Star Trek: Enterprise

“Azati Prime”

3.5 stars.

Air date: 3/3/2004
Teleplay by Manny Coto
Story by Rick Berman & Brannon Braga and Manny Coto

"Patience is for the dead." — Mantra of the terminally impatient

Review Text

In brief: The most satisfying payoff yet this season.

"Azati Prime" is setup, payoff, cliffhanger, timeline silliness, humor, suspense, and special effects rolled into a single episode with some characters whose behavior I didn't always quite believe. While I have some problems with this episode, I will say this: There is no denying that it's loads of fun, and involving in an immediate way. It's an episode where I honestly did not know how it was going to end (it doesn't end, actually, because it's a cliffhanger), and given recent anemic installments like "Hatchery" and "Harbinger," that's saying something.

I also must give credit to this episode's use of continuity and elements from past episodes. While it's safe to say that I have not been sold on this season of Enterprise because of its uneven storytelling, there are some strands that come together in "Azati Prime" and work. The episode uses little pieces from other episodes — even failed ones — that further a larger cause here.

Yes, the Temporal Cold War is still an unlikely, contrived mess. Yes, the Xindi still seem like witless pawns in an implausible timeline chess game. But at least we're given a few reasons for why they are witless pawns, and at least the temporal silliness is written with enough self-awareness to include a starship named the "Enterprise-J."

The crew finally reaches the colony at Azati Prime, where The Weapon is being built. The mission: Go in and investigate. To get inside the defense perimeter undetected, Trip and Mayweather use the Xindi insectoid shuttle obtained in "Hatchery" — which at least gives some small justification for the existence of that mediocre hour.

Important to the effect of "Azati Prime" is that it carries some conviction. The urgency for stopping this over-the-top uber-weapon is made reasonably convincing in the context of the story at hand. In one scene, Archer gives a grim order to destroy a Xindi listening post that has detected the Enterprise, lest they transmit that finding back to the colony. This is a potent moment, because it grows out of logical necessity but also represents a point of no return and an inherently tough call. It's good to see Archer still shows pause in killing three Xindi who are just doing their jobs, even if his order is legitimate for the purpose of defending billions back on Earth.

In another scene, we see Degra talking with a colleague, expressing his reservations about destroying an entire planet. I'm glad this Degra is the same as the one in the Archer-manufactured scenario of "Stratagem." Reassured by his colleague that the attack on Earth is to protect the Xindi from their own destruction, Degra muses: "That's what I keep telling myself. But the reality is, a good number of the dead will be innocents — and children." Scenes like this are welcome and necessary to keep the situation grounded in some form of human feeling instead of simply turning it into a big comic book.

That's not to say "Azati Prime" doesn't have its share of comic-book elements. Particularly, we have the main antagonist in this episode (and all Xindi episodes), the nameless Xindi reptilian commander (Scott MacDonald, a Trek alum whose guest roles date all the way back to Tosk in DS9's "Captive Pursuit"). This ham-handed villain, who has always been impatient to the point of absurdity, has a line here that's appropriate, stupid, or maybe both: "Patience is for the dead." Here's a guy who flat-out wants to blow up Earth — ASAFP — and will have none of Degra's time-wasting Voice of Reason. But couldn't they at least give this guy a name?

Trip and Mayweather's reconnaissance mission eventually supplies us with a terrific visual: We see the weapon being built at a vast, underwater construction site. It's one of those expansive, detailed, sci-fi opticals that stands alone as simply an awesome sight to behold, like the Borg transwarp hub in "Endgame" or the Suliban space-pod array in "Broken Bow." It's a shot made chilling by our knowledge that this sphere is being built to destroy our world.

When Trip and Mayweather return with the reconnaissance data, the crew comes up with a plan to use the insectoid shuttle to get torpedoes inside the weapon and set off a chain reaction to destroy it. This would be a suicide mission. Archer says he will helm it, because "I won't order anyone else to die." (Although, isn't that part of the captain's job, however distasteful?)

