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Marco P.
Tue, Jul 26, 2011, 6:10am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: The Aenar

You've raised several good points Jammer, and I particularly agree with what you said in paragraphs 2 and 3. It's true: the Romulans could have used more characterization and seem to be the routine "bad guy" of the week, but I disagree the episode has mostly wasted our time. We haven't just gone from point A to point B: if anything, albeit in a contrived way, the trilogy has laid the foundations for species cooperation within the galaxy (and further down in time, for the creation of the Federation). So what if the Romulans were used as a plot device?

I also liked the interactions between Shran and Jhamel, as it brings humanity (er... Andorianity?) to what Gareb has done (or rather been forced to do). Prior to meeting Jhamel, Shran is appalled by the deaths the drone ship caused (including obviously his mate Talas). After the revelation Jhamel is Gareb's sister, the poor kidnapped Aenar is given a background and isn't merely the pawn-of-the-Romulans any longer... he becomes someone's loved one. Despite what Jammer says, I did empathize with him somewhat even though the final scenes (him turning the drones on each other, his "sacrifice", his goodbye to his sister) were a bit too melodramatic.

I will agree on your 4th-to-last paragraph though: the whole design of the drones requiring a telepathic Aenar, as well as the elimination of a seemingly vital piece of the whole puzzle being dismissed as "of no consequence"... well it doesn't really make sense.

As for the Trip/T'Pol sublot at the end, I really felt it was unnecessary. This is almost turning into Ross & Rachel, something which really has no place in a Star Trek context.
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Marco P.
Tue, Jul 26, 2011, 5:46am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: United

Much of my comments for last week's "Babel" can be applied to "United" as well: it's a well-constructed, contrived (the drone ship's vastly superior dogfighting; the sensor net conveniently requiring the input of not two but FOUR species to be successful; the loophole found by Archer to defeat but not kill Shran during the duel) yet entertaining episode.

It's always a pleasure to see Jeffrey Combs in these situations because as Jammer says, he does just enough to be entertaining yet does not turn Shran into a caricature by going overboard.

And yeah, the Andorian Ushaan smells a lot like Klingon (the blades they use almost look like inverted Bat'leths) but hey, it gives us an excuse to see an interesting new take on the "Fight to the Death"[TM] concept: tying the two duelists together with a short rope (ok, maybe the concept isn't so new, but it's still fairly innovative within the Trek realm).
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Marco P.
Sun, Jul 24, 2011, 4:58am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: Babel One

While I agree with Jay's concerns regarding the verisimilitude of the Romulans' technology, I have to say this was a well-constructed, well-acted, and entertaining episode for me.

I have one comment on the plot, specifically relating to Jammer's annoyance at UPN. I'm currently watching the episodes on DVD (so no "Next week on ST Enteprise" spoiler-previews for me), yet the deduction that the marauding ship was in fact neither Tellarite nor Andorian but rather a third species, one with the technology to mimick other ships, was in fact quite obvious for me from the start. I didn't find this aspect of the story very creative to be honest.

I do agree with Jammer however concerning the ending: I certainly did not see it coming and it adds a nice twist to the trilogy (surpassed only by the twist of the following episode, when it is revealed WHO is in remote control of the marauder ship).
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Marco P.
Fri, Jul 22, 2011, 4:46am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: Daedalus

Pretty much dead-on review, a very stale episode.

I'd also add that unlike Jammer, I felt Bill Cobbs's portrayal of Emory was average at best. I've seen the actor do much better in other roles, but here he doesn't show the necessary range of emotions to make us empathize with his character. I had an initial bad feeling right in the opening scene, when Emory laughs at Archer's joke ("You're going to put us out of a job") just before the musical score plays... and it felt so fake! No surprise then to see the rest of the show follow suit.

This is really a time where the use of flashbacks to show Quinn & Emery interacting (perhaps even with a young version of Archer) was necessary. If anything it would have made us care about these characters' fates and feelings for one another. I guess the episode chose to focus on sci-fi events (the mysteriousness of the anomalies, the damage to Enterprise, etc.) rather than emotional background, but alas the final result makes for a pretty weak whole.
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Marco P.
Fri, Jul 15, 2011, 4:07am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: Kir'Shara

P.S.
Without going into too much detail (contrary to my usual habits), I will just say that I second Jammer's thoughts on this three-part "The Forge/Awakening/Kir'Shara" story arc. I completely agree that logical flaws aside, the political relevance within the Trek universe (especially considering all the species involved... Humans, Vulcans (+ separate factions), Andorians, and even a tease of Romulans) is what makes the arc so interesting.

