The Away Team: Breach (ENT S2, E21)
After the weak outing last week, Star Trek: Enterprise brings it back with a mildly thought-provoking episode with “Breach”. In the nearly two seasons since being introduced to Dr. Phlox, we never had any idea that his race was a bunch of war criminals. Denobulans and Antarans were at war some 300 years ago. Obviously, the races still have some issues they need to resolve.
The Enterprise is sent to Xantoras to remove three Denobulan scientists that are in the caves on the planet. There has been a coup and the new government of Xantoras want all off-worlders off their planet. You know, the whole Xantoras first government. But the scientists are below ground in caves and the Enterprise is being sent to get them out.
Archer makes one of the dumbest decisions of his career. Given how these three knuckleheads do in a crisis, he still sends Trip, Malcolm, and Mayweather to the planet to rescue the scientist. What could go wrong when you seen these guys down to the planet? Am I right?
The mains crux of “Breach” comes when Phlox is directed to treat an Antaran, a mortal enemy of the Denobulans. The Antaran refused help from Phlox and chooses to die. Archer isn’t having it. This is where medical ideology of both races come into conflict. Archer directs him to treat the Antaran, using the Hippocratic Oath. Phlox relies on Denobulan medical ethics – respect the patient’s wishes.
Shownotes for “Breach”:
This Week’s Episode of Lower Decks
“Breach” – (Memory Alpha)
Obviously, the issue is a bit more pointed for Phlox. Not because of his prejudices, but his patient’s view. Phlox is more enlightened than the patient, which we already knew. However, finding out that Denobulans are basically war criminals seems a bit jarring to some. “Breach” isn’t as good as many episodes regarding Phlox, but better than the last one.