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26
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102
1047
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827
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1483
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2899
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576
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2996
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91
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104
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2387
868
623
2885
965
1009
613
162
1243
2530
2993
1052
866
2531
105
1078
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1279
1162
462
1679
2598
1160
620
2971
1127
2847
137
1565
1164
2387
106
1700
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1375
75
1704
1424
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1067
2742
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2776
152
725
574
851
329
107
549
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1672
134
1610
1372
2587
755
1735
286
1601
2462
288
1795
2020
2509
108
1572
2021
349
1966
2835
1882
636
1246
55
1159
2707
1819
2922
2450
1957
2095
03-111968
04-041969
05-1701D
06-071984
07-081940
08-47148
09-081966

Similitude

Synopsis

The episode begins in the armory with "Trip" in a photon torpedo casing and the senior staff gathered around as Archer gives a touching eulogy about sacrifices.

After the jazzy remix of Faith of the Heart plays we get the obligatory "Two Weeks Earlier" message so we can find out what happened.  We start with a painful as always Neuropressure session between Trip and T’Pol where they are rubbing each other’s feet.

Trip tells T’Pol that he has a plan on how he can get more efficiency out of the warp engines, but when implementing his plan something goes wrong and the ship nearly explodes, Trip saves the ship but at a cost, he flies across the room and bashes his head on the ground.  He goes into a coma.

Never fear, Phlox is here!  The good Doctor happens to have an alien in his stash that secretes a virus-suppressing agent, but Trip doesn’t have a virus so what’s the big deal about this alien?  Well, it turns out that this alien has another interesting feature when injected with DNA from any species, this alien will immediately become an exact duplicate of that creature and start living out a vastly accelerated version of that creature’s lifespan.  The creature will go from embryo to baby to child to teenager to adult to old to death in a matter of just 15 days.  Why is this important?  Because Trip needs a brain tissue transplant and nobody on the crew is a match.

So after agonizing about it for a while and ignoring T’Pol’s arguments that cloning for the purpose of doing a tissue transplant is unethical, Archer agrees to allow Phlox to do the procedure.

In order to do a rapidly aging clone properly you would probably have to make it so that though the body ages quickly the clone still needs to learn like a normal human would have to which would mean that 8 days in when the clone Trip was of age for the transplant, he was still acting like a baby because in actuality he is only 8 days old, well if the writers did that we wouldn’t grow emotionally attached to the clone, which is necessary to feel bad when Sim (the name Phlox gave to the clone) dies.  So instead the writers gave Sim an interesting, if ridiculous, ability.  As Sim ages, he slowly gains the memories of Trip, for example when Sim is the equivalent of an 8-year-old, he has the memories Trip did when he was 8.

So we have scenes where Phlox and Hoshi are reading with the "4-year-old" Sim and Sim asks if they could jump ahead in the story to his favorite part.  When Hoshi asks him how he knows of this part they haven’t gotten to yet, Sim answers that his Mom read the story to him.

Then we have the "8-year-old" Sim hanging out with Captain Archer.  Archer lets Sim play with his model spacecraft that we first saw a young archer playing with way back in "Broken Bow."  Sim asks where his parents are and Archer takes him to sickbay and shows him the original Trip and explains to Sim that Sim is a copy.

As Sim gets older "17-year-old Sim" starts helping out in Engineering and has a crush on T’Pol.  When Sim reaches adulthood and starts being played by Trinner he comes up with a plan to tow Enterprise out of the field of weird magnetic particles that are engulfing the ship.  Oh, I haven’t mentioned those have I?

The experiment at the beginning of the episode ended with Enterprise screeching to a halt in this weird field of strange unidentified magnetic particles.  These particles keep clinging to the hull, which in and of itself is not that bad but as more and more of them keep showing up, more and more stress is taking place on the hull, eventually if Enterprise can’t get out of this field they will be crushed.  Sim has this plan to use both shuttlepods to tow Enterprise out of the area.

Sim begs Archer to be allowed to fly one of the shuttles claiming "It’s my plan I should be the one out there," and when Archer denies him he answers back "You are just worried about something happening to me so you can’t save Trip aren’t you?"  Archer actually answered back that that was true.  The plan does work and Enterprise is saved.  In fact, as soon as Enterprise exits the field all of those weird particles leave the hull and return to the field.

