In "Civilization"'s final scene, Captain Archer says

to Riaan that it would be best if she kept everything that happened to herself.

How can that be true, if just prior to that scene we can clearly see another scene in which

Archer's team fights aliens with blasters and there are dozens if not hundreds of witnesses.

Seems to me like a clear hole in the episode's plot. What am I missing?

  • Witness testimony is notoriously vague. So much so that there were at least five separate episodes where that was a main plot point
    – Valorum
    Sep 2, 2019 at 15:35
  • Perhaps he meant she should keep the interpretation of the events to herself. So the meaning would remain a mystery to the others.
    – nebogipfel
    Sep 2, 2019 at 18:44
  • @nebogipfel - that would fit with Archers log: "We've removed the mining equipment from under the shop. As far as we can tell, none of the Akaali knows what really happened… with one exception."
    – user118610
    Sep 2, 2019 at 23:50
  • @JosephSnarley Captain's log (at least in your cite) says only about mining equipment. It says nothing about exchange of fire that took place in the street and accounted at least dozens of witnesses.
    – trejder
    Sep 3, 2019 at 16:40

1 Answer 1


This is addressed in the final scene. It would seem that the crew of the Enterprise has been down to the surface of the planet to do a cleanup, including speaking to the locals to see what they think took place.

Although quite a few people, 14 by my count, saw some part of the gunplay, evidently their recollections are jumbled and don't belie any understanding of what they actually saw (e.g a light-pistol fight between aliens).

Archer: Captain's Starlog, July 21st 2151. We've removed the mining equipment from under the shop. As far as we can tell none of the Akaali knows what really happened... with one exception.

Riann tells Archer that it's vanishingly unlikely that anyone would believe her if she told them the truth (given their level of technology, it's likely that they think they were looking at fireworks or some kind of flammable liquid) and the episode draws to a close.

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