the story: Archer presents his case before the Xindi Council.
what it's all about: "The Council" is where the whole Xindi arc becomes operatic. It's the end of a suite, in a way, the culmination of Degra's appearances and the conclusion of Dolim's transformation into the true face of villainy. It also wraps up any lingering mysteries about the connection between the Xindi and the Sphere Builders.
Degra had emerged as one of the essential figures of the arc. He became Archer's best shot at a diplomatic solution to the crisis through a series of events ("The Shipment," "Stratagem," "Azati Prime," and "The Forgotten") that saw him become go from enemy to ally. In doing so he made an enemy of Dolim, the Xindi-Reptilian who rejects his logic, siding with the Sphere Builders and launching the attack without the full support of the council.
The council itself, as it represents the Xindi, is finally thrust fully into the spotlight, after having been featured throughout the season, with a full explanation at last. We are given a history of the Xindi, and see the world they currently inhabit, the one ostensibly threatened by humanity. Anyone still wondering what any of this was about will now have a definitive answer.
And Dolim murders Degra. It's one of the great tragedies of the series, and one of its defining moments. That's exactly the stature Degra had obtained during the course of the series.
- franchise - Casual viewers will have very little excuse not to understand the Xindi arc now.
- series - Another key moment of the arc.
- character - Degra's last stand.
- essential - Character deaths usually tend to mean something in Star Trek, and this episode nails another one.
Randy Oglesby (Degra)
Scott MacDonald (Dolim)