Jammer's Review

Star Trek: Enterprise

"Zero Hour"

**1/2

Air date: 5/26/2004
Written by Rick Berman & Brannon Braga
Directed by Allan Kroeker

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

"What ... the ... F***?!" — My reaction to the last 10 seconds

In brief: A fairly entertaining — albeit thin — wrap-up of this massive season-long storyline, but is the twist ending we get necessary or appropriate?

I'll give "Zero Hour" one thing: It did not bore me. It employs an endless series of sci-fi/action/Saturday-morning-serial cliches, but it does so with great technical expertise and brutally unremitting momentum. It clearly favors style over substance, action over useful dialog, technobabble over puzzle-solving, and insane — repeat, insane — plot twists over traditional endings. I kinda liked its reckless spirit of over-the-top action, big visuals, and a melodramatic ticking clock. I also laughed at the hoarier moments and the heedless bright ideas and goofy sci-fi oddities. This is fun — but, let's face it, pretty dumb.

And of course there's the matter of the last 60 seconds, where Trek reality becomes utter surrealism. I felt like I'd been transported to an alternate TV dimension where Star Trek meets The Twilight Zone meets The X-Files meets Quantum Leap, and goes through one of those spatial anomalies created by a Delphic Expanse sphere, emerging on the other side as a strange, twisted mass of ... something. The final 10 seconds reminded me of the inexplicable dimension-shattering ending of Tim Burton's version of Planet of the Apes. Jarring, and in that way weirdly compelling, but stranded without sense or meaning or plausibility.

Yes, Berman & Braga have turned the screw so far they've stripped the threads into a fine metallic dust. About all I can say is this: If the first words out of Scott Bakula's mouth when Archer wakes up next season aren't "Oh, boy!" then the writing staff should be taken out to the Paramount studio lot and summarily shot for squandering obvious opportunities.

In the opening scene, the Xindi reptilians are seen celebrating their imminent victory by eating live mice. Yes, live mice. I laughed. (How can't you?) They even hold the mice up to each other first, as if toasting with wine glasses. If there was any doubt that Dolum and his cohorts weren't Pure Evil, then this scene ... well, I don't know what this scene says. If they'd been eating newborn kittens after having drowned them, that would be iron-clad confirmation of Pure Evil. I don't know where eating live mice lies on the Evil Scale.

From here (okay, maybe a little later), it's up to Archer & Co. to get aboard the Xindi weapon and destroy it from the inside, while Trip and T'Pol work on the tech solution du jour to destroy Sphere 41 and bring down the sphere network. There's a ton of other stuff going on here, but not much actual story to tell. In my review of "Countdown" I drew a distinction between "plot" and "story." I will elaborate here by saying that a story is about people and ideas and characterization, whereas plot is about technological manipulation, battle scenes, phaser shootouts, fistfights, and moving objects from A to B in a given time X, preferably before something explodes.

If anything, the episode is proof that momentum and pacing and nonstop crisis mode can only get you so far. While there's no denying that this ongoing action/suspense/cliffhanger structure has played very much in Enterprise's favor this season (particularly the last third of the season), it becomes clear in "Zero Hour" that the exhaustion factor has taken its toll. I will be ready for something new next season.

"Zero Hour" is the final leg of this season's obvious mission to have its cake and eat it too. The Enterprise writers, in devising the Xindi arc, have managed to play the Quest For Peaceful Trekkian Solution right alongside the Quest For Big Action Movie. They brought the peaceful Trek scenario to its climax in "The Council" by having the Enterprise become allies with Degra and negotiate a peace with part of the Xindi council. They bring the action scenario to its climax here, in what is essentially a B action movie where I had pretty much predicted from the first frame (if not five episodes ago) that we would be seeing the Xindi weapon blow up just outside Earth's orbit. There is something to be said for formula conventions.

This is the kind of show that starts with a general concept and then adds everything plus the kitchen sink. For example, the sphere builders board the Enterprise and walk through walls and sabotage systems in their attempt to thwart Trip's technobabble solution to destroy Sphere 41. This is in addition to the fact that they have created a toxic anomaly field around the sphere, which the Enterprise must enter despite Phlox's assurances that exposure will kill the crew in a matter of minutes. (Even the ticking clocks have their own ticking clocks.) Everyone's skin begins to crack, making the Enterprise crew look like they might be reptilians.

But wait — here's a visit from Daniels, who tells Archer not to lead the boarding party, because he's too important to the future of the Federation, the founding of which he will be sitting down to sign in seven years — an interesting factoid, but maybe not after you've considered the source. I give up in trying to make sense of Daniels and his timeline illogic. He's like a message in a bottle, but without the message, leaving you with nothing to do with the empty bottle except smash it over your head.

And now here comes Shran and the Andorians to create a diversion for the reptilians so Archer's team can get aboard the weapon. Shran, it can be said, comes literally out of nowhere, which definitely makes him a function of plot as opposed to story. (Shran says Archer owes him one; so, apparently, do the writers.)