Meanwhile, Sim has gotten all caught up in Trip’s memories and there is a scene between Sim and T’Pol in which Sim says something like "I don’t know if these are his feelings or mine, but I’m in love with you."  T’Pol dismisses it in typical Vulcan fashion and we continue.

Now we get to the drama that we’ve all been waiting for, it has come time for the operation, but oh no, what’s this, Phlox has discovered that Sim will not survive the operation.  What’s more, Sim brings up another moral dilemma when he points out that there is an experimental enzyme that potentially has the ability to slow his rapid aging, theoretically allowing him to live out the rest of a normal life.

Archer is torn but the enzyme’s effectiveness is unknown so he tells Sim that saving Trip is the only way either will conceivably survive.  Sim goes and asks T’Pol if he can spend his last few hours in Engineering as the two things he cares for the most are in that room, but instead seizes control of the shuttlebay and plans to steal a shuttle to escape.  When Archer arrives in the shuttlebay however Sim is still there, claiming that he didn’t want to spend the rest of his life floating in space in a shuttle pod, and how if Trip is that important to Enterprise saving Earth, he doesn’t want anything to happen to anyone else the way it happened to his sister, whom he claims is just as much his sister as she is Trip’s.

So Sim heads over to sickbay to die but first says goodbye to T’Pol who gives him a farewell kiss.  Sim goes to sickbay, and tells the unconscious Trip "You owe me one." And undergoes the procedure.  The episode ends the way it began, with Sim’s funeral and Sim being launched out into space.

Episode Review

First of all, I want to point out that the concept of a rapidly aging clone gaining all the memories of his original is preposterous.  And even if you ignore that fact, there are things I would have wanted to see if it was true that did not happen.

When it was first revealed that Sim was gaining the memories of Trip gradually, I was waiting for a scene when Sim suddenly remembered that his sister was dead, but the scene never came.  There was the scene at the end where he told Archer that he didn’t want anybody else to be hurt the way his sister was, but come on, Trip was devastated when he realized that his sister was dead, where were Sim’s feelings concerning it?

I would have also liked to see scenes where Sim remembered being pregnant or being stuck in a shuttle pod with Malcolm, or many of the other experiences Trip had on Enterprise.  But again, they never came.

Now that that is out of the way how about something else I hated about this episode?  I like Star Trek, I always have, and a part of that is actually liking the characters.  So as such, I hate it when I see characters make ethically and morally incorrect decisions.  Archer should have never approved the cloning of Trip in the first place knowing that the clone would only live 15 days.  Cloning someone with the express purpose of harvesting his organs is horrible.  This of course is the central moral conflict of the episode and mirrors current day cloning issues, as the idea of cloning organs has been brought up and there are activist groups that say this is wrong.

More than that however I hate the concept of Archer condemning Sim to death to save Trip, this is horrible!  This is no different than when Janeway killed Tuvix to rescue Neelix and Tuvok.  At least with Tuvix, it was sacrificing 1 person to save 2; in this episode, Archer killed one person to save one person.  It would have been another matter if it hadn’t been for the enzyme.  If it were cut in stone that Sim would only live for a few days more the sacrifice would have made a bit more sense, but when there became a chance, no matter how small, that Sim could live out a normal life, then the moral implications of the episode became huge.

This episode made me dislike both Phlox and Archer for the morally wrong decisions they made and I don’t like disliking characters, especially the captain, whom the entire series revolves around.

Was there anything I liked about this episode?  Yes, the performances by the various actors who played Sim.  The child characters were very convincing as young versions of Trip, and Trineer turned out an amazing performance as Sim.  His desire not to die was evident, and his caring for T’Pol was very believable.  I also liked that T’Pol acted as the voice of reason, even if she was ignored, and argued that this entire procedure was unethical.

Many reviewers badmouth the kiss between T’Pol and Sim, saying that Vulcans shouldn’t fall in love.  But this is not true.

How many times do you people have to be told, Vulcans do have feelings, they just suppress them because if they don’t they can become incredibly violent.  Serek was in love with his human wife.

And I don’t believe that T’Pol is in love with Sim in that scene.  I think the kiss was more of a gesture and Sim agreed.  T’Pol was trying to comfort Sim, not profess undying love for either Sim or Trip.  The episode I’m not looking forward to is the episode announced for later this season in which this does occur.

All in all, I give this episode a C rating, which is generous considering all the problems there are with it.