Star Trek: Enterprise

“A Night in Sickbay”

1 star.

Air date: 10/16/2002
Written by Rick Berman & Brannon Braga
Directed by David Straiton

"You know, this isn't some guinea pig you're working on here. This is Porthos, my beagle, my pal. And from what you're telling me, the closest thing your people have to pets are furry little things that go well with onions."

"Perhaps you're right, captain. Perhaps I'm insensitive to the bond between you and your subservient quadruped. I'll leave the procedure up to you. But whatever your decision, make it quickly."

— Archer (absurd nonsense), Phlox (perfect response)

Review Text

In brief: This one's really a dog. I said "dog." Get it? Porthos? Dog? Ha! I kill me. But I should've killed me before this episode aired. Okay, better stop now before the "in brief" becomes too long to be considered brief. "Long." I said "long." Hee hee. I bet Archer would really like to be "briefed" by T'Pol. While in his "briefs." And only his "briefs." And only staying "briefly" in his "briefs" before he's no longer in his "briefs." Heh heh heh heh heh...

Ah, here we are at last, the bona fide uber-loser, an episode bereft of ... well, anything and everything resembling content.

Okay, it's not bereft of dumbness. There's plenty of that, since this is easily the dumbest concept for an episode of Star Trek since Voyager's holodeck was hijacked by the residents of Fair Haven (see "Spirit Folk," or, on second thought, don't).

Evidently, the writers are not treating this as season two of a series, but rather season nine (or later) of an aging dinosaur. An episode all about the captain's goddamned dog you'd think would be reserved as desperate sitcom fodder for the latter seasons, not brought to light as episode #5 in season two. You'd be wrong, but you could think it. Whatever.

"A Night in Sickbay" succeeds not only in being unfunny, pathetic, and dull, but also manages to elevate character assassination and embarrassing nonsense to a kind of grand efficiency. It manages to make a mockery of Archer, T'Pol, Phlox, and an entire unknown alien culture in a shade under 45 minutes plus commercials. You could count Porthos in that list as well (who has his pituitary gland replaced with that of a lizard's), except for the fact that ... well, he's a freaking DOG, for crying out loud. In other words, NOT A CHARACTER. On a series where Ensign Mayweather's biggest contribution in remembered history is to be presumed dead in last week's "Dead Stop," who in the world gives a care about Archer's stupid beagle? Hint: Not me. (Note: You are forbidden to argue in favor of this episode on the grounds that you are a dog lover. Dog lovers may certainly argue, but they may not make the fact they are dog lovers the principal basis of their argument. So, nyaaah.)

Here is the plot (I mean "plot"): Archer & Co. return from a botched diplomatic away mission on an alien world. Archer finds out Porthos contracted a disease while on the planet. (Did I mention that Porthos was included on the away team? And that I find that to be hopelessly inane?) Archer gets real mad, because the aliens should've warned him that Porthos might get sick (the inconsiderate bastards). Archer then spends a night in sickbay holding vigil over poor little Porthos, who could possibly die if Phlox can't find a way to treat him. (Pardon me while I grab a Kleenex.)

But wait; there's more. While in sickbay, Phlox tries to get to the bottom of Archer's foul mood (apart from his sick dog) and commences psychological deconstruction. Phlox determines that the captain is suffering from sexual tension in regard to T'Pol and is lashing out at her as a result. (That's all we need — sexual-harassment issues aboard the starship Enterprise. Whee.)

Archer is appalled at this notion, but in perfectly scripted/telegraphed/lame self-fulfilling prophecy fashion, he then has Freudian slips involving the words "breast" and "lips" when talking with T'Pol, in front of Hoshi for added comically hilarious embarrassment, ha ha. Later he has a dream where the crew attends a dark and rainy funeral for Porthos, which is followed by some Archer/T'Pol action (yes, that kind of action) that should under no circumstances have been allowed past the first story break meeting, lest it actually find its way into a real-life script and, God forbid, actually end up filmed and edited and viewed and inevitably compared to bad fan fiction.

This tracks with little of what we've seen before concerning Archer and T'Pol's relationship, which has never hinted at anything beyond pure professionalism and a developing captain/first-officer trust. Look no further than, say, "Shadows of P'Jem," where they're tied up together and you see absolutely nothing in terms of a sexual component. Nope, the notion here is glib sexuality scripted out of nowhere, doubtlessly motivated to satisfy UPN demographics, and I don't buy it for a minute.

Oh well, at least it's only a dream.

But there's also two iterations here (one real, one dreamt) on the Decontamination Chamber Rub-Down Scene™, where T'Pol gives Archer a rub-down while Archer gives Porthos a rub-down. Eyebrows are raised. You know what they say: Sometimes a beagle is just a beagle. But other times... (Wink, wink, nudge, nudge, har-de-har-har!)

Should I even mention the scene where Archer and Phlox are running around sickbay with nets, trying to catch an escaped bat-like creature? It leads to Phlox falling down, ha ha, and getting some sort of strange goop spilled on him, hee hee. How about the scene where Phlox cuts his toenails, or where he (I think) shaves his 8-inch tongue? That Darn Denobulan and his crazy hijinks! (Cue canned laughter.)

It's a testament to John Billingsley's abilities that Phlox manages to remain a consistently watchable and affable persona, despite the script's best efforts to humiliate him (and everyone else). It's grace under pressure, dignity maintained in an atmosphere that warrants none. Consider the scene where Porthos' condition takes a turn for the worse and Phlox suggests a risky and desperate treatment. Archer, acting like an idiot, regards Phlox with an inexplicable confrontational attitude that flies in the face of reason (Phlox is obviously brilliant, so why not let him do his job to save your dog?). Phlox responds with a calm appeal to logic that is absolutely priceless, revealing Archer as the fool he is.

Any attempt to look seriously at events in this story (not recommended) only reveal how badly the writers mangle Archer's character into that of a selfish hothead. He says things that are completely based on irrational emotion rather than any reasoned thought or consideration. He's angry with the alien society because they weren't thorough enough in determining the risk to Porthos in their environment. Because they are arrogant and anal-retentive. Because they would have the audacity to take offense at Porthos urinating on one of their sacred trees. They, they, they. How about you, John? There's all this reckless anger and overstated ranting and raving and selfishness (all because Archer took his dog on an away mission!), and all I'm thinking is: This is the commander of the human race's first grand mission into deep space? Grow the hell up, stop being so petty, and take some responsibility for your own actions.

Just ridiculous.

Not that the aliens are of much help. They're equally annoying, with hokey makeup and absurd "customs." The crisis of diplomacy is solved with a ritual that employs the corniest aspects of Star Trek alien-society cliché. The episode apparently finds offbeat humor in the notion of a chainsaw, I guess because chainsaws have never been seen on Trek before (and why would they?).

All in all, this episode meets the criteria for the what-were-they-thinking hall-of-shame show. Porthos had better not be the basis for a story on this series again. Ever.

Tune in next week, folks, for "A Night in the Crapper," when the crew visits an alien planet and returns with mass dysentery! I can't wait! No, I mean, I really can't wait! Vacate the bathroom at once! Har har har har har...

(Door slams.)


Next week: A rerun of "Shockwave, Part II," oddly billed by the trailer as an episode of "Star Trek: Enterprise," in what is obviously a brilliant new UPN marketing strategy. (With any luck, the week off should give me a chance to review Tuesday's upcoming 2-disc DVD release of "Star Trek III: The Search for Spock.")

Previous episode: Dead Stop
Next episode: Marauders

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

◄ Season Index

Comment Section

172 comments on this post

    This review? Made me laugh *hysterically*. And it's certainly the seasoned MSTie in me speaking, but I...have see this episode! :-p

    God. This has got to be the worst episode in the history of trek. Seriously. I don't really watch Enterprise, except when I catch it sometime on the Sci-Fi channel and I just watched this episode. I had to mute it towards the end because I couldn't take it anymore. Really.

    Aj Koravkrian, this episode was god awful to be sure but saying its worse than trite like "Profit and Lace" and "Threshold" is pushing it a bit.

    First things first: I am NO dog lover. Absolutely not. But: I think, Porthos is an asset for the show. And that Porthos has had more screen time and "personality" (I know, it's a dog!) than Trevis Mayweather is not his fault but the creators/writers of the show and Mayweathers actor.

    However, this episode is a complete mess/disaster. I largely agree with the things you pointed out in your review. I was particularly annoyed by the "sexual tension"-theme, the writers conjured up. Bah!

    I have to agree with you about this show being pretty stupid. That's how I felt the first time I watched it. Archer is completely out of line here since he puts the welfare of his dog over that of diplomatic relations with an alien world.

    However, it started having this strange effect on me. Kind of like a tub of ice cream. You know it's bad for you, that it will rot your teeth out, but you start eating it anyway. And I started to get a thrill out of watching this show just for its comedy. Some of the humor is intentional and a lot of it isn't. Yes, it panders to adolescents, but I started to enjoy it just for itself on its own terms. And it offers a humorous look at a "day in the life on the Enterprise". What it must be like to travel with these people for years. Getting used to their quirks (Phlox with his grooming habits was hilarious.) And the pent-up sexuality. I mean, come on, who hasn't fantasized about a coworker?

    I put this episode right up there with Spock's Brain. Fun to watch and forget about tomorrow.

    What drugs were the Hugo Awards people taking? They nominated "Carbon Creek" and "A Night in Sickbay" for Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form. Maybe they were being ironic?

    Correct me if I'm wrong here, but you seem to hate dogs, Jammer. What's the matter? Don't like pets? You scare me to a severe degree: If you had a loved one would you feel ANYTHING when they died or were in danger? Granted, it's a dog, but as anyone with pets knows you grow VERY attached to them and Archer's attitude, while hostile and WAAAAAAY out of line to the point of blatant silliness, still had basis in merit; it was just poorly executed. Maybe YOU possess more cold, calm, cool, uncaring, indifferent Vulan unemotion than you'd care to admit, Big J.

    This is the worst thing to ever come out in the entire franchise. I am dead fucking serious.

    The tnire concept behind this episode was utterly ridiculous. As the first episode of the series i ever watched, I am probably never going to watch another episode. This crap makes stuff like Spock's Brain and The Way to Eden seem like a nirvana.

    Chase, I would recommend you watch Cogenitor, also from the second season. It's an excellent episode and shows what Enterprise did when it was at its best.

    Porthos is the best character in Enterprise. They should have done more Porthos-centric episodes where he doesn't spend most of his time in a plastic box. I would have liked to see Porthos as the chief engineer.

    Thaazf, that comment was amazing!

    "I would have liked to see Porthos as the chief engineer."

    hahaha... I'm still laughing at that!

    Mostly I agree.

    But to be fair, the show can be an allegory on how to deal with sexual attraction issues at the workplace. It has some value.

    As far as vulcans go, I kind of like the way they are portrayed. It's new. The dog is stupid.

    A lifelong TOS fan, I never watched any other series except this. At least its about exploration. And I like Trip. But I wish it wasn't so dumb-down and TV-ish, and Tpols lips arre horrific. On the other hand, I'm hungry for anything Trek. But we all have different expectations, and we can't expect that a TV series will thread the needle every time like JJ Abrahms did.

    I wonder if a new TV series will be done.

    I originally read this review after reading the hilariously accurate recap of this episode over at the Agony Booth's Worst of Trek section. At that time though, I hadn't actually seen the episode.

    Now, having finally seen it, I can honestly say that no review can quite do justice to all the "WTF?!?!?" moments in this episode. This episode surpasses horrible, blows through unintentionally funny and then finally lands somewhere in between watching a train wreck and laughing at someone falling down a stairwell. For example, I did laugh during parts of this episode. But, it was more the kind of evil laugh one might make after watching someone they hate get punched in the face than a "oh, that's funny." laugh. You know it's wrong, but you do it anyway. Or maybe it was a laugh to keep from crying thing. I'm not sure.

    This episode was packed with "WTF just happened?!? Did Archer really just say that?!?" moments. As many of my previous posts have stated, I can't stand Captain Archer. I feel like he's behaved like a petulant child since day one. So, this episode didn't really destroy his character for me. If anything, this episode was the aforementioned punch in the face I'd been waiting for. Sure, Archer didn't actually get punched in this episode. But, they sure did kill what was left of his character. This episode was the writing equivilant to a punch in the face, as far as I'm concerned.

    As for Jammer's obvious dislike of Porthos, I say leave the dog alone! He's about the only thing that makes Archer seem semi-competent. It amazes me that Archer is able to take care of that dog. He has not impressed me with his ability to take care of anything else. Plus, come on, the dog is cute. The shots of Porthos were about the only part of this episode that weren't painful to watch.

    What was T'Pol trying to say in that last scene? Was she interested? Is Phlox a huge gossip who leaked everything to T'Pol and gave her time to concoct a suitably vulcan sounding, sexually ambiguous response to Archer's blathering? Can someone please erase the horrible vision of that dream sequence from my head forever?

    Also, man, Phlox got some good lines in this one. I loved it when he pointed out that Archer had insulted his whole species. Please Phlox, school this douche in diplomacy!