The most human aspect in the episode is Hoshi, who has to translate the Xindi weapon blueprints under awful pain and pressure. It's not enough that she's not even close to recovered from her torturous encounter with brain parasites; she's also wracked with guilt over having been forced to decipher the firing code for the reptilians. In the midst of all the chaos is Linda Park's performance as a person who is exhausted, sick, and suffering, and yet still performs with relative grace under pressure.

But no time for human emotions! We have a weapon to stop!

As for the solution of actually stopping the weapon, it comes down to the most obvious of action cliches. Part of me expected little else; after all, how many ways are there to blow up something so big with such a small armed boarding party? Still, I had to chuckle at the fact that humankind's fate comes down to Sato telling Archer which neon light tubes to invert under a control panel. You'd think that someday someone would be able to design a doomsday machine that couldn't be overloaded simply by short-circuiting the controls. The Xindi are apparently not those someones.

Archer says he will initiate the final sequence himself, and orders the rest of the boarding party to evacuate. "This isn't open for debate," Archer says, for perhaps the 90th time this season. Inevitably, Archer is jumped by an angry Dolum after activating the final sequence, leading to the obligatory B-movie fistfight, etc., replete with Archer getting beat up, thrown around, and hanging from a ledge, etc. Dolum's a big guy, so Archer defeats him by slapping a grenade on his back and them blowing him up, which is pretty amusing. Archer then runs toward the camera in slow-motion as explosions go off behind him, also in slow-motion. Then the weapon, nearing Earth's orbit, explodes.

So, to recap: Dolum gets blowed up real good; Archer runs in slow-motion; Xindi weapon gets blowed up real good.

Meanwhile, the Enterprise successfully destroys Sphere 41, causing a disruption which cascades through the network and causes all the spheres to implode — something the story is nearly ready to do. Without the spheres, the sphere-builder threat is neutralized, and the Delphic Expanse returns to normal space, explaining why we've never heard of the Delphic Expanse in later centuries (although still no explanation for why we've not heard of the Xindi in later centuries).

All of this tech-heavy madness is made almost amazingly watchable by the filmmakers — director Allan Kroeker, the editors, composer Jay Chattaway, the special-effects wizards. As a script, "Zero Hour" isn't much to behold; it's one of those shows that's all in how it's executed than in what's on the page. The technobabble is lame and arbitrary and the action scenes are painfully familiar. Despite that, "Zero Hour" is a watchable and entertaining example of a big-but-thin sci-fi action plot.

But...

That brings us to the show's Ultimate WTF Ending. Maybe some would argue that Berman & Braga are to be commended for not giving us a traditional ending. I'm not so sure. "Zero Hour" is an episode that seems to demand resolution and payoff. While we get some of that, we also get the "shocker" of the year, a completely unrelated twist that I found more goofy than shocking.

We're left with questions: What happened to Starfleet? Why are American WWII fighter planes opening fire on Trip and Mayweather's shuttlepod over San Francisco? Why is Archer, badly burned, lying in a Nazi MASH unit? And why, oh why, is there an unknown alien in a Nazi uniform among them? Is this the past, the present, the future, an alternate universe? Is Daniels responsible? Has the timeline been manipulated and scrambled to save Archer from dying aboard the exploded Xindi weapon?

Is short, WTF?

The ending is an attention-getting — if corny — teaser for season four, but I can't endorse it as an ending for "Zero Hour." What if Enterprise had been canceled (which was a distinct possibility at the time this was shot)? Was an alternate ending with more resolution waiting in the wings?

Tune in next season. I will be.

Previous episode: Countdown
Next episode: Storm Front, Part I

End-of-season article: Third Season Recap

Season Index

44 comments on this review

Stallion - Tue, Sep 25, 2007 - 11:39pm (USA Central)
Jammer - I hope I don't come off looking sad posting so many comments all at once but I just happen to be a big fans of your review and I'm loving the opportunity to comment on.

This was a great season and at the sametime a lot of the stuff that happened here should had probably happened on Voyager.
stallion - Tue, Sep 25, 2007 - 11:41pm (USA Central)
On a side note I notice some errors I made while typing some comments and I was just wondering if it is possible to go back and correct those mistakes or I'm I just screwed?
urfriend - Wed, Oct 10, 2007 - 11:20am (USA Central)
In the mean time, a lonely ship is limping through space. The captain thinks to himself, "They seemed like rational people. Maybe they'll give back our warp coil once their mission is over." Nah...
Stef - Mon, Dec 3, 2007 - 4:06am (USA Central)
Yeah, I was hoping for some kind of resolution for those poor people. At least he Aquatics could give them a ride home?

So alien Nazis. Again. I guess Kirk and Janeway didn't kick enough Alien Nazi butt? No Archer has to do the same. I can't wait for the new Trek film with Alien Nazis at Starfleet Academy.
Rudy - Sat, Apr 25, 2009 - 10:41am (USA Central)
Enterprise is from Azati Prime to Zero Hour, I agree, fully Action-driven (or as Jammer indicates here - plot-driven), not story-driven. Gripping,interesting, and entertaining indeed. Not bad at all.

