As the ship heads toward an area that Quantum says they will be surveying for potential starbases, T'Pol analyzes one of the planets: "It's an M-Class world with a flourishing ecosystem; no intelligent life." Quantum is intrigued. "They did report one distinctive feature that bears mentioning -- a species of flying reptile, some reportedly over two hundred meters long." Quantum gives Hoshi a look all, "You know, my lizard's that long." T'Pol adds, "They're also said to breathe fire." Quantum: "Never mind." What? Considering how this episode ends up, I thought I'd start us off with a few male genitalia jokes in order to segue right into the extreme chauvinism. T'Pol admits there's been lingering doubts over the accuracy of the report. An approaching ship hails them. It's a beefy Orion who I am going to again call "Shrek." He tells them to deactivate their weapons ASAP or he will toast them.
Quantum and Shrek do a penis dance before they jointly agree to turn off their weapons. Shrek invites Quantum over to his ship to discuss business that he claims will heal the rift between Starfleet and the Orion Syndicate.
Walking down the corridor with two Uh-Ohs, Reed reminds Quantum and the ADD viewers that the last time they dealt with Orions, the Orions tried to enslave a few of the crew. Quantum pooh-poohs Reed's plea for Shrek to come over to their ship and steps on the transporter pad, intoning, "Anything to have one less hostile species out there," with a very sanctimonious look on his face. Shut up, Quantum's face.
Engineering. Trip gives some underling orders. Some snotty underling, who won't look him in the eye when he speaks to him, stalks off to pout under the warp core. "Kelby!" Trip calls after him. Oh, this is the new engineer. The one whose toes are now sore from all the stepping Trip does the longer he stays away from Columbia. Trip promises Kelby that as soon as the repairs are done, he's going back to Columbia. Kelby snippily opines that after four years with Trip on the ship, Quantum's still not ready to let him go. He stamps off. T'Pol comes over to ask if there's anything she can do to help. Trip gives her some technobabble to do. As he walks off, T'Pol calls after him and wants to know if he's been experiencing any "unusual daydreams." "Daydreams?" Trip repeats quizzically. "Accompanied by intense auditory and visual sensations that would involve me," T'Pol clarifies. Trip, the munch, grins, "You're wondering if I've been having daydreams about you?" Trip pretends to think about it and says, "No, nothing comes to mind." T'Pol tells him to skip it and walks away. Trip wants to know if she's been having daydreams about him. T'Pol says it's not important. "Are you going to tell me what this is about?" Trip smirks. "No," T'Pol says. Not until the end of the episode when Contrivance comes home from work.
Shrek's ship. Shrek pours blue alcohol into Quantum and Reed's rather girlie-looking pink drinks and elaborates about his career in commerce. See, Shrek prefers commerce to piracy. And who wouldn't? It's steadier work and you don't have to spend all that time sitting on a dead man's chest, which, let's face it, may be fun the first few times but it's not really what you'd call "hygienic." "This," Shrek gestures at the bottle of blue alcohol, "is from a planet in the Gorn hegemony." "The Gorn?" Reed asks, just in case we all didn't hear it the first time. "Yeah, the GORN," the Evil Dr. Mathra repeats, "they look a bit like me -- a little more papier-mâché. A little more RuPaul." "The less said about them the better," Shrek says. "However, they brew the finest Meridor in the five systems." "What? Not 'tranya,' or raktajino? Though I will have to kill them if they TOUCH Deep Space Nine and sully it with their canon-grubby hands," Dr. Mathra comments. Quantum sips: "Delicious!" "Yeah, he forgot to mention that Meridor contains trace amounts of human blood from the massacre on Cestus III," Dr. Mathra calls. Shrek is so pleased that Quantum enjoys it. Speaking of tranya, all these curtains and pillows in Shrek's drawing room do uncomfortably remind me of Clint Howard's tongue. Shrek tells Quantum that his reputation precedes him, but adds that as he's wanted by the Klingon Empire and the Orion Syndicate, he was expecting Quantum to have a more "robust appetite." Is he saying that he was expecting a fat guy? Because being the fat guy captain is all Shatner and Bakula's chiseled pecs better not forget it. Shrek says that if food doesn't arouse Quantum's hunger, he hopes his next proffering will. He claps his hands, and three scantily-clad women with a raging case of jealousy wriggle in. They start to dance. Now what I want to know is, is the music part of the show's soundtrack or is there a green garage band behind one of those curtains? Reed's not sure which body part to goggle first, so he looks at the captain for assistance. Dinners it is. The Greenettes dance. They touch. They roll on the floor. Shrek asks what Reed and Quantum think. "I can't think," Reed says, confirming every single one of my suspicions for the past three years. "Captain?" Shrek prods, prowling behind Quantum. "I'd have to agree with my tactical officer," Quantum leers. The dancing and invisible music continues. "I think she likes you," Shrek says, promo-style, as one of the Greenettes caresses Quantum's face. Shrek bought her and her sisters at the same trading post Quantum and Dain'ta visited. Shrek then babbles about women having their own set of problems and being the same throughout the galaxy and I don't really get what he's driving at and I also don't really care. "He's talking to Quantum on his level," Dr. Mathra explains. "To get through to him, you have to be an ass." The Invisible Green Band suddenly stops playing and the Greenettes strike a pose and bow to the clapping and panting. "Now we can talk business," Shrek announces.
Back on Enterprise, Quantum tells T'Pol about the ridiculous scheme Shrek proposed. Starfleet helps Shrek mine magnesite on a planet that has enough of the stuff to build a thousand warp reactors, and Shrek gets ten percent. Not only that, but Shrek has offered to help establish a dialogue between Starfleet and the Orion Syndicate. Wow. Some days you get the moon AND the stars. Quantum's a genuine idiot for not thinking something was up with such a sweet deal, but I guess one can argue that he's already addled by the green eggs and ham that jiggled in front of him earlier that night. T'Pol wonders if Quantum is going to accept. Quantum already has. T'Pol thought Quantum was seeking her advice. No, no, he wasn't doing that, Quantum brought her to his quarters to tell her about the "gift" Shrek gave him to celebrate the deal. "Given the situation, I couldn't refuse." Yeah, given the situation of YOUR PENIS! T'Pol squints at him.