the story: The crew attempt to enjoy some r&r.
what it's all about: For the past few episodes this trip to Risa kept getting interrupted, creating one of the more esoteric serialized stories in franchise lore. Risa is the pleasure planet previously featured in Next Generation and Deep Space Nine, so this is another of those soft hooks. The episode itself is actually pretty much composed of separate vignettes for one or more characters. Everyone has something to do. Admittedly, Mayweather's is minimal compared to everyone else's, getting treated by a compromised Phlox, attempting to get some hibernating in. Hoshi has the happiest experience. Trip and Reed have perhaps an even more awkward experience together than in "Shuttlepod One."
And Archer discovers backlash from "Detained." The aliens who'd been harassing innocent Suliban send an undercover agent to spy on him. It's a soft continuation of the story, but it's appreciated for having been done at all.
Otherwise a fairly deliberately low key affair, just spending time with the characters.
franchise- It' doubtful that casual fans will care too much about a visit to Risa.
- series - Some soft serialization in a follow-up to "Detained."
- character - Everyone gets in at least one moment.
essential- Not especially.
Kellie Waymire (Cutler)