Some additions to Jammer´s review.

The following elements passed by: No Hope for The Magic Star Trek Reset Button, No Holodeck (let alone Holodeck Safety Protocol to save the day), but casualties among the main characters, and a lot of suffering in general, not only due to the Enemies and by the enemies, but also pushed upon the crew by "No-Choice-No-Debate Hero" Archer. His no-mercy-on-Hoshi attitude e.g. was almost hard to digest, but her guilt seemed to make her (and the audience?) accept it. Zero hour, and Episode 3 became quit dark, the crew hardly was without brushes on their faces. A bit dark for Star Trek.

Then the Appearance of the Dark Enemy (with an even Darker One behind it pulling the strings), Broken Alliances, Rebellion, Revenge, Harshness, The "Death Star"/Deadly Spheres, and, yes, the Final Showdown seemed to point to one thing: Star Wars. (no one noted it yet?).

That is what Star Trek Enterprise Season 3 became. Darker, like Star Wars (almost), but darker. Comfortable in a sense. Sensation. Excitement. But Dark Wars or Dark Trek could be a better title. A bit too dark, and a bit too Star Wars in fact. The show induces no emotions.

And to conclude, Zero Hour had far too simple ethics. Absence of any Star Trek moral, no dilemmas here. Just pushing "wartime ethics". Hard Times For A Few to Save the Many. "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few", as the writers let T´Pol emphasize this, in episode The Council (maybe a reference to the famous speech of Churchill in 1940 - "Never was so much owed..", speaking about WWII).

In other words: "You Signed For This Mission, didn´t you? So? Do not complain, and Shut Up". Hardly anyone struggled with it (or for maybe one minute). Result: No Real Tensions, no broken friendships, and no criticism and subordination. Missed opportunities. Surprising!

But why?

Did the writers wanted to teach us to accept these ethics, or To Criticize. It Should we praise or hate Archer´s ethics. Or are there no Star Trek Lessons at all. Just phasers and explosions. Or, maybe the writers were telling us: "This is how "we" were before The Federation, primitive warriors, but we are better now" Let us hope that.

Adding to this episodes comment: T´Pol shows cracks in her Vulcan superiority feelings (after the slow healing of the skin damage: "we are not so tough after all"), and the addiction to Trellium-D. But moreover she became more human due to the damage inflicted by Trellium-D. A good writing effort to step away from her robot-like and cold behavior of the first two seasons. Compliments to the writers. Real Character development (as in the case of Seven of Nine)

And finally to add to Jammers´s excellent comment on the surprising ending of this last episode of the season; no one would have complained about WWII soldiers, if we would have had the Holodeck here. Star Trek in general needs such escape to jump away from the inherent boring and monotonous character of space traveling (even with appealing but repetitive phaser duels between spacecrafts). But No Holodeck yet here, this is Enterprise-1, so Time Jumps and Loops instead. Justifiable. I think. No problem.

James - Sun, May 17, 2009 - 12:03am (USA Central)
Can you imagine if Enterprise had been canceled after this episode? Biggest "wtf" ending to a series ever.
BomberMan - Sat, Sep 5, 2009 - 12:40am (USA Central)
The Xindi were first referenced in Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Battle" (the captioning spells them "Xendi," but they were pronounced the same way). This episode was set in the Xendi Sabu star system, as Captain Picard notes in the introductory log entry. Later, Picard receives his old ship the Stargazer, and Data informs the bridge crew that a tug-ship is to take it to Xendi Starbase Nine.
Will - Mon, Dec 28, 2009 - 8:08am (USA Central)
@James actually, you're wrong. The actual "finale", "These are the Voyages" was the biggest wtf ending for a series.
Jay - Sun, Dec 5, 2010 - 11:35pm (USA Central)
The opening mousechomping scene was swiped straight from V.
Jared - Sun, Dec 12, 2010 - 10:34am (USA Central)
So T'Pol is "66 on her next birthday", but what is a year? At this point in time, Vulcans certgainly wouldn't be reckoning by Earth years. The habitable zone of 40 Eridani would make an Earth-like planet only about 60% as far from the star as Earth. Vulcan being generally considered "hot" puts it even closer, so a Vulcan year is probably shorter than a Venusian one. T'Pol being "66" could really only be 40-ish.
Carbetarian - Fri, Dec 31, 2010 - 1:13am (USA Central)
Yes Jammer, I totally second your WTF?!? about this episode. Truly, WTF????!??? pretty much sums this up.

This one really didn't work for me. The action was, well, active enough to keep me interested. But, it started to feel way too much like an episode of Land of The Lost thrown into a blender with a Roger Corman film. And that ending! I'm not over that.

I mentioned in my comment on the last episode that the Enterprise war arc sometimes felt like a sillier, watered down version of DS9's war arc. Here, it feels like a bad parody of DS9's war arc. From the bad guys toasting with live mice, to Archer blowing the villain up with a grenade, to the nazi alien at the end... It was all so goofy!

