Trip & T'Pol: The Good That They Do

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Enterprise' started by Captain X, Mar 24, 2007.

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  1. boushh

    boushh Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I don't find it that much of a leap to think that she might enjoy the whole shower thing. She's already curious about emotions and about humans. She's been living there for three years, and the shower appeared in a dream. It isn't like she was sitting there thinking logically about what would be an appropriate sensual experience for a Vulcan. It was something that got worked into her subconscious, regardless of what it could mean through dream analysis. We all could dream about something that we have no experience with, nor would normally want to experience... It's a dream.

    I actually find that a lot of what HR found is what I originally interpreted from that dream.

    And yes it has been brought up before that maybe she's drawing on experience too.

    Now if I retcon things a bit one could also argue that her connection to Trip may have been coming into play. It isn't known how long they were having "day dreams" and an argument could be made that they just didn't realize what those dreams were. Maybe some of what she was bringing into that dream wasn't from her mind...

    The other thing is that B&B were going for a bit of shock value with that scene. It's supposed to sort of come out of no where within the context of the episode. Yes, it does illustrate something, but I think it was also something that was supposed to make one sit up and take notice as it being a little "off" regardless of the pairing.

    Would something else have accomplished the same thing... possibly, but I was OK with what was there, warts and all. ;)
     
  2. JiNX-01

    JiNX-01 Admiral Admiral

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    For me it boils down to this: I don't like to see T'Pol lose her Vulcan identity just because she's been hanging out with humans for three years.
    Yeah, maybe she would learn to really enjoy showers as a sensual experience, but this all goes back to the same fundamental gripe I've had about her relationship with Trip: I wanted to see them integrate their natures into a relationship we could enjoy and respect. There would have been plenty of room for conflict as Trip struggles to understand and accept the nature of the Vulcan heart and mind (he would probably never hear "those three little words") and T'Pol tries to deal with the needs of a man whose heart is permanently attached to his sleeve.

    Instead we're subjected to watching T'Pol endangering her life and sanity and by extension, endangering not only the crew, but all of humanity. I hate that the writers decided she should behave so irresponsibly.

    I love the TnT relationship -- the chemistry between Connor and Jolene worked beautifully for me -- but the angst and bull**** was incredibly aggravating.
     
  3. pookha

    pookha Admiral Admiral

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    oh i agree with a lot of the above. i wish we didnt have all the angst after the vulcan arc of their seperating again.

    yeah i know they wanted them apart for the whole crazy space walk thing,bond ect but i would have been happier to see them really work through the process of dealing with grief together without the neuropressure as tpol talks to trip about how vulcans view it.
    we know they acknowledge , more openly then any other emotion oddly enough it seems.
    the whole concept of "i grieve with thee" not only acknoldges the grief of the other but expresses emapthy you might not expect from a race like vulcans.

    one suspects they would have rituals that allow them to acnowledge grief without it over coming them and taking them on a destructive path.

    this is what i wish we had seen after kirshara.

    just like i have a preference in bound that instead of a human kiss tpol had shown trip the vulcan kiss.

    but, i guess i am not hung up about the concept that vulcans might grow to like water and dont see it as a threat of losing their nature because i still have images of spock in voyage home.
    not just swimming to meld with the whales but the end of the movie when they are in the water.

    the desert can still be an intergral part of your nature wherever you go but you can appreciate the joy of water too.

    ps sorta..
    actually i kinda wondered if vulcan had always been mostly desert.
    if the planet had gone through a serious nuclear bombardment when the romulans left could it have done something to the planet.
    that i am not sure about.
     
  4. JiNX-01

    JiNX-01 Admiral Admiral

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    I don't care if she learns to love showers or develops an allergy to soap. I object to the idea that T'Pol is doing her damndest to become human (gee, that theme AGAIN? :rolleyes:). I want her to remain Vulcan. I don't want to see three years of constant exposure to human beings undoing 60+ years of being a Vulcan. They are different from us. Not just sociologically, but physically. Their minds are different, their nervous systems are different, their social structure is different.

    T'Pol is played by a human being in pointed ears. But that doesn't mean she has to be one.
     
  5. boushh

    boushh Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I guess just don't see T'Pol's subconscious mind coming up with that dream as something that makes her lose her Vulcan identity. I also have never really seen her as having lost that identity. I saw her struggle with it, and threats made to it, but not lose it. She was never human to me. A human wouldn't have some of the problems that she has had.

