Star Trek: Enterprise


3 stars

Air date: 4/9/2003
Teleplay by David A. Goodman
Story by Taylor Elmore & David A. Goodman
Directed by James L. Conway

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

"My father was a teacher; my mother, a biologist at the university. They encouraged me to take up the law. Now all young people want to do is take up weapons, as soon as they can hold them." — Kolos

In brief: I liked this story the first time I saw it ... when it was called Star Trek VI. (I liked it this time around, too.)

Are you an optimist or a cynic? Perhaps you can answer that question by answering this one: Is "Judgment" a carefully detailed homage or a blatant rip-off?

Watching the episode, I definitely felt more like an optimist. Much of this episode played for me like a dejà vu experience of the Klingon courtroom material from Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. But that's not a bad thing. The courtroom material from Trek VI made for a good scene — dark and menacing and atmospheric. It's the sort of material that seems to deserve its own episode, and now we get it, even if the episode covers much of the same ground in terms of drama and performance ... which, of course, is probably the point.

Part of the fun with "Judgment" is in spotting the familiar lines of dialog and the similar — even identical — set design, camera angles, and costumes. Indeed, it looks to me like the production designer, writer, director, and cinematographer all studied the courtroom scenes from Trek VI with great care before the sets here were built and the cameras were rolling. The creators haven't simply borrowed the trial scene from Trek VI, they've re-created it completely. And well.

Besides, darn it, Klingons are just so much fun to watch, despite — no, because of — all their grandstanding and histrionics. I was watching "Blood Oath" the other day from the DS9 season two DVD set, and so much of the show and its lovely and portentous dialog made me smile with good will and affection. Granted, "Judgment" is no "Blood Oath," but it does capture some of the same entertaining spirit of Klingon pride and ever-seriousness (as well as some annoying aspects of those elements).

In what is no less than the second time in three episodes, Archer is accused of a crime by an alien system of questionable justice. The verdict is easily predicted: guilty as charged. The sentence is just as predictable: death. Can Archer's sentence and/or verdict be averted by proving his innocence? Enter Advocate Kolos (J.G. Hertzler, excellent as always), Archer's weary and cynical defense lawyer, who has all but accepted the inevitability of defeat before the tribunal arguments have started. The deck is clearly stacked against him. The tribunal is little more than a formality with an ending that is a foregone conclusion (although not as hopeless as in DS9's "Tribunal," also in the aforementioned DVD set).

Now, as a Law & Order addict, I sit through television courtroom scenes all the time and watch as plot points are related through efficient exposition. It should be noted that a show like "Judgment" is not in the same spirit of being about facts and exposition — at least, not any more than it must be. Yes, there are facts and there's dialog and also a flashback structure that shows us how the "crime" in question unfolded (from two different points of view, no less). But "Judgment" is more about the idea of a courtroom that assumes guilt and greets its defendant with hostility as a matter of course. The room is a veritable echo chamber, with an audience that chants "enemy" in Klingon in an angry unison. The gavel is a metal sphere that sparks when the magistrate (Granville Van Dusen) slams it down on the table as he calls for "SILENCE!" in the echo chamber. The defendant is not permitted to speak while the prosecutor (John Vickery) presents his case, or the defendant will be zapped with pain sticks while the music swells menacingly. (Side note: I'm taking a liking to Velton Ray Bunch's musical scores, perhaps because they seem more forceful and fresh after so many years of McCarthy, Chattaway, Bell, and Baillargeon, whose scores have become so familiar I can tell you which one of them scored a given episode after about 10 seconds.) Naturally, the courtroom/echo chamber is murky and dark.

Of course, you already know all of this from Star Trek VI. Your mileage for these aspects of "Judgment" depend on whether you want to see them again. I didn't mind seeing them again, because they're well presented.

The case centers on Archer having allegedly helped "rebels" (actually an abandoned Klingon-ruled colony running out of resources to sustain itself), and thus falling into a conflict with Duras (Daniel Riordan, whose character is named Duras merely as a footnote reference for those who have followed the franchise for a long time). Duras was the captain of a Klingon warship who was sent in to "stop" (read: destroy) the "rebel" colonists. The flashbacks show us what happened, and clearly reveal the Enterprise to have done nothing wrong ... unless of course you are the Klingons, who as a rule exhibit stubborn unreasonableness — hence Archer being tried for crimes against the Klingon Empire for his involvement in helping defenseless colonists escape certain death. The show's biggest plot omission leaves us wondering how and when Archer was arrested; there's absolutely no accounting for how he ended up away from the Enterprise and in the hands of the Klingon legal system.

