Second Union

Second Union


“Just because they smile and eat chicken, doesn’t mean they have learned to master their emotions.”

In human psychology, the suppression of emotion can lead to breakdown and, curiously, the deconstruction of logic. The Vulcan ethos requires a suppression of emotion in order to control the more violent impulses Vulcans would ordinarily have. The violence of Vulcan’s past caused destructive chaos, and logic was the necessary tool used to dismantle emotion.

A group of expatriated Vulcans known as V’tosh ka’tur, incorrectly identified by T’Pol as “Vulcans without logic”, come aboard as Enterprise observes the Arachnid Nebula. These Vulcans are peculiar. They seem downright charming. They eat meat. They have no emotional impediments. They almost make T’Pol nervous. This is an effective performance from Jolene Blalock. She perceives these Vulcans as flying without a net, and it disturbs her. They have the opposite effect on Trip and Archer. Trip even befriends one of their engineers.

Enter creepy Vulcan, Tolaris, and I seriously mean creepy (with a capital “C” that rhymes with “P” that stands for “Pervert!”). He’s on T’Pol like flies on a rib roast. He’s a “no means yes” kind of emotional Vulcan, so that every time T’Pol tells him she doesn’t want to explore her emotions, it must be a deflection, and that T’Pol is frigid, rigid, and close-minded. He successfully manipulates her into skipping her meditation and having a vivid sex dream (involving him). The next night, he gets rough. He puts a mind-meld on T’Pol.

At this point in the history, mind-melds are forbidden, and anyone caught attempting to mind-meld is met with harsh punishment. Tolaris injures T’Pol, causing a neurological disorder. Archer hits the ceiling when he hears about it. He invites Tolaris to his quarters for a pleasant discussion, and then maneuvers him into fisticuffs and pulls a phase pistol on him. Despite everything we’ve been told about men in recent years, this is how a real man behaves. He protects and defends the women in his life.

Before Archer tells these pesky Vulcans to vamoose, he gets an official assignment from old buddy Admiral Forrest. He has to relay a message to one of the Vulcans, Trip’s engineer friend, Kov. Kov’s father is dying (of a broken heart, it would appear) and wants to connect with his estranged son. Trip tries to convince Kov not to burn that bridge. It’s kind of an ABC Afterschool Special sub-plot that is too jarring a juxtaposition with the rape story; a story that doesn’t paint Vulcans in the best light.

This is a very disturbing episode of Enterprise, in view of the subtle, then gross, machinations of a manipulative predator. I don’t understand why Archer didn’t throw Tolaris in the brig and bring him up on charges, unless it’s because T’Pol didn’t want this to get out for fear it would damage her reputation. There are consequences to this, but she is the recipient of those consequences, even though she is the injured party. The Vulcans seem to have a “blame the victim” mentality. Again, not terribly enlightened.

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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