Star Trek: Enterprise


2 stars.

Air date: 10/30/2002
Teleplay by David Wilcox
Story by Rick Berman & Brannon Braga
Directed by Mike Vejar

T'Pol: "Short of killing the Klingons, any action we take will only make the situation worse."
Jammer: "Looks like you just solved the puzzle. Kill the Klingons at once."

Review Text

In brief: Milk toast.

While watching "Marauders," I saw during one of the commercial breaks an ad for an upcoming action movie called Half Past Dead, set inside a prison and starring Steven Seagal and Ja Rule. Much to my amazement (and dismay), the end of the commercial informed me that Half Past Dead is rated PG-13. Yes, PG-13. And I'm thinking, has the bloodthirsty testosterone-driven violent American action genre been so watered down for mainstream marketing reasons that now Steven Seagal films are rated PG-13? What has our world come to?

It is of some irony or coincidence or appropriateness or something (or not) that this commercial airs during "Marauders," the epitome of milquetoast Star Trek action, where the last act is devoted almost completely to an extended action sequence where Our Heroes must ward off the threat of the Evildoers, and yet not one person — friend or foe — is killed or even seriously injured. Given that this is, after all, the Star Trek universe and its Evolved Sensibilities we're talking about, I'm willing to grant that this is somewhat appropriate. Certainly more appropriate than a Steven Seagal film released to the masses as PG-13.

My point? I guess that "Marauders" is so devoid of anything worth getting worked up about — for good or ill — that I'd rather get worked up over the fact that Steven Seagal now stars in movies that are rated PG-13 (it's not bad enough that Seagal films are generally garbage; now they're watered-down garbage). Perhaps "Marauders" is your cup of tea and perhaps it's not, but I found it to be a very tame and unimaginative recycling of a very familiar story. (A recent version of this story is the Disney/Pixar film A Bug's Life, more entertaining than this.) Yes, the location shooting and production design here is impressive. Yes, Mike Vejar is a good director. But all the surface gloss and competency in the world cannot make up for story developments that make me shrug and say, "So?"

The plot is about as bare-boned as they come. Colony of miners produces refined deuterium. Colony sells deuterium to passersby. Colony, unfortunately, is being bullied by group of Klingon marauders, who use intimidation and violence to hoard all the miners' output production, leaving them empty-handed. Colony has tried to fight back, but Klingons are too strong and mean. Enter the Enterprise and Captain Archer, who, once he learns about this situation, wants to help.

There's certainly nothing wrong with that story sketch as a starting point. It's classic Trek material, albeit very middle-of-the-road stuff. Unfortunately, there's nothing really right about this story either. The script's approach is to give us the facts and assume we care about them, without giving us anything dramatic or interesting to invite us to care. I guess that's the problem — not that I disliked this episode but rather that I was so disinterested. Archer's humanistic desire to help people (who are initially too afraid to accept his position of standing up to the Klingons) is an admirable (if obvious) character trait. But the episode has no real depth or questions to consider. It's painfully straightforward. "I've never liked bullies," Archer tells Trip at one point. End of story. Philosophizing goes no deeper than that. Okay, there's also, "Give a man a fish, and he eats for a day; teach him to fish, and he eats for a lifetime." Whoa. Deep.

Archer's plan is to teach the colonists how to defend themselves in the few days before the Klingons return to raid the colony. T'Pol holds an introductory martial-arts class, showing how to avoid a Klingon wielding a bat'leth. (There's one amusing moment when T'Pol asks a reluctant Mayweather to help her demonstrate an attack. T'Pol: "You won't hurt me." Mayweather: "It's not you that I'm worried about.") Reed and Sato offer sessions for target practice with firearms. A clever plan is hatched to relocate buildings so the deuterium field will be exposed and can be set ablaze. Trip befriends a boy (Jesse James Rutherford, a sub-par performance) whose father was killed in an earlier skirmish with the Klingon bullies. Archer reassures the colony leader (Larry Ceder, performance par for course), who quietly despairs at his own ineffectiveness. These scenes represent a series of facts mostly free of underlying tension or suspense, scarcely more interesting than as I've just described them. Hence the episode's unfortunate lack of an emotional spark.

The Big Battle in the show's closing act is a bizarre and ultimately borderline-humorous compromise between elaborate action staging and attitudes of unmistakable non-violence. Despite the fact the Klingons are trying to kill Our Heroes, every effort is made for Our Heroes not to resort to killing any of the Klingons. The good guys punch, kick, throw rocks, shoot guns without hitting anyone, and use other non-lethal tactics (included is a scene that shows how T'Pol also fills the role of Action Hero Chick With Spin-Kick Moves), and ultimately they lure the Klingons into a trap where a fire ring appears around them. The big payoff involving the fire ring is overplayed to the point of goofiness; the Klingons' moment of realization is hammered at with the precision of a sledgehammer, making our heroes look not nearly so clever as the villains are clueless.

