|Star Trek: Enterprise episode|
|Directed by||Roxann Dawson|
|Written by||Michael Sussman|
|Featured music||Jay Chattaway|
|Original air date||May 5, 2004|
"E²" is the seventy-third episode of the American science fiction television series Star Trek: Enterprise, the twenty-first episode of season three. It first aired on May 5, 2004, on the UPN network in the United States. The episode was the fifth of the season written by Mike Sussman, and it was directed by Star Trek: Voyager alumnus Roxann Dawson, her fourth of the third season.
Set in the 22nd century, the series follows the adventures of the first Starfleet starship, Enterprise, registration NX-01. Season three of Enterprise features an ongoing story following an attack on Earth by previously unknown aliens called the Xindi. In this episode, the Enterprise encounters a version of itself which was sent 117 years into the past and is now populated by the descendants of the crew and became a generational ship. The two crews have to work together to allow the modern Enterprise to gain access to a wormhole which is defended by Xindi vessels.
The episode made use of the standing Enterprise sets, as well as those created for Degra's ship. Guest stars included those who had previously appeared as members of the Xindi Council, as well as several who are new to Enterprise, who appeared as members of the future Enterprise. Most scenes were filmed between February 3 and February 11, 2004, with an additional special effect shoot on February 13. Reviewers compared "E²" to a number of several other episodes, including "Children of Time", "Deadlock" and "All Good Things...". The Nielsen ratings received by the episode equated to a 3.3/5% audience share.
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In order to reach the rendezvous with Degra in three days, Enterprise is approaching a nebula containing a subspace corridor defended by Kovaalan vessels which will allow them to traverse the distance in minutes. Suddenly an older yet enhanced copy of Enterprise appears, captained by a half-Vulcan man named Lorian, who explains that after entering the corridor, it will destabilize causing Captain Archer's version to travel 117 years into the past. Confronted with this situation, and not wanting to contaminate Earth's time stream, it then turns itself into a generational ship to re-await the Xindi crisis. Arriving on board, Lorian then reveals himself to be the son of Commander Tucker and Sub-Commander T'Pol. Archer also meets his great-granddaughter Karyn Archer, who is part Ikaaran as Enterprise will rescue her great-grandmother Esilia from a spatial-anomaly field.
Lorian, after considering his knowledge of events, believes that the wormhole must be avoided altogether. Archer and Lorian then disagree over whether to implement an engine modification to Enterprise, since there is a 22% chance it may cause the destruction of the ship. Archer then meets with old T'Pol on board old Enterprise, and considers a plan where his ship could pass through it safely, due to alternate modifications suggested by her. A frustrated Lorian then reveals a secret plan: to steal the newer plasma injectors from Enterprise to allow them to confront the Xindi in the place of their ancestors.
Lorian leads a raid and successfully steals the parts, but old Enterprise is disabled as it is about to go to warp. He is placed in the brig. Archer is angered at having his own method of stealing engine components (as seen in "Damage") used against him. Lorian reveals that he had a chance to stop the Xindi Probe from "The Expanse" from attacking Earth but failed because he hesitated, but the two captains finally agree to work towards their shared mission. Meanwhile, T'Pol meets her older self and discuss her addiction to Trelium-D and her relationship with Tucker. The Enterprises then enter the nebula, but Archer's is quickly disabled. Lorian's then tows it into the corridor using a tractor beam, intending, as it turns to attack the Kovaalan ships, to follow shortly. Archer's Enterprise arrives safely, but old Enterprise never emerges and Archer wonders if, by successfully traversing the corridor, they ceased to exist. His thoughts are soon cut short as Degra arrives for their rendezvous.
The episode was the fifth to be written by Mike Sussman during the third season. His previous work was "Hatchery", co-written with André Bormanis. It was also the fourth episode of the season to be directed by Roxann Dawson. With "E²", she had directed more episodes than any other director at this point in the season, having previously worked on "Doctor's Orders", "Exile" and "Chosen Realm". Scott Bakula commented on the production of the episode: "...a great episode along the lines of 'Twilight' and 'Similitude'. It's a classic sci-fi and Star Trek episode."
Filming began on February 3, 2004, overlapping with the final day of production on the previous episode, "The Forgotten". Production required the use of the standing Enterprise sets as well as those which were used to represent Degra's ship. The majority of the shoot was completed on February 11, but an additional day of special effects filming with part of the cast also took place on February 13, 2004. The actors who played the members of the Xindi Council were among the guest stars who appeared in this episode: Randy Oglesby; Rick Worthy; and Tucker Smallwood. In addition, a number of guest actors appeared in Star Trek for the first time: David Andrews; Tess Lina; Tom Schanley; and Steve Truitt.
Reception and home media release
"E²" was first aired on May 5, 2004. It received a 3.3/5% share, meaning that it was seen by 3.3 percent of all households, and 5 percent of all households watching television at the time of the broadcast. This was a similar level of ratings that were drawn by the previous episode, "The Forgotten" and slightly less than the following episode, The Council". Compared to other shows in the same time slot, it placed sixth on the night, one place behind Smallville on The WB.
Michelle Erica Green watched the episode for TrekNation, saying that it "focused far more on the characters and the consequences of their contact with their descendants than it is on the vast technobabble resulting in a successful traverse of the Xindi corridor". She praised David Andrews as Lorian, calling it "a wonderful bit of casting", and felt that the character's actions mirrored those of Captain Archer previously in the series. She compared the resolution of "E²" to the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Deadlock" and the series finale of Star Trek: The Next Generation, "All Good Things...". She felt that the lack of conclusion to what happened to the future Enterprise was "very satisfying". Jamahl Epsicokhan on his website Jammer's Reviews, called the episode an "acceptable but all-too-familiar time-travel concept" and a "step down" compared to the previous three episodes of the series. He compared it to the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Children of Time", which he said "was a far superior episode because it was about our characters — astonishingly and agonizingly — choosing one destiny over another, and sacrificing a great deal in coming to that decision." He gave "E²" a rating of two and a half out of four.
The first home media release of "E²" was as part of the season three DVD box set, released in the United States on September 27, 2005. The Blu-ray release of Enterprise was announced in early 2013, and released on January 7, 2014. This also featured deleted scenes from this episode.
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- Green, Michelle Erica (May 6, 2004). "E²". TrekNation. Retrieved 2014-08-24.
- Epsicokhan, Jamahl. "Star Trek: Enterprise "E^2"". Jammer's Reviews. Retrieved 2014-08-24.
- Douglass Jr., Todd (September 27, 2005). "Star Trek Enterprise – The Complete 3rd Season". DVD Talk. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved 2013-08-03.
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