Star Trek: Enterprise

"Fight or Flight"

2.5 stars

Air date: 10/3/2001
Written by Rick Berman & Brannon Braga
Directed by Allan Kroeker

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

"I'm a translator. I didn't come out here to see corpses hanging on hooks."
"It goes without saying that you're going to encounter the unexpected."
"Not corpses on hooks."

— Sato and Phlox

In brief: Average fare. Not bad on the character level; the plot is largely forgettable but nicely functional.

"Fight or Flight" doesn't do much for me one way or the other. It works on some levels that are important, but as an hour of entertainment I find it to be simply average, nothing more or less.

We're still feeling out the characters at this point, and I guess that's why it's a good thing this is a show pitched primarily as a character-perspective piece: We have one character's main problem — Hoshi Sato's fears of her new, prolonged deep-space assignment — and much of the story is filtered through what she experiences.

Early on she discusses with Dr. Phlox her apprehension about living in space. At heart, she's a linguist, not a space pioneer. She'd rather be teaching than sitting at a starship console. But on the other hand, out here she has an unprecedented opportunity to encounter all sorts of completely new languages. (Plus, it can't hurt the ego being one of the captain's assets.)

It would seem Hoshi is not one who easily accepts change. There's a scene where she asks Captain Archer if she can switch quarters to the other side of the ship because she's used to seeing the stars in her window move in the opposite direction. A request like that makes you wonder about a person's toughness — although I'll be the first to say it will be nice if not everyone on this show is tough. This sort of space travel is, after all, a new thing for these people.

The Enterprise comes across a vessel dead in space. Scans for life are inconclusive. Against T'Pol's recommendations, Archer decides to take a small party to board the ship. Among his party is, of course, young Ensign Sato, who is not particularly looking forward to a dark, mysterious away mission. She tries to convince Archer to replace her, but Archer needs a translator for anything that might resemble a first-contact situation. I guess I should point out that Hoshi's apprehensions here display character continuity from "Broken Bow," where she was constantly nervous and on-edge.

Also among this episode's goals is tackling the certain-to-be-ongoing subject of Archer and T'Pol and their disagreements. What we have here is a fundamental difference in motive and nature: Archer is an explorer who believes certain risks are worth taking, while T'Pol seems relatively bloodless and willing merely to chart empty space. Vulcans aren't interested in exploring in the sense that humans are, she notes. Well if that's the case, then why are the Vulcans even out in space? Is it because they want to be control freaks and make sure the galaxy stays stable enough to conform to their purely logical outlook? "Broken Bow" presented Vulcans who were little more than arbitrary obstacles for humanity, and I can't say I really understand the notion here that space travel is done for purely "logical" and not explorative purposes. (Some of these attitudes make me wonder why the Vulcans didn't just become isolationists.) I think this series will have a fine line to walk in portraying the Vulcans; they seem much more stodgy and obstinate than the Vulcans of the 23rd and 24th centuries, and I wonder if that's an arbitrary characterization or something that will be dealt with.

The plot involving the ship floating adrift is functional more than it is imaginative or interesting. Archer's boarding party finds nothing but the corpses of its crew, hooked up to machines that are pumping fluids from their bodies.

Hoshi screams at the gruesome sight. Later, back on the Enterprise, she beats herself up for her moment of fear, and says to Phlox: "I'm a translator. I didn't come out here to see corpses hanging on hooks." Linda Park does a good job of creating a vulnerable young ensign as well as hitting the right notes in the appreciated fact that she knows (and is somewhat discouraged by) her own weaknesses and limitations.

I also was interested in Archer's actions through the story. He takes T'Pol's suggestion of leaving behind the dead alien ship, whose killers apparently will be back for them — probably a fight not prudent to be caught in the middle of. But later Archer finds himself increasingly appalled by what has happened, and dissatisfied with his response to the situation. He's determined to go back and see if there's some way to find this crew's homeland and ensure that the dead are properly laid to rest. Scott Bakula is good with the speechmaking; Archer seems to be making points to Tucker and T'Pol as if also trying to use his disgust as a self-motivation for action.

This leads to a conflict where the Enterprise's performance under fire is tested right alongside Hoshi's, as she must decipher the alien language and use it to communicate to another captain who has come across his people's dead crew, while the perpetrators of the crime simultaneously attack the Enterprise. (We never learn who these perpetrators are, because they're faceless devices used to drive the action.) I liked the confusion and chaos conveyed by this sequence. Hoshi is unsure what she's even translating but must try to convey a convoluted message nonetheless; she very literally becomes the ship's only hope in a situation of increasing desperation.

Meanwhile, I find it interesting how the Enterprise finds itself completely outmatched: Not only are the ship's computer translators only partially effective, the defensive systems are relatively crude (earlier in the show, a weapons test shows trial and error at its finest).

