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Cogenitor (episode)

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"Cogenitor"
ENT, Episode 2x22
Production number: 048
First aired: 30 April 2003
47th of 97 produced in ENT
47th of 97 released in ENT
  {{{nNthReleasedInSeries_Remastered}}}th of 97 released in ENT Remastered  
676th of 728 released in all
Cogenitor
Written By
Rick Berman & Brannon Braga

Directed By
LeVar Burton
Unknown (2153)
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Enterprise encounters the Vissians, a race that includes a third gender of "cogenitors" who are treated as second-class citizens.

Summary Edit

The Enterprise NX-01 is studying a hypergiant star when it makes contact with a scout ship from another species, the Vissians. Vissian Captain Drennik offers Jonathan Archer the use of one of their stratopods to explore the inner workings of the star, an opportunity Archer gladly accepts, looking forward to improving the already friendly relations with the Vissians.

On Enterprise, Malcolm Reed makes friends with the Vissian tactical officer while Trip Tucker has a conversation with the chief engineer and his wife. Tucker then learns that the Vissians have three sexes: male, female and cogenitor. Cogenitors, who make up about 3% of the Vissian population, are treated in a very pragmatic way, being shipped from one couple to another to keep the population growing. A side effect is that they are treated like objects, not deserving names nor education.

Feeling that they are less than slaves, Tucker makes friends with the Vissian engineer's cogenitor after he learned from Phlox' analysis that they have the same intellectual potential as the two other sexes. He teaches it how to read and tries to make it understand that it has the same rights as the rest of its species. He then shows it the Enterprise and is amazed when it beats him at a game of Go, since the engineer has been undefeated for the last two years.

From there on, events chain up fast. T'Pol makes a speech to Tucker about the touchy nature of First Contacts when she learns that he is not welcomed on the Vissian ship after the time he spent with the cogenitor. Then, the cogenitor asks Captain Archer for asylum, understanding that it will never be able to have a decent life among its own people. In order to not offend the Vissians, Archer refuses.

Even though the two ships depart with the best wishes and their captains hoping that the incident will not interfere with the relation between Earth and Vissia, the situation gets a lot less bright when Archer learns that the cogenitor committed suicide, an evident result of the independence it developed out of Tucker's teachings. Calling Tucker to his ready room, Archer severely reprimands him for his interference, as it has not only resulted in the cogenitor's death, but now the Vissian couple will not be able to have a child for a long period of time. Tucker is deeply shocked, as Archer reminds him that despite all his time on Enterprise, he still compares other cultures to Earth standards and interferes without thinking first. Archer is upset that first contact with the Vissians led to this conclusion, and Tucker begins to realize the consequences his actions can cause.

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Memorable Quotes Edit

"Can't forget Vulcan longevity, captain. A hundred years from now... how old would that make you?"

- Tucker, when T'Pol says she may be around for the supernova of a hypergiant in a century


"Pretty nice to make first contact without anyone thinkin' about charging weapons."

- Tucker


"This is called vanilla and this is chocolate. Give it a try. Oh, no. Wait. You've got to eat the cherry first. This."
"Why?"
"Uh, you just do."
"A Human tradition?"
"Exactly."

- Tucker introduces the Vissian women Traistana and Veylo to ice cream sundaes


"Trip Tucker. Welcome aboard."
"Hello."
"It has no name. It's our cogenitor."

- Tucker introduces himself to the Vissian cogenitor and Calla


"Your father? It's hard to imagine. The man who developed warp drive on my world lived nearly a thousand years ago."

- Drennik, commenting on the fact that Archer's father was involved in further developing warp drive on Earth


"Don't tell me. I don't think I want to know."
"Oh, well... I have pictures!"
"Uh, I think I'll pass."

- Tucker and Phlox, discussing multi-gender mating techniques


"They treat her like a pet. Kept in a room, not taught to read or write, no name. Porthos has a name!"
"It's not our place to judge the customs of other cultures."
"We're not talking about taking your shoes off when you walk into someone's house. This cogenitor's treated like one of Phlox's leeches. You pull it out of its tank when you need it, then you throw it back in."
"Tri-gender reproduction is not uncommon."
"That's not what I'm talking about. This is a question of... Human rights."
"They're not Human."

- Tucker and T'Pol


"Can we visit the armory later? I'm anxious to see your tactical array."
"There's an old Earth expression: I'll show you mine if... you show me yours."

- Veylo and Malcolm Reed


"We're out here to meet new species, not tell them what to do!"

- Archer, to Tucker


"I might have expected something like this from a first year recruit, but not you. You did exactly what I'd do? If that's true then I've done a pretty lousy job setting an example around here. You're a senior officer on this ship, you're privy to the moral challenges I've had to face. You know I've wrestled with the fine line between doing what I think is right and interfering with other species. So don't tell me you know what I would've done when I don't even know what I would've done."

- Archer, to Tucker

Background Information Edit

  • The piano music played in his quarters by Tucker for the Cogenitor is an excerpt from the first movement of Mozart's Sonata in C, K.545.
  • Other films on the list include Dixon Hill and the Black Orchid, a reference to Captain Picard's favorite gumshoe as well as Mister Willis of Ohio and Celestial Navigation, the names of episodes of the political drama The West Wing.
  • The game of Go played by Tucker and the Cogenitor sadly doesn't make a lot of sense, particularly given that Tucker is supposed to be an experienced player. In particular the "winning move" depicts the Cogenitor actually losing a point by playing inside his/her own territory.

Links and references Edit

Starring Edit

Guest Stars Edit

Co-Star Edit

Uncredited Co-Stars Edit

References Edit

Alsatian munster cheese; android; Archer, Henry; Ballantyne, Robery Michael; body-surfing; cheese; Chef; cherry; chromosphere; cogenitor; Didiron mountain range; Earth; first contact; Florida; gigajoule; Gorilla Hunters, The; Great Continent; Gulliver's Travels; Hamlet; hypergiant; iceberg; ice cream; kilometer; Klaatu; Macbeth; multiphasic emitter; nucleosynthesis; Oahu; La Farge, Oliver; omicron radiation; phase cannon; photosphere; Pictorial History of the American Indians, A; Mozart Piano Sonata Number 16; political asylum; Porthos; quantum inverter; sarium; sex; Shakespeare, William; Singapore; Sophocles; Stilton cheese; suicide; sundae; Swift, Jonathan; trinesium; Vissia; Vissia system; Vissian; Vissian starship; Vissian stratopod; Vulcans; warp drive; western

Movie referencesEdit

Animal Control, Apache Serenade, Attack of the Martians, Banned in Phoenix, Beyond the Rocky Mountains, The Bride of Chaotica, Canyon of the Rustler, Curse of the Buccaneer, The Day the Earth Stood Still, Death in Arizona, Escape from Dodge City, Celestial Navigation, Frontier Maverick of the West, Jailhouse Promise, Love's Lovely Love, Montana Ambush, Sheriff's Revenge, The Stagecoach of Flame, Fear Planet, It Came From Beneath the Refrigerator, The Man From San Francisco, Mister Willis of Ohio, The Planet of the Undead, Strange Case of Mr. Cigars, Pirates From Hell, Supernova Dawn, Dixon Hill and the Black Orchid, The Underworld Aliens, World Beyond Zero

External linkEdit


Previous episode:
"The Breach"
Star Trek: Enterprise
Season 2
Next episode:
"Regeneration"
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