Story: Affliction
Written By: Michael Sussman
Series: Star Trek: Enterprise
Year: 2005

Trip transfers to Columbia while the Enterprise returns to Earth. While on the planet with Hoshi, Phlox is kidnapped by Klingons. They take him in order to deal with this new problem they are facing...a disease that removes their cranial ridges! Oh boy...this story. I suppose it was bound to happen the moment a ridge-foreheaded Klingon first appeared in “Broken Bow.” It was long just ignored in the series, because it was just a make-up change. “Trials and Tribble-ations” made a funny joke about the change, leaving it at that...because any explanation would be completely silly and ridiculous. Turns out it is exactly that.
It seems that after the events of the Augment Trilogy (in which a Klingon crew was overthrown by genetically enhanced humans), the Klingons acquired some of the Eugenics Embryos leftover from the past. They attempted to use the embryos to create augmented Klingons, but there were side effects, the ridges disappeared...but the augments seemed to work, unfortunately the effects began to fade and the Klingons started to die. It would have ended there but it somehow became airborn...and now the whole Empire is in jeopardy. Wow.

Meanwhile, Reed is faced with a demon from his past (apparently he was a member of Section 31) that causes him to run into conflict with Archer, and send him to the brig for possible treason, a he is unable to share his past and current connections with the secret organizations. Tucker also deals with his transfer to the Columbia.

Some augmented Klingons break onto Enterprise for some reason and sabotage the engines in a way that the only way to keep things from blowing up is to go faster...but the episode cliffhangs on the ship maintaining a speed it can’t maintain for long. It is a forced and rather lame cliffhanger for a rather silly episode overall.

NEXT TIME: Finding Phlox