And yet it all seems a little too routine. I honestly don't have that much of substance to say about "Fight or Flight." It's a lightweight offering that inspires little in terms of analysis and left me largely unmoved. At the same time it's certainly adequate in its attempts to showcase at least one of the supporting characters (though I could've done without the alien slug as a metaphor for Hoshi being out of her element, a notion so obvious it borders on silliness). And the episode fares reasonably in showing a lower-tech Trek at work, with a human crew on the low end of the galactic totem pole.

Note: Enterprise has elected to use the more common network-style four-act story structure, abandoning the five-act structure used throughout the runs of TNG, DS9, and Voyager.

Next week: Planet LSD.

Previous episode: Broken Bow
Next episode: Strange New World

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45 comments on this post

Tue, Oct 9, 2007, 1:40pm (UTC -5)
Should Archer have gone into the adrift alien ship? It seems to me to be a total lack of respect, and I find myself agreeing with T'Pol. That being said though, I'm glad Archer went. I like how the captain doesn't always make the right decisions. Space exploration is new and it shouldn't be easy. As an afterthought, the slug would have no natural predators on the planet they dropped it off on. In fifty years would that planet be overrun by slugs? If so I hope the Ferengi find it.
Jakob M. Mokoru
Wed, Sep 24, 2008, 2:23am (UTC -5)
Not a bad first "real" episode, certainly better than e.g. "The Naked Now" or "Parallax".

@Josh: I had the same thoughts (about the slug), coming from a country (Austria) that is "overrun" by foreign (spanish) slugs who prosper due to milder climate and lack of predators.
Wed, Aug 11, 2010, 3:09am (UTC -5)
I agreed with T'Pol the whole episode! Everyone else behaved like a child. I get that space exploration is supposed to be new and exciting here, and that that might lead people to act differently than a more seasoned crew. But honestly, between Archer's hissy fits and Hoshi's whining, I kept thinking "man, the vulcans should have kept them grounded for another 50 years. They obviously aren't ready! It must get tiring for T'Pol to have to spend all her time babysitting."

I decided to watch this series because I didn't think it could possibly be as bad as most Trek fans make it out to be. But, I'm beggining to understand what people were talking about. I'm only two episodes in, and I've already thought about slapping some sense into Captain Archer multiple times. He comes across as such a petulant jerk. I'm hoping he gets better with time, and that he stops treating T'Pol like she murders puppies in her spare time.

Speaking of puppies though, I do love Porthos. That dog needs more screen time in the future, because he's one of Captain Archer's few redeeming qualities to date.

And finally, I want to know what's with all the Vulcan hate in later Trek? I know the Vulcans held back the space program and generally pissed Archer off. But, really, it's weird to see such a beloved Trek alien race be the enemy so often.

I want to like this series. I can see the potential here. But, all of these people need to grow up a lot. They also need to spend more time listening to T'Pol. She may be cold and a bit boring, but she isn't going off like some half cocked frat boy all the time like Archer either; and that can only be a good thing.
Marco P.
Thu, Sep 2, 2010, 11:22am (UTC -5)
Agreeing with Jammer here: a rather lackluster episode.

It seems to me, based on the first three hours of this series, the producers/writers are trying to break the general Trek trend of "cleanliness". That is, life on board the Enterprise and space exploration is treated in more of a "messy" way: the weapons systems have to be calibrated, the universal translator doesn't work half the time, and aliens are found dead on board their spaceship, in what appears to be gruesome fluid "harvesting" process.

Now I can see the attempt to refresh the franchise. Unfortunately so far, it's a bit of a hit & miss. And like Jammer said, beyond the characterization of Hoshi there's not much meat left in this episode, because the plot is largely forgettable.

Especially since the epilogue scene, rather than focusing on the alien races features Hoshi releasing her slug into nature. Weird.
Sun, Apr 17, 2011, 12:25pm (UTC -5)
It's far too early to cast judgement on the series. 2 episodes doesn't tell us much. Though I've heard it does take 2 *seasons* to get good ;)

The slug business was a bit meh, but it's encouraging to see possible character development (again, difficult to tell this early) with Hoshi. Heck I'd say she's already grown more in one episode than Harry Kim did in 7 years...
Fri, Oct 21, 2011, 7:42am (UTC -5)
Aight, well, not bad. The so-called captain is a dud: Emotional, infantile, impulsive. If he'd been in the military, he'd never have risen above a private and would've spent most of the time on latrine duty.

He WAS right to board the moribund vessel though, IMO. Why would it be disrespectful?? Would you walk on by past a car wreckage just because you couldn't immediately see if there is a driver and if he/she is all right?

The end was too easy and happened too quickly. I hate it when everything on a show gets resolved in the final five minutes (N.C.I.S. is another such culprit).