I dunno. "Marauders" is what it is — a bloodless, light-as-a-feather action show with handsome production values but absolutely and positively no edge. It takes bland safeness to new heights; it doesn't come within a hundred yards of anything daring, offensive, challenging, or otherwise intriguing. If you're looking for a very simple hour of TV that pushes no buttons or envelopes and inspires in you little thought or emotional reaction, this will maybe get the job done. Plus, nobody gets hurt.

But then, you might also find yourself more riled by the notion of a PG-13 Steven Seagal movie than anything that happens here.

Next week: A skeleton in T'Pol's closet?

Previous episode: A Night in Sickbay
Next episode: The Seventh

Like this site? Support it by buying Jammer a coffee.

◄ Season Index

Comment Section

81 comments on this post

    The 'Enterprise' crew also never mention to the colonists what to do when the Klingons come back with 50 of their closest friends or how to defend themselves against being shot at from orbit. Remember, these are Klingons?! Does anyone think they'll not see this "defeat" as some sort of slap in the face to their honor and a burning desire to get that honor back?

    I just saw this episode for the first time the other night, and wow, did you nail it. I was actually kind of excited for the climax when the Enterprise crew were teaching the colonists how to shoot and defend themselves - I (foolishly) was expecting a badass, shoot-em-up showdown in which the Klingons summarily got their asses handed to them. That's what would've happened in DS9, anyway. And even later-season TNG. Hell, even season 3 Enterprise.

    But no, what I got was a ridiculous exercise in "showing up" the bullies without, miraculously, harming them. And the bullies - KLINGONS! - just shake their fists and leave? Without so much as a bloody nose? I call BS. Honestly, Star Trek was at its worst when it resorted to ham-handed moralistic preaching, of which this episode is an indirect, though apt, example.

    I thought this was an outstanding episode, one of the very best of the season. A nice reworking of a classic Western plot, with the Star Trek sensibility of protecting yourself and defeating a violent threat using intelligence instead of brute force. I was characterize "Marauders" as a litmus test for the entire series. If you like it, chances are you'll enjoy "Enterprise." If you think you're smarter than the writers and get your jollies out of nit-picking, then you might as well stop watching now.

    Compare this episode to AR-558 or Rocks and Shoals on DS9. Were UPN having a "We cant show excess violence on TV" year when Enterprise was in thes 1st and second season? Its like this episode was made for infants.

    "If you think you're smarter than the writers and get your jollies out of nit-picking, then you might as well stop watching now."

    Are you calling us IDIOTS? Hey, it's the WRITERS who are SUPPOSED to write up a GOOD STORY. I have not seen this so I cannot make an objective summary either way, but writers are only HUMAN who make MISTAKES. You make them sound all-powerful. To quote Gul Dukat with a little alteration:

    "And [Almighty] David hands down another judgment!"

    BTW, Jammer, I gotta comment: I love you adding your own remarks to the established quotes at the beginning of some episodes. "Acquisition" had my lolling, this one has me in stitches. Keep it up, man!

    This might not be the best episode of Enterprise but it is by far one of the best episodes of The A-Team since, oh the mid 80's. What else would you call a show with an elaborate plan, lots of explosions and spring boarded stuntmen and least we forget the shots fired but no one gets hit that was a staple of every A-Team show. If only Captain had said "I love it when a plan comes together" it would have been a near perfect homage.

    I have yet to see Series 4 of Enterprise, but I think it's a pretty safe bet to say this is the worst episode of an otherwise very good show.

    I just didn't get the whole business of shifting the settlement a few hundred yards so that they could ignite the deuterium and thereby trap the Klingons. What sort of plan is that? How much could go wrong? All that effort just to humiliate a bunch of Klingons!

    In truth the miners were in a no win situation. The Klingons could return at any time. They'd have been better off hitching a ride aboard Enterprise to another planet. A very silly episode.

    Enterprise is at its best when it is following a story arc. Having said that some of the 'one offs' are very good.

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

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

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

    Someone before mentioned DS9's "Rocks and Shoals". Sigh. Now THAT was good television.

    Moving the settlement down the road, to set a trap, shows that Captain Archer must have "Blazing Saddles" in his DVD collection. I'm surprised he didn't send the Klingons an exploding CandyGram.

    Dull as Hell. I preferred the previous episode, it had flaws but at least it didn't have me looking at websites and otherwise distracting myself from the show due to boredom! And it had Porthos.