    I agree with Chase. In a weird way, this episode does remind me a little of Spock's Brain in how outrageously awful it is. It's all so random and Archer comes off as such a deranged lunatic (for example, that disturbing line in the beginning when Archer says that if Porthos dies he's going to "show them what being offended is all about!" Ummm...) that I almost can't even take this seriously enough to truly hate. Almost.

    For some reason that I am still trying to fathom, I am going to keep watching this show and pray that it eventually gets better. Maybe I secretly enjoy weeks of lifeless mediocrity punctuated by moments of true suffering like this. Perhaps I'm becoming a Star Trek masochist over here. If this thing doesn't get better real soon though, I may just call it quits.

    Porthos is a better captain than Jonathan Archer.
    Uwe Böll is a better screenwriter than Berman & Braga.

    Nuff said.

    Carbetarian wrote:
    "For some reason that I am still trying to fathom, I am going to keep watching this show and pray that it eventually gets better." (Me too, except I've abandoned that hope long ago. I'm just doing it to complete my ST marathon).

    "Maybe I secretly enjoy weeks of lifeless mediocrity punctuated by moments of true suffering like this. Perhaps I'm becoming a Star Trek masochist over here." (Same here)

    "If this thing doesn't get better real soon though, I may just call it quits." (NO! Please DON'T! Don't leave me alone watching this thing! I don't think I may survive!)

    P.S. for anyone who missed it, here's the link to the review Carbetarian just mentioned. It's truly the only way to make this episode entertaining...

    I'll throw in for good measure.

    Awwwwwwww. My heart melted on numerous occasions. Damn my overactive emotions!

    I dunno, it had its moments - Archer seemed to get some much needed maturity / character growth, for one. It was far from perfect and very very silly at times (not funny, just silly, like DS9's Ferengi stuff) but come on, the main star (Porthos) got an episode dedicated to him. I can't stay mad, I can't even get mad :3

    Not a character.. poor Porthos.. don't listen to the big bad reviewer, boy. And well done for peeing on those trees.

    I really enjoyed this episode. I thought it was touching and humourous. Porthos was one of the best things about Enterprise (first proper Dog role in Star Trek!) and more episodes should've been made which focused on him.

    The only thing I didn't like was the bat-thing part...seemed unnecessary.

    It’s appalling how this show never tires of humiliating the T’Pol character and the actress playing her. And to make it even worse, the writers seem to think they can hide (or excuse?) their relentless objectification of T’Pol by randomly humiliating other characters at periodic intervals (See? It’s okay, because we objectify EVERYONE). So we not only have to feel bad for the lost dignity of the first officer, but occasionally Hoshi and Trip and anybody else who looks trim in underwear.

    I want these 45 minutes of my life back...

    This episode was even more awful than the Voyager episode where Tom and Janeway were evolved into something else (a salamander thing, I dont want to remember) and did mate together... oh well...

    What the hell did the writers had in mind while writing this stuff?

    Wait, why is this episode a character assassination of Johnathon Archer and rewarded only one star, but the one where he commits genocide against an entire race is awarded 4 stars? I guess you consider him to be not just a genocidal idiot, but a MATURE genocidal idiot.

    This episode when I officially stopped watching Star Trek - as a fan, I gave it lots of chances, but giving the dog an episode? That was too much.

    Well, I watched this episode and knew I could count on you for a scathing review.

    I also rolled my eyes at the Hoshi-->T'Pol-->Archer-->Porthos rubdown scene.

    Really? An episode that focuses on developing the character of the ****ing dog? And also managed to murder the character of Archer and make him more unlikable than Wesley Crusher?

    Gee... here is an alien culture that is very easily offended and we need something from them. Let's go down there. I'll need my communications officer to communicate. I'll need my science officer for her wisdom. And I'll also need my dog so he can shed, s***, and p*** all over the place. No chance of anything going wrong here.

    This episode was horrible, and 1-star was a very generous and forgiving rating.

    I would have given it negative 1/2 star for damaging Archer's character.

    Porthos is adorable. This episode is the exact opposite.

    One of the few that I've never seen before but did catch a few bits of it awhile back and that's all I need. Unlike Carbon Creek, I feel no need to delve into the dogshit. The bits I saw and remember and your rather witty review covers it for me. I can't truly rate it without seeing it all the way through but one star seems right. Only for the one shred of decency in it and thats the dog. He deserves his own trailer for putting up with this crap.

    Btw didn't mean to imply that Carbon Creek was dogshit, in fact I rather liked it. Just meant that I feel no need to watch/rewatch something that may possibly be said steaming pile.

    The only thing this episode succeeded in doing was making the captain look like an absolute idiot. Surely the writers had to be drunk when this episode was put together.

    Weird that no one seemed to realize this episode really wasn't about the dog. It was about Captain Archer and his sexual frustrations. LOL

    In all previous Star Trek series I don't remember any Vulcans dressing as scantily as T'Pol. This series reminds me of the bad Hulk movie in contrast to the good Hulk movie.

    I am only continuing to watch this series out of curiosity. I saw cosplay Andorians at Dragon*Con this year and felt mortified being a Star Trek fan but did know who those blue aliens with antennas were.

    Oh wanted to add that I completely forgot about the Andorians being on TOS.

    I’m slowly making my way through this series, but I’m getting seriously frustrated. So far, Archer might be the most unlikeable regular S.T. character ever. I get that the writers wanted to highlight human emotions as a valuable and distinctive characteristic, but Archer is a total slave to his emotions in this episode. He’s impatient, demanding, illogical, and ridiculously culturally insensitive. If I didn’t know better, I would think the goal of this episode is to criticize “ugly Americanism” by showing it on a galactic level.

    This horrible episode again demonstrated that the show creators and writers wasted so much potential.

    You wonder what must have been going on in their minds. They often come up with good ideas and squander them in a most appalling way. They create characters behaving like fools without consequence yet insert others with sensible logic. Like Archer and T'Pol discussing on the treadmill, or Archer and Phlox in sickbay over a dog and onions.

    Both T'Pol and Phlox point out what an idiot Archer is. These dialogs are written by the same people who transform Archer in a raving idiot with his own shitty dialog. Written by the same writers. It's flabbergasting.

    This episode could have shown the development towards a next step in interspecies relations. Phlox learning from the reaction of his captain how important animals can be as pets - while eating other animals at the same time, learning a bit more about their emotional state. All he does is being right and all-knowing, unto diagnosing sexual tension between a human and a Vulcan. I would have liked it if here were shown dead wrong.

    Archer could be irritated over T'Pols logic. Logic he hates because he hates Vulcans, yet he realizes that they always do have a valid point being the experienced space travelers and humans being the immature rookies.

    Archer could well give stupid answers, only to explain later that he knew how stupid his reactions were, but that his annoyance about T'Pol being dead right took over. That is very human.
    A captain telling his first officer that he said some stupid things could be countered by T'Pol that she - thanks to those very reaction - learned a lot about human pride. She could even have said that she needed to rethink her strategy how she should counter human reasoning that's obviously and blatantly wrong. Say the lesson about _being_ right and being _put_ in the right.

    It could have been an episode about characters developing, understanding each other a bit better and growing towards each other, an episode about growing mutual understanding; about learning curves, just with these very ingredients the writers deliberately chose themselves.

    It became an episode about a horny teenager who forgot to jack off the day before. Sorry for the language, but I fail to understand that people with the potential and ideas to write a good script always end up on Enterprise with half baked endings or - worse - juvenile, stupid sex.

    It wasn't a great episode, but it had cute moments. And, yes, it would have worked better if there had been prior signs of sexual tension between A and T, but there is no way anyone can convince me that all the hetero males working around T'Pol aren't stressing a bit down in the crotchal region. I try not to notice her body as I watch the show, but it takes effort. I had to laugh when Malcolm mentioned her bum (in another ep) and Trip acted surprised like he's never noticed it. How Malcolm focused on her bum and didn't say anything about her monstrous breasts regardless of whether or not he is a bum man, I don't know. I was sure he was going to say "Have you ever noticed her B--BS!?" I'm really quite annoyed at T'Pol's outfits. They are terribly unprofessional. But anything, I guess, to please the horny teenage fans. (sigh)

    There is no way this episode is as bad as Spock's Brain! Give me a break. That episode had NO redeeming qualities at all.

    At least it had some amusing glimpses into Phlox... and some Archer shirt-off moments.

    The dream scene was amusing too.

    It really wasn't SO awful. I think Jammer and the other critics have been unduly harsh.

    Archer has a dog. Get over it! It's not a ship full of prodigies, and thank the gods for that....

    I support both the integrity of this episode and its Hugo nomination.
    As Tiarfe sensibly pointed out, this episode is about Archer rather than Porthos. It's also a (light-hearted) story about the Captain overcoming his pride and admitting:

    a) he's not right all the time, and
    b) he's only human and, therefore, open to the same emotions that we all are. (Let's be honest - Picard, Sisko and Janeway never suffered from this problem, which is why they're such flat, two-dimensional characters.)

    I suspect one of the reasons why this episode remains so unloved in Star Trek fandom is its out-and-out comedic value. 'Modern' Star Trek (Next Generation, Deep Space Nine and Voyager) shied away from humour for fear of their stock of inherited story-conventions (AKA cliches) and
    limited chraracterization becoming a laughing stock: Enterprise, rather like the revived Doctor Who, wasn't afraid of this and was clearly comfortable enough drawing attention to these tropes from time to time.

    Whether this episode is funny or not, that depends on your sense of humour. (Laughter, like an erection, is largely involuntary and down to the individual who experiences it to determine the pleasure factor.) I feel the Hugo board chose this episode for its sheer audacity to explore the humourous character-driven possibilities Enterprise has to offer, and that fans turn their tails and run whenever "A Night in Sickbay" is mentioned simply because it attempts to incorporate a sense of self-aware humour into the franchise that doesn't try to butter up the hardcore fans.

    I don't find this episode to be a character assassination of Archer, because he's been very consistent about acting like a petulant child throughout the series.

    And while I have nothing against Porthos at all, I realized that I find it rally, really hard to believe that the captain of humankind's first deep space mission, would take along his DOG and that he would take said dog along on outings to new planets.

    Phlox was good though. I didn't like him at first but he's turning into a favorite character.

    This episode actually wasn't that bad. One more more or less quiet episode with its moments. The thing that ruined it for me was Archer. He was acting (and unfortuantely this is not only specific to this particular episode, although here it really, really showed) like a cowboy rocketed out into space. Okay, he was under stress, however, he is a starship captain which can't afford himself a luxury of going around taking it out on everybody. There isn't a universe in which I could imagine captain Picard do that, or even Sisko who was a bit... less held back. I get that it was supposed to lead to all the apologies at the end, but I think that it was over the top and mainly came across as just annoying. I was really satisfied when Phlox told Archer that he should be the one to think of a better way to treat Porthos when Archer exploded over the devised treatment. Oh, and isn't anyone bringin into question that no one bat an eye that they sacrificed one healthy animal in order to save antoher? I'm pretty sure that the cameleon didn't survive without its gland.

    Other than that, I liked it. It would've been pretty good if it hadn't been for Archer's teenage behavior. The scenes and the writing related to T'Pol were fairly amusing and interesting to a ceratain degree.

    @Filip: So, other than 90 percent of the episode, you liked the episode?

    One important point about this episode is that it was the first episode of a lot of crap in season 2. "Shockwave, Part 2," "Minefield" and "Deadstop" were all pretty good and "Carbon Creek" -- while not one of my favorites -- is at least interesting and memorable.

    After "A Night in Sickbay", the next 10 episodes are either awful or totally forgettable, with the possible exception of "Vanishing Point." There are a few good episodes in the season's final third ("Regeneration", "Cogenitor", "Judgment", and "Future Tense"). And I thought Jammer was too hard on "Bounty".

    But it isn't any wonder that the creators shook things up in a major way after season 2.

    @Paul, what I'm trying to say is that it would've been a pretty decent episode if it hadn't been for the awful writing for the Archer character. Which seems to be case for the entire series, I am not talking about Archer now but in general. Enterprise had a lot of potential, however most of its writing was lacking that final polish that had made the rest of Star Trek so special. Night In Sickbay being a great example of that. Unfortunately, the episode didn't only lack the final polish but also the quality writing of ceratin parts (Archer). Too bad that those parts, as you've said, make up the 90% of the episode.

    After having rewatched the first season up to Night and Sickbay, I've come to appreciate some of the stories a lot more compared to the first time around - I guess my expectations from early 2000's have been crushed and I see it differently in 2014.

    However, I don't believe the show got really terrible until A Night in Sickbay. It is by far the worst episode up until this point. There is no worse.

    This episode single-handedly assassinates whatever was left of Johnathon Archer's character. It takes the worst qualities of his character and amplifies them to the max. What should have happened was a steady growth of his character to become more like the captains we expect, but after an episode like this, there is just no going back. The damage is done.

    After watching this, I gotta say, the Vulcans at the end of Shockwave, Part 2 were right. These humans have no business in space.

