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Quibbles
Sat, Feb 8, 2020, 8:10pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S4: Fourth Season Recap

Just finished my first complete rewatch of Enterprise since the show came out. Though I tend to be more forgiving than Jammer (on average, bump up each of Jammer’s ratings by ½ star and that’s how much I enjoyed the episode), I do concur that S3 was stronger overall than S4. S4 was the most consistently good season of the show, but S3 hit higher highs.

“Perhaps one problem this season is that the show was so mired in expansive plots and cross-series continuity games that the characters and their personalities tended to get lost.”

^^This to me is the central problem of Enterprise’s second half (S3 and 4). I’d go one step further and say that the series completely changed its storytelling philosophy halfway through, and it actually lost something in the transition.

When Michael Piller took over TNG in S3, he brought a whole new storytelling philosophy to the table: each episode had to tie back in to one of our lead characters. It had to be “a Geordi show” or “a Worf show,” etc. This was a revelation for Trek. In TOS and the early seasons of TNG, each story tended to be about a sci-fi concept or real-world allegory. The stories were rarely personal to the characters, with exceptions such as “Amok Time” or “The Measure of a Man.” But with the new Piller Philosophy, suddenly the characters snapped into focus and the show took off. This character-based approach to storytelling was arguably the reason for Star Trek’s stunning success over the next decade.

The Piller Philosophy continued through the rest of TNG, all of DS9, and all of Voyager. We got used to seeing “Odo shows” or “Seven of Nine shows,” etc. Each character got their own showcase at least once a season. Even the first two seasons of Enterprise maintained this philosophy. Even in S2, Enterprise’s worst year, the supporting characters each got their own showcase: “Minefield” for Reed, “Vanishing Point” for Hoshi, “Horizon” for Travis, “The Breach” for Phlox. It was one thing that Enterprise did right.

But in S3 and 4, this went out the window. S3 had vestiges of the old approach: “Exile” for Hoshi, “Doctor’s Orders” for Phlox. But really, the season was *about* the Xindi arc, not the characters. In S4, the Piller Philosophy was completely gone. Except for “Home,” every episode was *about* its plot, not its characters.

Now I still think S3 and 4 were a vast improvement on S1 and 2. The series’ biggest problem in its first half was the lack of a big picture. But when the show gained a big picture, it lost its characters, and a key component of what made Star Trek work for so many years.

I enjoy Enterprise overall. It gave us a lot of solid episodes, even some great ones. But it never rises to the heights of the other series because it hardly ever stops to think: who are these people? What do they want? And how do they change?
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Abby
Thu, Jan 30, 2020, 11:39pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Maps and Legends

Brian Lear, if you were writing, I guarantee Picard would be good. Great post and it gave me the chuckle this Trek lacks.

I think you’re right about them doing these shows for the “Joes” and “Jills”. Something to grab one’s attention, but provide very little thought.
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Abby
Thu, Jan 30, 2020, 11:29pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Maps and Legends

Yep, agree with Dick and John. I’ve never attempted Discovery for all those reasons. And what’s with the captioning on the screen? Wouldn’t the universal translators be top notch by today?

Hate that this show is just like all the other new age stuff going around our streaming programs. No witty writing or fun future ideas of humanity.

Just random aliens and futuristic machines. With regular 2020 world issues.
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Abby
Thu, Jan 30, 2020, 10:53pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Maps and Legends

I only am watching this to see where the old Trek characters fit in. In the previews we saw 7 of 9, Riker, and Troi.

Story seemed interesting enough, but, wow, nothing else is like my precious TNG and Voyager. Too dramatic, vulgar, and nasty.

Where is the humour!? Think that’s enough for me. I’m one of the few people to never have liked Picard. So a whole show about him, bleh. But I will give the actor credit - he’s got to be 80 or so?
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Quibbles
Thu, Jan 30, 2020, 11:59am (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S4: The Aenar

Let me join the chorus here. I really liked this episode and thought it made a solid conclusion to the trilogy. The Aenar are a great addition to Star Trek lore, helped along by awesome visual design. The pale, creamy color palette in the Aenar city is visually distinctive and consistent across the sets, costumes, and makeup. Great coordination between talented designers that makes the Aenar stick in your mind more than dozens of generic “aliens of the week” in TNG and Voyager. (The ice caves looked fake, but fake-looking caves are a Trek staple.)

