Returning from a planetary survey with Hoshi on board, Trip collapses at the controls of a shuttle. Hoshi brings the shuttle back to the Enterprise, and both she and Trip are quarantined. Dr. Phlox isolates a silicon-based virus as the cause of their illness, but since their carbon-based immune systems are ill-equipped to fight a silicon-based virus, they have mere hours to live. With T’Pol’s help, Phlox begins racing to find a cure as Trip and Hoshi become gravely ill, with Hoshi even making a frenzied attempt to escape the quarantine area. And as the search for the cure becomes more and more critical, two alien observers leap from host body to host body, leaving no trace of their presence, debating whether or not humans have what it takes to survive – and wondering how many, if any, of the Enterprise’s crew will survive the spreading disease.
Guest Cast: none
Notes: This episode marks humanity’s first encounter with the Organians, the non-corporeal life forms who enforced a truce between the Federation and the Klingons in the original series episode Errand Of Mercy. According to the conversation between the Organian-possessed Reed and Mayweather, the Organians have already studied the Klingons and the Cardassians, although it would be at least the 23rd century before humans and Cardassians would meet. Also, Trip counts The Andromeda Strain (1971) among his horror movie favorites. Hoshi sheds light on her status at the beginning of the series: she had been discharged from Starfleet on a disciplinary violation, hence her training civilians in linguistics in Broken Bow before being recruited by Archer; she says her re-enlistment in Starfleet was accepted only on a probationary basis, and doesn’t indicate that this probation has ended.
LogBook entry by Earl Green