“Three days. You were only there for three days, and you couldn’t restrain yourself.”
Trippin’ through the Cosmos! We got us here a race of alien bottom-feeders; hiding in the plasma exhaust of warp-capable spaceships, feeding on the fumes, and riding bitch inside the Enterprise warp bubble. We didn’t start hearing about the warp bubble until, I think, “Remember Me,” and Wesley Crusher’s ill-fated experiment that sent his mother into a terrifying parallel plane where people started disappearing. Warp bubbles are now part of the Star Trek lexicon. The adorable Xyrillians are also explorers, but with a broken-down engine, they’re forced to surf the Enterprise wave, and our bright, shining crew is able to spot them. Archer is, at his core, altruistic, so he offers to send Trip over to take a look at their systems and try to help them. They accept.
It takes a few hours of mind-numbing decompression and cognitive tests before he can safely enter their ship. This is a weird place, loaded with unusual scaley-brown people and food growing on the walls. Trip has a severe panic attack, so their engineer, a comely brown thing called Ah’len takes them to what we will later identify as a “holodeck.” They sit in a boat on a river (… with tangerine trees and marmalade skies …), put their fingers in some pebbles (Ah’len wants to play games with him, you see), and telepathically flirt with one another until he gets his bearings and goes back to work. Trip fixes the ship and they say their goodbyes. A few minutes after the Xyrillian ship departs, Trip develops what can only be called a nipple on his wrist. Phlox does an examination and informs Trip he’s pregnant! Cue the needle scratch and James Brown’s, “I Feel Good.”
Of course, this could only happen to Trip. The first two seasons of Enterprise had “Trip must suffer” storylines pretty much every other episode. The usual pregnancy “hilarity” ensues. Trip becomes hypersensitive. He wears a baggy shirt, even though it seems like the child is growing a little higher up in his chest cavity, and he becomes prone to emotional outbursts. He doesn’t escape the scorn of T’Pol who chastises him for getting himself pregnant. Those Vulcans and their “blame the victim” mentality. Seriously, who could foresee such a circumstance? You touch some rocks and then you’re pregnant? That’s not what I was taught. What is “first base” for these aliens? After several days, they find the Xyrillian ship sucking up the exhaust of a Klingon ship this time. Seems Trip’s repairs didn’t stick.
The Klingons are less forgiving than our heroes and they vow to destroy the ship. Archer comes up with a mutually-beneficial exchange with the Klingons involving the trade of technology, namely that funky “holodeck” program. This is a funny, stupid episode of Enterprise intended to cash in on pregnancy humor with a manly man, and first contact with an incredibly alien species that throws Trip for a loop. Throughout the episode, I couldn’t help but think of poor Harry Kim (in the Star Trek: Voyager episode “The Disease”), who was chastised and reprimanded for having unauthorized sex with an alien girl. And the first one now will later be last. For the times they are a-changin’.
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