I also loved the idea of a reclusive, pacifist group of Andorians as a foil for their dominant martial philosophy. The relationship between Shran and Jhamel is particularly well done as a microcosm of their two societies. At first, Shran is contemptuous of the Aenar. He thinks they’re weak for not “serving their society.” To him, honor and virtue comes solely from military service; that’s the culture he was raised in. But when Jhamel volunteers to come along to save her brother, he develops a respect for her. He realizes that strength comes in different forms, and that by breaking the traditions of her people and putting her life on the line, she’s showing a strength that’s just as powerful as the martial strength he’s been taught to respect. It’s a powerful, understated arc. This and Shran’s doomed romance with Talas really make him a fully-fleshed out character, with more compelling relationships, perspectives, and screen presence than several Enterprise leads!

That said, we needed more on Gareb for this trilogy to really soar. In hindsight, I think it was a mistake to save his reveal for the end of “United.” We didn’t get enough time with him to grasp his arc and really feel for him as a person. The telepathic conversation between Gareb and Jhamel hints at an emotional, wrenching story: the Romulans convincing Gareb that his people are dead, then manipulating him to betray his deepest beliefs to kill others until a final, redemptive moment when their deception is revealed. But you just can’t convey all that in one scene. The facts come across, but not the feel. I actually assumed that Gareb was drugged until this final conversation, after which he seems to have free will and turns on his Romulan captors way too quickly.

The final scene between Archer and Trip is excellent. A down-to-earth, genuine feel of two friends having a tough conversation. The subtext of Trip’s love for T’Pol hangs over the scene like a cloud.

In the end, I’d give “The Aenar” 3 stars, scraping the edge of 3.5. But definitely some 4-star moments.
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Quibbles
Wed, Jan 29, 2020, 10:08pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S4: United

Two things:

1) Great physical acting from Jeffrey Combs after he loses his antenna. Just watch the way he limps and lurches around, perfectly conveying that he’s lost his sense of balance on that side of his body, all without any acknowledgment in dialogue. Great detail and evidence of an actor who really knows his craft.

2) I was hoping for an epic pullback shot of all 128 ships in the fleet, but budget constraints, I guess. The pullback shot we get is very satisfying and again conveys a lot through pure visuals.

3.5 stars. Entertaining, snappy, satisfying, with important contributions to Star Trek lore.
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Abby
Sat, Jan 25, 2020, 6:53pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S7: Q2

Agree with Ben, JB, and Mom. Plus, I liked the kid’s acting. He cracked me up when he still had his powers. You really need a good sense of humour to appreciate how great this show was.

Loved every Q episode in Voyager. In TNG I couldn’t stand the character. Love the chemistry Mulgrew and DeLancie had together.

I haven’t come across a bad episode in season 7, yet. “Muses” was the last bad one and I see that that was season 6.
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Abby
Tue, Jan 21, 2020, 12:48pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S7: Prophecy

Man, don’t leave the “eh, petulant” out of my quote, Omicron! Eek, looks like I’m the goon who said there was that many seasons.

That’s what I thought, Chrome. That UPN just didn’t have enough viewers to begin with. Since a new network and all.

True about the polls potentially being skewed, Top Hat. I mean, I’d have fun voting.

But I see it the same as DS9 being skewed to all the internet posting fans liking that Trek the best. So in the end I say watch what you like and still support our aged series the best you can.
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Abby
Tue, Jan 21, 2020, 7:24am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S7: Prophecy

Season 7 of Enterprise, eh, petulant?

That is one Trek I never tried, but even I know it only goes to season 4. Someone is a funny man.
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Abby
Tue, Jan 21, 2020, 7:15am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S7: Prophecy

Okay, okay, here's the poll link:

https://ca.startrek.com/article/poll-fans-most-watched-star-trek-series-is

Sure, only a group of 25,000 people asked, but it has to have some weight. Came up as first search result in my "most watched Star Trek poll" Google find.

And the Netflix results:

https://nerdist.com/article/star-trek-netflix-most-rewatched/

But you can get links to those stats just by doing any "most watched Star Trek" and "Netflix" search. That was just one link that loaded the quickest.

Although, I'm not saying that millions are wrong. I know DS9 features all all these Trek sites. But I'm just saying what I liked, what I've tried to watch, and what my favourite is out of them all. Nice to have found links to support that.
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Abby
Mon, Jan 20, 2020, 10:49pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S7: Prophecy

I was referring to a poll about what Star Trek series people had seen. In that poll, Voyager beat everything but TNG. I shouldn’t have mentioned “on the air” since I have no clue about Nielsen ratings and such.

