Star Trek: Enterprise

"Precious Cargo"

zero stars

Air date: 12/11/2002
Teleplay by David A. Goodman
Story by Rick Berman & Brannon Braga
Directed by David Livingston

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

"Careful, man, there's a beverage here!" — The Dude, The Big Lebowski

In brief: Bad. Bad bad bad bad bad. Bad.

If a casual viewer happened to tune in this week, they'd have but one question: So, this is what passes for Star Trek these days?

I sincerely hope not. I hope the producers realized this was a dog and aired it only because, faced with a deadline, they had no choice. I hope they can one day look back and laugh at this atrocity. Laughing is not likely to happen right now, however, as UPN and Enterprise continue to face woeful days of sagging ratings and a questionable future. With an episode like this, those lousy ratings are deserved. Have the producers no respect for their audience's intelligence and, more important, the audience's desire to be entertained?

"Precious Cargo" is nothing. Zero. Zilch. A test pattern. An empty vessel. A hollow corpse. A lifeless mass. A limp body. A vapid hour. A lamentable experience. A lousy outing. A table scrap. A scrap without meat. A piece of garbage. A test of viewer endurance. Television detritus. Hoary insipidity. A road to nowhere. A road from nowhere. Utter crap. Astounding banality. Awful dreck. A dismal failure. An abomination. A self-parody. A bad self-parody. An insult to the intellect. A slap to the face.

Did I mention it was bad?

At the risk of overstating my case, I'll just say that essentially, this episode is one big, long, long, long, long cliché. This is certainly one of the longest hours of Trek ever made. And one of the dumbest. And most boring and pointless. There is literally NOTHING here that inspires thinking. The actors are deer trapped in the blinding headlights of the script, coming at them at 60 mph. Wham. Yikes — looks like this one's a DOA.

The plot rehashes elements of TOS's "Elaan of Troyius," which I'm sure was already a rehash in 1968. "Precious Cargo" is a rehash without the benefit of humor or satire. It plays its premise basically straight, as if it were actually a legitimate story. It clearly is not. It's nothing more than an assemblage of clichés.

The plot in a nutshell: Two aliens are transporting a woman in suspended animation ("Precious Cargo" — get it?). Their cover story is that they were hired to transport her in this manner. The truth is that they actually kidnapped her and are holding her for ransom. In a series of contrivances, this woman emerges from her hibernation, Trip gets on board the alien vessel and is knocked unconscious, and one alien takes off in the ship with Trip and the woman. Trip and the woman must then team up in an effort to escape the alien ship. The other alien is left behind on the Enterprise, where he is subsequently interrogated in the episode's only scene that comes close to working, but is still not nearly as clever or satisfying as it should be.

The woman is named Kaitaama and is played by Padma Lakshmi, who is very nice to look at but delivers a terrible performance. It certainly doesn't help that Kaitaama is a walking, talking cliché — a typically ultra-haughty princess who is appalled at her situation and even more appalled that she might be rescued by a lowly peasant like Trip Tucker. The ongoing "banter" between Trip and Kaitaama is downright painful to be subjected to. Like Trip, we're trapped with Kaitaama for the whole episode, and she's unbearable while also being unconvincing. I never for one moment felt like I was watching actual people, but rather artificial constructions of a hopelessly recycled, lame-brained plot.

There are scenes of Trip and Kaitaama crawling through air vents, cramming into an escape pod (tight spaces, up close and personal; har har!), and finally crash-landing and traipsing through a swamp. All of this goes on for a very long time with very bad dialog and very obviously no dramatic reason for existing whatsoever other than to fill an hour of a floundering network's bandwidth. It's utterly perfunctory and pathetic and without purpose or merit or life or entertainment value. Eventually Trip and Kaitaama get in a shouting match before they then suddenly clinch/kiss, in an oh-so-predictable scene that is so horrendous as to induce eye-rolling and groans. Watching all of this is like witnessing actors sleepwalking through an hour in a meditative trance, while production mechanically soldiers on, pulling the machine's garbage-in-garbage-out lever.

What's perhaps worst about "Precious Cargo" is that it's awful without also being funny. It's simply awful while being relentlessly boring. Okay, I did laugh when Trip punched the bad guy/alien in the face about five times, and then the alien actually looked straight at Trip and exclaimed, "Ha ha!" How ridiculous. My laughter was one of incredulity. If the alien had a mustache, he'd be twirling it while tying Kaitaama to railroad tracks.

The best thing about this episode was its ending. Not because the ending was good (it wasn't), but because it meant the show was over. Just how bad was this episode? Let me give you some details for the sake of perspective. I taped it on Wednesday and watched it on Friday, and when I queued the tape backward one hour, the counter on my VCR told me exactly how long was left in the show until it was over. "0:00" meant the end. My VCR's countdown to zero was the equivalent of Burgess Meredith in Rocky, telling me to hang in there and get through this fight.

Next week: The ship is taken over by aliens and Archer considers blowing it up. Looks like the Cliché Patrol will be on duty again.

