Sickbay. Phlox looks at some slides under his microscope and summons T'Pol to his side as she enters. "The pigmentation is far more colorful than I would have suspected," Phlox tells her. "What are we looking at?" T'Pol asks. "Your hair!" The Evil Dr. Mathra shouts. Phlox tells her they're looking at the Xindi cells he scraped from the body inside the psychotic bocce ball. It looks like Makeup finally took my comments about T'Pol's eyebrows to heart -- they look a lot more Vulcan now, and the effect is quite stunning. T'Pol comments that the cell structures look like scales. Phlox says, "Precisely. When I'm finished constructing my physiometric profile, I wouldn't be surprised to find he has, ah, reptilian characteristics." T'Pol asks why the delectable Denobulan doctor wanted to see her, and Phlox asks if she has any siblings. T'Pol answers in the negative. "Trip had one sister, she was killed in the attack," Phlox says. A-ha! Last season, Quantum, in his non-attempt to be sympathetic and understanding of Trip's tragedy, asked, "Older or younger?" when Trip mentioned that his sister lived in Florida and might be a casualty of the psychotic bocce ball attack. A lot of people defended Quantum, averring that he was asking which of Trip's sisters lived in Florida, but here it's proven that Trip only had one sister, which means that Quantum knew and cared SQUAT about Trip's family life. Quantum, honey, I want to like you, but you're really not giving me much to work with here! T'Pol admits to being aware of that fact, and Phlox -- possibly breaching doctor-patient confidentiality here -- tells T'Pol that Trip is having difficulty dealing with his loss and hasn't been sleeping well, so Phlox has been doping the engineer up every night. "But I'd like to see him start tapering off," Phlox says. T'Pol asks what the doctor is getting at. "I believe the commander would be a fine candidate for Vulcan Neural Pressure," Phlox smiles. Phlox doesn't think Trip could sit still long enough to "get through the first posture." Okay, is it acupuncture, massage, or yoga they're talking about? T'Pol makes to leave, but Phlox smoothly sidesteps into her path and says, "I'm sure with your delicate guidance --" "'Delicate' is not a word I associate with Mr. Tucker. The instruction of neuro-pressure is...a very intimate act," T'Pol finishes. Of course it is. "And he's suffered a very intimate loss," Phlox says. Okay, ew! I mean, really -- his sister? Intimate? Personal, yes. Heartrendingly devastating, of course. But intimate? Yicky. Phlox tells T'Pol that Trip needs her help. T'Pol thinks for a moment and says, "Have him come to my quarters." Phlox sidesteps in her way again and explains that he assumed T'Pol would agree to his request, so he already made the suggestion to Trip, who wasn't exactly all-fired up about it. T'Pol is confused. "Perhaps if I can get him to go to your quarters, you might be able to convince him of the lasting benefits of Vulcan neuro-pressure," Phlox suggests brightly. T'Pol stares at him and walks out. Satisfied, Phlox smiles and bustles about his work again.
Enterprise approaches a planet. A sh'pod zooms to the foggy and industrial surface. The shadowy figures of Reed and Quantum step out of the sh'pod, and Reed snorts that they should've worn their EV suits. "Dr. Phlox says it's safe for short periods of time," Quantum rejoins. Reeds snorts, "Safe? You call this safe?" Let me see now...nope, there are no signs of The Heavy Link Chains of Ill Portent hanging around, so yeah, I'd call it safe. Reed's outburst results in a fit of coughing. Quantum claps him on the back and suggests, "Try not to breathe." Hey, Quantum, try not to furrow. Quantum and Reed step into a mine and are met by some aliens wearing surgical masks. I believe The Daily Expanse is reporting that there's been an outbreak of SARS on this planet. Before Quantum finishes with the niceties of introductions, the SARS aliens bid them to follow. Deep, deep into the easily-recognized cave set, Quantum and Reed are led to the SARS aliens' leader. The SARS aliens' leader gasps and wheezes evilly as he says, "I've been told [loud exhale] you might be able to make it worth my while [gasp] if I were to arrange [gasp] a certain introductionnnn [wheeze]." The Wheezer wants liquified platinum. Quantum tells him they don't carry precious metals aboard their ship, but thinks there's something else they can offer him. Wheezer grabs at a face-mask that's on a swing-arm attached to his shoulder and breathes deeply from it before pushing it away and shouting that he doesn't make a habit of interrupting his workers. He sort of sounds like Christopher Lloyd here. Wheezer grabs his mask for another drag. He's giving me sympathy asthma. Quantum asks Reed about the anti-matter relays. "Their linings are coated with a cobalt-platinum alloy," Reed responds. Sure, but there's probably a good reason why they're coated with that, right? Couldn't removing it turn them into, I don't know, pro-matter? Reed thinks Trip could strip the linings and separate the metals. Wheezer wants half a liter of platinum. Quantum turns to Reed, who makes a "yeah, doable" shrug-face. Quantum insists on seeing and scanning the worker in question to make sure he's actually Xindi. Wheezer goes to a rickety cabinet thing -- maybe it's a fridge? -- and says, "That won't be necessary." He tosses over a cloth packet that lands with a distressing thump in front of them. Quantum opens the packet to find -- like some old campfire ghost story -- a bloody finger. Both Reed and Quantum react with revulsion. You're going to have to gird your loins better than that, boys, if you want to take out the entire Xindi race. Wheezer smiles at their discomfort. "Why would you do that?" Quantum demands. It's not clear if he's referring to scaring them with the finger or the fact that he had it severed in the first place. "Unfortunate accident," Wheezer drawls, and says he expects them back the next day with his payment. He bangs a pipe against a dusty radiator-thing and wheezes, "Good day." Something about this repulsive and unreputable personage bidding them "Good day" like a Victorian matron cracked me up.
In a too-bright world where palm trees whisper around lawn furniture on the set of