North Star

Episode Report Card
Keckler: B- | Grade It Now!
Blazing Furrows

Nightfall. From the bushes, Trip and T'Pol spy on a settlement. There must be something more that we can't see because T'Pol says, "I estimate this vessel's been here for at least two centuries." She crawls out, and Trip asks her what she's doing. "The Captain said to learn whatever we could," T'Pol tells him, in a tone that implies the selective leaving out of "doy." "He also said to keep a low profile," Trip reminds her. "I plan to," T'Pol says, and walks off. Trip makes a face before following her. Hee. I love how Trip's all chickenshit and she's like, "Whatever, chump!" but in that calm, detached, Vulcan way. And then, of course, Trip follows her. Because he's afraid of bugs.

Quantum visits Homespun -- played, by the way, by Emily Bergl, who was also in Taken, which just tickles me because of the parallels -- and pumps her for information about the Skags because there aren't any where he comes from. "And where's that?" Homespun asks. "Up north, quite a-ways," Quantum says. "Up north"? Snort. Since Homespun heard about the Oxbow Furrowdent in the saloon, Quantum proves himself to her by saying that he stepped in because he doesn't think a Skagaran's life is worth any less than his own. Behold, the sanctity of the furrows. We thought it hath deserted us. But soft! There it floats on a pink hyacinth-scented cloud of righteous do-goodism. Homespun offers Quantum the chance to meet more Skags and learn the truth about what happened to the hanged man. They noisily leave town in a carriage and are, of course, observed by Deputy Ass Hat and his Ass Posse.

It turns out that Homespun, the local schoolmarm, has been covertly teaching the Skag children as well. But she's been doing it cloak and dagger, because edumacating the Skags is very much of the illegal. Trip and T'Pol come out from hiding, and Quantum introduces them to Homespun. As Homespun prepares for class, T'Pol tells Quantum about the abandoned ship they discovered. He orders Trip and T'Pol back to Enterprise to find out more while he stays for "[his] first day of school." Homespun takes the Skag kids through their multiplication tables. "Learning their times tables up to twelve? That's impressive," The Totally Sincere Dr. Mathra notes, totally and sincerely impressed. Homespun introduces Quantum -- who, in a nice touch, stands up and takes off his hat -- and tells the class that he wants to learn more about their people. Homespun calls on a girl to tell him how the humans and Skags came to live together. The little girls says that the Skags abducted the humans from their home planet and brought them to the planet to work. "And the humans didn't want to work for the Skagarans, did they?" Homespun prompts. "No, we didn't," Deputy Ass Hat says, coming out of the shadows. Homespun tells the children to run along home. Deputy Ass Hat tells Homespun that he warned her about breaking this particular law, and when Quantum says, "I thought you said you could bend local ordinances," Deputy Ass Hat says he has no intention of bending this one. There's a brief struggle as one of the Ass Posse grapples at Homespun and makes to kiss her. Naturally, Quantum gets involved, which then results in him getting punched to the ground.

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