Jammer's Review

Star Trek: Enterprise

"A Night in Sickbay"

*

Air date: 10/16/2002
Written by Rick Berman & Brannon Braga
Directed by David Straiton

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

"You know, this isn't some guinea pig you're working on here. This is Porthos, my beagle, my pal. And from what you're telling me, the closest thing your people have to pets are furry little things that go well with onions."

"Perhaps you're right, captain. Perhaps I'm insensitive to the bond between you and your subservient quadruped. I'll leave the procedure up to you. But whatever your decision, make it quickly."

— Archer (absurd nonsense), Phlox (perfect response)

In brief: This one's really a dog. I said "dog." Get it? Porthos? Dog? Ha! I kill me. But I should've killed me before this episode aired. Okay, better stop now before the "in brief" becomes too long to be considered brief. "Long." I said "long." Hee hee. I bet Archer would really like to be "briefed" by T'Pol. While in his "briefs." And only his "briefs." And only staying "briefly" in his "briefs" before he's no longer in his "briefs." Heh heh heh heh heh...

Ah, here we are at last, the bona fide uber-loser, an episode bereft of ... well, anything and everything resembling content.

Okay, it's not bereft of dumbness. There's plenty of that, since this is easily the dumbest concept for an episode of Star Trek since Voyager's holodeck was hijacked by the residents of Fair Haven (see "Spirit Folk," or, on second thought, don't).

Evidently, the writers are not treating this as season two of a series, but rather season nine (or later) of an aging dinosaur. An episode all about the captain's goddamned dog you'd think would be reserved as desperate sitcom fodder for the latter seasons, not brought to light as episode #5 in season two. You'd be wrong, but you could think it. Whatever.

"A Night in Sickbay" succeeds not only in being unfunny, pathetic, and dull, but also manages to elevate character assassination and embarrassing nonsense to a kind of grand efficiency. It manages to make a mockery of Archer, T'Pol, Phlox, and an entire unknown alien culture in a shade under 45 minutes plus commercials. You could count Porthos in that list as well (who has his pituitary gland replaced with that of a lizard's), except for the fact that ... well, he's a freaking DOG, for crying out loud. In other words, NOT A CHARACTER. On a series where Ensign Mayweather's biggest contribution in remembered history is to be presumed dead in last week's "Dead Stop," who in the world gives a care about Archer's stupid beagle? Hint: Not me. (Note: You are forbidden to argue in favor of this episode on the grounds that you are a dog lover. Dog lovers may certainly argue, but they may not make the fact they are dog lovers the principal basis of their argument. So, nyaaah.)

Here is the plot (I mean "plot"): Archer & Co. return from a botched diplomatic away mission on an alien world. Archer finds out Porthos contracted a disease while on the planet. (Did I mention that Porthos was included on the away team? And that I find that to be hopelessly inane?) Archer gets real mad, because the aliens should've warned him that Porthos might get sick (the inconsiderate bastards). Archer then spends a night in sickbay holding vigil over poor little Porthos, who could possibly die if Phlox can't find a way to treat him. (Pardon me while I grab a Kleenex.)

But wait; there's more. While in sickbay, Phlox tries to get to the bottom of Archer's foul mood (apart from his sick dog) and commences psychological deconstruction. Phlox determines that the captain is suffering from sexual tension in regard to T'Pol and is lashing out at her as a result. (That's all we need — sexual-harassment issues aboard the starship Enterprise. Whee.)

Archer is appalled at this notion, but in perfectly scripted/telegraphed/lame self-fulfilling prophecy fashion, he then has Freudian slips involving the words "breast" and "lips" when talking with T'Pol, in front of Hoshi for added comically hilarious embarrassment, ha ha. Later he has a dream where the crew attends a dark and rainy funeral for Porthos, which is followed by some Archer/T'Pol action (yes, that kind of action) that should under no circumstances have been allowed past the first story break meeting, lest it actually find its way into a real-life script and, God forbid, actually end up filmed and edited and viewed and inevitably compared to bad fan fiction.

