Star Trek: Enterprise


1.5 stars

Air date: 3/27/2002
Teleplay by Maria Jacquemetton & Andre Jacquemetton
Story by Rick Berman & Brannon Braga
Directed by James Whitmore, Jr.

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

Ferengi: "You'll never see us again."
Jammer: "I'm going to hold you to that promise."

In brief: Lame and pointless.

"Acquisition" is a low-octane action-comedy. Or maybe a no-octane action-comedy. But then, if we're talking about octane, we're probably also talking about gasoline, which in turn implies internal combustion automobile engines. I wouldn't want to come close to implying that this story is powered by a V8, V6, or even an inline 4 when it's at most powered by a heavy-duty rubber band, or perhaps monkeys at typewriters.

"Acquisition" raises a questionable continuity issue (it's always been my understanding the Federation didn't know about the Ferengi until the time around the TNG universe), but never mind. I just want to know if the writers really think the Ferengi are so valuable as story subjects or entertaining as comedy players. An army of DS9 fans — who suffered through at least one of these sort of shows per season — undoubtedly would say no. If "Acquisition" was trying to live up to — er, I mean down to — one of those shows in spirit, then it's a success.

What is laughingly called a plot here is that the crew of the Enterprise has been completely knocked unconscious with Acme Knock-Out Gas (or, to use a year-old Internet catchphrase, somebody set up us the bomb), giving a crew of four Ferengi the chance to board the ship and steal all the valuables. If it's this easy to take over the Enterprise, then be afraid — be very, very afraid. This ship is in desperate need of a security officer — or, for that matter, security.

One crew member remains awake, however — our illustrious Commander Tucker, who has the honor of running around the first half of the show in his underwear. The entire first act has no dialog at all (except non-translated Ferengi) and solely relies more on music than probably any episode of Trek in a very long time. I appreciated Velton Ray Bunch's score, though I must complain that my low-octane (to continue a gasolinic theme) local station's sound was so spectacularly bad and scratchy this week that the soundtrack was often unendurable. Ah, the wonders of living in a tertiary television market.

The Ferengi wake up Captain Archer and demand that he take them to the ship's vault, where they can plunder the most valuable of the valuables. Of course, the Enterprise doesn't have a vault, but when the Ferengi threaten to take the ship's women and sell them into slavery instead, Archer uses the knowledge he gained from Stalling Techniques From Action Movies 101, and says that, yes, there is a vault after all, and I'll take you to it. How many times has this plot device been used in the action arena? You'd think that if Archer is smart enough to borrow it, the Ferengi would be smart enough to recognize it as the trick that it is. But then again, maybe not, because these Ferengi are some dumb mofos.

For anyone who has watched anything, the story progress (such as it is) will come across as beyond predictable and stale. If it were a loaf of bread, you'd throw it out because of all the mold growing on it. If it were a computer it'd be a 386. Scratch that — an Apple IIe. Scratch that again — a TI-99/4A. But I'll stop before I run off the rails.

First of all, we have the Ferengi themselves, whose antics were pummeled so unrelentingly into the pavement during DS9's run that there is nowhere — absolutely nowhere — this series can take them, short of taking them seriously and examining them as a culture, which we already know just doesn't work with the Ferengi.

Then there are all the action clichés, beginning with Archer's lie about the vault and then continuing on to the central character theme involving one of the Ferengi, Krem (Jeffrey Combs), a meek subordinate who has dreams of becoming a master businessman but is under the thumb of his cousin Ulis (Ethan Phillips). Archer tries to turn Krem, of course, telling him that maybe there's a deal to be made here if he double-crosses his buddies. Hostages always do this in these movie situations — trying to gain an upper hand by playing the kidnappers against each other.

Meanwhile we have Trip running around trying to secretly help Archer. Trip wakes up T'Pol, who also goes on a secret mission trying to sabotage the Ferengi plans, inevitably leading to scenes where she has run-ins with them, who of course find her to be a perfect candidate for stroking their lobes.

A complete synopsis of "Acquisition" would make it sound like there's more going on than there really is. Believe me when I say there's less. This is simply an assemblage of bland scenes, going from A to B in the most standard way possible, where A is a dumb idea and B is a predictable and meaningless destination.

The Ferengi are typically broad caricatures whose stupidity makes you wonder how they managed to pull themselves off their planet and into space flight in the first place. In addition to Combs and Phillips (apparently, Phillips so much liked his turn as a Ferengi in the equally lame "False Profits" five years ago that he couldn't resist coming back for more), we also have Clint Howard and Matt Malloy playing Ferengi. These actors are wasted in interchangeable roles, except perhaps for Combs' character, who's the nice-but-dumb guy we're supposed to care about in some fashion.

Indeed, the show's saving grace is the always reliable Combs, who plays Krem in a way that clearly departs from Combs' other Trek roles, including Ferengi Brunt on DS9. It's yet another unique personality Combs creates under piles of makeup. Too bad it's just not interesting as written.

There are a couple of mildly — emphasis on mildly — amusing moments, including Trip leading the Ferengi through a seemingly endless maze of corridors to the "vault," and a scene where Archer and Trip go into role-playing conflict mode. The latter made me smile because of the sheer lunacy of how dumb the whole idea was, and how the episode had realized just how dumb its villains truly were, and how in turn our heroes had realized how dumb the villains were. It's nice to see stupidity recognized, but that unfortunately doesn't make it any less stupid. What does it say when the Enterprise crew fell victim to their Knock-Out Gas trap in the first place?