Oh, well. The plot details don't hugely concern me. What "Judgment" offers as relevant material specific to this series' time frame is the fact that Klingon culture is in the middle of a rapid decline — one that in all likelihood will eventually bring about the conflict between Earth and the Klingon Empire that we know exists by the time TOS rolls around. We see the (apparently waning) reasonable and honorable side of Klingon society through Kolos' character, who is given enough convincing dialog to emerge as a three-dimensional persona. Kolos, once a winning defense litigator, has been worn down into accepting a defeatist attitude as his career has turned into a perfunctory process and a mockery of its former self. The Klingon court doesn't much listen to defense lawyers these days, and is quick to condemn the apparently guilty.

This is a symptom of a bigger problem, one that Kolos explains to Archer in the show's best dialog scene. Klingon society, once honorable, is in a decline where a bastardized concept of honor has turned into an artificially inflated virtue: "We were a great society not so long ago, when honor was earned through integrity and acts of true courage, not senseless bloodshed," Kolos says. "What honor is there in a victory over a weaker opponent?" This is the scene that gives "Judgment" its weight and perspective, and allows us and Archer to see Kolos as a man worthy of real respect. (The way these sentiments are delivered from this wise, old character also makes one wonder if there are real-world social points being made under the surface here.)

Thanks to Kolos, Archer's death sentence is commuted and he is instead sentenced to life at the penal colony of Rura Penthe, in a scene that uses some dialog lifted almost verbatim from Trek VI. Continuity buffs will likely enjoy moments like this, as well as Kolos' earlier defense arguments that connect Archer with having thwarted a Suliban plot against the Klingons ("Broken Bow") and rescuing a Klingon vessel trapped in the atmosphere of a gas giant ("Sleeping Dogs"). Kolos' subsequent diatribe against the Klingon justice system is satisfying, thanks in no small part to Hertzler's performance, which fully unleashes the furies. If there's ever a time for energetic histrionics, a Klingon courtroom is that time. Unfortunately for Kolos, it gets him sentenced to Rura Penthe, right alongside Archer, for a year.

We then head off to Rura Penthe, an ice-cave where Archer and Kolos work side by side as imprisoned allies. Archer's coat was either faithfully duplicated by the wardrobe department, or pulled out of storage from somewhere on the studio lot, because, yep, it's straight out of Trek VI. Some have complained that the ending's simplistic rescue of Archer from the penal colony is too quick and easy, but I think it works okay. If anything, it demonstrates the corruption in Klingon society that has been hinted at, and how a prisoner's freedom can be secured for the right price by bribing the right people. Kolos stays behind, eager to return to the law when he is eventually released. I must say, I wouldn't mind seeing his character again. Yes, he's essentially a lawyer version of DS9's Martok, but Hertzler is always such a strong presence, and he'd be welcome on a series that has yet to carve out any truly strong dramatic forces.

I liked this episode, but I'd better mention that it relies probably more on nostalgia and cross-references than in attempts to develop original Enterprise-specific material. (Of course, in all fairness, how original can your prequel material be?) The strengths here are more in theatrics and directing and performances than in revealing complex or probing ideas. But that's not a problem so much as an observation. "Judgment" ranks as one of this season's better outings.

Next week: A la Harry Kim, Mayweather gets his contractually promised spotlight hour for the season.