This tracks with little of what we've seen before concerning Archer and T'Pol's relationship, which has never hinted at anything beyond pure professionalism and a developing captain/first-officer trust. Look no further than, say, "Shadows of P'Jem," where they're tied up together and you see absolutely nothing in terms of a sexual component. Nope, the notion here is glib sexuality scripted out of nowhere, doubtlessly motivated to satisfy UPN demographics, and I don't buy it for a minute.

Oh well, at least it's only a dream.

But there's also two iterations here (one real, one dreamt) on the Decontamination Chamber Rub-Down Scene [TM], where T'Pol gives Archer a rub-down while Archer gives Porthos a rub-down. Eyebrows are raised. You know what they say: Sometimes a beagle is just a beagle. But other times... (Wink, wink, nudge, nudge, har-de-har-har!)

Should I even mention the scene where Archer and Phlox are running around sickbay with nets, trying to catch an escaped bat-like creature? It leads to Phlox falling down, ha ha, and getting some sort of strange goop spilled on him, hee hee. How about the scene where Phlox cuts his toenails, or where he (I think) shaves his 8-inch tongue? That Darn Denobulan and his crazy hijinks! (Cue canned laughter.)

It's a testament to John Billingsley's abilities that Phlox manages to remain a consistently watchable and affable persona, despite the script's best efforts to humiliate him (and everyone else). It's grace under pressure, dignity maintained in an atmosphere that warrants none. Consider the scene where Porthos' condition takes a turn for the worse and Phlox suggests a risky and desperate treatment. Archer, acting like an idiot, regards Phlox with an inexplicable confrontational attitude that flies in the face of reason (Phlox is obviously brilliant, so why not let him do his job to save your dog?). Phlox responds with a calm appeal to logic that is absolutely priceless, revealing Archer as the fool he is.

Any attempt to look seriously at events in this story (not recommended) only reveal how badly the writers mangle Archer's character into that of a selfish hothead. He says things that are completely based on irrational emotion rather than any reasoned thought or consideration. He's angry with the alien society because they weren't thorough enough in determining the risk to Porthos in their environment. Because they are arrogant and anal-retentive. Because they would have the audacity to take offense at Porthos urinating on one of their sacred trees. They, they, they. How about you, John? There's all this reckless anger and overstated ranting and raving and selfishness (all because Archer took his dog on an away mission!), and all I'm thinking is: This is the commander of the human race's first grand mission into deep space? Grow the hell up, stop being so petty, and take some responsibility for your own actions.

Just ridiculous.

Not that the aliens are of much help. They're equally annoying, with hokey makeup and absurd "customs." The crisis of diplomacy is solved with a ritual that employs the corniest aspects of Star Trek alien-society cliche. The episode apparently finds offbeat humor in the notion of a chainsaw, I guess because chainsaws have never been seen on Trek before (and why would they?).

All in all, this episode meets the criteria for the what-were-they-thinking hall-of-shame show. Porthos had better not be the basis for a story on this series again. Ever.

Tune in next week, folks, for "A Night in the Crapper," when the crew visits an alien planet and returns with mass dysentery! I can't wait! No, I mean, I really can't wait! Vacate the bathroom at once! Har har har har har...

(Door slams.)

(Flatulence.)

Next week: A rerun of "Shockwave, Part II," oddly billed by the trailer as an episode of "Star Trek: Enterprise," in what is obviously a brilliant new UPN marketing strategy. (With any luck, the week off should give me a chance to review Tuesday's upcoming 2-disc DVD release of "Star Trek III: The Search for Spock.")

