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

unsuccessful relationships.


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.