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Diamond Dave
Sun, May 15, 2016, 8:11am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: The Aenar

Another solid enough episode to conclude the arc I thought. I too enjoyed the glimpse of the Aenar and I did like the more personal element introduced through Gareb and Jhamel, which at least made the episode feel like it meant something at the conclusion. More Shran is always good of course - even impaled through the leg.

I also very much liked the low key coda, in which Trip's resignation was the most noticeable factor. It felt real and grounded. 2.5 stars.
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Diamond Dave
Sun, May 15, 2016, 6:13am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: United

Solid enough fare, particularly for a middle episode. What's good here is the big picture world building alliance related stuff Archer leads on - it's fun to see the foundations of the Federation being laid down. And even if the death match might be a riff too far on TOS, at least the fairly inventive conclusion offers a way out.

The drone storyline is perhaps a little less interesting, but another WTF stinger at the end opens up some interesting possibilities. 3 stars.
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Diamond Dave
Sat, May 14, 2016, 2:59pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: Babel One

So we're off on another arc. This one did a fairly decent job of keeping the unspoiled viewer off guard - particularly at the final shot - and despite what was fairly well worn territory managed to get some fresh aspects into it (eg the MACO/Andorian fight).

Outside of that we got a lot of shouting, a lot of shooting, and some running round corridors. So it wasn't all good news, but solid enough. 2.5 stars.
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Diamond Dave
Sat, May 14, 2016, 1:51pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: Observer Effect

To me this has a kind of TNG type feel - powerful aliens putting humanity on trial sort of thing. But the possession aspect is a neat little narrative trick that really works well here - although it's noticeable that this is the most Travis has had to do for weeks and he's not even himself.

However, even if the delivery is fresh the story isn't nearly so inventive and it plays out like so many other ticking clock episodes. The reference to the Organians is a nice touch, but I never picked it up not being a TOS fan. 2.5 stars.
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Diamond Dave
Sat, May 14, 2016, 12:14pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: Daedalus

After all these arc episodes it's almost a throwback to a different time with this standalone - and perhaps because of this it almost feels like an early season episode. Not least of which because asshat Archer is back in full effect, and that's something I thought we'd done away with.

It's really the performances that drag this down, as it's impossible to get any emotional attachment with what's going on. The really off end to the teaser - as noted by another poster above - was indicative to me of an episode that just didn't really know what it was trying to achieve.

On a positive note, though, I thought the final resolution of the Trip/T'Pol story was OK - it had been petering out for ages and the downbeat conclusion struck me as the most grounded emotional moment in the whole thing. 1.5 stars.
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Diamond Dave
Sat, May 14, 2016, 10:34am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: Kir'Shara

Definitely a solid conclusion to the arc and one that as others have noted did much to put the Vulcans on the path to where they would be in TOS in a sensible and well presented manner.

Interesting that perhaps the best scenes were between Soval and Shran - it hasn't really been since DS9 that the secondary cast have been able to put on a compelling show so it's noticeable that Enterprise has at least evolved to a point where this can happen. Although given the Archer-Emmisary parallels in this perhaps the aping of DS9 was more considered.

Good moment right at the end too. 3 stars.
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Diamond Dave
Sat, May 14, 2016, 8:40am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: Awakening

For large parts this felt much like a DS9 Bajor episode, heavy on the history and mysticism, and the mood benefited a lot accordingly. It also went a long way to describing quite why the Vulcans have been somewhat atypical when compared to other portrayals in the franchise, which is welcome, and also manages to move Soval almost seamlessly into ally mode.

That said, we are very much in middle part mode here with the story moving fairly slowly and clearly much being left to the next episode to resolve. 2.5 stars.
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Diamond Dave
Sat, May 14, 2016, 7:47am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: The Forge

It's interesting as we move into another arc to see how the early episodes in the arcs deal with all the set up required. This one has lots of good Vulcan back story (T'Pau/katra) and sets up an intriguing rather than exciting intro.

Soval's change of sides does come a little out of the blue, and I could have done without the sub X-Files 'trust no one' conspiracy being so prominent, but that's a minor gripe I guess. 3 stars.
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Diamond Dave
Sat, May 14, 2016, 6:36am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: The Augments

Competent actioner but could have been a lot more. Malik's descent into outright lunacy comes a bit too quickly and is rather unsubtle, and again he fails to live up to Khan as a villain. I thought the nod to WoK when discussing the Botany Bay was good, and the somewhat unsubtle work with Malik on the burning bridge less so. And his resurrection a la Die Hard at the end was a WTF moment that they didn't even try to explain.

I thought the nod at the end was a cute touch, but I guess one that I had been expecting all along anyway. 2.5 stars.
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Diamond Dave
Sat, May 14, 2016, 5:13am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: Cold Station 12

Offers nothing we haven't really seen before - including the torture scene, which is something of a film staple - but cracks along at a fair old pace and offers some excitement along the way. Even if Malik is no Khan as a villain nevertheless there are some interesting moments here as he chafes under Soong's leadership.