Wasn’t Voyager released on the new Paramount network? Would that alter rating results? I also saw that the most watched Star Trek episodes on Netflix are Voyager ones.

I am watching both season 7’s of TNG and Voyager right now. Voyager is 100% more entertaining. And I grew up with Next Generation.
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Abby
Mon, Jan 20, 2020, 9:02pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S7: Prophecy

Loved the episode, too. Any episode with much intended humour is usually a good watch. I also like that the head Klingon is smart enough to mention that the scrolls could have been written by some crazy guy in a cave. However, he is finding the believable aspects in them to help his people make a home. And perfect that all worked out and B’Elanna saved his family. Obviously all a coincidence, but the gang can go on believing the prophecy.

The Neelix stuff was funny. Any time he can bother Tuvok is the best. And saving poor Kim from the lady - perfect. These episodes are simply comic relief and I welcome them after some of the intense and dramatic episodes. As some poster mentioned above, I am probably in that group of people that Voyager writers were catering to.

I also read that when Star Trek was on the air, more people watched Voyager than all the other series besides TNG. So the writers must have been doing something right.

I don’t need character development in my shows, just fun characters experiencing life.
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Abby
Wed, Jan 15, 2020, 11:20pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S7: Lineage

I agree that season 7 has been very good. And this episode fits right in.

Love the Tom/B’Elanna exchange when she tells him about her dad. You can see how much he loves her there. And you can also she why she hesitates around him. This is definitely an episode that makes me like the two characters together. One of the best things Voyager did.

Depending on your life experiences, you will most likely adore or despise the episode (as we’ve seen in the heated chat above). But you can’t deny the great acting. I believed everything that happened and felt they did a great job of making B’Elanna react so crazily when she saw her baby. She really thought the Klingon side would not show by being with Tom. And them showing the fix of the spine certainly gave her ideas.

The only thing I’d have wanted them to add was Tom saying that B’Elanna’s Klingon side was one of the things he loved about her. It is a cool feature and makes the character interesting.

Glad the pregnancy factor could explain her behaviour with the Doctor. Extreme, but I believed it.
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Abby
Mon, Jan 13, 2020, 6:43pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S7: Flesh and Blood

I really love reading these comments after watching each episode. To know that they’re still going strong after 10 years shows us how amazing Trek was.

I wonder if Jeff above would think it creepy to email 6 years after his post - since he did post an email. Agreed with most of his character assessments. Really, it’s the characters in both TNG and Voyager that keep me coming back. Space stuff is just a fun side to see how all these guys live and interact.

And Prince of Space, funny guy for sure. Adore the language here though. Tells me people like to think and analyze.

I agree with Elliott on the DS9 views. I tried watching a handful of episodes and didn’t like the character conflicts. That one with “Tom Riker” - can’t believe they turned him evil. No more attempts at viewing after that.

Now about this episode, all was good. I understood Janeway at the end with the doc. He is the result of people programming him. He could never be punished how the others have been. Love that Trek can make him feel so real. But really, nothing but a bunch of light beams, right?
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Abby
Sun, Jan 12, 2020, 10:04pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S7: Body and Soul

Agree completely with the first 3/4 of the comments. Curse that sceptical guy for showing up and spoiling our fun and bringing the naysayers after.

This episode deserves a million stars. I actually saw the doc for most of the show. Great acting and just pure fun. Even the potential uncomfortable scenes went smoothly. Well written and every aspect was resolved by the end.

As for Tuvok, he’s, what, 300 years or so? He may feel the effects of the “flu” more so because he’s old, but he’d have amazing control once he got with the wife. Remember, he’s not a young adult like I imagined Vorik to be.

I bet the actors had a blast filming this one. I find those feelings come through when the material is this great. Seven and Doctor characters should always feature.
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Abby
Sun, Jan 12, 2020, 5:27pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S7: Inside Man

I was wondering how the third episode of Troi and Barclay would go. Turns out the writers did a great job of making things believable. Him following her to the vacation spot was totally him. And didn’t feel awkward at all. Loved the personality change of the hologram, too.

I don’t understand the hate with the Ferengi. I think they’re funny. Mind you, I was unable to ever watch DS9 - too dramatic for my tastes. I really love the makeup for that species. Better than all the forehead bumps with no other features suggesting “alien”, races.