    While I also would have loved to see things like the Vulcan kiss introduced, and more sharing of Vulcan traditions, I do have to acknowledge that half of this pairing is human. So they will not relate to each other in a purely Vulcan way, and I don't feel that they should. I think it should have been a compromise. It would have been nice to get past the angst (though I don't mind angst at all) and seen some more traditional Vulcan things introduced into the relationship, but as it was there were things that were introduced. The NP was Vulcan, even if one didn't like it. The IDIC is Vulcan. The whole wedding fiasco is Vulcan. The bond is Vulcan. The hand greeting is Vulcan. Trip tries to pronounce Vulcan words while doing the NP and visiting Vulcan. So there was stuff there, just maybe not enough, but a lot goes into making a TV show and T/T were not the main focus, so not including something was to be expected. If the show had gone on maybe we would have seen a Vulcan kiss or a more sure of herself and her Vulcan identity T'Pol, but I guess that's that.
     
  6. JiNX-01

    JiNX-01 Admiral Admiral

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    I hope nobody considers the direction of this discussion OT. I don't mean to take it there.

    I don't mean to suggest she doesn't exhibit Vulcan social norms.
    But I don't see most of the instances above as integrating their different selves into an intimate relationship.

    IDIC is Vulcan, but I don't recall her teaching Trip in a bid to foster his understanding of Vulcan. Same with the neuropressure.
    The Vulcan salute? I never saw Trip use it anywhere but at her mother's home and from the very first time I saw the episode, I figured T'Pol taught it to him on the way to Vulcan because her mother would expect a proper greeting. Oddly, we never see T'Pol use it when she greets V'Lar in Fallen Hero and I don't recall her using it any other encounter with Vulcans).
    So Home was probably Trip's first exposure to it. So again, it has nothing to do with his relationship with T'Pol.

    I agree. The trouble is, she's relating to Trip in a purely human way. She's not showing him how to please [/b]her[/b]. When she tells him how old she is, and explains that such revelations are intimate, he appreciates it for what is.

    Imagine that Harbinger scene again, but instead of kissing him, she stops the neuropressure, hesitates for just a beat and then reaches down, gently takes his wrist in her hand (not like in the nightmare) shows him how to hold his fingers and begins to stroke the fingers, the palm, all the while looking into his face. Meanwhile, he's watching what she's doing, fascinated. She stops. He "gets it" and does the same to her and realizes this is how Vulcans express intimacy. He kisses her.
    When they separate, she begins to remove her robe, her shoulders bare as the scene fades to black (sorry, guys! :p)). The adult viewers would know what happens next and maybe, just maybe, the writers would have retained a molecule or two of sense and ended the "will they or won't they" right then and there because they did and they do.
     
  7. boushh

    boushh Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^^ The problem is that the nature of their relationship didn't allow for these types of things at that point in time. Perhaps if Amanda Cole didn't enter the picture there could have been a more gradual progression that would include scenes of Vulcan related intimacy. T'Pol wanted to get her point across really quickly in the "Harbinger" scene and in a way that Trip would understand, being that he can be a bit dense around women as it is. Now we weren't privvy to the more intimate details of that encounter so for all we know T'Pol did introduce Vulcan practices into it.

    Now I would have loved to see an exchange like the one you wrote up there, but after "Harbinger" I just don't think there was that much opportunity for it. The only break in time I could see it happening would be after "Zero Hour". They needed to be in a certain frame of mind for this type of exchange to happen. The whole wedding thing and the Kirshara thing threw a wrench or two or three into things. The were stuck in miscommunication land.

    If we had progressed into season 5 maybe there would have been more chances for the type of exchange that I think many of us would have liked to see.

    I guess I don't get stuck on my expectations or wishes of what it would have or could have been. I'm a fan of the pairing as they were for the most part. I have my pet peeves. I just tend not to focus on them as much. And even though I'm a fan of how they were, I don't mean to imply that I wouldn't want them to grow from that. I just acknowledge that there was room for them to grow, and perhaps they would have moved in that direction in season 5, both as individuals and as a couple.
     
  8. HopefulRomantic

    HopefulRomantic Phloxist Moderator Moderator

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    Looking over the previous posts, I don't see anyone suggesting that T'Pol become human, or wants to, or should, or that the Damage dream is suggesting that...

