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Mahmoud
Fri, Nov 15, 2013, 12:13pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: Affliction

Agreed on Hernandez; she reminds me very much (despite the huge differences) of Admiral Caine from BSG - high praise, for those who haven't seen it/her.
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Mahmoud
Wed, Nov 13, 2013, 12:29am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: United

Obligatory comment because no one else has mentioned it on this page yet: the Tellarite makeup is again just gorgeous and incredible. Without a doubt the most convincing "alien" costume I've ever seen on ST or off it. Absolutely well-done and much kudos to the costume designers.

An alien that looks believable and not so cliché, different but not so different from your average homo sapien, and not laughably contrived for the sake of screaming out "these guys aren't from planet earth" (à la any of the ridged-forehead species)? Bravo.
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Mahmoud
Tue, Oct 15, 2013, 8:43pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: The Forgotten

Seems like parts of the episode were made out of order, I'm fairly sure that's the only reason we see an unconscious and near-fatally injured Reed looking hale and well an act later, shouting orders out on the bridge. Also, this episode suddenly has Degra aware of the memory "game" Archer tortured him with, yet the last we knew, he had no clue as to how Archer had this mysterious knowledge of his internal conflict and family history.
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Mahmoud
Tue, Oct 15, 2013, 1:50am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Damage

Don't have too much to add to what's been posted above, but I do have just one question: why the heck are there two "humanoid" Xindi on the Council?

You have Degra and the other guy (the dark-skinned humanoid). How come we don't see a) aquatics and b) insectoids? If the insectoids and the reptilians are evil together, we is the former so quiet? (My guess: CGI production costs).

CGI might explain why we don't see Insectoids and Aquatics very often. OK. But for a 5-species "race" held together very tenuously reaching over vast differences and a turbulent past, why are humanoids the only ones with two characters represented?

One more thing (yes, I lied about having just one point to make): are we expected to believe Degra, having seen firsthand the damage to Enterprise, sets up a rendezvous 3 days away at warp speed?

(BTW, not going to lie, when I saw Casey Biggs there I was wondering if we were looking at the first encounter with purposely hard-to-recognize Cardassians. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think we are/were privy to first contact and first "souring" of relations between Humans and Cardassians? Think of just how massive the repercussions of Archer's actions would turn out to be if that was a Cardassian vessel he marauded and that he essentially set the stage for the massive death toll of the wars in the centuries to come?)
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Mahmoud
Sat, Oct 12, 2013, 8:39am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Stratagem

OK, wait, seriously? All these comments and reviews over the years and not one person actually has a problem with what Archer was doing?

The plot goes out of its way to make Degra's basic motivations and intentions clear: he's doing it to save his family, his children, and his world. (That he's going overboard by wiping out the entire human race is a different point, in reality that's just the stupidity of the writers showing.)

I don't see how *not a single freaking crew member* had ANY qualms whatsoever about what was being done. How is what Archer just did so much better than threatening someone in an airlock — where, need I remind you, his entire crew was looking on agape and taken aback in supreme shock and disbelief that their Captain was resorting to such base torture?

How come when it's *our* characters and protagonists that are the subjects of mind games (be it Riker, Picard, Sisko, Bashir, O'Brien, or even Troi) it's cruel torture, it's sadistic and mean, etc. etc. etc. but when Archer's doing it to Degra in this episode IT'S NOT EVEN WORTHY OF A SINGLE EXPRESSION OF DOUBT?

I mean, I get it. Earth's at stake, these guys mean business, and Archer and his crew will do whatever it takes to get answers. But seriously? I was 110% sure when we finally got to see the bridge, T'Pol would be looking on with immense disdain... but no. And Phlox! Phlox! Really? Phlox not only didn't object on moral or ethical grounds (and he's always playing the role of a conscientious objector!) but actually was the one to propose the whole thing!

More than any other ST series in the past, ST: Enterprise was really intended to mirror some of the current events in our time. The whole Xindi plot in the first place was to play to the emotions of the Patriotic American Viewer, modeling the actions and behaviors of Archer with those of our dear, beloved GW Bush (as Jammer and others were quick to mention in the past), and the episodes themselves mirrored some of the major concerns that have been brought up with the whole mess we have in Iraq and Afghanistan.

I actually *agreed* with Archer when he was doing his airlock stunt a few episodes back — but I could agree without a shred of guilt because someone else (*everyone* else on the cast, actually!) was objecting for me. War is a time of difficult and desperate measures, but to present psychological torture with such an air of normalcy and not even the slightest hint of regret?

I was so sure that at the VERY LEAST with Degra so quickly accepting that he and Archer really became friends/allies that Archer would have a shred of dignity to at least express the slightest shame/remorse/discomfort that he was being forced to do this — alas, no. To the contrary, he's ever adamant and even enjoying the ruse. He *enjoyed* revealing to Degra just how far the deception went. You could see the satisfaction in his face and hear it in his voice as he makes it a point to let Degra know how he's been manipulated and cheated into giving that valuable information.

