tolaris (Enrique Murciano). Veteran Trekkers may appreciate this episode for its manifestation of the Vulcan mind meld - a form of intimate telepathy (“my thoughts to your thoughts”) - some 100 years before the era of Mr. Spock.”

The big news?

T’Pol doesn’t know what the heck a “mind meld” is! Late in the episode, emotion-boy Tolaris introduces her to this technique – a technique that the emotion-shunning Mr. Spock would somehow come to employ routinely less than 100 years later.


Wait, it gets better. The mind-meld, explains Tolaris, “is an ancient technique. It was abandoned centuries ago (!) but we’ve discovered that it can help us access our emotions (!!).”

The other big news?

We learn that T’Pol too once felt there might be more to life than logic.

Does T’Pol invite Tolaris into the decon chamber?

No, but she clearly takes more than just a scientific interest in the handsome Vahklas.

Is this batch of Vulcans as wacky as, say, Spock was that time he was co-opted by the happy-spores?

No, this batch of Vahklas is pretty low-key (and generally a good deal better behaved than Spock’s half-brother Sybok).

What is TV Guide not telling us?

The Vahklas enjoy the taste of flesh. And they have a different take on the teachings of Surak. “Have you ever read his original texts?” asks Tolaris. “He never intended for us to purge our emotions. He wanted us to master them, and then carefully integrate them into our lives.”

What’s good?

Jolene Blalock does typically spectacular work as T’Pol, and the three actors playing the main guest Vulcans do a first-rate job of keeping up with her. The Vulcan engineer’s new friendship with Trip is the most fun, particularly the two engineers’ keen interest in swapping non-technical info. (Note how quickly Reed scurries over to Trip’s table when the Vulcan engineer casually brings up Vulcan mating rituals.)

Vulcan mating rituals?? Do Trip and Reed learn anything juicy?

The Vahklas engineer indicates that the Vulcan male is driven to mate every seven years.

What’s not so good?

As Archer tries to trip Tolaris up, he forgets to taunt him with the phrases “oversized hobgoblin” and “pointy-eared freak.” Oh, and? T’Pol’s flashbacks to San Francisco are saturated with a headache-inducing jazz soundtrack that makes the show’s opening theme sound like Mozart.

How does it end, spoiler boy?

Trouble ensues when T’Pol fails to heed her own warnings.

Herc’s rating for “Enterprise” 1.17?


The Hercules T. Strong Rating System:

  • ***** better than we deserve
  • **** better than most motion pictures
  • *** actually worth your valuable time
  • ** as horrible as most stuff on TV
  • * makes you quietly pray for bulletins

I am – Hercules!!

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