So far the only episode I’ve greatly disliked this season is that “Muses” one.
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Quibbles
Wed, Jan 1, 2020, 9:00pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S3: The Forgotten

Most of what I have to say has already been said above. Outstanding episode and Trip dealing with his sister’s death is one of the most well-acted, moving storylines in all of Trek. Some thoughts:

- It’s hilarious to see Seth MacFarlane as some random crewmember who gets yelled at by Trip. His cameo could’ve come in any episode and it was just luck that landed him in such a great one! Today he’s much more recognizable thanks to the Orville and his movies, but back then, none but the biggest geeks would’ve noticed. I remember there being a small amount of hype about him at the time. And wouldn’t you know, today Brannon Braga works for *him*!

- Among the many standout scenes, I also have to commend the excellent way that Trip’s dream sequence is staged: Taylor’s darkened, smashed-up quarters, a ghostly light across her face. It’s eerie and powerful. Kudos to LeVar Burton, whose directing chops are IMO underrated. (He also directed another one of Trek’s finest, Voyager’s “Timeless.”)

- I think part of the reason most of us love this trilogy of episodes so much comes down to screenplay structure. If you think of the entire Xindi arc as one long story, we’re at the end of Act 2, the “all-hope-is-lost” moment, the gearing up for the final confrontation. “Damage” showed the crew at their lowest point, while “The Forgotten” shows Degra’s crucial moment of character change and sends the Enterprise toward the season’s climax: the meeting with the council. Of course, these episodes are really well done on their own, but they get a huge boost from being at such a crucial part of the story. If the creative team nails it, “all-hope-is-lost” moments can make for the most effective, powerful portions of any serialized story. See: The Empire Strikes Back.
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Quibbles
Tue, Dec 24, 2019, 1:18pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S3: Proving Ground

Excellent episode! Everything seemed taken up a notch. There was just more energy to the directing, acting, and score, plus the script was solid.

Don’t believe anyone has mentioned this, but they actually were planning to bring on Shran as a series regular if ENT had gotten a fifth season. Now that I would’ve loved to see. Who knows? It might’ve given ENT the same jolt of energy that Seven of Nine gave Voyager in S4. An entertaining frenemy relationship with Archer, friction with T’Pol, his likely respect for Reed as a fellow military man… Ah, we can dream.

I enjoyed the B-plot between Reed and the Andorian officer. The writers walked a perfect balance between building genuine respect between them, playing understated notes of sexual tension (I was reminded of Reed hooking up with ANOTHER visiting alien in “Cogenitor”), and keeping Reed smart and vigilant. He’s clearly enjoying his time with her, but he still keeps his head about him and doesn’t trust her completely. In a season where the supporting characters are getting swamped by the main arc (except for Hoshi in “Exile”), Reed is getting some good screentime.

This is all I want from good space opera. Bombastic acting, energetic music, a zippy, adventurous tone, solid drama, and intergalactic politics. Heck, I’m even enjoying the scenery-chewing, comic-book Xindi council scenes because they’re so over-the-top. (It helps that I remember the concluding stretch of S3 is so strong.) 3.5 stars.
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Quibbles
Thu, Dec 5, 2019, 11:08pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S2: The Expanse

I’m surprised at the cynicism of some of the comments above. I always thought this episode was well-paced, entertaining, emotionally involving, and set the stage for Enterprise’s best season. There’s nothing about the Xindi arc that violates canon. The Russo-Japanese War probably seemed like a big deal at the time, until it was completely blown away by World War I ten years later. Similarly, Earth is about to experience the Romulan War, then form a galaxy-spanning Federation. In Picard’s day, the Xindi attack is probably taught in history classes as the precursor to a very violent, eventful period. No one’s walking around saying, “Remember the Xindi attack” because they’re saying, “Remember when we formed a Federation that lasted for 200 years.”

After two seasons that I mostly enjoyed but generally found sleepy, listless, and rudderless, “The Expanse” delivers a real sense of urgency, drive, and stakes for the first time. I appreciate the 9/11 allegory too. It feels very truthful to how America and much of pop culture reacted at the time: a sudden, jarring shift into darkness. All of Star Trek up until Discovery was made in America, after all. It led to a myopic perspective at times, but it’s inevitable that every movie / TV show bears the imprint of the time and place that it was made.

I’d give it ***1/2 stars. Knock off half a star for the silliness of the Klingons hanging around for months just to get their asses kicked at the last second.
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Quibbles
Thu, Dec 5, 2019, 7:49pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S2: Bounty

I had just turned 13 when this episode came out, so I was right in that “horny teenage boy” demographic they were obviously aiming for. I have a vivid memory of watching this episode. Why? Because oh Lord, it was one of the most embarrassing experiences of my life up to that point.

