As Enterprise drifts in space, an unknown alien cruiser scans the ship, then docks with it. As part of an unconventional and criminal first contact, two Ferengi, Muk and Grish, board wearing breathing filters, and the crew appear to have been knocked unconscious. In Engineering, the two locate and deactivate a gas-machine that the Starfleet crew brought up from the surface of a nearby moon. Unknown to the intruders, Commander Tucker is still conscious and makes his way to Engineering and uses the ship's sensors to monitor the aliens as they plunder the ship.

Captain Archer is confined in a Cargo bay, and the aliens are unconvinced that Enterprise carries no currency or valuable materials. They set off to find the vault themselves, leaving Krem and Archer to transfer the loot. Archer sees Tucker and sends him to the launch-bay to retrieve the Ferengi's hypospray. Doing so, Tucker revives Sub-Commander T'Pol, and they try to find a way to stop the Ferengi. She assumes the gas-machine was intentionally placed on the surface as a 'Trojan Horse'. In Sickbay, three of the four Ferengi search for the non-existent vault, and T'Pol uses a PADD to distract and then start an argument between them.

In Engineering, Archer tries to negotiate with Krem, who is tempted when Archer says that he will throw in T'Pol. In Archer's quarters, Muk and Grish try interrogating Porthos, Archer's pet Beagle. Muk goes to the launch-bay and finds Tucker, who escapes, but Ulis subdues him with his electro-whip. The Ferengi, Archer and Trip meet in the launch-bay where Archer plays along with Tucker's deception about "the vault". T'Pol assists in subduing the intruders, and the crew oversee the return of the stolen goods. Archer tells the Ferengi not to go within a light year of a human or Vulcan vessel ever again [N 1]

Errors and Explanations

Internet Movie Database

Plot holes

  1. Archer asks Tucker to get some Phase Pistols. Tucker says the Ferengi cleaned out the armory; however, the Ferengi ship where the goods are being stored is not even 10 meters from them at this point (Krem is making Archer transfer stuff from Enterprise to the Ferengi ship).It may be too difficult for Tucker and Archer to retrieve the pistols without being caught.