I'm warming up to Hoshi, and Dr. Neelix doesn't seem to be nearly as bad as I thought he would be. I wish they'd accept T'Pol for who and how she is, and not try to change her the way they kept on doing with Seven in ST:V.
Paul York
Sat, May 12, 2012, 5:45pm (UTC -5)
I have to agree with T'Pol's caution and the entire Vulcan position ... space is a dangerous place and the human spirit of curiosity pictured here is not adequately tempered by reason or wisdom. Here is a small example from this episode: they take a slug from one planet, Hochi feels guilty for trapping it in a box and causing its poor health, then she deposits it on another planet where it represents an invader species that could very well endanger the local flora and fauna (the cane toad or pine beetle or zebra mussel). In terms of the A plot for this episode Archer gets out of the situation in the nick of time, but if the 2nd ship had not got there in time or had not been able to destroy the aggressors or had continued to misunderstand Hochi the entire Enterpirse crew would be hanging from meathooks and having their bodily fluids drained. Was Archer's curiosity and his moral code of concern for the dead so important as to take that kind of risk with the lives of others? He comes across as reckless and irresponsible. Of course he will survive because it's a tv show, but one can imagine that in real, future first contact situations in space the crew might not be so lucky.

Far more is served by charting stars and following safety protocols than taking such risks. And why "interfere" with these people but not the people in the episode called "Doctor" where the cure for an epidemic is discovered by the doctor? Archer's decision making seem arbitrary and inconsistent at best.

Lastly, why refer to the bile of black bears and rhino horns and then distinguish this from "people" - meaning the murdered aliens? Because bears and rhinos have not developed complex technologies, does that mean they are not people? In fact they are people of a kind -- just not human people -- similar to the reptilian aliens. The definition of "people" needs to expand to include all sentient, intelligent species whose members are distinct individuals.
David H
Sun, Jul 1, 2012, 12:24am (UTC -5)
Am starting my third trip through these episodes, and I seem to enjoy the series more each time. I thought this was an excellent epieode. The whole point of Enterprise is showing how we first got out into space, without protocols, without a Prime Directive, without weapons that always locked on their targets, or translators that always worked.

The fact that some are criticizing the episode because Archer didn't do what they thought was right- that's the idea. He's doing his best to follow his conscience, in a universe where that may not always be the wise thing to do.

I do weary of Jammer's faint prsise reviews - "functional," "average," etc. Not every episode can be Best of Both Worlds. As a character piece when we're still getting to know characters, as a depiction of mankind's first voyages into unknown territory, and as an exploration of the moral and ethical issues that are always part of the Star Trek DNA, "Fight or Flight" was everything I could have hoped for. 3.5 stars.
Fri, Aug 24, 2012, 12:50am (UTC -5)
This is my first time through this series, so I'm still reserving judgment on it. I thought the hanging alien corpses were very creepy, and I loved it when the doctor explained that the Enterprise humans were being scanned by the hostile aliens and they probably found some valuable elements in their blood.

I also liked that Hoshi was brilliant, but unsure of herself, and not sure she could make her skills work in this situation.

So far I hate the character of T'Pol. She doesn't come off as logical, but as adversarial and disdainful. She seems to oppose things just to oppose them--no matter what Archer says, she'll have some "Vulcan" reason for objecting. She presents herself as logical, but she really just seems contrarian. I don't think that's the species-character shown by Spock, Sarek, and the other Vulcans we saw in TOS.
Sat, Jan 12, 2013, 8:22pm (UTC -5)
Archer _is_ a bad captain and a bad leader, by any standard.

Contrary to what people think, as a leader you don't do whatever you please, you allow the people around you to excel at what they do. Archer listens to literally no one. He discards the advice of his science officer, and jeopardizes crew and humankind. He scoffs at his security officer for doing his job: deciding what kind of protection they need on an away mission.

And all characters are written as borderline idiots, not to mention Starfleet which sends out a spaceship without even the most basic of protocols.

Archer is an impulsive nut job. He likes to insult his science officer because she is a Vulcans, and he hates Vulcans. He is nothing but a racist.

The science officer T'Pol is right all the time, but an arrogant prick. Arrogance is an emotion, Vulcans repress their emotions, they don't express them. But I must admit: Vulcans are written as obnoxious obstacles in this series.

The chief engineer is a little kid, whining to go with his buddy instead of doing his job he's asked to do.

The armory officer is a danger to his surroundings by wanting to blow up everything instead of using common sense or electronics to open a hatch.

The comm officer isn't a teacher by nature, as Jammer suggests, but a starfleet officer. She went through a starfleet training and education for years, to join, umm, to... what's the purpose of STARfleet, again? Yeah, right, to teach gibberish clicking sounds in the jungle. Or was it about SPACE and SPACE EXPLORATION?
"I went to medical school but I faint the moment I see a drop of blood." That was a good decision.

And Phlox is a creep. Did you see that scene in the mess hall with Tucker?

I know it's a story, but I wonder why aliens would search other aliens to pump them out for their body fluids. I think it's utterly ridiculous. A civilization able to cross space has access to such vast command of energy and technology it would be idiotic to harvest it in space instead of creating it at home. But again, that's just a nitpick.

An actual depiction of life in space would be boring as hell for the spectator. Like watching astronauts preparing for an EVA aboard the ISS. Talking about protocols and common sense, we should Archer force to look at those preparations for an hour or so, together with his superiors back home. That should teach them a few basics.