Finally, T'Pol at least gets to use the Vulcan nerve pinch, though I find it almost out of character that she would play along with Krem for so long when she could've overpowered him much earlier. The blatant sexual overtures are obvious and too drawn out.

The episode marches through the obvious low comedy and standard action of this confrontation, and what does Archer do after defeating the Ferengi? He lets all four of them go on their merry way with a "stern" warning. I don't know about you, but I wouldn't take so kindly to people taking over my ship and almost getting away with stealing everything of value on board — including all the weapons! What kind of rules does Starfleet have on conflicts of this nature? What kind of responsibility does Archer have in holding people who are essentially criminals and pirates? What authorities are out here to deal with the criminal element? Does the Enterprise have the authority to take prisoners, and what would it do with them? All are questions that might actually be worth consideration but which this episode couldn't care less about, since it's merely a Dumb Ferengi Episode.

I guess that's fair, because I really couldn't care less about "Acquisition."

Next week: A strange ghost story featuring another familiar-to-Trek face.

Previous episode: Rogue Planet
Next episode: Oasis

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74 comments on this post

Jakob M. Mokoru
Wed, Oct 1, 2008, 2:44pm (UTC -5)
I agree with Jammer on most parts, yet I must confess having enjoyed this episode somewhat for its dumbness. I'd swap episodes like last week's "Rogue Planet" for episodes like "Acquisition" at anytime!
The Le
Wed, Apr 29, 2009, 11:55am (UTC -5)
I've seen only 3 episodes of this show, and this was one of them. There's a reason I've only seen 3.

The Tpau seen was SO FREAKING STUPID. Just go into the case and get the and weapon and shoot them. There was no need to hide, show yourself, seduce, nerve pinch, THEN get the weapon.

And the final climax was stupid too. Free Archer and go shoot them all. Why would you go into the fake "vault" and hide behind the door? That's your master plan? Really?

It angers me every time I think about this episode.
Thu, Jun 25, 2009, 11:33am (UTC -5)
Perhaps Archer thought leaving them in the tender mercies of Krem would be punishment enough.

But hey, there was actually a Ferengi whip-weapon, something we saw once in TNG and never saw again. That was a nicely composed shot.

But it should be mentioned that it was established in TNG that no one had ever seen a Ferengi before. Pity they turned out to be comic relief written by non-comics. Maybe they need more oboe to let us know when the real fun begins.

They are caricatures at best. Nice to see Combs & Phillips though.
Admirable Chrichton
Tue, Jan 12, 2010, 11:04am (UTC -5)
I think this excerpt from an interview with Brannon Braga on this dogs ass of an episode (I mean you'd think who in hell would even contemplate greenlighting a low grade comedy episode with one of the least popular races that brings up continuity trouble.) really sums up what went wrong with ENT/VOY better than almost anything I have ever seen written.

"I saw more shit being given about our using the Ferengi before it aired than after. You know people were saying "How can they show the Ferengi, when they haven't been encountered yet? They [the fans] don't think we do, but we consider all these things carefully. Sometimes the fans think they know more than we do, but in fact, how could they? This is 24/7 Trek here. It's all we do. We know these series very, very well, so continuity issues are scrutinised very carefully. We almost didn't do it [Acquisition] because it may not fit continuity, but we gave it a whirl anyway."

Let then eat cake eh Brannon.
Sat, Jan 16, 2010, 6:56pm (UTC -5)
Archer was so infuriated by the lack in security of his crew that he intentionally left out in the log books the encounter with the Ferengi. He would have been bashed by the Top Command. Therefore Starfleet never finds out. This restores continuity and allows the TNG crew the sad gratification of being the first humans to spot the Ferengi. IMHO.
Elliot Wilson
Tue, Feb 16, 2010, 5:02pm (UTC -5)
I literally SCREAMED in frustration at the end of this episode. I wanted to destroy my TV set for showing me such filth but of course it had done me no wrong, it was this abomination of an episode that had. And Brannon's comment? FUCK!!!! Is he being deliberately condescending? GOD-BUTTFUCK if they were GOING to do Ferengi they could have done it BETTER, even compared to DS9 standards. I think the writers secretly get a huge thrill out of Ferengi humor so they shove it upon us blindly hoping WE will get find it funny, and if we don't we will eventually get it, but if not then tough shit. This piece of crap deserves NO STARS.
Marco P.
Wed, Sep 22, 2010, 5:42am (UTC -5)
"Lame and pointless" indeed. Nuff said.
Tue, Mar 15, 2011, 6:16am (UTC -5)
I agree with all above.
At almost any time, Tucker or T'pol could've walked into their ship and get some weapons. Or they could've overpowered that one Ferengi, acquiring his weapon and it would've made a 3 vs 3 situation. Or, Tucker should've been less stupid and use the "cure" to wake up the doc, who could've created more "cure".
Numerous options without the use of technobabble that could've fixed the situation.
Sun, May 1, 2011, 6:30pm (UTC -5)

Incredibly dull, especially the first like half hour (or so it felt) when they're verrrry sloooowly wandering around talking in Ferengi. At least make the "silent" bits interesting or funny? (Oh he liked the desserts and stole 2. Hilarious.)

It did have 3 moments of merit:

- Early on, T'Pol makes a joke and you can just see a slight smile before the camera pans away. A nice hint at continuity regarding what happened and some of what was said about her living with humans a couple of episodes back.

- Combs was great, managing to be another Ferengi without having any hint of Brunt (or his other characters) at all. I *might* not have even realised it was him if I hadn't seen his name in the guest star credits. (Can't say the same for Phillips I'm afraid - I noticed him within 0.000001 seconds of him appearing on the camera, in the teaser, before any names came up)

- I did get a kick out of them interrogating Porthos.

