Second Union

Second Union


“I’m sorry about the mess. Sometimes I think my bunk-mate majored in Chaos Theory.”

Who would’ve thought the guy who knows how to make your eggs just right would turn out to be a Temporal Space Agent from the future? Sounds like a B-movie from the ’50s. Crewman Daniels IS Temporal Space Agent From The Future! He’s a kick-ass chef as well. This all started with the pilot episode and the introduction of the Suliban, a race of burnt-omelet-faces with genetic enhancements such as the ability to contort their bodies and travel through time. Crewman Daniels was put on board Enterprise to keep a watchful eye on Archer and his contributions to the peaceful future of Earth as well as the formation of the United Federation of Planets. Daniels is a bit of a Tinker Bell, Jiminy Cricket, Blue Fairy kind of guy in all of his appearances on the show. He might also be a Cassandra, prophet of doom, which makes him annoying not only to Archer but to us. For me, it’s a little too easy to just throw him into a situation to save Archer, because it removes the possibility of stakes or danger.

Enterprise is contacted by a transport ship full of religious fanatics who have come to see the Great Plume of Agosoria, a might-perdy fountain of energy that explodes like clockwork every eleven years; sort of an Old Faithful in space. Unbeknownst to the crew, a Suliban agent pain-in-the-ass named Silik is hiding amongst the worshippers. After a nearly disastrous explosion in engineering, Daniels “outs” himself as a time agent, and takes Archer to his quarters where he shows him a bunch of fancy futuristic sci-fi equipment to convince him. He references a Temporal Cold War and the efforts of time agents like him to prevent power from falling into the wrong hands. With Archer’s support, Daniels works with T’Pol and Tucker to find Silik. Tucker goes along with it, but T’Pol is having issues. Being a Vulcan, she’s incredibly stubborn. Get used to hearing this: “The Vulcan Science Directorate has studied the question of time travel in great detail. They found no evidence that it exists, or that it can exist.” She’s like a broken record on the subject.

All of this culminates in the first season finale and the second season opener. The show had not quite found an identity outside the established franchise series. It was still operating on beats pre-programmed from The Next Generation and, particularly, Voyager. The Alpha Quadrant (though never identified as such) in Enterprise might as well have been the Delta Quadrant of Voyager. I’m reminded of River Song from Doctor Who. Her first appearance on the show was at the time of her death and then resulting storage in a 51st Century library. She would make subsequent appearances through time just as Daniels would until the start of the fourth and final season of Enterprise. Like Zefram Cochrane, Archer may be a key historical figure, even a god to mere mortal men, but he doesn’t want to hear about his role in the future. Archer has more personal goals. To command the first warp-capable starship from Earth. To step out from behind the shadow of his father, Henry Archer. To have a beer and watch water polo where no one has had a beer and watched water polo before.

Twice a week, Star Trek Rewind explores the Star Trek universe. From Archer to Janeway, Kirk to Picard, and Georgiou to Sisko — boldly read what no one has read before!

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