Star Trek: Enterprise

"Vanishing Point"

3.5 stars

Air date: 11/27/2002
Written by Rick Berman & Brannon Braga
Directed by David Straiton

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

"I can see why you might imagine the universe unraveling. If you're afraid you haven't been put back together right, why assume anything else makes sense?" — Trip

In brief: Creepy and psychologically compelling, with enough carefully navigated plot manipulations to keep you guessing.

No way you'd get me to go through one of those things and have my molecules scrambled. Not a chance.

"Vanishing Point" is the sort of episode that taps right into the dormant fears that lie deep in the recesses of my mind — the fear that I'm a potential hostage of my own physical body, with a mind that insists on believing its function transcends my physical existence even though it knows otherwise. Given how "Vanishing Point" eventually plays out, there's a sort of brilliance here; this is an episode about the ways our fears can take us hostage.

Transporter terror is certainly not an unheard-of concept in Star Trek (some may, or may not, remember TNG's "Realm of Fear," about Barclay's transporter phobia, and of course Bones was never a huge fan of the transporter, never mind that he used it every week), but here we get transporter phobia in a way that is perfectly appropriate and even necessary. Given that at this point in time the transporter is a fairly new technology that even many in Starfleet have not experienced — coupled with the fact that the crew of the Enterprise has avoided using it except in emergencies (and even then still has avoided it, e.g. "Minefield" or "The Communicator") — it stands to reason that some will not be so quick to embrace it, despite all of Starfleet's assurances that it's safe.

Enter into this premise our young Hoshi Sato — the perfect candidate for this story, with her understandably human, previously established deep-space phobias and reluctance — and you've got a pretty good starting point for a story. Trip and Hoshi are beamed up from the planet surface during a survey mission, in order to avoid a deadly, fast-approaching storm headed straight at them. The transport seems successful, but Hoshi soon finds herself unsettled. Things are not quite right. She doesn't feel as if her molecules have been reassembled correctly. A birthmark on her face has moved by a centimeter. Phlox assures her she is fine. She's not so sure. "I just don't feel like myself," she notes.

Then strange things start happening. People don't seem to hear her the first time. Later they don't hear her the second time, either. The turbolift doors don't open for her. She oversleeps. Her performance suffers inexplicably when she can't handle a basic translation using the universal translator. What's going on here?

What I found particularly clever about "Vanishing Point" was its careful, if calculated, manipulation of reality. On several occasions, it seems pretty obvious that the world is askew and the events of the story do not represent reality so much as some kind of fragmented nightmare. Indeed, almost from the beginning we're wondering how much of the episode is some sort of paranoid delusion; when will the other shoe drop? Where "Vanishing Point" is ingenious is in its narrative sleight of hand. The story is adept at not revealing all its cards. Just when we think everything is a nightmare, the episode backs off its surreal overtones and moves forward, accepting weird events at face value. It hopes we won't balk. And it gets away with it.

In particular, there's a point where Hoshi goes to bed, oversleeps, and misses at least three hours of her shift. She arrives on the bridge to find herself basically useless. A bizarre hostage crisis has materialized out of nowhere, and she absolutely cannot translate the alien's angry snarls. The way this scene is played is so odd that I instantly pegged it a dream or some other weird mental state. But the story ventures forward, goes to commercial break, and settles down until we accept this reality on its terms.

Psychologically, this is maybe Enterprise's best outing to date. It contains just enough details and ominous signs to be terrifying in an understated way. Hoshi's experience — ever since going through the transporter — might best be described as a quiet, paranoid nightmare. She joins the guys for a meal in the mess hall, and the conversation ends with them casually blowing her off. In a weird way, the scene plays almost like a bunch of guys too self-absorbed to notice the woman colleague in their midst. They get up and seem just slightly too busy to say goodbye; accidental and incidental, not their intent. The tone is one of subtle psychological menace. (I was reminded of The Sixth Sense.)

Adding to the show's sometime ghost-story sensibility is a conversation here about the famous Cyrus Ramsey, purportedly the first human test subject for a long-distance transport (100 meters). Something went wrong during this test, the tale goes, and poor Cyrus never materialized. In a fate maybe worse than death, he simply vanished, molecules scattered into oblivion — transporter limbo, perhaps. This of course begs the question at the center of the transporter fantasy, which is how one can survive the very process of having their molecules taken apart and put back together in the first place.

The general idea is that Hoshi's molecules were not put back together quite right and are therefore losing their cohesion until she literally begins fading away. But the terror here isn't only physical but also psychological. The "vanishing point" in the story is both literal and emotional. As people seem more and more unable to see and hear Hoshi, the story makes a subtle, if certain, link between her literal fading (she looks in a mirror and sees her reflection going transparent), and other forms of invisibility, including: (1) Obsolescence: She cannot translate during the hostage crisis and is relieved of duty, at which point some no-name crewman comes in and easily does her job and saves the day. (2) Casual dismissal: In addition to the aforementioned example of being abandoned in the mess hall, Phlox sighs and tells her she is worrying needlessly over nothing. It's the ultimate frustration — being utterly convinced there is something wrong with you but without having the evidence to convince someone else.

At a certain point, Hoshi goes completely invisible to everyone else, and finally the molecular and technological answers are discovered. Problem is, it's too late, and Hoshi is presumed dead. Like in a ghost story, Hoshi watches over scenes of people discussing what has apparently happened to her. I liked one shot in sickbay where Phlox explains to Archer and T'Pol how Hoshi's molecular structure has broken down, and the camera tracks slowly to reveal Hoshi behind Phlox, invisibly eavesdropping on the whole conversation — a creepy gesture.

The show seemingly takes a left turn into the dramatically unworkable when Hoshi goes below decks and sees aliens rigging charges to blow up the ship. Suddenly the episode looks to be turning into a silly story about how the Incredible Invisible Hoshi must thwart the evil plans of the alien bad guys. She tries to warn Archer by sending an SOS with Morse code by reaching into a ceiling panel and shorting out an LED. This happens, by the way, as Archer is contacting Hoshi's father on Earth and ever-so-gradually explaining that Hoshi has been ... "lost." The way the dialog between Archer and the elder Sato builds is so oddly written and unlikely that the whole sentiment rings positively false. It's utterly bizarre.

And yet ... this all manages to work, because it fits into a reality that's spinning out of control and that we finally see is indeed not real except in Hoshi's mind. The aliens below decks are her mind's own devices that allow her to confront her own fears of the transporter: As she tries to thwart them, they set up a portable transporter pad and escape, and she tries to follow, willingly stepping on their transporter pad. She beams away and suddenly materializes on the Enterprise, revealing the entire episode to have been an imagined experience that took place in eight seconds while she was being assembled on the transporter pad.

