31 – A Night in Sickbay

Grade: D-

A Night in Sickbay (2002) on IMDb


After visiting the home planet of the aliens he offended in “Vox Sola,” Captain Archer and crew manage to offend them again and deny the opportunity to purchase a desperately needed plasma injector. The captain’s dog gets sick from a parasite or something that he came across on the planet, so he’ll have to stay in sickbay overnight for observation. Archer spends the night in sickbay just to keep watch on his dog and in the process he learns a lot about the Doctor.


Here’s another misstep by the franchise. Supposedly, there is a lot of sexual tension between Captain Archer and T’Pol. Honestly, I never would have guessed that, and that part of this episode was totally unnecessary and gratuitous. None of that had anything to do with the story. It seems that Berman and Braga are just stooping to new lows to attract viewers and prevent the franchise from coming to an abrupt end. I would have preferred this story without all the extra nonsense.

Actually, if you watch the trailer, you’d expect a completely different story than what was actually shown on TV. I’m not even sure the people producing the trailer even saw the episode. There’s no mention of Porthos or the Doctor, and aside from seeing the Captain bring in his blanket and pillow, you have no idea who’s going to spend the night in sickbay or for what purpose. I don’t remember if this is the first time I’ve felt this way about Enterprise, but at least here, I feel like a victim of a bait and switch scheme.

As if that’s bad enough, it turns out that all of this foolishness between Archer and T’Pol is all a dream. Yes, that’s right. It’s a dream, so it never really happened. So this is the second consecutive week (at least) that Enterprise has done this to us where we see something impactful, character-defining or potentially significant that turns out to be absolutely nothing. Last week it was Mayweather’s death. This week it’s that Archer and T’Pol have feelings for each other.

The whole T’Pol and Archer stuff was all a dream, meaning it has no relevance to this story whatsoever. So why is it in here? Because Berman and Braga only care about improving viewership. Let’s not get better stories or deeper characters or show significant events in the history of the Federation. No, instead let’s just remind everyone that T’Pol is beautiful and bring up the point that even Archer thinks about her sometimes. Whatever.

Well, enough about that. This episode is flat out boring and pointless. Nobody cares about the Doctor’s evening habits. Maybe we care that the Captain’s dog is sick, but we have to ask ourselves why was the dog assigned to the away team anyway? And why shouldn’t these aliens be offended that the Captain’s dog urinated on a sacred plant? And why does Archer think these aliens should have known (or told him) that his dog could get some deadly disease?

Well, that’s way too much thinking for this mess of an episode.