At the cost of repeating myself, I am so glad at the change of pace & direction that's taken place in season 4. It really turned Enterprise into a different and proper TV show.
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Marco P.
Fri, Jul 15, 2011, 3:57am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: Kir'Shara

Too true Grumpy. Like Jammer said, simplistic yet sublime use of the "Undo" button, and further evidence of Manny Coto's skill at undoing 3 years of B&B bullsh**.
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Marco P.
Sun, May 1, 2011, 3:51pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Carpenter Street

Jammer wrote: "Star Trek is supposed to be about ideas"

Yeah, when B&B are involved... BAD ones. Case in point: another pile of trash of an episode.
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Marco P.
Fri, Apr 22, 2011, 9:09am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Similitude

Once again, Enterprise takes potentially great material, both from the narrative and the ethical standpoints, and makes a big mess of it.

I will say this right from the start: I'm not even put off by the pseudo-science that is thrown at us during these 40 minutes, and that says a lot given my field of studies (B.Sc in Biology). Yes, memories that are passed through DNA is very hard to swallow, but there IS such a thing of "suspension of disbelief" and even though I agree (like some of the previous readers commented) Star Trek is usually rooted in science, I don't mind short excursions into the realm of fantasy to serve the plot, for as long as it makes a compelling storyline. The problem here is that said compelling storyline suffers so much from its other flaws, it makes the entire trip like a picnic on Qo'noS. So unpleasant one wishes at least the science were sound.

In fact, I'll go one step further: Watching this episode unfold is like witnessing Rodin sculpt "The Thinker" with a sledgehammer. There is no room for grace, subtlety, or nuance, a concept which alas could easily be applied to the rest of the series.

For starters, the opening scene (before the theme song rolls): it takes less than 40 seconds between the opening shot and the camera moving and stopping on Trip (Sim) lying horizontal in a coffin, supposedly the big "dun dun" moment the writers were aiming for. Uhm... have you ever of building *suspense*? I don't know, perhaps something like Hoshi sitting sadly in the cafeteria, cut to two crewmen talking to each other in the hallway and exchanging memories on the defunct character (something which could be applied both to Trip and Sim, but would not yet reveal the identity of the deceased), cut to Archer writing in his journal about someone dying. I don't know, something *intelligent*! Instead, the short span of time before the annoying music plays says nothing more to the viewers than "it looks like Trip is dead". Just plain lazy!

As for the whole ethical issue, it's the episode's biggest flaw. First, there is the lack of accountability: creating a sentient being and sending him to his death simply for the purpose of saving another one raises a lot of ethical & moral issues. The episode attempts to tackle some of them, but the way it handles itself is less than satisfactory. "Even if I have to kill you" says Archer? Really? Is this what it's come to? Losing one's humanity at the cost of completing a mission, as vital for mankind as it may be? Trek's main strength has always been the high moral character of its captains: Kirk, Picard, Janeway, even Sisko... and yet with Archer we have consistently thrown all that out the airlock in this series. All because of the "increasingly catch-all excuse of We Must Save Earth At All Costs". Jammer could not have said it better.

But even so (and this brings me back to the sledgehammer issue), if Archer had to convey the message he was going to use "every means necessary" to save Trip, even at the cost of killing Sim... could he not have been more *SUBTLE*!!? Could he at least have strongly *implied* it, so that Sim would understand, but not explicitly state it? The writers are obviously going for the shock-effect, but it's so out of Trek-character it was less shocking and more actually disgusting for me. I suppose emanding subtlety from B&B and a series known to include fart jokes and even one "peeing in a cup" in this episode is too much. Finally, I completely agree with Jammer's comment on Archer's extreme swings of behavior (first when Sim believes that he must sacrifice himself to save Trip, Archer tells him "We don't see it that way,"; then later after Sim expresses a desire to live, Archer pulls a 180º and tells him he has no rights). Hypocrisy doesn't even begin to describe it.

