So, I'm starting to sing along to the song this week when I hear a *click!* I look over to see Mathra holding up a Bic lighter.
T'Pol reports that the roguish planet has lots of nekkid fauna running around, and Hoshi wonders how that's possible. "Shouldn't the surface be frozen solid?" May-waaazzzzup asks. T'Pol explains to everyone, "Hot gases venting from the planet's interior [as portrayed by William Shatner] -- most of the life forms are concentrated in those areas." T'Pol can't find any sign of humanoid life, but Reed picks up a power signature near the planet's equator. "There's a ship down there," he concludes. They attempt a hail and fail. "Mebbe they wanna be left alone," Trip slack-jaws. "Ship alone on a dark planet, mebbe they're on their honeymoon." Yeah, maybe you're on a honeymoon, Trip. From your brain!
Shuttlepod zips from Enterprise, transporting Quantum, T'Pol, Reed (it's a Reed episode!), and Hoshi (it's a Reed and Hoshi episode!) to the dark planet. Reed complains about being unable to use their infrared sensors to find the detected ship; the heat generated from the thermal vents keeps getting in the way. T'Pol says she's "scanning for a break in the canopy," and Hoshi shows off her worldliness by commenting, "If it's anything like the Amazon, good luck." Quantum says something about being able to land a sh'pod with his eyes closed. "Well, the proof's in the pudding, Captain," Reed says caustically. You would be the expert in that realm, Malcolm McBritish. T'Pol reports a clearing ahead, "but it's not much bigger than the sh'pod." "Doesn't have to be," Cpt. Conceited smirks.
Having landed, the four explorers stomp through the underbrush, waving their flashlights at anything that moves. T'Pol gives general directions to where the mysterious great space coaster is. "Follow me!" Reed says, starting off. "Why don't you let me play captain for awhile, Malcolm," Quantum says, clapping him on the back. But no one has any fun when we play that way, Cpt. Braindead. "This reminds me of the rainforest in New Zealand," Quantum starts to orate, "I earned my Wilderness Merit Badge there." Pretty good scout who can look at a few moth-eaten shrubs at night and have it remind him of somewhere else. Reed comments that he didn't know Quantum was a Boy Scout. Oh, come on, he's the ultimate in Boy Scoutiness -- always helping little old aliens across the warp signature. "I was an Eagle Scout," Quantum corrects him. "So was I," Reed says. Well, so was Mathra, for that matter. He got letters from the president, the vice-president, and a bunch of other politicos from the state of Virginia, AND the coach of the Redskins. Guess which one he prized above all? Yep, the one from Joe Gibbs. Quantum asks how many merit badges Reed pinned to his sash. For the record, Mathra's got twenty-eight. "Twenty-eight," Reed chortles. Quantum doesn't say anything. "You?" Reed asks blandly. "Twenty-six," Quantum tells him. "That's not bad, sir," Reed says consolingly. Heh. Any scene that shows Quantum up is a good one; you throw Reed into the mix and you've got something primed for the Emmys. Okay, I might have gotten a bit carried away with that thought.
T'Pol interrupts their peeing ritual to point out something glowing like a Nokia phone right in front of them. The new Nokia phones, mind you, that have the cool blue backlight, not the old green backlight of over-the-hill cell phones like ours. And just as I'm done typing that, the four explorers turn on some electronic eye patches that glow green. Where do they get those wonderful toys (tm Jack Nicholson in Batman)? "Man, it's like a herd of post-apocalyptic General Changs," Mathra croaks, snarfing up a furball. It's allergy season. The Gen. Chang patches allow them to see infrared signatures in the dark. We snag a glimpse of the jungle through Quantum's patch, and it looks like a scene from Predator. Maybe Quantum will get eaten. They creep through more underbrush and spy an Indiglo caterpillar crawling up a tree. Glow, little glowworm, glimmer! Quantum comments, "We spot any more creatures like that and we'll earn our exobiology badges." You know what's coming, don't you? "Actually," Reed says, "I already have that one." Quantum huffs away. Obviously, Mathra doesn't have that particular badge. Yet. They stumble across some signs of civilization, and Hoshi reports, "A campsite, sir." Quantum announces their presence. T'Pol tells him she still isn't reading any bio-signs, but the foreign starship is less than two hundred meters away. "You and Malcolm check it out," Quantum says. "We'll stay here in case anyone shows up." He's just hoping Reed gets mauled by something so he can be the guy with the most merit badges on Enterprise. Closed captioning tells me that I'm supposed to be hearing "exotic howls and screeches," but all I really hear are the everyday croakings from swamp frogs. As T'Pol and Reed beat the bushes for a spaceship, something else is watching them through a red-lit visor. There's a very audible CRUNCH and Reed jumps, saying, "Did you hear that?" T'Pol says she did and takes some more readings, reporting from Predator-Vision that she had a humanoid bio-sign for a moment. "It's gone," she says, as red-visor-vision watches them and steps on a few more autumn leaves. "It's not gone!" Reed says, his Eagle Scout ears detecting the crunch. The Red Visors hurl themselves at T'Pol and Reed, and there's a bit of a dust-up. The fatigue-clad, red-visored humanoids point weapons at T'Pol and Reed and bark at them in alien-speake. One of them calibrates something on his head, raises his visor, and gestures at the other fatigue-clad, red-visored humanoid, who lowers his weapon. T'Pol resheathes her phaser pistol.