Nit Central

  1. The Ferengi having a slave trade? But Quark said in the second season DS9 season-ender that they had never had slavery unllike us humans! LUIGI NOVI on Thursday, March 28, 2002 - 5:08 am: The slave trade Krem mentioned was on the planet Stameris, which is presumably not a member of the Ferengi Alliance. Aaron Dotter on Thursday, March 28, 2002 - 7:30 am: Perhaps Quark's comment about no slavery meant the Ferengi never had interrace slavery- that wouldn't stop some Ferengi from helping other races with slavery.
  2. Jason on Wednesday, March 27, 2002 - 6:57 pm: The Ferengi didn't seem to horrified with all the clothed females, unlike the really early TNG Ferengi. I guess the clothed females was a relatively new thing. LUIGI NOVI on Thursday, March 28, 2002 - 5:08 am: The Ferengi probably know that other aliens don’t follow that practice. If these guys have been pirating for some time (though we know Krem hasn’t), it’d make sense. It’s possible the Ferengi in The Last Outpost (TNG) and The Battle (TNG) were simply new to alien races.
  3. SMT on Wednesday, March 27, 2002 - 7:20 pm: When Krem is taking his first long, loving look at T'Pol, she is only pretending to be unconscious. Might've been time for a quick Vulcan Nerve Grip. Indeed, when she appears before him later and gets very close, she doesn't KO him immediately, but gives his ears a few strokes first. Why? inblackestnight on Sunday, July 15, 2007 - 3:00 pm: She wanted him to be 'relaxed' because even slowly reaching toward him might've been seen as an attack.
  4. Was there ANY point to that fight Archer and Trip had? LUIGI NOVI on Thursday, March 28, 2002 - 5:08 am: Yeah, it’s consistent with the "Archer likes to have the living s**t kicked out of him" premise established in The Andorian Incident. :)
  5. You're telling me that these aliens ransack the Enterprise, and after they're caught, they are just sent off with a warning? And nobody rifles through their computer banks to find out all they can about this predatory race? And even after neglecting that, apparently nobody bothers to learn the NAME of the species, so that two centuries later, their existence seems barely more than folklore for a time? And nobody bothered putting their faces and physiologies in human or Vulcan databases -- which would go into making Starfleet databases -- so that when they are met again two centuries later, someone on that ship -- for the sake of argument, call him Data -- can say "Captain, this race was encountered in 2151 by the Earth ship Enterprise, registry NX-01"? The Undesirable Element on Wednesday, March 27, 2002 - 7:43 pm:. SMT, it is possible that the records didn't remain complete for 200 years. Maybe all the information they had is that some greedy guys with big ears were ransacking ships. For all anyone knew, it was the species that McCoy tries to get a ride from in "Star Trek III" (Remember, he had big ears and talked like Yoda)LUIGI NOVI on Wednesday, January 23, 2002 - 11:40 pm: (From the Dear Doctor board) T’Pol establishes in episode that the Vulcans were not familiar with the Ferengi as early as 2151. As for why the Federation never formally encountered them until 2364, perhaps warp technology was not widely held by a significant portion of the Ferengi population, or they were not that adept at its use. Perhaps there were very few Ferengi interstellar travellers, and those who visited Valakis were a rare instance.
  6. PaulG on Wednesday, March 27, 2002 - 7:59 pm: They want gold bars? I distinctly remember Quark describing gold as worthless. What changed in 200 years? They may not have been able to use latinum at this point in history.
  7. The head Ferengi’s negotiation with Archer is just silly. It doesn’t matter if Archer gets 20% or 35%. Once he reveals “the vault”, he ceases to have any leverage. Therefore he gets nothing. The Ferengi should have agreed and then doublecrossed. Do I have to do all the thinking around here? LUIGI NOVI on Thursday, March 28, 2002 - 5:08 am: Ah, but maybe that’s what Ulis intended. He had to put up a good haggle to make it look like he’d stick to the agreement. He might’ve thought Archer would be suspicious if he was nonchalant about giving him what he wanted.
  8. T’Pol annoying the Ferengi with the screeching noise was a good idea. Using a more painful sound and knocking them out was a far better idea. I am baffled why she didn’t do that. LUIGI NOVI on Thursday, March 28, 2002 - 5:08 am: Perhaps the sound range of the device she used was limited.
  9. The Ferengi guarding Archer did not appear to be in regular communication with the other three. Considering that (1) he is only one person guarding the captain and (2) he is intelligence-challenged, this arrangement is highly unlikely. He’s probably not trusted with anything more complicated!
  10. Machiko Jenkins (Mjenkins) on Wednesday, March 27, 2002 - 10:15 pm: What made them think that Archer was the captain? Just picked one at random who happens to occupy a seat in the same place that Ulis does? LUIGI NOVI on Thursday, March 28, 2002 - 5:08 am: It makes sense, MJ. Archer was in his chair on the bridge. Bridge design may not be as universal throughout the galaxy as mathematics, but do you suppose the Ferengi, or some race out there puts the janitor in the center seat on the bridge?