I dare postulate that if this situation had presented itself on TNG, Picard would have eventually refused to operate on Sim, citing his humanity as the moral guide. And obviously for the sake of the story, Sim (who at first would have expressed a desire to remain alive) would then have agreed to sacrifice himself for the sake of the crew. Because he *understood*. And because after all, the crew were his friends: he had the memories of the original copy (Trip on this Enterprise), and therefore every meaningful person to the original would have also been meaningful to him. Kinda like it's done here when Trip references his sister, in a much less subtle/creative way.

Such a damn shame.
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Marco P.
Tue, Apr 19, 2011, 1:37pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: North Star

Surprising as it may be, I actually enjoyed this episode. *shudders*

Uhm... let me rephrase that: I did not *detest* it like I usually do things Enterprise lately.

I will agree with Jammer in that there's little substance here, the prejudice issue obviously being the episode's focal point but not receiving enough in-depth exploration to provide us viewers with anything substantial. Then there's the usual Enteprise clichés already mentioned by Jammer, as well as some strange plot points that are either merely brushed aside (the arrested development of this society for 300 years, the exploration of only *one* settlement by the Enterprise crew, etc. etc.) or not mentioned at all (see Mayweather and black slavery issue).

But despite all that, I actually welcomed the chance for the show's characters to don cowboy boots and parade around a Far West town for a little while. It sets this episode apart from the mountain of mediocrity we're accustomed to. Archer is no John Wayne, but he gets a few Western mannerisms right. Even the "evil" deputy sheriff isn't the total cliché one would think.

So despite not achieving the same pinnacles as its predecessors (Jammer mentioned VOY's "The Bride of Chaotica", but I also recall TNG's "A Fistful of Datas" which granted, takes place inside the Holodeck) this episode was a somewhat enjoyable 40 minutes for me.
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Marco P.
Fri, Apr 15, 2011, 7:21am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Extinction

"With all due respect to your Evolved Human Sensibilities, captain, are you on freakin' crack?"

Surprise surprise, Archer's moral compass is kaputt. "Dear Doctor" anyone?
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Marco P.
Mon, Mar 28, 2011, 2:16pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: The Xindi

Once again, despite the usual B&B-tagged shortcomings, I'm on board for this episode. I won't say yet the show is actually going somewhere, but my interest is sufficiently renewed.

That said, I can only agree on Jammer's whole "F-keys" tirade. As satirical as it might be, it is probably very close to the truth, if only figuratively. Let's hope the inevitable let-down will occur as late as humanly possible.
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Marco P.
Mon, Mar 28, 2011, 2:39am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: The Expanse

Strangely enough, I found this one actually entertaining.

A much-needed rattling of the cage for ST Enterprise, although knowing Berman & Braga this re-injection of something called "plot" in the series will probably lead to another disappointment. Yet at least I'm intrigued and curious to see where things will go.

I do have to comment on some of the previous notes by readers here, writing "this is what killed it for me", "after this I'm not watching Enteprise again", etc. etc.

Really? REALLY???

After all the sh*t we've been watching in the first two seasons, the continuous rewriting of canon to suit the writers' needs, the crappy storytelling, and the ineptitude of almost every character on screen, THIS is what kills it for you? An actual storyline?

I am speechless.
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Marco P.
Mon, Mar 28, 2011, 2:18am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Bounty

Sad sad sad episode. As you said, a re-hash of the Archer-gets-kidnapped routine and then sexploitation at its weakest. Another pearl out of the oyster shell that are B&B. I wish they'd just freaking *** already.
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Marco P.
Sat, Mar 26, 2011, 10:39am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Cogenitor

Well, at least it was interesting. It wasn't general low-key Enterprise garbage this time.

The whole idea of a third sex, and an individual deprived of the ability to fulfill its potential because of the reproductive role he holds within an alien society is an interesting one. It isn't ORIGINAL mind you... (this story was taken from the "Alien Nation" episode "Three to Tango", 1989, as I found out from www.firsttvdrama.com/enterprise/e48.php3 )... but at least it's interesting.

Unfortunately while the theme & idea had great potential, this episode falls horrendously short on two levels for me.

Firstly, as ippolite stated, the "unparalleled levels of doublethink" going on in this series. With every major fu**-up Archer has been involved in since the show began, he has no business giving that talking-to to Trip. He has done way worse. "If that's true, I've done a pretty lousy job setting an example around here". Yes you have, douchebag.

