Episode Title: "OBSERVER EFFECT"
Production Number: 087
Original Air Date: 01-21-05
When Commander Tucker and Ensign Sato return from examining Klingon debris they found on a planet, they are infected by a silicon-based contagion that cannot be identified by standard scans.
Lt. Reed and Ensign Mayweather, along with other crew members, are possessed by two non-corporeal Organians, who are secretly observing how the Enterprise crew reacts to the contagion. They have previously watched the same experiment play out with other races, including Klingons and Cardassians, all of whom eventually kill the infected crew members.
The Organians have used the same protocols to measure intelligence for 10,000 years, in order to determine whether other species are ready for first contact. When Captain Archer risks his own life to save his officers, the Organians are impressed by his act of compassion, which they have not seen before, and decide to cure the virus in everyone infected.
The Enterprise leaves a warning beacon in orbit of the planet, warning future visitors of the deadly virus.
Factoid: Ensign Sato has a black belt in Aikido.
Alien Races: Organians
KEY: [brackets]=illusions *star=first appearance