Previous episode: The Crossing
Next episode: Horizon

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40 comments on this post

Jakob M. Mokoru
Sun, Oct 19, 2008, 12:46am (UTC -6)
I agree that this episode is one of the better if not best outings in this season of Enterprise - but isn't it kinda sad, that the seasons highlight had to be a ...erm... homage on a great Star Trek Movie?
Tue, Nov 18, 2008, 3:59am (UTC -6)
I'm sorry, but I couldn't warm up to this episode. It's a ripoff rather than an homage, and the story is going through the motions in utter predictability. What finally ruined it for me was the writer's ridiculous idea to have the DEFENSE ATTORNEY sentenced to death (for all intents and purposes, one year on Rura Penthe is a death sentence)for "showing disrespect to the court".
Tue, Dec 2, 2008, 6:59pm (UTC -6)
ST VI was one of the best movies in the entire franchise, and my personal favorite. The tension built in the movie's court scenes was very effective. In the movie, I think the usage of the hand held translators and the dialog written with those translators in mind was clever -it made those scenes more interesting and intense. Now since Judgement is a blatant copy of ST VI, but they don't have the hand held translators (and get off the penal colony with such ease), it makes Judgement feel like kiddie ride situated next to a real roller coaster. I love it when ST connects to older scripts (such as Trials n Trib.) but Judgement seems like too much work with much too little pay off. At the end I actually said "WTF?" to the screen. Was this supposed to be cute? Was it supposed to be intense? I didn't feel any 'homage'. All it did for me was ruin my memory of ST VI.
Alexey Bogatiryov
Sun, Mar 22, 2009, 11:10pm (UTC -6)
While I liked Star Trek VI - I did not appreciate the blatent rip-off. THis episode proved to me that the Enterprise writers had no imagination to create plot lines without violating the time line (as they would do later on). The only way they could stay tru to the spirit of Star Trek was to copy it directly - pathetic in retrospect.
Sat, Apr 17, 2010, 10:28pm (UTC -6)
I have to agree with most of the previous comments. Star Trek VI was one of the franchise's best films, if not the best--which is exactly what makes it so irritating to see it dumbed down into something much less impressive. If you've done something well on film, what's the point of ripping it off poorly ten years later for TV?
Sat, Jun 12, 2010, 4:36pm (UTC -6)
Once again, this episode was written by the writer of Futurama's parody episode, who was a huge fan of Star Trek. So at least we know it was probably intended as an Homage.
Paul York
Sun, May 13, 2012, 8:07pm (UTC -6)
what I liked about this episode -- and also what distinguished it from ST IV -- was the depth that Kolos brought to it. The real story is not the trial but Kolos' turn of heart and his renewed mission to bring needed reform to the legal system and by extension the Empire. This episode also revealed, for the first time that I recall, another side of Klingon culture -- that its rule by the warrior class and resulting corruption -- was not always the case -- that teachers and scientists and philosophers and lawyers once had a greater role to play.

Also the distinction between justice and "positive law" (laws without content, to protect parochial interests) was well-done, and certainly an issue we see in our own legal system, where the laws are written for the benefit of the rich and to the detriment of the poor in almost all societies.

The continual theme of humanity bettering itself, however, seems improbable. As long as humanity exists, there will be corruption and war -- especially when there is advanced technology to facilitate it. The states that portray themselves as peaceful are often the greatest aggressors. Archer is right about one thing: the only thing that changes all this is the actions of a few courageous individuals (a la Marg. Mead).
Sat, May 26, 2012, 7:56pm (UTC -6)
Aw man! It's been so long since I finished DS9 that I didn't even realise it was Hertzler.

He does great as Dumbledore. Hehe. (Anyone who has seen the Harry Potter movies- this is so reminiscent of Potter on trial). I guess there are only so many courtroom things one can do.

I care not what it was ripped from (yes I saw the movies). It kept me fixed to the screen for an hour, and that's what it's all about.
Captain Jim
Tue, Aug 21, 2012, 9:54pm (UTC -6)
Very much in agreement with Jammer and with Paul's first paragraph. (And while what Paul says in his final paragraph is true, this is nonetheless a staple of Star Trek and was the vision of Gene Roddenberry.)

All in all, a very satisfying episode. Hertzler was awesome, as usual.

And everybody needs to inscribe Jammer's parenthetical comment in stone, so far as Enterprise is concerned: "In all fairness, how original can your prequel material be?"
Fri, Sep 7, 2012, 8:23pm (UTC -6)
Sure this was a replay of the movie Klingon trial but J.G. Hertzler and great sets and a decent story really made this enjoyable. I didn't mind the quick escape but I did like Kolos staying behind and his reasoning. Also, it was neat to see him remembering a time when Klingons weren't quite to warrior obsessed and that their culture is still more heterogeneous than it was depicted in TOS.
John the younger
Sat, Dec 15, 2012, 9:07pm (UTC -6)
I would agree with Jammer and the last few posters.