Previous episode: Dead Stop
Next episode: Marauders

Season Index

42 comments on this review

Immanuel - Sat, Sep 15, 2007 - 2:41pm (USA Central)
This review? Made me laugh *hysterically*. And it's certainly the seasoned MSTie in me speaking, but I...have got...to see this episode! :-p
AJ Koravkrian - Mon, Apr 7, 2008 - 9:08pm (USA Central)
God. This has got to be the worst episode in the history of trek. Seriously. I don't really watch Enterprise, except when I catch it sometime on the Sci-Fi channel and I just watched this episode. I had to mute it towards the end because I couldn't take it anymore. Really.
Lost Mercenary - Sun, Jul 20, 2008 - 6:27pm (USA Central)
Aj Koravkrian, this episode was god awful to be sure but saying its worse than trite like "Profit and Lace" and "Threshold" is pushing it a bit.
Jakob M. Mokoru - Sun, Oct 5, 2008 - 12:27am (USA Central)
First things first: I am NO dog lover. Absolutely not. But: I think, Porthos is an asset for the show. And that Porthos has had more screen time and "personality" (I know, it's a dog!) than Trevis Mayweather is not his fault but the creators/writers of the show and Mayweathers actor.

However, this episode is a complete mess/disaster. I largely agree with the things you pointed out in your review. I was particularly annoyed by the "sexual tension"-theme, the writers conjured up. Bah!
David - Tue, Nov 11, 2008 - 4:45pm (USA Central)
I have to agree with you about this show being pretty stupid. That's how I felt the first time I watched it. Archer is completely out of line here since he puts the welfare of his dog over that of diplomatic relations with an alien world.

However, it started having this strange effect on me. Kind of like a tub of ice cream. You know it's bad for you, that it will rot your teeth out, but you start eating it anyway. And I started to get a thrill out of watching this show just for its comedy. Some of the humor is intentional and a lot of it isn't. Yes, it panders to adolescents, but I started to enjoy it just for itself on its own terms. And it offers a humorous look at a "day in the life on the Enterprise". What it must be like to travel with these people for years. Getting used to their quirks (Phlox with his grooming habits was hilarious.) And the pent-up sexuality. I mean, come on, who hasn't fantasized about a coworker?

I put this episode right up there with Spock's Brain. Fun to watch and forget about tomorrow.
Nic - Sat, Oct 17, 2009 - 9:45am (USA Central)
What drugs were the Hugo Awards people taking? They nominated "Carbon Creek" and "A Night in Sickbay" for Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form. Maybe they were being ironic?
Elliot Wilson - Wed, Feb 17, 2010 - 12:42pm (USA Central)

Correct me if I'm wrong here, but you seem to hate dogs, Jammer. What's the matter? Don't like pets? You scare me to a severe degree: If you had a loved one would you feel ANYTHING when they died or were in danger? Granted, it's a dog, but as anyone with pets knows you grow VERY attached to them and Archer's attitude, while hostile and WAAAAAAY out of line to the point of blatant silliness, still had basis in merit; it was just poorly executed. Maybe YOU possess more cold, calm, cool, uncaring, indifferent Vulan unemotion than you'd care to admit, Big J.
Hate Guy J - Tue, Jun 22, 2010 - 1:32am (USA Central)
This is the worst thing to ever come out in the entire franchise. I am dead fucking serious.
Chase - Fri, Jul 9, 2010 - 7:56am (USA Central)
The tnire concept behind this episode was utterly ridiculous. As the first episode of the series i ever watched, I am probably never going to watch another episode. This crap makes stuff like Spock's Brain and The Way to Eden seem like a nirvana.
David - Fri, Jul 9, 2010 - 8:45am (USA Central)
Chase, I would recommend you watch Cogenitor, also from the second season. It's an excellent episode and shows what Enterprise did when it was at its best.
thaazf - Sun, Aug 8, 2010 - 9:20am (USA Central)
Porthos is the best character in Enterprise. They should have done more Porthos-centric episodes where he doesn't spend most of his time in a plastic box. I would have liked to see Porthos as the chief engineer.
Carbetarian - Sat, Aug 14, 2010 - 12:42am (USA Central)
Thaazf, that comment was amazing!