    I wasn't sure what to make of this episode as I watched it, but overall I came away pleased with the attempt to do something different...something zany, slapstick, tongue in cheek. I don't have a problem that Archer was not perfectly behaved. It's human, he was under a lot of stress, and it moved the characterization forward because he realized what a heel he was being. I have to disagree with people who don't think there's chemistry between the captain and T'Pol... I think they're *hot*. I like their debates and I think they balance each other nicely. They make each other think. I love the final scene between them in this episode because it's out on the table--the attraction is admitted and it is agreed that it's not possible to pursue it. Archer is one of my two favorite captains...he's feisty, determined, passionate about exploration, devoted to his crew, and, dare I say it, physically very attractive. I do not see the petulance and "cowboy" behavior that other people seem to. I see him as showing restraint and leadership despite his hot-headed tendencies. On another note, I'll agree with everyone that the decon room scenes are embarrassing. Why didn't the actors rebel?

    So far this is the only episode of Star Trek where I was both uttering (almost screaming) 'no' AND visibly cringing as I watched. I must have flopped about the sofa like a fish out of water.

    This is one of the best bad episodes of all of Star Trek. It's pretty awesome. It ranks up there with Threshold, Profit and Lace, Genesis, and of course the original bad Star Trek episode: Spock's Brain.

    Someone once commented that he wants to punch Archer in the face.

    If this is the "breast" Enterprise has to offer, the lineup to punch Archer will just get longer.

    I'll get around to reviewing this someday.

    But really? You'd think that this episode removed the need for star ships...

    Just the simple fact that this episode has a dog in it means it is better that 10 other crap ST episodes.


    *gets in starship*
    *slingshots around the sun*
    *erases this episode from history*
    *slingshots back around sun*

    Enough said.

    I agree with Richard. The show is about the captain finding the courage to be self aware of his imperfections. I think that Archer is a much more imperfect, human character than other Star Trek captains. That's not a bad thing; but, everyone seems to expect perfection of him. Has no one had a complicated, imperfect manager with positive traits as well as flaws? I don't get it. Or do people fall into the temptation of either liking or disliking their managers and leaving it at that? Do people paint leaders in broad strokes because they believe they should behave as ideals rather than people?

    Ultimately, Archer apologizes again and again and comes across as a very sincere and ethical man. And nothing he did in this episode was so egregiously terrible in the first place that we should think him some sort of awful person.

    His decision to bring the dog to the away mission was his biggest error, but he does explain his logic for making that decision. (1) The dog only gets so many opportunities to get off the ship. 2) The aliens had no issue with him bringing the pet, knowing what it was.

    Frankly, while it's important for him to be self aware of the consequences of his decisions and apologize for those consequences, his actions are completely understandable. The aliens were being insensitive by not warning the captain of the threat that their environment posed to the dog. Further, from the last episode with this species (Vox Sola) it is clear that these aliens are ridiculously sensitive. Archer never gets angry at them about any of this, he instead apologizes for his part of the problem. His only error really is in hesitating to do so because he was frustrated with them about the aforementioned issues.

    I also agree with Richard that there must be something about this brand self-aware humor in the context of a Star Trek episode that makes some people uncomfortable. Perhaps, people feel that these characters should be above ordinary personal flaws because they represent the first flagship of Starfleet. But, personally I think reflective, gentle humor can offer us perspective on our own emotions. People are vulnerable and imperfect in my view; this is a fact of our lives we would be wise to accept rather than try to hide.

    Fans seem to prefer shows like Tinker Tenor Doctor Spy on Voyager that make fun of the doctor's personal issues, while at the same time separating them from his professional assets. In this episode, the line between Archer's personal flaws and his personal skills is blurred. They are almost indistinguishable sometimes. This to me is more insightful.

    Finally, Archer's relationship to his dog is touching in my view, and not absurd as some people seem to think.

    Overall, I wouldn't call it a great episode, but I think it's a very good one.

    My second sentence after the paragraph that begins with: "His decision", starting with 1), Would be better if it read: the dog only has so many opportunities to leave the ship. Archer doesn't want the dog to feel too isolated.

    I try not to be overly formal in more casual forums like this, but sometimes I become too self conscious and feel like I have to use more formal language anyway when communicating in a public arena.

    Lastly, I should have added, anyone is entitled to their own opinion. If people don't like this episode they are certainly entitled to that point of view.

    OK one last edit:

    When I said:
    "Archer never gets angry at them about any of this, he instead apologizes for his part of the problem. His only error really is in hesitating to do so because he was frustrated with them about the aforementioned issues."

    I want to make clear I am not saying he made only one error in this episode. I meant that his only error in his apology to the aliens was that he hesitated to so in the first place. But, his hesitation is explained by the events of the episode (from Archer's perspective), as well as the events of the episode Vox Sola. (Oh, and cough, there should be a semicolon after this. OK I'm being weird, sorry.)

    Huh, I'd give this one at least 2* or more like 2.5*. It was very watchable (except for the Phlox grooming part) and the bat scene was hilarious. The funniest part was when Hoshi caught it without even "batting" an eye (see what I did there?) at which point Archer and Phlox just look at her like... wtfwhat?? hehe

    I don't think comedy episodes like this, the various DS9 Ferengi ones, etc. are really supposed to be considered as having "really happened" within the context of the more serious series story arcs. Thus, comments about "character assassination" and such are really over-dramatizing the situation.

    I don't have a lot of time to go into detail right now, but I feel you were a bit unkind to this episode. Now that so many years have passed it may behoove you to re-examine the entirety of Enterprise. While you seem to have a fairly unbiased opinion on the show, I'm sure there was at least a little animosity towards it while it was airing. I know I liked the show less for silly fandom reasons, and coming back to it years later has changed my opinion on so many things. I find that I really enjoy Enterprise today more than ever.

    See whatcha think.


    Zero stars for A Night In Sick Bay - absolutely no redeeming features whatsoever.

    Too many leaps of logic for me to overcome, starting with the premise that a highly intelligent Starship Captain would take a dog on a delicate diplomatic mission to repair an already fraught relationship with an easily offended alien species. Agree with Jammer that Billingsley deserves a medal for keeping a straight face during this adolescent fiasco.

    Gratuitoius decomtamination scene? Check. Silly dream sequence? Check. Dubious to unbeleviable charaterization? Check. Unrelated random pysical comedy that fails? Check. Dumb witless resolution tacked on as an afterthought? Check.

    For a notoriously "stupid" episode I found it actually quite well scripted and directed; plus I enjoyed both Bakula's and Billingsley's performances. So, while it isn't amongst the best of Enterprise in terms of plotting, I certainly wouldn't lump it amongst the worst episodes either…some of the antics genuinely made me chuckle.

    I liked it. I think the most compelling part was seeing humans through the vulcan and denobulan eyes. Our culture has these relationships with "subservient quadropeds" and from the outside we look kinda weird/stupid. So I liked that interplay. When Archer hugs and kisses Porthos at the end, Phlox looks on like one with superiority as one would a third world culture. And the sacrificing of the doctor's chameleon... whose worth was in what it could do for humans for the dog whose worth was due to... relationship.

    I don't know I just liked the culture play.

    As for the sexual tension... meh. Every single actor on this show is gorgeous. From the beginning the producers were selling sex and not just star trek.

    I seem to be in the minority opinion on many episodes, but I am fine with that. Everyone occasionally gets a little nutty in the middle of the night, and I took the whole thing as comedy. The nod to the Marx Brothers in the title, I presume.

    I didn't hate this episode. I thought Archer's angry reaction about Porthos getting sick because of those "stupid aliens" was funny and very human. Of course he would come to his senses and do what was in the best interest of Enterprise, but I thought it was a realistic initial reaction.

    Bringing Porthos to the surface was dumb, but dog lovers tend to take their dogs places when it would be more practical to leave them home.

    I thought much of the stuff witb Phlox in sickbay was pretty funny.

    The only part I didn't like was all the sexual tension with T'Pol talk, because I didn't see any of this in the prior 29 episodes. It seemed to me the only sexual tension was between T'Pol and Trip.

    I would give it 2 stars.

    Also, Porthos is definitely the best Trek pet ever.

    My rankings:

    1) Porthos
    2) Spot
    3) Chester (The O'Brien's adopted cat)
    4) Neelix

    Neelix > Livingston? Really? And what about Martok's unseen pet Targ that was the source of a really good story?

    0/5 stars. This episode was AWFUL. As others have said, it made Archer into a pedantic, irrational crybaby of a captain who is completely out of line. I get that people love their pets, but COME ON. You're a starship captain for the love of god - captain of the first exploratory mission for humankind, no less! I think you can sacrifice your dog getting some friggin "fresh air" for the sake of interspecies relations, especially when you have dealt with said species in the past and already know how easily offended they are.

    Utterly ridiculous episode. I was actually *somewhat* fine with the notion of sexual tension, because hell, it certainly happens in constant proximity like that, but the rest of this epsiode was just pure rubbish. A little sexual frustration doesn't turn you into a raving, self-centered lunatic who is completely out of control with his feelings and actions.

    And then the embarrasing attempts at humor that wasted out the rest of the episode...just awful.

    Well, ok, no action but tries to contrast 4 different approaches to the world. If it is something that a I did not like the first time I watched the Enterprise the first time it was the character of Archer. Her really full fills the exceptions of a stupid uncultivated and ignorant American. Hard to believe that such person should command a starship. But the second time now, Archers character is as much SF as the the warp drive and time travel. It is there to entertain us. T'Pol has a very Erotic appearance by just being the opposite. Episodes like this tries to show conflicts and contradictions in ourselves. Every now and then they can be enjoyable.

    He showed more concern for that dog than he did anyone else on that ship. He treated it better than he did Mayweather. I wish I could take back those 45 minutes of my life. zero stars.

    a good episode. All your peoples bitching and moaning about who archer is in this story...Thats exactly the point. This episode had a message to tell about archer being a dumbass and learning to apologise. Evidently this went over your and the reviewers heads. Good episode. Entertaining and realistic. Enough said.

    This one pegged the WTF meter well into the red, and you have to wonder what the writers were trying to achieve here. A sex comedy? A light-hearted musing on man and his dog? Or the right one's Sesame St learning experience posted above? Whatever the heck it was, it failed all ends up by not being dramatic, or funny - and indeed, worst of all, was just boring.

    As others have noted, by turning all of Archer's worst aspects - aspects I thought they'd shed early in the first season but which seem to be returning now - up to 11 they make him a singularly unsympathetic character. The sexual tension thing comes out of nowhere and seems only to excuse not one by two decon scenes - and again, naked flesh seems high on the agenda this season with Hoshi's shirtless appearance, T'Pol's naked behind the sheet changing, and Mayweather's shirt off too (one for the ladies to keep things balanced, clearly).

    And the bat scene may be the single worst moment in Trek history. Dire. 1 star.

    Wow, over a decade since it aired with 60 some comments on this page and no one's pointed out that the easily offended aliens were the same ones from VoX Sola?

    I guess that speaks to both how hated this episode is and how forgettable most find Vox Sola. (Though I liked it for how all the main crew contribute to solving the problem. Like an actual team, doing their jobs.) But hey, at least we got continuity! =D

    If I'm not mistaken, this is Porthos third away mission since the beginning of the series, (the episode he's on Risa and I cannot remember the other ep. in Season 1). If I were Travis, I would have a face to face talk with Archer. Who wants to be overtaken by a dog?

    I was hoping Porthos would pull through,but only because after Malcolm and Hoshi Porthos is my favorite character.

    Archer acts like a whiny child the whole episode and wants to hate fuck T'pol out of nowhere thats pretty much the whole episode plus odd couple slapstick with Phlox.

    @Nolan yeah it was nice seeing a species they had just met before. If only they used the episode to develop them instead of watching Archer and Phlox chase a bat. or Archer just complaining about them to whoever he could find.

    I actually found Hoshi to be the 1 redeeming thing about this episode not only does she ask how Porthos is doing. But she also catches the bat thing one handed. well that and she looks much better in the decon chamber than T'pol.
    0.5 stars at least in Hatchery Archer had an excuse for being crazy.

    Wow.... lots of hate for this one. 1 star Jammer?

    If nothing else, there is some pretty funny stuff here. Hoshi catching the bat, etc.

    I'm a dog lover. Ours is every bit as much a part of the family as is everyone else. This is Archer's companion. I felt his pain in this one.

    Eli - thanks for posting some great insight into this episode.

    Classic? No, but an enjoyable episode. I'll go 2.5 stars.

    Well, this episode was... hot garbage.

    I love dogs and I could've potentially seen a decent episode that was centered around Porthos, but.. not like this. Anything but this!

    For one, we have Archer acting in a way that makes him appear extremely unlikable. I would be upset too if my dog was in this situation, but the way that the writers conveyed Archer during this episode was beyond silly. I was very disappointed in his snippy, child-like responses to everyone. This is the Captain of this ship? "You need to get your priorities straight." Yeah, no joke T'Pol.