About this time, Archer is pulled 400 years into the future, where Daniels explains that Archer cannot sacrifice himself because he must negotiate a future peace with the Xindi. But I find myself agreeing with Archer: Daniels and his future "knowledge" is probably not worth the paper it hasn't been printed on yet. (Given the events of "Carpenter Street," I'd be tempted to tell Daniels to take his temporal nonsense and shove it.)

But Daniels confirms suspicions we've had since "Harbinger," by explaining that the sphere-builders, for their own self-serving reasons, have manipulated the Xindi into their current mission to destroy Earth. Apparently, in Daniels' future, the Xindi are part of the Federation, all of which is at war with the sphere-builders. How does this fit with the established Trekkian timeline? Better question: Who cares?

Really, the whole timeline is presented as a sort of believe-it-or-not (mostly not) exercise in surrealism. I will be impressed and probably amazed if it can ultimately make any sort of sense that jibes with Trek reality as we know it apart from this series — or, for that matter, within this series. Like I've said before, it's basically an X-Files pseudo-plot. But the X-Files could sometimes be entertaining even when I didn't buy what was actually happening, and that's the effect with the timeline elements in "Azati Prime."

As for the rest of the plot, it works, it moves forward with a thoroughly compelling urgency, and it pulls together some pieces we've seen scattered throughout the season. I will reserve my judgment of the timeline games for another day.

T'Pol tries using logical arguments to dissuade Archer from his decision to pilot the suicide mission. Then she blurts out, almost uncontrollably, "I don't want you to die!" — which, I must say, snapped me right out of the show with its overstated goofiness. Even though I've become aware that T'Pol's emotionalism will eventually be explained in upcoming shows, I still found it to be an unwanted distraction here. There's simply enough going on without having T'Pol making spontaneous and vaguely out-of-character confessions and (later) locking herself away in the captain's ready room in a terribly unprofessional manner at an inappropriate time.

Obviously, Archer doesn't die in the suicide mission. Instead, he's captured en route by a Xindi patrol, which prompts the show's most humorous scene, where Archer gets interrogated and beat up by the reptilians. It's fun because Archer is characterized exactly like he was in "The Andorian Incident"; he answers questions with rambling, smart-assed digressions aimed to provoke. This provides a good counter to the reptilian commander's inherent impatience: Archer simply pisses him off more, meaning more fun for us. Archer takes his licking and keeps on ticking.

But the most critical scenes are the ones between Archer and Degra. They carry the episode's real weight and suspense, because they pose the question: Can the tide be turned and a mutual understanding reached, despite the mistrust and carnage that has preceded this? It also works because the actors are convincing. We learned in "Stratagem" that Randy Oglesby was a solid performer who just needed something to do. Here he gets more to do and takes Degra to a place where he's not sure if he can trust anybody anymore.

The reptilians have apparently been hiding information and conspiring with "her" — a female sphere-builder, I presume — which at least supplies an explanation for why people like Degra have been misled. I guess that makes the reptilians either Pure Evil or obsessed with their own woefully misguided beliefs of the human threat. Or total dupes of the sphere-builders.

Meanwhile, the Enterprise is attacked and takes a pounding that's as vicious as any attack seen on Trek since the Defiant was destroyed in "The Changing Face of Evil." Clichéd as it might be, the zoom-in on T'Pol's eyes is the perfect touch, and without words says what needs to be said, namely: "This is it. We're in deep trouble."

Bottom line: This is possibly the most entertaining episode of Enterprise yet this season. It's not what I would call deep, and I'm still severely doubting any possible veracity in Daniels' timeline, but "Azati Prime" has enough of the right pieces. It has the performances, uses solid storytelling and well-placed 'splosions, has a terrific score by Jay Chattaway and efficient direction by Allan Kroeker. It took awhile to get here, but this season has finally provided at least one exciting payoff.