That was it. Those were its 3 redeeming features, and not enough to make this anything other than garbage.

To be fair I don't think the crew ever learned that they were called Ferengi so there wouldn't be anything in Starfleet's history books that people would notice unless they were specifically looking for the commerce-loving big-eared description. That's about as fair as I'm going to get though.

I get the impression the actors and writers absolutely loved the Ferengi stuff and found it great fun to do. Good for them, but can't they do it in private? It's awful to watch.
Tue, Sep 27, 2011, 9:09pm (UTC -5)
Dearie me.

Surely there must be one Good Ferengi Episode out there - what a pity this ain't it.

@ Cloudane: Yes, the bit with Porthos made me smile, too. He should have been the breakout character of this series. Imagine: "Star Trek: Porthos"...
Mon, Nov 7, 2011, 4:10am (UTC -5)
I'm going to pretend this episode never happened.
Fri, Nov 11, 2011, 2:14pm (UTC -5)
Oh, boy... The Ferengi douches disable the entire Voyager crew remotely by stealth!?

More-or-less funny remark (the ONLY more-or-less funny remark): "Everybody knows you'd steal wax out of your mother's ears!" Oh yeah, and Porthos: "It's a lower life-form, you fool; probably the captain's next meal."

Not amusing, not smart, not thought-provoking, not poignant, not dramatic... - absolutely NOTHING you'd expect from a semi-decent T.V. program, never mind a Star Trek show.

I cannot believe this is the same Star Trek (T.N.G.) I grew up with and skipped classes for. Even Kirk and the idiotic T.O.S. are like Schindler's List compared to this garbage.

I foolishly downloaded the entire four seasons of Enterprise and used up half my monthly traffic quota for its 20GB. The episodes so far have been underwhelming, to say the least, and the past couple have been utterly atrocious.

Braga said above, inter alia: "I saw more shit being given about our using the Ferengi before it aired than after." That, Braga, could be because after this episode most people just stopped giving a shit, realizing it was all a lost cause.

I'll give the show one more chance, for old times' sake, but if it gets no better, I'm erasing the whole thing off my hard disk and never having anything to do with Star Trek ever again.
Fri, Nov 18, 2011, 12:39am (UTC -5)
Seems that Michael gave up. Good riddance :)
Sun, Nov 20, 2011, 12:02pm (UTC -5)
You wish, buddy! I just discovered--thanks to Jammer--Battlestar Galactica, and have been smitten since episode 1. I gobble up 3-5 episodes per day.

You know how we exult when after a streak of a dozen lousy show comes an episode of Star Trek that's really something? Well, imagine a show where almost EVERY episode has you sitting on the edge of your seat.

Star Trek went seriously downhill sometime during Voyager (possible even DS9; never saw it) and is beyond redemption.

I WILL likely revert to Star Trek: Enterprise once I'm done with B.S.G. but I've a feeling it'll be only going through the motions: Watching it just to check it off my list. Archer & co. were bad enough with reference to Voyager; as compared to B.S.G. they are abysmally horrid.
Scott from Detroit
Sat, Jul 7, 2012, 8:41pm (UTC -5)
Jamahl, I disagree with you on this episode. I rather enjoyed it.

However, your review is so hilarious and true. The episode was hokey and predictable, but still entertaining to me.

I do certainly agree with you that the Ferengi episodes in DS9 were painful after a while!
Captain Jim
Thu, Jul 12, 2012, 9:07pm (UTC -5)
I know that a lot of people hated the Ferengi episodes on DS9. I rather liked them, as a lighter change of pace. Not this, though. This was terrible. Not even Ethan Philips and Jeffrey Combs could save this. The silent part at the beginning, in particular, dragged unmercifully. Definitely the worst Enterprise to date, and the only one IMO that was really painful to watch.
Fri, Aug 10, 2012, 1:24pm (UTC -5)
Episodes like this are best watched while you're doing something else. I reconciled a bank statement. They are interesting only in watching how well the actors rise above their latex.
John (the younger)
Tue, Nov 27, 2012, 8:42am (UTC -5)
Jammer, I see nothing in your review to warrant 1.5 stars.

If I hadn't seen the score I would have guessed you'd given this zero to one.

Which, incidentally, is what I'd give it.
Wed, May 22, 2013, 10:23am (UTC -5)
Fun fact: Clint Howard didn't need to wear makeup for this episode.
Thu, Nov 7, 2013, 3:01pm (UTC -5)
After reading this review, I braced myself for a terrible episode. I already watched TNG's "The Loss" today, so I thought this would be another episode I'd just have to get behind me. However like Scott from Detroit, I quite enjoyed it. The Ferengi weren't as annoying as the Ferengi in TNG (haven't watched DS9 yet), Tucker in his cute underwear was a pleasure to watch, and the whole thing was entertaining. Not great, not spectacular, but certainly not as bad as I had expected. The least annoying Ferengi episode I have seen so far.
Andy's Friend
Sun, Nov 10, 2013, 9:46am (UTC -5)
I believe people are missing the point with this episode.

Try watching it with a kid.

Try watching it with your Trek-loving son or daughter. Chances are you'll see a big grin on his or her face during this episode - as opposed to a thoughtful look during, say, "I, Borg". Yes, it's silly. It's supposed to be.

Just like Jammer and Michael, I remember watching TNG back in the late 80's as a teenager. Chances are, many of us here did. Some went on to DS9. Some also watched VOY. And finally ENT.

