Fight or Flight (Star Trek: Enterprise)

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"Fight or Flight"
Star Trek: Enterprise episode
Episode no. Season 1
Episode 3
Directed by Allan Kroeker
Written by Rick Berman
Brannon Braga[1]
Featured music Jay Chattaway
Production code 103
Original air date October 3, 2001 (2001-10-03)
Guest actors
  • Jeff Rickets - Alien Captain
  • Efrain Figueroa - Translator Voice
Episode chronology
← Previous
"Broken Bow"
Next →
"Strange New World"
List of Star Trek: Enterprise episodes

"Fight or Flight" is the third episode (production #103) of the television series Star Trek: Enterprise. "Fight or Flight" was written by Brannon Braga and Rick Berman.[2] Allan Kroeker served as director for the episode; he had previously directed "Endgame," the finale of Star Trek: Voyager.[3]

The Human starship Enterprise encounters an alien ship that is their first chance of first contact, but find hull breaches and no activity.[4] Captain Archer,[5] Ensign Sato, and Lieutenant Reed board the ship to investigate, and on the ship, Sato soon faces her fears.


It is May 2151, and the crew of Enterprise is settling in, and are slowly getting acquainted with one another. The crew are restless as they have not encountered anything new in the past two weeks: Captain Archer is trying to locate a squeak in his ready room and anxious that they have not discovered any worthwhile planets yet; Sub-Commander T'Pol points out that Vulcans don't select their destination by what piques their interest as they don't share humanity's enthusiasm for exploration; Lieutenant Reed and Ensign Mayweather are running weapons simulations which are slightly off; and in Sickbay, Ensign Sato cares for a slug brought back from an away mission.

When T'Pol picks up a drifting Axanar vessel on sensors, Enterprise drops out of warp to investigate. The ship shows evidence of weapons fire and bio-signs but does not respond to hails. Archer is eager to make first contact with a new race, but T'Pol recommends non-interference. After discovering multiple hull breaches, an away team in EV suits is dispatched. The alien crew are soon found dead, suspended upside-down with tubes attached to their chests. Spooked, the away team retreat and Enterprise departs. Doctor Phlox and Sato discuss her fears over the incident, and draw parallels between her and the slug being out of their natural environment.

Eventually, Archer decides to return to the ship. Phlox discovers the bodies are being harvested for a chemical similar to lymphatic fluid, whilst Commander Tucker restores communications and Sato decodes the Axanar language.[6] When T'Pol warns Archer that a ship is approaching, the crew withdraws to Enterprise, but not before shooting the harvest pump. The alien vessel attacks, but Enterprise cannot return fire accurately due to problems with the targeting scanners. A second Axanar vessel arrives, and Sato persuades them that the alien ship was responsible. They then attack the hostile ship and Enterprise is saved. The episode ends with Sato and Phlox releasing the slug on a new planet.


Writing for Knight Ridder, television critic Bobby Bryant named "Fight or Flight" among the four best episodes of the season.[7] Bryant cited the Enterprise crew's response to the discovery of a slaughtered alien crew—initially fleeing—as "one of the most honest reactions in 'Star Trek' history."[7] A 2002 review of the episode for TrekWeb commented, "It's interesting to note that the bulk of Enterprise's critical and fan favorite episodes take place in space. Episodes like "Broken Bow," "Cold Front," "Breaking the Ice," "Silent Enemy," "Fight or Flight" and "Shuttlepod One" manage to capture at least some of that thrill of exploration and bring a fresh sensibility to the usual Star Trek cliches."[8] In contrast, a 2005 review of the episode also by TrekWeb was more critical of "Fight or Flight", and categorized it among "stories that were bland and uninspired in its creation and execution, boringly going where everyone else had gone before."[9] Writing for Airlock Alpha, Michael Hinman was also critical of the episode, and commented, "'Broken Bow' hit the small screen of UPN with rave reviews, and impressive ratings. But things went downhill from there after a poor outing with blood-sucking aliens in 'Fight or Flight.'"[10] Hinman observed that the episode was "seriously lacking" in amount of "tense moments"; he went on to note: "Another thing that was missing from 'Fight or Flight' ... was the sweeping camera angles that helped differentiate this new series from the static shots always found in "Star Trek: Voyager" and other incarnations."[10]

In an interview with Ian Spelling of The New York Times, actress Linda Park who portrays character Hoshi Sato on Enterprise cited "Fight or Flight" to the journalist, as an example of the progression and growth of her character during the series.[6] In the book Star Trek 101 by Terry J. Erdmann and Paula M. Block quoted dialog from Park's character, in an overview of description of Hoshi Sato: "I was Jonathan Archer's first choice for this mission. Every inhabited world we come to is going to be filled with language. He needs me here."[4]


  1. ^ Thomas Riggs (2003), Contemporary theatre, film, and television, Gale Research Company 
  2. ^ "Star Trek: Enterprise - Episode: ENT 003 - Fight or Flight". 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-15. 
  3. ^ Lisa (September 20, 2001). "UPN Release 'Fight or Flight' Information". TrekToday ( Retrieved 2010-10-21. 
  4. ^ a b Erdmann, Terry J.; Paula M. Block (2008), Star Trek 101, Pocket Books, pp. 252, 265, ISBN 0-7434-9723-6 
  5. ^ Adolfo Pérez Agustí, "Fight or Flight", El universo de Star Trek 
  6. ^ a b Spelling, Ian (The New York Times) (2001-12-01). "Linda Park's Trek to 'Trek' Remarkably Swift". Reading Eagle. p. B8. Retrieved 2010-10-14. 
  7. ^ a b Bryant, Bobby (September 16, 2002). "UPN's newest 'Star Trek' looks like a gamble that's paying off". Knight Ridder (The State). 
  8. ^ Steve Krutzler (editor) (April 25, 2002). "Reviews Ex Deus - Detained". Trekweb ( Retrieved 2010-10-21. 
  9. ^ Williams, B (May 5, 2005). "Deleted Scenes, Outtakes, Commentaries Boost First Season of ENTERPRISE on DVD". TrekWeb ( Retrieved 2010-10-21. 
  10. ^ a b Hinman, Michael (October 15, 2001). "'Enterprise' regains energy - Review: After a sloppy second episode, the new series returns to form in 'Strange New World'". Airlock Alpha ( Retrieved 2010-10-21. 

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