Well, it's a good thing I already knew that Trip dies in the last episode, or that spoiler thread would have really pissed me off.
Breaking the Ice
I... actually liked this episode. It was mostly uneventful, and still suffered from some lazy writing (WHY IS THERE SO MUCH GRAVITY ON A COMET THAT'S ONLY 80 KILOMETERS IN DIAMETER???) but there were some good character interactions. I liked the scenes between Trip and T'Pol, and the news of her arranged marriage was an interesting development. At first, I thought it was weird that such a logical species would have this tradition, but then I decided it makes perfect sense. If romance is not a priority for you, why waste time trying to find your perfect mate? Just have it all arranged when you're kids, and then hope you'll get along as adults. Vulcans. Leave it to them to eliminate the tedious process of dating.
The scene where the bridge crew recorded a message for those school children on Earth was entertaining, especially Phlox's rambling tangent about germs. I was most impressed by Malcolm's snow-sculpting skills. And I was cracking up during the dinner scene with Archer, Trip, T'Pol, and the Most Unpleasant Vulcan Ever™. Whoever played Vanik deserves a hearty slap on the back. Seldom have I seen such condescension and disdain concealed so brilliantly behind a mask of indifference. What a putz.
It was only after the episode was over that I realized, hey: if the Vulcans have been observing Enterprise all this time, where exactly were they when the Andorians attacked the monastery? Bah. More lazy writing.
All in all, though, I liked it. In fact, this is the first episode I genuinely enjoyed. This is also the first episode not
written by Berman and Braga. Coincidence? You decide.
...Now I really want pecan pie.