Star Trek: Enterprise’s “Detained” is a fantastic episode until the end.
I recently re-watched the Star Trek: Enterprise season one episode, “Detained” thanks to Heroes and Icons. The Enterprise episode played during their Star Trek block of episodes that airs Sunday through Friday night, starting at eight PM with The Original Series and running through Midnight, where Enterprise closes off the block.
I like tuning into the block as often as possible, as I don’t have to flip channels to find something on or start and stop various streaming platforms. It’s a great way to have some background noise while I work. Yet with Voyager and Enterprise specifically, I find myself being more engaged in the episodes than not.
So obviously when Detained came on the other night, I was enthralled. Not because I haven’t seen it before, but because I have. Not because it’s one of the better episodes of season one, but because it is. It’s the only Star Trek episode that features the stars of Quantum Leap sharing screen time and that’s really the only reason one needs.
Of course, I’m going to be more engaged. The episode features Dean Stockwell right before his turn on the rebooted Battlestar Galactica and he’s in rare form, having a fantastic on-screen back-and-forth with Jonathan Archer, aka Scott Bakula.
The two steal the scenes so much that you’d be forgiven if you didn’t realize just how clunky the ending was.
Star Trek: Enterprise’s “Detained” comes to an abrupt end
Stockwell plays Grat, the head of an internment camp that holds the Suliban on the planet. They’re keeping them in this camp for two reasons, to protect them from other inhabitants of the planet that would seek to do them harm. Since the Suliban has become increasingly more radicalized, those that aren’t part of the Cabal are being targeted by other species. The other reason, as Grat points out, is that should the Cabal find out there are Suliban who aren’t fighting for the regime, they’ll be captured and forced to fight.
Archer, of course, believes the Suilban not affiliated with the Cabal should be set free, and there is of course a conflict there.
That’s not the issue with the episode. Archer meets a Soluiban named Danik, who has a daughter with him in this camp. He also has a wife who we never meet, and who is held at another camp, as well as a friend named Sajen, who we do meet. Sajen is suspicious of anyone who isn’t a Suliban.
When Archer and Travis Mayweather meet the two, there is mutual distrust. The four are confronted with their own prejudices toward one another and the three of them eventually come to see one another for more than what they are.
At the end of the episode, Danik is trapped by enemy fire, and Mayweather goes to rescue him, but Sajen, showing a desire to make right for his own transgressions, takes Mayweather’s place and goes to save Danik.
And then, the credits roll. Kinda. The last thing we see after Danik goes off to save Sajen is Archer, Mayweather, and a Soluiban looking-Malcolm Reed talking to T’Pol, right before the episode ends.
We never find out what happens to Danik, Sajen, Danik’s daughter, or his wife. That entire plot was just abruptly dropped. Considering the episode was built around Danik and Archer dealing with their own issues toward one another, and not getting to see if Danik and company survive is utterly disappointing.
That isn’t the only issue the episode has, but as it’s only 42 minutes long, you only have so much time to tell the story. Still, seeing no resolution to Danik and Sajen’s fate is a huge miss. While the official Star Trek wiki, Memory Alpha, claims that the two survived, we don’t know for sure.
It’s one of the weaker endings to any good episode of Star Trek I’ve ever seen.