    Speaking of T'Pol and Archer.... no. Just, no. Juvenile, silly and very poorly handled. Good God.

    The very few "highlights" of this one include Hoshi catching the bat and more of Phlox's backstory.

    1 star seems about right for this little gem of an episode, but this almost feels like a zero at times.... well done, Braga and Berman.

    I'm starting to watch Enterprise through gritted teeth. I accept I have realist prejudices, but that doesn't stop me loving Doctor Who and the best of TOS, TNG and DS9. Above all what I respect is consistency in the way character is presented. To adapt Greg House, 'people don't usually change'. And in one sense Archer hasn't changed since the first episode. He has always been a dickhead. But I cannot believe somebody so arrogant, childish and palpably lacking in diplomatic nous was chosen to lead this mission. I could only accept Archer as captain if this were Red Dwarf. Yes, I can point to occasional bits of dialog or characterisation I liked in this episode - mostly from Phlox - but it seems beside the point. I'll carry on watching, because it's a personal challenge to finish all of TV Trek and there are still occasionally episodes I really enjoy - Minefield recently was exactly my kind of story, and Archer's final 'I'm captain so I get to count time' seemed a lovely bit of characterisation - but Enterprise is beginning to make me nostalgic for Voyager. Never thought I'd say that.

    Thanks for the review. Agreed with pretty much all of it.

    Archer's character had seemed to me to have been written as that of a self-entitled 12-year-old, so arguably this episode showed he'd matured a year or 2. But it was very silly.

    I did like the bit where Archer spoke to T'Pol about the "tension" and she gave him a verbal slap, but other than that pretty bad.

    It also annoys me when Archer talks about how "Porthos needs fresh air as well". Yeah, how many crew members are there? And how many of them get 'fresh air'?

    The decontamination zone is getting annoying for its use as a plot device.

    I really felt like this episode...COULD have worked.

    The script felt like it was written to be played much lighter than it actually was. If instead of Archer it was a character like Neelix or Quark getting upset after THEIR dog had urinated on someone else's sacred trees I think it could have worked as a lighter comedy.

    Because it was Archer, it was treated more seriously which made it feel more absurd. If the writers/actors had just winked at the audience a bit and said "we know this is stupid" it wouldn't have seemed as stupid.

    I agree with the handful of others here who pointed out that this episode isn't really about Archer's dog, but about Archer.

    I'm continually amazed he not only made it through Starfleet Academy, but that he was given a command - and a pioneering one at that. He makes Kirk, even in his worst moments, seem like Picard. It doesn't add up that he would not have been relieved of command by now.

    Take this easily-offended alien race. We saw them in an earlier episode where they took great offence because humans ate a meal in front of them. Yes, that's ridiculous, but as a captain on a diplomatic mission, Archer isn't empowered to do anything other than play into their ridiculous standards. So, given that they regard eating as extremely personal or private, how in the world would he imagine it would be okay to bring a dog -- a creature that unselfconsciously exhibits all sorts of bodily functions? And how could none of his officers not counsel him to wait till the next planet to take Porthos for a walk?

    If the writers had implied that Archer had deliberately brought along the dog as a way of saying f-you to a race of incredibly uptight and priggish aliens, I could live with that, however I'll-advised. I'd understand his motive, at least. But Archer seemed surprised when things went badly, which suggests he and his crew are just stupid.

    Then there's the sexual tension stuff. While T'Pol is definitely a very attractive woman, why does she feel the need to wear a skin-tight, non-issue uniform at all times? Hoshi is also beautiful, yet she doesn't feel the need to throw it in everyone's face at all times. I will accept that T'Pol, who presumably only mates once every seven years like other Vulcans, doesn't get that her dress choice might be inappropriate, but how does no one else on the ship clue her in?

    Even TOS, which had producers that pushed to have all female crew move from pants to mini-skirt uniforms when the two pilots (The Cage and Where No Man Has Gone Before) became a regular series --I'm sure as a sop to horny male potential viewers-- realized that there's a certain level of professionalism and decorum required on a starship: and that was in the mid-60's! Along comes T'Pol, and it's as if the preceding decades of women's liberation never occurred.

    The first time around this was when I totally gave up on Trek altogether. There's always an episode in my favorite shows that make me want to stop watching.

    Oh my goodness. This is the most awful episode of a Star Trek show I have ever seen. How on earth did this Archer get his rank of captain and commanding the first star ship in earth history to explore space and make first contact with other races? He is irrational, childish and irresponsible. Acting like a spoiled diva. Risking the life of his crew and his ship over his dog? Not to mention ruining contact and relationship with other races and cultures. The most incompetent captain ever command a ship and I am not talking about fictious science fiction shows. Even in our time such a captain of any ship would have been reliefed of command long time ago by his sub officers. Or would have faced a mutiny on board. The writers must had hated this show so much that they sabotaged it from the very first minute of this show. Very disappointing as this show had so much potential!

    I loved this episode. Anybody who has a dog and has gone through an agonizung sickness with it understands Archers feelings. So those of you who boo this episode....well boo you. Im a dog lover and thats my sole argument. So. Pfffffft!!!! Loved it.

    I feel the level of hatred for this episode is unjustified. I suppose I would give it 1.5 stars; there's some pretty idiotic things in the premise that keeps it from getting a passing grade, but there's enough good things that keeps it from being awful.

    First, I'll acknowledge the bad stuff:
    *Archer taking his dog along was certainly foolish
    *Archer's Freudian slips are dumb
    *I really don't need to see Phlox clipping his toe nails.

    Some things in it's favor:
    *I did enjoy the "day in the life of Phlox" part of the show. Phlox was shown as intelligent and perceptive while still eccentric. A good foil for the captain when he was saying stupid things. While I didn't really laugh out loud at the humor in sickbay, I found it mostly pleasant (toe nail clippings aside).
    *The Freudian slips were dumb and the dream pointless, but Archer realizing that he has an attraction and dealing with it was an act of maturity.
    *Archer certainly was foolish to blame the aliens for what happened to his dog. But, we never actually saw him act foolish to the aliens himself. He was saying these dumb things to his crew-members (mostly to his first officer), knowing it wasn't going to be repeated to the aliens themselves. I think he subconsciously knows he's being an idiot, but isn't going to stop and ponder it while he's stressed worrying about his dog and the ship isn't in any danger. Aside from the sexual frustration, I would have liked Archer to come to the realization that he lets the stresses of the job build up inside of him, and then he lashes out at his Vulcan officer because he knows she can take it in stride. That doesn't make him the greatest leader, but it does make him an understandable human.

    Again, it doesn't get a passing mark, but every Trek series has many worse episodes.

    Damn, I'm something of an ENT apologist, even an Archer apologist, but this is absolutely dire. I've never understood the hatred most people have toward Archer as a character. In fact, I often fail to see why so many see him as a complete incompetent. But this time the writers seemed intent on making him just that.

    Let's review that major - and I stress "major" because there are plenty more - problems with this episode....
    1.) Why the hell should I care about Porthos? First off, I'm a cat person not a dog person. But you know what? If there was an episode that focused on Data taking Spot to some planet and Spot getting sick, I still wouldn't care. Because a character's pet shouldn't be the damn focus of an entire episode! They actually did have Spot be the focus of half an episode - "Force of Nature" - and it was crap too!
    2.) Why does Archer even take Porthos to the planet in the first place? Here he is, faced with visiting a planet of people he knows, from first-hand experience, that are more easily offended than even the most out-there, lunatic, trigger-warning-happy, modern Progressive Social Justice Warriors and he takes his freaking dog on the visit! Yeah, Jon, there's simply no way that could cause trouble. *facepalm*
    3.) ARCHER: "Well, maybe if they'd bothered to read the genetic profile we sent..." Are you freaking kidding me?! Dipshit, a genetic profile isn't going to tell these people that dogs like to piss on trees!
    4.) So, apparently Archer is a trained diplomat. I think this is the first time that's ever been revealed. How does he handle this diplomatic situation? By acting like a petulant jerk. Brilliant! Here's a quick tip for the writers - if you want us to believe a character is diplomatic, don't have him respond to a diplomatic situation by acting like a blowhard and a moron. You don't barge into someone else's house, start throwing your weight around, tell them what's what, act like a prideful buffoon and call it "diplomacy".
    5.) So apparently Archer really, really wants to get into T'Pol's Vulcan panties. And, apparently, T'Pol might - possibly - want to let him unlock that achievement. Where in the actual fuck did this come from?! Jammer is right in that there has been precisely ZERO sexual tension or subtext between these two characters up until now. Even when T'Pol's breasts accidentally ended up in Archer's face back in "Shadows of P'Jem" there was no hint of sexual tension from either of them! Damn, and I thought the sexual subtext between Janeway and Chakotay was limited. This is practically non-existent.
    6.) The Kreetassans. There's being humorously arrogant and then there's this. These people are so uptight and offense-prone that even if the episode was capable of being funny they would suck it all down the drain. If you're going to crank something up to 11 and beyond, make sure it's worth it.

    Wow, even as a fan of ENT and of Archer as a character, this crap is awful. God bless John Billingsley, because Phlox is the only legitimately worthwhile part of this train wreck. His discussion with Archer about his family was easily the diamond in this sea of shit.

    But, is this the worst of the franchise? Hardly. At least they didn't openly advocate for eugenics like TOS did in "The Mark of Gideon" or outright promote religious fanaticism to the point of murder like TNG did in "Homeward". Hell, it's not even the worst of ENT thus far. At least it didn't say "rape is funny.... as long as it happens to a man" like they did in "Unexpected". So, at least it doesn't promote murder or rape. Hardly high praise.

    This episode was about Archer, not Porthos, who in this episode I’m pretty sure was mostly played by a dummy dog. Though I honestly don’t know what it says about Archer that he got his beloved dog from the mother of an ex-girlfriend. An episode about Porthos might have been better:

    PORTHOS: Barking excitedly
    ARCHER: What is it boy?
    PORTHOS: Bark-bark-bark
    ARCHER: You smelled the (techno-babble) residue of a (technobabble) weapon on our guests?
    PORTHOS: Bark-bark-bark
    ARCHER: What do you mean they’re not ambassadors but assassins?!
    PORTHOS: Bark-bark-bark
    ARCHER: Archer here! Go to red alert! Red alert!
    PORTHOS: Bark-bark-bark—now the universal translator kicks in and we hear Porthos say …

    Can't believe I sat through this whole episode. Yes, it is on the same level as "Spock's Brain" - absolutely terrible episode. And Archer's character gets desecrated as he's made to look like a complete idiot.
    The part about sexual tensions between him and T'Pol are ridiculous. The offending of the easily offendable race is stupid. How Archer has to make it up to them is laughable.
    There have been some bad ENT episodes (like "Acquisition" the dumb Ferengi comedy) but this is the worst so far.
    Personally, I love dogs and thought Phlox/T'Pol had a good roles to play in shining a light on Archer's idiocy.
    For me 0.5/4 stars. Was difficult to make it through this one.

    Oh my Lord. Archer already knows the Kreetassans are offended at the sight of people eating in public. So he graces their planet with an animal that engages all bodily functions out in the open? Porthos couldn't get his fresh air on a less sensitive away mission? How could Archer expect the Kreetassans to accurately predict which native pathogens would affect an alien quadruped based on a "genetic profile?" I would imagine any such analysis would be speculative, at best.

    If Archer was a responsible pet owner, he wouldn't be taking Porthos down to populated worlds at all. I noticed that the crew doesn't scrub down before leaving the ship. Who's to say what alien races may not be deathly allergic to dog hair? ;)

    Phlox's needling about Archer's sex life was creepy, and I'm sick of hearing about his 500 degrees. I'd rather see more creative medical techniques or other evidence of his ingenuity. Show, don't tell. As it is, I'm unimpressed by Phlox so far. When sweaty Archer hands him a vial and Phlox plunks it directly into the clean box without even quickly sanitizing it, I cringed a little. He conducts surgery on Porthos without putting on any kind of surgical protective equipment, and watching him converse with Archer directly over the tank was a little gross. This may be the scientist in me overreacting a little.

    Archer's wet dream was unnecessary; I can understand why he'd have conflicting feelings about T'Pol, but I didn't need to see all that, and the Freudian slips were embarrassing to watch. That final scene with T'Pol hinting attraction toward Archer was absolutely silly, and I tire of the writers' attempts to convince us Archer is Sexy and Totally Not the Blandest Captain in All of Trek. The sexual tension between T'Pol and Trip, on the other hand, feels far more natural to me.

    Hoshi catching the bat was awesome, though, and Phlox's nighttime routine was mildly amusing.

    This episode wasn't so bad. It had it's fair share of stupid bits, but some good ones too. 2 stars from me.

    If you substitute T'Pol, say, for Porthos, and it was T'Pol who was infected from the aliens lack of warning, would you still be complaining about how Archer reacted? Probably not.

    Most of the hatred seems to stem from the fact that it was a sick dog and not a person. That is a lot of what the show was about, is how humans raise their pets to the level of people in their minds. Phlox and T'Pol both tell Archer he is being too protective of his dog.