I've had so few positive sentiments about this series so far (currently [re]watching) that this episode does stand out.

I also quite liked the scene of Enterprise outwitting the (boringly dumb) Duras as told from a Klingon perpective.
Mon, Feb 11, 2013, 7:44pm (UTC -6)
I couldn't agree more with the review and the last comments. I see the tribunal scenes as an homage, not a rip off this time. The story, in my opinion, wasn't about the sentence or the trial, but a comment about the rise and fall of a society and how some people can change (or not change) it.

It answers a lot of viewers who asked how the Klingons ever could become space faring. Apparently, the Klingon Empire was an educated and very diverse society. When the balance started to be too much in the caste/camp of the warriors, the Klingons started to corrupt everything, included honor. We witnessed the rise and fall of great civilizations in our own history, so it rings very much true. Plus, Hertzler is always a welcome addition !
Tue, Feb 19, 2013, 5:18pm (UTC -6)
I share the Hertzler love, but I thought Kolos's change of heart came a bit too abruptly in the script (Archer's speechifying isn't at a Kirk-like level yet and it was hard for me to believe his comments to Kolos completely changed the man's outlook.) Still, I agree with the three stars: it's the first Enterprise episode in awhile that doesn't just lay there.

I also really liked T'Pol's behind the scenes deal-making to free Archer: if ENT's Vulcans are going to have feet of clay the show should at least be able to take advantage of it once in awhile, so T'Pol's knowing just the right backs to scratch as she was part of the Vulcacn diplomatic corps made sense.
Sat, Aug 17, 2013, 7:51pm (UTC -6)
Yes... a bit poor in comparison with STVI, and odd how Archer has an invisible translator around about one hundred years before Kirk is in the court without one... This time I did like the view over the Klingon capital although it seems to get more mountainous with every Enterprise episode.
Wed, Aug 28, 2013, 3:37pm (UTC -6)
Seeing this episode again, I really like it. The Klingon court had been established very well in ST VI, so to me it's probably necessary to rely on that material. I'm not even sure it's an homage, seems more like continuity (albeit in reverse). I like that Archer was still convicted despite a spirited defense. It would have been too easy and hard to accept if he had been acquitted. Kolos gives Klingon culture more dimensions here than we see anywhere else in the franchise (sadly), even in series that featured Klingon's in the main cast. I wish we had seen more of these Klingons and fewer generic space barbarians. The ending is a necessity, but it seems very plausible that an empire as corrupt as this could be circumvented in such a way. Kolos staying is also a nice touch. Archer also gets to make a moral stand that is both admirable and reasonable in refusing to give up the location of the refugees. All in all, this might be my favorite episode of Enterprise.
Sun, Nov 24, 2013, 11:51pm (UTC -6)
Not just "Duras" but "Duras, son of Toral" felt like epic pandering and namedropping.
Mon, Mar 31, 2014, 5:20pm (UTC -6)
Talk about deja vu. Star Trek 6 finally made it to the top of my Netflix DVD queue last week, so I just saw it for the first time.

I've also been making my way slowing through the streaming episodes of Enterprise, also for the first time. Imagine my surprise this week when I clicked on "Judgment" and found myself back in that Klingon courtroom! It was as though Netflix, in some creepy big brother way, had made note of my return of the ST6 DVD, and queued up the corresponding streaming episode from the series for me.