Previous episode: Hatchery
Next episode: Damage

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Comment Section

51 comments on this post

    You to mention the special guest star. Oh wait, that was Travis. Seriously, is this guy a "token black" or what? I find it disturbing that there are so many Star Trek episodes that take a moral high ground on hatred and prejudice, yet the directors have marginalized virtually all people of color.

    I just had to get this off my chest. Other than that, this is a good episode.

    I second the mildly offensive tone taken with Travis throughout the series. This poor guy could have been any old rotating day players. Its ridiculous that they couldn't find ANYTHING for him to do when he (you'd think) has the most experience in deep space. Even when a pilot is desperately needed, more times than not, it's Tucker who gets the nod!
    As to the general arc of this season... wouldn't this season have been more exciting and more emotionally involving through character work if all of the timeline games had been excised? Why exactly is the 'Temporal Cold War' necessary to this story arc?! It could have just been Earth's struggle (for the first time) against not just an aggressive alien threat, but an alternate dimensional threat, as well. Perhaps, even shaking up Earth's entire outlook on the galaxy.
    You could have even skirted the 'how this impacts on the known ST timeline' by having the Xindi vitually wiped out at the end of the arc with the remaining small populations going into seclusion as they attempt to save their cultures. Especially, since you could have Archer express fears that the Insectoid and Reptilians seems unlikely to forgive the other races for their "betrayal" and then leave it at that. The fan could then extrapolate that they could have been wiped out by Kirk's time, or so dispersed that they haven't been met again (in a way that Guinan's people are dispersed across the known galaxy).

    I never had a problem with this particular rewriting of backstory concerning the Xindi becoming a part of the federation. I simply assumed that there was no reason to mention them in either Kirk or Picard's eras. I always assumed the federation was bigger than just the races displayed on previous shows.

    As for Azati Prime itself, it's by far one of Trek's better hours, and one of Enterprise's finest hours after 3 seasons of buildup. The Enterprise takes the most vicious pounding I've seen on television Trek (only the movies could afford the same on-set pyrotechnics). Easily the best losing battle since the loss of the Defiant on DS9. A turning point for a uneven season that ended on a high note, and actually gave me some hope for Trek's future as a franchise.

    I think the problem with Travis is not the character of Travis, but the portrayal by Anthony Montgomery. His performance is just too wooden for me to even care about Travis. I see no depth or complexity in his performance. When the actor is interviewed, he displays far more nuance of personality than we ever get with Travis.

    Conversely, Tim Russ did an excellent job of portraying Tuvok on Voyager. I loved every episode of Voyager that focused on Tuvok because I knew we would get a powerhouse performance from Russ.

    This is all to say that I think the powers-that-be at Enterprise realized that Montgomery's performance was a handicap and so they sidelined his character as much as possible.

    I will say that I did enjoy the subplot of Demons and Terra Prime that involved him with Gannett. I appreciated that they kept giving him chances and I do think he did a decent job with that plot. Perhaps I suspended my disbelief in his performance abilities and went with the intriguing plot. Or perhaps his portrayal of the role got better by that point.

    And as far as Azati Prime goes, excellent episode that I would give 4 stars to.

    Strange how the idea of Travis having nothing to do on the show is so worthy of comment in this episode, an episode where he has more to do than any previous episode of the season. Also, the only offensive thing about his sidelining is that fact that people think it's racist! Seriously. It could be because his acting hasn't been particularly good in the couple of episodes he had the lead. It could be that the writers chose to focus on three main characters as opposed to an ensemble type show. The idea that the only explanation is because the writers were racist is an affront to the work Star Trek has done in promoting strong black characters. Sisko, Worf, Tuvok...

    Maybe next you'll get angry that Doctor Crusher had nothing to do in the movies because the writers didn't like redheads.

    A quality 44 mins of ENTERPRISE. I feel that Mister Daniels has lost all credability but what else choice does Archer once he caught? Even the Xindi see this. Which is a problem with this show, but it was enjoyable nontheless. :)

    And so we now await the reset button.