    One good thing: T'Pol's moves. Smooth.

    If Archer later faces consequences for interfering, fantastic. But heh, who am I kidding!

    Eh, it wasn't anything special, but it was nowhere near as bad as some of you make out. Certainly much better than last week's episode.

    So so. I think when the writers pull complete story lines from other sources, they ought to at least allow a character to say, "Hey, I watched this movie once where they moved a whole town ...." I mean, it's not a very esoteric allusion, so why not acknowledge it? Also, please use Travis! He is too much of a hunk to waste!

    How an episode so dull and bland gets more than 10 comments is beyond me. Spot on review except the last paragraph (You and I seem to want different things from our television). The final battle was embarassing. Everyone moving 50 meters to the left... who writes this and thinks it's good? Even in the Three Amigoes they kill El Guapo and his men and it doesn't get any more hokey than that. Speaking of Three Amigoes, Malcolm looks eerily like Martin Short.

    "Bloodless" is the perfect description for this episode on every level. Considering the Klingons murdered a bunch of these colonists before, it seems absurd that our heroes decided to avoid killing them, or even really injuring them at all. Seeing the Enterprise crew fighting to the death against Klingon soldiers could have been interesting; this was not.

    Joss Whedon's Firefly aired the during the second season of Enterprise. One of the un-aired episodes (released later on) was "Heart of Gold" which features a story similar to "Marauders", but told in a compelling fashion with action, suspense, drama, and dialogue that does more than just advance the plot.

    The two respective episodes epitomize the two respective shows. Unfortunately, the mediocre series ran for 4 whole seasons, while the brilliant one ran for less than half a season (and a follow-up big screen movie).

    "Marauders" is Star Trek Enterprise in a nutshell: prosaic and uninspired.

    After the Klingons beamed up I was truly expecting them to beam right back down directly behind the good guys and force them to fight. That would have been a great ending!

    Hit and miss, but I like the allegory of the pre-Federation supplying and training the local fighters. It plays as a a good prequel to the TOS Cold War themes between the Fed and Klingons.

    Trip gave some kid the schematics to a Warp 5 vessel. Shouldn't that be kind of classified?

    @ Jack,

    "Trip gave some kid the schematics to a Warp 5 vessel. Shouldn't that be kind of classified?"

    Funny, I never once thought Trip would give away something classified.

    I just knew that Trip gave the kid some floor plans to his star ship with no classified info included.

    But then again, I'm not looking to berate Enterprise.

    Rewatching this again for the first time since it aired, I'd completely forgottten just about everything about it. I think that's saying something.

    I was also struck by how daft the plan of moving the town was given that the Klingons probably had to use sensors to scan the area before beaming down. Wouldn't that scan have detected the town had moved fifty meters to the left (or whatever amount it moved)? In a Western film that this story was paying homage to it's less likely the bullies would notice riding into town but when with the technology of the show, it just doesn't make sense.

    The plot itself is a retread of far too many better done Westerns and is even parodied by Western spoofs like Blazing Saddles.

    It's episodes like this one that remind me why I began to get down on Enterprise during its second season.

    So much potential in this episode, wasted. Just like Enterprise in general. (and to a large extent, Voyager...but I digress). The Klingons were idiots. Why would you walk towards the people who had been firing at you, out in the open, in a group? Wouldn't it make more sense to come at the colonists from different directions? Flanking them, perhaps? I understand, these guys weren't in the Klingon armed forces, and were basically just pirates, but geez, they were stupid.

    Of course, on a positive note, seeing Mayweather in a tight fitting white wife beater ensured the episode wasn't a TOTALLY loss. :)

    Well it wasn't as bad as A Night in Sickbay - but a blundering, bungling, floundering, forgettable, childish lame effort with extremely clumsy execution in places. And 1986 called - they want their headbands back......

    Jammer nailed it when he termed this episode "bland." Again I can suspend disbelief for many things, but these Klingons were so dumb I can't image they could fly their ship even with an auto-pilot. They walked right into a clearing with an enemy concealed on higher ridge with phaser weapons. And they didn't detect with their sensors that the town moved before beaming down? It feels like the writers are not even trying or care.


    No disrespect but no one cares if what you thought about what Trip did. And unless you wrote for the show you done know if they were just floor plans. As for complaining about people berating Enterprise get over yourself.

    Sheesh, after watching five seasons of Game of Thrones, this episode looks like a child's school play. Aside from a few brilliant episodes, the producers seem to rely on a narrow selection of story types (the trap in the dark, being detained, etc). Most of these are facile morality plays, reminiscent, but no where near on par, with TOS.

    I agree with 2 stars. If they had killed the Klingons I would give it 3.5 stars.

