First off, a big Vulcan hand signal to Keckler, who has been tackling Enterprise like a particularly burly alien tacklebeast. Thanks for the hand-off.
The episode begins with a bowl of soup. No, seriously. We're in the strangely dim and not-at-all inviting dining lounge, where an ensign is spooning up what looks exactly like Campbell's chicken noodle soup, minus the chicken or the noodles. She's reading what looks like a bastard crossbreeding of an astrology and a biology textbook. Oh, let me guess. "Astrobiology." Brilliant. Another anonymous ensign sits down next to her and asks, "How can you eat that stuff?" She tells him that her soup is healthier than what he's eating. Wait, you mean it's way in the future and we're still having to worry about cholesterol and low-fat foods? Forget it. Just kill me now. Ensign Junk Food says that at least what he's eating tastes like something. Man, I hope there are still Funyuns in the distant future. The Soup Lady, who looks like a mix of Renée Zellweger and Maura Tierney, says it takes a delicate palate to enjoy Vulcan cuisine. Vulcans have Campbell's Soup, too? We'll call the Zellweger/Tierney hybrid "Ensign Scrunchieface." Scrunchieface tells Junk Food, "Did you know there are over 5,000 sub-species of termite on Loracus Prime?" This is about the time that any sensible man would realize that not only is he going to not have the opportunity to sleep with Ensign Scrunchieface, but that maybe it's for the best. Suddenly, The String Music Of Deep Space Discovery plays. Ensign Junk Food rises from his gaseous, nitrate-stinking seat All the diners rise and go to a convenient window to see what's outside. Scrunchieface and Junk Food look at a planet that looks an awful lot like Earth. It's huge, right in front of them. Nobody noticed it before? "Anybody hear about this?" Scrunchieface asks. "Not a word," somebody tells her, then goes back to a career as a one-line-per-episode extra on every other UPN show that'll have him. Junk Food speculates that there's a lot of plant life, and maybe the planet has an oxygen atmosphere. "What do you think? First contact?" Scrunchieface asks, smiling. The effort of unscrunching her face to smile almost pops out her eyes. The diners take turns wondering if anybody lives on the planet, or if they might live in caves or underwater. "Is that snow?" Scrunchieface asks. A hard freeze makes face-scrunching a little less labor-intensive. "You'd think the captain would make an announcement or something," Junk Food says. "Well, call him," Scrunchieface says. Okay, I now know why they're not primary crew members.