"I would have liked to see Porthos as the chief engineer."

hahaha... I'm still laughing at that!
RussS - Mon, Nov 8, 2010 - 4:39am (USA Central)
Mostly I agree.

But to be fair, the show can be an allegory on how to deal with sexual attraction issues at the workplace. It has some value.

As far as vulcans go, I kind of like the way they are portrayed. It's new. The dog is stupid.

A lifelong TOS fan, I never watched any other series except this. At least its about exploration. And I like Trip. But I wish it wasn't so dumb-down and TV-ish, and Tpols lips arre horrific. On the other hand, I'm hungry for anything Trek. But we all have different expectations, and we can't expect that a TV series will thread the needle every time like JJ Abrahms did.

I wonder if a new TV series will be done.
Carbetarian - Wed, Nov 24, 2010 - 6:23am (USA Central)
I originally read this review after reading the hilariously accurate recap of this episode over at the Agony Booth's Worst of Trek section. At that time though, I hadn't actually seen the episode.

Now, having finally seen it, I can honestly say that no review can quite do justice to all the "WTF?!?!?" moments in this episode. This episode surpasses horrible, blows through unintentionally funny and then finally lands somewhere in between watching a train wreck and laughing at someone falling down a stairwell. For example, I did laugh during parts of this episode. But, it was more the kind of evil laugh one might make after watching someone they hate get punched in the face than a "oh, that's funny." laugh. You know it's wrong, but you do it anyway. Or maybe it was a laugh to keep from crying thing. I'm not sure.

This episode was packed with "WTF just happened?!? Did Archer really just say that?!?" moments. As many of my previous posts have stated, I can't stand Captain Archer. I feel like he's behaved like a petulant child since day one. So, this episode didn't really destroy his character for me. If anything, this episode was the aforementioned punch in the face I'd been waiting for. Sure, Archer didn't actually get punched in this episode. But, they sure did kill what was left of his character. This episode was the writing equivilant to a punch in the face, as far as I'm concerned.

As for Jammer's obvious dislike of Porthos, I say leave the dog alone! He's about the only thing that makes Archer seem semi-competent. It amazes me that Archer is able to take care of that dog. He has not impressed me with his ability to take care of anything else. Plus, come on, the dog is cute. The shots of Porthos were about the only part of this episode that weren't painful to watch.

What was T'Pol trying to say in that last scene? Was she interested? Is Phlox a huge gossip who leaked everything to T'Pol and gave her time to concoct a suitably vulcan sounding, sexually ambiguous response to Archer's blathering? Can someone please erase the horrible vision of that dream sequence from my head forever?

Also, man, Phlox got some good lines in this one. I loved it when he pointed out that Archer had insulted his whole species. Please Phlox, school this douche in diplomacy!

I agree with Chase. In a weird way, this episode does remind me a little of Spock's Brain in how outrageously awful it is. It's all so random and Archer comes off as such a deranged lunatic (for example, that disturbing line in the beginning when Archer says that if Porthos dies he's going to "show them what being offended is all about!" Ummm...) that I almost can't even take this seriously enough to truly hate. Almost.

For some reason that I am still trying to fathom, I am going to keep watching this show and pray that it eventually gets better. Maybe I secretly enjoy weeks of lifeless mediocrity punctuated by moments of true suffering like this. Perhaps I'm becoming a Star Trek masochist over here. If this thing doesn't get better real soon though, I may just call it quits.
Marco P. - Tue, Nov 30, 2010 - 12:09am (USA Central)
Porthos is a better captain than Jonathan Archer.
Uwe Böll is a better screenwriter than Berman & Braga.

Nuff said.

Carbetarian wrote:
"For some reason that I am still trying to fathom, I am going to keep watching this show and pray that it eventually gets better." (Me too, except I've abandoned that hope long ago. I'm just doing it to complete my ST marathon).

"Maybe I secretly enjoy weeks of lifeless mediocrity punctuated by moments of true suffering like this. Perhaps I'm becoming a Star Trek masochist over here." (Same here)

"If this thing doesn't get better real soon though, I may just call it quits." (NO! Please DON'T! Don't leave me alone watching this thing! I don't think I may survive!)