And secondly... why does Trip always have to be such a moron??? I mean, good intentions aside, why did the writers feel the need to make his attempt at fighting for the cogenitor's basic rights feel so awkward? Midway through the episode, why can't I help but cringe at the obvious negative impact Trip's actions will have by the time credits roll? WHY is every character from TNG, DS9, and even Voyager a role model of sorts (despite a few shortcomings), while for every major player in Enterprise I can only feel disdain or indifference?

Dare I think how more graceful this entire episode would have been, if the crusader for the cogenitor's existential rights had been someone like... Picard, Riker, or Troi?

Good God these writers suck.
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Marco P.
Thu, Jan 20, 2011, 9:43pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Dawn

A ripoff from another movie? You mean this episode has been done before in some other format... only *better*?

I... I... cannot believe my eyes.
( www.firsttvdrama.com/enterprise/e39.php3
Enough said )

And "Darmok"? Sigh... how I miss TNG.
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Marco P.
Thu, Jan 20, 2011, 9:20pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: The Catwalk

"the mysterious Chef, who never has an actual line and whose face we never see."

You mean Travis nº2?
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Marco P.
Sat, Dec 11, 2010, 5:05am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Precious Cargo

What I find disturbing is not that you gave this episode zero stars Jammer (I agree with the rating), but the fact you're acting so outraged a mere one week after giving 3.5 stars to "Vanishing Point".

Both episodes are on the same level for me. At least this one's got Padma Lakshmi to look at.
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Marco P.
Sat, Dec 11, 2010, 4:45am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Singularity

It's really bad when the supposedly "unusual" behaviour of these characters is undistinguishable from their usual musings. This series has accustomed its viewers to a very basic idea: the Enterprise crew are so stupid and the script so moronic, that any attempt to increase the level of said stupidity one level higher goes by unnoticed. Indeed there is a big difference between 1 and 10, but not much between 1001 and 1010.

ARCHER: "You're lucky you're a good engineer, because you obviously don't know anything about writing"
TRIP: "I'm not the *only* one!"

No shi*! A golden self-referential nugget from Chris Black (the writer).
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Marco P.
Sat, Dec 11, 2010, 4:28am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: The Communicator

Once again, the brilliance of the writers tops that of the Enterprise crew. "Negligent", "incompetent", and "just downright stupid" are adjectives which adequately describe both groups of individuals.

From firsttvdrama:

"Enterprise had already been to several pre-warp planets, almost always with conflicting rules and techniques on how they act around them (or Archer becomes a physic and magically predicts future Prime Directives). Here we have yet another one in which they try to give the impression this is a pre-planned mission with rules of conduct. But the fact is, they're still doing everything half-assed. They need to already have rules (which makes sense for Starfleet to have created prior to Enterprise's launch) or have no rules and mess up which causes rules to be created because of this. Neither happened here. In fact, nothing happened at all. Even in real life the government created rules for alien contact and even made it illegal to kill bigfoot, should he ever decide to come out of the woods.

Instead, we get yet another go where their "mission" just sort of coasts on whatever direction the writers decide they want the wind to blow to fit their current story and create a false jeopardy to stall for time as filler until the next episode happens. That is after all what every episode of Enterprise seems like: filler until the next episode, which is filler until the one after that."

Enough said.
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Marco P.
Wed, Dec 1, 2010, 10:17am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Marauders

Crap, crap, and more crap. The potential for a "Seven Samurai" or "Magnificent Seven" mini-version was present here. Yet once again, because of the usual suspects (B&B), all is shoved down the toilet in favor of... THIS.

As per usual Jammer, I find one of your lines used to describe the current episode appropriate to label the entire series.

This week's winner: "devoid of anything worth getting worked up about".

Someone before mentioned DS9's "Rocks and Shoals". Sigh. Now THAT was good television.
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Marco P.
Tue, Nov 30, 2010, 12:09am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: A Night in Sickbay

Porthos is a better captain than Jonathan Archer.
Uwe Böll is a better screenwriter than Berman & Braga.

Nuff said.

Carbetarian wrote:
"For some reason that I am still trying to fathom, I am going to keep watching this show and pray that it eventually gets better." (Me too, except I've abandoned that hope long ago. I'm just doing it to complete my ST marathon).

