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Cory C
Wed, Jan 13, 2021, 5:11pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S3: Exile

This episode was written by Phyllis Strong and directed by Roxann Dawson--both women. I can't help but wonder if there was some personal experience being put to paper/film here. Tarquin is TOO hateable to have been created out of thin air; someone REAL inspired this character.

I had not thought to connect this episode's theme with the real-world consequences of online dating. Very good catch, and more relevant today in 2021, given the rise of dating apps and social media, than it was when it first aired in 2003.

Today, everyone posts their whole daily lives online to an obscene degree and with often no concept of basic security such as creating unique usernames for each social media platform. This can lead even an...ahem...halfway decent amateur sleuth who knows his way around Google to learn a great deal about almost anyone based on only a first name and a city of residence...much like having Tarquinesque "psychic powers" would. But I digress.

Overall, the episode barely held my interest. It's only value (to me) was in the story lines that can connect to the modern world. I agree Tarquin is a weirdo/incel, and I found his attempts to make us empathize with him only made me despise him more. The confidence in his tone/demeanor when he confronts Hoshi with private information about when she almost left Enterprise early in its mission (and his attempts to connect her decision to stay on Enterprise with the situation he was placing her in) made me clench my jaw. Man, Strong/Dawson knew just what they were doing and who they were mocking with his character's flux between "socially awkward loner" and "overconfident stalker". Well done.

Ultimately, though, for all his powers, Tarquin's been exiled by his society and ends up as alone at the end as he was at the beginning. All he has are his memories of past "successes". A cautionary tale for basement-dwelling redditors and beta males everywhere.

It's always nice when the show holds up a mirror to the worst of their fan base. But will the fan base dare to take a good look?
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