Suffers a little from middle part syndrome in that all we're really doing is moving from A-B but I enjoyed it a lot more than part one. 3 stars.
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Diamond Dave
Fri, May 13, 2016, 3:25pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: Borderland

I was never a fan of Brent Spiner's portrayals of Soong so for me that isn't exactly a plus point here. And for the rest we are clearly spreading material thinly to carry it over an arc - there's a heck of a lot of talking and exposition going on.

There are some nice nods to TOS, and the continuity aspect is fairly strong again, but the Augments are very much second best to Khan's similar crew and as rightly pointed out Malik comes over more as petulant teen than Khan-like mastermind. Didn't really do it for me - 2 stars.
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Diamond Dave
Fri, May 13, 2016, 2:18pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: Home

A very welcome change of pace, and a very rare character piece that serves as a counterpart to TNG's "Family". It's to the credit of the series that it tries to wrap up some big picture issues, but in all honesty I found the presentation of those issues to be fairly uninspired.

Archer's story had some really good moments, but I thought Trip/T'Pol just kind of petered out to nothing, and the alien discrimination sub-plot was only noticeable for perhaps the most unexpected and certainly one of the funniest moments of any Trek as Phlox goes all puffer fish on us. That it features in a standby as hackneyed as a bar brawl to me sums up the whole thing - 2.5 stars.
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Diamond Dave
Fri, May 13, 2016, 12:16pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: Storm Front, Part II

A fairly underwhelming end to the TCW saga - the whole thing was feeling a bit tired by this point and it showed here. Silik's demise was a case in point, it seems like they were hardly trying to give a decent exit. And for the whole reset point - well you could see it coming but it was never going to be properly explained. There were also a stack of tedious gunfights we could have done with less of.

One of the other problems with it was that it felt smaller on occasions than it perhaps should have done - Vosk's speech to the troops seemed to be conducted to about 6 of them and might have played better in a bigger context. There were also some fairly patchy visuals, and you wonder if time/money was running short at some points given the high quality of the attack run in New York, for instance. 2.5 stars overall.
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Diamond Dave
Fri, May 13, 2016, 10:54am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: Storm Front, Part I

I think the biggest problem (as others have noted) is that the Temporal Cold War storyline has lost cohesion to the point that it is very difficult knowing what the heck is going on. Introducing the Vosk at this juncture adds another confusing plot line, and throwing in Silik for no obvious reason doesn't help. Of course Daniels is there to move the plot along - but when the plot is "destroy big alien machine to save the timeline" you can't help thinking that it's been done before. Only without Nazis. 2.5 stars.
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Diamond Dave
Tue, May 3, 2016, 3:02pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Third Season Recap

A definite and significant improvement here - overall I scored this season at 2.58 on average and that makes it the 9th best Trek series of all, and better than anything Voyager scored at. Looking back what's noticeable is the consistency - after some patchy early stuff that tried some new stuff that didn't always work (zombie Vulcans!) virtually week after week it was scoring 2.5-3.0. Nothing much higher, nothing much lower. Just banging in decent episodes.

And I think that is a reflection of the series long arc. I've said a number of times that I thought it was too ambitious and was running on empty by the end. Perhaps that reflects that the action was carrying the plot by this point. But the production values by now are uniformly excellent, so action is something that can be carried off with aplomb. And with the serial nature, long running plot developments (like T'Pol's addiction) can be given room to breathe, which is to the writers' credit. So not perfect, but a strong season. With the WTF-ery of the final 10 seconds of Zero Hour though, who knows how the next season will play out...
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Diamond Dave
Tue, May 3, 2016, 2:50pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Zero Hour

Well, you have to commend the sheer brass balls to come up with something like this. It's almost as if all the WTF moments you could think of have been shaken up with the Xindi arc and this is the result.

The mice toasting intro! Daniels! Shran! Exploding, blood splattering Reptilians! Archer running slow mo Rambo style as explosions chase him! And the ultimate - Nazi frickin' aliens!

If I wanted one thing out of this it was some resolution out of what I thought was ultimately a too long and over ambitious Xindi arc. Not only did I not really get it, it now seems we are off on another story. Ah well. As ever, this did the action well and never pretended to be anything else. But ultimately it was just too much - it's never a good sign when your laughing at the sheer over the top effrontery of what you're watching. 2.5 stars.
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Diamond Dave
Tue, May 3, 2016, 1:33pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Countdown

Well, you can't say that this episode doesn't rattle along after a fairly slow start, and the action sequences are again standout. But after so many episodes of this I'm starting to find it a little exhausting and can't help feeling that this whole back end of the arc could have stood a little weeding. It's not that it's bad per se, just that with the resolution constantly being shunted off ahead please show me the money already. At least that has to happen next ep!