There are many key differences between the DS9 war arc and the Enterprise war arc that make DS9's war so much more credible than Enterprise's. But, the biggest one that comes to mind here is character development. I still don't know who most of the characters on Enterprise really are. They're like cartoon characters. However, everyone on DS9 felt like a real person.

For example, look at the way the war affected Nog on DS9. He was a secondary character, and yet I felt for him almost more than any of the main cast. That comes with consistent character development and good writing. I could barely get it together to feel bad for Hoshi as she struggled to deal with her guilt in this episode of Enterprise, and she is a bridge officer. But, she's just not real to me. I was fairly entertained by all the craziness in this episode. But, none of it made me feel much of anything.

This show had been making major improvements with it's characters leading up to this pinky and the brain mess of an ending. But, with this last episode they definitely back tracked and went for full steam ahead silliness instead of a story.

Also, no part of me cared when Archer was blown up. In fact, part of me even enjoyed pondering what it would have been like if the series had ended by just blowing the captain up, saving earth and heading home with T'Pol in charge. Now, THAT would have taken balls.

I'd give this episode two stars because I do sort of enjoy campy B movies. But, I'm not impressed.

Oh, and Jammer lol about your "oh boy!" comment. I want the writers to make that happen too!
Grumpy - Tue, Apr 19, 2011 - 5:39pm (USA Central)
Cross-cutting between the attack on the Sphere and the attack on the spherical Weapon was confusing. If they had anticipated this situation when writing "Anomaly," they could have given us a differently shaped object. Pyramids, perhaps?

If the weapon schematics were encrypted such that only Degra could read them, he must not have used any, say, subcontractors. There wasn't even anyone on the crew of Degra's ship who could decrypt them!

If the weapon platform had been designed with safety railings, who knows how the battle would've turned out?

urfriend: "They seemed like rational people. Maybe they'll give back our warp coil once their mission is over."

Y'know how "Airplane!" ends with a scene of the overly-patient taxi passenger? *That's* how "Zero Hour" should have ended.
Marco P. - Wed, May 11, 2011 - 6:38am (USA Central)
Good grief... where to begin?

With the elephant in the room I guess: the ending.

To be quite honest, I'm only mildly surprised at the last 60 seconds. Dealing with Berman & Braga I've kinda developed a defense mechanism, and that's "always expect the worst". So naturally, after Archer "died" I immediately started thinking of ways the writers would bring him back (likely involving themes as original & diverse as time-travel, alternate universes, or de-phasing). But I'll admit: I sure wasn't expecting THIS.

What to make of it? I'll tell you what NOT to make of it: "commending" B&B for not giving us a traditional ending. Are you serious Jammer?!? Inept writers take another gigantic dump on Star Trek fandom with... what? Time-traveling alien Nazis? And... you want to *commend* them? Honestly, I fail to even see the purpose of something like this in rational terms. Was it done to enhance the ratings? Make viewers come back for Season 4? Or is purely the WOW factor (and boy... how "wowed" are WE?).

Jammer mentioned this season's mission was to have its cake and eat it too. Here's What *I* take home from the finale: B&B loaded the cake with so many ingredients (including the space-Nazi "cherry" on top) because amidst the low-ratings desolation they are desperately trying to hide the fact this cake tastes like sh**. And we are the morons eating it. Not for much longer fortunately.

As for the rest of the episode, what to add on Jammer's already eloquent exposé? "Style over substance, action over useful dialogue, technobabble over puzzle-solving" summarizes it pretty nicely. It is nothing more than a race-against-time B action movie (yes, even the action scenes are sub-par IMHO), where "the ticking clocks have ticking clocks" (in not one but TWO -imagine our luck- simultaneous storylines) and in which all the characters seem more interested at going through the motions than showing us any real emotion or interesting dialogue.

Ultimately, the only reason I will return to ST Enterprise for Season 4 is firstly, *curiosity* (what train-wreck of a script did B&B conjure up this time) and secondly, a sense of *completion* (I'm doing a Star Trek marathon). Much like the Enterprise characters, I'm only going through the motions at this point though and cannot wait for the moment it's actually over. I just can't believe I'm gonna have to sit through another 24 episodes before that takes place.
Anti-Rudy - Tue, May 24, 2011 - 6:15pm (USA Central)
Wo! get a life! it would have been ok if it had been a guy who was dragged along wouldnt it rudy?! its just cos it was Hoshi!! Archer had to take her you numpty! but to be honest I agree with most of the posters on here about the silliness of the last episode and on another topic I think that people dont really care about the bridge crew cos the writers have not personalised them enough and also they are mostly BAD actors.. except Malcolm and Archer, gotta love sam beckett time leaper extraordiner.. t'pal couldnt act if she had a loaded gun to her head imo, anyhow there you have it.. oh one more thing, wtf is with the theme tune??? how crap is that? any how, taken up enough of ur time, keep the dream alive..
Eric Dugdale - Mon, Jul 18, 2011 - 12:58pm (USA Central)
Marco P.: "What to make of it? I'll tell you what NOT to make of it: "commending" B&B for not giving us a traditional ending. Are you serious Jammer?!? Inept writers take another gigantic dump on Star Trek fandom with... what? Time-traveling alien Nazis? And... you want to *commend* them?"