Later, I watched all episodes of TNG, DS9, VOY and ENT on DVD with an 8-14 year old and his mother back in 2004-2010. Great times. And the truly great episodes are impossible to miss - stuff like "The Measure of a Man" or "Far Beyond the Stars". Even a kid that age can see that.

Then we have the great action and/or hard sci-fi episodes, stuff like "11001001", "Cause and Effect", "Yesterday's Enterprise", or the amazing "The Best of Both Worlds", just to mention TNG.

Then we have some adequate to outright uninspired, mediocre episodes. And finally we have episodes such as this one. I could easily live without it. But I still clearly remember the fun I had with the kid while watching it - mostly making fun of what we were seeing, as we were probably meant to.

I would possibly have thought differently of this episode had I watched it alone, instead of in the company of a child. But I didn't, and that's the point. Many of us who saw TNG when it originally aired have kids today (congratulations, Jammer :-). And many who saw the various series when they aired ten or twenty years ago probably had children also. I guess that's why, every now and then, they would make episodes such as this one. Which is perfectly fine with me. Ten years from now, the kid will say: "Oh, yes, I remember that silly episode!" and remember it with a smile. And for that reason, so will I. "Qpid" comes to mind as another silly episode he enjoyed. Shouldn't he and others like him be allowed to, in between "The Inner Light" and "In The Pale Moonlight"? The rest of us still have many hours of great Trek to be thankful for...
Tue, Jul 22, 2014, 5:31pm (UTC -5)
As much as I detest pretty much ALL Ferengi episodes, and the writing talents of Berman and Berman Jr, I actually found this to be the least offensive of the Ferengi stories. Just based on reading the first few lines of Jammer's review prior to viewing, I was expecting spmething much, much worse that this.

Combs did his usual admirable job at making the character his own and playing it convincingly, seeing 'Balok' return to Trek was a nice touch, and I thought Bakula channeled a bit of Kirk when trying to convince Krem to help him.

Really, it wasn't THAT bad .... As Ferengi episodes go. At least not one character uttered the word "moogie". God, how I hated that shit.
Wed, Jul 23, 2014, 6:35am (UTC -5)
So, "Ferengi on DS9 = funny" and "Ferengi on ENT = Lame and pointless"

I didn't want to see this on Enterprise either, but it's not a "bad" episode.

Combs brings his magic to the screen and there is some good comedy.

Hell, the gals are happy.... they get to see Trip running around in his space undies.

Clint Howard was fine and Eathan Phillips got to play a Ferengi again.

Just a fun episode. I thought all the characters were well played.

2.5 stars for me.
Thu, Oct 23, 2014, 8:53am (UTC -5)
Maybe you are right, OR perhaps you are not. Because of you guys complaining about Enterprise all the time since it's first aired, we trekkies got J.J. A-hole's new Star Trek movies which are totally BS. Thanks for nothing but senseless complains. Now Hollywood is even dumber.
Wed, Nov 12, 2014, 5:48am (UTC -5)
This episode was a load of crap! Boring, insulting, but then again the Ferengi episodes sometimes were the weakest Trek episodes, though there were a few good ones in DS9. I love the new Abrams films and wish people would stop moaning about them. Trek desperately needed bringing up to date, it wasn't working the way it used to be, Abrams dragged it kicking and screaming into the modern age. Do you really think the world wants another Nemesis or ST: The Motion Picture? Thanks to Abrams, we DIDN'T get a "Star Trek Federation" series about a crew of anti-social morons on yet another Enterprise led by yet another galactic gallivanter called Kirk! What a bowl of shite that would have been!
Wed, Nov 12, 2014, 9:02am (UTC -5)

I wish people would stop moaning about Enterprise.
Wed, Nov 12, 2014, 10:40am (UTC -5)
@NoPoet - Enterprise was the wrong future for Star Trek, but so is Abrams. Those films are fun. Those films never would have inspired people to become Trekkers. They are a failure to modernize Trek, though they make some good cash.
Tue, Feb 3, 2015, 7:42am (UTC -5)
Despite the fact they are out there to seek out new worlds and civilsations, despite the fact the Ferengi knocked out all the crew and came close to stripping the ship, Archer simply says "I never wanna see you again!"
Nice going Archer.
A potential threat ignored so these dosy writers at their eleventh hour realization the Last Outpost was a first contact situation can get away with it.
Thu, Feb 12, 2015, 3:32pm (UTC -5)
You know - some of the Ferengi episodes in DS9 were pretty good, sometimes zany, off balanced, often chaotic and sometimes unsuccesful but this effort sunk to new depths.

adj. commonplace

dull as dishwater
ho hum
old hat

W Smith
Fri, Mar 20, 2015, 11:20pm (UTC -5)
The only cool thing in the ep was seeing the Ferengi energy whip back in action. It appeared in TNG's The Last Outpost and then disappeared from the Ferengi arsenal. It seemed a fitting weapon for a culture that subscribes to subjugation, greed and selfishness.
Fri, May 15, 2015, 10:00pm (UTC -5)
Enterprise would have been ever so much more bearable those 4 taxing years if the crew had just worn underwear because, well, you can't deny, Trineer had a lovely bottom.

