T’Pol of course takes this straight to Archer, because she always does. She mentions that her mother has “disappeared like the others” and there’s a difference between exposition and just not mentioning stuff, but we’ll just hope that’s a deleted scene, shall we? She brings out the heirloom – “It’s called an IDIC.” This one has been modified to project a map of the Forge (there’s a lot of terminology here that your more hardcore fans will recognize, but some will not, I’m linking to Memory Alpha if you want to know what the heck all this comes from).
The map is a route Surak followed once upon a time. Sort of like going to Jerusalem to walk in Jesus’ footsteps, I guess. It’s a path to enlightenment, and the idic wasn’t a family heirloom. Archer decides to use the map.
Trip tries to talk him out of it. Apparently it has electrical sandstorms, because why not, and “geomagnetic instability” that eliminates technology. Archer leaves Trip in charge and tells him “whatever the Vulcans tell you, believe the opposite,” as they are joined by Soval and T’Pol. Soval gives them information about how to beam down without being detected.
They beam to a place called Gateway. This is where Surak entered the Forge… only T’Pol keeps saying “supposedly”, and Archer calls her on it. She tells him that Surak’s writings have all been lost, so his followers made copies of his teachings. I think if we chose to, we could draw some parallels here. Archer is certainly drawing some parallels.
There is a patrol that flies overhead that night, but T’Pol assures him that the sensors won’t see them. T’Pol hears a sehlat, and they run. This is the first time seeing one live action and it’s appropriately intimidating, and very low-budge. She reveals she had one as a pet. “Domesticated. It was smaller. Slightly.” “How slightly?” “… You have Porthos.” LOLOLOLOLOL. I love their verbal sparring. I really do. So well written, pretty consistently, and it seems like the actors enjoyed it. One of the best parts of the show, really.
“Porthos doesn’t try to eat me when I’m late with his dinner.” “Vulcan children are never late with their shelat’s dinner.” “I can believe that.”
Phlox found a problem. The DNA on the bomb was from when T’Pau was registered as a baby – the telomeres are too short. Malcolm points out there’s no way to get word to Archer. Normally I’d say that he should try to fix that, but a) they have a security officer and b) we’ve already established that Malcolm sucks this week. Trip shows Phlox that there is security footage of someone coming into the Embassy right when T’Pau’s genes signed her in, and the guard recognized that person.
And that guard is in Sickbay.
This is the first we heard of a record, but again, deleted scene, I hope.
He’s in a coma though, and Phlox doesn’t expect him to recover.
Someone calls off the sehlat. He says his name is Arev. Archer tries to claim that he is on a pilgrimmage – a likely story, right? That’s not gonna convince- look, Archer, they’re Vulcans, they’re not stupid.
So they follow this guy, who takes them to the “Plain of Blood” which doesn’t sound like it will end well. So they start crossing that even though T’Pol says it’s too hot for Archer, but she won’t need water for a while and she doesn’t need sunglasses because she has an inner eyelid. Nice TOS reference there.
So they start crossing this Plain of Blood and of course Archer is the one struggling, and in the middle of that their new guide decides to be all “pop quiz!” and ask the questions Spock was quizzed on at the beginning of Voyage Home (should have paid more attention on movie night, clearly). Anyway, Archer gets called on his BS right there in the middle of the Plain of Blood.
His response to this is to try to call Arev on his lie, since that fits with his experience of Vulcans in general – especially the High Command. Arev claims that the High Command doesn’t really follow Surak, and “no wonder you humans are their allies.” OUCH.
T’Pol says that from the questions he asks, Arev is probably a Syrannite, so Archer decides to tell Arev the truth –
And that’s when the sandstorm starts.