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Star Trek: Enterprise Rewatch: “Bound”


Star Trek: Enterprise Rewatch: “Bound”

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Rereads/Rewatches Star Trek: Enterprise

Star Trek: Enterprise Rewatch: “Bound”


Published on November 27, 2023


Written by Manny Coto
Directed by Allan Kroeker
Season 4, Episode 17
Production episode 093
Original air date: April 15, 2005
Date: December 27, 2154

Captain’s star log. While en route to Berengaria to scout locations for a starbase, an Orion pirate ship intercepts them. The pirate captain, Harrad-Sar, wishes to discuss business with Archer on his ship. Archer, Reed, and two MACOs beam over (Reed expressing great apprehension).

Harrad-Sar does pleasure before business, giving them fancy food and drink, and then introducing the entertainment: three scantily clad Orion women—Navaar, D’Nesh, and Maras—who dance seductively and who have a very specific effect on Archer, Reed, and the two (male) MACOs.

Then he proposes his business plan: they’ve discovered a world that has magnesite. But he doesn’t have the infrastructure to exploit it. He’s willing to give this world to Earth in exchange for ten percent of the profits from a mining operation. Archer is willing to give it a look. Harrad-Sar also gives him a gift: the three women.

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Reed shows the trio to their quarters, with the women constantly speaking in double entendres, and Reed sweating a lot and thumphering around nervously. The women’s presence is disruptive to say the least. The human men start acting out in aggressive and territorial (and testosterone-laden) ways. The human women are all getting headaches. Meanwhile, T’Pol is unaffected and Phlox’s sleep cycle is being disrupted.

D’Nesh focuses on Kelby as the object of her attention, and Kelby starts acting like a complete asshole—aided by his resentment over Tucker still being on board instead of back on Columbia where he belongs. Navaar, meanwhile, goes after Archer, going so far as to kiss him before he’s summoned to the bridge.

They arrive at the planet, which is defended by a wussy science ship whose weapons don’t even affect Enterprise. Archer is ready to destroy the ship, but Reed refuses the order to fire, as it will destroy them. The ship then moves off, ending the argument.

D’Nesh and Kelby engage in pillow talk during which the former convinces the latter to do anything for her. He then engages in sabotage, until Tucker discovers it and stops Kelby by beating him up.

Phlox has determined the cause of the problems: the women are emitting pheremones. They give men an adrenaline surge and give women headaches (to eliminate competition). T’Pol is unaffected—but so is Tucker. Turns out that the mental link they share after having sex (which is why they’ve appeared in each other’s daydreams) also has given Tucker an immunity to pheremones. (How a telepathic connection blocks a biochemical reaction is left as an exercise for the viewer.)

The women are imprisoned in the decon chamber for everyone’s protection, and a search of their quarters turns up a communications device, with which they’ve been talking to Harrad-Sar. Navaar nearly gets Archer to release them, but T’Pol drags him back to his senses.

Screenshot: CBS

Harrad-Sar shows up and contacts them, revealing that there’s a bounty on Archer’s head, and this mission’s objective was to gain it. The Orions easily disable Enterprise, which is still in bad shape from Kelby’s sabotage, and Harrad-Sar starts to tow it. He also reveals that he’s the slave, and Navaar, D’Nesh, and Maras are the ones really in charge.

The three women got their guards to open up the door to the decon chamber, and they come to the bridge and use their super-duper pheremones to get Archer to give her command—and also put T’Pol in the brig. Tucker then shows up and shoots Archer, Reed, and Mayweather. Then he enacts his and T’Pol’s plan (which Archer had approved before he got his brain all mushed by pheremones) to lose the Orions’ tow. This works. The women are sent back to the ship.

Tucker pretends to be heading back to Columbia until he manipulates T’Pol into admitting that she wants him to stay, even going so far as to kiss him. Only then does Tucker reveal that he put in a request to transfer back to Enterprise three days earlier. (Why Hernandez accepted the request is left as an exercise for the viewer. As is why T’Pol didn’t then sock him in the jaw for being a manipulative ass.)

The gazelle speech. Archer justifies to Reed his initial willingness to beam over and talk to Harrad-Sar by saying, rather sadly, “Anything to have one less hostile species out there.”

I’ve been trained to tolerate offensive situations. T’Pol makes a couple of sardonic jokes in sickbay, prompting Archer to comment that she’s picking up Tucker’s bad habits.

Florida Man. Florida Man Assaults Replacement.

Optimism, Captain! Phlox has to mainline stimulants to keep from falling asleep at the hands of Orion pheremones.

Screenshot: CBS

No sex, please, we’re Starfleet. I mean, where to start? The three Orion women turn all the human men (except for Tucker) into drooling idiots or posturing morons, or both. Plus T’Pol and Tucker finally decide to become a real couple after dancing around it for several years, and making us endure simply endless “Vulcan neuro-pressure” softcore porn scenes in season three…

More on this later… Berengaria VII was established in the original series’ “This Side of Paradise,” where Spock mentioned seeing a dragon on that world.

I’ve got faith…

“What are you trying to do?”

“Get them out of my head. The pain helps—you should try it.”

“Yeah, okay.”

“When I was on my parents’ ship, we picked up some Deltans once. Their ship was having engine trouble.”

“I don’t know that species.”

“The females are unbelievably attractive. Very open about… I was fifteen—I couldn’t think straight, could barely breathe. Only thing that got me through it was weight training with my dad. He said if I was exhausted—idle hands and all that.”

“Well, did it help?”

“Helped my biceps…”

–Reed and Mayweather in the gym discussing the Orion women.