Over and out.
jonn walsh
Wed, May 20, 2015, 9:10am (UTC -5)
I'll take this over Abrams all day every day.....
Wed, May 20, 2015, 1:53pm (UTC -5)
@john walsh - Sadly this is why Abrams got his shot though. If B&B were knocking it out of the park we wouldn't be in this mess.
Thu, Nov 26, 2015, 12:54am (UTC -5)
One of the worst episodes ever and I often like the Ferengi; they were just so stupid here, especially Krem who never got around to actually being sympathetic. The only sort of OK part was Archer and Trip pretending to fight.
Thu, Nov 26, 2015, 1:03am (UTC -5)
And Archer complaining of T'Pol was also sort of OK but T'Pol, Archer and Trip were also generally bad.
Wed, Jan 13, 2016, 10:14pm (UTC -5)
Just once I'd like to see the realistic results of an entire population suddenly falling should be bloody and with lots of head and body trauma, especially with metal floors, consoles, and bulkheads, but no, once again it looks like everyone had time to comfortably lie down.
Diamond Dave
Fri, Apr 1, 2016, 2:34pm (UTC -5)
Well that was grim. Interestingly enough there was just a hint of the early TNG Ferengi about this one, but rather than having the balls to go all out with the capering horrors we first saw on TNG what we have here are Ferengi stripped of any nuance that DS9 brought and reduced to unfunny caricatures. It was scored curiously too - something like a Road Runner cartoon, which sounded... odd.

I only thought there were two decent comedy moments - interrogating Porthos raised a smile, as did the Ferengi licking the end of the device that looked suspiciously like an anal probe. 1.5 stars.
Fri, Jul 15, 2016, 4:17pm (UTC -5)
There was something amusing about watching Archer get the shit beaten out of him by Ferengi maybe because I had just sat through "A night in sickbay" and was happy to watch him suffer Like I did watching him in that episode.

2 Stars
Fri, Sep 2, 2016, 11:25pm (UTC -5)
Well, I went in expecting something god awful... like along the lines of DS9's Profit and Lace or VOY's False Profits... but this episode was kind of OK, I suppose.

Something about it made it surprisingly watchable... I can't quite put my finger on it. I always appreciate Jeffrey Combs and I feel like he does a good job with whatever he is given, so his character was a "plus". I also enjoyed all the moments where Archer and Trip played things up for the Ferengi.

And hey, they even brought back the energy whip, cause... why not?

Not nearly as bad as I expected.. and it's not as terrible as some of the other episodes this season. 2/4 from me.
Rob Carter
Fri, Sep 9, 2016, 8:50pm (UTC -5)
With Jeffrey Combs (DS9) and Ethan Phillips (VOY) starring you'd think they could write a better episode.
Wed, Sep 28, 2016, 2:45am (UTC -5)
Bwahahahahahaha loved it! More Ferengi please! (***)
Tue, Nov 22, 2016, 12:58am (UTC -5)
How often is anesthetic gas used in plots with zero ill effects? In reality, I know of its use just once. Several years ago, some Chechyen terrorists took over a theatre in Moscow, taking dozens of hostages. After a tense standoff, Russian police pumped anesthetic gas in the building's ventilation system and retook the building. The only problem is a whole bunch of people died from the gas, including many of the hostages. You see, people don't all weigh the same - so a large enough dose to put a big guy to sleep right away can be enough to send a small person to their death. And maybe there's a reason anesthesiologists are some the most heavily insured doctors around.

I found myself wondering how the Ferengi were ever conceived as a villainous race. They are just the three stooges with big ears. They must have stolen their space travel technology, except they'd also need to enslave an engineering team to run each ship.

There were a few fun moments, however, such as Porthos' scene. That said, the scene with T'Pol stroking the Ferwngi's ears made me a bit uncomfortable. It was too suggestive for an otherwise childish episode.
Sun, Jul 16, 2017, 12:36am (UTC -5)
Good episode as a first Human Ferengi encounter. Shows them as thieving scum from minute one, stopping at nothing to acquire valuables using anything they can.
1. Their general ineptitude doesn't thus mean they are incapable of having abilities to make warp drives and other space-faring technologies. Stop assuming and stop thinking too deep. I view them as a neanderthal species who survived their evolutionary path on their own planet.
2. This episode actually hits one nail right on the head ... they view women as acquisitions to sell on as slaves and little more (aside from massaging their ear lobes) and other species males are worthless, not for selling even if skilled, because Ferengi obviously have skills similar or better too (the whip alludes to one such technological skill). Even if Ferengi are assumed to be inept at technical skills etc they can still have warp drive technology etc because they are uniquely skilled at acquisition, so much more than anyone else, that their bible is the rules of acquisition. Happens now in our planet, rich people cannot even change a light bulb ... they can afford to pay others to do it for them.
3. In TNG the first encounter with the Ferengi has them portrayed as slavering, devious, and inept, but with a thieving sneaky and corrupt mindset. And I believe it's then that their race etc is mentioned by Picard and co ... Enterprise doesn't go in that deep (even the Vulcan doesn't even hint at knowing them in this episode).
4. Archer doesn't lock up the Ferengi or punish them but sends them on their merry way, because as he said in a previous season 1 episode, the ground rules on discovery, first contact etc have not yet been laid down by star fleet. He has no rule book to pass judgement and thus uses his own discretion by seeing that no real harm was done so all's well that ends well. Is he going to take every single offender back to Earth and lock them up every time he has an encounter in deep space and something doesn't turn out well? NO! It would make his voyage of exploration very long indeed if he has to about turn every time they get a bloody nose. Remember, this is a ship sent to do one mission, which is way over 6 months into "further exploration" because it has a Vulcan star chart and they are "boldly going ... "
5. Archer knows that they are way out of their depth in deep space (in a previous episode they had to make weapons upgrades etc when they realised this fact) but he is a victim of that terrible human trait of blind curiosity that drives us on to see what is around the next corner.

