Trip says he's always "up" for a challenge. T'Pol tells him to shut up by ordering him to breathe.
Engineering. Trip gets all excited about how he reconfigured the engines, but then it all goes horribly wrong. Fires flare up in Engineering and on the Bridge behind T'Pol. "Fire is exciting," Ace approves. T'Pol announces a system-wide overload. I'm beginning to think that when T'Pol's voice cracks with "emotion," it could be due to the fact that Blalock can't raise her voice above a certain level without it sounding like it's about to crack. Trip rushes around Engineering. Something large explodes, and Trip is flung from the top of the engine onto the ground. Rocks shower him.
Enterprise drops out of warp in a hazy field of Orange Crush. Reed shouts out damage reports, and Hoshi relays the news that Trip has been seriously injured and taken to Sickbay.
Repair site. T'Pol observes while a crew in welder's helmets welds things. Flashback references aside, it's a pretty cool damage set. There's a big hole of twisted metal, and it's almost like someone slashed a knife through aluminum foil and peeled back the edges. I noticed something weird about T'Pol's Violet Veloured suit -- she's got elevated, rounded collar. It's very Queen Sara Saturday. Sis of Ace has her own opinion of the Violetly Veloured Vulcan: "She kind of looks like Barney -- in fact, I think she KILLED Barney for his pelt!" Quantum checks in with the VVV and tells her that she'll be supervising the repairs. He guides her out of the welding noise and says, "I've just come from Sickbay, Trip's in a coma. He has extensive neural damage. Dr. Phlox says we have to prepare for the possibility that Trip won't survive." All through Quantum's speech, T'Pol distracted me by not staying still. I watched the scene several more times and realized that Blalock was trying to emotionally breathe. I can't explain it any better than that, but her head was bobbing around slightly, her nostrils flaring, and her chest heaving. I'm not sure how I feel about that. Mostly, I was just distracted. However, Bakula did well with delivering a shaky and emotion-filled speech.
Enterprise sips some Orange Crush through a straw.
Sickbay. Trip lies in equal opportunity nakedness with a sheet pulled up to his bare chest. He's got gauze wrapped around his head, an oxygen nose tube, and two small metallic plates on his forehead. I'm guessing those are neural stimulators, regulators, generators or what have you. Phlox tells Quantum that Trip's condition is unchanged. He then takes him to a tank and pulls out a wad of mozzarella cheese, explaining that it's a Lyssarian Desert Larvae, which he uses mainly to make a salve for cuts and scrapes. A more controversial use of the Mozzarella Ball is to implant DNA in it to make a clone. A more palatable use is to deep-fry it. However, the clone grows at an accelerated rate and only lives for fifteen days. "The Lyssarians call them 'Mimetic Simbiots,'" Phlox says. "I call them 'bullshit,'" the Evil Dr. Mathra says. Phlox says that particular use of the Mozzarella Ball is a closely guarded secret. Quantum surmises that Phlox wants to turn the Mozzarella Ball into a clone of Trip. "To harvest its neural tissue for a transplant," Phlox finishes. Quantum wears The Furrow of I Don't Like That Idea AT ALL But I Will Eventually Come Around To It. Phlox continues that there's no guarantee that human DNA will even work with the Mozzarella Ball, but it's probably Trip's only chance for ultimate survival. "To ensure the tissue's compatibility, I'll have to wait until the simbiot reaches Commander Tucker's present physical age, then I can excise the tissue from a non-critical region of the simbiot's cerebrum. It would experience no discernable side effects and should be able to live out its normal life span." "Its fifteen-day life span," Quantum corrects him. Somewhat irritably, Phlox says that he's not making the suggestion lightly, but it is his responsibility to present the captain with all the possible options. Quantum huffs a sigh and looks down at Trip.