I was used to Star Trek as something the whole family could watch. My parents would regularly stop by the background of Enterprise episodes, plus my sisters, at the time age 11 and 6. So when a sweaty, horny T’Pol started slinking around in that blue light, holy shit, I wanted to crawl under a rock and die. Imagine being 13 and just discovering that girls were kinda interesting, and then watching this episode with your MOM.

This was my first time seeing it since then. Boy does it look different at age 29. The issue isn’t that there’s sex. It’s that the PG-rated “sex” is so fake and the writers had to twist the Trek universe in knots to get there. I actually differ with Jammer somewhat. I don’t know if Gene would’ve been proud of this episode specifically, but that man was decisively not afraid of sex, and of trying to get sexual content on TV. The Original Series is PACKED with sex, as much as they could get past the censors. Gene always named “Mudd’s Women” as a favorite episode and bragged that he was able to get a plot about “space hookers” on TV. Hell, after Trek, he wrote and produced Pretty Maids All in a Row, which is basically softcore porn mixed with trademark Roddenberry speeches. (I wouldn’t call it good, but it’s… something.) He created the character of Ilia, who was so sexually hypercharged that she had to take an Oath of Celibacy to serve in Starfleet. As for Season 1 of TNG… “Justice.” ‘Nuff said.

The problem is the way it’s depicted here: embarrassing, and frankly degrading. Fun tidbit from the DVD extras: John Billingsley actually asked the writers, “Why wouldn’t Phlox do it? He’s a doctor. She’s a patient. It’s a medical issue. He’d be professional about it.” Not that I wanted to see that, but it would’ve made more sense, at least.

On to “The Expanse” with a sigh of relief. It’s like they had to get this BS out of their system before finally reinventing Enterprise as something fresh and exciting.
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Quibbles
Tue, Dec 3, 2019, 9:59pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S2: Regeneration

Kick. Ass.

- Loved the sense of creeping dread in the first act, as we know from the first minute that these researchers are dead meat.
- Loved that Admiral Forrest showed up, even as a cameo. He and Admiral Ross are in a perpetual dead heat for Trek’s best admiral.
- Loved the thought of a possibly drunk Zefram Cochrane going on a conspiratorial rant about cybernetic creatures from the future at a *college commencement speech*. LOL.
- Loved John Billingsley, who played the body horror aspects of assimilation perfectly and gave a great sense of tension to all his scenes.
- Loved the direction, music, effects, everything technical.
- Loved the idea that when Q threw the Enterprise-D into the path of the Borg cube in “Q Who?” he knew that the Borg invasion was already coming. So he was both teaching an abstract lesson about the dangers of the unknown AND likely saving humanity from annihilation by giving us a heads up.

As commenters above have said, what makes this one of the best Borg episodes is that it strips them down to their basics. No cubes, no Queen, not even the word Borg, just mindless drones advancing ever forward at a sinister walking pace. One of my favorite Enterprise episodes and an easy 4 stars.
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Quibbles
Sat, Nov 30, 2019, 4:40pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S2: Horizon

^^ Love this analysis of T’Pol in this episode. I have a soft spot for these lightweight, “just another day in space” subplots. They humanize the Trek universe and make it feel real. It’s the exact opposite of Star Wars, which is epic space action all the time. Not a complaint about Star Wars; it usually succeeds on that level. But I don’t buy into the Wars universe as much as Trek, because part of me craves funny, warm, everyday plots about movie night on a starship. I got a great chuckle out of imagining Soval sitting down with intense Vulcan meditative focus to watch Frankenstein!

The episode, though, is awkwardly written on a basic structural level. There’s the mention of lifeforms on the erupting planet which goes nowhere. There’s the one scene featuring Travis’ childhood buddy (girlfriend??) who we just start to get interested in before she disappears into oblivion. Though I really enjoyed the B-plot, it’s like they shoved it in because they were afraid that Mayweather couldn’t carry an episode on his own. Anthony is… fine. Merely fine. Though I do enjoy the understated mentor / mentee relationship between Archer and Mayweather. Feels very much like an experienced actor (Bakula) showing the ropes to a newbie (Montgomery).