And, wow — it actually works.

"It was all a dream" stories can be infuriating and cause for resentment. Not here. While not a completely unexpected destination (indeed, I sort of hoped this would be the destination), the whole episode is like Hoshi's self-contained meditation on her fear. (I liked that even Cyrus Ramsey was an invention of her mind.) It's something that I find very believable on the story's terms as a paranoid psychological thriller. It reveals some character depth and I found the whole charade quite absorbing — and on some levels, chilling. Linda Park carries the show well as a character who is frightened and vulnerable concerning a truly disturbing condition but who manages to hold things together and be heroic nonetheless. And as I said before, this is the sort of sci-fi concept that has you stopping to consider questions about how your brain and intellect interact with an unforgiving physical world that doesn't much care that you have a brain or intellect.

Forget about being assembled incorrectly. Eight seconds of that sort of extended mental torment is reason enough not to step onto a transporter pad.

Next week: A rerun of "Carbon Creek." See you the week after.

Previous episode: Singularity
Next episode: Precious Cargo

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71 comments on this post

Wed, Jul 30, 2008, 7:17pm (UTC -6)
This is a really insightful review - much more intelligent than the responses in the DITL (where this episode was awarded a 'worst of trek' award). They all complain about the 'it was all a dream' ending but of course that kind of frame is completely apt for a narrative which is a dramatisation of Hoshi's anxieties. In fact, as you point out, it's essential - such a shame that this sophistication in the plot seems to have gone over a lot of people's heads. (By the way, the email address is real. I'm English, hence the spelling differences.)
Sat, Jan 9, 2010, 6:58pm (UTC -6)
@cyrus I'm sorry, but this is one of the worst episodes of Enterprise I've ever seen. It was a lame, watered down version of "The Inner Light", with a monstrous reset button ending where Hoshi didn't develop at all. Jammer's always going on about VOY and the reset button, which is fine, but then this review comes along? That's just unfair
Fri, Apr 16, 2010, 2:09pm (UTC -6)
This episode didn't remind me so much of "Inner Light" as of Voyager's "Projections," with elements of TNG's "Eye of the Beholder" and, of course, "The Next Phase" thrown in for good measure. The trouble with Enterprise's unoriginality (so many shows can be easily pegged as riffs off of previous Trek episodes) is that it leaves the "mystery" completely unmysterious, and, hence, not very compelling. I became convinced very early on that Hoshi was still in the transporter buffer, and that left a lot of the story completely underwhelming.
Sat, Aug 7, 2010, 11:17am (UTC -6)
The problem with "Vanishing Point" isn't that everything was a dream -- it's that nothing in the episode makes any sense, not even the intentionally nonsensical parts. Most importantly, this is a Hoshi episode, and while it should develop her character it only serves to make her look stupid, unobservant, shrill, and volatile. She can pass her hands through objects, yet doesn't fall through the floor. She fails to question sudden changes in Archer and T'Pol's command styles. When Crewman Baird translates the "simple bimodal syntax," Hoshi doesn't seek him out or investigate his methods, choosing instead to chum around in the gym and wander the ship. She does not protest or question Archer when relieved of duty. Knowing full well that she can pass through doors and objects, she tries to operate doors and machinery with frustration. When confronted with alien invaders, she doesn't confront or make contact with them, but instead runs off to try and warn Archer.

All the careful reality tweaking is for naught because we start out with Hoshi, professional yet reasonably worried about transporters, and end up with a frantic, insecure, passive, oblivious officer who doesn't question even the basic premises of the world around her, the command structure of her ship, or demonstrate any problem-solving ability whatsoever. And this person is allowed on the bridge?

The biggest slap in the face is the ending: Phlox, Archer, and Trip prattle about how long "it" lasted and that "it" must have been a dream, but never mention what "it" is. A hallucination? Some kind of neuro-mixup that happened during transport? A strange re-arrangement of molecules? No, our "explorers," when confronted with a potentially serious transporter malfunction, simply shrug their shoulders and exit stage left. The viewer isn't even dignified with "ionic interference" or "geological phenomenon." Not even the nonsense in this episode makes any sense.
Sun, Sep 25, 2011, 12:22pm (UTC -6)
Pretty cleverly done.. there were moments just weird enough to make you wonder about the reality subconsciously but all just believable enough that it didn't really come up as a direct question. So the "twist" at the end did actually come as a little bit of a surprise to me. Albeit a welcome one, as it explains away some of the dodgy physics.

3 would work for me I think.
Sat, Nov 19, 2011, 2:45am (UTC -6)
I'm of two minds. I was expecting it to be just a dream after the point where Crewman Noface did the translation, and it does feel a bit cheap. Yet it does a good job getting there.
Sat, Nov 19, 2011, 10:45am (UTC -6)
Another thought: it seems rather similar in general outline to TNG's "Remember Me".
Mon, Feb 20, 2012, 5:18pm (UTC -6)
I thought there was going to be a reveal that the accident not only made Hoshi invisible, but also made her alternate between alternate realities/timelines, i.e. one in which she is worse than Baird at translating, or the Enterprise is invaded by aliens, or one in which Cyrus Ramsey does vanish in the transporter test run.

This explanation would be more satisfying instead of it being "just a dream". The episode is open-ended in this sense, so I'll stick to my version.
Thu, Aug 2, 2012, 8:36pm (UTC -6)
Jammer I'm more confused after reading this review than after watching "Threshold"....did you watch the same episode I just did? What so different about this blatant abusive use of the RESET button, a tactic that you scold and use as an excuse to hand out 1 and 2 stars...maybe you just have yellow fever and are in love with Hoshi? her acting was not that was serviceable at best

I had more fun watching "Threshold" or even the next episode than this steaming pile of poo
Tue, Sep 4, 2012, 6:27pm (UTC -6)
Even though I've been just selectively watching non-T'pol portions of the better episodes, I'm a big Hoshi fan and watched this end to end. Right off the bat I saw the standard "altered states" template for Hoshi where everyone else was different. But after accepting that template from the start I very much enjoyed the episode because the execution was very well done, mainly because of a balanced, believable performance from Linda Park. Archer's call to her father and the over the top evil looking aliens doing evil things both seemed off but in the context of Hoshi's dissolving reality - and body - it only added to the surreal feel. I was genuinely uncertain on how they'd go at the end: was it a dream or were there aliens sabotaging the ship? If it was the latter the campy, evil aliens and Archer's long winded, stuttering call to Hoshi's dad would have happened which wouldn't have rung true. Also, Hoshi still not liking transporters and not "growing" is fine by me since it makes sense to have this fear and would be strange to have it suddenly recede after this nightmare. I like that it ended as a dream ... sometimes a dream-like episode is just a dream.
John the younger
Fri, Dec 14, 2012, 10:01am (UTC -6)
This is a VERY typical example of the type of episode Brannon Braga cut his teeth on during TNG. I was never a big fan back then (except for the occasional spark, like Cause and Effect or Parallels) and I'm not a fan now. They just feel too hokey and inconsequential.