    There is another glaring idiocy in this episode: deuterium mining. In the desert!

    The writers obviously had no clue that deuterium is heavy hydrogen. They thought of it as starship fuel, so they treated it like oil. *headdesk*

    On Earth, heavy water (deuterium oxide) is produced by the distillation (or a similar process) of sea water, which can then by separated into deuterium and oxygen.
    Deuterium is also a gas then. In space, another source might be a gas giant.

    I suppose you can handwave it away by saying that they found some underground deposit of heavy water or gaseous deuterium. But that's not how it was portrayed as. Instead the liquid (!) deuterium somehow came out of the ground. Like oil.

    Wow, could have been a good episode, but what they ended up doing to the Klingons, their big plan, was just woeful. Started with that ridiculous use of a trip wire onwards.


    Seriously, what a terrible ending. Why not just teleport 100metres to the right? Shoot the encampment up from orbit?


    Seems as if I like the ones that no other likes. If you can beam deterium from a desert you can also fight a bully without killing him. Good western. Good feminism with Hoshi as marskwoman and T'Pol beating a Klingon twice as big as her. A Klingon might scare the shit out of you but you still have better chances as against a tiny female Vulcan.

    Just watched this, and I see that the review and comments here generally agree with my reaction. This would, however, have been a perfectly fine, if mediocre, episode had the bad guys been Generic Weird Forehead Aliens Appearing Exactly Once in All of Star Trek instead of Klingons, so that the audience could reasonably believe they'd give up after being non-fatally humiliated by the same villagers they'd beaten in battle before.

    @ The Man
    Sat, May 30, 2015, 8:23pm (UTC -5)


    No disrespect but no one cares if what you thought about what Trip did. And unless you wrote for the show you done know if they were just floor plans. As for complaining about people berating Enterprise get over yourself.

    Obviously no intelligence.

    The same EXACT thing could be said about someone claiming that Trip gave away classified info.

    Dumb ass, you just go off and get over something.

    As others have noted, kind of what would you'd imagine would happen if The A-Team did Seven Samurai. But did it really boringly.

    This has all the feel and production values of an early TNG. The plot here is about as well worn as it gets, and it mines all the cliches - we even get an honest to God montage sequence. The final action sequence is beyond risible. It's just dull, derivative and smacks of a series that's running out of ideas fast.

    1.5 stars - and it only gets the .5 because no-one ends up chasing a bat.

    Why didn't the Klingons just beam back down behind everyone and open fire?


    You obviously missed this part of the episode.

    "TESSIC: If you're thinking about coming back, I wouldn't advise it. We'll be ready. We're not afraid of you anymore.
    (Korok holsters his weapon.)
    KOROK: We can find deuterium anywhere. Yours isn't fit for a garbage scow.
    (He speaks into his communicator and the party is beamed away. The colonists rejoice at their victory.) "

    These garbage scow Klingons don't want to bother with it. Why would they?

    In real life, Archer's plan would have been doomed from the beginning. As many of you have stated, the Klingons can return and blast them to kingdom come.

    It's hard to argue with most of the issues brought out in Jammer's review and comments here. But for some reason I don't skip this one during re-watches.

    I guess I like the anti-bully theme.

    There are good parts to this unimaginative effort. T'Pol's instruction, Hoshi's demonstration, Archer's good natured intent, everyone working together in an effort to stand up for themselves.

    I don't consider these Klingons front line "warriors". They, for all intents and purposes run a delivery truck. I think it's reasonable to suppose that these guys would sooner not let this little charade get back to the home world or be written about in the Quo'Nos Times. I know it's a strrrrrrrrrretch, but it might be plausible. :-)

    To killing some Klingons... now that would have ensured a return with guns-a-blazin. So in that sense I liked the execution of the so-so plan.

    Not sure why the kid couldn't have gone to Enterprise.

    T'Pol in white is worth one star :-)

    But 2 stars is about right for this one.

    This was way better when it was The Magnificent Ferengi in DS9. Such potential wasted by not fully committing to the homage.

    Sometimes Jammer just surprises me to extremes. I think this is one of the wors episodes not only on Enterprise, but the whole Star Trek franchise, yet this gets more than the previews episode with dog, which is... kind of "meh" but still watchable and non-offensive to ones intelligence.

    Here, writers just order us to turn off our brains, forget anything we know about Klingons and waste our hour watching the lamest excuse for an action ever filmed.

    But since Jammer gave that horrible episode in which Doctor and Captain effectively exterminate whole race in the name of a dubious doctrine (At the end of which Doctor Mengele and Joseph Goebbels would sign happily) I need to learn to be less surprised by Jammer

    I'd give this one 2.5 stars.

