So who is Captain Jonathan Archer anyway? Who is Commander Charles "Trip" Tucker? What's their connection?
Read their official bios here: Jonathan Archer Charles "Trip" Tucker III
Coming soon! It will include commentary on the relationship, from several points of view, and a captioned photo series like that of my esteemed colleagues at Trip/T'Polers. Comments from Lo Pan, Redcat, MoulinRouge and others will be posted.
| Here is MoulinRouge's take on it:
Charles Tucker III and Jonathan Archer are said to be best friends by many fans. However, other fans perceive tender, luxurious, sensual homoerotic undertones in their relationship. I disagree with both perceptions. I don't see two men who sleep together; I don't see two men suffering from unrequited romantic love who ache to sleep together. I don't see best friends in the strictest sense of the word, either. Best friends exist on an equal plane in terms of their relationship; Trip and Jon are not contemporaries. Command structure and an age difference of about fifteen years separate these men. The younger man exhibits signs of hero worship. Tucker and Archer obviously share a great deal of their lives with one another, as evidenced by their choice to frequently dine together. These two men enjoy one another's company immensely; they have for many years if Jonathan's time travel scene with Daniels from "Shockwave Part I" is to be believed. However, there are times when Jon excludes Trip--such as his and T'Pol's little excursion during "The Seventh." Trip needed to know where his captain was in case of emergency but Jon kept Trip out of the loop as an older brother or *protector* might do in the younger brother's misguided best interest, but a best friend would *not* do in similar circumstances. There exists a seperateness between Charles Tucker III and Jonathan Archer. They aren't contemporaries; Jon commands Trip in day to day situations and Trip certainly emulates Jon the way a "kid brother" might. He rails against T'Pol in "Broken Bow," asking (screaming at) her, "Does that mean that the man who's in charge of this mission doesn't deserve our respect?" Trip doesn't ask, "Why don't you like him?" He doesn't ask, "Why aren't you following Jon's orders." He is upset because this strange being, this Vulcan woman doesn't respect the man he admires because he *looks up* to Jon. *Jon*--a first name, a sign of familiarity. As casual as the command structure is on Jonathan Archer's ship, he is never referred to as "Jon" by the man with whom he's grown close emotionally. "Cap'n"--a term of respect and endearment at the same time, a nickname yet still a title. Lovers would use first names during private time, at least in my opinion. Also, there's an intangible quality that arises in Jon's behavior when Trip suffers. It's a gentle and protective quality. Credit Bakula's subtle body language and nuance in his tone of voice that allows the audience to pick up on Archer's very real affection for Commander Tucker. In no episode is this protectiveness more evident than in "Desert Crossing." When Jon orders, "Take the water or I'll knock you on your ass and pour it down your throat" his seemingly harsh words are full of love, fear, and the protectiveness of a brother. It isn't noble bravado on Jonathan's part. It isn't machismo. It's love. Platonic love. The way he gently lowers Trips body against the beam to the ground once they've reached shelter speaks volumes. The manner in which he calms Trip when they're both caught in the tendrils of the unnamed creature in "Vox Sola" speaks volumes. Trip looks *up* to this man; that respect and trust is what gives Jon the power to calm his friend. Jonathan and Trip are emotional brothers who will remain connected no matter what other friends--dear friends--enter their lives. Trip may go on to develop the most enduring of bonds with Malcolm Reed (an appealing thought) and become the best friend the stoic, closed off Brit will ever know. He may be able to share confidences with Malcolm that he might not feel comfortable sharing with his captain, but it won't diminish Trip's bond with Jonathan Archer. Their loving separateness will allow room for Malcolm, and perhaps for T'Pol as well.
| Here is redcat's take on it.
I've been watching my Season II stuff and I think their dynamic is changing. Archer is unfortunately right back where he was last year/this one, and after I had such high hopes for him post Shockwave II, too; i.e. a pompous, selfcentered boob of tremendous insecurity and immaturity who got the gig because his daddy and Tucker developed the Warp 5 Engine. Tucker, however, is actually maturing, both in the absolute and in his relationship to Henry's Baby Boy. I'm beginning to see where he could relate to the man affectionally without it being a psychosexual yuckfest. His natural counselor's mien is asserting itself differently,, as we saw in Dead Stop. Archer always looked to Tucker for leadership advice, but it's lately become for the wisdom of one who's now been out there a bit and is seeing things through that filter rather than the unvarnished gee-whiz explorer kid ideas of the past. This should be VERY interesting to track as the season progresses.