Zero Hour (Star Trek: Enterprise)
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||This article consists almost entirely of a plot summary and it should be expanded to provide more balanced coverage that includes real-world context. (February 2012)|
|Star Trek: Enterprise episode|
|Episode no.||Season 3
|Directed by||Allan Kroeker|
|Written by||Rick Berman
|Featured music||Jay Chattaway|
|Original air date||May 26, 2004|
Sphere 41 
Sub-commander T'Pol orders the Enterprise to Sphere 41. She plans to destroy it in an attempt to take out the entire network of spheres. In response to this threat, the Sphere Builders enhance the matter-altering effects of that sphere in the region around it.
Dr. Phlox determines that the increased spatial distortion will kill the crew if they are exposed for too long. He synthesizes a compound to allow them to retain consciousness during the encounter, but warns that exposure for longer than fifteen minutes will be deadly and that he cannot prevent deleterious effects on the epidermis.
Chief Engineer Tucker modifies the deflector dish so that it can be used as a weapon to destroy the sphere. He is forced to disable some other systems (including the impulse engines) in order to make the weapon effective, and he warns T'Pol that overuse will destroy the ship. She heeds his and Phlox's warnings, but is determined to destroy the sphere.
Ensign Mayweather pilots the ship into the region of distorted space around the sphere. Using only the thrusters, he is able to bring the ship in close enough proximity to the sphere for Tucker to activate the weapon. However, after a few moments, a small group of trans-dimension Sphere Builders arrive on the Enterprise and begin dismantling the engineering section in an attempt to disable the deflector.
At the same time, the crew's skin begins to experience the effects of the spatial distortions, as it starts turning into what looks like parchment. Phlox warns them not to scratch it and concludes that the space has been altered enough to allow the trans-dimensional creatures to exist. He alerts the crew to modify their weapons by modulating their fire, and this is able to hold the Sphere Builders off long enough for Sphere 41 to be destroyed.
As the crew races to depart the area to prevent impending death, the destruction of Sphere 41 sets off a chain reaction that destroys the rest of the spheres. This terminates the space-altering effects that have permeated the region, and the crew realize that they are safe. After a brief scene in which T'Pol reveals her age (not yet 66) to Tucker, something considered intimate in Vulcan culture, the Enterprise reaches its rendezvous point with Archer.
The Xindi weapon 
Archer boards Degra's ship with Lt. Reed, Ensign Sato, and a team of MACOs. They enter the vortex created by the Xindi weapon, which is headed for Earth under the escort of a powerful Xindi Reptilian ship. Since Degra's ship is faster than the weapon, they are able to catch up to it as it approaches Earth.
Sato is still recovering from her drugging and interrogation at the hands of the Xindi Reptilians. She is also angry at herself for having been compelled to reveal the third access code to the Xindi weapon. Reed tries to keep Archer from pushing her too hard, but the captain is determined to use her to decode Degra's schematics to the weapon. There are several scenes in which he tries to comfort her while getting her to focus on learning how to deactivate the weapon.
In the meantime, Archer is pulled into the future by Temporal Agent Daniels, who warns him not to board the Xindi weapon platform. Daniels brings him to a significant event in Earth's future: the founding of the United Federation of Planets. He says that Archer will play a role in the founding of the Federation and that risking his life aboard the weapon could affect the future timeline. Archer says that saving Earth is his only objective and demands to be returned to Degra's ship.
Archer and his team arrive in the Earth's solar system at nearly the same time as the Xindi weapon and ship. The Xindi Reptilians vastly outgun Archer, aboard Degra's vessel. As such, the plan is to deposit Archer, Reed, Sato, and the MACOs on the Xindi weapon and avoid space conflict.
But the Xindi reptilians are not interested in peace. They were instructed by the Sphere Builders to destroy all humans after the Xindi weapon is detonated. The Reptilian Commander decides to preemptively execute the order; he destroys the Yosemite 3 civilian research station orbiting Earth. He then turns his attention to Archer.
The Reptilian ship prepares to attack Degra's ship, and Archer fears that he might not be able to board the weapon in time. However, he soon receives a transmission from Commander Shran, an Andorian friend who has arrived to provide assistance. Shran protects Degra's ship and lures the Reptilian ship away, despite suffering damage.
In the meantime, Archer and his team are able to beam aboard the Xindi weapon. A fierce firefight ensues between the Xindi and the MACOs. Archer and Sato begin to disable the weapon. A MACO soldier delays a Xindi soldier in a hand to hand fist fight but is impaled through the stomach and thrown over the side. The soldier shoots at Sato and she loses her copy of the schematics, which also go over the side. Reed is able to kill the Reptilian, but Sato's further instructions to Archer are based on memory. After he completes the deactivation, Archer prepares to plant the bombs that will destroy the weapon entirely. Reed interjects, saying that he is responsible for the weapon's destruction as tactical officer, but Archer orders him and the rest of his team to depart, and they oblige.
Archer plants and detonates the bombs and these disable the weapon for good. He prepares to exit the weapon platform when the Reptilian Commander Dolin beams aboard and attacks him. A fight ensues and Archer is nearly knocked off the platform to his death several times. However, he cleverly plants a bomb on Dolin himself, hides behind a support pillar and detonates it. The commander is reduced to a fine, red spray. Archer then races away from the weapon platform as it is exploding, but the crew on Degra's ship cannot get a transporter lock on him and he does not escape the blast by being transported onto their ship. The Xindi-Reptilian ship is destroyed by Shran and his ship in the meantime.
Sato and Reed return to the Enterprise with the sad news that Archer did not make it off the weapon. This sadness spreads throughout the ship, and it becomes acute for the still emotionally unsettled T'Pol when she has a conversation with Phlox about how Porthos will handle life in the future.
Nevertheless, Enterprise returns to Earth inside a Xindi-Aquatic ship. After bidding farewell to their comrades, they hail Earth but receive no communication in response. In fact, they fail to establish contact with any orbital platform or with the lunar base. Surprised, T'Pol orders Tucker and Mayweather to investigate by flying a shuttlepod down to San Francisco.
They remark that everything looks normal on the way down, but soon they are attacked by what seem to be P-51s. The final scene in the episode is of a Nazi camp, presumably on Earth in the same time. An SS officer is summoned by a doctor to examine a patient who was recently brought in. The officer follows the doctor to the interior of a large tent. The doctor remarks that the badly burned patient has an unfamiliar uniform, and shows him to the officer.
Here, the audience discovers that the patient is in fact Captain Archer. Soon, three SS figures emerge from the shadows. Two are human; the final figure is an alien with glowing red eyes.
This storyline continues in the Season Four premier, "Storm Front."
- Zero Hour at the Internet Movie Database
- "Zero Hour" at TV.com
- Zero Hour at Memory Alpha (a Star Trek wiki)
- Zero Hour at StarTrek.com