  11. I got interrupted halfway through - why couldn't Trip wake Hoshi? Keith Alan Morgan (Kmorgan) on Thursday, March 28, 2002 - 2:29 am: Machiko, Trip said that the hypospay was empty after waking up T'Pol.
  12. Steve Oostrom on Wednesday, March 27, 2002 - 10:21 pm: I thought that the Ferengi were particulary dumb in this episode. Afterall, once they got away from the ship and the crew regained consciousness, what was to stop the Enterprise from chasing down the Ferengi ship? LUIGI NOVI on Thursday, March 28, 2002 - 5:08 am: They probably intended to leave long before the anasthesia wore off. Space is big, and they might not know if the Enterprise can track them. (They needed T’Pol’s help in Broken Bow to track the Suliban, so maybe the Vulcans are one of the few species that have sophisticated tracking technology.)
  13. It was plainly obvious that once T'Pol started doing the oo-mox thing to Krem (was it him?), the Vulcan nerve pinch was coming up. I thought it would be after the first stroke, but T'Pol stroked the lobes twice. She’s just lulling him into a false sense of security!
  14. I got the impression that Vulcans knew about Ferengi, and vice versa, but I am probably mistaking.LUIGI NOVI on Thursday, March 28, 2002 - 5:08 am: T’Pol told Archer in Dear Doctor that she had never heard of them when the Valakian astronaut mentioned them.
  15. LUIGI NOVI on Thursday, March 28, 2002 - 2:34 am: Okay, anyone want to explain human knowledge of Ferengi 213 years before The Last Outpost (TNG)? True, I don’t think anyone mentioned the word "Ferengi," and perhaps the creators are thinking that the humans in the beginning of TNG simply don’t know that the Ferengi they have just begin to hear of are the aliens encountered by Archer 213 years earlier, but I wouldn’t buy that, since it makes no sense that Archer wouldn’t have documented everything he could about these guys, from their names and technoology to their visual appearances. Just what is so special about the Ferengi that the creators just had to use them in a continuity-mutilating episode that could just as well have used some other race that tried pirate the Enterprise? It’s one thing to be ignorant or apathetic about Enterprise contradicting something in the original series or movies, but this contradicts one of the first episodes of NextGen, from which Rick Berman was present in Trek. Why can’t the creators be satisfied with the unique premise of Enterprise and stick to it? Why do they have to strip mine premises from NextGen like Voyager did? AlleyCat11 on Thursday, March 28, 2002 - 7:24 am: Why didn't Archer or T'Pol ask the Ferengi what Race they are? Aaron Dotter on Thursday, March 28, 2002 - 7:28 am: Archer did ask "Who are you?" but the name came out mangled in the translator. I think its's reasonable that they did not ever find out the name. Keep in mind we are not dealing with the same explorers that we deal with in NextGen- this is still new to them and they probably don't know they should find out everything about everybody(It sounds simple to us, of course, but they might not know it.) Besides you don't really care who a particular people are called if they are ransacking your ship, you just want to deal with that and get rid of them. There is always time for exploration later. THat's probably what Archer figured more than anything. He didn't know we would not see them again(which I am assuming is the case, though you never know) Jason on Thursday, March 28, 2002 - 1:39 pm: It's possible that the crew did ask offscreen. But all the Ferengi would have to do is lie. That, combined with the long time inbetween encounters, could have thrown people off. After all, if you tried to play pirate, and the crew managed to get the upper hand, would you really want to tell them the truth about where you're from? After all, they might have bigger and badder warships waiting to extract revenge on your homeworld.
  16. The 95th Rule of Acquisition was established in False Profits (VOY) as "Expand or die," but Krem refers to that Rule in Act 2 while talking to Archer as the 45th. Did the creators forget to check their updated Encyclopedia, or did the Grand Nagus just change it? TJFleming on Thursday, March 28, 2002 - 9:24 am: Absolutely logical from the Ferengi point of view. It works like this: A corollary to an existing rule is announced, it is inserted after the base rule, and all the succeeding rules are renumbered. THEN EVERYBODY HAS TO BUY A NEW BOOK.
  17. Hans Thielman on Thursday, March 28, 2002 - 7:09 am: These Ferengi don't have their universal translator in their ears as Quark and family had in DS9's Little Green Men. Their universal translators may not have been small enough to fit into the ear in 2151.
  18. John A. Lang on Saturday, May 14, 2005 - 6:22 pm: How did Porthos survive in a SEALED BOX for such a long time? What Archer SHOULD HAVE found was a dead dog.inblackestnight on Sunday, July 15, 2007 - 3:00 pm: We don't know how long he was in there. It could've easily been only a few minutes.


  1. Indeed, the Ferengi do not reappear until some 200 years later in the episode The Last Outpost).

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