The Enterprise is recalled to Earth in the wake of a devastating attack that pulverizes a heavily populated strip of Earth’s surface from Florida to Venezuela. En route back to Earth at warp 5, the Enterprise is accosted by Suliban ships, and Archer is kidnapped and taken aboard one of them. Silik and his shadowy ally from the far future warn Archer about the Xindi, the race whose probe just killed millions on Earth. Having learned from other combatants in the temporal cold war that humanity will cause their extinction sometime in the 26th century, the Xindi have launched a pre-emptive strike to destroy Earth…and the probe’s attack is but the first wave of that strike. Archer’s only chance to repel the attack is to head off the Xindi at their home system in the Delphic Expanse, a vast uncharted region that even the Vulcans avoid. Returned to the Enterprise with this knowledge, Archer then has to fend off an attack by Duras, the Klingon whose honor can only be restored by capturing the captain and returning him to serve out his prison sentence on Rura Penthe. The Enterprise is helped out of this tight spot by an attack group of smaller Starfleet vessels and escorted safely home.
On Earth, Vulcan Ambassador Soval strongly discourages Archer and Admiral Forrest from acting on Silik’s intelligence. Furthermore, Soval recalls T’Pol from the Enterprise, reassigning her to a post on Vulcan. Trip learns that his younger sister perished in the Xindi attack on Earth, and takes on a tough attitude, eager to go to the Expanse to avenge her death. Captain Archer requests a platoon of Earth soldiers to accompany the Enterprise into the Expanse, and gives members of his crew the option to remain on Earth. Dr. Phlox elects to stay aboard, certain that Archer will need his expertise in the inevitable battles to come. The Enterprise is repaired and upgraded by Starfleet, including the latest armaments, photon torpedoes. The ship is relaunched, with a flight plan that includes dropping T’Pol off on Vulcan on the way to the Expanse. T’Pol ultimately decides to resign her commission from the Vulcan Science Academy, feeling that she’s uniquely qualified to help Archer on his new mission. But before the Enterprise can enter the Delphic Expanse, Archer must fight – and survive – a final battle with Duras.
written by Rick Berman & Brannon Braga
directed by Allan Kroeker
music by Dennis McCarthy
Guest Cast: Gary Graham (Soval), John Fleck (Silik), Vaughn Armstrong (Admiral Forrest), Daniel Riordan (Duras), James Horan (Humanoid figure), Bruce Wright (Dr. Fer’at), Gary Bullock (Klingon Council Member), Dan Desmond (Klingon Chancellor), Josh Cruze (Captain Ramirez), Jim Lau (Maitre’d), David Figlioli (Klingon crewman 1), L. Sidney (Klingon crewman 2)
Notes: Scenes featuring Serena Scott Thomas as “Rebecca,” a love interest for Archer, were edited out of the episode for time. The Expanse marked the beginning of a “rethink” of Enterprise by series creators Rick Berman and Brannon Braga, intended to give the show a clearer direction and raise its flagging ratings.
LogBook entry by Earl Green