Star Trek: Enterprise: Season 2, Episode 22

Cogenitor (30 Apr. 2003)
"Enterprise" Cogenitor (original title)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 360 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 2 critic

Enterprise encounters a hyper-giant, the first to be studied by humans. While there, they make first contact with the Vissians, a technologically sophisticated race with three genders. ... See full summary »



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Episode credited cast:
Vissian Chief Engineer
Vissian Cogenitor
Veylo, Vissian Tactical Officer (as Laura Interval)
Calla, Vissian Engineer's Wife
Stacie Lynn Renna ...
Traistana (as Stacie Renna)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Breezy the Beagle ...


Enterprise encounters a hyper-giant, the first to be studied by humans. While there, they make first contact with the Vissians, a technologically sophisticated race with three genders. While making quick friends and eagerly learning about the advanced technology, Trip gets curious about the Vissians third gender, known as the Cogenitor, who is crucial in the Vissian reproductive process. While intellectually equal to males and females, the Cogentior are not granted the same liberties, such as freedom of travel, education, or even names. Against the wishes of the Vissians, Trip befriends the Cogenitor and encourages it to defy it's cultural boundaries, teaches it to read and shares Earth's movies with it. The Vissians are made aware of Trip's efforts and are insulted. Written by Meribor

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis



Release Date:

30 April 2003 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


Final Star Trek appearance of Andreas Katsulas, who plays the Vissian Captain Drenik in this episode, and best known for playing the Romulan Commander Tomalak on Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987). See more »


As T'Pol is reprimanding Trip, in a close-up you can clearly see that half of her eyebrow is brown paint rather than hair. Also the color doesn't quite match. See more »


[Tucker has interfered with Vissian customs by exposing the cogenitor to Human culture... ]
Captain Jonathan Archer: I might have expected something like this from a first-year recruit. But not you. You did exactly what I'd do? If that's true, then I've done a pretty lousy job setting an example around here. You're a senior officer on this ship. You're privy to the moral challenges I've had to face. You know I've wrestled with the fine line between doing what I think is right and interfering with other species. So don't...
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References Casablanca (1942) See more »


Where My Heart Will Take Me
Written by Diane Warren
Performed by Russell Watson
Episode: {all episodes}
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User Reviews

Intensely Dramatic - Possibly the best of Season 2
29 April 2007 | by (Vulcan) – See all my reviews

LeVar Burton's directing and J. P Farrell's writing help to give this excellent example of Enterprise an edge which was lacking in most of the series' episodes. The Enterprise is involved in a first contact with some kindred spirits - explorers whose technology is about a thousand years ahead of Star Fleet's. Everything is going along fine as earth culture and Vissian culture begin to interact. The Vissian's share technology and more with the Enterprise crew.

This episode's theme is, once again, the prime directive. Since Star Fleet's prime directive did not exist in Archer and company's time, we are seeing one of what must have been dozens of first contact incidents which went wrong. I was only a little annoyed by the Vissians' willingness to share their advanced warp drive technology but rather strident insistence that earthlings not be permitted to interfere with their culture.

Eventually, it is revealed that the Vissians have three sexes - male female and cogenitor. All three are required for sexual reproduction, and the cogenitor sex is very rare and - therefore somewhat oppressed, valuable and treated as a commodity. Unfortunately, the writers use the word "gender" to describe this, as opposed to sex. Since gender is a social construct and social/sexual identity, connected to, but not defined by sexual reproductive organs, this is a systematic error.

Trip befriends the cogenitor and decides to clandestinely educate it in order to help it liberate itself from its bondage. This backfires when the cogenitor asks for asylum on the Enterprise. To this point, only the directing and the originality of the alien species set this episode apart from the typical Enterprise episode, however, the drama steadily mounts toward the end as the series does something with this conclusion which it had never attempted before.

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