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Volker T
Mon, Jan 15, 2018, 1:21pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: The Crossing

I find this episode underrated by most of you commentators. It worked well for me, from beginning to end (yeah, including the end). And in a space voyage, things can turn up you can't solve in a traditional Trekish way, even when you are on a Star Trek series - as shown here. Actually, you can't moan over Trek being too predictable when you observe you have seen this before in x or y series before, and when they really try different, you start criticizing the authors for being incoherent with Trek behaviorism.
I found the way the entities behaved inside the human bodies understandable, including all scenes you reckon to be ridiculous - especially the entity inside Malcolm seeking a sex partner by making 'awkward' proposals to female crew members. Of course it got to be 'awkward'. It is an entirely new experience to the entities and they find the outlook of physical intercourse apparently as fascinating as we do. Malcolm isn't exactly the ladies' man when being himself, so don't expect him to turn into Casanova with a lifeform inside him who has no idea how it is done effectively - as if all genuine human being knew it, alright!
Someone mentions it is unbelievable how such entities could have constructed this huge ship (indeed great design and rendition), but it was said they have been once equipped with bodies in the way their victims are, but have developed further and became what they are now. This together with the info, that their ship is close to reaching the end of its functioning time span (the reason for looking for new places), explains how the ship was built (when they still were material) and why it is now old and on the edge of falling apart.
Jammer once protested about the disregard Mayweather was receiving in the show (like when he was about to talk to Phlox about a strange alien ball game he was taking part in, just to get interrupted), and here the ensign contributes much to the solution of the dilemma by discovering the catwalk would be a safe place after closing the hatch, thus providing the rescue of the crew. Was not getting noticed here, though.
The two torpedoes right into the opening mouth of the alien ship at the end were justified, because the entities just were starting to pull the Enterprise once more into the belly of their ship, and Archer had to avoid that and get away. The destructive effect of just two torpedoes could also be explained by the final stage of that huge ship being in decay, so it was more receptible to damage being dished out.
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Good effects and acting of 'possessed' crew members, Trip in the first place.
Good deal of tension by Phlox on mission to get the entities away by disabling their hosts temporarily. The way he behaves with mechanical parts which are not part of his medical work space, including the criticized way of him asking what he got to do with a metal plate he had to remove to access the valves - all this is okay as to portray Phlox not doing what he is competent in and needing instructions for each and every step. He knows about the importance of this action and is careful not to do a wrong step which could doom the fate of them all. So who of you would not ask stupid questions being in his shoes? Just to make sure?
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So I have to close my comment by giving more appreciation to this episode than the others did. Three stars or maybe even three point five.
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Volker T
Sat, Dec 16, 2017, 5:58am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Stigma

Much of the original review and most comments here suffer from a combined contemporarism-human-centered view of the plot. So the Vulcan virus *HAS* to be a metaphor to Aids and it *HAS* to be dealing with sexual topic and so this *HAS* to be taken as granted and all other ideas are not pursued.
We should get lose and not necessarily connect everything with our times and our species. In fact, if you eclipse the obligatory Aids interpretation for a moment, two thirds of the review fall into ashes and so do the reproaches.
Metaphors are fine but they should not become a burden or the only way to think, especially if they are reckoned to be so obvious they become angering in morality, as it happened to the blog author.
Instead, I took the story deliberately plainly as it was told and I did not follow the bait and connect it with parallelworld human Aids. And it did feel alright to watch the episode without that ballast around the neck.
So we learn at this time Vulcan mind-merging was resented and thought of as a despicable practice not yet accepted by Vulcan mainstream culture.
Yet we do know Spock will use it years later in TOS adventures openly without any bad feelings just as he is using the Vulcan greeting gesture, as an integral part of his socialisation. So Vulcan society losened up again in issues like this, like any other culture which sees times of regression and times of liberalization, up and down the ladder of freedoms.
I don't see what this has to do with a sexual topic. Mind-merging isn't about sex, it's all about the mind and higher spheres of conscience obviously. No use of private parts, no ideas circulating around the use of those or how to reach orgasm, nothing. However, most of commentators seem to reduce it to that restrained field, again, because the preset track of an alleged Aids-homosexuality-interpretation leads you into that. Human-centered and contemporary view, that's why. Imagine your discussion would have taken closely after TOS release if internet existed then, or in some fan magazine, perhaps. You would not even know about Aids. What you would then connect the portrayed virus with? Syphillis perhaps?
The B-plot was entertaining as well. And yes, it has relations with the A-plot. Both deal with taboos. I agree of course this time the thing is clearly about sexual content. Trip follows his human way of thinking (actually his personal way of thinking, as this happens often enough with other men) which gives him morale restraints about having an affair with a married woman and the Denobulans mock him for that. This sort of displaying culturally striking differences between crew members from different species seems appropriate for the show, and it is too often just reduced to the Vulcan-Human difference as the most prominent one.
I also disagree with the discontent most people show about the trivial lines Travis had about an alien ball game he has been enjoying. So why not?? You are also angered if each and every crew member down to the lowest rank is doing techbabble or philosophizing on a constant flow and never is allowed to act emotionally and not-so-clever, making the person a shallow character or 'pretentious'/'artifical'.
I think the scene with Travis adds life as well to the portrayal of life on board the ship. A young lad (and it has nothing to do with his skin color, has it?) just had fun with playing a strange new game on the planet's surface on leave, got some injuries from it, but is still impressed with his new experiences and bursts out in telling the doctor about them. What's actually wrong with that? Of course you would not expect a Picard doing the same, but this is a young ensign having the adventure/fun of his life, so he reacts like most of young men would on his place. If you excuse me for shifting over into human-centered view for once. :)
Even Archer and Trip did it once (episode 'Desert crossing') and you would not mind them having fun while they do venture into a new ball game and let loose.
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