Previous episode: Vanishing Point
Next episode: The Catwalk

◄ Season Index

89 comments on this review

Mon, Oct 22, 2007, 12:12pm (UTC -5)
That bitch needed a slap (or a spanking). She was sexy, but the 3 Orion women in Bound were much sexier eye-candy.
Admirable Chrichton
Wed, Nov 21, 2007, 8:42am (UTC -5)
Nice to see the Kriosians choosing their royal family from "My Super Sweet Sixteen!!!"
Wed, Jul 15, 2009, 11:15am (UTC -5)
Yep, this is it. The absolute bottom of the Trek barrel. Makes Threshold look like Shakespeare.
Tue, Aug 25, 2009, 9:46pm (UTC -5)
Not one of the better outings for Enterprise, but zero stars is a bit harsh. It wasn't a painful hour for me to endure, and I enjoyed T'Pol's bit as a Vulcan inquisitor, and seeing Padma Lakshmi here, given her subsequent TV success.
Tue, Oct 13, 2009, 11:06am (UTC -5)
The teleplay for this episode was written by a future Family Guy writer which tells you all you need to know.
Elliot Wilson
Thu, Feb 18, 2010, 7:16pm (UTC -5)
@Will: Hey! I like Family Guy!
Wed, May 5, 2010, 11:07am (UTC -5)
If no one else is going to stand up for this episode, I will. I just saw it for the first time with a friend and neither of us thought it was so bad. I went in expecting legendary badness. If this is supposed to be the worst of Enterprise, it's still better than the bottom of the barrel episodes of other Trek series, such as Spock's Brain, Shades of Gray, Profit and Lace, or Threshold. It was better than the TOS episode Elaan of Troyius which it was loosely based on. The woman in this one was actually less rude than her if you can believe that and unlike that episode, Trip doesn't have to put up with her crap. It has a decent enough pacing to keep it from being painful to watch. Was this a good episode? No. Did it deserve better than zero stars? Yes.
You're spot on with most of your reviews Jammer, but I think this one was a bit harsh.
Sat, Jun 12, 2010, 4:31pm (UTC -5)
Before this guy was a Family Guy writer, and before he was a writer for Enterprise, he wrote the Star Trek parody episode of Futurama, "Where No Fan has Gone Before" Apparently he was overjoyed to be able to write it, because he was such a fan of the original series. Something to keep in mind for his first script.
Sat, Sep 11, 2010, 6:32am (UTC -5)
I didn't find the time dragging. I quite liked the aliens of the week who were endearingly shifty and cowardly. Trineer's performance was just fine, and if Lakshmi was a bit stilted, I was prepared to put that down to her character's upbringing and the fact that she had been in stasis for several months.

One and a half to two stars from me.
Sat, Sep 25, 2010, 11:24pm (UTC -5)
So it's official - I love the episodes that get the lowest Jammer ratings. This one was big campy space fun, Buck Rogers style, and I enjoyed every second.
Marco P.
Sat, Dec 11, 2010, 5:05am (UTC -5)
What I find disturbing is not that you gave this episode zero stars Jammer (I agree with the rating), but the fact you're acting so outraged a mere one week after giving 3.5 stars to "Vanishing Point".

Both episodes are on the same level for me. At least this one's got Padma Lakshmi to look at.
Sat, Dec 11, 2010, 8:21pm (UTC -5)
Good lord, Padma Lakshmi is TERRIBLE in this episode! She sounds like a robot. The episode itself isn't that bad. Ok, that's a lie. The episode itself is pretty bad too. But, wow, she's just awful! She's a beautiful girl. But, a truly painfully horrible actress. She really brought this episode from the toilet bowl to the septic tank.
Paul Smith
Mon, Feb 7, 2011, 12:58am (UTC -5)
It's not THAT bad. We're not talking Threshold here. Heck, I thought it was better than the tedious speechmaking of "Stigma".

It was at least competently executed from a plot perspective - step by step. True, nothing ground-breaking here - perhaps 1.5 stars or 2, but honestly I'd rather have watched this than a Mirror Universe episode or a Ferengi comedy episode or several other Trek staples.
Mon, May 2, 2011, 3:15am (UTC -5)
@Elliot Wilson This clown also wrote Fred: The Movie...
Jeremy Short
Sun, Jul 24, 2011, 1:29pm (UTC -5)
I can't call this one zero stars, but I can't call it good either. If Padma could actually act worth a flip it'd be a lot better.
Sun, Jul 31, 2011, 10:53pm (UTC -5)
I'm quite surprised anyone is defending this episode. Lakshmi's acting was execrable, but Trineer doesn't exactly light it up, either. The rest is just all-around bad.

One thing this episode does illuminate are several themes that will become fatal hallmarks of this series:

1) Numerous episodes in which the crew must put on some kind of poorly acted and elaborate ruse to get something out of the antagonist (T'Pol's silly performance as an inquisitor here, the Ferengi episode, "Canamar", but to cite a few).

2) The consistently adolescent way in which sexuality is depicted or otherwise alluded to on this show. Like the writers are a bunch of Mt. Dew-addled 13-year-olds. I can see the pitch: "Hey, I've got an idea! Let's make them spread K-Y Jelly on each other half-naked every time they return to the ship!" It's insipid.

3) Abductions, kidnappings, and hostage situations provide the basis for the plot in seemingly every episode.

It's clear Star Trek is a money-generating franchise with all the creative strictures and stunted story-telling that that label implies. It's content to run over the same well-trod ground, but with half the brains and a quarter of the heart. And I was naive enough to think Berman and Braga would stretch their wings on their last go-round.

I did get a laugh reading about and remembering "Threshold". I remember seeing it first-run and thinking, "What the hell just happened?"
Sun, Sep 25, 2011, 6:54am (UTC -5)
I didn't see this as bad enough for 0 stars (leave that to some of DS9's Ferengi episodes and/or things relating to Lwaxana Troi) but yeah, pretty bad.

