Something interesting about Enterprise 3rd season episode "Chosen Realm"
#1
The 3rd season was, in my opinion, the best of the 4 seasons for Enterprise. I loved the Xindi arc. It was a completely original storyline, unique to the Enterprise narrative. The complexities of the Xindi war gave the writers many opportunities to explore different viewpoints of morality (Star Trek's strongest theme, in my opinion).

In "Chosen Realm", Captain Jonathan Archer and the crew of Enterprise encounter a small group of religious fanatics led by Pri'Nam D'Jamat, who hijacks the NX-01 with the intention of using it to defeat his sect's arch-rivals on their homeworld. The basic plot had been used before in the Star Trek universe, going all the way back to the original series. Even the idea of a religious war was not original.

The original twist in this story, written by Manny Coto and directed by Roxann Dawson, concerns the way D'Jamat's people venerate the mysterious spheres spread across the Delphic Expanse, the region of space where the Xindi live. As anyone who has watched the entire 3rd season knows, the Delphic Expanse was created by trans-dimensional beings who wanted to reshape our space so they could conquer it. They duped the Xindi leaders into believing Humanity posed a future threat to the survival of all Xindi; and thus the Xindi built a massive weapon capable of destroying the entire Earth.

By the 12th episode Archer's crew have learned a few interesting things about the spheres. They know they are the sources for massive energy waves that create "spacial anomalies". They have calculated there must be dozens of spheres. And they know the spheres are about a thousand years old. But they still don't know why the spheres exist or who created them.


Archer "rescues" D'Jamat's people near one of the spheres. He invites D'Jamat to dinner to get to know him better. During their discussion, D'Jamat corrects Archer and T'Pol's knowledge of the spheres. T'Pol treats D'Jamat's replies with great skepticism because she is a scientist who knows nothing of his people's religious beliefs. Archer is a bit amused and probably just as skeptical as T'Pol.

But everything D'Jamat says turns out to be true (with one possible exception - he claims there are thousands of spheres). D'Jamat's people believe the spheres were created to reshape that region of space, to prepare it for the arrival or return of the Creators.

The entire episode foreshadows many of the main plot lines of the Xindi arc, even down to to a rift among D'Jamat's people and the total destruction of their civilization. The Xindi had already destroyed their own planet 100 years previously in a devastating war. But it is the growing rift between the Xindi factions that Archer exploits in order to resolve the conflict between the 5 Xindi species and Humanity.

Every time I watch this episode, my appreciation for Manny Coto's foreshadowing deepens. He basically revealed everything to the audience without being obvious. I don't know if the writers were thinking of revisiting D'Jamat's teachings in a future episode or if they just wanted to write a foreshadow chapter. Either way, they did a great job of dropping hints about what would unfold in future episodes without giving away all the details.

And even T'Pol completes the foreshadowing by suggesting to Archer there are always facts at the root of every mythology. Her words are truly prophetic, which is a kind of narrative pun you seldom see in a show that pitches science against religion. It was a well-thought out debate that left the underlying conflict between stereotypical viewpoints unresolved.
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