Again, some good stuff in here and some average stuff. 3 stars.
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Diamond Dave
Mon, May 2, 2016, 3:52pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: The Council

I thought this was a bit of a let down in the end. After all the build up Archer's intervention to the council results in a bit of shouting and a lot of over-acting and then the Reptilians (who by this point are basically caricature villains) do what the hell they want anyway. The Sphere Builders are also definitely coming over like the Founders as they direct behind the scenes.

The B-story is fairly light and throws away Hawkins to justify an extraordinary outburst from Reed that was so over-acted it threw me right out of the story. The action scenes are, as ever, exemplary so that gains another half point for a 2.5 star total.
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Diamond Dave
Mon, May 2, 2016, 1:52pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: E2

Well that one came completely out of left field - a definite WTF to find that another Enterprise had been doing a Voyager through the Expanse for over 100 years.

But hackneyed time travel or not, I found this to be an extremely enjoyable episode. That may be because I'm a sucker for the "what if?" episodes, but there were a whole bunch of really nice character beats in there (Reed being the most amusing). Lorian was also an interesting character and brought something new to the table. The shoot-em-up finale, as great as it looked, was probably a little overdone but the ambiguous resolution worked fine for me. 3.5 stars.
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Diamond Dave
Mon, May 2, 2016, 12:26pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: The Forgotten

Notable for a standout performance from Connor Trinneer, which culminates in one of the most heartfelt scenes you could ever wish to see in Trek. Unfortunately the rest of the episode doesn't really match up for me. Yes, it's moving the plot along (albeit slowly), but the Xindi negotiations are not the most riveting bit of the story and while impressive visually the plasma leak again points to an episode treading water a little. 3 stars.
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Diamond Dave
Mon, May 2, 2016, 9:53am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Damage

An interesting example to me of an episode that sets out on an unremittingly dark path - which lies closer to my personal tastes - but yet which I feel is not entirely successful.

For me the big problem is the falseness of the set-up. Enterprise needs to be at point A, for which they need a warp coil, which they can get from a ship they just met, which doesn't have a spare. Oh, and despite all the killer fiends the Enterprise has encountered since they entered the expanse these happen to be nice guys. OK, it doesn't detract too heavily from the drama but ultimately it does throw me out of the story a little.

The T'Pol story is almost a surprise in addressing an issue that has been very subtly evolving for weeks without any real open discussion of it, which makes it a very unusual plot device for the Trek franchises. Fair play for that one, it's a compelling watch. 3 stars overall.
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Diamond Dave
Mon, May 2, 2016, 8:45am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Azati Prime

A strong but slightly unsatisfying episode that is big on spectacle but slow on resolution - hopefully setting us up for a big finale next time.

What works well is the final act - the pasting the Enterprise takes is stunningly realised in VFX and live action work. Not every day we get a human torch on Trek. But it does take a while to build itself up to that point, and the problematic appearance of Daniels yet again as a plot device left me rolling my eyes a bit. What was better were the signs of internal conflict among the Xindi. 3 stars.
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Diamond Dave
Mon, May 2, 2016, 7:40am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Hatchery

Another disappointing episode. Ironically I was one of those that thought Archer's initial solicitude toward the insectoids was as a result of one of the strange jerks of morality that the writers have him perform on occasion, until it quickly became apparent that there wasn't going to be anything interesting going on here but another standard story. The mutiny was completely as you would expect, and even the Stafleet/MACO split wasn't mined for drama at all. 2 stars.
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Diamond Dave
Sat, Apr 30, 2016, 2:33pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Doctor's Orders

This is indeed a fairly comprehensive and ultimately not very successful retread of ground last covered in 'One'. For me at least the twist didn't work because it had been telegraphed from so far out the twist would have actually been that T'Pol wasn't asleep.

Although the episode built to a decent conclusion the early scenes were deathly slow paced and involved a lot of walking round corridors. There were a couple of decent shocks (zombie Hoshi might indeed have spooked the kiddies) but overall not a great installment. 2 stars.
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Diamond Dave
Sat, Apr 30, 2016, 12:57pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Harbinger

Classic 'bitsa' (bits of this, bits of that) episode, and not a particularly strong one. The Harbinger of the title only really becomes interesting right at the end, and as noted above all this really does is throw another unresolved story element into a season long mix.

The T'Pol-Trip thing seems to have been fairly poorly handled to me - obvious jealousy plot, T'Pol jumping him (which seems a bit out of character, even if involving an eye-opening level of nudity unprecedented in Trk history), and then seeming to deny it was actually anything important. If we're to be involved in this as an audience, it seems an odd trio of beats to focus on.

And of course the Reed-Hayes match-up has been brewing for weeks and is nothing more than recycling of male bonding cliches from a million films and TV shows. 2 stars overall.
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