I have to say, I liked this episode. It put the focus on Mayweather, which was previously sorely lacking. Having spent the most time in space, you would think his experience would be put to better use, but I guess not. Anthony Montgomery is not the best Trek actor I've ever seen, but he's not the worst, either. "Underwhelming" is how I would describe him.
I didn't quite understand Archer's reasoning for getting involved in the conflict between the freighter and the Nausicaans; the Enterprise really had no authority in the matter, and the freighter crew weren't members of Starfleet. I agree that taking one of the Nausicaans prisoner wasn't the smartest thing to do, but they didn't have a whole lot of other options. And I highly doubt that giving the prisoner back really did anything to ensure that they wouldn't be attacked again; in fact, it probably guaranteed
ongoing attacks in the future.
I did like the whole freighter culture, though. It kind of reminded me of the "pioneer" culture of the outlying worlds on Firefly
. They handle their own affairs, and they don't answer to anyone. At least, not in these early days before the Federation.
I also liked the design of the freighter ship. Very cool. Oh, and I noticed that Keene, the Fortunate
's captain, had the same name as the captain of the Justinian
, which was the first ship that Horatio Hornblower served on. I wonder if that was intentional. ...Probably not.