At the end there's no indication of a learning curve. Archer has just escaped mass annihilation and a possible attack on Earth but will continue to ignore and humiliate T'Pol.
Now that is a good premise for the prequel the producers told it would be.

A few episodes in Enterprise have shown the potential of a prequel show, in which people learn from mistakes and other things that happen of don't happen, and explain why the so called "future" star trek inhabitants behave like they behave.
After all, the audience didn't come up with the prequel idea. The producers did. And after saying that, they did everything to ridicule their own premise. I wonder why you would blurt out such nonsense in the first place if you knew you weren't going to stick to your own ideas.

Regardless of that, the show looks great. The CGI is still amazing even for today's standards.

I'm not much into "canon" and "star trek bible". But I ofter have the feeling that there was so much possible and so little opportunity grabbed. Often I feel cynicism thinking about what Enterprise could have been. Too bad.
Mon, Apr 1, 2013, 5:44pm (UTC -5)
What is the point of the malevolent aliens leaving the hydraulic machines and the dead crew on their own ship adrift in space where a human ship commanded by an idiot can stumble across them? If the bad aliens are processing the blood for their own uses why not just take the bodies with them and do the work on the go? No need to come back, no chance of your meal or whatever being scavenged. Plot convenience = TV suck.
Wed, Feb 5, 2014, 9:15pm (UTC -5)
Archer was so childish in this episode. I agreed with T'Pol the entire time. Everything she said was correct, and by going against her advice Archer nearly got them all killed. Does he apologize? Nope.

The part where they explored the dead ship was pretty cool, though. An average episode, but like all the other ENT ones I saw, it just didn't feel like Star Trek.
Wed, Oct 8, 2014, 1:47pm (UTC -5)
Came to post what Paul York did. Hoshi carrying on the fine human tradition of introduction of invasive species. Seeing as they never were able to establish whether it was male, female or neither, for all they know it reproduces by division and is about to destroy the ecosystem of an entire planet. *facepalm*.
Thu, Jan 8, 2015, 10:47am (UTC -5)
I about fell out of my chair when they released the slug, did they have they no science advisors on this program? Invasive species are a huge problem here on earth right now, with zebra mussels, Russian thistles, cheat grass, tamarisk, Russian olives and many other introduced species posing a problem here in the US. Rabbits in Australia, pigs in New Zealand, rats in Hawaii.. The list goes on.

Today's biologists and botanists are well aware of the danger of picking up plants and animals and transplanting them to places they are not native. You would think that future spacefarers from earth would be well aware of this. Very dumb.
Tue, Dec 22, 2015, 8:17am (UTC -5)
I think it's fun and interesting to read the comments and to have a chance to watch the episodes again.

The behaviour of this crew I think is a purposeful choice not just bad characters. (Well maybe not good writing, as they do not seem very military and too friendly, without much background for this). But if we look at the trajectory of what they are saying about humans (from Zephram Cochrane in First Contact to ENT to TOS to ENT) we see some evolution in humanity, where despite being more peaceful on Earth the ones willing to go into space so far for the first time are bolder and here have a cowboy mentality (too literal perhaps with Trip). Apart from Reed, the Earth crew are also all Americans, as they understandably are for an American show, so the behaviour also feels very American (sorry if this is offensive but just a Swedish perspective).

But if the role of the Vulcans is to make sense, this is why. From their point of view, the evolution in behaviour is not that much different. Jamals review seems to wonder why the Vulcans are in space if they are not explorers as the American-British crew with the same curiosity but the Vulcan logic is very easy to explain. It is better to have knowledge from a scientific point of view and it is not logical to be isolated.

T'Pol is my favourite character on the show. I never see her as cold, even more temperamental than Spock. But maybe this is not a surprise from a European perspective.... but also may be more consistent with the history that the US and Russia have done the most exploration into space, so maybe that is why Starfleet is based in the US.
Diamond Dave
Mon, Mar 28, 2016, 9:16am (UTC -5)
The very model of an early season character builder - this week, Hoshi saves the day and discovers her lost confidence. I approve of the general concept of having a character who is not comfortable in the environment, but the actual implementation was just irritating to me and the conclusion far too pat. I also wasn't too keen on Archer's characterisation, which is coming over as impulsive and aggressive rather than assertive.

The rest of the plot was thin in the extreme. 2 stars.
Mon, Jul 11, 2016, 8:30am (UTC -5)
I really enjoyed this one. I'm glad they dive right into a character piece for Hoshi.

T'Pol may come off as arrogant, but we will see her recommendations are mostly spot on (and Vulcan) and while I like that our Captain wants to do what he thinks is right, he really got pretty damn lucky here. They could have been dust pretty quickly.

Love the space-suits.

I loved the Hoshi/Phlox discussion/dynamic... slug references included.

Suspenseful, well paced... Hoshi does some growing.