With Vanishing Point, I also felt the resolution was telegraphed from about the second act.

A 1.5 to 2 star epsiode for me.
Mon, Jan 7, 2013, 4:17pm (UTC -6)
I agree with the review...but... me, this played out as a retread of "Remember Me" mixed with "The Next Phase". The disappearing/nonexistent "Cyrus Ramsey" even has overtones of "Dalen Quaice" in reverse.

Unlike those TNG episodes, however, the whole thing was in Hoshi's head. That's both a strength and a liability. I particularly liked the part where one of Hoshi's fears is that she'll dramatically fail at her job -- that's perfect nightmare territory, and it works. So too, the seemingly casual way that people ignore her. It's unsettling and plays to social fears, and it's a great fit for this character.

However, you *know* that it can't be entirely real when Crewman Nobody outlinguists Hoshi. Also, when you hear the *real* Trip and Reed, you're being told it's not real (and also being reminded of "Remember Me" again). From that point forward, it's a hash of those two TNG episodes, Barclay, and Voyager. If I had a bingo card of pilfered plot points, this episode would fill it.

And that's disappointing because all of the previous "inspirations" are more consequential. At least *something* happened in all of them. In "Remember Me", there's a good reason for Beverly's condition, and both she and others have to figure everything out. "The Next Phase" has Geordi and Ro working together, bouncing off each other and actually saving the crew from an alien menace. "Realm of Fear" is perhaps most thematically close to this one, but Barclay still *does* something that has an effect. Barclay also grows in the process.

All Hoshi really "does" in this episode is hallucinate. It's decent for a character study, and for how Hoshi views herself, but Archer's attempt to draw some kind of growth out of this is strained. You can just as easily argue that Hoshi's jumping on the alien pad was as unconsciously scripted as her shower sequence or linguistic meltdown. If anything, Hoshi shows less self-knowledge and insight than either Beverly or Barclay, who are both smart enough to question their own fears and realities.

It's a shame that, fair or not, this episode does more to remind me of previous episodes than stand on its own feet. It's gorgeously filmed. Linda Park's performance is spot on. There are many enjoyable and amusing elements. But I can't help but feel I've seen *all* of it before, and in contexts where it actually mattered to the show, the other characters, and the main character.
Sun, Feb 10, 2013, 7:11pm (UTC -6)
I appreciate Jammer's objectivity towards this series. I have the feeling that most of the comments come from a bias "I'll find something wrong no matter what against Enterprise". I agree that the first 2 seasons were mediocre, but there are some good episodes. Everyone wanted the series to be exceptional from season one; well, most of TV-shows first seasons aren't good (except for Firefly...)

I totally agree with the review and I don't think it's the typical reset button: it wasn't an episode about a big and long arc, it was a quiet and clever way to analyse Hoshi's fears. Auralgami, don't forget that Barclay and Beverly were in their forties, Hoshi is in her twenties. She can't possibly have the same degree of insight or self-knowledge. I also believe Hoshi does question her doubts, in her own way and she's learning. Add to this that the technology used here isn't as comfortable as in the 24th century.

I don't mean to defend Enterprise because I find it exceptional (my favorites still remain TOS and TNG), but because I believe that - while being inferior in comparison to the other Treks - it's still far superior to many other TV shows.
Fri, Feb 15, 2013, 8:37am (UTC -6)
Although I like Hoshi and thought this was a decent vehicle for her (though not a great one as she spends the episode in a state of depression and near-panic and doesn't acquit herself nearly as well as say, Riker in Future Imperfect, a similar situation in which "nothing is real"), the episode suffers from two big failings: the fact that it was pretty obvious it was all imaginary right from the start, and the fact that no explanation is given of how exactly the transporter caused this psychosis in Hoshi's mind.

Plenty of characters from the other Trek series have been "stuck in the pattern buffer" while Scotty or O'Brien or whoever took a few extra seconds to pull them through, but this psychosis has never occurred before; indeed, from the evidence onscreen, people in this situation don't even realize anything went wrong with their transport until they rematerialize. So what happened to Hoshi, and why? Her fear of the transporter isn't enough of an explanation for me, though I guess other people might not mind the ambiguity as much, choosing instead to focus on Hoshi's character moments. Unfortunately, as I mentioned above, I don't think she acquits herself very well, giving in almost immediately to fear and despair, and she just wasn't much fun to watch as her efforts to try to figure out what happened to her mostly seemed to consist of whining at Phlox, feeling sorry for herself, and giving up and going to the gym.

Again I'm reminded of Future Imperfect, an episode of TNG with a similar theme, in which Riker is faced with a reality that is just slightly off. But instead of feeling sorry for himself he gets to the bottom of things, and in an entertaining fashion. Now obviously a green ensign like Hoshi is no Will Riker, but it would have been nice if she showed some initiative at least...

Anyway, I'd give this two stars, maybe two and a half.
Lt. Yarko
Mon, May 13, 2013, 11:35pm (UTC -6)
This was a great episode. It had me guessing the whole time, and when it ended up being a dream, at first I wanted to be annoyed, but then, as I thought over her whole experience, I was more and more impressed. Someone in the comments above complained about how she didn't notice the change in the leadership's command style. That was one of the best aspects of her experience. A normal, more secure Hoshi would have said - hold it. Something is amiss here. But she was in a fearful and insecure nightmare. This was Archer and T'Pol as she fears them: doubtful of her capabilities and unsympathetically pushing her too hard. I, personally, have had so many dreams where I am caught fooling around at work by my boss, and, of course, my boss is really mad about it, regardless of how unlike that my boss might be in real life. I don't know if this level of psychological depth was intentional on the part of the writers, but if it was, it was brilliantly done.
Sun, Mar 16, 2014, 12:33pm (UTC -6)
I thought the episode was boring. I thought it was boring when it was aired, and thought the same thing 10 years later.

It's not that I can't appreciate subtlety and intelligent writing. DS9 is my favourite Star Trek series by a mile, followed by TNG. It's just that nothing in this episode really grabbed me, and mostly I had figured out the twist of the show way before the supposed aliens boarded the ship.

I think Jammer and I have agree on a lot, but not on slow-moving episodes like this. My problem is the lack of build-up to something. There is no build-up or tension or a meaningful resolution. It's rather bland in execution, and the resolution more or less comes out of nowhere. Nothing is really resolved, except for maybe Hoshi's fear of the transporter. That's not enough to carry an episode though.