P.S. for anyone who missed it, here's the link to the review Carbetarian just mentioned. It's truly the only way to make this episode entertaining...
www.agonybooth.com/recaps/Star_Trek/Enterprise/A_Night_in_Sickbay.aspx

I'll throw in www.firsttvdrama.com/enterprise/e32.php3 for good measure.
Cloudane - Fri, Jul 22, 2011 - 4:26pm (USA Central)
Awwwwwwww. My heart melted on numerous occasions. Damn my overactive emotions!

I dunno, it had its moments - Archer seemed to get some much needed maturity / character growth, for one. It was far from perfect and very very silly at times (not funny, just silly, like DS9's Ferengi stuff) but come on, the main star (Porthos) got an episode dedicated to him. I can't stay mad, I can't even get mad :3

Not a character.. poor Porthos.. don't listen to the big bad reviewer, boy. And well done for peeing on those trees.
Fido - Mon, Aug 1, 2011 - 9:11pm (USA Central)
I really enjoyed this episode. I thought it was touching and humourous. Porthos was one of the best things about Enterprise (first proper Dog role in Star Trek!) and more episodes should've been made which focused on him.

The only thing I didn't like was the bat-thing part...seemed unnecessary.
Max Udargo - Fri, Aug 19, 2011 - 7:35pm (USA Central)
It’s appalling how this show never tires of humiliating the T’Pol character and the actress playing her. And to make it even worse, the writers seem to think they can hide (or excuse?) their relentless objectification of T’Pol by randomly humiliating other characters at periodic intervals (See? It’s okay, because we objectify EVERYONE). So we not only have to feel bad for the lost dignity of the first officer, but occasionally Hoshi and Trip and anybody else who looks trim in underwear.
chris - Wed, Oct 26, 2011 - 5:00pm (USA Central)
I want these 45 minutes of my life back...

This episode was even more awful than the Voyager episode where Tom and Janeway were evolved into something else (a salamander thing, I dont want to remember) and did mate together... oh well...

What the hell did the writers had in mind while writing this stuff?
Charmo - Mon, Jan 30, 2012 - 9:13pm (USA Central)
Wait, why is this episode a character assassination of Johnathon Archer and rewarded only one star, but the one where he commits genocide against an entire race is awarded 4 stars? I guess you consider him to be not just a genocidal idiot, but a MATURE genocidal idiot.
NothinOriginal - Fri, Jun 22, 2012 - 6:53pm (USA Central)
This episode when I officially stopped watching Star Trek - as a fan, I gave it lots of chances, but giving the dog an episode? That was too much.
Scott from Detroit - Sun, Jul 15, 2012 - 10:15pm (USA Central)
Well, I watched this episode and knew I could count on you for a scathing review.

I also rolled my eyes at the Hoshi-->T'Pol-->Archer-->Porthos rubdown scene.

Really? An episode that focuses on developing the character of the ****ing dog? And also managed to murder the character of Archer and make him more unlikable than Wesley Crusher?

Gee... here is an alien culture that is very easily offended and we need something from them. Let's go down there. I'll need my communications officer to communicate. I'll need my science officer for her wisdom. And I'll also need my dog so he can shed, s***, and p*** all over the place. No chance of anything going wrong here.

This episode was horrible, and 1-star was a very generous and forgiving rating.

I would have given it negative 1/2 star for damaging Archer's character.
Vylora - Thu, Aug 2, 2012 - 12:44am (USA Central)
Porthos is adorable. This episode is the exact opposite.

