“Dead Stop” is the first episode of “Enterprise” I remember loving when I first watched the show in Middle School. You know what, it still holds up. This is a streamlined story where no character acts like a jerk. We get a great mystery and the rising action through the piece is handled beautifully. Suffice to say, before I get into spoilers that this is a story I highly recommend.
The episode was directed by Roxann Dawson and written by Mike Sussman and Phyllis Strong.
After extensive destruction from the Romulan mine the Enterprise finds itself in dire need of repairs and far away from any help. Their distress call is soon answered by a mysterious station. But all as is not as it appears to be.
The Premise – A mysterious station offers to help and spares no expense in helping the crew be comfortable as the ship is repaired after damage from Romulan Mines. First, I love the continuity. The ship isn’t just fixed the next episode. Second, the mystery of the station that adapts to their needs and will trade to make the repairs. This is an immediate draw that is only enriched as the story moves forward.
The Station – This station has replicator technology, which for the humans is their first time experiencing it. The station also appears to be meeting all their needs. This until Travis goes missing and when they find him he is dead. We soon learn his body was perfectly replicated minus the vaccine that the Station was unable to replicate. This is where the horror factor of the station comes in as Travis and aliens bodies are connected to the station. The Station is also self-repairing and even after it is defeated, it isn’t. The one thing against this episode is I did want to know a little bit more. For such an amazing antagonist, I wanted more lore.
The Crew – This is an episode where every crewmember has a moment. For Travis it is sadly getting captured. For Hoshi it is a touching moment recalling a memory with him. Phlox discovers the Station is lying. Trip distracts the Station. T’Pol and Archer go to rescue Travis and Malcolm fights the Station when it tries to prevent the rescue and escape. The action and relationships are handled beautifully.
The Escape – The escape is a great use of action. Malcolm in the ship fight the Station and even have the chance to lose. Within the Station the stakes are high too and it is only through the plasma the Station wanted being used as a bomb that the crew escape with Travis. There are so many moving parts and they all work making this one of the best action sequence in “Star Trek.”
Roxann Dawson did a beautiful job directing this. The action flows, I cared about the characters and you can feel the tension in scenes. It was also great seeing her work outside of “Voyager” where she plays B’Elanna Torres. This was such a fun episode. Every member of the cast got the chance to be a part of the story and the story was all the more richer because of it. The mysterious station that is self-repairing was also a fantastic threat. This is an enemy I would not mind seeing in a more evolved more in future “Trek” if any of the writers remember it.
Final Score: 9.6 / 10 Would have been perfect with even hints of the Station’s intent or origin.