Granted, for Enterprise to actually make me give a damn enough to post this rant means this was actually a decent episode for once. (e.g. You won't see me going around to NCIS or 24 forums/blogs/boards and criticizing the lack of decency and respect or the complete bowing-in to the mass media stereotypes and big-government hype) — but this is the first time in my life that I've watched an episode of Star Trek that "tackled" such an important and sensitive issue with such a one-sided bias *to the extent that the mere fact that there could even _be_ a second side was never mentioned* AND that ST was stolidly on the wrong side in the matter?

As far as I'm concerned, what Archer & co. did here in this episode of ST: Enterprise was worse than any torture any of the other ST members ever had to put up with in the past (well, maybe Picard excluded) because the fact that they, in the end, "win out" thanks to their torture just makes it all the more painful for the target/victim of the intelligence interrogation.

(BTW, actually got both plot twists early on — proud of myself :P)
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Mahmoud
Thu, Sep 19, 2013, 2:03pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Dead Stop

I felt like the intro scene really deserves more mention than it's getting - I fully expected to see it lauded in Jammer's review.

A very humbling and poignant moment, it takes a lot for the captain of the flagship vessel to realize starfleet isn't above putting out a general distress call of their own. I want to say this has never been done before, but I might be wrong? Regardless, it was well played and not overdone - just the right amount of hesitation and resolve.
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Mahmoud
Sun, Sep 15, 2013, 12:26pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Shockwave, Part II

I wanted to come here and post "at least we finally have an admiral who isn't a) 200 years old and b) always has the captain's back" as I have been pretty impressed with how easy-going and understanding Admiral Forrest has been with Archer this past year, stolidly in his corner as he is, but the ending to Shockwave II had Forrest in the traditional not-my-problem, you've-broken-too-many-rules Admiral role. Oh well.
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Mahmoud
Sat, Sep 14, 2013, 10:53pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Shockwave, Part I

I guess I'm the only one that thought this was a good episode but didn't like that the show went there...

The problem with a "temporal cold war" plot is that it's pretty much designed with The Reset Button (TM) built right in, something we've all come to hate from Voyager. But that's not my problem. My problem is that this plotline could be used for any sci-fi series. There's so much more that befits a prequel to Star Trek than a generic timetravel good-guy/bad-guy action flick.

I wanted Enterprise to be like some of the politics-heavy episodes out of BSG. We're looking at the birth of The Federation, humanity's coming into age in a world of many species and galaxies full of different people. So much potential, so many backstories to fill in, so many different plotlines that could have been travelled; but alas....
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Mahmoud
Thu, Sep 12, 2013, 11:11pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Vox Sola

I'll leave the debate on whether or not this was good Star Trek fair to others, but I just wanted to acknowledge Paul Baillargeon's incredible musical score in this episode.

Having watched all other Star Trek series and most of the episodes therein, I want to say that this episode features what is in my opinion possibly The Very Best (TM) musical composition we've seen (heard!) to date, starting from when Hoshi and T'Pol work on communicating with the alien. You could almost see the music setting the pace and serving as the underlying structure for everything else. It was uncanny how it seemed the music was the real point of the show for those brief few minutes and everything else was just icing on the cake. Baillargeon completely outdid himself here.

Side note: I think Enterprise's introduction of elements we're familiar with from "future" earlier shows is not necessarily a bad idea, but I'm always so disappointed to see it so quickly rushed. The usage of the force field in this show had a promising start: it was unreliable, ugly, and crude. But one "we'll need some adjustments to the lower right quadrant" later and it's a perfected technology.

This same thing was seen with the transporter and the holodeck. It's a real shame as I think some of these, particularly the transporter and the force field, could have each been stretched out over the course of an entire season!

Imagine how much better it would be if in the pilot references were made to emerging tech that would enable transportation and then an entire season sporting incremental improvements and accidents gone wrong, building up to the "let's risk the transporter and see if it can get us out of this situation" moment from the pilot used as the season finalé plot?

The force field is an even better candidate for such development. Have Malcolm (as security/weapons) and Trip (as engineer, though until now I see him as a cowboy and have a hard time thinking of him doing anything that requires any sort of thinking) mention it in an episode, Archer demand they research its feasibility and design further when they find a different solution, realizing how much better/easier/safer things would have turned out with force field technology, and then carry that through a dozen or so episodes. Incremental improvements, a small, unsustainable field here, a dangerously lethal field there.. Why does everything have to be so rushed in this show!?
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Mahmoud
Thu, Jun 20, 2013, 12:35pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Memorial

Too much yelling, too much overacting. Lack of subtlety and how long it takes for the crew to get what's going on really killed this episode.
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Mahmoud
Fri, Jun 14, 2013, 10:05pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Equinox, Part II

I disagree with some of the others, the scene with Jeri Ryan and Picardo singing was masterfully done. Just how incredibly rich and beautiful her voice is aside, it really hit home how bravely she was facing a fate worse than death, yet nevertheless was certainly still scared and vulnerable.

As much as Voyager benefited from the infusion of life and character with the presence of Ryan, I sometimes dream about an alternate universe where she performed minor miracles behind a microphone.
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