    That's what I thought at the end of this episode. It's not like Archer is really going to be put to death or Enterprise is going to be destroyed.

    BTW, why is Hoshi somehow less a "person of color"? urfriend's racism is showing.

    The problem with the Travis Mayweather wasn't that the character was underused; it's that the actor was named in the opening credits. If he had been part of the ensemble, like the nurses on "ER" or the lab rats on "CSI," no one would've complained about his lack of screen time.

    Well, this was entertaining.

    I will say this on Enterprise: no matter how bad the writing, how ridiculous the story, how moronic the characters, there will always be one constant redeeming quality throughout the show, much like any other Trek series: great production values.

    As Jammer said, we have the terrific visual of the underwater construction site, but I will add two more things that really impressed me (no no, really!) in this episode: the absolutely stunning makeup work of the Reptilian commander (which, I was glad to find out, was portrayed by the same actor who did Tosk on DS9) and of course, the very spectacular end-sequence where we see Enterprise being pummeled near to death by Xindi ships. These three items would almost make me forget the usual share of nonsense we're being fed in this episode.

    Alas, nonsense there is. Starting with the increasingly-annoying-and-terminally-incomprehensible Temporal Cold War BS. Every time I see Daniels appear I think to myself "UGH! HIM again???". Jammer says: "who cares" and indeed it is tough to feel any other way.

    Also, there is Archer. The "hero" captain who decides he must take command of the suicide mission himself, and then ends up being taken prisoner and beaten for GAZILLIONTH time in the series. It also shows weaknesses in the script on the part of the Reptilians, because despite their very cool makeup and supposedly ruthless attitude, their torture techniques are limited to using Archer as a punching bag. I would have really liked to see them get creative with futuristic tools (after all Archer deserves it).

    In any case, despite all the negatives this was an episode I enjoyed. It has entertainment, good visuals, a sense of jeopardy. Even though it probably sets us for the inevitable Reset Buttom[TM], I'll enjoy the ride while it lasts (YES, the cliffhanger actually made me want to see what's next, which is hardly what ANY episode so far in the series managed to do; that's saying a lot).

    " The idea that the only explanation is because the writers were racist is an affront to the work Star Trek has done in promoting strong black characters. Sisko, Worf, Tuvok..."

    I feel more than compelled to add Uhura to this list. People seem to forget that TOS premiered on an over-the-air network in 1967!

    As to the episode: "Fantastic!" Some of the best CGI SFX work I've seen on an episodic TV series - combined with a truly suspenseful and compelling script. Throw in the best use of continuity since DS9 and you've got a real winner!!

    As a person of color, I think we can be mature enough to have an adult conversation about race without pegging somebody as a "racist" for a valid opinion. I felt Geordi got a bad play on TNG with Mayweather-esque episodes that rarely went deep into Geordi's character - unarguably, his character arc was not nearly developed as the other members of the main cast (even Data had a couple of girl friends, Geordi's girl was imaginary!) But the show came out in the late 80s, and I suspect during a time of shall we say heightened racial awareness, the writers, and perhaps the viewership wasn't quite ready for Geordi. Enter Sisko. I think Avery Brooks was picked for that role *because* he is an over the top actor. The counter to Geordi. Having said all of that, Mayweather's character is lamentably executed. But I get it... Mayweather is kind of a slightly older Wesley Crusher. He's a young and talented pilot who takes control of the flag ship at a relatively young age - he seems like a kid who's just happy to be given the opportunity over more experienced helmsmen. And if my assessment is correct, maybe his character is not so bad after all.

    Now having said all that! This episode was my favorite so far. Call it schadenfreude, but I loved this episode because Enterprise got jacked up, and I loved the Voyager 2 part episode when that ship got jacked up. T'Pol's emotionalism was unexpected for me as well, but it had the opposite effect. It was interesting to see a vulnerable Vulcan. I'm not a fan of that race because they offend my human sensibilities lol. No one could possibly stay so calm when their ship was 2 more hits from exploding in the expanse, which obviously more painful than exploding in normal space.

