Enterprise. A boatswain blows his whistle. The crew is all lined up (aw!), and Trip greets Quantum as the airlock door opens: "It's good to see you, sir." Quantum shakes his hand. "Captain Tucker. I don't think you need to call me 'sir' anymore." "Old habits," Trip grins. They greyed him up a bit too. I feel "eh" about that. Trip's younger than Quantum and might not be grey yet. A receding hairline might have made more sense. Trip explains away the mood lighting as due to the fact that they're running on reserve power. Quantum asks how long he's been in command. Trip thinks for a bit: "Nine years. I've got some people who would like to say hello." Quantum steps into the corridor and sees the crew all lined up, Reed first. Reed shakes Quantum's hand and tells him he's looking well. We find out that Reed has been promoted to captain and is taking over Ramirez's post on the Intrepid. Quantum jokingly asks if everyone went out and got their own ships in his absence. "Not everyone," a bobbed Hoshi says, stepping forward. They hug tightly. Double "aw"! Trip invites him to a reception in the Mess, but Phlox says they have to go to Engineering first. Quantum nods. Hoshi looks sad. It's much better than looking bored. I should know.
Engineering. Lots of technobabble about what Phlox has to do.
Quantum sits in what are presumably his old quarters. He doesn't seem to know what to do with himself, and I love that Bakula got that across! P'Tail joins him. Quantum acts ill at ease. "You left the reception early," P'Tail comments. "It was a little disturbing. From my perspective I left those most of those people just a few hours ago," Quantum explains. He thinks it couldn't have been easy for P'Tail to tell him the same story over and over for twelve years. "I don't always tell it in detail," P'Tail says. "No, just for sweeps," the Delighted Dr. Mathra agrees. In a sense, P'Tail and Quantum have a real marriage where you tell each other the same thing over and over and over and over again. Like where the dishtowels are kept, right, Mathra? Or asking Mom where the ice cream is, right, Dad? "I hope I've told you this before but I'm very grateful for everything you've done for me," Quantum tells P'Tail. P'Tail looks down. "If this works..." Quantum says. Phlox comms to say he's ready for him now. Wait! If it works, then what? They'll get married, because in twelve years he hasn't made an honest woman of her yet? Tell me! Dammit. I can't believe they made me care about romance on this show. But it's less of the sex-sex, dinners-dinners than it is the nurturing, caring, and being-companions type, so it's nice. Natural. And fresh-feeling. Like Summer's Eve.
Bridge. Oh, my GOD! Malcolm has a very wide goatee! In the dark corridor, I thought he just had torpedo grease on his face. It's so thick, it's almost handlebars! He's Mirror Malcolm, but without being bad to the bone. I think he grew it to hide all evidence of lipgloss. Reed reports picking up signatures that could be a ship. Trip orders them to check it out.