Breaking the Ice: A Trip Centered Review
Summary of episode: Trip eats several meals, breaks an encrypted
Vulcan message, counsels T'Pol on matters of marriage and human
nature, and discovers that the tractor beam is a superior technology
over the grappling things but is thwarted from seeing the beam specs
by an uncooperative Vulcan captain. Although there were moments Trip
wasn't on screen, we knew he was busy in engineering putting out a
hundred fires, thus keeping Enterprise safe for all aboard.
From the first scene in the dining hall to the final closeup of a
piece of pecan pie, Trip dominates this episode with his presence and
references to his culinary tastes. He has coffee with the Doctor,
dessert with T'Pol, and dinner with Archer, T'Pol, and the Vulcan
captain. We also see him in engineering twice with Hoshi, in Archer's
office, in T'Pol's quarters, and on the bridge several times.
Other crew members did things which allowed Trip to shine on screen.
For example, the Captain had a strained conversation with the Vulcan
captain which allowed Trip to stand, listening intently and
supportively, in the background.
On the food front, we learn of the restorative properties of pecan pie
("may not be good for the body but it sure is good for the soul") and
that some sort of drink with lots of caffeine keeps him up for 3 days.
On the personal level, he has a nephew in the fourth grade (how did
Trip get those pictures from his nephew?) and he has had three
Although he appears to love children, Trip isn't able to talk with
them about human waste with any sort of dignity. Archer was very mean
to OMT by asking him to answer such a mundane question.
Trip's sense of honor was challenged when it was discovered that the
encrypted message was a letter for T'Pol. We share his sense of
indignation that he was trapped into reading the letter and applaud
his decision to tell T'Pol what happened, even at great personal risk
that she will shoot him with a phaser when she finds out.
Trip clearly has experience diffusing tense situations at the dinner
table as shown by his queries to the Vulcan officer: "I hope you
saved room for dessert" when it is discovered the Vanek (?) already
ate, "So Captain, tell us about yourself" to stop the tension at the
dinner table from getting worse, and "Where you were born, how long
have you been Captain, and …. hobbies?" when he explains to Vanek what
types of information the Vulcan should share. Trip appeared to be
eating some sort of salad and drinking iced tea.
The scenes in T'Pol's quarters offered several wonderful close ups of
Trip's face. He looks good by candlelight.