When optimism and pessimism are trapped in the same shuttle, interesting things happen. Such is the case when Malcolm Reed and Trip Tucker spend an episode stuck together in the Star Trek: Enterprise Season 1 episode, “Shuttlepod One.”
It’s a bottle episode, and most of the action just features actors Dominic Keating and Connor Trinneer on one tiny set. They think that the Enterprise NX-01 is gone, and that everyone is dead. The are also running out of air. Despite filling up some holes in the shuttle with leftover mashed potatoes, the situation is grim.
Tucker has an optimistic attitude about all of it, but Reed definitely does not. He records an endless array of final messages and amends to almost everyone he’s ever met, and he makes sure that his cold, dead body will be found freshly shaved — even though hair and nails still grow after death. He livens up a little when he and Trip get hammered on some bourbon that Captain Archer stowed in the shuttle for an occasion that we never find out about.
Reed doesn’t want to be a harbinger of doom, he just has trouble getting close to people. He admits it before the episode ends, and these two opposites are, we think, closer than they were before. First seasons of almost every Star Trek series are a little rocky (not all of them, though), and though Enterprise took some time to find its moves, this episode stands out.
Welcome back to Warp Factor, where we’re getting high on some faith of the heart and exploring this episode. The universe is not getting any of our bourbon!