I fail to see where Jammer indicated his desire to commend B&B for not giving us a traditional ending. Can you read where Jammer indicated this?
Nathan - Wed, Nov 23, 2011 - 2:03pm (USA Central)
I would have liked some acknowledgement that they returned the stolen warp coil. Just a single line of dialogue.

As for bringing back Archer, I had assumed Daniels had saved him just before the final explosion. But then what the fuck? Oh well, at least I'll find out in season 4.
Paul - Sat, Dec 10, 2011 - 10:01am (USA Central)
The ending was stupid and not needed. But I think the last third of this season was Enterprise at its peak.

Not even DS9 -- which dealt with consequences better than the other series -- did what Enterprise did over the course of eight or nine episodes. The ship is literally in tatters, Archer has to make some really tough (bad?) decisions, Tucker and T'Pol go through some major crap (together and separately) and everybody (other than Mayweather) has a pretty decent role.

The Nazi thing turned out to be pretty dumb, but I think what it represented was worse. Other than 'Home' and a lot of mentions of the Xindi mission, season 4 was more in keeping with the first two years of the series. And I think going totally in that direction was a mistake.

There's some good stuff in season 4 (the Vulcan arc, notably). But a couple episodes devoted to establishing diplomatic ties with the Xindi might have been really interesting. Or, maybe Archer should have gone to find Casey Biggs' ship and saves them.

Generally, this series just never seemed to quite know what it wanted to do, and it would give whiplash from one season to the next. But the most sustained serial drama that made sense was at the end of season 3.
Jack - Mon, Mar 5, 2012 - 11:23am (USA Central)
So Phlox's magi compound can halt all of the epically horrific effects these anomalies have, but it can't handle that pesky epidermal decay? Hmmm...
Milica - Fri, Jun 29, 2012 - 12:38pm (USA Central)
Oh no, not the Nazis again! We had enough on those on Voyager (I hated the holodecks btw). But, I am totally biased, so I must say that I liked the rest :) Watched it 7 years ago and I don't remember a single thing...
Zane314 - Tue, Sep 18, 2012 - 8:11am (USA Central)
I really enjoyed Zero Hour, 3.5 or 4 stars in my book. Certainly 4 stars on the ENT scale. Oddly I wasn’t such a big fan of Azati Prime/Damage/Forgotten; maybe 2.5 stars avg for the lot. But Zero Hour was excellent! I loved the reptilians, right from their toasting at the start by choking down live mice. That’s science fiction, other worldly. And creepy. Scott MacDonald was outstanding as Commander Dolim: big, great voice, threatening, and unlike poor Rick Worthy, MacDonald’s make up allowed him to act through it very well. And act he did. I thought the fight with Archer was well choreographed and I really liked the Woo-ping spin Dolim did on Archer by grabbing his angle. I mean, these guys should be way stronger than Humans and Dolim is a big for the lizard men. Nice touch with Archer *not* winning by simply out fist fighting Dolim but by using an explosive ducked under Dolim’s ornamental armor/cloths. And how about the reptilians make up and costumes? ENT had story issues, questionable casting, and up/down acting but they really got make up, costumes, and effects down pat.

The trans-dimensional baddies (TDBs) were cool looking and scary. After the Terminator-esque Borg it’s tough to do scary enemies but I really liked these TDBs. I like how they were being driven back and then just looked at each other and walked through a wall. I hated when TDBs do that! :) And Phlox on the bridge was very convincing with T’Pol kind of whacked out by her addiction issue. Phlox issuing orders and barking out statements on the bridge felt natural as did T’Pol’s uncertainty and lack of command. I liked T’Pol having a very Human problem: being drug addicted to something that gives her emotions. They should have done this in late s1 to give her character some spice instead of having her writhing in decon with Phlox and being a therapeutic (yeah, right!) message therapist.

Hoshi was really good as the depressed, damaged junior bridge member who may have helped destroy her planet. I like how she snapped at one point as Archer pressured her and she responds as if he was a reptilian. Now BSG would have cranked up Hoshi’s bit: crying, catatonic stares, shaking, etc. E.g. Sharon in s4e17 Islanded In a Stream of Stars as she’s in a stupor tidying up after a meal and Helo confronts her; the look of loss and crushed, black despair on Sharon’s face is overwhelming, very powerful. But, alas, ENT is not BSG though this dark bit was well done for the Trek TV world. BTW, since Hoshi is a linguistic prodigy I suppose that’s why she excels at encryption/decryption - it’s all about information patterns. She must have had some advanced mathematics tossed into her non-stop linguistic training. Not a reach for a sci-fi series IMO.

