Star Trek: Enterprise
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
Like this site? Support it by buying Jammer a coffee.
69 comments on this post
Wed, Jul 30, 2008, 7:17pm (UTC -5)
Sat, Jan 9, 2010, 6:58pm (UTC -5)
Fri, Apr 16, 2010, 2:09pm (UTC -5)
Sat, Aug 7, 2010, 11:17am (UTC -5)
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 -5)
3 would work for me I think.
Sat, Nov 19, 2011, 2:45am (UTC -5)
Sat, Nov 19, 2011, 10:45am (UTC -5)
Mon, Feb 20, 2012, 5:18pm (UTC -5)
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 -5)
I had more fun watching "Threshold" or even the next episode than this steaming pile of poo
Tue, Sep 4, 2012, 6:27pm (UTC -5)
Fri, Dec 14, 2012, 10:01am (UTC -5)
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 -5)
...to 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 -5)
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 -5)
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.
Mon, May 13, 2013, 11:35pm (UTC -5)
Sun, Mar 16, 2014, 12:33pm (UTC -5)
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 -5)
Fri, Dec 5, 2014, 1:55am (UTC -5)
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 -5)
Fri, Mar 20, 2015, 1:15am (UTC -5)
Wed, Apr 22, 2015, 9:33am (UTC -5)
Mon, Jul 13, 2015, 9:44pm (UTC -5)
Tue, Nov 10, 2015, 6:29pm (UTC -5)
Unsatisfying that it was all for nothing.
TNG did this sort of "crewman invisible" episode SO SO much better.
Tue, Nov 24, 2015, 1:51pm (UTC -5)
This character makes Troi seem useful and watchable.
Sat, Dec 5, 2015, 9:27pm (UTC -5)
Sun, Mar 20, 2016, 3:49pm (UTC -5)
Thu, Apr 14, 2016, 3:45pm (UTC -5)
Thu, Apr 28, 2016, 9:18pm (UTC -5)
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 -5)
Fri, Jul 22, 2016, 1:28pm (UTC -5)
@ 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 -5)
Tue, Oct 18, 2016, 12:34pm (UTC -5)
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 -5)
Tue, Apr 11, 2017, 4:15pm (UTC -5)
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.
Mon, May 1, 2017, 5:13pm (UTC -5)
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 -5)
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 -5)
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 -5)
Sun, Jun 4, 2017, 12:45pm (UTC -5)
But basically, I can absolutely see why this show was suffering in ratings.
Sat, Jul 29, 2017, 8:36pm (UTC -5)
Wed, Sep 20, 2017, 11:50am (UTC -5)
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 -5)
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 -5)
Sat, Mar 24, 2018, 5:02pm (UTC -5)
Fri, Aug 31, 2018, 8:54am (UTC -5)
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 -5)
Thu, Oct 11, 2018, 5:27am (UTC -5)
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 -5)
@Jasper - that was funny.
Fri, Sep 27, 2019, 5:15pm (UTC -5)
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 -5)
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 -5)
"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)
Fri, Jul 17, 2020, 2:08pm (UTC -5)
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 -5)
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.
Sat, Sep 19, 2020, 1:11pm (UTC -5)
Interesting build up to this episode but awful ending. Such a disappointment.
Tue, Dec 1, 2020, 8:06pm (UTC -5)
Sat, Feb 27, 2021, 2:21pm (UTC -5)
Thu, Mar 4, 2021, 2:14pm (UTC -5)
Wed, Apr 14, 2021, 8:31am (UTC -5)
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 -5)
Fri, Nov 5, 2021, 5:21pm (UTC -5)
Sun, Mar 6, 2022, 1:29pm (UTC -5)
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 -5)
Wed, Mar 16, 2022, 10:15am (UTC -5)
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 -5)
Mon, Sep 5, 2022, 4:50pm (UTC -5)
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 -5)
Wed, Apr 19, 2023, 1:11pm (UTC -5)
Fri, May 12, 2023, 4:01pm (UTC -5)
Sat, May 27, 2023, 7:13pm (UTC -5)
Submit a comment
◄ Season Index