    Immediately recognized where they were going with the defence of the colonists from the bandits (Seven Samurai/Magnificent Seven/A Bug's Life homage), but in all of those the bad guys (and some good ones) die. They kinda have to. Archer correctly points out that he hates bullies and they must be stood up to. But these Klingons are not going to steal the colonists' lunch money and give them wedgies: they murdered several of them and left the kid an orphan. Their leader even mentions they will slaughter the boy as an example to those who would dare defy them. But scaring them off with some pyrotechnics? Disappointing.

    On the plus side: T'Pol finally wore something different AND she's a badass martial arts expert who knocked out a Klingon with a roundhouse kick that would have made Bruce Lee or Chuck Norris proud. Hoshi is an expert shot, too!

    The best choice would have been to confront the Klingon pirate ship in orbit, return fire once they fired on the Enterprise and destroyed it. They were not Klingon military but pirates. Any number of things could go wrong and cause them to disappear forever, including some mechanical failure, a collision with an asteroid or black hole, them mistakenly picking on some colony world of a race that wouldn't put up with crap, such as Romulans or Cardassians, etc. As some two-bit criminals, it's not as if the Klingon fleet would spend much energy in an investigation and then revenge.

    It's as if some FCC censor pulled the producers aside and told them this is a show for young kids so they had to change the script and make it so not so much as even a nose starts to bleed after T'Pol kicks a Klingon in the face or Archer bats another one in the head with a fence post or whatever he hit him with inside the hut. The censors' made what could have been a pretty strong episode pretty silly.

    One scientific quibble: as a plentiful component of seawater (0.015%), seeking deuterium in a desert was a corny idea. It's not as if the writers couldn't have looked up the term and figured that out in 30 seconds. In previous shows, especially TNG, they made up new elements and chemicals in almost every other episode. Why not just make up some cool-sounding name for whatever essential-for-starships item the colonists are mining? How about dilithium crystals, for instance? Those are usually found underground on planets with desert-type climates.

    Jammer, I pretty much agree with most of what you said about this episode. What I don't understand is how, having said it, you could give this rubbish two stars.

    The very first reply nailed the most obvious problem, which I'm surprised Jammer didn't mention. MAYBE Archer doesn't know Klingons well enough yet to realise that he's effectively handed the camp a death sentence, but surely T'Pol does, and the viewers certainly do.

    Mind-numbingly insipid. Fllls me with respect for Hogan's Heroes.

    Scraping the barrel with this one, guys.

    Yeah...this was a very bland episode. Redux of an old western. I generally agree with Jammer's review (don't care for all the Segal stuff) and like @Lupe don't see how he gives this 2/4 stars given his review.
    This is just lame through and through. Why don't the Klingons detect a Federation ship in orbit? Won't they be back with more power? How is the mild embarrassment they faced going to deter them? They like being bullies.
    The episode spending time showing them moving the camp, training etc. was all just filling time. Is that female colonist really able to avoid a Klingon attack based on a few minutes of T'Pol training.
    These Klingons really come across as looking like fools.
    Anyhow, this episode is just there - nothing to take away from it. Just Archer & Co. trying to feel good about themselves helping (temporarily) some bullied colonists. For me 1/4 stars. Seems like ENT does a lot of these kinds of episodes and it's starting to get tiring.

    Think of this as self-parody and it *almost* works. The wacky, nutty Klingons in this one make Worf's kid look like the toughest warrior on the block.

    Why did the Klingons not realize the second time around that the coordinates for their transport were different from before?

    @ Markus
    Sun, Nov 26, 2017, 4:13am (UTC -6)
    "Why did the Klingons not realize the second time around that the coordinates for their transport were different from before?"

    They did, but only after transport.

    I don't hold these Klingons in a high regard. They basically run a dump truck.

    No songs in their line of business.

    How did clingons managed to harass colonists for five seasons if the whole show had run for incomplete two seasons?

    I actually LOL'd when they (eventually) lit the ring of fire around the Klingons. That was some "pretty impressive fireworks"? I was expecting a big explosion that killed the Klingons instantly! Instead you get a measly flame I could probably have run through.

    Hmmm, I am getting the impression that Star Trek Enterprise is mainly aiming for a younger audience than the reviewer or me (38). As far I can tell there is a lot of rather violent stuff out there in movies in games. Things also appear to have gotten faster paced and more intense. Part if this may be just be me getting old :-) ahem. Personally I don't mind something quiet and not so violent. While I have no problem with young audiences being exposed to sometimes rather intense and violent stuff per se, I certainly don't think it hurts to balance it with tamer stuff. Or perhaps I am just rambling. Whatever.