And Combs is back! This actually surprised me a bit since I guessed the Xindi in the wimpy fast ship would nobly sacrifice themselves to help pay humanity back for the 7 million dead. But no, Shran to the rescue! He can make any episode better, except for maybe the finale. The effects were top notch and I didn’t mind a bit with the cliched rotating thing-a-ma-jiggy that you know is going to be blown up. It looked cool, the bigness of the space was great, everything looked sharp in the Death Star, I mean the Xindi weapon. Great episode, I’m upping it to a solid 4 stars, kudos to the ENT team!

PS - yes, WTF indeed about the ending. Space demon Nazis - now with time travel! Sure, silliness on steroids but the rest of the episode was fantastic and by now I’m used to ENT using time travel for just about anything. Though red eyed, bat faced aliens working with Nazis is …. kind of amazing. I laughed out loud and took it in stride, still a great epi.
Elphaba - Fri, Sep 21, 2012 - 4:23am (USA Central)
Daniels pulls Archer forward in time again. And again the timeline is not completely destroyed as it is in Shockwave. Again we ask why the writers can't remain consistent in how the timeline is affected. But by now the audience really doesn't care about Daniels and his temporal cold war bullshit. We just want him gone.
Elphaba - Fri, Sep 21, 2012 - 3:53pm (USA Central)
Also, my first instinct when the weapon was destroyed with Archer on it was that Daniels pulled him out. Which begs the question, if that's the case, why doesn't Daniels always pull Archer out of danger whenever he's in trouble? Like if he's falling off a cliff or getting stabbed, Daniels can pull Archer out and be a mini-reset button for him. Why does Daniels always warn Archer not to go on these missions if he can just easily pull him out?

Conclusion. I really hate the temporal cold war plot on this show. It should be its own show or otherwise non-existent. It's so out of place on a show that's supposed to be the official Star Trek prequel.
Tiarfe - Sun, Oct 28, 2012 - 8:15am (USA Central)
I enjoyed this episode!

I only wish this season didn't have so many parallels to previous series. The Guardians too similar to the Worm Hole Aliens (Prophets) and Dominion from DS9.
Cloudane - Tue, Dec 4, 2012 - 6:36pm (USA Central)
As a brony, you don't want to know my definition of the word "plot" :P

====

I thought things plodded a little in the beginning, but then The Shran Effect took place and it was all blazing action from then on :)

So many reactions....

I grinned when Shran turned up

I laughed when Archer was running slowly towards the camera in front of a fireball (could they have made that action climax any more cheesy)

I cried at Porthos's sad eyes while they talked about how he lost his best friend (he's still the best actor in the show
Cloudane - Tue, Dec 4, 2012 - 6:39pm (USA Central)
((((I tried to do a little heart at the mention of Porthos being best actor, but it seems the pointy bracket wiped out the rest of my comment. HTML shenanigans. Good thing the back button worked))))

Continued:

As for the ending.... thud. What the actual.. flip? This was an extremely Doctor Who-esque "Out of the frying pan, across time and into the fire of something totally random and bizarre" ending (they've also had their share of Alien Nazis(TM)) and they annoy me in Doctor Who as well - can't we just have a breather instead of being thrust straight into the first few minutes of the next season's adventures? It's nice to have a moment to rest and reflect, and to look forward to the next season because it's a good show, rather than because we've just seen the first few minutes and kind of need to see the rest for sanity.

I actually kind of liked the bittersweet end with the loss of Archer and thought it would've been better to just end it there - sorry Bakula, but I think it would'be been braver of the writers to kill him off permanently, have a real price to pay for saving humanity. Oh well.

I'm in agreement that I hope for a change of pace for the final season. Getting back to exploring will be nice if that's what happened - preferably in some manner that is new and refreshing. Onwards.
dez - Tue, Jan 8, 2013 - 1:40am (USA Central)
Glad I stumbled upon this site, just going thru and watching the 3rd and 4th seasons of Enterprise for the first time (was busy back in '05 ;). I always thought I was critical but some of these comments are harsh indeed! still, the Nazi thing at the end was regrettable... I would have liked to have seen T'Pol captain the ship and as the last poster said have Archer offered up as the sacrifice to save humanity. I think Schran was really the star of the series up to the end of s3, always a positive when he was around IMO!
Ken - Wed, Jan 9, 2013 - 8:51am (USA Central)
Part of me wants to know how the Sphere Builders built the spheres if they couldn't exist in our space in the first place. It's the same problem as many people who believe that a god created existence, when in fact, god needs to exist prior to creating existence.

I'd also like to know how Hoshi, Reed, etc. got back to Enterprise. Did I miss it? They were at earth with Archer... only to meet up with Enterprise... and then get back to earth, where Hoshi wouldn't miss it for the world. Are we to believe that Degra's ship and the Aquadic's can go to and from Azati Prime to earth within minutes or even an hour? It didn't appear to me that 10+ hours had gone by, which is the time it took the Reptilians. I could be wrong about this point, but the show didn't exactly go out of its way to make this clear.

The ending is just totally unnecessary and is the wrong way to end the season. I think anyone can see that upon first viewing, but easily could have seen that just by reading the script. Why did it have to be alien Nazis? Why does Star Trek have to go back to this crap for? We saw it enough on Voyager, and the original series exhausted it too.

