Somebody loves Jolene Blalock out there and I wonder if it's because he's rumored to have recently called it quits with his 7 of 9 girlfriend. At any rate, T'Pol -- or rather her "second fore-mother" -- is the star of this Red Hill Mining Town episode, shot on location in Pennsylvania. And besides a few interruptions from Quantum and Trip along the story-telling way, no other crewmember other than T'Pol gets face-time as we travel back in time to the point of the "real" first contact between Vulcans and humans.
Eh. I wasn't wowed by this episode. There were a few funny (albeit not very original) moments, but they managed to show them in previews, so I was pretty bored by them once I actually saw the ep. I did like the way they colored and styled Blalock's hair, and the costuming was accurate and interesting. Even though it's one of the labors of Hercules to find clothes from the fifties these days. The only thing I can say I was truly entertained by was the ambiguity as to whether or not T'Pol had really been pulling Quantum and Trip's collective leg for the past hour. Considering how many times Quantum allows Trip to get his jollies at the expense of T'Pol's dignity, I was glad to see her get her own back. I still can't believe I'm starting to champion her character, but she's growing on me, as long as she keeps her dinners sheathed. Just please don't start dating Braga, Jolene; he's such a weaselly putz.
Quantum, Trip, and T'Pol are sitting back, pouring a bottle of Arbor Mist Strawberry White Zinfandel to celebrate T'Pol's one year with the Enterprise crew. "Say when," Quantum grunts. After a finger of wine hits her glass, T'Pol says, "When." Quantum comments that he didn't realize she drank wine, and T'Pol tells him that "under the circumstances" she will "allow [herself] a small indulgence." Trip "Wino" Tucker asks for a "large indulgence." "So, when Vulcans drink, do their faces flush green?" Mathra wonders, as Quantum toasts T'Pol in a way that resembles the stuff they make tables out of. They clink. I drink. T'Pol says she appreciates the sentiment, but she's only doing her job. Quantum tells her that's not small potatoes considering that no Vulcan has been able to stand the stench of a human ship for more than two weeks. "Ten days," T'Pol corrects him. Quantum says he's been filling out her annual crew evaluation. "Just a formality," he stiffs. "I understand. The High Command has requested my evaluation of you," T'Pol responds. "Just a formality." Quantum seems a bit nonplussed, but goes on to ask her personal questions. He wants to know why she took a trip to Carbon Creek, PA while she was stationed in San Francisco. He's of the opinion that it was an odd place to take a vacation. Because he's the Vacation Judge. T'Pol comments that Vulcans don't go on vacations. Quantum still wants to know why she went there. "Is this part of my evaluation?" T'Pol wonders. No, Quantum's just nosy. T'Pol tells him it was a "personal matter." "Yew had uh 'personal matter' in Carbin Crick, Penn-sil-vain-ya?" Trip asks. Quantum bluffs that if T'Pol doesn't want to tell them, she doesn't have to. "Seems a little unfar. We tell her plenny of store-ees," Trip says. Trip, no one asked you to tell anyone any of that stuff. In fact, since you brought it up, we'd much rather if you kept it all to yourself. Especially during dinner. When your mouth is full. "You want me to tell you a story?" T'Pol questions. "Ef et's a gud wun," Trip says. Picky, picky. Quantum grins while chawing on some bread roll. T'Pol closes her eyes briefly and says, "I went to Carbon Creek because I wanted to live deliberately. I wanted to live deep and suck all the marrow out of life --" Any Walden lovers out there? Or at the very least Dead Poets Society lovers? Okay, so T'Pol didn't really Thoreau up; she just said that she only went there because she wanted to visit the site of first contact with humans and Vulcans. Hee. Look at the pretty marks on the wall where Trip and Quantum's heads exploded. They both try to tell her that she's wrong by half a country, a bunch of years, AND a statue -- before you laugh, remember how important a statue was to last week's history? Okay, now you can laugh. But T'Pol corrects them by telling them that she (and the Vulcans) know differently, since it was her "second fore mother" who was one of the first contacters. "Yer who?" Trip asks. Clearly, Trip needs the Universal Translator welded to his hammer, stirrup, or anvil. I know what she's talking about. T'Pol explains, "My mother's mother's mother." Trip drinks deeply (as do I), and Quantum does bit of furrowing on the side. "Would you like to hear the story?" T'Pol asks, gathering them both onto her knee.