    I read somewhere that B&B wrote the temporal cold war without really thinking about it. That I find very easy to believe. There's no indication of thought behind it and it just seems like something that was built into the show without any rhyme or reason. They don't ever even reveal who Future Guy is for goodness sakes. I wouldn't mind a show about the temporal cold war. Hell, it'd be pretty awesome. Set the show in the 26th, 27th, 28th, 29th, 30th, 31st century or some other time and just have at it. It'd be a fun show on its own. However, it's extremely out of place here.

    This is supposed to be the official Star Trek prequel. As such, it should be dealing with prequely setting up things. The fourth season is really what the show should have been to begin with and maybe it would have made a decent show. I wouldn't mind a remake of Enterprise with actually competent writers. I would love to learn more about the beginnings of the Federation and Starfleet with actual cerebral plots that take full advantage of the premise of Star Trek prequel instead of being a mediocre action show very much a product of its time. The temporal cold war shouldn't be here. I wouldn't mind seeing this Enterprise and Archer and company in a show on the temporal cold war and for that matter any of the other crews we know and love. But it shouldn't be the sole reason why people are doing what they do in these extended story arcs. It's just silly.

    Anyway, one thing that bugged me about this episode was Daniels. The last time he pulled Archer into the future in Shockwave, he caused all of history to change and there to be no Federation in the 31st century. Why did this not happen again when Daniels pulled him into the 26th century? That really bugged me. I kind of liked the Enterprise J, though. I like the idea nad I kind of want to know more about it. However, the writers seem to make a habit of violating their own rules. How does the timeline change when pulling Archer out? In Shockwaye it seemed to happen instantly, in Carpenter Street it seemed to happen in waves. Here, nothing seems to happen at all. The writers aren't exactly consistent here. Bottom line, the temporal cold war nonsense needs to get out of this show. And thankfully it does mostly by the beginning of season 4.

    Wow, that was a breathtaking last act. Amazing to see the ship so... battered (though I can't help thinking there will probably be a timeline reset button thing)

    Nice to finally see some explanation, even if the Xindi still were a bit too quick to believe it.

    Glad to hear there will be an explanation of T'Pol's emotionalism - it's too overstated. Spock had his "Jim!!" moment and of course the end of ST2, but it felt a lot more natural and believable in the brief slips of his mask. Maybe it's just because he's the original Vulcan, I don't know.

    Anyway amazing stuff, and I'm itching to play the next one.
    "Must sacrifice morality"? Oh no not again :P
    (That reminds me though, destroying that moon base with 3 people on it. I could understand that, and appreciated Archer's discomfort - I felt this was a lot better than him snarling "even if it means killing YOU" at Simm or shoving someone in an airlock)

    I feel that Enterprise has more than its share of mediocre actors, but the worst for me is the guy who plays Reed. He is terrible to the point of being comical. Really the only regular actors who consistently deliver are Trineer and Billingsley.

    Maybe I was expecting too much from this episode but I just can't feel the love as much as everyone else. Maybe I was hoping too much for this to be the start of the meat of this season and it ended up feeling like too much of the same.

    - What kind of listening post requires 4 hours to send a message? Kind of pointless isn't it? And in 4 hours, with only 3 occupants, surely anyone being 'listened' to could go in and take them out without killing them.

    - Archer's rational for going in alone on a suicide mission is poorly justified, though I appreciate the references to past episodes. He just comes across as bone-headed and weak, and it telegraphs the fact that he'll be captured and be forced into diplomacy.

    - Why does Daniels wait until this point in the piece to make the big reveals? Because there would be less action if we learned of it earlier, that's why. No logical reason whatsoever. For that matter, why didn't Starfleet send out 2 ships into the Expanse - 1 to try the diplomatic angle and a second to back them up militarily if they failed? Instead we get this Voyager-like, go it alone bull.