    But that's what humans do, or many of them anyway.

    Also Archer doesn't have many actual friends on board, most captains don't really. He is always their commanding officer first. Porthos is his best friend. He is protective of his best friend. Maybe that should have been the title 'A Human's Best Friend'.

    Archer never once complained to the Kreetassans themselves. Maybe he shouldn't have taken Porthos to begin with, but he asked permission to take him and it was given and they messed up. He didn't do anything drastic about it, except maybe bitch too much about it to the crew. But he was at first frustrated, and then sleep deprived, and his dog/best friend was maybe going to die, so maybe he had a right to bitch a little. And he ended up apologizing in the end, so other than looking a bit pissed off to a few members of the crew, no harm was done. I don't see how this episode makes him out to be a bad captain.

    Janeway would probably have sent the delta flyer down to investigate and Kim would have landed on the trees crushing them and started a war, with Chakotay telling her she was being stupid, while she ignored him and stole all the parts they needed and left, the whole thing having been forgotten by the next episode.

    Okay, a lot of discussion about the episode revolves around to how sympathetic or unsympathetic Archer is. Let's just ignore that for a moment and look at the it on its own: Does it work aside from that?

    Well, it's a comedy and not particularly highbrow one. But I don't think comedy really needs to be. Sometimes, even dumb humor can be funny. I do get a giggle at some of the stuff from Kung-Pow. But that's kinda because of just how dumb it is. I just don't think this one reaches that-partly because it doesn't really have much energy to it. I thought the fart gag at the beginning was little funny, and the scene where he tries to one up T'Pol gets a giggle. Otherwise, I thought it was mostly just embarrassing. Honestly, it's when the episode isn't trying to be funny, I had the most laugh, like Archer's Star Trek Captain speech about Kreetasans hurting his dog or him angrily watching water polo.

    Writing wise, it's not too great. For one, what was the point the timer? What did that tell us? Archer bringing Porthos with him in the first place is very contrived. The sexual tension bit comes straight out of nowhere, not just series wide, but in the episode itself.


    1) I dunno about T'Pol, but Trip peeing on something sacred and getting sick from it does sound like on of his plots.

    2) I'm not sure I buy Archer would care half as much.

    "Never once complained to Kreetasans themselves". Later in the episode, he complains to Phlox about how they don't care about Porthos being sick. How would they know if Archer hadn't actually called them to tell them what assholes they are?

    "didn't do anything drastic about it"

    The first scene after the intro is him telling Trip they should just risk the ship and not bother anymore. And that's before he knows Porthos is sick.

    As for "permission", he sent them his genetic profile. Even if they got from it that it's animal level intelligence, they likely figured out it was trained enough not to pee on random things because otherwise, why would anybody be so stupid as to bring it with them?

    Also, asking somebody if they apologized like he told them to do and then literally thirty seconds later getting pissed off at them for apologizing goes beyond just being whiny, that's straight up crazy.

    And the thing is, this all might be fine, if it was say, early or middle season 1. But this is Season 2. And this isn't a new situation, we have seen Archer being a stubborn ass unwilling to compromise. It's one thing for him to make mistakes and learn from it but you can't have him do the same mistakes over and over again.


    Okay, first of all, I have pets. I can understand Archer loving and being concerned for his dog. That's fine. But instead of doing something to get the Kratassans off his back, he spends the whole time moaning about them not caring about it too. The dog pee'd on something sacred. Why should they care? Archer is lucky they didn't kill Porthos. And he bitches at Phlox who is doing the very best to try to save the poor dog. Archer is a complete jerk throughout this whole episode and annoying. and the real pissy thing is where he tells T'pol to talk to the Kratassens and when she does, he tells her off. This guy is (well, supposed to be!) a trained diplomat and yet he likes a first year cadet!! I hate this story. Archer just drives me nuts and "The reason you are uptight is because you need to get laid" plot is just stupid. Watch this review by SFDebris. It's hysterical!

    I bet Archer has had to clean up things that came out of Porthos that were infinitely better than this... thing.

    I never liked Archer, he walks around the bridge like he needs a crap and talks like he's only just discovered language. But this is even worse. Not only does this "trained diplomat", Starfleet captain and humanity's representative in space (god help us all) think it was a good idea to take a fucking animal down to an alien planet where he was trying to get vital engine component so his crew wouldn't die in the vastness of space when the ship broke down. And not just any alien planet, the one planet where the locals are easily offended. And dogs have a habit of doing things that could be seen as offensive. And how dare they have bacteria on their planet that could make an alien animal sick!

    Jesus Christ, its shit like this that makes me wonder how Enterprise managed 4 seasons and relieved when it was finally shot in the head and dumped in the gutter (but not without another shit of a series finale). It just goes to show that the concept of Enterprise was flawed and hopelessly written/produced/everything from the beginning if this not even bottom of the barrel but under it kind of episode is what we get in the second season.

    I love Enterprise. I really love more than 70% of its episodes, which is approx. my feeling on all shows I love, btw.
    But I fail to see why we needed this episode at all.
    Zero stars!

    For me this was one of the few episodes of Enterprise that actually had any drama in it, because I was genuinely worried they were going to kill off Porthos. And Porthos was the only “character” on the ship that I actually liked :p

    I stopped watching as soon as Archer started getting all pissy about the aliens being offended by his dog pissing on their trees. Who brings a dog down on an away mission to aliens who were offended by public eating? And who gets all angry like this when the fault is clearly his.

    Also, why is this dog not aging? He’s still a puppy after 1 year in space?

    Also 2, sick of the objectification of T’Pol the actor and constant humiliation of T’Pol the character. No idea why she stays on a ship where everyone is always rude to her for being 100% right 100% of the time.

    The whole sexual frustration angle in this episode is so disappointingly unnecessary and embarrassing. Did they have such a lack of confidence in their show that they felt the need to constantly just make T'Pol objectified eye candy with so little substance as a character?

    Also, I like Porthos. I think he's the best thing about Enterprise, and the Porthos aspects of this episode did not bother me one bit. Humans, particularly those with no children, tend to bond to dogs as if they were children. We all know that bond can be very deep and emotional, so while Archer definitely took it a bit too far, it is not unbelievable for me (as a dog owner with no children).

    This is just a miserable episode. As much as we all love dogs, imagine being some middling crewman on board hearing the captain running around whining about his dog after all they've been through. "Anyone else get the feeling he cares way more about that dog than any of us?" Would have liked if the illness also just ended up from Archer just letting Porthos dig into cheese all day long and acting like its a one time thing.

    Classic WTF episode. The dog is cute, but so what?

    I disagree with Jammer about Phlox. Before "Dear Doctor", he stroke me as being kinda Neelix doc, but rather arrogant (nothing against the actors at all).

    After that sad episode, I simply don't care anymore.

    Bones was the best ST Doc not for his medical mumble jumbo, but for his true humanity, always challenging Spock's cold logics.

    Can't find any redeeming qualities in this episode (not even Porthos' acting) -- not sure where Jammer comes up with 1 star based on his review. Archer comes off looking like a dumbass -- can't apologize to T'Pol, who sets the working relationship straight.

    The attempts at humor just fall flat. What are we supposed to make of Archer's ridiculous log cutting ritual? Nothing artistic, nothing humorous -- just stupid.

    Have to drop my rating to zero stars for this dog of an episode. It doesn't measure favorably with the "gems" that are "Spock's Brain" and "Favorite Son" (for example). It's idiotic from the get-go and doesn't let up, totally pointless.

    One star? More like zero. Archer here is an overly emotional hot-head. He should not have taken his dog down to the surface. I'm a dog owner and if my dog does something she shouldn't while I'm visiting someone I would feel responsible and apologize. At least that's what a sensible person would do in my view. Yes, I get that he's under of a lot of stress and his dog being sick doesn't help, however he is the CAPTAIN of a STAR SHIP, even if he's a little inexperienced he should be capable of being a little more mature. Oh, and nice job of turning Phlox into a clown...

    I am watching Enterprise episodes in order, having never seen them before. While this is the first episode that has been a disappointment, I would gladly watch it over and over again, before watching virtually any DS9 Ferengi episode (with the possible exception of Little Green Men). There are also MANY non-Ferengi DS9 episodes which were far more painful to watch than A Night in Sickbay .

    I’d forgotten every detail of this episode since I watched it originally, but in my rewatch of every episode of Trek and subsequent reviews by Jammer and elsewhere, this one kept popping up in comments as being notoriously bad.

    Having just rewatched it, I have a suspicion that some of the criticism is bandwagoning. To be sure, it ain’t great but it isn’t offensively bad either.

    Specifically, I don’t get the criticism regarding the apparent assassination of Archer’s character and him acting like a knob. Firstly this criticism implies that Archer was previously a man of good character. This is the guy who refused to cure an entire species of a lethal illness despite having the means to do so; the bloke who handed over highly sensitive intelligence belonging to Starfleet’s only military ally to their sworn enemy; the geezer who handed over said intel in part because he is unable to go a single episode without demonstrating how much of a massive racist he is just because a few nasty Vulcans made daddy vewwy vewwy sad. This guy is already established as being a massive tool, temperamentally unsuited to captaining Starfleet’s first vessel of exploration and arguably a criminal. Yet now people get upset because his dog-crush leads to a bit of pissiness directed at some douche-bag aliens? Doesn’t really add up to me.

    But secondly, why is it even a problem if Archer is a cheb-end? It’s simply reflective of the real life fact that some people elevated to positions of power are emotionally unsuited to those positions. Or more simply, some people are just dicks and they aren’t always “the bad guys”. Somebody might point out that having a dislikable protagonist harms the show because the audience won’t root for the heroes. To which I’d respond, you don’t have to root for the heroes - like watching a football match where you hate one of the teams, you can still enjoy the game, or root for the opposition.

    This episode does reinforce that both the character of Phlox and the actor who plays him are excellent. Now this dude really did have his character assassinated in Dear Doctor since he has thus far been otherwise depicted as a highly intelligent, empathetic and decent individual.

    I'm still watching this episode right now. Halfway through. I want to finish it. Completionist and all. Man it's hard. I'm watching an episode about a sick dog. They're walking around with nets. This. Is. So. Awful.

    I'd rather see Kai Winn make love to Gul Dukat. I'd rather see Chakotay boot up his spirit animal starter kit. I'd even rather see Beverly Crusher make love to a ghost!! (Okay, I didn't mean that.) But this was so terribly awfully bad. Zero stars.

    We come to it at last. The episode about the ship's dog.

    Well, Voyager fans had to endure Naomi Wildman episodes. (I like her, I just don't want to spend half an episode in a creepy holodeck fairy tale with her.) DS9 fans had to endure Ferengi episodes. TNG fans had the incredibly stilted and embarrassing first two seasons. Enterprise had A Night In Sickbay, an episode where the captain of Earth's first deep space vessel worries about his dog.

    My girlfriend's dog died nearly two months ago and we are both absolutely devastated. We didn't have a sci-fi bag of tricks to save her. I couldn't hold one leg behind my back while hopping up and down and apologising to someone for a cure. Instead I remember how Sybil turned and looked directly at me with pleading eyes when the vet was trying to lead her away. I had to look her in the eyes and tell her to go with the vet and that everything would be all right. Five minutes later, we cried over her as she lay dead.

    This episode is a puerile attempt to tug at the heart-strings of men aged 15-35, who are tuning in to see how the Federation was formed and instead got jokes about T'Pol's tits, who want to be taken away from the day to day world and instead get to see their heroes glibly trampling across someone else's beliefs.

    The random stubborn aliens of the week get treated no better than Christians. Would it have been acceptable to have your dog take a dump in a mosque? What do you think would happen then?

    In short, the episode is aimed at entirely the wrong people. Trek fans are not blubbing little girls.

    It also tries to be a character story, again rare for a non-DS9 Trek series. Unfortunately the characters are so muddled and poorly fleshed out that we get an insane farce which flies in the face of what little we know about these people. You know a show is in trouble, and terribly led, when the viewers know the characters and the universe better than the writers.

    I kind of enjoyed this episode and figure Archer was aware he was being ridiculous. He was just letting off steam with people he could trust. As to the sexual tension with T’Pol, I’ve certainly felt it before. I enjoyed the scene where they addressed the issue and got a kick out of her response. A non-denial denial.

    I was trying to suspend belief and say it was "not that bad" until the we started chasing CGI bats around with 3 stooges type physical comedy. Ace Ventura this ain't - 1 star is about as high as I could go...

    So, on the one hand, this episode ain't great. A few moments did work for me (I liked the chainsaw ritual, for instance, and did laugh at the makeout funeral), but overall there ain't much substance here.

    On the other hand, the number of people who apparently watch every episode, reader Jammer's reviews of every episode, and need to comment about how every episode is the worst episode of Star Trek ever (math doesn't seem to check out there) is astonishing.

    Great stuff, great stuff.
    laughed and cringed, cringed and laughed.

    To the next Enterprise 1 star episode.