The second that it was known that a) The precious cargo was female and b) Trip was the one going in - it was painfully obvious where it was leading, so much that I cringed and said "oh here we go" out loud.

Trip's reputation as this series's token tart precedes him.
Sun, Nov 6, 2011, 8:11pm (UTC -5)
I'm sor t of disappointed in you here, Jammer. This is not a review. I'm sorry. This is clearly where you very strongly dislike an episode and then try to rationalize that, with an emphasis on try.

I'm not saying that this episode is good, I'm just saying that this review isn't either. Let's disect the review:

In brief: The episode is bad.
Paragraphs 1 through 5: The episode is bad.
Paragraph 6: Reviewing
Paragraph 7: Summarizing
Paragraph 8: Some reviewing before we're at "This episode was bad" again
Paragraph 9: Mostly summarizing, but also some reviewing and some calling the episode
Paragraph 10: There was some reviewing, but more importantly, we're just calling the episode bad again
Paragraph 11: This episode is bad.

This just won't cut it as far as reviews go. You need to spend less time repeating yourself and finding new clever ways to say the same thing and instead comment on why you think the way you do about an episode.
Sat, Nov 19, 2011, 4:20am (UTC -5)
I'm going to jump on the "it was bad but not zero stars" bandwagon. I mean, plotwise, it's no worse than the Star Wars prequels... oh wait.
Mon, Apr 2, 2012, 6:43pm (UTC -5)
I just have to say this is one of the funniest reviews you've ever done, Jammer. Whenever I need picking up, I just read this review. I've never seen the episode, and I don't intend to, either, once I get around to watching Enterprise.

That said, I'd say this is tied with your "Demon" review as your funniest. The runners up would be your reviews for VOY"s "The Disease", ENT's "The Xindi", and ENT's "A Night in Sickbay". (I don't intend to ever watch "Night in Sickbay" either, after reading the Agony Booth recap of it and then your review.)
Victor Leon
Tue, Jul 17, 2012, 1:02am (UTC -5)
Jammer...really? Why again was it bad? You must be a TOTAL nerd to not appreciate a little romance and fun. I admit, Enterprise episodes were pretty bad, but I actually liked this one. Watching T'Pol play bad magistrate was pretty funny, and seeing a beautiful woman like Padme was fabulous (oh yeah and I'm a gay trekker). I am watching episodes on Netflix and this has in fact become the highlight of Season 2 so far (I'm on episode 12 now). Season 2 is sucking so bad..the one I kinda liked was Carbon Creek and it was because of the pathos of it.
Also that you for reminding me of ST VOY Threshold episode, I just saw it a few weeks ago and it was terrible...again. I thought maybe it might have remembered it differently. haha
Scott from Detroit
Mon, Jul 30, 2012, 8:22pm (UTC -5)
I agree that this episode was terrible. For me it wasn't so much the cliché. The only parts that I found to be completely cliché were when their anger boiled over into romance and the "pampered" part of Kaitaama's character. Yup, it's sure believable that when two people are in a life and death survival situation that they can't even keep their pants zipped for even the first night.

What took this episode from bad to completely terrible was Padma Lakshmi. Her acting in this episode sounded like she was reading the lines for the first time and just saying the words to say them. Lakshmi reminded me of the very first Janeway that didn't work out.

As for those criticizing this review, I rather liked the review. It made me feel better about the last 43 minutes of my life. Knowing that I'm not the only one that watched this episode gives me comfort.
Thu, Aug 2, 2012, 9:58pm (UTC -5)
In ABSOLUTE agreement with Marco P. This episode and the last deserve the SAME exact rating 1 star, at least in this episode we have someone to challenge T'Pol 's utter lack of acting skill. I'm not sure who's close but I think Padma wins by a hair.
Captain Jim
Wed, Aug 8, 2012, 9:58pm (UTC -5)
I'm offended... not by the episode, by the review. I don't think I've ever seen anyone overreact so much in my life. This might not have been a gem, but it was eminently watchable and entertaining as well. Both "A Night in Sickbay" and "Acquisition" were much worse episodes and I could name several others that were no better.

Nor did I have a problem with the guest actress's acting. I think people are reacting negative to the personality of the character she plays and transferring these negative feelings to the actress instead. For shame.

I'd probably give this two stars.
Thu, Aug 16, 2012, 1:02pm (UTC -5)
I agree, Captain. Any episode where the main characters don't end up devolving into amphibians deserves at least a star or two.
Wed, Sep 19, 2012, 2:05am (UTC -5)
I never bothered watching all of Enterprise.

Then, when I was considering it after a few years passed, I caught this episode.

Needless to say, I still haven't finished Enterprise.
Wed, Sep 19, 2012, 2:07am (UTC -5)
Excellent review though Jammer.
Sat, Oct 20, 2012, 9:08am (UTC -5)
Although it was predictable with little plot I thought it was light=hearted and kind of fun to watch. I don't expect a serious episode (especially from Enterprise) each time I watch. Sometimes it is relaxing to enjoy a mindless show.

However, I keep watching this series in hopes of more profound plots.
Sun, Nov 18, 2012, 7:46am (UTC -5)
One long cliche. When I saw Padma's name in the opening credits I cringed. She is a model, not an actress.