Even though I thought this was a better than average episode for the Enterprise series, it suffers mightily from comparison with the movie. It comes across as a ripoff ("Look, we still have these costumes, let's use them.") but even worse, like most other Enterprise episodes, it lacks all humor. The mention of Rura Penthe immediately brought to mind the shape-shifting woman flirting with Kirk, but in Enterprise we don't get any of that fun to relieve the bombastic speeches.
Mon, Apr 13, 2015, 3:15am (UTC -6)
I don't know what episode you guys were watching but I found this episode extremely boring and very tiresome to watch. I actually like a Klingon Episode or two but this has a slow laboured and dull effort with a very lazy and uninspiring resolution. Only one star due to J.G. Hertzler's efforts but even he couldn't save this leaden snoozefest for me.
W Smith
Wed, May 20, 2015, 10:27am (UTC -6)
Maybe a two star rating, but even that's pushing it. Derivative from Trek VI, felt like I'd seen most of it before. The story was incredibly predictable the whole way through. The only saving graces were Hertzler's performance, and a closer look into Klingon society with a class structure that makes the culture make some sense. If they developed warp drive then they must have scientists and some kind of value placed on education and knowledge beyond the martial. That was nice to see, but it didn't need this derivative story to introduce this concept of the Klingons. Season two Enterprise is just putting me to sleep and making me look at my watch. I can see why I gave up on it during season two in its original run, but I'm determined to see it through to the end this time.
Tue, Sep 15, 2015, 5:06am (UTC -6)
For my money, this is one of the best episodes of Enterprise and easily competes with the best of the other series. Not only are the courtroom scenes appropriately biased and frustrating, the defendant's own advocate also ends up getting sent to Rura Penthe with him! That's a piece of comic irony straight from DS9. Enterprise was a huge wasted opportunity, but episodes like this give you an idea of what it could have been if it had been a true prequel and not another example of Rick Berman being unable to produce a consistently good show.
Diamond Dave
Sun, Apr 17, 2016, 8:08am (UTC -6)
Clearly intended as a loving homage, I thought this strayed too far into the derivative rather than putting its own uniquely Enterprise twist on proceedings. There were a couple of nice touches here (Archer captain of the 'battle-cruiser Enterprise' in the Klingon's testimony, for instance). The final scene was top class, and the commentary on the decline of Klingon society interesting.

But overall you can't help but think you've seen it all before. And of course you have. 2.5 stars.
Sun, Apr 24, 2016, 12:44am (UTC -6)
It should be pointed out that this is one of the few Enterprise episodes to actually have a commentary about current day issues. This episode was broadcast about a month after the invasion of Iraq, nearly 94% of America was in favor of the war, and all dissent was heavily railed against as being unpatriotic. Even the media was in on it, never providing a consensus on what the Invasion of Iraq was even about, and any doubt that the question evidence about WMDs weren't aired. And much like the declining Klingon Empire, America too is in decline, spent and exhausted with war, having spend enormous resources on a war that merely lead to a rise of a new enemy, meanwhile the country now nurses a massive debt and a congress too crippled to do anything about it. And how many fundamental American ideals have fallen by the wayside since (much like how many decent Klingon laws were ignored during the trial because they were inconvenient).

As and aside, it's always nice to see a non-warrior Klingon fleshed out in the franchise. We occasionally got to see a Klingon scientist or priest, but they were never allowed to be fleshed out like they were in this episode. So good job Enterprise, you finally were competent enough to both be about something, and add something to an established Star Trek race.
Sun, Jul 3, 2016, 1:40pm (UTC -6)
Well, Enterprise doesn't have shields so... the Klingons could have just beamed Archer off the ship anytime they liked, right?
Thu, Jul 28, 2016, 1:07pm (UTC -6)
John Garman "J. G." Hertzler Jr., .... born to be a Klingon.

There has never been a time where he is on screen and the scene or episode is not better for it.

This is of course a homage.

I really didn't want to see Archer be on trial and or go to Rura Penthe but, this episode is much better than the script/trailer make it out to be.

3 stars from me.
Tue, Jan 24, 2017, 3:19pm (UTC -6)
As much as I hated this episode, I'd rather see Klingons every week than Borg. But this is the problem with Enterprise - it was all supposed to be brand new stuff, but I've seen all this stuff before.
Thu, Apr 13, 2017, 3:38pm (UTC -6)
Oh, God, not a hearing in front of the bloody Klingon High Council. Forget ST VI; how many times have we had to watch these farcical proceedings in various incarnations of the TV franchise? Never mind that the whole schtick as explained in the first act was set up as a carbon copy of O'Brien's trial on Cardassia, or that the audience may as well have been dragged in by Q from humanity's trial in 'Farport'.

Trek does love its courtoom dramas, and some, maybe even most, have been good, even exceptional. Just rarely the ones with the Klingon High Council involved. Hertzler is excellent, but his conversion from 'shutup and do as you're told' to, "wow - you're right: our legal system is a joke. Come to think of it, I used to be a proper defence counsel with 200 actual defendants' was so quick it bordered on the incredible to put it mildly. And where did the prosecuting attorney spring from? And above all, if this was to be the beginning of a renaissance in Klingon justice, as was strongly implied in the final scenes, why the hell were we back listening to blustering and corrupt show trials two hundred years later?