The episode reminds me more like 'Barge of the Dead' - it's kind of similar. Both plots are slow and boring, and the resolution feels rather weak and unimportant. Jammer liked that episode too. I didn't much care for either.

This episode reminds me a lot of TNG's 'Realm of Fear', which I think was a much more entertaining version of this type of episode. Obviously the Enterprise crew has to go through the motions of it too I guess, but I ultimately found a 'Ream of Fear' to be much more engaging.
Tue, Nov 11, 2014, 1:28am (UTC -6)
What a piece of garbage. Aside from the fact that if you think your molecules are coming apart, you simply would not take it so well that you go for a workout, there was no point to the episode. Does Hoshi face a fear? Ehhhh... Do we learn about transporters? Ehhhh... Does Archer prove, once again, to be confused? Do we see just how awful Blalock's posture is? Well, yes for that: She has lousy posture, which makes her incredibly un-sexy. A worthless episode.
Fri, Dec 5, 2014, 1:55am (UTC -6)
It's good that it was "all a dream" because the science would have been otherwise terrible. Somebodies molecules are starting to come apart so they become invisible. Like gases are invisible right?

Right. So there is that, and it totally explains away the inconsistencies in character because we all know nobody behaves consistently in dreams. But, it presents a sort of "waking during surgery" experience so vivid you'd be surprised nobody in the future has mentioned or experienced it. But then, it has been mentioned in other series that the new double buffers and redundancies have resolved problems 100+ years ago which were never elaborated on, so it's possible this could be seen as filling in the blanks.

Still, 2.5 stars for me because you're all left WTF for most of the episode until it's revealed an imagining, at which point you get an "Ohhh", but for most of the episode you are left feeling that nobody is acting, responding, thinking straight.
Tue, Jan 20, 2015, 11:48am (UTC -6)
Wow, sorry but anybody who thought this episode was anything less than a waste of time has no taste and is very easily amused. There is no biased "I'll find anything wrong" attitude here. I have been actually quite satisfied with the series so far even the off shoot purposeless episodes have been entertaining. But this was horrible. It was painfully obvious from the start that no character was themselves and that Hoshi was having some sort of "dream". Everything that happened just seemed to get more and more outlandish and unreasonable as the episode progressed making feel completely disconnected and worthless to the series storyline since there was no real development at all. They tried to save face at the end by having Archer flat out tell Hoshi "sounds like you overcame your fears" but even she seems totally unconvinced, making that trivial as well. It was just poorly executed and some of the comments about what a good job they did by making subtle adjustments to make you wonder without giving it away... Have you never seen this show? Are you completely ignorant? They were as subtle as getting hit in the face with a brick! I like this series but episodes like this are what caused it's untimely demise. Would have been better to just skip this episode entirely. They took a whiny cry baby of a character and in an attempt to make her grow and become appealing they actually made her look even more weak and unintelligent. Sad...
Fri, Mar 20, 2015, 1:15am (UTC -6)
Totally agree with Jammer on this one - a very impressive and skillfully put together and well directed episode, Linda Park really pulls it off. The audience is masterfully misled but I did have some of the same thoughts as Auralgami that preclude this episode being perfect, but its undeniably above average.
W Smith
Wed, Apr 22, 2015, 9:33am (UTC -6)
A surprisingly fine episode even though the plot is derivative from multiple previous Trek plots. The show rises about that and serves up an interesting mystery. I don't agree that it's necessarily a reset button since the memories are real to Hoshi, and she has to live with the experience (even though there will probably be no follow-up). Park did a fine job, and I've come to the conclusion that the two best characters on the show are the women. Their characters are interesting, rational and professional, while the men are written to be small-minded and childish. Trineer is a fine actor and does what he can with puerile material, but Trip is written to be such a child that it's grating to watch. Hoshi and T'pol are the only adults on the ship (and the boomer, I forgot his name, gets no lines so I don't know what he is), and it just makes the show difficult and unbelievable to watch.
Mallory R
Mon, Jul 13, 2015, 9:44pm (UTC -6)
Not bad for an episode where nothing happens. Park is a talented actress, but I found it immensely implausible that the only tapping a communications expert could think of was Morse code. Shave and a haircut, maybe? Another super predictable episode that doesn't hold up to the laws of physics
Paul Allen
Tue, Nov 10, 2015, 6:29pm (UTC -6)
Wow, really high score for what is ultimately a fairly poor episode - the morse code was a nice touch, the aliens on board trying to plant a bomb, that was all in her head?

Unsatisfying that it was all for nothing.

TNG did this sort of "crewman invisible" episode SO SO much better.
Billy Bob
Tue, Nov 24, 2015, 1:51pm (UTC -6)
Great, a Hoshi episode. 45 mins of watching a bad actress whine and pout.

This character makes Troi seem useful and watchable.

1 star.
Lt. Yarko
Sat, Dec 5, 2015, 9:27pm (UTC -6)
"Wow, sorry but anybody who thought this episode was anything less than a waste of time has no taste and is very easily amused."

Grow up.
i am right
Sun, Mar 20, 2016, 3:49pm (UTC -6)
a science fiction episode, very entertaining and interesting. This is star trek, and roddenberry would approve. If you opinionated whiners want to see bad acting and stories, have a gander at the 1988 series of the twilight zone. Now that is crap. Linda park is a good actress. That is all i have to say on the matter
Diamond Dave
Thu, Apr 14, 2016, 3:45pm (UTC -6)
Colour me among the unimpressed. I also found this to be deathly slow and very heavy-going, seeing as Hoshi spends most of the episode as a whining neurotic. I liked the review analysis that this was all a reflection of Hoshi's fears, but in all honesty that never once occurred to me as I was watching. I just didn't engage with it at all. 1.5 stars.
Thu, Apr 28, 2016, 9:18pm (UTC -6)
I agree with a lot of the commenters, this was not a good episode. The show telegraphs pretty early that Hoshi is not experiencing reality when T'Pol knows why the aliens are upset before communication has been established. Hoshi even asks how this is possible, but moves on without a second thought.

This could have been a good episode if Hoshi had to solve a problem to escape or had some insight to gain about herself from the experience, but neither of these things happen. She, along with the audience, just kind of wade through the dream sequence until we pop out of the tranporter on the other side.

To add insult to injury, the episode tries to foist undeserved character development on Hoshi to justify the dream sequence. Archer tells Hoshi that she overcame her fear of transportation by boarding the dream tranporter platform. First, Hoshi was already a ghost in the dream and everyone thought she was dead so what did she have to lose? Second, it's not like Hoshi had figured out that she was in a dream and had to do something she feared in order to escape back to reality.