    It’s not the dog stuff that’s the problem surely? Porthos is cute and we’ve been going into Archer having Janeway’s problem, that it’s hard and often taken as inappropriate for him to be friends with the crew, but that leaves him friendless a long way from home. So Porthos despite also being as Phlox put it “subservient” is closer to an equal he can be friends with, just because that doesn’t bother dogs and make them act weird - or no weirder than we expect dogs too. His relationship with Trip is pretty much the same, genuine real affection, but also Trip is his subordinate in a way that matters unlike with Porthos.

    And being in a bad mood after spending a week doing what feels like grovelling and being turned away for what feels like no reason, and then your dog is dying, is fine. And he did apologise to everyone at the end and not get openly frustrated at the aliens so it’s not really a character assassination, just an example of a really really bad day. (He’s probably still shook up from thinking they’d had their first fatality last week, too.)

    The problems are the invented sexual tension with T’Pol (the episode also implies through the focus on the decontamination scene that T’Pol has sexual tension with Hoshi, which she actually does to a limited degree, and Archer with Porthos which is... ugh!!) and Archer not even hesitating to kill one animal to save another apart from wondering if it will harm Porthos.

    It’s so insulting to Jolene Blalock that they did this to T’Pol. They weren’t quite so bad to Jeri Ryan as Seven, and they still could have treated her a lot better. The stuff with Trip is fine and feels natural (and part of that comes from how they are both together with Archer a lot and neither is into him!), Malcolm fancying her is okay because he’s kind of the horny one of Enterprise (apart from maybe Phlox!) and they didn’t imply that he was very into her or that it was at all requited, but this is awful and spits on every episode so far. She feels the same? This woman went to sickbay because she had a tame sex dream about a jazz club, come on!

    And though I’m not sure if it’s ever spelt out, I think the crew at this point believe she’s only up for it once every 7 years - so if that’s meant to be why they apparently all fixate on her, as a safe option in terms of effecting your relationships with your coworkers on a 5 year mission, they should go into that. (Also, this makes the line they put in about the crew being only nearly a third female even more stupid as well as offensive. You’d think it would then be a third gay men right? If they’re out there for 5 years and they recognise they’ll want to have sex with each other? But there’s no gay people and a shortage of women in the future, obviously! They briefly touch on the superiority of female astronauts in a scene that’s all leading up to topless Hoshi, but Starfleet are apparently too stupid to even hedge their bets and make the crew 50:50.) But no, it’s because the real actress has to wear a stupid costume because the show writers think it’s sexy, and they’re constantly thinking about having sex with her so obviously all the characters are.

    I agree in retrospect that this episode wasn't that great. If nothing else, it reduced Archer to a bratty 9-year-old. But I will say that I was laughing my butt off through most of it!

    8 years earlier than when this episode aired, there was a glorious opportunity to have a chainsaw in Star Trek. The opportunity was Star Trek Generations in the Nexus when Picard encounteres Kirk chopping wood. In an alternate universe, maybe we could have had our chainsaw and been spared this lemon.

    On an unrelated note, while writing this comment I accidently spelled Kirk, K-I-R-A. I've been a Star Trek fan (most specifically DS9) for a long time. Not once did I realize Captain Kirk and Colonel Kira had such similarly spelled names, weird...

    Ok, this episode was a trainwreck, and deserved one star (maybe). But I still enjoy it, especially when properly intoxicated. For the following reasons...
    1. Phlox's tongue.
    2. Archer and T'Pol's pissing contest.
    3. T'Pol's remarks about dogs and toilets.
    4. The escaped bat.
    5. Archer and Phlox's batcatching efforts.
    6. Hoshi's bat grab.
    7. Phlox's doggie funeral scene.
    8. T'Pol's vanishing wardrobe.
    9. #7 segueing into #8.
    10. Phlox owning Archer as indicated above.
    11. Archer, dreads, a chainsaw, and gibberish.

    Wow. A lot of ruff comments about this episode. Seems to in cur a lot of wrath. Too many of you seem to enjoy hounding Archer. Your constant baying about his character makes you look barking mad.

    Sheesh, reviews for this episode really bring out the Denobulan-eat-dog nature of its contributors!

    I honestly can't understand the hatred for this episode. We never really believe that the showrunners intend to kill the dog, which lets us focus on Archer's touching relationship with his dog. The interplay between Archer, Phlox, and T'pol is well-observed, and the sight gags are too numerous to acknowledge. I do have to say that I laughed out loud when I saw Archer with the chainsaw. The whole thing is reminiscent of the demands of Monty Python's Knights of Ni.

    Overall, a charming comic interlude that eschews space opera for character drama; it is among the stronger outings thus far.

    I'll confess I haven't seen this one since it first aired but my feeling then was little more than: "Kinds of funny. A bit padded."

    There were some moments I liked, and some I absolutely hated.

    The plight of Porthos was gripping. And seeing Archer's concern was touching.

    Also, it is good for all of us to learn to humble ourselves and apologise. We do not have to exercise our "rights", but consider the other superior to us and go two miles if asked to go one.

    Even the doctor's nightly routine was humourous and diverting

    That said, I can't excuse the "sexual tension" plotline, nor the gratitious use of T'Pol again. It is such a shame, but in this sex-obssessed world, even children are used, attired and portrayed in an indecent way.

    T'Pol and Archer are not married, so that should be the end of story. If Starfleet (and the Vulcan high command) allowed them to, that would be one thing, but I think at this point, Starfleet prohibits marriages of anyone on board their ships. I am glad they didn't have the two engage in immoral activity, but dwelling on such a subject is nothing but destructive and frustrating!

    It is a shame, because this episode did have things going for it. It showed the value of humility, even towards those who are unreasonable. It showed had to mess it up with a negative message as well

    Way too much hate for this episode. Enjoying the ride with Enterprise so far, after finishing TNG, DS9 and watching Voyager S6 simultaneously with ENT and favoring the latter's episode so much more that I'm outpacing the Voyager episode. The last ambiguous scene between Archer and T'Pol alone makes this episode worth 2 stars, perhaps a bit more. Jolene Blalock has succeeded in giving a Vulcan tremendous sex-appeal - imagine if the monotone was gone!

    Christ, I was indifferent throughout that whole episode (leaning towards vague annoyance at how ridiculously unprofessional Archer was acting the whole time) but the bit that really got my goat up was at the end. T: "Friction is to be expected whenever people work in close quarters for extended periods of time" A: "Guess that's always been true, especially when the people are of the opposite sex". I'm sorry Archer, do gay people not exist in your century, have we all died out?! I'm bisexual, by Archer's logic I should have rampant sexual tension with absoutley everyone in my work place! Can't believe he uses the fact that she has different bits than him as an excuse for his cruddy behaviour and sudden inability to keep it in his pants.

    Lol, this wasn’t nearly as bad as I expected, probably because how reviled it is, it didn’t quite live up to it’s reputation. Well, that, and most Enterprise episodes are pretty lousy anyway.

    But, that horrible dog prop? Wtf, that’s truly embarrassingly bad. I’m shocked they released this. They spend money on cgi to save Phlox’s tongue and they can’t do better than a stuffed dog?

    I would bet over 99%+ of people know that’s a stuffed dog at just a glance. Dogs always have a twitchy face thing going on.

    LOL! Review is spot on. I agree that this episode is bad but man I enjoyed it :) One head tilting scene after another. I particularly enjoyed Phlox's scenes and his explanation of his races polyamorous relationships. Archer was way off character, I think they could have played this off as him also being infected with a virus. Even when Enterprise is having rub-down scenes it's still better than nuTrek.

    Archer is all emotion no brains I wish he'd stop trying to tell T'Pol that's all that humans are. Speaking of T'Pol she's the only one with any sense on that ship. Must be the logic.

    That funeral scene was pretty cool too.

    'Trained diplomat' ????? Hah!
    Still waiting for that Star Trek: Pets series - Spot & Porthos are shoe ins !

    Short synopsis: Archer commits a major diplomatic faux pas and spends the entire episode worrying more about his dog above all else while struggling with his desire to bang T'Pol.

    Seriously, that's it. The episode is a 45-minute journey into crap that's about as entertaining as watching grasshoppers fuck.

    Personally I think this episode is in the “so bad it’s good”category. I chuckled a lot for non intended reasons.

    Oh wow. I'm amazed this didn't get 0 stars. I was frozen in a cringe pretty much the entire episode. I'm sure one's existing opinion of Archer has a lot to do with whether or not his behavior here was forgivable and I'll say straight off I didn't like him going into this for all the reasons described by others: arrogant, self-centered, immature, loud, undisciplined, bullying (the list goes on). IMHO, even if Jon Archer had literally any other job that exists now or in the future, his behavior would have been unacceptable because he created the problem (bringing his dog, wtf, then being rude, then blowing every element WAY out of proportion) and then refused to take responsibility. But he doesn't have just any job, he's a *starship captain*, and it seems reasonable to expect that a starship captain leading the first exploration into space live up to a heightened standard for behavior. The entire episode his subordinates were basically rolling their eyes at him (Trip/T'Pol/Hoshi/Phlox) and giving him good advice he basically threw back in their faces. OK great. So much for getting his team's input.

    I 100% agree with those who point out that this being in season 2 is part of the problem. It comes across like there's been zero growth in his character, apology notwithstanding. So he's been in space for 2 years (I think they said: more than 1) and learned... what? He's even seen this race before! And I get the stress of the dog situation (which by the way, the fake dog was hilarious-- I did get a laugh out of that): I have a dog and she's part of my family. That said, dog ownership doesn't give you license to act like a dick when the dog is involved. Layer on that the fact that Archer endangered Porthos, got in Phlox's face when he suggested the surgery, and then *during* the surgery started asking him those idiotic questions about his "sexual tension"-- was there not a better time to have that conversation?-- I'm not really sure he's such a bang-up companion for Porthos either.

    And of course the "sexual tension" was the truly dreckiest part of this. When he blurts out 'breast' and 'lips' talking to T'Pol I thought there was no way the show could get worse. Wrong! The dog funeral wet dream was one of the worst things I have seen on anything ever. There is no un-ringing that bell. At this point the writers and producers (the same people for this ep, right?) have stopped even pretending T'Pol is a science officer. I agree with commenters who said it's embarrassing and demeaning for the actress and cheapens the character. And of course she and Archer have zero sexual tension whatsoever. I suspect it's just the nature of the T'Pol character ("sexual tension is a human emotion"). I could kind of see maybe some minor something with Trip, but he's pretty charismatic and certainly more so than Archer. Trip generated more of a spark bantering with the computer from Dead Stop than Archer and T'Pol in any episode to date (including the subtle boobs-in-face scene mentioned above-- I think Shadows of P'Jem).

    I'll end on a semi-positive note and say Phlox/Billingsley did the best with what he had and managed to get to the other side of this without ruining his character. Him narrating the wet dream was pretty funny too.

    I had to add one more thing! Someone upthread commented this would have worked better for Neelix or Quark: that is a brilliant observation. This has all the hallmarks of Neelix, who I think is the *absolute worst* of all the series (impetuous, overreacting, dialing every response up to 11, constantly getting in people's faces and in the way, and it goes on-- although I'll admit Neelix did mellow a little over time). Hard to believe the writers thought: "let's take Neelix's worst qualities and give them to the captain and dial them all up for this episode." Yet here we are.


    I am not sure it's bad. It is difficult to say. I just saw that this episode had been commented recently so I rewatched it.

    I also smiled quite a lot. Silly indeed, but it was quite well executed.

    Why have they made Archer so boorish, almost like an impetuous child? This happens not only in this episode, but the entire show (at least till this episode). I think there's a reason.

    In times of isolation, humans become culturally insensitive, like Americans became to other cultures in the early 1900s. In times of cultural contact, humans become more and more aware of cultural differences and how to deal with them.

    In Archer's time, humanity has become a monoculture, partly through global integration, and partly because of the tribalism induced by the Vulcans, the new "others". This is what has made humans so insensitive to other cultures. The only other culture they know (Vulcans), they hate. They don't know anything else.

    The petulance gets enhanced in the militaristic characters Archer, Tucker and Reed. T'Pol/Phlox avert it by being an old Vulcan/Denobulan who has been around the galaxy. Hoshi averts it by being a linguist which probably means she has at least read diverse literature if not visited alien places. Mayweather averts it by being born on a freighter. But Mayweather averts everything ;).

    I think these individual character traits make a lot of sense. What ENT got wrong is the aliens. The differences between the human culture and the alien culture should have been more stark. Something that the audience would have felt alien too. Then these voyages would have been filled with more wonder and strangeness.

    = = = =

    Given that I believe the character traits for these characters are appropriate, I hope that Archer learns a larger lesson in this episode that permanently changes his character. The whole idea is or should be how humanity grows out of its space infancy, starting off behind Vulcans, Klingons, Romulans, and almost every other species, and ending up leading the Federation.

    " What ENT got wrong is the aliens. The differences between the human culture and the alien culture should have been more stark. Something that the audience would have felt alien too. Then these voyages would have been filled with more wonder and strangeness."