It can't be the past, because the Aquadic's just dropped off Enterprise in the Sol system. So it still must be the present, but an alternate timeline. Still, we are to believe that other forces are still changing the timelines just as soon as Archer destroys the weapon?

What's the point of building the weapon and doing all of Season 3 if the true enemy could just bring back the Nazi's controlled by aliens anyway. It's just so stupid. The whole ending is out of place.

In season 4, I couldn't wait for the first 2 episodes to end. I forget what happens - it was probably entirely forgettable drivel. I just remember I was glad that it was over with, and that the series finally took the correct direction.

When people hate B&B, I don't know they don't understand why. All you have to do is look at episodes like this.
Ken - Wed, Jan 9, 2013 - 8:55am (USA Central)
Also Archer being alive makes no sense at all.
John the younger - Mon, Jan 14, 2013 - 7:49am (USA Central)
Watching the last few eps of this season reminded me of reading a book that you have long since grown tired of and yet feel desperate to finish as you've invested all this time in it and somehow hope against all hope that seeing it through to the end will at least give you closure.

I was entertained at times. I wanted to see what happened next. And yet the moment the screen went blank I realised how little I cared.
Penna - Thu, Mar 14, 2013 - 8:33am (USA Central)
I had the same questions as Ken (above).

I think they lost a lot of viewers with this WTF ending, eventually leading to the cancellation. I can handle the cliff-hangers, but this WTF ending just felt like a big psych gag played against the viewers. I guess the last laugh was on B&B.
Paul - Thu, Mar 14, 2013 - 11:02am (USA Central)
@Ken: One of Enterprise's real problems was its obsession with the Temporal Cold War -- which had absolutely no rules and made no sense.

However, if you grant the series that conceit, then Archer and then the Enterprise getting pulled to Earth in 1944 can make sense. In other words, the creators were consistent with their TCW goofiness.

There's actually a much bigger nit with this episode ...

The Xindi weapon and the Reptillian ship emerge from the vortex and the only trace of Starfleet is an orbital research station? WTF? Starfleet has other ships (remember the one that came to Archer's assistance in 'The Expanse'?). But the only vessel that appears to exist is Shran's ship.

It was never explained this way, but I always figured that Daniels somehow intervened and sent Earth to the past, somehow missing the research station. Keep in mind that no one from Starfleet headquarters signals the ships in orbit, either. A similar issue happened with "The Best of Both Worlds", FYI.
Nebula Nox - Sat, Apr 20, 2013 - 12:09am (USA Central)
Enjoyable. Good special effects. Perhaps not plausible, but that went out a while ago.

Oh, and why Nazis? Because Americans can feel good about their roles in WWII. Hard to feel that way about Iraq, so we keep telling stories about WWII.
Elliott - Tue, May 14, 2013 - 8:54pm (USA Central)
Was the mice-toasting not a metaphor..ehem, excuse me MMMEETTAAPHOOOOORRR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! for Reptilians asserting their dominance in the food chain over mammals?
Lt. Yarko - Sun, Jun 9, 2013 - 9:51am (USA Central)
Is it just me or are the MACOs in this episode not the same people who volunteered in the previous episode? At least they still had a black guy. I almost thought we'd lost him until right at the last moment. :)
Lt. Yarko - Sun, Jun 9, 2013 - 10:09am (USA Central)
Oh, and it is always convenient when taking out a single node/terminal/component completely destroys the network/spaceship/planet. Another sorely overused cliche.
Michael - Fri, Aug 23, 2013 - 1:16pm (USA Central)
I just watched / skimmed season 3 for the first time after abandoning Enterprise during season 2 sometime in it's original run. I was sort of surprised that I didn't hate it, but at the same time I think my actual reaction is even more damning. I got to the end, shrugged and turned it off. It didn't confuse me or frustrate me or make me angry. It's a by-the-numbers repetition of better stories I've already seen, except this time I didn't care and I couldn't suspend my disbelief. What happened at the end? Why? Who cares?
DutchTrekker - Wed, Nov 13, 2013 - 8:33pm (USA Central)
A few things that bug me about this episode :

-If the weapon can be fired DIRECTLY with 5 codes, and with 2 hour delay with only 3 -> and with 1 hour delay with 4, one may presume)
than why the HECK didn't they use hoshi to decypher also the other 2 codes so they had all 5.

-sidenote who whould design a weapon that will be a 2 hour sitting duck before doing it's destructive job, while it oviously is a glass cannon that can very easely be destroyed in that 2 hours.

-who would not send re-inforcement ships to guide it during that 2 hours (one must presume the reptilians have more ships than they used now)

-Why the heck had earth no defence zone? They HAVE ships, only not very fast ones. Many of them greet enterprise after the job's done, including some vulcan ships.
WHY THE HECK DID THEY NOT FLY OUT to I don't know, destroy that weapon before it even got a change to fire a shot, and to prevent the destruction of a certain station?