    And JiNX, the relationship that you mentioned wanting to see between Trip and T'Pol... I agree with boushh that it was probably planned for Season 5, which we didn't get. The show got killed. There are plenty of things to be dissatisfied about, enough to develop an ulcer over if you dwell on them... I try to focus on the good things we did get, and extrapolate from there on what might have been, through fanfiction and such.

    About the Vulcan greeting... since we didn't see why Trip learned it, the reason can be whatever is credible for you. I imagined that Trip had seen Vulcans greet each other with the ta'al in the past, and he asked T'Pol to teach him how to do it, because he wanted to show respect to her mother. :) So for me, it meant quite a lot to T'Pol and their relationship.

    T'Pol taught Trip neuropressure in an act of compassion to help ease insomnia brought on by traumatic nightmares. Okay, the primary reason wasn't to pass on Vulcan culture, but I was fine with her reason... and again, there were plenty of sessions where we weren't present, and they were probably talking. Maybe T'Pol was telling Trip about the cultural background and history of the practice.

    Sure, it would have been cool if there had been a line here or there demonstrating that Trip had been soaking up a little Vulcan culture during those NP sessions... but with the pressure TPTB were under trying to keep the show alive, I don't think that was their top priority, y'know? And just because we didn't see Trip practicing Vulcan meditation, that doesn't mean he never learned. We saw them for 24 hours out of a year; they weren't in stasis the rest of the time. They had to be doing something.

    In hindsight, I'm amazed we got as much T/T as we did, and I'll happily fill in the blanks, and speculate about how their relationship would have progressed.
     
  9. Snapper

    Snapper Captain Captain

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    Whew! This is a fascinating discussion, and makes me feel the loss of season 5 even more. :(
    Yes, I’m sure there would have been more of TnT with T’Pol showing Trip “how to please her”, not necessarily acting like a Vulcan male, because he couldn’t do that, but enough to satisfy her need for intimacy, just as she would satisfy his.
    It would have been interesting to see if the writers could have handled it subtly, instead of, as happened in S3, rushing it to get it in before the end! :rolleyes:
     
  10. Reanok

    Reanok Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yes this is a fascinating discussion. I enjoyed HR posting about the Damage Dream it makes sense to me. :) Boushh, HR and Snapper you made excellent pointa s well.I think if we had a season 5 it was meant to show the relationship between Trip & T'Pol would change and we'd get to see events continued from season 4. It's one of the reasons I'm so interested in the Enterprise relaunch books.And fanfiction as well. I think T'Pol had to find her own way to show her feelings for Trip in her own Vulcan way she did show cared about in him the Forgotten it was pretty obvious how she supported Trip and was there when he needed her when he finally broke down and grieved for Elizabeth at last.Her control was almost overwhelmed by her emotions when Trip broke down.Her comments about being overwhelmed when a friend or a collgue dies saying the emotions overwhelms us, I think she was talking about herself as well. her comment "You're the ones to be envied ." Speaks volumes of how much she's changed over 3 years. And being with Trip she's come to realize that she feels deeply about him. As a Vulcan she's dealing with those emotions and regaining her control she's still Vulcan and that's what I find so fascinating about her character she's so different from Spock he wanted supress his Human emotions she wanted to experience her Vulcan emotions :vulcan:.
     
  11. tothebridge

    tothebridge Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Seems I missed a lot of interesting dicussion. :)

    A few thoughts to add to the mix....


    My impression of T’Pol was that she hadn’t necessarily spent 60+ years being a “typical” Vulcan – perhaps outwardly she had tried to conform to Vulcan norms and expectations, but it seemed she had struggled with her Vulcan identity long before she came to ENT.

    The issue of her emotions being close to the surface as well as her curiosity and interest in emotions was introduced in S1 and later more details were filled in, which suggested that T’Pol was “different” from the typical Vulcan, and her struggle with that difference and the prospect of finding balance seemed to be essential elements of her arc.

    With that in mind, when T’Pol (who has a predilection for emotion) came to ENT and found herself surrounded by the more emotional humans, it makes sense to me that at some point, she might start to explore that element of her makeup. Especially in S3, after essentially cutting ties with Vulcan and allying with the humans, I can understand that perhaps she felt the need to relate to humans on their terms (and one human in particular with whom she was spending a great deal of personal and intimate time). And in doing so, she started to gravitate even more towards human behaviors, using the trellium in a way that would help her relate.