When the First Monarch tore her dress to get into the pod I thought they might actually depart from the helpless princess trope and make her useful. Silly me! She only tore her dress so we'd see her legs. Low point of the episode was when she asked Trip if there was any food, he said, "Check the compartment right above your head," as in literally a foot above her head, and she whined, "Can't you do it?" I fell asleep with ten minutes to go but it sounds like I didn't miss anything.
Sat, Feb 16, 2013, 1:34pm (UTC -5)
Yes, nearly every single step of the plot could be seen coming from a mile away, and yes, Padma Lakshmi is not a great actress. But zero stars is going way overboard. Tbe worst thing an hour of television can do is be boring, not derivative and cliched. This was derivative and cliched, but I was never bored. As another commenter mentioned, Ms. Lakshmi's stilted performance sort of works for a monarch in waiting who isn't used to talking to her inferiors, and I thought she had nice chemistry with Connor Trineer.

I also liked T'Pol's play-acting--the fact that she's willing to play along with Archer's sort of goofy plan shows that she's become more open-minded (or perhaps just a good sport) since first joining Enterprise--and I would have liked that scene to have played out a bit more. The one thing I really objected to is the ultimate in Trek cliches: the fact that Reed suddenly has to be such a lousy shot with his phase pistol in order to allow the aliens to escape.

At the end of the day this is a solid two-star episode for me--it didn't require me to use my brain but it kept me reasonably entertained, and yes, Lakshmi's performance even helped seal the deal simply because she played off of Trineer so well.
Sat, Mar 9, 2013, 9:41pm (UTC -5)
Jammer is spot on. This episode is absolutely useless. It goes down in my hard-core fan history as the only episode of any Star Trek I have absolutely steadfastly refused to watch again.
Nebula Nox
Mon, Apr 15, 2013, 9:02pm (UTC -5)
Bad ... but not as bad as Threshold, which set and still maintains the threshold for the worst episode ever.

Padma is good as eye candy.
Lt. Yarko
Tue, May 14, 2013, 12:42am (UTC -5)
When are people in Enterprise who are holding hostages going to realize that you can't leave them alone for extended lengths of time? Too many episodes have used this tired pattern.
Fri, Aug 16, 2013, 1:04pm (UTC -5)
The "princess's" fake language was really horrible... thank god for the universal translator.

Oh for the days when trek languages were actually thought out with dictionaries and people who actually studied them... now we get people making noises in an American accent.

Odd that if she's known on hundreds of worlds we never see her people again.

Did like T'Pol as judge though.
Fri, Sep 13, 2013, 8:48pm (UTC -5)
After seeing the vehemence of this review, I was expecting a lot worse. It's not Shakespeare ad it's certainly derivative, but I'm always a sucker for Han Solo/Princess Leia style courtship, and this definitely imitates that. Trip is more likable here than usual. The bit with "tough T'Paul" was cute. I'd give it 2.5 stars.
Thu, Apr 24, 2014, 10:45am (UTC -5)
I always enjoy the ones jammer says are terrible. This was no exception. Sure, it's not "The Inner Light." It's just mindless, hokey, old-fashioned space opera-- Moronic escapism, which at times we all need.
Jack Bauer
Thu, Sep 18, 2014, 2:21am (UTC -5)
If its any consolation, Brandon Bragga calls this piece of filth the worst episode of Trek ever.
Sun, Jan 4, 2015, 2:05pm (UTC -5)
At least 2* from this Cap.

A bit of trivia that many may already know, but I didn't see it mentioned in any of the comments. Padma Lakshmi was actually married to Salman Rushdie for three years or so.

Rushdie is famous for among other things, being the author of "The Satanic Verses" which made him the target of an Iranian Fatwa requiring his execution. He was the target of at least one assassination attempt as a result.
Fri, Mar 20, 2015, 1:08am (UTC -5)
This is an interesting episode to me, it was entirely predictable and yet - as others have said - I was actually not bored! Maybe it was the high satire aspect of it that kept me watching, sort of thinking - will they go there? Oh yes they do! While its undoubtbly true that Padma Lakshmi is wonderful to look at, and what a good sport Connor Trineer is, or maybe its the increasing "campy-ness" of the whole thing that makes it so compelling.

But it is still below average - zero stars is a bit of a stretch though....
W Smith
Thu, Apr 23, 2015, 1:50pm (UTC -5)
Nowhere near as bad as Threshold, which still maintains the threshold for most execrable Trek ever.
No doubt that Padma Lakshmi is beautiful, but to criticize her acting here is to miss the point that not even Meryl Streep could deliver this poorly scripted character (a ridiculously cliched stuck-up princess). In addition, Trineer and Lakshmi had no chemistry together so to see them fall into each others' arms was painful to watch.
Yes, it was bad, but at least they didn't de-evolve into slugs.
Mallory R.
Mon, Jul 13, 2015, 9:37pm (UTC -5)
Episode summary: Trip gets laid.

I dunno, it really seems like the first few seasons have a lot of unused scripts from TOS & TNG.
John G
Sat, Jul 25, 2015, 1:14am (UTC -5)
Pretty bad, but not quite worty (unworthy) of Jammer's wonderful rant.

Padma's acting was among the worst I have ever seen.

Trip and Padma reminded me of Lone Star and Princess Vespa in "Spaceballs", with their Princess and commoner rescuer mutual hostility, sexual tension, and battle over who is in charge.

