In this very special Enterprise, Trip is smacked on the head, sent into a coma, and his only chance for survival is for Phlox to clone him and harvest the neural tissue using alien technology. In matter of a fortnight, Trip II is born from that tissue and he grows up, has several accents, varying hair colors, and reaches full adulthood. Unfortunately, the crew is now faced with killing the clone in order to ultimately save the original. Quantum is morally conflicted since Trip II has protoTrip's memories as well as his personality and stellar engineering skills. However, the good captain is not the only one who has major issues, Trip II also believes firmly in his own right to life but, of course, he finally gives in. The day before he dies, Trip II tells T'Pol of his growing "feelin's" and T'Pol decides to plant a big, lickery wet one on him. Nice going away present. Trip II finally submits himself to Phlox's knife and protoTrip survives to see himself buried in a sunglasses case.
Okay, I cautiously liked it. I really liked the idea and the plot, and the acting from Trinneer and Bakula was quite superb. Yes, the science did stick in my craw like a transparent popcorn shell behind a front tooth, but what got my goat (in order to make tangy cheese rolled in parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme) was that Enterprise had a chance to do something daring and Farscape-ish and they fumbled it. With that extra-special enzyme in play, I really wish they had made ProtoTryp die and the clone survive for the rest of the series. It would have been a bold move, because arguing that one wasn't the same as the other wouldn't hold, and let's face it, it would be damn gutsy of them. One that really could add some needed juice into this Mr. Blandish Builds His Dream House series. Now, I wrote the below before I did my play-by-play of this ep, but I'm leaving it in just so those of you who actually read the whole thing can see the denouement.
Oh, and all the football refs? Yeah, that's because my UM Wolverines beat the scarlet panties off the Ohio State Buckeyes and are going to the Rose Bowl!
Y'all, I'm bitter. I'm bitter because so many of you seemed to have actually shed tears during this episode and, well, I didn't. Am I made of stone? Do I have a heart of glass? Wait, does having a heart of glass mean it's cold and hard, or does it mean it can be broken easily? I'm whatever it means to have sensibilities shriveled by years of disappointment and spell-check tripping up on "comm." Then I got to thinking: Am I really bitter, hard-hearted, and incapable of emotion? Well, I get weepy at allergy commercials featuring boyfriends taking new and untried medication in order to play with their girlfriends' cats. I can't make it through too many bars of "The Victors" without getting choked up by University of Michigan pride. Even though I don't feel much like having kids myself, the final scenes of Father of the Bride: Part II induce waterworks. And, in what is perhaps the most damning piece of evidence of all, I watched Quantum Leap's "Catch a Falling Star," and "The Leap Home" Parts I and II and freaked out the Evil Dr. Mathra when he came home from getting his CA driver's license, because I was a sodden mess on the couch surrounded by damp bits of tissue and two very sympathetic cats. So, guess what? The heart? Still soft. Even when it comes to The Scott Bakula That Was.
I want to give major props to Ace, Sep, and Sis of Ace for everything they brought to this particular episode. As a background, Sep's never seen the show, Ace watched about ten eps in the first season, and Sis of Ace actually watched the first two seasons but had given up before the third started. You can't fault her for that.