    Intresting thought. I like the idea but in my opinion ENT was quite good here. What was wrong with the XINDI approach?

    in DIS there is LINUS and you also see some other strange race with a strange head. Linus appars silly and we do not learn anything of the other race.

    I agree that the Xindi were strange. What I meant is culturally / emotionally further away from humans, not just physically / technologically. In general there seems to be a failure to imagine really alien emotions or cultures; not only in Enterprise, but in all of science fiction. Most of the cultures like Vulcan, Klingon, Ferengi, Romulan are just humans with certain aspects enhanced. In fact most of these cultures can be mapped to various human cultures. The Borg were truly alien, till they introduced the Borg Queen which made them just baddies with better guns. On the other hand, there were many one-episode cultures in TOS / TNG that did show genuinely alien concepts. Return of the Archons, Miri, The Squire of Gothos, Darmok, Metamorphosis, Devil in the Dark, Su'Kal and For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky come to mind.

    I was just ruing the fact that Enterprise lost an opportunity by not coming up with such truly alien concepts. If they had done so, Archer's relative incompetence would have been easier to tolerate. And we would have had more engaging stories, more fitting to the wonder that early space travel ought to be filled with.

    P.S.: Regarding your comment about DIS -- yes, DIS has zero concept of the possibilities of science fiction. The only counter example in 3 seasons being the episode Su'Kal.

    @Daya, I see what you are heading for. But I beleive it is very difficult. In TNG they did had an ecounter the Sheliak in S3 The Ensigns of Command. Itergrating Darmok or a Sheliak in the normal concept cou.d be very strange an risky. But even if Data looks lik a human. His thinking is very far from our thinking. This was a sucessful atempt.

    I agree with the Borg concept. This was really a way of approaching another type of socity. What would have been if they had been less agressive?

    SCI-FI has mostly very little to do with the future to me. It is very much describing and quistioning the current humanity and socitiy.

    That does not mean that oppose episodes like Darmok but they are difficult.

    @Maq: Your idea of a less aggressive Borg is lovely. A Borg that attracts rather than assimilates. Yes, imagine!

    I agree with your statement that sci-fi is about commenting on the current society. But the way sci-fi can do it is by "sharpening/purifying" some alienness to see what happens. Like running a thought experiment to understand things better.

    E.g. I don't own a smartphone, and the world seems more and more like the Borg to me. Instead of implants, everyone has a rectangular hive mind in their pocket. A less aggressive Borg, as you suggest. :) So the Borg is commenting on humanity.

    Archer is the worst of captains. He's not the first Earth starship captain. So, you would think that he would have learned by example (and by reason) not to take his pet into someone else's house. His reasoning is that he transmitted the dog's genome to his hosts and if they had a problem, they should have told him not to bring it along. Is it reasonable to assume that an invitation includes your pet? No. It's like Archer arriving on Betazed, being invited to a diplomatic function, at the 5th House and being insulted, because his hosts took offense at him lighting up a cigar and using the Sacred Chalice of Riix as an ashtray. Some things are just, obviously, not done in someone else's house. He never seems to learn his lesson.

    Wait, Archer says I bet we can get 10 light years out of this one. Isn’t that like 1 trip in the Star Trek universe?

    I like dogs and was on the fence about pets in space, but this episode pushed me to the "no dogs allowed" camp. Archer is a starship captain, a diplomatic representative of Starfleet, and in many cases the first human a species will ever meet. He needs to have the calm and rational disposition that we see in many ambassadors in Trek.

    Unfortunately, he acts like a bratty, entitled pet owner who wants to take his dog into restaurants and is shocked when others don't think the dog is cute when he pees on their lawn. Plain and simple, a dog has no place on an away mission, let alone one on a planet full of triggered people. Archer should have never brought it along and should have been relieved of duty as too emotionally compromised with his pouty reaction.

    As much as I find Porthos to be cute, the dog on the starship is part of the problem with Enterprise. As with the opening song and Trip's overdone drawl, the dog makes the show too much like "Americans in space." I find myself siding with the Vulcans in seeing Archer as a cowboy and nor a serious starship captain.

    This episode is almost entirely filler. I can see a "C" subplot about the dog, but not the main story. The T'Pol sexual tension plot was bad but mildy funny. The only redeeming plot lines were learning more about the doctor and the alien culture.

    @ Skater777
    "I find myself siding with the Vulcans in seeing Archer as a cowboy and nor a serious starship captain."

    I feel that's a deliberate choice on the part of the writers' room. I think they got the overall feel of Enterprise about right. This isn't the Federation of TNG (the Federation doesn't even exist yet), or even TOS. These are a people barely past a world war that nearly destroyed humanity. As cheesy or hacky as some of the touches are, and as heavy-handed as it gets (Tucker is insufferably immature), they're *supposed* to be "Americans in space," and stumble around, being loud and pushy and in over their heads. I rather liked this about Enterprise, that they seemed to make a conscious effort to show humanity is not yet the enlightened, maturing species we see in eras.

    @ Randall,

    "I feel that's a deliberate choice on the part of the writers' room. I think they got the overall feel of Enterprise about right."

    I would respecfully suggest that the post you're replying to isn't just saying it's "Americans in space" as a neutral description, but is implying this in the worst possible way, i.e. that the crew are a bunch of idiots who don't deserve to be there. Maybe a more direct way to rephrase it would be Walmart Shoppers in Space. If you like the idea of early cowboy diplomacy stories, I think you are right that this is what the writers had in mind for the prequel. But I suspect Skater777 is saying not that it's a cool early version of Starfleet officers, but more like a disgrace. Personally I could not take seriously nor want to watch a Starfleet crew that doesn't at least display excellence of some sort. If that's the best humanity has to offer (as opposed to Jonathan Archer was just some guy's son) then it's more like a dystopian story...

    That never occurred to me before. Could Archer be thought of as an analog to George W. Bush, also "someone's son"?

    @ Peter G

    I get that it was meant pejoratively, but that was my point, as well. The Enterprise crew *is* kind of a disgrace. They blunder around, making stupid mistakes, getting very lucky on occasion, and are woefully under-qualified to travel and meet the dangers and complexities of alien life. They're arrogant and opinionated, and often chauvinistic, stomping around in people's back yards, making a mess and causing offense everywhere they go.

    But to address your point, they're also kinda the best humanity has to offer, just yet. Humans in Enterprise are still an immature species, barely better than real-world people living right now. (Witness the anti-alien bigotry resulting from the Xindi attack, which likely already existed, simmering below the surface, and only needed a prod to come boiling out.) While Archer may have benefited from nepotism, get a load of the guy he beat out for the job. The best of the best were not so great compared to the more mature people humans would become in a few centuries.

    And yet, there are glimmers of that better future, and that more mature species. As infuriating as Charles Tucker is, he's not without a sensitivity that surfaces a number of times, hinting at changes in human perspectives. Under the influence of T'Pol, Archer mellows over the course of the series, notwithstanding some of his actions in the expanse. Heck, Enterprise even matures as a Trek show, by honoring the tradition of completely under-serving a major character *cough*Travis*cough*. They crew of the Enterprise kinda sucks, but they're learning. And that's either a stunning coincidence, or by design. I suspect the latter.

    @ Top Hat,

    "That never occurred to me before. Could Archer be thought of as an analog to George W. Bush, also "someone's son"?"

    Actually I've always thought, right from the day the pilot originally aired, that Bakula was specifically cast because of his vague resemblance to George W Bush. I think President Bush in space was precisely their purpose. The only weird thing is that, unlike Randall, I don't think they intended the association to be a strictly negative one, which would be a surprise coming from Hollywood quarters. But also check out the air date of the pilot: Sept 26, 2001, a scant 2 weeks after 9/11. And check out the beginning of the Xindi story: an attack on the homeland by an unseen enemy generates a furious response. So my theory is that despite themselves the writing team was acting casting W as the hero, going out to smite America's enemies. And my take on his cowboy ways is that they intended it as actually more manly and all-American than the effete Picard and his softball diplomacy. If I'm right, then even the show's concept was pernicious.

    @ Randall,

    "But to address your point, they're also kinda the best humanity has to offer, just yet."

    Um, I guess all I'll say is that I think there are plenty of qualified and intelligent people alive right now who would do better than blundering around making stupid mistakes. To be sure, anyone being the first to explore outer space would be underqualified in comparison to the unknowns out there, but that's not the same as being an actual chowderhead. Captain Archer isn't slightly ahead of our time; he's probably not even up to the standards of the British Empire.

    @ Peter G

    LOL I feel compelled to remind you it's a television show written by people considerably less qualified than even the crew of the Enterprise, depicting a future world that doesn't exist. Also, I recall you once had a real bee in your bonnet about supposing things about such worlds that weren't expressly written on the page, such as the existence of better-qualified people to crew the Enterprise. So perhaps they were in fact - or more to the point, in canon - the best people available.

    In line with Peter I always perceived Enterprise as strongly influenced by the "America! fuck yeah!!" moment. What Rumsfeld called old Europe were the Vulcans, telling Americans constantly what they could not do, looking arrogant and unreasonable in the process. The Xindi arc about the good and the bad Xindi (Muslims).
    Look at those lyrics from the theme song without listening to the schmaltzy tune:

    It's been a long road
    Getting from there to here
    It's been a long time
    But my time is finally near
    And I can feel the change in the wind right now
    Nothing's in my way
    And they're not gonna hold me down no more
    No, they're not gonna hold me down
    --- refrain ---
    It's been a long night
    Trying to find my way
    Been through the darkness
    Now I finally have my day
    And I will see my dream come alive at last
    I will touch the sky
    And they're not gonna hold me down no more
    No, they're not gonna change my mind
    I've known the wind so cold, I've seen the darkest days
    But now the winds I feel, are only winds of change
    I've been through the fire and I've been through the rain
    But I'll be fine

    It reads like propaganda, doesn't it?

    Enterprise is interesting (though not exactly entertaining) precisely because I can't quite work out what the writers had in mind. On one level, it seems almost infantile in its reflex patriotism. And the implications of "back to basics" meaning "a white American man is captain again" speak for themselves. At the same time, it seems, almost unconsciously, like a stealthy critique of American exceptionalism especially through the characterization of Archer as this emotionally-stunted cronyist hothead incompetent. Especially in this episode, where Archer seems to possess only mildly more self-awareness than Zapp Brannigan.

    @ Top Hat

    It does kinda make Enterprise (at worst, unintentionally) subversive, doesn't it? The Lee Greenwood-esque, corny theme song; the "White Dudes in Spaaaaace" of it all... And they're kinda crap. I mean, it's a TV show, so they're the good guys, and win the day, but they *are* kinda crap.

    @ Booming

    Yeah, even though I like Enterprise much better than a lot of people seem to, I acknowledge the eye-rollingly obvious and sometimes pretty insulting parallels do exist. The Xindi attack was one of the worst, even though it led to some of their better episodes. They telegraph their entire plan with an attack? Oh, come on.

    And if we stick with your Islamic terrorist example, it really fits a sort of ignorant, arrogant, American fantasy: We get attacked for "no reason," and then fly out to peacefully humansplain to the Xindi we're just a bunch of totally good guys (emphasis on the guys), and their whole reason for attacking us is anti-human propaganda from a shadowy, godlike figure (one might even say quasi-religious leader, or some kind of peasant brown people god)... Hell, there's even "good" Xindi and "bad" Xindi, in that, "Well, not *you* Degra; you're one of the good ones" kind of way. A very American perspective on international terrorism, but also hanging out there like a sore thumb, as if the writers wanted it to be a bad look.

    @ Randall,

    While I think it's worthy to speculate and weigh possibilities, I find it almost completely implausible that Braga and Berman - coming off of VOY as they were - intended to deliberately cast a show and create storylines in order to subtly portray the crew as being unqualified and 'kinda crap.' That's not in Berman's wheelhouse, at all, and if you look at Braga's writing subtlety is not in his toolkit; he hammers you over the head with a concept, sometimes really cool, and sometimes ridiculous. I think it's quite evident to me that the all-American crew (they're not all technically American, but they may as well be) is meant to make them relateable for the audience, like contemporary Americans in the Trek setting. The dog is clearly meant for the cute factor and to humanize Archer, rather than to make him look like a fool (which it does). And look at the scripting and the performance by Bakula: everyone involved is taking the character very seriously, including his scoffing at know-it-alls. There is nothing evidently tongue-in-cheek or undermining in a typical episode. It's always possible one or two writers snuck in a jab, but overall the show tone does not suggest that these are anything but pioneering heroes. Even T'Pol eventually comes around and off her high horse.

    It's a nice idea, but at the end of the day there's no real need to try to explain writing weaknesses as being part of the design intent. Heck, the show is called "Enterprise", which even has a connotation of the whole venture being a capitalist adventure (or at minimum, an adventure of people from a culturally capitalist mindset). As far as I'm concerned the writing is backing these characters 100%.