Nit-pick.... the stars really would be moving that much :-)

Enterprise is off to a far better start than DS9 or TNG. (I know, it's only one episode, but we all know what I'm talking about)

3.5 stars here. Not a classic, but not much to complain about either. Great episode!
Mon, Jul 11, 2016, 9:17am (UTC -5)
@Yanks - What are you going on about? Past Prologue and The Naked Now are both 4.5 star episodes! :P

I agree though. I probably would have only given 3 stars, but it's probably as good as Parallax (which I enjoyed for the Janeway/Torres relationship piece) and it's clearly better than any of the other 3 "first non-pilot" episodes.
Mon, Sep 26, 2016, 1:56pm (UTC -5)
Enterprise is a nice change of pace from the other Treks. The Enterprise is feeling it's way through warp space and learning about themselves more than about other races. With no prime directive the crew is able to make mistakes and grow. Entertaining (***)
Fri, Dec 9, 2016, 11:20am (UTC -5)
There were so many things wrong with this show - so Captain Archer announces they're from earth to every alien species before they find out they're hostile? Really?
And how did they advertise this episode? Tonight's episode: The floor squeaks! Don't miss it.
I see where they were trying to go with the show in general, I just don't think they ever really got there. Just my opinion.
I'm going to rewatch all these shows just because I've set me heart on it, I'm on Voyager season five and just finished Deep Space Nine, but Enterprise - I may have a hard time getting through it...
Wed, Jun 21, 2017, 2:23pm (UTC -5)
I really wish Enterprise would have encounter species such as the Bolians, would have been interesting if they had been the bad guys in one episode and Archer and crew never lead their names but us the audience recognise them and know how things pan out!
Thu, Aug 17, 2017, 6:35pm (UTC -5)
I hope Hoshi isn't going to be this ridiculous all the way through.

Firstly she is totally speaking Jabba the Hutt language to that alien. The whole scene was excruciating by the way.

And secondly, of course the one place in the galaxy a slug wants to be left is on a DESERT PLANET...

Picard would facepalm about now.
Fri, Sep 15, 2017, 3:35pm (UTC -5)
Pretty basic/standard stuff here other than a good character episode for Hoshi and we get to really see T'Pol's Vulcan way of doing things that grates with Archer's gung-ho exploration philosophy.

What's interesting is how ENT goes through carefully all the stuff that is taken for granted by the other series when it comes to alien ships, planets, etc. i.e. it is all truly new to the "Federation." Obviously the other series take the universal translator, weapons for granted but here the crew has to figure that stuff out on the fly.

Going back and reviewing ENT, Hoshi and T'Pol probably made the biggest changes over the 4 seasons. In "Fight or Flight," Hoshi is extremely green with all kinds of fears, questioning what she's doing on board the ship. I think a lot of this is unprofessional as she is a trained crewmember and Archer has a ton of belief in her. So I think the Hoshi character is a bit over the top in her fears etc. (I found it annoying) but it is well acted by Park. T'Pol is extremely stiff, but makes good arguments to counter Archer.

It's an interesting situation the Enterprise finds itself in here -- some unknown aliens with a pretty impressive and scary looking ship is doing some horrible act to another more friendly alien species. We get a good philosophical debate between Archer and T'Pol about human/Vulcan values re. the dead bodies and so the Enterprise goes back to investigate after initially leaving the dead ship.

I guess it's the enemy ship that drops its shields while trying to bore into the Enterprise and then it is easily destroyed. This seems a bit convenient since it is clearly far more powerful than the Enterprise and the other alien ship, but I guess it gets careless when trying to bore into the Enterprise. Too bad we don't learn anything about these aliens -- don't know (offhand) if they're ever encountered in other series.

2 stars for "Fight or Flight" -- was pretty slow paced until the very end when we get a basic battle scene. The urgency for Hoshi to translate and "grow up" was well done but overall this scene wrapped up too quickly and easily. But not a bad start to the Enterprise's mission and learning on the ropes for the crew.
Fri, Oct 27, 2017, 3:26am (UTC -5)
I have to say this one was not to Bad, the captain is not a responsible one , i think if some crew members Parrish it could have been a more powerful episode but it's ok Hoshi is annoying but in a childish way, and I didn't really buy her amazing linguistic skills
Mon, Nov 20, 2017, 8:20pm (UTC -5)
Enterprise was at its best with first season episodes like this: mundane, banal, pseudo-realistic tales in which the Enterprise crew struggle to do simple things (which later Trek series treat as routine). And so here we watch as the crew struggle to communicate, develop boarding party rules and fix their targetting systems. Very simple. Very unique and gripping. It's a shame the series, like DS9 did after its first 2 seasons, felt the need to move away from such things and toward BOMBASTIC VIOLENT DRAMA.
Mon, Mar 19, 2018, 11:26am (UTC -5)
It's the first time ever I've been watching Enterprise thanks to the convinience of Netflix. So far, so good - except for the opening theme corny crap.

To this point I have a clear feeling that the Prime Directive was basically written by the Vulcans. So obvious, sure. But I am curious to learn how the humans will give in and buy it to the point of lunacy as we've seen on the other shows.
Tue, Aug 28, 2018, 5:40am (UTC -5)
Just watched this again as it's now being reshown on Sky from the beginning. This is an absolutely brilliant episode marred by a very weak ending.
Sun, Sep 23, 2018, 9:13pm (UTC -5)
A solid character piece, Definitely agree that most of the crew relationships are really casual/informal. A stark contrast to the structures that we saw in all of the other series.