Too bad Padma didn't get a chance to sample and judge Chef's cuisine.
Wed, Sep 30, 2015, 6:24pm (UTC -5)
Pretty bad but not terrible. The plot was old and tired and you could see it coming from a mile away. Padma's acting was poor. But she is a model. She doesn't need talent for that.
I thought the best part was when Archer and T'pol pulled a "bad cop good cop" routine on the guest alien.
And finally I do have a question, or perhaps an observation for the audience. In the swamp scene where the princess slaps Tripp and then they roll around in the water it sure seems to me that we got a little better look at Padma's anatomy than the censors ever intended. I first caught it when Enterprise came out on dvd. It helps if you use freeze frame and click through just as she is making her first roll. I had kind of assumed the scene would be edited when Enterprise made it to bluray. But there it is. Forgive me for being adolescent about it but I think we might have a Star Trek first. They should have named this episode The Unintended Shot.
Thu, Jan 7, 2016, 12:34pm (UTC -5)
I think a zero star review is being generous. The actress is the WORST to ever appear in a Star Trek episode. Soap opera actors could run circles around her.

This episode may not have humans devolving into lizards or jealous Klingon lovers or the captain throwing a tantrum over the dog that his direct actions got said dog sick....but holy balls. That "acting".
Wed, Jan 27, 2016, 9:59pm (UTC -5)
Enjoyed it enough first time. I must havent been paying attention. After second viewing, I more or less agree with jammer. Haven't seen such bad acting since double team.
Thu, Feb 18, 2016, 8:12pm (UTC -5)
Probably the second worst episode of the franchise, surpassed only slightly by "Aquiel". I did think Trip and the princess had a little bit of chemistry but not nearly enough.
Diamond Dave
Fri, Apr 15, 2016, 2:28pm (UTC -5)
Very much had a feel of something out of the TOS era to me, even down to the score. The odd couple theme was just the most prevalent of the rampant cliches on view, and the argument leading to passion fairly cringe making in its unoriginality. There was just no spark, no soul, no humour, it's another frankly boring show in what is become a desperately poor season. 1 star.
Fri, Jul 22, 2016, 2:58pm (UTC -5)
Kind of reminds my of TNG's perfect mate.

Note to the sleeping writers, if you are going to cast a bombshell to play a horrible part, please ensure she can act. I think a talented actress could have probably saved this one. I personally don't even find Padma Lakshm all that beautiful.... just skinny. Conner was so overly trying to overcompensate for her it hurts to watch.

I've only watched this episode twice... actually I wouldn't call it watching - I always end up doing something else.

I did enjoy T'Pol's little judgeship... so that's where my 1 star rating comes from.

Greg, thanks for that... I think I need to do some research :-)
Tue, Sep 6, 2016, 11:48am (UTC -5)
I use to consider A night in sickbay to be the worst episode of Enterprise I ever watched, How wrong I turned out to be. That fucking "Actress" If I could even use the word was so bad I can't even describe it. she makes some of the bad guest actors from TOS look like patrick stewart in comparison. I thought it can't possibly be as bad as everyone was saying what could be worse than Archer going on a psychotic rant about Porthos pissing on a tree? I was Wrong. 0 stars.
David Pirtle
Tue, Sep 13, 2016, 3:00pm (UTC -5)
So you didn't like it?
Tue, Oct 4, 2016, 4:24am (UTC -5)
Another S2 episode of Enterprise that is probably best described as "hot steaming garbage". While it's not as awful as "A Night in Sickbay", it's up there (or down there, I should say).

Sad to say that I am not surprised this is the season where viewers started to be like "You know what? I'm good!".

After the solid trio of Shockwave II/Minefield/Dead Stop, this season has been very uneven so far.

Trip got laid. Cool. Moving on.

1.5 stars for that one Archer/T'Pol scene and some decent Trip lines.
Wed, Jan 4, 2017, 11:24pm (UTC -5)
At least Threshold tried to be original. This one was a cliché right out of the gate. However, Threshold had a greater cringe factor for me. This one, while completely unoriginal (I'm an English teacher and most of my high school students could write a better story), paced a bit better and at least wasn't utter nonsense. I guess each episode was just bad in different ways.
Mon, Jan 16, 2017, 12:46pm (UTC -5)
So here I thought A Night in Sickbay was the worst episode. On the birght side it can't get much worse - can it?
Sat, Feb 11, 2017, 11:02am (UTC -5)
Yes, this episode is 110% cliché. Still it isn't actively offensive like some other episodes out there ("A night in.." ahem.), so it deserved a slightly higher rating.

I wonder how likely the ending is though. Wouldn't Starfleet have gotten an advantage with having one of its man next to the First Monarch? This isn't the future Federation which has hundreds of worlds and needs its (wo)men more than alliances. Earth could have something to gain here.

Perhaps in a more 'realistic' Trek, Section 31 would have quietly 'suggested' to Trip to take up the offer, or at least make a visit. Than again this means we would have had to see more of this 'plot', so +1 for Trek not being realistic enough.
Fri, Mar 17, 2017, 12:21am (UTC -5)
How on Earth did this episode get zero stars, when Code of Honor, Justice, Angel One and up the long ladder did not? It is not a good episode by any standards, but it is not in the absolute buttom of horrible that Star trek has to offer.
Mon, May 8, 2017, 2:16pm (UTC -5)
Wow, this was truly awful. I think Jammer's "review" poses the valid question: "Have the producers no respect for their audience's intelligence and, more important, the audience's desire to be entertained?"