The episode improved a lot towards the end, and I'm probably missing something that everyone else seems to get, but I'm going to have to stand in a minority on this one. 1 5 stars from me.

And Archer gets captured again.
Sat, Jun 10, 2017, 12:07pm (UTC -6)
A kangaroo court episode. Been there done that so often that it has lost its punch. Miles Obrien got the worst punishment.
Mon, Dec 4, 2017, 12:27am (UTC -6)
2 stars

A poor man’s The Undiscovered Country and a very dull courtroom episode
Sun, Jun 3, 2018, 2:24pm (UTC -6)
I'm surprised you gave this one 3 stars; I'd give it 2 or less. It fits in with the last few episodes - while not terrible, it was stale, predictable, and unimaginative.

When I heard that the ship captain's name was Duras, I thought maybe they were going to explain the backstory to the rise of the house of Duras, leading to TNG. That would've been a lot more interesting. But no, we were treated to another tiring outing of the "Klingons used to have honour but now the empire is corrupt" trope which has been done to death in TNG (Worf falsely accused) and DS9 (we need Kahless to be a spiritual leader because the empire is corrupt). Disappointing, exactly the kind of thing that makes me sure I'll never bother rewatching it.
Fri, Nov 16, 2018, 4:39pm (UTC -6)
Basically a rip-off of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. I didn't find the courtroom scenes particularly enthralling -- it's a nice change of pace from the usual ENT but the best part is Hertzler's performance and Kolos' discussion of how Klingon society is going down the toilet.

It's good to know that the Klingons used to consider teachers etc. as honorable but now everybody wants to be a warrior and be lauded for victory even over much weaker opposition. And that ties into the unfairness of the court and also how Archer's release is easily obtained by bribes (which T'Pol realizes she can pull off). I did think the ending with Archer's release was too easy nevertheless.

Now for the holes: If the Enterprise managed to evade Duras' ship, how was Archer captured and brought to trial? This is a pretty serious omission for me. And obviously this Duras can't be the one from the TNG days. So why use the name? At the start of the episode, Archer was said to have a disease which I'm pretty sure happens to be the same one McCoy had in "For the World Is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky". I feel like this episode went out of its way to "name-drop" -- which is a cheap way to try to score points.

Archer challenges Kolos to stand up for what he believes in and fight -- this reminded me of "A Few Good Men" where Tom Cruise finally puts Jack Nicholson on the stand. Thought it was ridiculous when the prosecutor kept interrupting Archer and Kolos -- so the Klingon court system is rigged - big deal, no surprise.

Barely 2.5 stars for "Judgment" -- overall poorly conceived as the writers here try to cram a 2-hour story into 1 hour and leave holes but Hertzler elevates matters with a good tale of Klingon societal degeneration which plays out in the episode. If you're familiar with "The Undiscovered Country", this will pale by comparison -- it's not bad but just comes across as a cheap knock-off. If you haven't seen it, then it should be more enjoyable due to the novelty effect.
Mon, Mar 18, 2019, 12:03am (UTC -6)
It is amazing how many times Enterprise officers get arrested, detained, or captured.

I can't recall Star Trek VI so I was not bothered by it. It DID seem like I saw this before in the Star Trek universe, whether Cardassias, Klingons, or Romulans were the bad guys, I can not say...
Joe M.
Mon, Mar 25, 2019, 2:19am (UTC -6)
This might have worked if the balance between exploring Klingon culture and "honoring" ST VI was drastically shifted. When every single plot beat is the same, that's a rip-off in my book.
Fri, Oct 9, 2020, 4:20am (UTC -6)
I'll say 3 stars. I did not find it a total retread of the Undiscovered Country scenes, but a nice expansion of the courtroom action, and it went in a few different directions from the film. This episode delves into important issues, including rights: Archer's right to address the court after being told not to; the rights of the alien refugees to survive and avoid being charged with treason; and the archaic Klingon rights which Kolos claims in order to present further testimony. Rights always have relevance, as they currently do regarding racial issues--the rights of those on either side of the issue. Also, society must have laws and a justice system, but those who create and apply laws and dispense justice must be pure, so that victims and plaintiffs have a fair chance. Archer and his advocate challenge some of these things in this episode. I liked the episode's visuals, direction, editing, special effects, most of the script, set design and costumes. For fun, I looked online for the Klingon Judge's Gavel, and a prop of one that was apparently used in this episode was sold through Christie's for $24,000.
Sean J Hagins
Tue, Dec 1, 2020, 8:38pm (UTC -6)
The return of General Martok! (Well, the actor anyway)

He is one of my favourites playing a likeable Klingon (as opposed to Gowron actor who plays a crazy Klingon) I like how he was really trying to help Archer. I know it would make him a regular, but I really would have liked him to have gone along with Archer in the end.

