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The Inner Fright

T'Pol's candlelit quarters. T'Pol and B'Stiller sit on the floor, facing one another, and T'Pol says, "Mind-meld?" B'Stiller explains that it's an "ancient technique, abandoned centuries ago" that helps Vulcans access each other's thoughts and emotions. T'Pol asks how the melding happens. Do they use a melder's torch? …What? I'm just so BORED. "I'd begin by creating a telepathic link," B'Stiller explains, "and we'd be able to share our memories, our thoughts. In essence, we'd become one mind. It's quite an experience but it is profoundly intimate. Are you prepared for that?" T'Pol doesn't say anything, so B'Stiller suggests a more "traditional" form of "guided meditation." "But it wouldn't be nearly as effective," he finishes. The camera zooms in on T'Pol's face as she says, "Proceed." I've been noticing that they haven't given T'Pol the typical Vulcan eyebrows on this show. Instead of actually making her look more like an alien being, they've given her a thickened-Kim-Novak look, which is more along the lines of traditional human beauty and looks, and is also more of a real eyebrow arch, rather than what other Vulcans seem to have, which is more like a one-way slant, going up. Know what I mean? It's like a circumflex accent, versus accent grave or accent aigu. Pretty cowardly of them if you ask me, and I know no one did, but I'm recapping and you're pretty much a captive audience, so there!

Anyway. B'Stiller unfolds his hands and raises them to T'Pol's face. He braces one hand on her shoulder and spreads the fingers of the other along her chin, cheekbone, and temple. Not quite as good as Spock, but we get the general idea. "It's all right," he whispers, "close your eyes. Try to focus on my voice." T'Pol closes her eyes. "My mind to your mind. Your thoughts to my thoughts. Our minds are merging. Our minds are becoming one," B'Stiller intones. T'Pol shakes him off and tells him it's not happening for her. B'Stiller tells her she's resisting and repositions his hands, saying, "Now, relax." He repeats his invocation, and T'Pol's eyes close and flutter, as if Jolene is rolling her eyeballs into the back of her head. B'Stiller shudders, and suddenly, T'Pol's eyes fly open and she gasps. "Am I with you?" B'Stiller asks, in his and T'Pol's head. "Yes," T'Pol's thoughts answer. "Can you sense my thoughts?" B'Stiller's mind asks. "Yes," T'Pol's mind answers. Aloud, B'Stiller tells her she's doing well and orders her to think about that night in San Fran when she heard the saxophone gently weep. We see Babushka T'Pol walking down the street again. "Good," B'Stiller says, a slightly maniacal glint in his eye. "Now listen. Can you hear the music?" T'Pol's eyes seem to fill with tears. I don't understand getting all worked up over a little Sun Ra and His Intergalactic Arkestra, MMCLI. B'Stiller orders T'Pol to follow the music and the memory. Babushka T'Pol goes into the restaurant again. "I can see why you were drawn to this place," B'Stiller says. "It's unlike anything on Vulcan. I'm not surprised it triggered an emotional response." Why -- is there an orgy going on, or just a bunch of people wandering around being illogical? Now, B'Stiller appears to be with Babushka T'Pol in the jazz café. B'Stiller asks T'Pol what else she felt besides "invigorated." "I don't know," Babushka T'Pol answers. B'Stiller insists that she does know; she just isn't used to describing emotions. "You experienced other things," he supplies for her, breathing hard. "Excitement at breaking protocol, apprehension about getting caught, and the music…the music made you feel…elated. Allow yourself to feel these emotions again."

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