And that's the whole point of Enterprise. It is a lovely well made masterpiece of stepping and stumbling into the great unknown. It's exactly how it will happen if it comes to pass in reality with us, because we are flawed and by our very nature doomed to keep getting our fingers burnt.

Q gave Picard a Bloody nose when he introduced them to the Borg! Q doesn't merit Archer even worthy of a visit yet!
Because at that point in time Humans have only just crawled out from under our stone.

It was an episode introducing a timeline encounter, nothing more, nothing less. It did it well and introduced an alien race that has featured many times since, so it was essential.
Mon, Jul 24, 2017, 8:36am (UTC -5)
This episode isn't so bad. 2 1/2 stars from me.

It was meant to be silly and cliched and corny. And it was.

And maybe it's because everyone knows it already, but I'm surprised that noone mentioned that Ethan Phillips (Ulis) was also Neelix on Voyager. Just thought I'd add that in case others didn't know :D
Fri, Sep 8, 2017, 5:32pm (UTC -5)
You bunch of cranky old moaners! I quite enjoyed this episode and I think it would be a good one to watch with the kids (other than the sexual undertones in a scene or two).
Fri, Oct 13, 2017, 3:06pm (UTC -5)
Just embarrassingly bad -- can't find a single redeeming quality in this garbage episode. It wasn't funny or enjoyable. Just stupid. The Ferengi (I don't believe they ever refer to themselves here as such) were responsible for many stupid episodes in DS9 (and to a lesser extent TNG).

At the start, how long do we have to watch the Ferengi go through the ship speaking without even subtitles? And why does Trip wander around for so long on in his underwear?

And Archer's attitude toward the Ferengi when he sees them ransacking his ship -- he doesn't even seem to show the slightest aggression or resistance as if he knows the Ferengi are a bunch of clowns and that this is supposed to be some kind of throw-away episode.

The only thing that made me chuckle was when the Ferengi try using their translator on Porthos and think it's a lower-level species! But that's not even good for 1/2 a star.

After taking back the ship, Archer just lets them off with a slap of the wrist never to be heard from again until TNG. Considering what could have been the end of their mission, this act from Archer is among the most stupid. Fitting that it would take place on this episode.

Zero stars for "Acquisition" -- just awfully bad on all levels. The Ferengi continue to be the stupidest creation in the Trek canon. Not sure how Jammer gets to 1.5 stars given his review. Not even sure what the writers were thinking here. This is not Star Trek for me.
Tue, Nov 7, 2017, 11:54pm (UTC -5)
I swear earlier in the season T’Pol mentions the Ferengi (meaning Vulcans were aware of the Ferengi) yet in this episode she does not seem to indicate to the Captain or Trip who the invaders are.
Wed, Nov 29, 2017, 5:06pm (UTC -5)
2.5 stars. Not great. Not awful kinda entertaining once but not much rewatch value

The writers really didn’t need to go there. They should have left the Ferengi alone as a TNG era race because I much prefer their introduction on TNG to here. But sorta watchable
Tue, Mar 20, 2018, 4:44am (UTC -5)
The scenes at the beginning with the Ferengi moving around past the knocked out crew could potentially have been compelling - if they hadn't been the Ferengi, but rather some new race. It could have been mysterious and creepy - why are these people here, what are they looking for, what do they want with the Enterprise crew? But because it's the Ferengi, we know they're here to steal stuff and leave, so we're just waiting for the plot proper to start.
Tue, May 1, 2018, 2:48pm (UTC -5)
I do like how the writers subtly referenced the episode Dear Doctor with the little throwaway line "Do I look like a Menk to you?". After all, the Valakians mentioned having been visited by the Ferengi, it's a subtle nod to continuity.

Of course, 2 scenes later those same writers have a warp capable species interrogate a dog. Sigh.
Mon, May 28, 2018, 4:14pm (UTC -5)
The restraint shown by the Enterprise crew towards the Ferengi thieves was such that it seemed like they were playing a rather silly cat-and-mouse game for most of the episode. There must've been half a dozen scenes where Krem turned his back on Archer and Archer could've knocked him out easily, yet all he does is blabber on about how Kren gets the "menial work". Apparently if you have a gun in your hand on Trek, you're invincible, whether or not you're facing your prisoner, whether or not you're paying attention. Laughable.
Peter Swinkels
Sat, Jun 23, 2018, 3:55pm (UTC -5)
They actually thought that the dog might have had their level of intelligence because it too had big ears. :-) Actually given their behaviour they may haven’t been that far off. Ahem. As far as continiuty is concerned: I have accepted that Star Trek is rather selective in what aspects of continiuty are respected and which are not. And let’s be honest here, now there are several people complaining about a lack of it and stale/predictable stories. If the writers tried to maintain better continiuty it would almost certainly impose more restrictions on the writing. I’ll leave it to the imagination as to the kind of complaints that would yield...
Sun, Aug 12, 2018, 7:48pm (UTC -5)
So the Ferengi planted some fake relic on a moon for Enterprise to find, and inside that artifact was some kind of knockout gas. I have so many questions I don't know where to begin. How did the Ferengi know that Enterprise would be going on an expedition to that moon, and how did they know that they would find the artifact and take it aboard? (It also annoyed me a bit that T'pol called it a Lunar expedition. Only our moon is referred to as Luna.)