    This episode represents what was wrong with Berman and his staff at this point: they'd just given up any pretence of making modern, relevant drama, and were instead producing wishy-washy rubbish like this "bully story for kids". When you compare this episode to what was going on in Stargate Atlantis, or Firefly, or DS9, or even a non-science fiction like Angel, it is pretty humiliating to Trek fans.

    And people blame the actors! XD

    Although some of the comments above have brought attention to whether the Klingons would come back with the entire Imperial forces, if you didn't hear in the episode when Archer says the Klingons owe them a favour, T'Pol says "I doubt these marauders answer to the High Council." so considering they're Marauders I find it unlikely they'd have entire regiments of Klingons to back them up.

    These Klingons are marauders, raiders, bullies, they're not official Klingon Imperial Officers so there most likely is literally only maximum 15 of them or so, theres no real benefit to risk their lives just to get a bit of Deuterium (Which the Klingons can't extract themselves so they literally need the colonists in that case) and since the colonists said they'll be ready, it's likely they'll continue to train how to defend themselves using knowledge they've learnt from the Enterprise crew. So not only is it likely the Klingons would stay away (since they don't know the Enteprise has helped them remember) but it's likely the colonists would at least know how to put up a fight.

    > If only Captain had said "I love it when a plan comes together" it would have been a near perfect homage. <

    I was a little disappointed that they weren't able to spring Lt. Barclay from the mental hospital, but the shuttlepod did an awful lot like a GMC van, and I could've sworn I heard Ms. T'Pol said, "I pity the fool who tries to attack this mining colony."

    Also thought it was a nice touch when they replaced the usual opening credit song with, "Today, still on their mission from Starfleet, these Terrans survive as explorers of space. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire.....the Enterprise."

    Hilarious comments, infinitely more entertaining than this dud of an episode. I loved the A Team references.

    The Klingon pirate said more than once "we can get deuterium anywhere!" and boy that was unintentionally the funniest (and truest) line in the whole dumb episode.

    What's funny is the episode even shoots itself in the foot on its own silly terms. Consider the fact that the Klingons have transporters and the implications of that little tidbit to this whole cockamaney plan Archer cooked up to "trap" them in a ring of fire.

    These weren't even Klingon military or pirates, just a bunch of random a-holes in a freighter. What was the point of giving them a technology that made the entire plan hopeless? The Klingons could just beam the colonists into space incidentally.

    Dumb dumb dumb.

    I wished when Archer confidently said, "We have a saying on Earth, Give a man a fish, and he eats for a day; teach him to fish, and he eats for a lifetime", the deuterium guy just looks at him and responds flatly, "What's a fish?"

    I saw this as an A-Team homage. That show sucked, and so did this episode.

    I’m wondering why the Klingons didn’t just beam the miners 200ft in the air and drop them, or beam them all in to a building, etc. Dropping them from great heights might be seen as dishonorable, but these Klingons didn’t seem to much care about that, and there’s no way they wouldn’t come back. What would have made sense is a transporter inhibiting dampening field that forced them to come down by shuttle.

    That leaves bombarding the facility from orbit - something the Klingons seem okay to do (they did it in a later episode when the augment experiment caused the illness - killing thousands from orbit). The humiliation they went through would almost certainly make them do it - unless they really did report to the High Council and were forbidden from doing that for some reason.

    So many issues with this episode....

    “Kill the Klingons at once”.

    That still sticks out and makes me laugh.

    Rewatching the series, and watching this episode always brings to mind Jammer’s solution to the problem. Which is what happened in “The Magnificent Seven” (which this episode is lifted from).

    They killed most of the bad guys there (including the head bad guy).

    Kill the bad guys. Problem solved.

    A good episode. Action packed, and the Enterprise helps the downtrodden.

    I am not a person who employs violence. It saddens me that so many here apparently are. I do not believe in fighting at all, let alone killing.

    Why is it, that Enterprise & Voyager often come across as inferior knockoffs of the strong Star Trek series (to wit, in order of relative excellence TNG, DS9 & TOS) that preceded it rather than sister series in the Star Trek Universe? Oh, I forget myself. This episode is just another bland offering from the creative leadership team of Berman & Braga.

    Usually not a fan (absolutely hate) when Archer plays space cop but I found this one pretty good. No one likes to see someone get bullied. I think it would've worked better if the marauders weren't Klingons though. Doesn't seem very honorable to bully people that won't even fight back, and then they run when the colonists finally start to put up a fight. Klingons love battle.

    Also these aren't violent people so I get why they don't want to just kill them. Direct solution? Yes but not everyone is going to be able to kill in self defense or otherwise. It's a nice and simple episode that gets the point across.