    - Why does Archer further antagonise the Reptilian commander? There is no tactical advantage here. Sure, he wants the guy to kill him and be done with it, but then he must know if his ship is captured they'll be less likely to be spared if the Reptilian commander is provoked.

    - Some of the speach-making was cringe-worthy and lame. Degra's at the start and particularly Archer's towards the end. The acting in general was far too overplayed for me. Bakula was ok in smart-arse mode but that's about it. Still not digging Degra.

    - Other issues have already been mentioned.

    I harp on about the negatves because most others seem to have really liked this episode. Ultimately I thought it was probably one of the best things since Twilight but I guess that's not saying much.

    A good episode, but: Archer's racist/speciesistic bashing of the Reptilians was cruel and very non-Trek. Even the Gorn were treated with more respect back then in the 60s.

    Why didn't Archer have the Xindi listening post personnel beamed aboard? The Enterprise crew have used the transporter plenty by this time, they know it's safe (not that they particularly care about the well being of the Xindi).

    Very effective and entertaining episode. I have taken to multi-tasking while Enterprise is playing because it rarely has held my attention, but this one had me enthralled. Yes, it was stupid of Archer to insist on heading the suicide mission and there were some other plot holes that have already been listed (and a few that haven't). That said, it was exciting and suspenseful. The beating the Enterprise took was extremely well portrayed visually and emotionally. Wow! Nicely done.

    I can't take Degra seriously -- his Xindi 'do makes him look as if he is wearing curlers.

    It's Dolem I can't take seriously...he's ridiculously cartoonishly evil. The only reason he isn't constantly twirling his mustache is that he's not a mammal and therefore can't grow one.

    I find myself in the odd position of normally thinking Jammer and other posters are being too harsh, then on this one thing y’all are being too generous.

    Jay says: “ It's Dolem I can't take seriously...he's ridiculously cartoonishly evil. The only reason he isn't constantly twirling his mustache is that he's not a mammal and therefore can't grow one.” For my part I can‘t help but wonder if his appearance isn’t intentionally similar to General “Lobster Head” Sarris on Galaxy Quest. He even kinda talks the same way.

    Meanwhile Archer’s sudden suicide mission struck me as a bridge too far. Like Daniels and T’Pol both point out, it’s not as if destroying this weapon would make much difference — it would at most buy time, but not stop the threat. A pointless gesture, and surely there would be enough volunteers on board to handle it without practically handing an intelligence goldmine to them if it fails.

    Overall I was riveted by the episode and yes, the NX-01 getting such a pasting is horrifically fascinating to watch, one of the more harrowing moments of Trek that I can remember. (Though I don’t think anything will ever top the infamous “We won’t go back” from TNG’s “Parallels”. That one wrenched my stomach so bad I don’t think I’ll ever forget it.) But I can’t bring myself to go over 3 stars because of that glaring inconsistency in the storyline in this case.

    Was it just me or is the music playing when the Enterprise is almost destroyed cheap and awful? Reminded me of Pirates of the Carribean. It destroyed this whole scene for me, which is visually impressive to be sure.

    @ David - Thu, Jan 22, 2009 - 2:23pm (USA Central) & sweezely - Mon, Jul 12, 2010 - 9:55am (USA Central) & TheLaw35 - Tue, Sep 18, 2012 - 7:29am (USA Central)

    Thank you! All this "token black" crap gets on my nerves. As much as I like Anthony (I met him and was very impressed with this young man), his acting just wasn't that good here (some I attribute to the writing). That, and his character wasn't any more prevalent that Sulu or Chekov was in TOS. Geordi suffered from Lavar’s horrible acting in the one episode where he did have a girl interest. Voyager did the same thing, in the later years the episodes featured mostly Janeway, Seven The EMH and Tuvok... the 4 best actors on Voyager. Sub-par acting was the real reason they dumped Kes. I think Travis suffered from Anthony having too big a smile at times. Can one be too good looking?  Nice to see he’s kept relatively busy as of late.

    This “the writers are racist" implication is as bad as the dreamt up "war on women".