    That’s why I don’t have a problem with her dream having more of a “human” context. In S3, T’Pol was probably as far from her Vulcan roots as she had ever been, and she had been trying to explore her emotions, so I can see how her subconscious might conjure up a human context for sensuality since that was how she seemed to be trying to relate to Trip.


    Yeah, I think many of us wanted to see this as well. But like boushh indicated, T/T hadn’t reached that point in the middle of S3. First T’Pol had to struggle with the issue of whether she could even acknowledge her feelings for Trip and how those feelings might affect her Vulcan identity (and control), especially after the trellium. And when they finally seemed to be making some progress in late S3/early S4, the marriage and Kir’Shara stuff happened, and it wasn’t until late S4 that they started to get on track again (Bound). So, like others, I think S5 would’ve been the time when the writers could’ve explored the issue of whether T/T could really start to integrate their natures and cultural differences to have a meaningful relationship.

    If ENT had lasted seven seasons, there would’ve been plenty of time to explore all those issues, and chances are, we might look back on seasons 3 & 4 (despite the missteps) as being pivotal to the T/T storyline. Since we didn’t get to see the storyline really evolve beyond S4, it feels incomplete. But like boushh and HR indicated, I’m glad the relationship received as much focus as it did and that elements were introduced even in S4 which the book relaunch and fanfiction can address.



    Re: the dream itself…HR, thanks for that research. I’ll be sure to save that one. And

    The more human context of the dream didn’t bother me either, for reasons already mentioned, but I did wonder why T’Pol would dream about Trip in that particular setting, especially if she had never showered with him. But considering that it was a dream/nightmare of sorts, T’Pol’s mind could’ve just conjured certain elements that were prominent in her subconscious at that point -- shower/cleansing, her feelings for Trip, her fear of losing control, etc. – and put them together somehow. In that sense, I do like the idea that the shower/water may have represented her desire for renewal and that her subconscious brought that together with her feelings for Trip in some manner.

    I tend to see three central themes/meanings in that dream. The first is simply that what started out as a pleasant experience or dream for T’Pol (exploring her emotions) has turned into a nightmare. Secondly, her ability to control the emotions she originally desired has deteriorated to the point that she could lose herself completely and hurt others. And third, Trip is both the source and catalyst for strong emotions (which she can no longer control), so the dream reinforces what old T’Pol indicated in E2 -- that she tried to push Trip away because of the powerful and frightening emotions he stirs within her.
     
  12. pookha

    pookha Admiral Admiral

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    i wonder when harbinger was written.
    but even though season four seemed like it would happen due to the need of the episodes for syndication there was a chance that season three might be the last.

    i have heard they were even looking at ways to deal with the end of zero hour if need be.
    ie nothing was ever actually filmed but they were playing around with was there something that could be done if they were not coming back.

    so i think some things did get rushed in due to this.
     
  13. tothebridge

    tothebridge Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Yes, I've wondered about that as well and also about when the writers came up with the trellium addiction storyline. "Harbinger" was filmed around Thanksgiving and "Azati Prime/Damage" weren't filmed until the 2nd & 3rd week of the following January.

    From interviews, spoilers, etc., leading up to the episode, it seems like the T/T elements of "Harbinger" were being touted as new "romantic" developments, not as some type of crisis moment for T'Pol. And that's the vein in which it seems to have been written, even down to the somewhat ambiguous and coy ending, which gave the writers some wiggle room in regard to how the relationship might be handled in the future.

    Meanwhile, it doesn't seem that B&B started hinting at the trellium addiction until after the first of the year. So I've wondered if "Harbinger" was written and filmed before the trellium idea was fully developed, which would explain why the tone seems somewhat incongruent.


    OK, I didn't get a chance to post caps from "The Forgotten," and it's already SciFi Monday again!


    A couple of my favorites of T'Pol showing compassion during Trip's breakdown -- recognizing that to humans touch can provide both comfort and support
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    I also like the mess hall scene because to me it represents another moment of honest communication between T/T -- they are both too tired and worn down for pretense.