One of the few that I've never seen before but did catch a few bits of it awhile back and that's all I need. Unlike Carbon Creek, I feel no need to delve into the dogshit. The bits I saw and remember and your rather witty review covers it for me. I can't truly rate it without seeing it all the way through but one star seems right. Only for the one shred of decency in it and thats the dog. He deserves his own trailer for putting up with this crap.
Vylora - Thu, Aug 2, 2012 - 12:51am (USA Central)
Btw didn't mean to imply that Carbon Creek was dogshit, in fact I rather liked it. Just meant that I feel no need to watch/rewatch something that may possibly be said steaming pile.
Captain Jim - Thu, Aug 2, 2012 - 11:30pm (USA Central)
The only thing this episode succeeded in doing was making the captain look like an absolute idiot. Surely the writers had to be drunk when this episode was put together.
Tiarfe - Thu, Oct 18, 2012 - 7:48pm (USA Central)
Weird that no one seemed to realize this episode really wasn't about the dog. It was about Captain Archer and his sexual frustrations. LOL

In all previous Star Trek series I don't remember any Vulcans dressing as scantily as T'Pol. This series reminds me of the bad Hulk movie in contrast to the good Hulk movie.

I am only continuing to watch this series out of curiosity. I saw cosplay Andorians at Dragon*Con this year and felt mortified being a Star Trek fan but did know who those blue aliens with antennas were.
Tiarfe - Thu, Oct 18, 2012 - 7:50pm (USA Central)
Oh wanted to add that I completely forgot about the Andorians being on TOS.
RobL - Tue, Nov 6, 2012 - 11:44am (USA Central)
I’m slowly making my way through this series, but I’m getting seriously frustrated. So far, Archer might be the most unlikeable regular S.T. character ever. I get that the writers wanted to highlight human emotions as a valuable and distinctive characteristic, but Archer is a total slave to his emotions in this episode. He’s impatient, demanding, illogical, and ridiculously culturally insensitive. If I didn’t know better, I would think the goal of this episode is to criticize “ugly Americanism” by showing it on a galactic level.
John the younger - Wed, Dec 12, 2012 - 9:40am (USA Central)
I think I can honestly say that Porthos and Phlox are my 2 favourite characters on this show.

1 star.
CeeBee - Mon, Feb 4, 2013 - 7:01pm (USA Central)
This horrible episode again demonstrated that the show creators and writers wasted so much potential.

You wonder what must have been going on in their minds. They often come up with good ideas and squander them in a most appalling way. They create characters behaving like fools without consequence yet insert others with sensible logic. Like Archer and T'Pol discussing on the treadmill, or Archer and Phlox in sickbay over a dog and onions.

Both T'Pol and Phlox point out what an idiot Archer is. These dialogs are written by the same people who transform Archer in a raving idiot with his own shitty dialog. Written by the same writers. It's flabbergasting.

This episode could have shown the development towards a next step in interspecies relations. Phlox learning from the reaction of his captain how important animals can be as pets - while eating other animals at the same time, learning a bit more about their emotional state. All he does is being right and all-knowing, unto diagnosing sexual tension between a human and a Vulcan. I would have liked it if here were shown dead wrong.

Archer could be irritated over T'Pols logic. Logic he hates because he hates Vulcans, yet he realizes that they always do have a valid point being the experienced space travelers and humans being the immature rookies.

Archer could well give stupid answers, only to explain later that he knew how stupid his reactions were, but that his annoyance about T'Pol being dead right took over. That is very human.
A captain telling his first officer that he said some stupid things could be countered by T'Pol that she - thanks to those very reaction - learned a lot about human pride. She could even have said that she needed to rethink her strategy how she should counter human reasoning that's obviously and blatantly wrong. Say the lesson about _being_ right and being _put_ in the right.

It could have been an episode about characters developing, understanding each other a bit better and growing towards each other, an episode about growing mutual understanding; about learning curves, just with these very ingredients the writers deliberately chose themselves.

