Yes, Even When Lives Are At Stake

In Enterprise last night, I was struck at how sometimes the writers Just Don’t Get It, and make the ship’s crew look like fools. If you didn’t see it, Archer and T’Pal are kidnapped and being held for a ransom of weapons to aid the local rebel cause. The Vulcans show up to the rescue, and inform the crew that “Vulcans do not negotiate for hostages.” Commander (?…what is his rank anyway, I’ve never been able to sort out ranks on ship, other than the Captain, but I haven’t been paying that close attention…) Tucker gets upset and whiny, and asks “Even if lives are at stake?” thus presumably demonstrating the moral superiority of the warm and emotional humans over the coldblooded and logical Vulcans.

Yes, Trip. Especially when lives are at stake. Of course,the writers don’t grant the Vulcans any kind of logical rejoinder–that negotiating for hostages simply ensures future hostage taking, and that sometimes lives have to be risked both on principle and to save the lives of many future hostages (the stance which, by the way, the U.S. government has appropriately taken in the Daniel Pearl case). No, they simply look Vulcan and disgusted. I wonder if the script was written pre- or post-911?

Oh, and whooooeeee, how about that little game of twister/simulated-sex scene that they had Archer and T’Pal do in their escape attempt? In prime time, too. Are they reviving the sexual tension from the first episode, or just trying to keep up with the competition?