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Vox Sola

(which is Latin for "One Voice")

A group of ugly insulted aliens storms off Enterprise, and no one can quite figure out what pissed them off so badly, except that it happened in the Mess Hall. While Hoshi beats herself up over not being able to grasp the lingo, T'Pol offers cold comfort by suggesting it was Trip's table manners which upset them. (You know, using the side of the bowl rather than a spoon to twirl pasta is perfectly acceptable in the south. Miss Vulcans Do Not Touch Their Food needs to get off her high sehlat.) Archer goes to pout in his ready room. Our boy generously flings himself upon the Sacrificial Altar of Really Dumb Sports and proposes a video of a water polo match try and cheer up the cap'n. Archer likes the idea of watching a bunch of wet muscular men in tight Speedos wrestle for a slippery ball, so he accepts the offer. Hmm, so would I.

Trip and Archer share beer and pretzels while watching a college water polo match between Stanford, which is implied to be Archer's alma mater, and Texas, which isn't California and is therefore good enough for Trip. (It's like the Yankees or the Cowboys -- you're either for them, or for whoever else is playing.) Their date is interrupted by a frantic call from Crewperson Expendable about a Plot Monster eating her cribbage partner in the Cargo Bay. Archer and Trip meet Malcolm and Security Officer NoName outside the Cargo Bay, and discover that Expendable meant to say "Snot Monster."

Archer is promptly slimed and sucked in. Trip clings tenaciously to the captain's hand, trying to slow him down -- or at least provide ballast -- but gets dragged unceremoniously across the floor.

Trip yells for the other two to get out even as he himself gets snotnapped. Mal makes it, but NoName doesn't, bringing the nascent collective to five. (I'd just like to point out here that the whole tentacle scene has some of the worst CGI I've seen on modern Trek. I guess director Roxann Dawson blew most of her budget on the rest of the episode's SFX, because the actors know from greenscreen and this was just bad rendering.)

The unslimed main cast gathers to figure out what to do. Malcolm's first suggestion of "blow the thing up!" is tempered into "shoot the thing until it gives up!" However, when they try to fill the Snot Monster with EM radiation, everyone starts screaming in pain. Turns out they really are something of a collective: what one feels, they all feel. Mal quits shooting, quite sulkily, and wanders off to Sickbay to find something else to fire on.

While the folks in the Cargo Bay recover, the bridge crew pairs off to squabble. Mal and Phlox argue in Sickbay. Hoshi and T'Pol snipe over a translation problem. Travis draws the short straw and gets to chew scenery; fortunately, the ensign is the ONLY PERSON on the bridge at the time, so no one gets to see him embarrass himself in his sole scene this month. (Dawson must have really been into the "one voice bad, two voices good" theme.)

The Snot Collective starts to gel. Everyone is getting Five of Six's thoughts about water polo, whether they like it or not. This makes our boy panic. The last time Trip read someone's mind without actually touching the person, he wound up pregnant with an alligator-skinned alien baby girl. One imagines Trip doesn't want to get that close with his captain, certain audience segments notwithstanding.

Archer sends the SLEEP command to everyone, which helps calm them down but has the unfortunate side effect of bringing all five of them closer to becoming one with the Great Link. Eventually Hoshi figures out how to talk to the Snot Monster, who spits out the five adjuncts rather gently in exchange for being brought home.

Photos: Soraya via,