    If you liked this one DonMel, be sure to check out the movies that inspired it "Seven Samurai" and "The Magnificent Seven."

    I'm not a huge fan of this episode honestly. There are a lot of episodes in seasons two and three that are basically remakes of other shows and movies. The writers had just run out of ideas. No wonder after doing Trek for so many years.

    "Oasis" is a remake of DS9's Shadowplay
    "Carbon Creek" is similar to parts of the Trek novel Strangers From the Sky
    "Marauders" is Seven Samurai
    "Precious Cargo" feels a little like TNG's Perfect Mate
    "Dawn" is Enemy Mine and Hell in the Pacific
    "Judgment" is a Star Trek 6 homage
    "Doctor's Orders" is a remake of the Voyager episode One.

    "Stratagem" takes the cake though. It has a plot from a 1940s Roald Dahl short story Beware of the Dog that was later used in a Blackhawk comic from the 50s, the 60s James Garner movie 36 Hours, the Mission Impossible episode Operation Rogosh, the made-for-tv movie Breaking Point, the Star Trek novel Time Trap, and the G.I Joe episode There's No Place Like Springfield.

    "Arr we're trapped in a ring of fire and have to teleport out! If only we could teleport back behind you!"

    "Arr you tricked us! The way of the warrior commands us to admit defeat and leave you alone and never come back!"

    "Arr if only we could throw a few bombs on your heads before leaving!"

    During my current rewatch I must say this is one of the stupidest episodes of Star Trek - and I've watched all of DIS, so I believe that's saying something.

    Moreover, it is a prime case of Archer being reckless and irresponsible AGAIN. When he made his decision, he couldn't have known that the writer would later decide to just make the Klingons magically disappear forever.

    In anything resembling reality, Archer's decision would have doomed those people to being massacred. That was the situation at the moment of his decision. Certainly he had good reason? "I don't like bullies". Oh, you don't like bullies. That's a great reason to have some 80 innocent people massacred who aren't you. But if it makes you feel better...

    Couldn't agree more with the review! The thing that bothered me most about it was how the deuterium was characterized: effectively treating the place as an oil field (so "mining" is confusing: do you mine liquids? I'd argue no). As others have pointed out, it would be gaseous and not liquid at a temperature where humans are wearing t-shirts and sweating (assuming we buy that there *were* just deposits underground). Make up whatever properties for the dilithium etc., but if a compound exists in reality it seems lazy not to look it up and make sure you're being accurate. As for the rest-- I think the review and most of the comments sum it up nicely :).

    I agree it's not a 4 or even 3 star episode; I give it 2 1/2. But one thing I got out of watching this episode again, an episode I like, was when Archer told Tessic that when the Enterprise mission started, he planned to meet people like those in the mining colony, but after fighting the Suliban thought that wasn't what he signed up for, that he originally thought he'd be mapping star clusters or making first contact, but then realized he had to fight back.

    Simply put, life changes, and we must adapt. And like Picard said in First Contact, thus far and no further....the line must be drawn can't keep letting someone bully you. These things still needs portrayal, and think of the new Trek fans watching and realizing these things for the first time.

    Akira Kirosawa should be rolling over in his grave. The Seven Samarai and it's American counterpart The Magnificent Seven are 2 of the best movies ever made and the producers should be jailed for this poor imitation. I'm sure everything wrong with episode has already been said, so I'll just mention the one that is sticking in my gut. Why do Kligons have to be constantly placed in situations where they are such ineffectual fighters and morons. This happens across the Star Trek platforms, where this race of warriors who stand 6 and half feet tall, spend their whole life mastering warfare and martial arts, are ruthless killers who find death in battle the ultimate reward, but are almost always beat by a double hand punch to the gut (you have to ask yourself what their armour is for) or in this episode a rock thrown at their head. Either write a better script that makes sense for a Kligon battle or use a different race that is not steeped in a tradition of being great warriors.

    Ah yes, *deuterium* An isotope of hydrogen....which is literally the *most abundant* element in the Universe. Hydrogen is also a *gas* that is lighter than air and therefore a) wouldn't have any impurities from mixing with other things, and b) wouldn't need to be extracted with pumps. The depiction of a deuterium mine as being on a planet, and as being like an oil refinery with heavy machinery is therefore totally absurd from the get go. I thought there was enough bad science surrounding deuterium in Voyager, that the showrunners would have learned their lesson. In Trek, starships *specifically* have ramscoops on the fronts of their warp nacelles in order to harvest hydrogen/deuterium from clouds of interstellar gas (i.e. from nebulae), where it is abundant.

