Oasis: A Trip Centric Review
Trip has dinner with Archer, T’POl, and a trader named D’Marr. In the course of the meal, it is discovered D’Marr knows of an abandoned ship with parts of use to the crew of Enterprise. And D’Marr also puts into Trip’s mind an image of T’Pol in silk. Spare parts and sex – what more could an Engineer want?
On the planet, it is discovered that the crew of the seemingly abandoned ship survived and created a utopian society, with a bounty of vegetation to keep them all alive. Or is this the truth? Is something amiss? The bounty of vegetation can’t support the numbers. So what is going on?
In the meantime, Trip and T’Pol work to repair the ship. T’Pol berates Trip for his previous encounter with Ah’Len and his references to Lianna. Lianna is the daughter of the ship’s engineer and very pretty. T’Pol is not amused. Trip only cares that Lianna manages to feed him at regular intervals and is willing to try Rocky Road Ice Cream. What more could an Engineer want? T’Pol who?
In the end, nothing is as it seems and Trip must face the fact that, although interested in food, Lianna is not trustworthy. She has to go, albeit with a sequencer designed to provide her with 5 flavors of ice cream. And a kiss. And a touch of the forehead. Trip does reject unworthy women with a touch of class, doesn’t he?
Analysis (from a Trip/T’Polers perspective):
Ghosts and fear have been used before to establish the boundaries of conflict between Trip and T’Pol, most pointedly in Strange New World. That disturbing episode has been diffused by this lighthearted look at the idea of ghosts and fear. Trip and T’Pol once again represent the two extremes: the logical Vulcan and the impressionable human. However, in this situation, the human does not try to kill the Vulcan when the idea of the supernatural enters the picture.
The sexual tension between these two dynamic characters is kicked into high gear by Trip, who longs to see T’Pol in Triaxian silk. At dinner, Trip first of all discusses the spicy food and takes a massive bite of bread to cool his senses. Hot food, and food in general, continues to be a source of connection between Trip and T’Pol: Cajun food in Oasis, Italian in Fight or Flight, and who can forget the pecan pie scenes from Breaking the Ice which define the subtle connection between these two and their desire to provide comfort and stability for each other. Should some thoughtful commentator wish to pursue such a topic, food as connected between Trip and T’Pol would provide revelations about human/Vulcan relationships to intrigue viewers for centuries to come. But I digress. Trip is overwhelmed by the spice of his food, T’Pol states that such spice is not needed to challenge her courage, and the alien trader makes the smooth transition to allow Trip to visualize OWT (our woman T’Pol) in silk. Are the writers being shallow here? No, Trip needs to reveal his obsession with T’Pol, and this scene allows him to do so with minimal interruption to the development of the story as a whole.
After a boring commercial break, we now see our intrepid crew on the bridge. T’Pol insists that there are no biosigns on the ship they have found on a planet’s surface, but Trip begs to know if the her sensors are calibrated for ghosts. This carries forth from Strange New World the idea of the supernatural as detectable to those sensitive to such phenomenon. Does Trip believe himself in sync with the other world? The next sentence we realize he denies such a connection in order to keep T’Pol interested. His next words are subconsciously designed to attract and hold T’Pol’s attention: he speaks of duratanium, berylium, and dilithium. What Vulcan could resist such a come on, such words of practicality and every-day-ness? Trip knows his woman and shifts gears from the supernatural to the prosaic to keep her off balance and interested. Crafty man, OMT!
Flashlights dart back and forth between Trip and T’Pol in the following scenes. In SNW, the lights pinned our two characters down, making them vulnerable. Just a couple of episodes later (in Oasis – that is the episode reviewed here!), the same techniques are used to allow the two to discuss fear in an abstract manner. Whereas fear permeated SNW, fear in Oasis is a mode of flirtation on Trip’s part and recognition on T’Pol’s part that her technical sensors don’t always reveal the whole truth. Trip is convinced T’Pol is teasing him to scare him, and at first goes along with what he perceives to be a joke. Once he realizes it isn’t, he adjusts his thinking and moves into team mode to back up T’Pol and contact Archer about the new development – “we are not alone”. This contrasts significantly with the manner in which T’Pol dismissed Trip’s vision of the rock people in SNW. Her flat tones telling him that what he saw was impossible exacerbated an already tense situation. In Oasis, Trip immediately was able to adjust to T’Pol’s idea of reality by seeing what she saw and communicate that vision to Archer. Trip’s ability to work with T’Pol allowed the two to work as a team and not try to kill each other in the process. He is a most remarkable man.
Ever onward. Next, we have Trip and T’Pol again in Engineering on the alien ship. This is the situation which most threatens T’Pol’s security about Trip’s affection. (Did I mention previously that Trip and T’Pol have unexpressed affection for each other? If not, now you know.) Trip leans in close to T’Pol to discuss…LIANA! T’Pol let’s Trip know that she is not a happy camper about this situation. She has put up with his love of the supernatural, has tried to scare him to keep him happy, but this Liana is just too much. I don’t know why Trip is surprised T’Pol isn’t going to forget quickly that he became pregnant by Ah’Len.
Trip is sometimes a complete idiot.
Back to the story. Trip has interaction with the uninteresting Liana, kisses her, touches her forehead, gives her a resequencer filled with a variety of ice cream choices, weakly tried to extact T’Pol from the alien’s paws:
Ezral: Don’t worry about her.
Trip: I’m going to need her help.
Ezral: You can do it on your own.
Trip: I’m not doin’ a thing until I see her.
Be more forceful Trip! Trip needs a bit more work until he is a TripT’Poler.