That being said, the episode didn't start out so badly - but it did degenerate into cliche after cliche after cliche - like a Bollywood movie. Maybe Trip and Padma should have done a dance routine in the rain.

But I didn't really think Padma's acting was that bad - she is supposed to act like some kind of high-society princess - her role is supposed to be a cliche in itself.

I don't see too many dreadful Trek episodes for relative rating comparison purposes - it does bring up a comparison to "A Night in Sickbay" and I don't see this as worse or better. "Precious Cargo" gets a precious 0.5 stars / 4 for me.
Sun, May 28, 2017, 9:49pm (UTC -5)
As a woman of South Asian descent, I did get a little kick out of seeing Padma Lakshmi on a Trek episode. She's gorgeous. But her acting left something to be desired. I don't think this deserves zero stars, though. It wasn't THAT bad.
Intrinsic Random Event
Mon, Jun 19, 2017, 11:32am (UTC -5)
Yes, it was zero-stars bad.
This is a first-time run through of Enterprise for me, and being very familiar with the other Treks, I know that there are usually at last a couple of turkeys in every season, but wow, that was complete garbage. Super-dumb. I can like shows that are very dumb, but that's never what I'm looking for in Trek. That was depressing. Can we be certain that they didn't let an 8-year old write this, just for a laugh?
Tue, Jul 18, 2017, 12:11am (UTC -5)
And here I thought it was bad before - then it degenerated into an episode of Naked & Afraid without the naked. Holy shitballs.
Tue, Aug 15, 2017, 12:50am (UTC -5)
I'm not really going to defend this episode much. It was pretty bad, but it's not the worst star trek episode ever, maybe not in the bottom 10. The beginning wasn't too bad.

1 star
Tue, Sep 19, 2017, 1:16pm (UTC -5)
I am surprised at how much my take on the episodes is at variance with Jammer's take and I still think 11:59 from Voyager is the worst of the franchise but man he hits it on the nose here. This is definitely worth the zero stars Jammer gives it.
Sat, Oct 7, 2017, 11:03am (UTC -5)
Jammer was much kinder about this episode than I would have been. This episode was so bad it actually made me angry. I really can't say much about it because I simply couldn't hang in there to see how it ended it. Why would I want to?
Mon, Dec 4, 2017, 12:21am (UTC -5)
1 Star

Dumb. A poor man’s “ The Perfect Mate”
Thu, Dec 28, 2017, 8:22am (UTC -5)
Who knew the universal translator could do annoying accents.

In other episodes, the UT just gives regular accents to people. In this episode, somehow the UT picks up on how annoying the character is and gives her a super annoying accents.

I can only imagine the UT was giving Trip the same annoying accent for the alien woman to enjoy, because Trip was grating on my nerves too.
Sat, Mar 24, 2018, 7:01pm (UTC -5)
Lame! And how the heck did she get the part? Don't answer!
Thu, Apr 19, 2018, 2:52pm (UTC -5)
I think this episode was meant to be a comedy. But the only time I laughed was at 'Faith of the Heart'.
Fri, Jun 1, 2018, 11:22am (UTC -5)
I agree with Jammer - utterly awful.

For me, the cardinal sin of Trek is not to come up with something new and interesting. And there was absolutely nothing interesting in this episode; in fact if you told me to write a bog standard cliché romance storyline I'd probably come up with this. Except that it's Star Trek, and I don't want it to be some tedious rom com.

When she told Trip to visit her at the end, I said instinctively "just as long as you don't make it another episode. That one is gonna be off-camera."
Tue, Jul 3, 2018, 2:48pm (UTC -5)
Let’s see here, first: to each his own opinion. Next: to me the episode wasn’t great and definitely had a few weak spots such as acting that seemed a bit off. However I didn’t think it was awful either. 1.5 stars out of 4 feels just about right.
Sun, Sep 9, 2018, 11:10pm (UTC -5)
Alright... I rated the previous episode 0/5 and said it is the worst episode of Star Trek I have ever seen. Well, it's not anymore! Even though the story was weak and the guest "actress" was painful to watch, my main issue is with the episode's directing and editing. However, only the scenes with the princess and Trip seemed to suffer from that problem, so maybe they just ended up with hours of shitty takes (thanks to the "actress") and just couldn't piece together anything better in the end. Can
I give -1/5 to this?
Wed, Oct 10, 2018, 1:53pm (UTC -5)
This is now, what, the 3rd time Trip has been paired with an alien female? Why not stick Reed in this situation, or even Mayweather, not that Mayweather can carry an episode with his acting (he's usually fine in small doses, which is good because that's all we get of him). Reed in particular would habe the potential to be hilarious with his awkwardness. The alien princess could have fallen for him precisely because he's so stubborn and mysterious, and he could have gradually opened up to her as they were forced to co-operate. Putting a man and a woman together in a tough situation is almost guaranteed to generate sexual tension, I've been there, millions of people have been there, it can be inappropriate and damaging or hilarious and create a deep, unspoken bond.