Screenshot: CBS

Welcome aboard. Two recurring regulars from DS9 return for this one: William Lucking (who played Furel in “Shakaar,” “The Darkness and the Light,” and “Ties of Blood and Water”) plays Haraad-Sar, while Cyia Batten (who was the first of three actors who played Tora Ziyal, in “Indiscretion” and “Return to Grace,” and who also played Irina in Voyager’s “Drive”) plays Navaar. The other two Orion women are played by Crystal Allen and Menina Fortunato. In addition, recurring regular Derek Magyar is back as Kelby; we’ll next see him playing Kelby’s Mirror Universe counterpart in “In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II.”

Trivial matters: Tucker and T’Pol had sex in “Harbinger.” Tucker transferred to Columbia between “The Aenar” and “Affliction,” but returned to Enterprise for reasons of plot in “Divergence,” and stuck around for more reasons of plot. Enterprise encountered an Orion slave auction, almost losing nine crew to slavery, in “Borderland.”

This episode establishes that—contrary to the implications of the original series’ “The Cage,” with Boyce’s mention of “green animal women,” as well as the entirely male Orion crews seen in the animated series’ “The Pirates of Orion,” not to mention the slave auction in “Borderland”—Orion society is female-dominated.

Mayweather discusses Deltans, who were seen in The Motion Picture in the person of Ilia, and who also exude sexual pheremones that adversely affect humans. This is the first time since that 1979 movie that Deltans—who are the most Gene Roddenberry creation ever—have been mentioned. They will appear again in Picard’s “The Star Gazer.”

Harrad-Sar mentions the Gorn, who were established in the original series’ “Arena,” and who will be seen two weeks hence in the Mirror Universe in “In a Mirror Darkly, Part II,” and have been seen throughout Strange New Worlds.

While Berengaria VII still hasn’t been actually visited onscreen, it has shown up in several works of tie-in fiction, most notably in the Romulan War novel Beneath the Raptor’s Wing by Michael A. Martin, in which—as indicated by this episode—it becamse the site of a starbase. The character of Elias Vaughn, who appeared in numerous novels, including many of the post-finale DS9 stories as the first officer of Deep Space 9 under Kira Nerys, was established as being born on Berengaria.

The female-dominated Orion society has been seen in more depth on Lower Decks in the twenty-fourth century and Discovery in the thirty-second.

Screenshot: CBS

It’s been a long road… “The Syndicate wants your head, Captain.” This storyline was hoary and stupid in 1966 when it was called “Mudd’s Women,” and it’s pretty much inexcusable in 2005 and nigh-unwatchable in 2023.

One of my biggest problems with Enterprise when it aired was that, watching it, I felt like it was being written as if the previous thirty years of television didn’t exist. This episode exemplifies that belief. I suspect that writer Manny Coto was going for some kind of retro thing, penning a script that felt like an episode of the original series. But there’s a thin line between retro and dated, and “Bound” trips over that line and falls flat on its face.

Watching this putrid episode is just a chore and a half, from the squirmy sweaty Archer and Reed trying hard not to drool over Cyia Batten, Crystal Allen, and Menina Fortunato slinking around while painted green to watching Kelby and Archer act like total idiots to everyone sitting around sickbay and having a hearty laugh at how the Vulcan is acting more human despite her protests. And yes, that was a trope of the original series, but it was also a general trope of television at the time, and it’s aged really badly. It’s particularly ridiculous in this episode in which the Enterprise crew have committed some appalling acts, from Kelby’s sabotage to Tucker beating the shit out of Kelby to Archer nearly blowing up a ship that was not a threat to Tucker shooting half the bridge crew. And yes, there were pheremones involved, but after all that, there really should be an inquiry and investigation, not a bunch of people sitting around sickbay giggling at T’Pol making a funny.

And then we have Tucker lying to T’Pol in order to manipulate her into saying out loud that she has the hots for Tucker and wants him to stay, and only then admitting that he put in for the transfer three days earlier. That should be enough for T’Pol to change her mind about wanting him to stay right there…

The closest this episode comes to a vague attempt at the possibility of a something remotely resembling a redeeming feature is the revelation that the women are the true power and the men are slaves. Orion women just pretend to be slaves. Mind you, the episode isn’t at all interested in exploring what this means, it’s just in it for the gotcha moment, the Big! Amazing! Twist! You! Didn’t! See! Coming! without any consideration given to whether or not the twist actually makes sense.

More than that, though is that this revelation a) makes no sense for Harrad-Sar to reveal to Archer in the least, and b) changes absolutely nothing about the episode. If Harrad-Sar was the one in charge and the women really were slaves, not a single element of the plot would alter even a little bit.

It’s a total waste of William Lucking; it’s not entirely a waste of Batten, Allen, and Fortunato as, at the very least, they’re fun to look at if you’re sexually attracted to women. But this episode is a pathetic embarrassment that just makes it clear that this show deserved to be cancelled.

Warp factor rating: 0

Keith R.A. DeCandido urges everyone to pick up Star Trek Explorer #9, which has, among other things, Keith’s new Discovery short story “Work Worth Doing,” which explores the backstory of Federation President Laira Rillak. It’s the first Discovery story to appear in the magazine.

About the Author

Keith R.A. DeCandido


Keith R.A. DeCandido has been writing about popular culture for this site since 2011, primarily but not exclusively writing about Star Trek and screen adaptations of superhero comics. He is also the author of more than 60 novels, more than 100 short stories, and around 50 comic books, both in a variety of licensed universes from Alien to Zorro, as well as in worlds of his own creation. Read his blog, follow him on Facebook, The Site Formerly Known As Twitter, Instagram, Threads, and Blue Sky, and follow him on YouTube and Patreon.
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