How did the knockout gas inside it flood an entire Starship? Every deck, every room, except for the decontamination bay where Trip just so conveniently happened to be. I know it's a comedy episode but even Looney Tunes cartoons has better writing. It's hard to believe these four bumbling fools could even fly a ship, let alone take over a starship.
Mon, Sep 3, 2018, 4:46pm (UTC -5)
Episode is in the running for all time low score of Star Trek. Most of it is already being said. I was especially frustrated with how easy Archer, Trip and/or T'Pol could have overpowered one of the Ferengi. And indeed with just sending them off at the end. Same as with Quark: a lot of serious crimes, never any real punishment. Do all Ferengi have an infinite amount of get-out-of-jail free cards?
Steve McCullagh
Sat, Nov 3, 2018, 8:49am (UTC -5)
Wow. After reading this and the vitriol in general that Ferengi episodes trigger on these pages, both in the reviews and in the comments, I have to ask: Have any of you people ever had fun? Like, ever?
Jason R.
Mon, Jul 15, 2019, 7:01am (UTC -5)
I watched this one while baking cookies and making sushi. I think I looked up from my work a couple times between creaming the butter and sugar and mixing in the chocolate chips but it was still some Ferenghi muttering in unsubtitled gibberish wondering around Enterprise pilfering so I quickly went back to work.

I think it was around the time I was putting my rice in the pot (after having put the cookies in the oven) that I noticed out of the corner of my eye that Trip and Archer seemed to be awake. Then I started hearing some dialogue in English so I listened and watched a little using my peripheral vision as I carefully prepared my maki rolls with both avocado and salmon.

By the time I was plating the sushi my 5 year old was staring at the cooling rack full of cookies and I heard some dialogue about selling T'Pal into slavery but sadly I remembered thinking that she's main cast so that probably wouldn't happen even if her absence would improve the show (Archer would need a new science officer and maybe she'd be played by a better actor?)

In conclusion, since no one asked the intruders what race they belonged to and no one uttered the word "Ferengi" in the episode, continuity was preserved. Don't you all feel stupid for having questioned the writing?

Still a better episode than Rogue Planet though.
Mon, Jul 22, 2019, 12:04pm (UTC -5)
Jeez, the number of people who feel every episode must be zero or four stars is staggering. It's a bit of silly fun, that's never truly epic, but has some fun moments, a little bit of character stuff for our trio - I like watching them figure out how to work together, even without dialogue, etc.

It's probably two, two and a half stars. Fine, not great, but not remotely terrible.

I kinda get the impression across all the series that the Ferengi pirates are supposed to be kinda dumb losers; those who couldn't hack it in the world of business or whatnot. So it all fits and makes sense to me (and really, with the Ferengi technologically way ahead of humans, why are you raiding a human ship unless you're kinda dumb and scraping the bottom of the barrel?) - the TNG Ferengi play out pretty much the same way.
Mon, Aug 5, 2019, 9:18am (UTC -5)
This is probably better than 90% of the Ferengi episodes on TNG and DS9. It's a comedy episode. COM-E-DY. Plausibility has never been a concern in these types of episodes. A shipment of kemocite in the shuttle causes time travel back to Roswell, New Mexico? A group of bumbling Ferengi outsmart the Dominion, who have taken "Moogie" hostage!? I could go on. Even the most celebrated Ferengi episodes of DS9 are wildly implausible and ridiculous. Try holding this to the same standard.

I see a lot of complaints about the knockout gas. Do we know what kind of gas was used? Alien gas from the future must work like incapacitating agents we use today? You better hand in your combadge, because the same complaint could be applied to every single episode where a phaser is used to stun someone.

As for continuity, even in TNG we are told that Picard had fought with the Ferengi when he was younger. Why didn't he recognize them or their ship?
Fri, Jan 10, 2020, 3:34am (UTC -5)
On top of all that's been said. One other continuity issue that REALLY irked me was that the Ferengi where enthusiastic about gold: there's an exchange that goes:
Archer: "I'll keep the gold"
Ferengi leader : "gold-pressed latinum ?"
Archer: "gold bars"
Then the Ferengi act as if that was even better.
But it was well established in canon (on 2 different episodes to my memory) that Ferengi found pure gold quite worthless.
Fri, Jan 10, 2020, 7:12am (UTC -5)
Actually, there are a few DS9 episodes where the Ferengi value gold. "Little Green Men" comes to mind.

If there's a contradiction here, it came to be well before the Enterprise episode.

Moral of the story: Don't blame this episode for having the Ferengi value gold. Blame this episode for using them in the first place in a setting where they don't belong.

(though I also kinda agree with Mike, that continuity issues are not that important anyway in a comedy episode like this one)
William Nitschke
Fri, Apr 17, 2020, 8:16am (UTC -5)
The most amusing part of this episode was trying to figure out what was Neelix doing disguising as a Ferengi. The least amusing part of this episode was seeing he wasn't
Sun, Jul 26, 2020, 12:59pm (UTC -5)
Weird that neither Voyager nor Enterprise was able to build on what DS9 had done with the Ferengi, instead bringing them back to the caricatures they were on TNG. The blueprint is right there, people! Anyway, this sucks.
Cody B
Sun, Jul 26, 2020, 6:18pm (UTC -5)

And what is it you expected in one episode? Name me a Ferengi episode that’s a classic that doesn’t feature Quark or Nog or Rom who had years of character development.
Mon, Jul 27, 2020, 8:33am (UTC -5)

I for one am glad we didn't get all the Ferengi crap in Voyager and Enterprise was a couple hundred years before DS9/TNG so...
Tue, Aug 25, 2020, 11:38am (UTC -5)
I seem to be one of the few people who enjoy the Ferengi, at least the DS9 version of them. That said, even for a Ferengi fan, this was boring.
Sean J Hagins
Tue, Nov 24, 2020, 2:46am (UTC -5)
Ok, I am going to make my comments on this episode before reading any previous ones (although with the bashing of Enterprise in general here, I can only guess what they will be...)