The sheer repetition of ideas. Trip meets an alien woman and hilarity ensues; Trip acts out of character due to sci-fi mind effects; Trip takes command; Trip modifies technology to save the day; er, that's about it for him. I love Trip, my best friend who is even more blunt and impatient than me thinks Trip is the best character by miles, but at this early stage there were more than half the cast being marginalised and reduced to cardboard stereotypes. This was kind of an issue with Voyager with Kes and Kim, both very likeable characters who should have had some excellent and entertaining stories to tell, and Chakotay, who started out badass and eventually gave up on acting in the role due to receiving crap plotlines which all revolved around him being a Native American.

TNG had the ghastly Dr Crusher who shags ghosts and (usually) delivers a bland performance. She was awesome in First Contact, though, but so was everyone since they had a real story to work with. TOS never bothered developing Chekov or Uhura, who weren't even in a few episodes, although again they got decent material in some of the films. Chekov and Sulu were under-utilised in the Abramsverse too.

Seriously, all these shows had talented and likeable casts, they had teams of writers and creators and a rabid fanbase. If the showrunners produced boring and repetitive stories and under-used characters while over-using others, that is not franchise fatigue, that is not the viewers' faults for switching off, that is bad writing, bad planning, bad management. The bigwigs in any industry love throwing blame, excuses and even diversions around, but the buck must always stop with the person in charge.

If Enterprise had been amazing, it wouldn't have lost 90% of its viewers - to suggest otherwise ("uhh, they changed it to FRIDAY, the one day a week no-one watches telly or remembers how to record programmes") is insanity. And while Enterprise would eventually go from strength to strength, it had already acquired a well-deserved reputation for mediocrity in its early seasons, and it was absolutely overwhelmed with competitor shows of significantly greater quality and relevance. (BSG, SG1, SGA, Buffy, Angel, eventually even Supernatural which had a sensational first two seasons.)

That was certainly not the case for TOS in the 60s, or TNG in the 80s/early 90s. Hence they thrived.

Seriously, just look at some of the Enterprise episodes so far with characters written out of character, episodes full of plot holes, repetition of ideas, very poor dialogue, lack of prequel elements in many episodes. THESE are the stories that needed to be told to the whole world? THIS is the show to compete against Stargate? This CREW is a consistently well-written, well-developed bunch of heroes who make us want to don our Starfleet jump suits and head out into space?
Thu, Nov 29, 2018, 6:23pm (UTC -5)

[[Before this guy was a Family Guy writer, and before he was a writer for Enterprise, he wrote the Star Trek parody episode of Futurama, "Where No Fan has Gone Before."]]

Was it also before our sun burned hot in space?
Wed, Jan 23, 2019, 9:35am (UTC -5)
The episode was as awful as the intro song. It has taken me this long to finally get into the series, and it has only been because it is now available on Netflix which allows me to skip the intro.
The show itself has been a pleasant surprise for the most part, and I think they have done reasonably well to reconcile obvious technological disparities between actual production time, setting time and existing storylines.
To have produced such a contrived episode, with cliched writing and forced acting like this (and a song that let's be honest, sounds like it was written by Matt Stone and Trey Parker as a piss-take) makes it seem like it was left in the hands of the angsty, eye-rolling teenaged hipster offspring who owns some merchandise, but, you know, ironically.
Tue, Mar 12, 2019, 10:50pm (UTC -5)
Not the strongest outing, I did not have the visceral reaction that Jammer did, but I was happy to have the laptop on while it was on the TV. Perhaps 1 star. I did not think I would be seeing Trip in his underwear so much in this series, it must be a Trek record.
Sat, Mar 30, 2019, 1:06pm (UTC -5)
Nowhere near as bad as Jammer's rant makes it seem. Yes we've seen all this before, yes she's an awful actress, but she's very nice to look at. There are some pretty funny moments in this, e.g. the short Hoshi/Trip scene, the tribunal, the fight in the swamp and despite her limited acting skills, I thought there was some genuine chemistry between Kaitanna and Trip. 1.5 to 2 stars I'd give it.

I'd far rather watch this than a lot of Discovery S2.
Fri, Apr 5, 2019, 4:18pm (UTC -5)
What's interesting -- or rather disappointing and probably not coincidental -- is that ENT's "showrunners" Berman and Braga are responsible for some of the worst episodes of the first 2 seasons: this one, "Marauders", "A Night in Sickbay", "Acquisition", "Bounty" -- all of which I rate as 1* or worse.

Tough start for this series when the brains behind it ran out of ideas and have to look in the wastepaper basket for more of them.
Fri, Apr 5, 2019, 4:29pm (UTC -5)
Rahul, I noticed that too. The best episodes in ENT S1-2 are those written by Chris Black and Mike Sussman/Phyllis Strong, while the worst are the Berman-Braga efforts (for the most part). I think Berman-Braga were just running on empty by this point.
Fri, Aug 2, 2019, 8:36am (UTC -5)
Opening the show with a harmonica solo when it already has the most hated theme song was a brave choice.

Otherwise ... very thing gruel, but better than I'd expected, given I'd seen Jammer gave it zero stars. It's only zero stars if your Star Trek scale goes from 4 stars (Tapestry, Far Beyond the Stars, Body & Soul, etc) to -4 stars (The Child, Code of Honor, Profit & Lace). Otherwise, it's worth a star.

And I thought Lakshmi's acting was on point for the role ... it's just the role being what it was.
Wed, Aug 21, 2019, 2:29pm (UTC -5)
Overlooked this one but now I finally saw it.
This is just bad. Lakshmi is so bad. A dozen times I thought: Oh, no." Marveling at how bad this was.
The other bad episodes are at least entertaining but this is just boring bad. The worst kind.
Sat, Sep 28, 2019, 5:03pm (UTC -5)
Wow, I can’t believe most people dislike this! It’s fun. Like a TOS episode but without the weird 60s attitudes that throw you off.