It became an episode about a horny teenager who forgot to jack off the day before. Sorry for the language, but I fail to understand that people with the potential and ideas to write a good script always end up on Enterprise with half baked endings or - worse - juvenile, stupid sex.
Lt. Yarko - Sat, May 18, 2013 - 11:11pm (USA Central)
It wasn't a great episode, but it had cute moments. And, yes, it would have worked better if there had been prior signs of sexual tension between A and T, but there is no way anyone can convince me that all the hetero males working around T'Pol aren't stressing a bit down in the crotchal region. I try not to notice her body as I watch the show, but it takes effort. I had to laugh when Malcolm mentioned her bum (in another ep) and Trip acted surprised like he's never noticed it. How Malcolm focused on her bum and didn't say anything about her monstrous breasts regardless of whether or not he is a bum man, I don't know. I was sure he was going to say "Have you ever noticed her B--BS!?" I'm really quite annoyed at T'Pol's outfits. They are terribly unprofessional. But anything, I guess, to please the horny teenage fans. (sigh)

There is no way this episode is as bad as Spock's Brain! Give me a break. That episode had NO redeeming qualities at all.
T'Paul - Fri, Aug 16, 2013 - 5:49pm (USA Central)
At least it had some amusing glimpses into Phlox... and some Archer shirt-off moments.

The dream scene was amusing too.

It really wasn't SO awful. I think Jammer and the other critics have been unduly harsh.

Archer has a dog. Get over it! It's not a ship full of prodigies, and thank the gods for that....
Richard - Tue, Aug 20, 2013 - 4:08pm (USA Central)
I support both the integrity of this episode and its Hugo nomination.
As Tiarfe sensibly pointed out, this episode is about Archer rather than Porthos. It's also a (light-hearted) story about the Captain overcoming his pride and admitting:

a) he's not right all the time, and
b) he's only human and, therefore, open to the same emotions that we all are. (Let's be honest - Picard, Sisko and Janeway never suffered from this problem, which is why they're such flat, two-dimensional characters.)

I suspect one of the reasons why this episode remains so unloved in Star Trek fandom is its out-and-out comedic value. 'Modern' Star Trek (Next Generation, Deep Space Nine and Voyager) shied away from humour for fear of their stock of inherited story-conventions (AKA cliches) and
limited chraracterization becoming a laughing stock: Enterprise, rather like the revived Doctor Who, wasn't afraid of this and was clearly comfortable enough drawing attention to these tropes from time to time.

Whether this episode is funny or not, that depends on your sense of humour. (Laughter, like an erection, is largely involuntary and down to the individual who experiences it to determine the pleasure factor.) I feel the Hugo board chose this episode for its sheer audacity to explore the humourous character-driven possibilities Enterprise has to offer, and that fans turn their tails and run whenever "A Night in Sickbay" is mentioned simply because it attempts to incorporate a sense of self-aware humour into the franchise that doesn't try to butter up the hardcore fans.
Jack - Mon, Sep 23, 2013 - 11:43pm (USA Central)
Just two words come to mind...how come?
Moonie - Sun, Jan 5, 2014 - 1:11pm (USA Central)
I don't find this episode to be a character assassination of Archer, because he's been very consistent about acting like a petulant child throughout the series.

And while I have nothing against Porthos at all, I realized that I find it rally, really hard to believe that the captain of humankind's first deep space mission, would take along his DOG and that he would take said dog along on outings to new planets.

Phlox was good though. I didn't like him at first but he's turning into a favorite character.
Filip - Tue, Jan 14, 2014 - 9:09pm (USA Central)
This episode actually wasn't that bad. One more more or less quiet episode with its moments. The thing that ruined it for me was Archer. He was acting (and unfortuantely this is not only specific to this particular episode, although here it really, really showed) like a cowboy rocketed out into space. Okay, he was under stress, however, he is a starship captain which can't afford himself a luxury of going around taking it out on everybody. There isn't a universe in which I could imagine captain Picard do that, or even Sisko who was a bit... less held back. I get that it was supposed to lead to all the apologies at the end, but I think that it was over the top and mainly came across as just annoying. I was really satisfied when Phlox told Archer that he should be the one to think of a better way to treat Porthos when Archer exploded over the devised treatment. Oh, and isn't anyone bringin into question that no one bat an eye that they sacrificed one healthy animal in order to save antoher? I'm pretty sure that the cameleon didn't survive without its gland.

