T'Pol tells the Enterprise that they'll be docking in four minutes and will need Dr. Phlox to meet them in DeCon. "Is someone wounded?" the Enterprise relay asks. "The Captain," T'Pol informs him, adding, "I'm taking command of the Enterprise." Trip, Hoshi, and Reed all do a double-take while the Captain passes out into the Sepia Tones of Cpt. Quantum's Childhood. Child and Pop Archer stand on a sepia beach in front of a sepia sea. Child Archer struggles to remotely control his little ship. "I can't do it," he whines. "Yes, you can," Pop Archer tells him, "Take her up, straight and steady." The tiny ship rises, falters, and falls into the sand. "Damn!" Child Archer says, and runs to examine his toy. Wait, this kid is how old? Ten? My parents still don't like it if I say "damn," and I'm, like, old. Pop Archer kneels next to his son. "You can't be afraid of the wind, learn to trust it," he says. One of the cats uses this new anvil as a scratching post. Child Archer looks up and sees a strangely menacing-looking T'Pol looming over him. Cpt. Archer drifts in and out of consciousness in the pod.
I'm telling you, that Sprint PCS flouring-the-kids commercial kills me every time.
Aboard the Enterprise, it's the scene we've all been waiting for. Or dreading, depending on your sensibilities. A skivvied up Trip and T'Pol stand in a DeCon antechamber, looking at the cheerful face of Dr. Phlox through a window. "It shouldn't take more than a few moments," Dr. Phlox beams at them. Trip asks if it's really necessary, and Phlox tells him that everyone else tested negative, but the two of them tested positive for protocystian spore exposure. Nasty sounding, isn't it? Dr. Phlox tells them, "I've loaded the appropriate DeCon gel into compartment B." "Tell Mr. Mayweather to prepare to leave orbit," T'Pol tells the grinning doctor. "How's the Captain?" Trip asks. "I'm treating his wound," Phlox answers. "Will he be all right?" Trip asks. "Eventually!" Phlox sings out before sliding a shutter closed, leaving them in relative darkness together.
Trip and T'Pol take their cans of "gel" into the DeCon chamber, and The Blue Light Of Lust And Skin fires up (I guess that's some people's idea of a Blue Light Special). The camera does an extreme close-up of T'Pol and Trip silently rubbing "gel" on themselves. I wonder if the "gel" is chocolate flavored. "Correct me if I'm wrong," Trip says, "but aren't yew kind of an observer on this mission? [On this mission, in this DeCon chamber, what's the difference?] I don't remember anyone telling me yew were a member of Starfleet." "My Vulcan rank supercedes yours," T'Pol says, smearing gel on her abs, which she thrusts conveniently into the light. "Apples and oranges," Trip splutters, "this is an Earth vessel, yer in no position to take command." While moving onto her thigh area -- just one will suffice, apparently -- T'Pol tells him that Vulcan High Command will speak to Starfleet and ensure that they support her authority. "Yew must reeeelly be proud of yerself," Trip says, as T'Pol turns her back to him and raises her tank top ineffectually enough that Trip rubs her neck, an area easily reached by her own hands. "Yew can put an end to this mission while Cap'n is still unconscious in sick bay and yew won't even have to look him in the eye," Trip says, rubbing her lower back and going half an inch below her waistband. Again, a place she could have reached herself! "Your precious cargo was stolen, three Suliban or more were killed, and Captain Archer has been seriously wounded," T'Pol says. Yes, but why dwell on the negative when we have all this slippery gel between us. Of course, if she can't reach her lower back or the back of her neck, then she must not be able to reach her own ears, so Trip rubs gel on those as well. "It seems to me," T'Pol says, turning around to face him, "that this mission has put an end to itself. Turn around." Trip turns, and T'Pol rubs gel on his shoulders and legs (I know I am never able to shave my own legs, owing to their hard-to-reach location) while Trip opines that maybe they screwed up, but the individuals who wounded Cpt. Archer are probably connected to the group who abducted Klaang. As T'Pol moves up his legs to his butt, the UPS guy knocks on my door to deliver a large package. T'Pol tells Trip she "fails to see [his] point," and pulls on his ears. Trip tells her that it's important to Cpt. Quantum to see this mission to the end. "His daddy was the same way," Trip says, staring T'Pol down, who replies, "You obviously share your Captain's belief that my people were responsible for impeding Henry Archer's accomplishments." Trip says Henry Archer just wanted to see his engine fly, "they never even gave him the chance to fail. And here you are thirty years later proving just how consistent you Vulcans can be." I guess the rubdown is over, because Trip turns the lights on, killing the blue mood, and storms out. T'Pol pauses a moment to give the viewing audience a good view of her pulled-up, tucked-under tank top and her nips, which direct her out of the DeCon chamber like beacons.
The Captain, tricked out in tight, snazzy, electric blue underoos (his hero's The Tick), groggily comes to in sick bay. He casts an eye over his leg wound and sees a huge black and slimy mound. Before he can freak out too much, Dr. Phlox comes out and pulls the star-shaped sucker thing off with an appetizing SLUURRP! Cpt. Quantum winces as Dr. Phlox chimes, "Very nice, very nice! Your myofibers are fusing beautifully." Cpt. Quantum starts to ask how long he's been out. "Less than six hours -- I thought it best to keep you sedated while the osmotic eel cauterized your wound," Dr. Phlox tells him. "Thanks," Cpt. Quantum says as Phlox drops the osmotic eel back into its bowl. T'Pol and Trip (fully clothed, thankfully) walk into sick bay, and Trip asks Quantum how he's feeling. Cpt. Quantum tells him it depends on what's been going on since he had an eel French kissing his thigh for six hours. T'Pol steps in and says, "As your highest ranking officer, I assumed command while you were incapacitated." Cpt. Quantum looks annoyed and asks Trip, "Are we underway?" Trip nods. "You didn't waste much time, did you?" Cpt. Quantum asks T'Pol, as Trip asks the doctor if the Captain is fit for duty. "Yes, as long as he returns for more eel therapy tomorrow," Phlox says. Cpt. Quantum limps off the table and asks how far they are from Earth. "Earth, sir?" Trip says, confused. "We're currently tracking the Suliban vessel that left Rigel shortly after you were injured," T'Pol tells him. Are they trying to pretend the ship that flew over them when they all were trying to get into their own pod, whose jet-wash blew T'Pol across the landing pad, was the same Suliban vessel? Because that left Rigel before Cpt. Quantum was phasered. Cpt. Quantum looks with surprise at Trip, who nods his verification. "You got their plasma decay rate?" Cpt. Quantum asks. "With Mr. Tucker's assistance, I modified your sensors. [Do I know how to call them or what? Modifications, every time.] We now have the resolution to detect their warp trail," T'Pol tells him. Cpt. Quantum asks her what happened to "this is a foolish mission." "This is a foolish mission," T'Pol says. "The Suliban are clearly a hostile race with technology far superior to yours, but as Acting Captain I was obligated to anticipate your wishes." Cpt. Quantum tells her that she could've done "whatever the hell [she] wanted to do." T'Pol ignores this statement and tells him she needs to return to the bridge. Cpt. Quantum dismisses her and turns to Trip, who tells him that modifying the sensors was all T'Pol's idea. Cpt. Quantum just doesn't know what to make of this insulting and supercilious, but surprisingly loyal and buxom, Vulcan.