As it stands, this episode is a lot of sci/fi concept with little substance. I'm surprised Jammer rated this as highly as he did. We're usually in close agreement.
Sat, Jun 11, 2016, 7:11am (UTC -6)
What happens now? Will Hoshi ever use the transporter again? Will she resign from Starfleet or take a desk job? As this series progresses, it will be interesting to see her reaction when she gets to use transporter again.
Fri, Jul 22, 2016, 1:28pm (UTC -6)
Very nice review Jammer.

@ Mallory R
Mon, Jul 13, 2015, 9:44pm (UTC -5)

"...that doesn't hold up to the laws of physics"

Remember, this is Hoshi's dream and her fear/interpretation of what could/would happen. She's not T'Pol, a science officer.

Linda does a great job, and I enjoy this one each time.

I don't think it's higher than 3 stars though.

3 stars for me.
Tue, Sep 20, 2016, 1:11pm (UTC -6)
Mixed feelings - it's well directed in a psychologically creepy way, and it kept me interested throughout. But that kind of ending is always a letdown, so I couldn't give it more than 2.5 stars. Then again, if it hadn't been a dream there were a lot of things that just wouldn't make sense, so I wasn't sure what to hope for.
Tue, Oct 18, 2016, 12:34pm (UTC -6)
i thought the season started off great but two episodes made me have some hate.

This episode "Vanishing point" was ok until she started vanishing..... ok I can believe she can still walk on the floor due to gravity plating.... Soo ok, she can go through walls and objects, thats ok too .... but then you see her sitting on a desk or sitting on a bench later in the episode thats where I lost it ... Even though its a "dream", I think they should have put more thought in the mechanics... TNG did it better with the Romulan cloak episode

Episode "The communicator" was alrght until they never mentioned the transporter for the rescue and how Archer claims to be an advanced soldier with advanced technology on the brink of a potential war.....But you mentioned that in the review

I came up with the idea that on away missions of that nature, devices and crew members should be equiped with a transporter location chips so that they can beam anyone or anything away to avoid contamination ... problem solved!
Sat, Dec 3, 2016, 2:11pm (UTC -6)
Wow...reminds of 'An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge', at least in it's time span..and partially of Stephen King, assuming anyone else has read his short story, "The Jaunt".
Tue, Apr 11, 2017, 4:15pm (UTC -6)
I'm pretty much with Jammer on this one. One of the stronger eps so far thus season, though I may have leaned more toward 3 stars. This isn't the first or even second time a Trek crew member has become invisible and apparently dead, and spent the episode trying to communicate that they weren't. Happened to Geordi, happened to Janeway; I have to dock it a bit for repetition, even though in this case it turned out to be a delusion.

That idea - the delusional nature of the experience - was a nice surprise, and allowed the ep to 'get away' with a lot which would have otherwise to be explained: why Hoshi can pass through everything except the floor, for example - though I'd point out this is stock standard routine whenever anyone gets invisibled in ST, or indeed ghost story episodes of any TV show. In fairness I suppose the only other way to deal with this is to have them levitate, which would probably look cheesy.

Whether this delusion approach works depends on your POV. To me it allowed for some weird inconsistencies which kept me off balance and intrigued, but if I were of another mind I suppose I would say it just allowed the writers to be sloppy without having to worry about explaining themselves.

And surprise, Hoshi really can carry an episode.

Refreshingly well done.
Jason R.
Mon, May 1, 2017, 5:13pm (UTC -6)
I found it just boring. In Realm of Fear Barclay is at least an interesting character but Hoshi is just... Boring.

As an aside has anyone in Star Trek ever wondered if consciousness survives the trip through the matter transporter? Could it be that every time one goes through the person on the other side isn't really you but just a clone? I only ask because that would be MY fear going through a transporter.

I even sort of thought that Hoshi was experiencibg a variation of that psychiatric condition where a person thinks that everyone around them is an imposter, even themselves.

Those would be some neat ideas for a follow up to Realm of Fear. But I guess not. Instead we get a dream - and a boring one.
Mon, May 1, 2017, 5:40pm (UTC -6)
It's funny seeing this episode very shortly after viewing TNG's "The Next Phase" - both of which are enjoyable episodes. Although it's quite clear from the comments on both episodes that this episode is quite polarizing whereas "The Next Phase" was generally well-liked.
I tend to agree more with Jammer's review here. And I guess what might be benefiting me is not having seen many of the other "similar" episodes mentioned by other commenters.
I thought that the 2nd half of the episode really picked up the suspense after the first half was basically Hoshi worrying about her situation. It's interesting that it's from Hoshi's standpoint -- somebody fairly junior with plenty of insecurities and her mind just takes over and plays up all the situations that she fears (not being able to translate properly, guys not paying much attention to her at dinner).
What I also appreciated is how the crew reacted to her "loss" - Archer trying to deliver the bad news to her dad, Tripp saying she should have gone through the transporter first, etc.
It would have been good to have some resolution about the transporter problem rather than dismiss it glibly, but overall I don't have too many complaints here. I think Linda Park does a good job portraying a young star fleet officers inner fears at work.
I think it is fairly suspenseful, calling it a psychological thriller might be a bit of a stretch, but as I said, it starts out slowly but gets quite interesting later.
I'd rate it 3/4 stars.
Sun, May 28, 2017, 8:24pm (UTC -6)
Am I the only one who gets minorly miffed every time the writers confuse DNA with protein? Trip asks if Phlox is able to pick up Hoshi's DNA with the scanner, and the reply is that no, the "amino acids" (the components of PROTEINS) are too degraded. *facepalm*

I have no problem with fictional Trek science like make-believe elements or strange alien diseases...but when the writers botch simple facts of human biology, it grates on me. These small irritations are sprinkled throughout the other series as well, but seem especially concentrated in Phlox's dialogue. That may just be my perception, though.
Sun, May 28, 2017, 8:50pm (UTC -6)
I also want to add that while this episode is ultimately just another "Oh Shit I'm Invisible!" Trek offering, this one kept me guessing right until the end. While it's obvious quite early on that all is not as it seems, I was hoping the twist would be more interesting, especially once we saw the alien terrorists. I was also hoping that Hoshi's ability as a linguist would come into play on that front. The ending was quite a letdown after all that buildup. :( Still, Sato (ill-timed anxiety, shrillness, bad decisions and all) remains one of my favourite Enterprise characters, and I'm glad to see her get an episode to herself.
Sun, Jun 4, 2017, 12:45pm (UTC -6)
I've never been enthusiastic about ENT, and this episode really didn't change my mind. It felt like it was cobbling together elements we've already seen - Ro and Geordie in 'Out of Phase', Reg and his transporter phobia in 'Realm of Fear', etc - only done with less enthusiasm, creativity and quality. It just didn't go anywhere, and the 'it was all an hallucination' was just another way to reset the clock - something Star Trek in general has always had a problem with, everything resets with no consequences (DS9 to a lesser degree, but in general a serious problem for Trek).

