Archer thinks they've located a "dark matter nebula", and wants to try exciting it. I shall not ask. Admiral Forrester give them a ring to say someone called algae died in an accident.
Great, now Archer's going to be depressed the whole episode.
Trip helps Archer prepar to go out and excite the dark matter, and he and Archer console each other over this Algae fellow's death. T'Pol talks Archer into letting her help him excite the dark matter too. Great, she can do a strip tease. That should excite it. Pity they're not going to look for strange matter, and take along a giant brain with them. Think of the comedy potential!
Archer tells her about how back in the day they were competing to be the one to do the first warp flight. Or something. Hey, that's the same setablishing shot of Star Fleet as from an earlier ep.
I have a sneaking suspicion there is not going to be any exciting done in this episode.
Ah, Archer goes heavy drinking cause he's not going to be the first pilot - Algae is. Ah, that'd be... oh, Archer called him Agey. Agey? A.G.? Archer doesn't look drunk enough, so A.G. buys him another drink and rubs his nose in it a bit more.
T'Pol says it takes more than piloting skills to be a good captain. Reeeeeally, I would neevr have guessed.
A.G. goes up in the warp test ship and goes to warp. The warp field starts losing integrity, so they tell him to go sublight, but he keeps speeding up. The field collapses, and the ship explodes. Whups. Oh course, A.G. is still alive cause he has to die climbing a mountain.
T'Pol and Archer set off some charges, but don't manage to achieve anything.
They retrieve A.G. from an escape pod. OMG, it's Trip. The Vulcans tell the humans their warp program is going too fast, and Trip flips them the bird before disappearing again.
Trip and Archer go heavy drinking. Cyrus? That's the second time the name Cyrus has come up. WTF? Commodore Forrester interrupts their drinking binge to join them and trip buys him a beer. Forrester says the NX program's "on hold" indefinately. He thinks they should restart from scratch, which will set them back decades. Then A.G. turns up and says he's been debriefed. I hope he put some more on before he went to the bar. Trip and Archer subtly suggest A.G. might be to blame for the program being put on hiatus, and A.G. suggests it might be the warp engine's fault. This leads to the bar fight. Result: inconclusive, because Trip and the other people in the bar break it up. Cute red-head bartender tells them to STFU.
Back in the future, T'Pol complains the outcome of the fight was inconclusive. They have a surge, and er, excitement. or something. Back to the more interesting story! ... I said, back to... oh, there we go.
A.G. packs his bags because of the hiatus and suggests Archer does the same, but Archer says he's going to hang around. He has data to take to Starfleet command to make a case for restarting the program. A.G. points out they have another ship and they could do an illegal test flight to prove it works.
A.G.: When the first warp five starship is built, the Captain won't be able to call home every time he needs to make a decision.
Except that Archer calls home all the damn time. WTF? I think Archer just made that up.
T'Pol expresses similar disbelief at the idea Archer and A.G. stole a warp ship. They have another go at exciting the dark matter, without success.
Trip assists Archer and A.G. in stealing the ship. I see Starfleet security has a grand tradition of being really ineffective. Here we see three people can make off with an entire experimental spaceship before anyone notices. Forrester rings them up and tells them to bring it back, as the Vulcans turn up to stand around looking disapproving.
Once again, during the flight, the warp field starts destabilising. Security intercepts Trip, but Archer reports the ship is holding steady as warp 2.5.
Cut to Forrester tearing Archer and A.G. a new one. The pair argue they just proved that the ship can fly, and the program should go ahead, even if they're kicked off it.
Aaaand, back to the future, where Archer fills in what happened next in dialogue. They have another go at exciting dark matter, and succeed.
And back to when Archer was selected as Captain of the Enterprise, and shared a drink with A.G. Cute red-head bartender appears again.
Archer and T'Pol return to Enterprise, and she suggests they name the nebula after A.G. Teh end