I LOVED this episode! It was genuinely funny (and not all Ferengi episodes are to me from TNG and DS9) and I was entertained.

Yes, I know that the Federation doesn't officially meet them until 200 years later, but they never actually named their race, so I'll give that a pass.

I am actually seeing the Spock-like humour in T'Pol (When she withheld the key from the captain), and Trip and Archer had their funny moments too. Also, it was neat seeing the little boy from the Carbomite Maneuver as well as Shron the Andalite, Neelix, and the other guy (who looks familiar too but I can't place). I like how goofy the Ferengi are, and I think it is neat that not all the threats and baddies the Enterprise runs into are life and death. My only thing is that a lot of the main cast had nothing to do but play dead on the ground (well, at least they still got paid, and they had an easy time remembering their lines!)

Ok, so now I am going to read the comments. If I am wrong, I apologise, but if not, I will say that people need to lighten up. I just don't know what people want in their Star Trek. For me, I watch television for light amusement. If I laugh at a comedy episode, then it did its job. The only issue I had with the show is the "Oo-Mox" and the way they objectify T'Pol. I never understood this, and I think the show would be better for it if they left that alone. I mean I think Crewman Cutler is VERY pretty, and it doesn't come from a skintight outfit or a sultry walk. Shame on Star Trek for that kind of common denominator baseness!
Wed, Nov 25, 2020, 12:41am (UTC -5)
Absolute embarrassment. Dreck.

The Borg episode was an annoying cheat, but at least vaguely plausible.

But the Ferengi so close to Federation space that they staged a raid, yet the Feds don’t seem to know anything about them for two centuries? SMH.

As retarded as this one was, Trip Tucker running around in his underwear was one of the high points of the entire four seasons. Hell, with the way this show holds a finger up to logic and continuity, I’m amazed they didn’t have 7 of 9 drop by for a thing with Trip.

To be fair, this was the first season of Enterprise, and Treks do tend to flail for the first couple seasons. BUT, while I don’t mind seeing Trip running around in his blue skivvies, I think it’s pretty obvious Trek wasn’t built on pretty people running around nearly naked.
Wed, Nov 25, 2020, 12:52am (UTC -5)
Hell, this show, if Seven had beamed in for an improbable fling with Trip, it would have been far better than the stillborn Temporal Cold War “arc”.

And by the way, this one is credited to B&B... meaning, they believed they could get by shaving bits off TNG era...
Wed, Nov 25, 2020, 7:27am (UTC -5)
Trek fans certainly tend to be continuity zealots, and yes that can certainly constrain story possibilities. However, there’s a sure fire way to avoid that issue: don’t make a prequel series.

As for the Ferengi, I think some of the commenters don’t fully get why so many viewers dislike them. Very few people liked Ferengi episodes in all incarnation of Trek. Keep in mind, the Ferengi were a failed concept. They were supposed to be the new antagonists in TNG, but they were so silly, that they were switched over to “comedy “.

Some viewers like them, so kudos if you do, but I dare say the vast bulk of trekkers never liked them at all. It’s kind of like Lwaxana Troi... there may be moments when they work, but most of the time, as soon as they show up on screen, eyes are rolling.

DS9 did some decent work with Quark and his family, but most episodes with a Ferengi theme were just terrible. And you even see this on the comments above— a whole lot of people are saying that’s not bad for Ferengi episode.
Wed, Apr 14, 2021, 7:57pm (UTC -5)
I can't tell if someone mentioned this already. But I don't think the Ferengi ever called themselves Ferengi. Thus, it could not have been in the log and Picard would still not know what they look like.
Thu, Nov 25, 2021, 8:23pm (UTC -5)
"At the start, how long do we have to watch the Ferengi go through the ship speaking without even subtitles?"

There actually *were* subtitles, at least on Hulu. What purpose do subtitles of gibberish serve?

"Absolute embarrassment. Dreck."

Yes. Star Dreck.
Sun, Apr 3, 2022, 11:19pm (UTC -5)
I've never been a huge Ferengi fan but this is a middling episode. 2 stars at best. I think Jeffrey Combs awesome so, I always rate up anything he is in in my head.
Mon, Feb 13, 2023, 5:13pm (UTC -5)
How dare those foolish Ferengi suggest that Archer would eat his own dog!


Porthos for the win! He saved this ep!!!!
Mon, Apr 24, 2023, 12:59pm (UTC -5)
The greatest sin entertainment can commit is not imparting poor morals, but being boring. For the first ten minutes of this episode we just watch a bunch of people in Halloween costumes with giant ears speak gibberish, it's hard to think of a more boring ten minutes of television (perhaps Tom Snyder would have been good competition). Other than that, it's the same overplayed Ferengi jokes that we'd have been exposed to for over a decade at the time of airing, which weren't even funny the first time.

I guess there are a few positives. Scott Bakula's performance was quite amusing. It was nice to see a nod to the Ferengi whip. I bet this episode was really cheap to produce, they saved big on paychecks, used only the Enterprise set and got to reuse their old Ferengi prosthetics.

But honestly, I'd have been happier listening to Archer answering elementary school children's questions about what happens to poop on the Enterprise for 45 minutes than sitting through this. A truly horrible 45 minutes of television, it gives the Roseanne finale a run for its money.

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