The missiles being useless was a good time. Enjoyed the trial and error. The whole aesthetic of the panels and technology is believable. But what is T'pol looking at in that eye thing.

Phlox will be interesting, hopefully he is unique and not a EMH repeat. The EMH was great but gotta keep it fresh.

Spacesuits! Finally! The only Trek I can think of off the top of my head to use them was Voyager( Torres and Paris love float)

Two episodes in. No home runs but no pop flies( DS9 does not own baseball).
Sat, Sep 29, 2018, 7:09pm (UTC -5)
3 stars. Pretty solid and entertaining outing

The episode did cover a lot of ground from the weapons test to Hoshi ‘s discomfort to exploring a derelict to confronting a hostile alien to making friends. And I enjoyed all of it

The episode was very good at conveying the sense of isolation and going stretches not encountering anything in space. And the scenes aboard the alien vessel were nicely creepy all dark no atmosphere, dead bodies strung up being drained by pumps.

I was disappointed that the reason for draining the aliens wasn’t more inventive. I also would have liked to have known identity of the attackers.

I could understand Archer feelings of guilt but T’Pol was also right about the concern for the aliens returning and enterprise not being able to defend themselves from a superior force.
Cesar Gonzalez
Sun, Dec 2, 2018, 3:48pm (UTC -5)
They're just going to leave this slug on a planet that it's not native to?
When she drops her off she says something alo g the lines of, "I know you'll do great."
Ummm... how, exactly?
It has no other slugs of its kind?
How is it supposed to mate and reproduce?
How will it survive in this new, strange environment?

Lazy writing.
Wed, Aug 14, 2019, 8:22pm (UTC -5)
A question:

I was so excited when Enterprise was first announced. I was in college and I loved the idea of watching a Star Trek series from the beginning as it aired. Enterprise was going to be “my Trek” and fond childhood memories of Quantum Leap and TNG only sweetened the idea.

I stopped watching after Fight or a Flight (I only lasted two episodes!) because I was not prepared for the grim horrors of “corpses on hooks.” That simply isn’t entertainment for me, just nightmare fuel.

Occasionally I’ve played with the idea of trying again, but I wanted to know how dark the show remained without big spoilers. Can someone speak to the tone of ENT overall? I have a feeling it remains about this level, or possibly grows worse.
Thu, Aug 15, 2019, 9:12am (UTC -5)
Hi Chess,

I really like ENT although it's definitely a step (or two!) below reaching the heights TOS, TNG, DS9 reached. I like the idea of a prequel series and what it meant to achieve. I've gone through the series probably 4-5 times with the latter viewings mainly focusing on episodes I liked particularly.

As for how dark the show is, it gets grim/dark/pragmatic in Season 3 which is its best season and one of the best seasons of any Trek franchise. The 1st 2 seasons are hit and miss (mostly miss) but do have a handful of pretty good episodes, but nothing really jumps out to me as being dark. The crew is pretty green, naive in these seasons.

As for this "Fight or Flight" the scene with the dead bodies on hooks was, as I recall, fairly brief and although it is quite gruesome to think further about it, ENT maintains a standard of decency about blood/gore that typifies what Star Trek should be -- so this scene is a bit of an outlier but I didn't think it was unacceptable. I think a few episodes of DSC violated this blood/gore depiction "ethos" (if you will) as did TNG's "Conspiracy" which is better suited for "The X-FIles".
Fri, Aug 16, 2019, 7:13am (UTC -5)

Hoshi whole-heartedly agrees with you :-)

As for your question:

"Fight and Flight" is not a beginning of some trend.

The vast majority of Enterprise episodes do not feature such disturbing imagery. However, like every Trek series before it, Enterprise gives us many different types of stories. So if you are sensitive to this kind of thing, there will probably be a few episodes that would trouble you.

Then again, this is nothing new to Enterprise. There are quite a few episodes of TNG that have a similar level of visual nightmare fuel. Picard's torture in "The Chain of Command". The body horror in "Genesis". If you managed to soldier through these difficult parts of TNG and VOY and DS9, you shouldn't have any problem with Enterprise.

By the way:

While ENT gets *darker* in season 3, it does not get any gorier. Think of the Dominion War Arc from DS9, which managed to get quite dark without going out-of-line with the visual imagery.
Sean J Hagins
Fri, Nov 20, 2020, 7:48pm (UTC -5)
An ok episode. I did agree with T'Pol about not boarding the ship. But I also got a bit mad at Hoshi for not wanting to try communicating with the alien. She said she might make it worse-they were about to be boarded and killed! I don't think anything she's say could be worse. Even if the alien she was talking to blew them up, that might be better than hanging as slabs of beef whilst bodily fluids were extracted
Frake's Nightmare
Thu, Jan 14, 2021, 2:57pm (UTC -5)
Does the slug - and the rest of it's race - come back and wreak terrible and bloody revenge for being kidnapped and abandoned on this bleak and inhospitable planet ?
Tue, Nov 2, 2021, 5:49am (UTC -5)
The episode seemed tolerable at the time because it was a new show and we were giving it a chance to see if it could deliver. But it's horrible, especially the staging of the grand climax.