Other than that, I liked it. It would've been pretty good if it hadn't been for Archer's teenage behavior. The scenes and the writing related to T'Pol were fairly amusing and interesting to a ceratain degree.
Paul - Wed, Jan 15, 2014 - 11:07am (USA Central)
@Filip: So, other than 90 percent of the episode, you liked the episode?

One important point about this episode is that it was the first episode of a lot of crap in season 2. "Shockwave, Part 2," "Minefield" and "Deadstop" were all pretty good and "Carbon Creek" -- while not one of my favorites -- is at least interesting and memorable.

After "A Night in Sickbay", the next 10 episodes are either awful or totally forgettable, with the possible exception of "Vanishing Point." There are a few good episodes in the season's final third ("Regeneration", "Cogenitor", "Judgment", and "Future Tense"). And I thought Jammer was too hard on "Bounty".

But it isn't any wonder that the creators shook things up in a major way after season 2.
Filip - Wed, Jan 15, 2014 - 1:10pm (USA Central)
@Paul, what I'm trying to say is that it would've been a pretty decent episode if it hadn't been for the awful writing for the Archer character. Which seems to be case for the entire series, I am not talking about Archer now but in general. Enterprise had a lot of potential, however most of its writing was lacking that final polish that had made the rest of Star Trek so special. Night In Sickbay being a great example of that. Unfortunately, the episode didn't only lack the final polish but also the quality writing of ceratin parts (Archer). Too bad that those parts, as you've said, make up the 90% of the episode.
Ken - Wed, Mar 12, 2014 - 2:25am (USA Central)
After having rewatched the first season up to Night and Sickbay, I've come to appreciate some of the stories a lot more compared to the first time around - I guess my expectations from early 2000's have been crushed and I see it differently in 2014.

However, I don't believe the show got really terrible until A Night in Sickbay. It is by far the worst episode up until this point. There is no worse.

This episode single-handedly assassinates whatever was left of Johnathon Archer's character. It takes the worst qualities of his character and amplifies them to the max. What should have happened was a steady growth of his character to become more like the captains we expect, but after an episode like this, there is just no going back. The damage is done.

After watching this, I gotta say, the Vulcans at the end of Shockwave, Part 2 were right. These humans have no business in space.
Deborah - Wed, May 7, 2014 - 9:18pm (USA Central)
I wasn't sure what to make of this episode as I watched it, but overall I came away pleased with the attempt to do something different...something zany, slapstick, tongue in cheek. I don't have a problem that Archer was not perfectly behaved. It's human, he was under a lot of stress, and it moved the characterization forward because he realized what a heel he was being. I have to disagree with people who don't think there's chemistry between the captain and T'Pol... I think they're *hot*. I like their debates and I think they balance each other nicely. They make each other think. I love the final scene between them in this episode because it's out on the table--the attraction is admitted and it is agreed that it's not possible to pursue it. Archer is one of my two favorite captains...he's feisty, determined, passionate about exploration, devoted to his crew, and, dare I say it, physically very attractive. I do not see the petulance and "cowboy" behavior that other people seem to. I see him as showing restraint and leadership despite his hot-headed tendencies. On another note, I'll agree with everyone that the decon room scenes are embarrassing. Why didn't the actors rebel?
skadoo - Sun, Jun 8, 2014 - 2:50pm (USA Central)
So far this is the only episode of Star Trek where I was both uttering (almost screaming) 'no' AND visibly cringing as I watched. I must have flopped about the sofa like a fish out of water.
Sean - Tue, Jul 29, 2014 - 11:49pm (USA Central)
This is one of the best bad episodes of all of Star Trek. It's pretty awesome. It ranks up there with Threshold, Profit and Lace, Genesis, and of course the original bad Star Trek episode: Spock's Brain.

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