    After a brief exchange about her meal, T'Pol notices that Trip is looking at something on a PADD and asks if it is damage reports
    [​IMG]


    Trip indicates that it's a letter to Crewman Taylor's parents
    [​IMG]


    T'Pol says that she's sure her parents will appreciate it.
    [​IMG]


    Trip says that their daughter is dead and asks if T'Pol thinks they really care what he has to say. (Nice delivery...he seems incredibly worn down at this point.)
    [​IMG]


    T'Pol picks up on this and asks when Trip last slept.
    [​IMG]


    "I don't know....Not since the attack."
    [​IMG]


    T'Pol reminds him that the attack was two days ago.
    [​IMG]


    Trip says, "Alright, two days."
    [​IMG]


    T'Pol then tells him to go to his quarters and get some sleep.
    [​IMG]


    Trip says he'd love to, but
    [​IMG]


    T'Pol says she could order him.
    [​IMG]



    But Trip says he doesn't have time. The ship is full of holes, they're flying with a stolen warp coil, and he has to write a letter. And the conversation is interrupted by an explosion.
    [​IMG]


    Nice scene, realistically played.

    Curious...I think this is one of the few times when T'Pol suggests that she can order Trip to do something (in her capacity as XO). But she doesn't really follow through on the order -- instead she tattles on him to Phlox.
     
  14. pookha

    pookha Admiral Admiral

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    zero hour being on tonight made me think of how geek like is the oil painting line.
    for one thing to appreciate the line it helps to have actually seen one of the old masters up close and personal.
    then you notice despite the varnish being cracked that the luminous beauty of the painting still shines forth.

    there was a painting i saw a while back but my fool old brain cant think of the name and our art museum dosnt keep its old catalogs on line.

    what the line to me means is it is trips way of saying that even the cracks caused by the influence of the spheres cant tarnish the beauty that is tpol.
     
  15. Reanok

    Reanok Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Tothebridge nice insight into that messhall scene from The Forgotten I love those pictures thanks for posting them. Last night in Zero Hour Trip was really getting frustrated with T'Pol and when he walked out of the science lab T'Pol knew she'd pushed him too far. I was glad she opened up to him saying she was having difficulty controling her emotions and it would be difficult to regain her control on her own. that she asked for his help. I also liked that she finally told Trip that on her next Birthday she would be 66 years old. I like the comments about the T'Pol looking like an old oil painting. And her comment that certain information that Vulcans considered intimate. That she finally decided to open up to Trip and tell him things that she wanted this relationship to work. I can think of art that looks beautiful despites it's age Renoir, Degas, Manet, Raphael,DaVinci, to name a few.
     
  16. HopefulRomantic

    HopefulRomantic Phloxist Moderator Moderator

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    Pretty much my favorite Trip/T'Pol scene of the series, and this is my favorite shot of the scene. :) I like how the storyline is brought full circle with this scene... in The Xindi, T'Pol sets aside her discomfort about doing neuropressure with Trip because of her compassion for the loss he has suffered, and here, her compassion helps him as he finally releases all the grief he has kept bottled up inside him for months.

    Great picture from a great scene.

    And whether because T'Pol is not familiar with Earth's master painters, or because she gets few comments about her looks (especially under circumstances such as these), the depth and subtlety of the compliment sails right past her, and all that computes is "old"... :lol: It's such a charming commentary about her utter lack of awareness of her own beauty. I enjoyed the dialogue in this scene, and the way Connor and especially Jolene played it.
     
  17. Reanok

    Reanok Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I really liked how that scene was played out T'Pol is unaware that Trip was telling she was beautiful as a person inside and out that he's learned to see her depths of compassion as a person he's falling in love with.T'Pol is not a vain person. I loved how Connor and Jolene's expressions and how well acted in that scene the trust between the characters and the fact both needed each other to lean on.
     
  18. JiNX-01

    JiNX-01 Admiral Admiral

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    Thought I'd share this here, on the chance that people here hadn't heard of it before. I acquired a final draft of the "Similitude" script and came across this interesting passage:
    Hmmmmm.....
     
  19. tennisgirl

    tennisgirl Captain Captain

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    Wow, JiNX, thanks! That is awesome!!!! :thumbsup:
     
  20. Reanok

    Reanok Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I like that description from the Similtude script. Of T'Pol giving Sim a tender Kiss. Thank you for posting it Jinx. :)
     
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