Picking up where they left Quantum and Crew last season, T'Pol maintains command of the ship while her leaping captain traverses time portals with a dead/not-dead Crewman Daniels, who sashays around in a suit made of those things that contributed to the Challenger tragedy and teenage girls everywhere wore as bracelets for the longest time. Over the summer, Phlox grew himself a luxurious mullet and Reed, as usual, sports the latest fall lip glimmer from Bobbi Brown. Trip squints and drawls, Travis "What Ever Happened to Mayweather Jane" snatches a few lines from the jaws of career oblivion, and Hoshi loses her shirt. Literally.
Wow. A whole new season, still a bit damp and wrinkled from its shell. Having a show actually go into a second season is a big first for me. One small step for Keckler, one giant step for recapperkind.
Previouslys: Quantum's fuzzy chest, Trip's wrathful drawl, Echoey Shower Guy, Suliban and Post-Apocalyptic San Francisco. You want more? Read the recaps. Then go buy a mug or a shirt or an apron.
Through the bridge view screen, T'Pol tells Silik that Quantum isn't on board and he surely must have sensors that can confirm that. Silik doesn't feel like telling her that their sensors are offline because Silij and Siliw overloaded the system downloading some Shower Guy porn off the internet, so he just reminds T'Pol that she's lied to him before. T'Pol invites him to come see for his own damn self that Quantum has vanished without a trace. Silik snaps at her to "Drop out of warp. Prepare to be boarded." Reed orders up some security at their docking ports, but T'Pol overrides that order, much to Trip's drawling and dribbling dismay. "Are y'crazy? How do we know how menny Sulibon are coming aboard? They cu'd try to take over the shiip!" he argues. T'Pol reminds them of the highly armed swarm of pods surrounding them, whose particle weapons are still trained on their warp core. "So, unless you have a better suggestion..." T'Pol says. Trip shuts his peeecan pah hole and shakes his head in defeat. I'm glad to see that Jolene is no longer acting with her dinners. She is, however, now acting with her butt. Look at the wee thing, sticking out like a pin cushion!
Outside, a Suliban pod docks to Enterprise.
Wahoo! They changed the song! I can't believe it; I never dreamed they would listen to all the voices crying out in rage, but they did! They did! I love them, they're wonderful! What? They did so change the theme song. Yes, they did. Shut up! They did too! La la la la la - I can't hear you!
Back on the sunny side of the post-apocalyptic street, Daniels and Quantum pick their way through the rubble. Quantum tries to get some clarification about how Daniels lived in this timeline if the city was destroyed so long ago. "You're thinking of time travel like we're in some H.G. Wells novel, we're not -- it's far more complicated," Daniels snips. No, you're actually in a Sweet Valley High novel, and you are Bruce Patman and T'Pol is Jessica Wakefield. I wonder if he would have used a writer other than Wells if The Time Machine hadn't been remade into box-office dreck so recently. Daniels sizes up Quantum's intellect much in the way I have, and tells him he wouldn't understand. "Try me!" Quantum challenges him. Daniels continues to look for Coca-Cola bottles among the mess. Anyone else remember that Pepsi commercial set in futuristic Earth where a Coke bottle is a fossil? Quantum grabs Daniels by the arm and tells him that he's owed an explanation for being dragged out of his warm bed in the middle of night to be paraded down the Book of Revelation's Main Street, just waiting for the horsemen to trot through the crosswalk. Maybe he just wanted to make Quantum eggs the way he knows his Captain likes them. Daniels tells him he doesn't have any answers for him, "and you're right, I shouldn't be here, which means you shouldn't be here either, but you are. We are." Okay, and that was the sound of the writers sweeping the temporal explanation under the carpet. Daniels starts to chuckle over the irony of bringing Quantum there to protect the timeline. "We did quite a job!" he wheezes.
Suddenly, Daniels notices a particularly shiny piece of mortar and starts to breathe heavily. Quantum wonders what's wrong. You mean, besides the fact that Earth looks like the set of Enterprise at the end of Generations, and that Daniels is being forced to wander through all eternity decked out in a suit made completely of black rubber bands? "It's gone!" Daniels tells him. "What's gone?" Quantum asks. My interest. "The monument," Daniels tells him, refusing to be anything but ambiguous in his answers. I can just hear the rest of this V'Ger-esque conversation. Quantum: "What monument?" Daniels: "The one that's gone." Daniels goes on to say that the monument that's gone used to be "right [there] -- on the same street as the library" when it wasn't gone. Kids, get your cards out and peruse that list of Newbury Award winners -- we're going to the library! Daniels looks around wildly and says, "It was obviously never built." Quantum doesn't know why that's a problem. Sigh. Think of it this way, Capt. Mini-Brain; if the Statue of Liberty was suddenly gone from our future, possibly because it had never been built, that would be "a problem," don't you think? At the very least, think of all those poor French metalworkers who wasted all that time slaving over something that was never going to be built in the first place. What? I can't be just as temporally screwed up as the writers are? "Who did it commemorate?" Quantum demands. Please don't say Quantum! Please don't say Quantum! Please don't say Quantum! "Not 'who,'" Daniels dithers. "Then what?!" Quantum barks. "An organization. A Federation. It doesn't exist for you. Not -- not yet," Daniels says, still looking around for the anvil that was never built. "Fiiine, keep your missing monument to yourself," Quantum snaps. God, would someone please put that man on Claritin-D or something? His nasal passages must still be blocked with Mucus of Borg. There's actually a freaky background shot showing two distant tall towers that have been partially destroyed -- I wonder if that was their intent, or if it's just me who will never be able to look at two rectangular objects the same way again. Quantum wants to know where the fabled library is. Because he wants to see what new scrapes Jughead and Reggie have gotten themselves into. Daniels gestures vaguely and tells him it should be somewhere over there. "If it was ever built," he adds bleakly. Quantum starts off. "And even if it was, it will be of no help -- all the data's stored electronically," Daniels calls, stumbling after him. We get a faraway shot of what looks like the M.I.T. Rotunda or Monticello, and tiny Quantum and Daniels CGIs going up the steps.
Inside, Quantum and Daniels walk up to a painting of a library room. Seriously, folks, this scene was faker than Joan Crawford's shoulders, and I'm usually pretty complimentary of the visual effects on this show. "Books...made with paper," Daniels marvels, looking around. "There aren't supposed to be books here." Look, buddy, this isn't "All Our Yesterdays," so don't expect some Mr. Atoz to come toddling up asking for your selection. The city's in shambles, the monument to the Federation isn't there, you're wearing a suit from the Rubbermaid haute couture line, and there aren't any CD-ROMs in the library -- get past it already. Quantum shares my annoyance with this underfed Michelin Man and tells him that they might as well use the books to figure out what Daniels did to the last thousand years by bringing him there. Daniels slinks off to look up dirty words in the dictionary.