But basically, I can absolutely see why this show was suffering in ratings.
Sat, Jul 29, 2017, 8:36pm (UTC -6)
2 stars. I hate episodes that do anything they want and explains it away with it all happening in the character's head and this is no different. I also thought This sort of story was executed better in TNG "The next phase", "Remember Me" and "Frame of Mind". This episode unfortunately has more in common with the weak TNG" Eye of the Beholder"
Wed, Sep 20, 2017, 11:50am (UTC -6)
People in the comments have compared this episode to tons of other from the other incarnations of Trek. I don't know if anyone mentioned it, but what it brought to mind for me was DS9's "Whispers" in which O'Brien returns to the station and everyone seems to be evil or something. They're locking him out of systems he's normally in charge of and acting very distant towards him. There are several reasons the two episodes remind me of each other. 1) The two actors both did a very compelling job as they lived their alarming dilemma. . . or paranoia? 2) In both, their crewmates seem to be acting suspiciously hostile, 3) In both, as time goes one, you know the ending is going to be a big twist. Because otherwise, things don't add up.

Anyway, I liked this episode a lot (especially for Enterprise's low standards), and personally think Hoshi is the single strongest character on the show. Trip and Flox can be great occasionally, but the writers have them doing too many stupid things (like trying to convince the captain he's got the hots for T'Pol, or sleeping with princesses of other species randomly because who cares about her annoying personality if she looks like a human model, and really, how likely is it that Trip would have the bad luck to be impregnated twice?) Hoshi is consistently written, likable, good at her job, and her only faults are just some mild neuroses that don't actually cause much trouble.

The one mistake the writers made was the other characters being such assholes to Hoshi about being late/not figuring out a simple translation. Their treatment of her made it obvious from that point forward that it all had to be in her head of something.
Fri, Mar 16, 2018, 6:34pm (UTC -6)
This episode seems to be very divisive. People either enjoyed it or felt that it was a boring rehash of older Trek. I count myself among the latter group.

Please let me add a few points to the discussion, to explain why I feel that the episode was crafted poorly - although the main idea was a good one and could've served to characterize Hoshi better.

One problem was that everyone who has a good knowledge of Star Trek will figure out rather quickly what's going on: Like so many people before her, Hoshi is trapped in some sort of illusion (possibly inside her own mind) and probably just needs to wake up. That's what I assumed, and eventually it turned out that I wasn't very far off.

I was immediately reminded of TNG's "Remember Me", in which Dr Crusher fears that everyone around her vanishes without leaving a trace - and her worries turn into a reality. The difference here is that it is not her surroundings, but Hoshi herself that vanishes. But it became clearly pretty early on that, like Dr Crusher, Hoshi was caught in a universe governed by her own mind (her own fears), so it either had to be a parallel universe created by the transporter (unlikely, seemed a bit too far fetched) or Hoshi had to simply be hallucinating the whole thing.

So far, so obvious. Having that figured out without any effort, the pacing of the episode is just off: It is much too slow and boring. The real insult to the audience is though that Hoshi doesn't have to figure anything out. In ANY other similar story, the unconscious character always had to find a way to free themselves:

- Dr Crusher had to realize she was in a parallel universe, in order to escape
- Geordi and Ro Laren had to find a way to de-phase themselves and return to the normal universe ("The Next Phase")
- Dr Bashir had to fight against the deterioration of his mind, in order to stay alive and ultimately wake up (in an early DS9 episode in which he got wounded by a dangerous weapon and felt in a coma)
- The Holo Doctor had to determine whether he was a hologram or a real person (Louis Zimmerman) in Voyager's "Projections"

So the established pattern is, for me, that the captured protagonist has to figure out the reality of his situation in order to escape from it. THAT'S what brings excitement into the story. This episode here was lacking any of that: Hoshi never figured out anything, she was just "along for the ride". She still had no idea what was going on when she was rematerialized. And as other people have pointed out, she sleep-walked through the plot in the sense that she just brushed away things that didn't make sense, such as why another crewmember was suddenly able to break a code that she couldn't. She didn't investigate.

I am sorry, but this episode totally failed for me to shed more light on Hoshi's character - all it did was to make her look stupid. And good character work was the only justification to have this episode in the first place. The main plot was just lame, if you knew it was a hallucination. The ONLY job that this episode had was to be a solid character piece, and it wasn't.

Seems like Hoshi wasn't the only one sleepwalking here. The storywriter was too.
Sat, Mar 17, 2018, 12:23am (UTC -6)
The call between Archer and Hoshi's father is so absurd. Real unintentional humor here. How is this guy our choice to captain this ship again?
Sat, Mar 24, 2018, 5:02pm (UTC -6)
OK episode. Neither original nor compelling, but still watchable. Hoshi is cute and all, but kinda piece of a bore as well. It seems like the writers are begging us to care about her, but there is no character development here.
Fri, Aug 31, 2018, 8:54am (UTC -6)
@Justus said: "this was not a good episode. The show telegraphs pretty early that Hoshi is not experiencing reality".

For that reason, I found this episode to be the worst of Trek I've ever watched (I've seen all episodes of TOS, TNG, DS9 and VOY)! Uh... It had so much potential with good directing and acting, but as it was clear what the mystery was from so early on, I just got really bored -- and getting bored while watching a TV show rarely, if ever, happens to me. 0/5 stars.
Mon, Oct 8, 2018, 4:19pm (UTC -6)
I had a dream in which Jammer rates all episodes that were just a dream really really low. But that dream has vanished. Or has it?
Thu, Oct 11, 2018, 5:27am (UTC -6)
I grew up with undiagnosed Asperger syndrome (autism) with lots of peculiar worries which made me feel unwell, unsettled, etc for my entire childhood and much of my adult life. I am used to feeling invisible and overlooked. I thought Hoshi's performance was perfectly realised. Most neurotypical people clearly don't "get" this.

I empathised with her fear of the transporter. Is someone who comes through the other side still "alive"? Are they still themselves, or a scientific copy? If humans have souls, do we lose them or are they transported too? The possibilities of a transporter are quite horrifying when you think about them. The crew's fear of using it is judged really well - but the darkest and scariest questions are ignored.

The "dream" ending in this case was a logical and well-realised answer to the mystery. The parallel dimension thing could have worked and would have been more in line with other Trek shows but in the end, it's been done a hundred times, and not just by Trek. People have an in-built mania against dream endings because they are often a cop-out. I don't feel that was the case here.

Cyrus Ramsey: good to hear another early Starfleet ghost story and the name alone is very TOS.

