Catwalk A&T

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.

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