Monday, June 10, 2013

Shadows of P'Jem

**** (4 stars out of 5)

The Andorians, generous blue folks that they are, gave advance notice before blasting the P'Jem monastery to atoms. The monks and the spies all got out in time, on parachutes, no doubt. But the Vulcans are pissed.  Diplomatic ties with Earth are strained, and T'Pol is recalled for her part in The Andorian Incident. (Sharing a blanket with a human! The very idea.) Seriously... what did T'Pol do other than being there? Anyway, thanks to logic, she's in deep doo-doo and will be forced to go home and get married or something.

Meanwhile, on the planet Coridan- storm's a brewin'. The Coridan people use dicobalt explosives and ditanium shacks. Presumably their kids ride dicycles and they measure pregnancy in dimesters. Fortunately, they have lots of dilithium and unfortunately almost no monolithium. No mood stabilizers here!

The Vulcans are propping up the corrupt Coridan government, and the Andorians are supporting the crazy Coridan rebels. Shran feels indebted to Archer for uncovering the Peepers of P'Jem, so he aids Trip and Malcolm in rescuing their Captain. Rescuing him from being tied to T'Pol front-to-front in a grown-up hug, but still. For more on their "suffering", please see The Cynic's Corner.

Shran, at least, seems to live by the code of 'One good turn deserves another'. Perhaps Vulcans do too. When T'Pol takes a rebel's plasma bullet for Vulcan High Command sector chief Sopek, he talks his superiors into giving her a second chance on Enterprise. Nasal Numbing on full blast!

"Shadows of P'Jem" is a reminder that if you put Jeffrey Combs in it, I'll like it. It doesn't need to be great drama or laudable storytelling. In the midst of a conflict where nobody seems to be the good guy, I have to admire the strength of Shran's convictions. He might be a trigger-happy nut, but he's a trigger happy nut with a moral code, which seems to be more than the entire Vulcan government can manage.

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