**** (4 stars out of 5)
Someone blew up the United Earth Embassy, killing Captain Archer's friend Admiral Forrest and others. V'Las, The Administrator (*cough* dictator) of the Vulcan High Command blames a lunatic fringe. Disciples of the philosopher/archeologist Syrran known appropriately enough as Syrranites. DNA evidence on the scene points a finger at T'Pau, a known Syrranite. Since the group is most famous for being logical pacifists on a spiritual pilgrimage to uncover the original writings of the Vulcan Buddha (Surak), one wonders what the hell is, indeed, up.
It doesn't help that V'Las is the identical cousin of future Earth dictator Admiral Leyton. Six words out of his mouth and you already know he's Emperor Palpatine with a bad haircut. While the wacky hermit whom Archer and T'Pol run into in the nuclear wasteland called Vulcan's Forge is bound to be important later. Wacky for a Vulcan of this era, I mean, in that he is not instantly a douche canoe.
"The Forge" is the first on-screen attempt to give us a good look at Vulcan since 1986 and I welcomed it. You should see me squee when Captain Archer gets chased by a sehlat! Primeval surpassed this all-too-brief CG creature effect, but back in 2004 I really thought that blink-and-you'll-miss-it-beauty was the bee's knees and the cat's ass rolled into one.