**** (4 stars out of 5)
The Council" is about (if you can imagine it) the council. Not the Council of Cross-Time Kangs, or (in this case) the Council of Cross-Time Demon-Borg-Queen-Changelings. The Council of Xindi, eh! And just as it becomes too late to matter, we learn their names at last.
Degra also shares all he knows about the Trans-Dimensional Hell Spheres. Not that he would call them that- he was raised to revere 'The Guardians'. These beings have been appearing from thin air and leading Xindi to food and shelter ever since their atomic squabbling cost them their home planet. Essentially gods.
Gods with giant machines full of horror show robot armatures that kill MACOs most efficiently! Poor Hawkins. We hardly... scratch that... never knew ye.
The Council meets in the majestic mountain aeries of the long-dead Avians. Real estate agents praise the view and the high ceilings, but downplay the heaps of pterodactyl skulls. We finally learn what drove the Xindi attack: a video. Either a doctored video or taken by 'The Guardians' in an alternate reality. A video of human starships blasting New Xindus to itty bitty chunks and twirling their moustaches. Yes, the starships have moustaches.
Aquatics love video- pictures are worth a thousand words of sonar. Archer wins them over with holograms backing up his song and dance. A delightful refrain called Your Gods Lied. He talks up the merits of a diverse and peaceful Federation. "That's a future worth fighting for." Or, alternately, as Hoshi points out "Some women can't resist the bad boys."
Bad Boy Reptile Politician Dolim stabs Degra, then he and his bugs and rangos steal the WMD and kidnap Hoshi for good measure. If there are any train tracks around, he's busy tying her to them. Then he's going to blow up the train tracks, every train, and everything, everywhere.
But perhaps most importantly, Phlox is losing weight with the Denaxian tapeworm method!