*** stars from me. Nothing too special, but I appreciate the insight into Mayweather’s background and how the episode makes the Horizon a believable world.
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Quibbles
Thu, Nov 28, 2019, 2:35pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S2: The Crossing

Ugh. IMO, this is one of Trek’s worst episodes. Stuff like “Spock’s Brain,” “Threshold,” and “Sub Rosa” may be bad, but at least it’s entertaining and you can have a good time laughing through it. After the first act, which had a great sense of wonder and eeriness, this was just dull, flat, and lifeless. I can pinpoint the exact moment it went bad; a creature appears in the launch bay, and Reed IMMEDIATELY starts shooting and ducking and dodging like he’s in a video game. WTF?? There was no indication before this scene that the aliens had hostile intent. This scene comes out of nowhere.

Also, didn’t we see in “Marauders” that T’Pol is a butt-kicking martial-arts badass? The entire time Reed is in her quarters, they’re trying to play it like she’s in danger, and I’m thinking, “Seriously? Come on!” Based on what we saw in that episode, she could pin him to the floor in two seconds. It’s like Berman and Braga 1) forgot that moment or 2) chose to shove it under the rug for the sake of one scene.

As for the infamous “Phlox turns valves to save the ship” scene… I couldn’t help thinking that those people got paid to write pages and pages of dialog like, “Turn the valve 90 degrees. Set the panel on the floor.” It is pure filler depicted in the most lifeless, soul-sucking way possible, with monotone music straight out of latter-day TNG.

It’s a miracle that the actors mostly make it watchable. Connor Trinner is spot-on, both as the alien and as Trip in awe at his out-of-body experience. Poor Travis has nothing to do except look for Trip and get punched in the face; par for the course. This gets one star from me BECAUSE it starts out so well and goes so very wrong.
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Quibbles
Wed, Nov 27, 2019, 12:40am (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S2: Future Tense

“Entertaining but meaningless” sounds about right. What was the ship’s purpose? Why did it end up in the 22nd century? Why do the Suliban and Tholians want it? *shrug* The point here is to deliver sci-fi weirdness, and the episode succeeds on that level. Plus, it’s fun to see the Enterprise caught in the middle of a shootout where we have no idea what anyone wants or why it’s happening. Fitting for a show about humanity taking our first steps into a broader world far beyond our understanding.

What pushes this into three-star territory for me is the low-key, enjoyable Trip / Malcolm friendship. As Jammer points out, their dynamic is just like “Dead Stop,” fitting because both episodes are written by Sussman / Strong. I’m sure the nod to “Minefield” with Archer and Malcolm defusing the bomb is deliberate too.

And I personally didn’t mind the winking references to future human / Vulcan coupling (i.e. Spock). I like that T’Pol shows some resistance to the idea biologically and philosophically. That way, there’s room for growth and showing T’Pol / the Vulcans reaching a more enlightened perspective. I personally have always appreciated Enterprise’s take on the Vulcans, in theory if not always in practice. The point is to show them at an earlier stage than we’re used to in the 23rd and 24th centuries, just like humanity, and demonstrate that all societies grow and change. If they’re enlightened already, where’s the story?
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Quibbles
Mon, Nov 25, 2019, 9:01pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S2: Cease Fire

This is one episode that really improves when considered in the context of the series. I can see how, watching these episodes weekly in 2003, “Cease Fire” would’ve come off as slight and inconsequential, especially with how neatly the situation is tied up in the end. But watching the whole series on Blu-Ray, I’ve been impressed with how well certain story arcs are building subtly and gradually. Mainly T’Pol’s growing acceptance of humans and the bond of trust between her and Archer (let’s pretend “A Night in Sickbay” never happened). Enterprise needed MUCH more world-building in its first two seasons, and this episode is exactly what they should’ve been doing. When you know how well the Vulcan / Andorian plot is handled going forward, episodes like this come off as important stepping stones.

Like Jammer, I really appreciated certain scenes such as the Soval / T’Pol conversation and Archer’s speech to Phlox about humans joining the broader community. It’s exactly what I wanted to see from a Star Trek prequel: showing the beginnings of cooperation between humans and Vulcans, and how the Federation was founded. Trip literally flying the Enterprise in the middle of the Vulcan / Andorian conflict is a great visual metaphor for this latter theme. But unlike Jammer, I enjoyed the rest of the episode too. Jeffrey Combs, Suzie Plakson, and Gary Graham are all great. That’s one of the Rick Berman era’s greatest strengths; they found excellent character actors and brought back the best ones again and again. Even if the plot elements are familiar, the episode is directed with enough zip that it kept me entertained. And though I’m normally down for a great negotiation scene, I was OK with skipping it in this episode. That’s part of the point: getting to the table is an ordeal in itself. ***1/2 stars
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