From interviews, alledgedly this was an episode that had been on the drawing board prior to them getting notice of cancellation. Rick and Brannon initially thought of presenting the episode as a "look in to the future" episode to show the formation of the Federation and killing Trip. Had ENT continued on for a full 7 seasons Trip would've still been on the show because his death technically wouldn't have happened yet.
It's a rubbish idea for faux drama and it backfired heavily at B&B. If Demons and Terra Prime were the last episodes of ENT truly. Fans and the actors could've left the series on somewhat of a high and with a good taste in their mouths. But no. This "Valentine to the fans" was shoved in as a "homage" to all Star Trek as "a holographic history lesson". Even Berman admits he would never have done the episode had he known the reaction to it.
The episode IMO is lazy, mean spirited and poor.
Third Nacelle wrote:
Dramatically speaking, a character dying is a good way of showing that a price has been paid for peace or whatever has has been gained.
A good example of this is Spock in The Wrath of Khan.
A good example of doing this horribly wrong in a way that seems like a senseless afterthought is Trip in These Are the Voyages.
Problem with "These are the Voyages" is that what was happening was weak compared to what the ENT crew had faced during their run. The Xindi conflict, the warp core sabotage by the Klingons, the Romulan drone ships to name a few where the stakes were higher than mere highjackers in space. Couldn't Trip just call for a security of Maco team? No, Braga had to get his rocks off killing a main character since he never got to kill 7 of 9 like he wanted to.