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Stratagem (episode)

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Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)
"Stratagem"
ENT, Episode 3x14
Production number: 066
First aired: 4 February 2004
65th of 97 produced in ENT
65th of 97 released in ENT
  {{{nNthReleasedInSeries_Remastered}}}th of 97 released in ENT Remastered  
694th of 728 released in all
Degra aged, Stratagem
Teleplay By
Michael Sussman

Story By
Terry Matalas

Directed By
Mike Vejar
December 12, 2153
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Template:Disambiguate Enterprise captures Degra, the mastermind behind the Xindi superweapon project, and Archer tries to trick him into revealing the location of the final weapon.

Summary

Teaser

Captain Archer, not in his normal uniform, is on board an unusual shuttle with a grey-haired Xindi-Primate, who is unconscious on the floor. As the Xindi wakes up, the shuttle rocks, and Archer tells him that the ship is being attacked by Xindi ships. Startled and disoriented, the Xindi looks out a portal, and sees two Xindi-Insectoid patrol ships firing at them. He demands that Archer let him communicate with the attacking ships, because they will listen to him.

Archer - "It's been a long time since any Xindi took orders from you..."

Act One

After raising the shields and eluding the attacking ships by dumping warp plasma into their intake manifolds, the Xindi demands to be told what is going on - he can't remember anything. Archer tells him his name is Degra, and that, by working together, they've just escaped a Xindi prison camp where they've been held for over three years. Degra isn't convinced, and he demands some proof. Archer rolls up his sleeve, and reveals Xindi prison script on both of their forearms. Degra still isn't convinced that a Xindi and a Human could have put aside their differences and become friends so easily. Archer explains about how they used to try and kill each other, but then decided there was no point - both of their species had lost the conflict.

Degra is told that the Xindi superweapon had been launched against Earth, with the desired effect - Earth had been destroyed. However, since then the old Xindi rivalries had re-emerged, with the Xindi-Insectoids coming out victorious after having stockpiled weapons and ships during the building of the weapon. Many colonies of other species of Xindi had already been wiped out.

During the discussion, Degra mentions his family, staying in a colony near a red giant. Archer asks the coordinates but Degra dismisses it as too risky, since they are being followed. Just then, a section of the shuttle's hull is ruptured, and coolant gas is expelled into the cockpit. Degra and Archer work together to fix the leak before settling down for the night.

After a few hours of sleep, Archer gets up and uses a hypospray on Degra, then opens the shuttle door. As Archer steps out of the shuttle, it is revealed that the shuttle is in fact some type of simulator, and they are actually inside the Enterprise.

Act Two

Archer, Trip Tucker, T'Pol, and Hoshi Sato discuss the tricking of Degra. The red giant mentioned by him could be a red herring and would not necessary mean that it would be the construction site of the superweapon; however Archer insisted that his family would certainly live in close proximity to where Degra worked. Another problem is that there were seven red giants in that vicinity. Archer dismisses T'Pol's advice to ask Degra directly and tells them he needs more time with him.

Three days earlier, the crew of the Enterprise had returned to the weapon test site and incapacitated a Xindi-Primate ship. After boarding, they found only three Xindi, and that any useful data had already been deleted. They took the three Xindi and searched the ship for anything useful.

Archer tried to convince the lead Xindi, known as Degra, to tell him where the weapon was being made. After failing, he decided to try to trick him into telling him. Doctor Phlox told the captain that he can selectively wipe their short-term memories. With this information, Archer decided to create a simulation of a shuttle, and use Degra's wiped memory as an advantage. Captain Archer was implanted with a MACO subdermal transceiver so he could covertly communicate with the Enterprise crew. T'Pol also helped Archer work out the details of the backstory. Phlox created tattoos on Degra's arm as prison markings and injects him with a Regulan bloodworm, which Archer tells Degra are a means of interrogation.

Back inside the shuttle, Degra is woken again by a sudden jolt. The captain tells him that they're entering a region with high concentrations of spatial anomalies. Apparently the ship's hull was not lined with trellium-D. Archer convinces Degra to send out a distress message to his colleagues, hoping that it won't be intercepted by a Xindi-Insectoid ship.