As for DITL reviews which someone else mentioned, I recently read some of them and gave up in horror. Not only did I disagree with nearly everything that was said, the DITL reviews reveal a childish lack of insight. I mean Regeneration is one of the best Trek episodes of all time despite the ENT-typical plot holes/damage to continuity it causes, and DITL absolutely destroyed it on every level. There is very little worth reading in their reviews.
Tue, Mar 12, 2019, 12:21am (UTC -6)
Interesting episode, a little hokey at times, but I enjoyed it. I try hard to like Hoshi I really do, but she usually is whiney, anxious, and annoying. I do like her more now than I did in S1 though.

@Jasper - that was funny.
Fri, Sep 27, 2019, 5:15pm (UTC -6)
I thought this one was fun. I liked how they kept making it more realistic and then less realistic again. As Lt Yarko said, the fears are quite specific to Hoshi and also we’ve seen the opposite being really true, Archer and T’Pol have been very supportive of her before. This also brings Archer’s dreadful attempt at informing Mr Sato of Hoshi’s death into context - he’s hopeless at communicating without his communications officer, at least in her mind!

I guess I like this episode theme anyway - the Crusher one is the best, the Seven one is pretty good too. One woman vs her imagination on a weird and lonely ship.

The aliens were Trip and Reed right? I thought I could see/hear them, and they clearly represented the two men messing with the transporter controls.
Mon, Nov 25, 2019, 12:03pm (UTC -6)
The dialogue between Archer and Hoshi's father was atrocious. It reminded me of mid-90s video game dialogue. Why did Berman and Braga think they could write like 80% of a 26 episode season?

I have to buck the trend and say that I find Linda Park a really good actress and Hoshi a good, realistic character that we haven't seen in Trek before. But with boring, recycled plots like these, they really do a disservice to the character.

As to the transporter element, I think Berman and Braga made a mistake by even having that technology available to them at the very start of the show. It actually would have been an interesting development if somewhere around this point in the show, Starfleet develops the technology and forces the installation of it on Enterprise, much to the reluctance of the crew. Because T'Pol is Vulcan and they have utilized transporters for some time, even she is reluctant to use the transporter because it was engineered by humans. We could have then further explored the issue of bigoted beliefs from the lens Vulcans against the "primitive" humans.
Wed, Nov 27, 2019, 5:07pm (UTC -6)
"The dialogue between Archer and Hoshi's father was atrocious."

I think they did this on purpose. After all, it isn't supposed to be an actual dialogue between these two people. The entire scene was something that a very transporter-obsessed (and transporter-phobic) Hoshi dreamt up in her mind.

On that level, I think, the "dialogue" works pretty well.

"As to the transporter element, I think Berman and Braga made a mistake by even having that technology available to them at the very start of the show."

To be fair, they really didn't want to do that. It was the network (UPN) that demanded the most iconic piece of Trek technology to be present in the show. The "Temporal Cold War" silliness was also decreed by the network. Seriously, had B&B been allowed to produce the prequel scenario they wanted to make, Enterprise would have been a far better show. Or at the very least , a stronger prequel.

(I say this as a fan of Enterprise. I really love this show, but it *could* have been miles better if the UPN suits didn't butt their noses into B&B's creative process)
Some Commenter
Fri, Jul 17, 2020, 2:08pm (UTC -6)
Curiously enough, I didn't mind much the "it was a dream" on this episode- whereas I'm usually quite vexed with this kind of narrative- it has been compared as a watered down "The Inner Light", and I can quite easily see the resemblance. At least, the part of that great episode and this one that made both actually work.

And it's that, for all of the mystery and weirdness going on, much like "The Inner Light" made it clear from the start as well as throughout the narrative where Picard's experiences were actually happening... "Vanishing Point" does something quite similar.

Aside from the fact that from the very get go it is made obvious that the storm may cause the transporter malfunction of the week (made worse by how much of an early model this is), throughout the episode we get a very to-the-face "clue", in the form of the voices Hoshi sometimes hears. It is not focused on throughout the plot until it's time for the closing act; but it is the episode saying "yes, we know what this is- you know what it is, too: just enjoy it."
Thu, Sep 3, 2020, 2:26pm (UTC -6)
Episode works because Hoshi is hot and a Linda Park is a great actress.

I liked the story. I think it might have worked better had it not been a dream though. There was an episode in TNG where Geordi and Ro get temporarily cloaked. I'd have preferred something similar for this episode of Enterprise - e.g. if there was a transporter accident owing to the storm AND the aliens trying to use their own technology to get on Enterprise undetected - the result of which was Hoshi going out of phase/technobabble.

Then have the same scenario play out. Except the thing about Hoshi not understanding languages part which didn't make sense. I would keep the part with Hoshi stepping onto the pad and overcoming her fear.

I wish we had more Hoshi episodes. Especially because in the pilot it appeared that Archer specifically requested her for the mission suggesting they were friends.
Paul C
Sat, Sep 19, 2020, 1:11pm (UTC -6)
So Cyrus Ramsey stepped into the transporter... and vanished. Sure I’ve heard something similar before...

Interesting build up to this episode but awful ending. Such a disappointment.
Sean J Hagins
Tue, Dec 1, 2020, 8:06pm (UTC -6)
I didn't dislike this episode, but it is just kind of there for me. This kind of thing has been done too much. I just don't think it adds much
Bob (a different one)
Sat, Feb 27, 2021, 2:21pm (UTC -6)
It's The Next Phase but without an ending. Perfectly watchable, but not much more. I wish Hoshi had gotten some stronger scripts. The actress is quite good, and I find the character interesting.
Frake's Nightmare
Thu, Mar 4, 2021, 2:14pm (UTC -6)
f***ing obvious from the start. My advice - make up a more interesting episode in your head if you persist in watching this.
Chris Nash
Wed, Apr 14, 2021, 8:31am (UTC -6)
I don't think I can say any more than what's already been said regarding how this episode riffs of of half a dozen previous Trek outings. I found annoyingly derivative in many ways, but with flashes of brilliance. Jammer's right to call out its psychological character study aspects; Enterprise is at its best when it's developing its characters (which is why I very much enjoyed the previous episode, "Singularity", as it was mainly about interactions between the main cast).