There's no end to the nonsense and how eerily and badly timed it was with an unforunate debut weeks after 9-11, especially it was led by characters who acted like cowboys, carried prejudices about other species, and acted as if exploration was for their enjoyment, not for the purpose of carrying out sensitive missions representing the best of themselves to the world. These early episodes seemed to embrace Archer's swagger as the way it should be.

But the execution of the plot is as bad as the plot itself, completely undone by the wrap up.

The episode ends as the unknown ship attacks rapidly with extensive technology and seems to be able to put the Enterprise in peril rapidly up until the time when there's need for a long, agonizing pause from the attackers - enough to give Hoshi time to have a meltdown as the "great" Archer talks her down, with awkward hesitation for "drama" (Oh! Will she do it? Will save the day! What will the Enterprise do if she quits?"). And then, the ship of the species we never really get to know (pithy coda aside) has a smaller ship that can destroy the "villains of the day" when their larger ship was overwhelmed and their crew killed. Okay sure.

While this is supposed to be a big moment for Hoshi, as Archer tries to pass it off, it screams to anyone that there should have been more serious talks about their preparedness, as Jammer does. They should have suffered damage, barely escaped from Archer's foolish decision to go back, and had discussions about taking Hoshi home and listening to T'pol.

And then we're subject to Archer's smugness, which carries over into the next episode. They should have been kicked in the ass in this episode and changed the dynamic and humbled this crew episode after episode. The hoo-rah dominance of Archer and Trip is grating, but this is a show by Americans for Americans. Rodenberry's overall cast had many (white) American (Hollywood) faces, but the tone of the show was global. Of the main cast over the course of the series, Kirk and McCoy cover the American identity and are outnumbered (balanced out) by a Vulcan, a Scot, a woman who at least maintains some of her African identity, and crew from Japan and Russia.

Enterprise inadvertently suggests that there was a reason why hoorah A-mur-icans were not in charge of the crews on TNG, DS9 and Voyager, and why these "Archer" types were almost always the villains, the renegade Captains causing chaos in the universe. Pity that this series didn't get that, but at least it was cancelled after four uneven seasons.
Thu, Dec 2, 2021, 1:58pm (UTC -5)
Actually, the seemingly illogical attitude that vulcans are only interested in exploration for logical purposes isn't that illogical at all. All the major voyages that discovered new lands were originally intended for practical economic purposes, mainly trying to find a different route to south east Asia. Discovering new land was just an unintentional by product (The most famous example being columbus voyage to China and southern Asia and ended up discovering the Americas). Nobody spent time and money and men on explorers just for the sake of exploration. It's why China ceased it's own explorations around the same time europe continued it's own, as the country was self-sufficient and preoccupied with attacks in the north.
Troy G
Mon, Dec 27, 2021, 8:26pm (UTC -5)
Enterprise Re-watch review, originally watched in 2017

I get this confused with the Klingon ship episode, both episodes had Hoshi freaking out.
Thu, Mar 24, 2022, 7:37pm (UTC -5)
I remember watching Enterprise and becoming annoyed at an odd inconsistency. Before they have phase cannons online and only weapons were supposed to be those hilariously slow torpedos. I remember a scene where they fire what sure looks like a phaser or phase cannon despite not having them yet. I was hoping to see that mentioned here somewhere but guess not
Mon, Jul 18, 2022, 5:18pm (UTC -5)
This isn't a bad episode, but I think it's too low-key to be episode # 2. I think the show would have benefited from having three or four faced paced episodes back to back to kick things off before moving into these slower "get to know the crew" episodes.

This show needed more Hoshi centered episodes, imo. Park is a good actress but there are probably only, what, 3 or 4 truly Hoshi-centric episodes? Not nearly enough.
Mon, Jul 25, 2022, 11:18am (UTC -5)
Anybody else notice that the ship of the mysterious blood harvesting aliens looks like a giant metal tick? Maybe just my imagination.

So what was B & B's plan for Archer? Here they begin with him crawling across the floor looking for a squeak in front of a subordinate and a Vulcan whom he resents. Not a big deal in and of itself but it is a foretaste of the character assassination to come, imo. The dinner scene with Archer, Trip, and T'Pol was also bad. I can see Archer being angry with himself, but I can't see why he's lashing out at the other two. Particularly Trip. Hell, Trip isn't the captain and he isn't the one who made the decision to abandon the aliens. It made no sense unless the goal was to make Archer look like a dick. Over the next three seasons the PTB seemed to relish every opportunity to make Archer look like a jerk and an incompetent boob. I just can't figure out why.