Lakshmi’s acting wasn’t great but she’s meant to be an alien princess who doesn’t talk to people as equals. It’s fine. I thought they had great chemistry together too. Trek romances are normally awful and I thought this one actually worked. I think I’ve liked all of Trip’s romances so far actually, they’re pleasantly low key and sweet.

The bad aliens are pretty 2D but I appreciate that they didn’t make them more than they were. They weren’t the worst evil ever known or whatever. We don’t even know if they’re typical for their species, so we can probably assume they’re not. I get so sick of the unnecessarily high stakes they often use, it’s my biggest problem with Discovery.

How could anyone not enjoy T’Pol in this? I like how she didn’t really say anything false, just implied it, and let Archer do the real lying for her. And oh, I wish she wore clothes like that all the time! Or at least the outer robes on top of the catsuit.

I thought the visuals of the crash landing were pretty good too.

There have been much worse episodes of Enterprise so far. I guess it comes down to your opinion of the prime directive (I’m always against it!) and how different kinds of humour work for you.
Wed, Nov 6, 2019, 5:25pm (UTC -5)
A bad, bad, really bad episode. Yuk.
First, lack of creativity is obvious. This revamp of "Perfect Mate" is an insult to one of my favorite tng episode. While there is a perfect chemistry between Patrick Stewart and Famke Jannsen(her first TV role!), Lakshmi and Trineer one is fake.
Lakshmi is a queen of beauty(like Femke) , I'll give you that, but she can't act, period.
Turn "Perfect Mate" in a screwball comedy was not a bad idea(remember "Tng's Captain's holiday" with vash), but childish script, dialogs and bad acting ruined it.
Obviously, this episode was inspired by 1998 movie "Six Days Seven Nights" with Harrison Ford. Not bad, but scriptwriters should have watched 1934 "New York-Miami" with Clark Gable, that's a hell of screwball comedy!
To conclude,this episode is pile of garbage and belongs to the top 10 st worst épisodes, "a night in sick bay" included.

0 stars
Sat, Feb 15, 2020, 10:48pm (UTC -5)
Hello Everyone!

Most of my thoughts have been well covered above, but I had a comment about something I've seen in this series, over time.

I know the Enterprise doesn't have the crew compliment of the D, but in TNG they'd send over an engineering team. In this episode, it seems like they'd send more than one person to work on their stuff. Perhaps three. Tripp, and two to help or be gofers.

Enjoy the day... RT
Fri, May 15, 2020, 5:36pm (UTC -5)
This episode was better the second time I watched it, when I reluctantly, after many years, bought season 2 on DVD. Season 2 is generally horrible with only a handful of episodes that can remotaly be considered "good".

The first time around, I couldn't believe that this sort of predictable, cliched rubbish was still being made.

Don't give up if you are watching this show for the first time. Things vastly improve and the show finally starts to adhere to its concept. Reviewers were so jaded that they rate the two later seasons lower (much lower) than they should have done. Season 3 is a tremendous improvement and season 4 is like a different show, the only Trek apart from DS9 that remembers its characters live in a bustling, exciting universe.
Thu, May 21, 2020, 4:36pm (UTC -5)
I am doing a rewatch. I have the liberty to skip anything I do not like. But I did not skip this episode. Is it one of the best episodes? no. Is it funny to watch? Yes, fairly.
Sexistic, primitive, simple, ridiculous ... still or perhaps because of that, I find it quite funny and enjoyable. But I must admit I lot forward to "the catwalk".
Fri, Jun 19, 2020, 3:28pm (UTC -5)
I disagree at the 0 rating, I'd give this episode a 1. Am I offended at the unkind things Jammer said about it? No, why would I be? It's his opinion. Even if I thought it was 4 stars I'd not be offended. Most of these comments are respectful; I just don't get the people who get legitimately angry because his opinion didn't align with theirs. If this sounds like preaching, it is.
Cody B
Wed, Jun 24, 2020, 8:07pm (UTC -5)
Zero stars? Come on. Zero stars is for absolute trash that not only has incoherent writing but is also a chore to sit through. This is neither of those. It’s not an episode that is doing anything new but it’s perfectly fine. I think it’s in the two star range and I can’t agree with anything under 1.5
Fri, Jul 10, 2020, 1:31am (UTC -5)
Meh, other than the questionable acting by the lady, it’s about as good as any Enterprise episode.

To be more fair, maybe 5% of Enterprise episodes are good to great. The other 95% are about like this one. At least this one wasn’t boring.
James Band
Thu, Sep 3, 2020, 2:39pm (UTC -5)
The "Tribunal" scene alone was superb. At least 1 star for that, come on!

I thought this was a decent episode. The language barrier thing was great. I thought the actress playing the princess was all right. I just found the security on the ship has been dreadful in various circumstances.
Tue, Sep 15, 2020, 1:29am (UTC -5)
Winston Churchill might say this episode is a banality wrapped in a cliche inside an ambien.

1/2 star
Nadine Lynch
Thu, Sep 17, 2020, 9:58pm (UTC -5)
I am surprised that I only now got around to seeing this episode. What a waste of time! One of my barstools could have delivered a less wooden performance than Padma Lakshmi's.

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