The show was also good with continuity. I mean, I would have liked Archer to be found not guilty, but we know that Klingon/Human relations are bad until the 24th century, so that's not happening!
Sean J Hagins
Tue, Dec 1, 2020, 10:29pm (UTC -6)
I wanted to say this also, but I got caught up in something else-a lot of people don't like that this was a "ripoff" of the courtroom scene in Star Trek VI. What these guys may not know is that that courtroom was a "ripoff" of a real life inquiry of the UN during the cold war (the Cuban Missile Crisis specifically). To the point of the "Don't wait for the translation! Answer me now!" being an exact quote against the Soviet representative when the questionarre thought he was playing for time (Ambassador Stevenson said this). So, it's all a "ripoff", but it was a good one
Mon, Jun 21, 2021, 6:26am (UTC -6)
Never seen ST IV so I don’t know whether it's a rip-off or homage, but what I do know is that it was extremely boring.

Been there already (like O’Brien on Cardassia), but here there is nothing at stake (we all know Archer will get out), it lacks any interesting development for the characters, and presents weird stereotyped Klingon history / cultural commentary.

When O’Brien was tried on Cardassia it felt like it developed organically from the context of the Cardassian society as it had been presented over the series. It felt natural and believable and was interesting to watch through. Here it is manufactured and barely makes sense.

If the judge / system is corrupt or biased before the trial begins, why does he become suddenly open to fair arguments from the defense at the end? Same with the defense lawyer who does a 180, on the basis of what? Lousy speech from Archer? “It’s all worthless, the system is corrupt, society is in decay etc etc” - “On Earth a few guys made a difference” - “Ok you convinced me! I will defend you with almost no chance of success and risk my life for it, it’s worth it!”

Also tired of Archer meddling in foreign affairs, cow boy style, rather than exploring. I mean, sure, the poor refugees are being persecuted, but I actually agree that Archer is guilty here (if he acted within Klingon Empire space). These affairs should be reported to Starfleet / Vulcan High Command for them to resolve. Archer’s actions here could easily prompt a war with the Klingons. What an idiot, really should not be a captain, especially not the first one to roam the galaxy representing the human species!
Wed, Jul 21, 2021, 6:10pm (UTC -6)
How man times can Archer get caught in a single season!
Fri, Jan 20, 2023, 1:27pm (UTC -6)
I have the same general criticisms of this episode as many other people.

That being said, I still consider it a half decent episode of Enterprise. Not the greatest, not the worse, just ok.

One thing I want to bring up that bugs me about the episode is a particular trope. This is not specific to this episode. Its a trope that comes up in a lot of Trek episodes.

I hate the Trek trope of showing slave labor working in mines with their bare hands, or with very basic mining tools like pickaxes. I know they depict it this way just to make it seem more brutal for the victims. But I find it hard to believe that mining technology / practices wouldn't be leagues more advanced in the Trek universe, even in labor colonies. Heck, it would probably be mostly automated in some places.
Wed, Oct 11, 2023, 2:51pm (UTC -6)
Ugh no one would remain on an ice planet. Bad decisions so crew doesn’t have any loose ends for next episode (otherwise known as reset button) blah
Thu, Nov 9, 2023, 1:31am (UTC -6)
When the court declared they were going to give Archer "the worst possible punishment", I thought it was going to be declaring that he has no honor and forced to flee Kronos (like a coward) in disgrace. In this way, Kolos' hands off approach was a way to give Archer his life (what the defendant valued the most) and allow for Duras to regain some of his honor. This would illustrate how Archers first impression of the Klingon judicial system as being inherently injust was hasty and prejudiced by his own preconceptions.

I'm not as deep into Trek, so I'm pretty sure my little scenario is probably incompatible with the actual lore.

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