    The Vulcan Nerve Pinch was invented specifically because Leonard Nimoy didn't think his character would do anything quite so violent and undignified as to dispatch a villain with a Karate chop (in the same manner as Kirk). Now we have Vulcans doing flying kicks. I'm not saying that Vulcans developing a defensive martial art doesn't make *logical* sense. It makes lots of sense, especially given their warlike history. I just question whether the Vulcan Martial Art of "Suus Mahna", as depicted here, is any more dignified than clocking your opponent in the face. I guess it's a bit more graceful.

    I focus on minutiae here because others (in fact the very first commenter) have already pointed out the key flaw of this episode's premise. There's no way the Klingons wouldn't come back with 50 or 100 warriors and kill every last man, woman, and child in that settlement. Especially if, during this period in history, they are practising the more savage and brutal "old ways" that Worf refers to in DS9 "The Way of the Warrior". He points out that Klingons used to say, "In war, there is nothing more honourable than victory", meaning that Klingons didn't use to balk much at slaughtering an inferior (or even defenseless) force when caught up in the heat of battle. In addition to this key logical flaw, the plot also suffers from being overdone, or cliche. Our heroes train a woefully underprepared and outgunned group of civilians to fend for themselves, and they miraculously come through. There was an episode of Stargate SG-1 with this exact plot. And many a feature film, I'm sure.

    Just about the only thing I appreciated about this episode was the Klingon costuming (more cloth and fur based than leather and metal, to fit in with TOS costuming) and the redressed Klingon disrupter prop, which has the *shape* of the TOS Klingon disruptor, but the colouration of the feature-film/TNG style Klingon disruptors. Nice touches from the props department. Too bad the settlement weapons were generic sci-fi blaster rifles that looked like they could have come right out of the 24th century, or perhaps even out of Star Wars.

    Ok watching this 19 years later brings the obvious question - why not murder the jackass marauders? Literally had them where they could incinerate them all for vengeance and prevent anyone from ever messing with them again. Heck blow up their ship while at it just for fun. Know that’s not starfleet but in DS9 or TNG they’d bare minimum make them answer to Klingon Uncle Phil and certain death.

    I agree with most of the others: this episode was quite mediocre. It's cool to see so many Deadwood actors on this show. 2/4

    It's Home Alone but with Klingons.

    T'pol goes hilariously Rambo. The Tactical Officer continues to be functionally useless.

    The Klingons have transporter technology, so I'm not sure why getting stuck in a burning ring of fire would bother them. Also,they are Klingons. Why didn't they just murder the colony from orbit after they beamed out?

    I was developing a bit of a soft spot for Enterprise. Then comes A Night in Sickbay followed by this.

    Mickey asked: Ok watching this 19 years later brings the obvious question - why not murder the jackass marauders?

    Because this is a blatant rip-off of the A-Team. That show was infamous for having tons of explosions and thousands of rounds of ammunition going off in ever episode but without anyone ever getting hurt. Others have compared this to Seven Samurai and the Magnificent Seven, and they're right, but this episode sticks extremely close to the A-Team formula. Innocent townspeople, bullies, cutesy child actor, non-lethal traps etc. Maybe it's supposed to be an homage, but for the life of me I can't figure out why Enterprise would be doing an A-Team homage.

    Shawn Phelps said: "If only Captain had said "I love it when a plan comes together" it would have been a near perfect homage."

    I would have laughed my ass off if Travis showed up at the end flying a black and red shuttlepod while wearing a mohawk and 30 lbs. of gold chains around his neck. Though to be a perfect homage they would have needed to find a way to squeeze in a cameo by Reg "Howling Mad" Broccoli and maybe a shot in the closing credits of Trip doing a double-take as an old school Cylon walks past him.

    Oh, I forgot to mention one tiny little character detail in this episode that I liked. At the very end, after the Klingons have been defeated, the villagers begin to rush around Reed and the crew. There is a quick shot of Reed quickly aiming his gun at the sky so as to avoid pointing it at anyone. I thought that was a nice touch.

    A bit High Plains Drifter, a bit Shane, and all bad.

    Expect for T’Pol’s new uniform, that was awesome.

    The goofy, bloodless faction feels like straight from a garbage tier 1980s TV show. The way they dealt with the marauders made no sense. Malcolm has a marksman rifle with a scope but can't hit a damn Klingon.

    Archer tells some guy that if you teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. Woah, like, so deep, Bro.

    One of the worst. Zero star for me.

    The plan was not great or clever. The klingons will definitely be back. I think the only option would be for colonists to go home, let the klingons get their own. Or come back with actual weapons and a defense perimeter. Throwing rocks at the klingons (was that really the plan??) isn’t going to work. What do u do next time.

    Submit a comment

    ◄ Season Index