-one sphere to destroy them all? Who would design them like that? Seems like a SERIOUS design flaw, thats VERY unlikely to be true. (more realisticly the result of destroying that sphere would at best be the lose of co-operation between spheres (leading to less cohesion in the creation of anomily fields.. and more time needed for the region to be fully converted)
More realisticly, the spheres would have a backup-option, and one of the other spheres would kick in and become the new sphere prime.

-regarding that issue, the aquatics already gave help, they could not give anymore help, why would you rush your own ship to dead. a few more weeks would not have mattered. They have been there for 1000 years.. the war will not be in over 400 years.. Why rush the issue, repair first, and than launch a far more organised attack. After all the Aquatics KNOW patience.

-I wont repeat the point already made, but really HUGE BIG WEAPON, tiny achillisheel.. seriously?
at least that romulan mine back than had some proper security systems, one would expect a far more complex one for this weapon.

-We wrote the evil overlord rules www.eviloverlord.com/lists/overlord.html
BEFORE we will go to warpspeeds. I expect any evil races to obey those rules, like any smart character would.
Paul - Thu, Nov 14, 2013 - 2:14pm (USA Central)
@DutchTrekker:

The lack of Starfleet ships around Earth has always bugged me, too. In the previous season finale, a Starfleet ship helps the Enterprise when it's under attack by the Klingons. But nothing here? WTF?

The only thing I can figure is that the Temporal Cold War somehow made the Earth that was going to be attacked Earth of the past. However, that doesn't work in regards to the science station the Reptilians destroy AND it's weird that Archer and Reed don't wonder where Starfleet while the weapon is in Earth's orbit -- or why Reed doesn't communicate with Starfleet before heading back to the Expanse.

It's too bad, because I really liked the last third of season 3.
gogolo - Mon, Dec 30, 2013 - 6:03am (USA Central)
Where were the vulcans? Five Vulcan Battle Cruisers, they'd blow it to hell.
Peterjex - Thu, Apr 3, 2014 - 8:35pm (USA Central)
So the Maco guy tells Malcom to rely on McKenzi after he's gone. Then He picks three volenteers to board the xindi weapon.....and he picks 3 other people.......talk about a final diss on major hayes.
John G - Sat, May 24, 2014 - 4:20pm (USA Central)
Up until now I’ve found myself defending ST:E more than criticizing it, and while for the most part I would have given the episode 3.5 or even four stars, the ending was so contrived and annoying that I’d dock it a full star. Jeez, Nazi aliens yet again? At least the Xindi arc had *some* new ideas to it.

I agree, too, that the stranded ship should have at least gotten a passing mention.

I cheered inside when Shran showed up…in fact I felt like he was even a little underused in the episode. He probably was having a ball fighting it out with the reptilians and that alone would have been fun to watch.

The “toast” with the mice cracked me up. Yes, it was cheesy and over-the-top, but then again, the reptilians were cheesy and over-the-top to begin with, plus I think it was a little nod to “V” (and I still think they’re also a nod to General Sarris on “Galaxy Quest”). The reptilians and insectoids were the kinda obvious choice for the villains — what would have been really surprising is if the reptilians and insectoids had joined the humans and the primates and arborials were the aggressive ones. (Or some other mixture.) As it was, it was interesting to have the insectoids change their minds, or at least start to question the reptilians.

So…I groaned at the ending and think it would have been better to give the viewers a little breather, a triumphant homecoming before setting out on a new arc. This was just too much, and a clichéd concept is thrust in our faces for no apparent reason instead of getting a break from the unrelenting action. Meh.

It would have at least made more sense if it had turned out the weapon had in fact gone back in time, as the reptilians had already done once — but having the space station there obviously precluded that. At least it would have explained the strange absence of Earth defense ships that others have noted. But nooo, Archer just mysteriously ends up in Nazi Europe with Shran’s and Dolum’s love child* in SS uniform.

* - Hey, humans and Vulcans can mate, why not Andorians and Xindi reptilians? :P
tlb - Mon, May 26, 2014 - 2:10pm (USA Central)
The ending reminded me of the original end of Army of Darkness when Ash takes too many drops and wakes up in the wrong place. Nooooooooooooo!
skadoo - Mon, Jul 7, 2014 - 11:29pm (USA Central)
As much of a mess as the last few minutes were I'm surprised that no one commented on one of the Nazis being played by the same actor in Voyager who played a Nazi in Killing Game! I recognized his voice and his profile in shadow. It's the one who played the Nazi who was the 'father' of Brigette's baby.
Snooky - Fri, Jul 18, 2014 - 1:39am (USA Central)
I don't care that Shran was a "function of plot as opposed to story" (As a novelist, I can't say that distinction makes a whole lot of sense to me -- even stories with two people talking in a room have a plot). I cheered when Shran showed up to help save the day. Love me some Shran! First, Jeffrey Combs acts his socks off; second, those antennae are darned adorable to watch when they droop or perk up.

Wonderful end to a long arc in these last few episodes. I could have done without that awful coda with the alien Nazis, however.

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