I realised early on that the whole scenario could be a dream: the scene on the bridge, where Hoshi fails to translate the alien language and the other crew implore her to "just talk to them", is practically a repeat of the scene in "Fight or Flight" where she had to do the same thing with the aliens there. Only this time, it doesn't all work out happily, and she's shown-up in her area of expertise by a no-name crewman. I thought this fit very well with the dream-like nature of her experience - dreams, or nightmares, often feature rehashes of things that happened in real life, and especially memorable moments that we naturally dwell upon.
Thu, May 13, 2021, 9:01pm (UTC -6)
I CANNOT BELIEVE this is rated so high. So so so wrong. This was absolutely terrible. So bad I was offended at the end that they would seem this showable.
Fri, Nov 5, 2021, 5:21pm (UTC -6)
2 stars. This episode borrows heavily from the TNG episode where Ro and Geordi were phased shifted, including the subplot about alien sabotage. The "dream" twist at the end is new, but doesn't overcome the lack of originality. Linda Park does a fine job here, despite the reset button push at the end.
Sun, Mar 6, 2022, 1:29pm (UTC -6)
I actually found series 1 of enterprise sort of OK, but the deeper in to S2 I get the more tired and bland the series seems to be becoming.

This was clearly an 'it was all a dream' episode from the start. It didn't really do anything new or clever.
Wed, Mar 16, 2022, 2:19am (UTC -6)
In the words of Monty Python, on the back of one of their books: “Well, I liked it, states non-Nazi”. I also like the theme song. So I expect I am in the minority here. Which is fine. I’d never join a club that would have me, as Groucho said. Basically, I agree with the Jammer analysis. I’m sure there will be other shows with brainless explosions galore to appease the haters. And the story it reminded me of was the astounding “Overdrawn at the Memory Bank” by John Varley. Peace out.
Wed, Mar 16, 2022, 10:15am (UTC -6)
To all those complaing that over that this was just a dream. Star trek is not reality, it is a phantasie.

It was a "reset" episode. Depending on it's context it can work more or less good. Here it worked fine. I am one of those who accepts and likes the acting of Linda Park. The script suited her and she conducted it fine.

There is a clear similrity to previous episode Singularity. Something slowly going insane. Perpahs it should have been aired in another order.

By the way there is also quite much complaining over actor / character Montgomery /Maywether. Both Park and Montgomery have quite small rolls still compared with the permanent cast on Discovery they were quite often allowed to articulate severa sentencec after each other. In Season 1 and 2 parts of the cast was more or less silent all the time.

I do appreciate Enterprise more and more,
Fri, Apr 22, 2022, 11:15pm (UTC -6)
I actually think this is one of the best episodes of Enterprise. I think Jammer is dead on with the review. Creepy, suspenseful, and does a great job of exploring human anxiety. Also Linda Park is definitely a good actor.
Mon, Sep 5, 2022, 4:50pm (UTC -6)
To the extent that a first viewing reveals our true feelings about an episode, I can safely say that this one was not good.

It could have been good....but alas, it really wasn't. Now let me say that Hoshi is a well-liked character in my household. I do not find Hoshi to be a whiner. I generally look forward to seeing her in episodes. I look forward to episodes with Linda Park in them. Furthermore, I have no problem with trope-laden plot lines, even those being hitched up to antique buckboards used in Westerns that were in summer re-runs while Eisenhower was President. After all, that's all any of us really have.

So what went wrong here? What made this episode interminable? Bad directing, repetitive scenes and overwhelming incidental music that killed the viewing experience. Nuff said.
Tue, Feb 28, 2023, 10:16pm (UTC -6)
Hoshi is awesome.
Great work!
Wed, Apr 19, 2023, 1:11pm (UTC -6)
Good points about this episode was that it featured the beautiful Hoshi. Bad points are that it is so bad its not funny. It makes no sense and the end is anti climactic and almost seems like a poor choice of several possible alternate endings. And even if the point of the episode was for Hoshi to overcome her fear if transporters in her dream state then that fails as well because she ends up even more scared of the transporter. Literally a waste of an hour apart from featuring Hoshi for more than her usual few lines per episode.
Justin V
Fri, May 12, 2023, 4:01pm (UTC -6)
Hoshi is awesome. I don't understand the hate for Keiko. Hoshi is in my top five of Trek characters amd Keiko stood up to fascists. Watch this show again in this age of fascists. This show is exceptional, the writing is very good. The last handful of episodes are exceptional.
Sat, May 27, 2023, 7:13pm (UTC -6)
DITL is a website featuring the opinions of two people. There is no analysis in its review - this is a statement of fact, not a belief. Just a star rating. So basically people who use the fact that DITL didn’t like an episode are saying, ‘Well guess what? Two people on the Internet who’ve never actually provided commentary on an episode hated this episode. Take THAT, would-be thought articulating abominations because you disagree with DITL and Me!”
Michael Miller
Thu, Jul 27, 2023, 1:21am (UTC -6)
Very thrilling episode, but the way it was executed could have been better. I agree with most of the comments here that the plot holes made it too obvious it wasn't reality. When I saw this episode the first time I really didn't think about it that much but after the 2nd time it became obvious that it was fundamentally flawed. Such as when Hoshi made it obvious on the bridge that the hostage situation was insane and couldn't have happened and points out no bio signs were on the planet and T'pol just stares in confusion. Then there was the issue of the "secondary phase coils" not aligning, which was discovered only after they investigated what actually happened. Why the hell wouldn't that have been realized, even in the fake hallucination, right from the start as they were transporting her? Even within the dream world, it didn't make much sense, such as people appearing deaf to her talking before she started dephasing, and that call to her parents was so artificial. The dad had like no reaction by the end, and Archer could barely finish a sentence. She was also never in that Jeffries tube at any point so why even in the dream world would "residue" be found there, and since she was just invisible/phased, why would there even be residue then. Endless contradictions. They also could have made it less dream-like from Hoshi's POV. Like she knew she could pass through objects yet was trapped in the gym? Then you have these aliens that were on board all this time yet no one encountered them or detected them, you have one crawling around on the warp core setting up some device with people actually IN engineering and no one notices? Hoshi knows the aliens can't see her yet hides in a vent to watch them? When she was pushing buttons before she was fully phased, the buttons themselves didn't work, not that she wasn't able to press them to begin with, so how do you explain that? Then we have Archer casually dismissing her distress as well as the insane fake hostage situation which made no sense, as well as forgetting about the SOS Morse code call 20 seconds later. The other crew members were also acting very robotic and zombie-like which immediately gave away something was off. Aside from the plot execution, there are the science questions, which becomes an issue in all these being "phased" episodes. Such as if you can pass through matter how can you walk on the floor, how can you BREATHE for that matter? With all the technobabble they spurt constantly they could have at least had them say something like "Well the gravity plating affects even phased matter" or something. The other episodes like this, Frame of Mind, the one with commander Riker and that Ethan kid alone on that planet with the holograms (forgot the name), The next phase, Projections, that voyager episode with the communal dream, were all much better implementations. Still 3 stars though, very fun.
Tue, Oct 10, 2023, 11:57am (UTC -6)
As soon as you hear the voices saying “you can do it hoshi” you know it’s all a dream. I feel like i was watching a different episode.

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