I was bemoaning the lack of Linda Park centered episodes in my previous comment, but I do have to admit that the writers gave Hoshi a nice character arc. She comes a long way from "screaming like a 12 year old" in this episode to putting the government official in his place onboard the Enterprise in Demons.

My favorite small bit in this episode is when the shuttle pod is being attacked by the space vampire ship and Hoshi reaches over and closes the window shade.
Fri, Jul 29, 2022, 6:07am (UTC -5)
I got 40 min to waste (not really but whatever) ep2 here I come. When the torpedo scrached the meteor and flew towards the enterprise was a laugh out loud moment. It somewhat worrying that their tech is so bad that they cannot shot a torpedo at a slow-moving, huge meteor.

I must admit that I find T'Pol's lip augmentation distracting. Maybe it's in combination with her hair. It just looks odd.

So the captain finds a ship in deep space and decides to board it with no real plan but luckily there is a handle that immediately. Reed actually recommended to uses explosives. I guess Riker was right:"Fate protects fools, little children, and ships named Enterprise." And at least two of those are true for these idiots.

Of course, before boarding an unkown ship he admits to his log that T'Pol is right and that they shouldn't board the ship but gosh dang it, let's do it anyway because maybe nothing bad will happen. Then Hoshi (I always think of Bill and Ted) another "I'm not worthy" moment. Well, they are wearing space suits. That is something.

Wow Archer actually listened to reason for once and flew away. I think I'm starting to understand. All the Humans are idiots and all the aliens are rational (Phlox and T'Pol).

GOD!!! Archer is such a bitch!!! T'Pol recommends that they fly to star nursery to alleviate some tension, a pretty rational suggestion, and Archer attacks her in a very hostile way, essentially calling her a psychopath. Even Trip sides somewhat with T'Pol. Man, I hope this is one of those the captain is crazy because of X...

This ship will certainly cause at least three interstellar wars during the first year.

Then there is this really strange scene where the ship damaged by a far superior alien ship, then boarded and while this goes on another ship appears (lucky!) and because the episode is about Hoshi finding her mojo she has to translate directly without the computer which for no reason works. The enemy ship of course does nothing about the other ship and just waits to be attacked, then the enterprise fires a torpedo which has an actual effect now, then the other ship destroys the enemy ship.

The episode ends with Hoshi and the Doc putting a slug on an alien planet. Contaminating the local fauna. I guess T'Pol didn't notice because she was sitting in her cabin screaming into a pillow for an hour. Me too.
Ms V
Mon, Sep 12, 2022, 7:23am (UTC -5)
This episode is totally ridiculous, Anytime they have me agreeing with T'Pol from beginning to end. I hope she gave him that I told you so look.

Captain Archer is acting like that grinning idiot. His curiosity almost got his entire crew killed. I know what happened to that alien crew was horrendous and totally appalling, but they should not have gone into that ship a second time. Actually shouldn't have went the first time. I have no problem with Hoshi, she has openly displayed her timidness, being afraid of space travel, etc. but seeing those men dead and hanging on hooks, was too much. She never got time to adjust to the ship and space travel, she has been at war ever since they left space dock. They could have been eaten, disemboweled, and their bodies drained of its fluid, by an enemy whose face they never saw.

I hoped the captain learned his lesson, those people were already dead, there was nothing they could have done for them, I know they found a new friend but it was not worth it.
Mon, Sep 12, 2022, 9:04am (UTC -5)
Well, Archer is not your average loser woke captain. He doesn't fly away, damn it. Ok at first he did because of the Vulcan GIRL! Archer doesn't just do. He dodos and that sometimes produces a stinky. But as long as a super powerful alien ship warps in to save the day, there is really no reason to not risk the entire crew. Who wouldn't love to become a Human juice box for a bunch of dead aliens nobody has ever seen before because Archer is hormonal?

"I hoped the captain learned his lesson"
I think he did. Always follow your gut or an even lower region of your body.
Mon, Sep 12, 2022, 11:58am (UTC -5)
One of the themes of early ENT was coming to grips with the Vulcans controlling how humans would approach space exploration and defying them to some extent -- and that plays out in the different ways Archer and T'Pol view the situation of the stricken alien ship. We can debate who is right and who is wrong but what's more important is to understand why Archer & T'Pol take their respective stances.

While this isn't a great episode by any standards (2* for me), it does touch on Archer's universal human values that if you see some horrific act, you try to do something about it. Yes, you are putting the whole ship in terrible danger but it's kind of like if you see somebody drowning, do you try to help them? Of course the ending is all too convenient when the powerful enemy ship is overcome by the much weaker alien vessel alongside the Enterprise, but that's not so much the point.

Archer is written as naive, as he should be to some extent, but he's also supposed to be portraying somebody who is learning on the job and humanity gaining knowledge / experience -- by S3, we see a much more pragmatic, hardened leader which Bakula also plays well.

Star Fleet and the Enterprise crew know there are all kinds of risks out there but as humans, they have to learn by trial and error and the rewards greatly outweigh the costs, otherwise they'd still be listening to the Vulcans and not venturing out into space.

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