"Maybe I secretly enjoy weeks of lifeless mediocrity punctuated by moments of true suffering like this. Perhaps I'm becoming a Star Trek masochist over here." (Same here)

"If this thing doesn't get better real soon though, I may just call it quits." (NO! Please DON'T! Don't leave me alone watching this thing! I don't think I may survive!)

P.S. for anyone who missed it, here's the link to the review Carbetarian just mentioned. It's truly the only way to make this episode entertaining...
www.agonybooth.com/recaps/Star_Trek/Enterprise/A_Night_in_Sickbay.aspx

I'll throw in www.firsttvdrama.com/enterprise/e32.php3 for good measure.
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Marco P.
Fri, Nov 19, 2010, 12:36pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Dead Stop

I'll jump on the bandwagon: I liked this episode too (for a *change*!!).

This episode had many elements that make (made) Trek great over the years: the exploration and marvel over superior technology, a bit of an intrigue, and enough mystery to veil the ever-present flaws/inadequacies of the script (as usual, stop by www.firsttvdrama.com/enterprise/e30.php3 for a complete list).

That is probably the best thing "Dead Stop" has going for them: the mystery of this sentient A.I., and the aliens that put it there along with this "benefactor" repair station. "Disconcerting" is an appropriate word here indeed.

Of course, somehow the writers still managed to f*** things up in the end, with a disappointing use of an under-utilized character and a dubious plot twist with rather severe ethical issues. So the Enterprise crew wanted to save their shipmate, fine. Did they have to blow up the station and kill all the other sequestered people in there? The doctor explains it away as "they're all brain-dead anyway". How convenient.

Still ultimately, if a friend asked me to show him the best 5 episodes of ST Enterprise, "Dead Stop" would be one I'd pick. Partly because I'd want my friend to be spared the pain & suffering I had to go through, which is having to sit an entire season (and counting) of *regular* Berman & Braga nonsense.
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Marco P.
Thu, Nov 18, 2010, 4:25am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Minefield

As always, the amount of inconsistencies/nonsense present in this episode is just staggering.

The best:
In "Silent Enemy", Archer sent Hoshi on a mission to find out what Reed's favorite food was (and during an intense battle no less). After discovering it was pineapple, Archer now suddenly doesn't have a clue what Reed likes to eat, so he had the chef cook eggs.

Read the rest here:
www.firsttvdrama.com/enterprise/e29.php3
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Marco P.
Thu, Nov 18, 2010, 4:05am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Carbon Creek

This episode left me very indifferent.

I never actually thought to put the blame on the concurrent presence of three Vulcans on screen, but I admit your comparison to Voyager's Tuvok/Seven of Nine scenes rings true. The problem isn't that the Vulcan-Vulcan interactions are bland (they are), but rather that there's nothing interesting happening to these characters.

• "The problem is not that it's bad. The problem is that it doesn't have enough in it that's actually good."
• "half-baked"
• "quietly unfolding road to nowhere"

A lot of comments which could easily be applied to the entire ST Enterprise series. "I Love Lucy"? Ugh.
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Marco P.
Thu, Nov 4, 2010, 4:52am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Shockwave, Part I

You know it's funny. "That's a load of crap and you know it" is something I tell myself very often during ST Enterprise viewings, particularly just before I press PLAY on a new episode. Something else you mentioned Jammer, "no knowable direction and therefore no actual substance" about the Temporal Cold War, could easily be applied in my eyes to the script/story of the entire first season.

I think the reason you gave this 4 stars is not because of the episode's value in itself, but rather how it stands compared to the mediocrity of its brothers. YES! For the first time the action/story is not completely non-sensical, and despite its silliness in nature the Temporal Cold War might be something the viewers could get interested in. Part of why this works in the episode is because, like you rightfully said, "we are left in the dark": the possibilities of where the story might go from here are left to our imagination which, let's face it, is often limitless and seldom leaves us disappointed. I mean hell: in my imagination, the last Star Trek series to date isn't a complete waste of time, but I digress.

Of course from here on out and in season 2, the challenge for the writers is to actually fulfill our expectations with much "meat & potatoes". I mean, could Brannon & Braga actually succeed at ridding us of the notion this "Temporal Cold War" is nothing but another load of BS, and that it might actually be something that gets the Enterprise story somewhere? Could this turn into a (semi) watchable show at the very last??

One might as well believe in pink elephants.
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