    @ Peter G

    Oh, I'm sure that, for the most part, they were playing it straight, which is why I say things like "as if the writers were..." and such. Though I do think they deliberately wrote the characters as cruder, more temperamental, and chauvinistic than they might otherwise have been (to reflect the fact that this wasn't the utopia of the TNG era), they otherwise probably saw the characters as more heroic and virtuous than I'm supposing them.

    That, of course, is the thing about art. Once you release it into the wild, it's not really yours, anymore (not counting property laws, of course). This grows even more true the longer it's out there. I can go out and buy half a dozen different sequels to Pride and Prejudice, right now. And there's a legitimate argument to be made that (for instance) authors don't get to change the text of their work, unless they literally change the text of their work. The Dumbledore-was-actually-gay thing, for example. Once you publish or release a work, the public perception is now a part of that work.

    Take the Fearless Girl statue, for example. It was a piece of commissioned corporate art, literally an advertisement. But the public perception was entirely different. Not only that, it changed the public perception of an already-existing statue, the Charging Bull - already perceived as a capitalist icon - from that icon to a symbol of patriarchy. (Related Side Note: I annoyed a lot of people once, by suggesting a third statue, of a cowering, terrified, injured child to be placed at the feet of Fearless Girl, which would make her look like a bully standing over her victim. The point was the same I'm making here; once it's out there, creators lose control of their work).

    But I digress. Point being, Enterprise isn't one thing. It can be taken straight, with literal heroes and heroines, or it can be taken as allegory or metaphor, with all manner of interpretations. I think the writers of Enterprise got it pretty much right, a "sweet spot" open for interpretation, with just enough hints at one thing or another to spark debate, or perhaps more importantly, to bend with the times, and endure.

    It's confirmed: many Star Trek fans hate fun. This episode is absurd, silly and outrageous; and there's nothing wrong with that. I'm glad they didn't go anywhere with the Archer/T'Pol story. 2.5/4

    It's fine to be a dissenter on this episode. But plenty of "fun" Star Trek episodes are basically canonized (starting with "The Trouble with Tribbles").

    4/5, definitely not perfect, but it feels quite special. humorous and lighthearted by intention - and a unique soundtrack that makes it flow quite differently than a regular episode.

    It's a major conumdrum for humanity of today that we hope to find sentient life in the universe while treating sentient life forms right here on earth - like dogs sometimes, but especially other species of nonhuman animals - so incredibly poorly. Our regular treatment often amounts to torture, despite having far less violent options in plant based options, as the Vulcans could teach us. Before we get off that superiority complex everyone else is better off if we can't leave earth.

    This episode at least also includes the perspective of increased respect for our fellow sentient beings right here on earth. Well, Arthur does anyway, and Phlox learns about it.

    Also we get to know Phlox better, which is too rarely seen so far. Sexual tension sub plot is perhaps the weakest part. And yeah, the bat scene seemed a bit unnecessary.

    The writers' treatment of T'Pol, though, and the women in the cast in general, is often very creepy though as others point out.

    And those Kreetassans are very petty. Hope it's not a general trait of their species, but so far it seems to be.

    I entirely disagree with you. I didn't find the alien makeup hokey.

    Other than that, yeah, what a terrible episode!

    I wonder if Archer owning a beagle is a nod to the early space opera stories of A. E. van Vogt.

    Question about the beagle....

    Van Vogt's work interests me....what are you alluding to beagle-wise? Please teach.

    Van Vogt wrote a book called The Voyage of the Space Beagle in 1950. It was a fix-up of some of his space opera stories from the 1930s and 40s. Some people have claimed that his stories were an inspiration for some elements of Star Trek.

    I can't help but wonder if, after they decided to give Archer a pet, they decided to literally give him a "space beagle." Probably just a coincidence, but a funny one nonetheless.


    Just checked on some of this. Seems van Vogt passed away on Jan. 26 2000, just months before Enterprise's debut. Could explain why somebody associated with the show had the Beagle in mind.

    Any discussion about space beagles is welcome. It is the most logical breed to bring aboard to roam the cosmos. A curious, natural explorer, the Beagle

    Watched this for the first time tonight and I was somewhat stunned.
    Possibly the cringiest, worst Trek episode in the history of the franchise.

    Some fascinating responses in the comments section.

    1) Someone mentioned that the captain resembles Neelix more than anyone else in this episode and I have to agree. This really does feel like a leftover concept from a Voyager Neelix episode, put into production because they came up short on good scripts in the beginning of the season. While this seems unlikely, on the other hand, Voyager had such a lack of artistic integrity that I would say it's a non-zero possibility. Certainly Neelix's creative ghost haunts this episode, if nothing else.

    2) The post-9/11 era definitely had an influence on this show, and "Americans in space" certainly seems to have been the theme. I guess because it's the first in Trek canonical history they wanted to make it seem farther away from Roddenberry's utopian society.

    But they seem to have dialed it back too far. After a global thermonuclear war, massive depression, total anarchy, and all of those bad things, it seems unlikely "Americanism" would survive in such a recognizable form.

    But then again, maybe not. We are still carrying around cultural ideas from 250, 300 years ago or more. And as pointed out previously, the "monoculture" of Earth at that time, and perhaps a growing sense of boredom that comes along with higher quality of life... Perhaps pseudo-nationalistic cultural qualities would come back.

    After all, wasn't Picard proud to be a Frenchman?

    I think Bakula was a disastrous casting choice. Trinneer as Trip was a far better actor and character and should have been captain.

    Bakula as a quirky chief engineer or CMO could have been interesting. Captains chair-- not so much, imho.

    There's an argument that Archer was explicitly intended to be a product of nepotism and is aware of that, but even granting that gracious interpretation, that's not a character to build a show around.

    Shat, Stewart, Brooks and Mulgrew all stood larger than life. Bakula, oh boy, no.

    And while I don't personally like Bakula's acting, the problem here was casting, not his particular skills.

    I think Scott Bakula was an excellent choice to be a Star Trek captain -- he's a very good actor (don't think anybody can deny that based on all the roles he's played), obviously a well-known commodity, of the right age etc. etc. Certainly can market ENT based on Bakula as the main actor.

    I think Trinneer proved himself to be an terrific actor on ENT (and Trip a really good character) but if I have one issue, it's that I thought of him as too young for chief engineer, let alone captain. But that's a gripe I have with most of these sci-fi shows -- the actors/characters seem too young for their roles and responsibilities.

    One thing I keep coming back to is the need to separate the actor from the writing. With ENT, especially in the 1st 2 seasons, the writing for the Archer character was sub-par / inconsistent / weak etc. The character got much better in S3 when the writing made Archer more pragmatic, more determined and less happy-go-lucky. When you have a combination of great writing with a great actor then it's magic (Shatner/Kirk and Stewart/Picard).

    And I hope that with this episode in particular, we don't judge ENT, Bakula etc. as this is truly one of the worst outings in the entire Trek franchise from premise to writing to plot -- everything. Nobody will come out looking good here - other than Porthos.

    Bakula can be very good, but he is miscast as an authority figure. Stern or angry character moments just don't fit what he does best which is to play a likeable everyman.

    But let's be real: Laurence Olivier couldn't put over the scripts that Braga and Berman were churning out. The first two seasons sucked almost as bad as Voyager.

    Mulgrew is still the worst of the classic Trek captains, imo. All of the classic captains (other than PS) had a tendency to overact occasionally, but she didn't have Shatner's charisma, Brooks' gravitas, or Bakula's innate likeability.

    Third time watching. Why? Seeking some...logic. a nightmare? This is appaling. Who is responsible?

    Jammer being a "cat guy" makes so much sense. I hadn't realised it until now but it explains a lot. Even so, he is correct in saying this episode SUCKS. Star Trek has a proud tradition of "comedy" episodes and this is firmly in the same tier as the infamous DS9 ferengi episodes and Voyagers notorious "Threshold" episode. The only difference between those dumb episodes and this dumb episode being that the latter can actually be fun in how cringe they are. This episode however is entirely pathetic. It feels like an episode of some generic early 2000s family comedy that simply had keywords replaced with Star Trek characters and concepts.

    I don't understand all the hatred of Archer here, and not these ridiculously unreasonable aliens. I agree he shouldn't have taken the dog to the planet, but for the dogs sake, not for the aliens religious cult crap. The dog didn't do anything wrong. And Archer sent the profile of porthos which would obviously show its a small animal, and what do small animals do? Eat, pee, and poop, what were these aliens expecting? Do they not have animal life on their own planet that does similar things on their trees? The one thing that passed me off though was that Archer was perfectly fine with not giving that other race the cute to a painful plague, but then flips out over the dog. Even worse is that the time his dog got sick from the cheese was right before that dear doctor episode, what did he lose all his empathy all of a sudden in dear doctor? People seem to forget that he took his dog with him in the episode strange new world, the planet with the hallucinogenic agents, and no one complained. I personally am getting sick of these absolutely bizarre alien cultures (same for the absurd ones here on Earth in real life) that possess space travel yet still flip out over things like "Sacred Trees", and this is a common problem with all star trek series. Civilizations that are supposed to be advanced enough and intelligent/level headed enough to develop warp drive, yet still have morals from the middleages. If you're so easily offended then stop letting people come to your planet period. These entitled bratty alien cultures that think it's fine to impose absurd laws on visitors without informing them of the consequences or ridiculous rituals required to apologize are the problem here, and the number of people in the comments that sympathize with that is shocking to be honest. If morality is so subjective that you can't say anyone is obligated to respect other people's cultures either, that's hypocrisy. You can't say something like refusing to cure someone's illness when you easily can is not a universal objective standard, but then claim having to bow down to every other culture is. I agree Archer was a complete idiot in the episode, but the aliens were 20x worse, and this crap with putting sacred objects and trees before sentient living beings welfare should end. Just like how the media was endlessly whining and bitching about the guy who etched his name into the coliseum..WHO CARES? Enough of this stone age mentality already..especially for societies with space travel, grow up already.

    To summarize, you can't say "every culture should be respected because they are all different with their own moral standards" but then impose the "you must respect all alien cultures" moral standards on everyone! Nice cherrypicking!

    I'd dearly love to know why "A Night in Sickbay" gets one star from Jammer, whereas STRANGE NEW WORLDS gems like "Charades" and "Those Old Scientists," which are a lot less plausible, get three stars.

    If he's a cat person, that explains it. And I'm a dog person, so as comedic Star Trek episodes go, I liked this one more than most. (Yes, Archer behaves like an ass throughout the first two-thirds of the episode -- but visit a dog park, and you'll see a lot of dog owners do the same thing when non-dog people criticize their pooches.)

    But even if it's not that, and you objectively dislike this episode -- it's still hella more plausible than "Charades" (or any other hijincks episode with T'Pring) or "Those Old Scientists" (or anything else Lower Decks has done).

    @Luke (from before the pandemic, but what the hell) wrote: "So, apparently Archer is a trained diplomat. I think this is the first time that's ever been revealed. How does he handle this diplomatic situation? By acting like a petulant jerk."

    Ever been to a dog park? That's how otherwise perfectly rational, professional people act if someone suggests their dog is less than angelic.

    Ever been to a dog park in *DC*? In DC, some of those professional people who morph into the Incredible Hulk at the dog park are, when they're at their day dogs, State Department foreign service officers: in other words, diplomats.

    It is not logical, but it is true.

    @Mike:" Possibly the cringiest, worst Trek episode in the history of the franchise."

    Tuned into Strange New Worlds or Lower Decks much (or, God help us, the crossover between the two)?

    They made archer so dumb here. They have the dog’s dna profile so they shouldknow exactly how every substance on their planet will interact with it? So irresponsible. Then he lets the dog pee wherever.
    Such an awful episode.
    I felt bad for the chameleon. If archer was responsible dog parent, the chameleon would still be alive.
    Also enough with tpol already.

    The episode wasnt that bad. But Archer is really getting on my nerves. He’s a complete idiot and I definitely wouldn’t want to serve under his command.
    Archer is dead last. I’d probably be better off serving on a cargo ship under some Ferengi with no lobes.

    I'm a cat lover and am still fully on Archers side with this one, the aliens had the dogs genetic profile and never told them not to bring it, nor did they tell them that any of their trees are sacred. If a set of trees is that important to you, you could at least TELL the visitors that. It's not the visitors responsibility to find that out via trial and error. The dog almost dying was excessive "punishment" for Archers "ignorance" of the sacred tree as ot was, so I don't know who can agree theor extra demands were reasonable. How does a society so screwed up even ever develop warp technology/plasma injectors. That's one thing I don't get about all the religious fanatic civilizations, how does a species that destroys each other over how many days it took to build something ever become space faring in the first place? How insane does a culture have to be for you people to say enough is enough with this prime directive/no judgement/cultural relativism crap? Do common sense or basic sentient beings rights not exist to you?

    This episode is probably the one that cued me into the fact that Archer either is or is not essentially Captain Murphy from Sealab 2021, depending on Scott Bakula's delivery. He either nails a Star Trek captain before the Federation or comes off as a deranged lunatic who shouldn't be in charge of a starship.

    Submit a comment

    ◄ Season Index