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The Crossing

Our first view of Trip is standing at the powerless warp engine watching the readout flash GAME OVER. Seems a whale of a ship has swallowed the U.S.S. Minnow, and engines and weapons are out. The interior of the whale ship (it's the same mold as the tie ship... okay, maybe that joke is too esoteric) is swarming with the Lights of Zetar. The only sensors which can detect them seem to be the intrepid crew's eyeballs.

Archer takes Mal and Trip exploring. Eyeballs are still functioning, scanners come up bupkus. After a bit, one of the pretty blue lights detaches itself from the swarm and comes down to check out Trip (being the best-looking of the three). All three boys draw phase pistols, but the charge of the light brigand goes right through Trip's faceplate. And face.

This is your brain... this is your brain on wissssps. A yellow light exits the Chief Engineer and joins the fireworks by Enterprise. Trip, or whatever's residing in him, stares vacantly and doesn't respond to hails. Archer and Mal are seriously freaked.

After a few moments, the Northern Light returns and the previous tenant vacates. Trip shakes his head and asks what the hell just happened. When Cap'n asks him what the hell just happened, Trip insists he was in Backstory Springs with a girlfriend. They promptly haul his butt to Sickbay.

No, to Decon! But we only get to see Trip's tighty-bluesies from the torso up. Jeez, what's that, a quarter monty? Oh well, we'll take biceps over pleather. (Plus showing Trip's reflection while the other three were talking was a cool shot.) Phlox reassures the captain that there's nothing wrong with our boy. Archer's worried about Daydream Tripper. Phlox puts Decon on mute and says hallucinating about familiar things is common and not worth breaking out the Maalox over. Trip's Denobulan-induced paranoia resurfaces and he wants to know if they're talking about him. Phlox unmutes Decon and cheerily releases him.

Totally gratuitous yummy locker room scene of all three boys buttoning their black turtlenecks as Cap'n sends Trip back to Engineering to kickstart his wee bairns. Trip putters around giving instructions to Rostov (ENT's answer to Joe Carey). A blue light special creeps around the warp core and approaches Trip. "Ah've already been impregnated by an alien!" he wails, but it's lights out anyway.

Rostov notices TrippySmurf gazing around, slowly gathering his bearings. He tries to get his boss to answer, but TrippySmurf responds awkwardly and runs away -- to the Mess Hall, of course, considerately making sure the Food Chain stays unbroken. Archer, T'Pol, and Mal finally find the stray engineer, only to discover that Trip is out to lunch. Literally. TrippySmurf has a full spread: breakfast, brunch, lunch, high tea, milk and cookies, dinner, and midnight snack. "This is the best thing since sliced bread!" he enthuses.

Archer wants to know who this pod person is and what he's done with the unpronounceable symbol who used to be his Chief Engineer. TrippySmurf assures Archer that his friend will be right back after these commercial messages, but in the meantime, the Smurf is going to enjoy corporeal things like swallowing, sneezing, and poop jokes. Cap'n isn't satisfied with that; he wants to know where our boy is. "Brain and brain! What is brain?!" TrippySmurf asks.

Mal steps in and wants to know if TrippySmurf had anything to do with the "wisps of vapor" which smoked Trip. At this point Connor Trinneer slowly morphs into Brad Dourif, eerily repeating "wisssssp... wissssssp... wisssssp.." as if utterly fascinated by the sound.

Archer finally tells TrippySmurf to gnap off and let his people go. TrippySmurf chides Cap'n for not being adventurous, but the whale ship's hatch opens readily enough. Enterprise is spit back out into the void. Carol Ann wanders back into the Mess Hall and swaps out with the wissssp, which heads out for Mardi Gras .

Tripping the Light Fantastic comes to and starts raving about the people he's been and the places he's seen. They promptly haul his butt back to Sickbay. Phlox gives him a clean bill of health, though, so he returns to Engineering, where Rostov gets eaten by the blue meanies. Trip calls for Security. However, Mal (in a wonderfully-acted scene) is blueish also, so someone else has to come down and start escorting pod people to their quarters.

Trav discovers that the wissssps can't travel through osmium. Archer orders all non-blue personnel to report to the starboard catwalk, which conveniently still sports working command interfaces from five months ago. Trip joins the wisssspless ranks, but somehow one of them got by the screeners, because our boy is carrying a katra chameleon. TrippySmurf looms dangerously in the background as Archer and T'Pol talk Phloxenstein through deliberately CO2ing the entire wisssspsed crew.

When Trav goes to collect the guy he thinks is Trip, TrippySmurf runs several crewmembers down like the T-1000 and scrambles out into the ship to stop Phlox.

They wrassle. Fortunately (VERY fortunately) there's no jungle, swamp, or dainty lavender gauze gown in sight, so Trip isn't likely to boink this particular alien. Did I mention how fortunate we are? The good doctor is a lousy fighter. One serious head-butting is all he can manage.

Phloxenstein finally releases the carbon dioxide, forced to resort to asphyxiating our boy to get the alien face-sucker to leave. It works. The wissssps take their brains and go home.

Trip recovers and wakes up, no longer out of his mind, and Phlox helps him off to pry everyone out of their quarters.