In the command center, Sato and T'Pol are working to gain any information from Degra and the garbled data they recovered from the Xindi ship. Sato intercepts Degra's "transmission", and begins to formulate a reply.

Act Three

T'Pol is told by Lieutenant Reed that another Xindi ship is approaching the system, about six hours away. Sato reminds T'Pol that Xindi sensors are more advanced than those of the Enterprise, and that they would probably notice them a long time before they arrived in the sector. With that, T'Pol orders the Enterprise back into the debris field of the test moon.

Archer and Degra are sharing a bottle of Andorian ale when their message alert sounds. It is a response to their call for help. After clearing it up, the voice claims to be Thalen, one of Degra's colleagues. Sato is using a voice synthesizer of some sort, presumably after having sampled the voice of one of the Xindi prisoners in the brig. "He", tells Degra that "he" is safe on Azati Prime, to which Degra responds by asking if his wife Naara and his daughters are "still there". Degra is convinced to enter the coordinates of the system, and does so, being intercepted by Hoshi.

Just then, the Enterprise experiences ship-wide power fluctuations from the debris field that affect the shuttle enough for Degra to notice the windows aren't windows, but computer screens. After asking Archer some questions to validate his story, Degra lunges forward and attacks him with a knife. The Enterprise crew bursts into the shuttle just in time, and take Degra back into custody.

Act Four

The crew discovers that the coordinates that Degra input lead to Azati Prime, a red giant that will take three-weeks to reach, which could be a critical waste of time if Degra was lying and the weapon isn't located there. Archer puts another plan into action, involving the entire ship this time.

Reed bursts into the ship's brig, and demands that two of the Xindi, including Degra, follow him. The ship is being rocked and jolted as they race to engineering, where Archer explains that they've adapted the Xindi technology from their ship to open one of the Xindi's subspace vortices. After Travis Mayweather inverts the warp field and brings them back into normal space, Degra is led with Archer up to the bridge.

Once on the bridge, Archer shows Degra a red giant on the main viewscreen. The other officers on the bridge confirm Xindi ships in the sector, along with high levels of kemocite. This is enough evidence for Degra to shout out:

"You'll never get close to the weapon! Our defense perimeter will destroy you!"

Archer slowly turns round to Degra, and reveals that it has been another hoax, and the viewscreen reverts to show the test site. A stunned Degra is led back to the brig. "Thanks for your help," Archer says.

After wiping all three Xindi's memories, returning them to their ship, and faking a plasma leak to explain their loss of consciousness, the Enterprise leaves the test site for Azati Prime, on what Archer hopes to be the final leg in their search for the Xindi weapon.

Memorable Quotes

"Thanks for your help."

- Archer

Background Information

Links and references

Main cast

Guest star

Co-star

Uncredited co-stars

Stunt double

References

Andorian ale; anti-intoxicant; Azati Prime; Azati Prime (planet); bloodworm; brig; Calindra system; computer core; coolant tank; defense perimeter; Degra's ship; Delphic Expanse; Denobula; dermal art; deuterium; dilithium; Durr, Gralik; Earth; engram; flight simulator; grasshopper; hair follicle; Human; hydraulics; intake manifold; Jaina; kemocite; liter; lymphatic system; Maarek III; MACO; Malosian; Malosian cargo shuttle; memory engram; Naara; navigational log; navigational deflector; neural pathway; neurophysiology; phase deflector pulse; Piral; plasma conduit; plasma network; plasma tank; pylon; reactor coolant; red giant; red herring; Regulan bloodworm; respirator; sensor drone; sensors; shields; spatial charge; Starfleet flight school; subdermal transceiver; subspace transceiver; subspace turbulence; subspace vortex; trellium; truth serum; warp field; warp nacelle; warp plasma; warp reactor; Xindi-Aquatic; Xindi-Arboreal; Xindi Council; Xindi-Insectoid; Xindi-Insectoid patrol ship; Xindi-Insectoid prison colony; Xindi-Primate; Xindi-Reptilian; Xindus

External link


Previous episode:
"Proving Ground"
Star Trek: Enterprise
Season 3
Next episode:
"Harbinger"

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