    Now, on to this OUTSTANDING episode.

    Here's the only real heart-ache I have with this one.

    Archer can say he's going a suicide mission all he wants for whatever reason he feels is appropriate (which don’t make any sense either). But T'Pol, Trip, Reed and Phlox should have taken matters in their own hands knowing the Captain can't risk the mission and his life doing this and gave Archer a knock-out hypo-spray or something. Let Travis pilot the thing. Then an angry Archer could have gone to rescue Travis, and got captured as well, blah - blah. Or take the dual approach. Have Archer try the diplomatic approach with “let’s blow up the weapon” option in the wings. Archer's little speech didn't really resonate with me because we all knew he wasn't going to die. …. And it wasn’t his best speech either.

    Archer making the military call, executing those Xindi on the moon…. Wow, real life no shit life or death decisions… I’m glad he struggled with it and he ultimately made the right decision for the mission. It’s logical to assume that because they didn’t make a report immediately, that they required line-of-sight to establish communication.

    Also, Archer was “snappy” with the Dolem (EXPERTLY played by Scott McDonald) because he thought the weapon had already been launched. It was a death wish; he thought he’d already failed humanity.

    Best line?
    T’Pol: “Our recent visit to Detroit has tempered my skepticism.” … lol

    I remember when I first watched this episode, seeing the Enterprise getting pummeled like she was… I thought that possibly she had bit the dust, ole NX-01 wasn’t going to make it home. Very dramatic, crewmen dying, the ship helpless and defenseless…. Wow, incredibly well done (to include the music) Heart-pumping drama!!

    @ Elphaba – great point about Daniels and Archer. He removed him from the timeline and the Xindi were still part of Star Fleet. I hadn’t thought of that. Maybe Daniel’s figured out what he did wrong the last time :-)

    Other than that, this episode is exciting, riveting, dramatic etc… But I can't give it 4 stars because Archer thought he had to go and they let him go.

    3.5 stars for me.

    I do not have a lot to say about this particular episode, but I would like to agree with the statement mentioned above about Reed. The character, and therefore the actor portraying him, is extremely irritating. He comes off as prissy, whiny, boorish, stuck in his ways. Not a pleasant experience to watch him. Major Hayes is a well trained military officer, I think if he wasn't, Reed would have been stripped of rank and demoted to crewman if Reed would have been in Hayes squad. I have no qualm with Mr Keating, but he is not really at his best when written as such a pompous person, and he is irksome to watch. Also please remember on these message boards, to keep colloquialisms out of our prose. A previous poster used the term 'jacked off'. This is an extremely offensive term in my English speaking country. It amounts to meaning more than the 'n' word, more like the 'k' word, or the 'c' word when describing women. How would you like it if while reading these posts, you suddenly saw a f*** c*** on the b***. (asterisks mine). Now, do you see my point?

    I do not have a lot to say about this particular episode, but I would like to agree with the statement mentioned above about Reed. The character, and therefore the actor portraying him, is extremely irritating. He comes off as prissy, whiny, boorish, stuck in his ways. Not a pleasant experience to watch him. Major Hayes is a well trained military officer, I think if he wasn't, Reed would have been stripped of rank and demoted to crewman if Reed would have been in Hayes squad. I have no qualm with Mr Keating, but he is not really at his best when written as such a pompous person, and he is irksome to watch. Also please remember on these message boards, to keep colloquialisms out of our prose. A previous poster used the term 'jacked off'. This is an extremely offensive term in my English speaking country. It amounts to meaning more than the 'n' word, more like the 'k' word, or the 'c' word when describing women. How would you like it if while reading these posts, you suddenly saw a f*** c*** on the b***. (asterisks mine). Now, do you see my point?

    Reptile Guy goes from not knowing who Degra is to knowing that he has two daughters in like 5 seconds time. Retile Guy could have been lying about not knowing who Degra was, buy why would he?

    urfriend, that's precisely what his role has been. Just to check off the box that says "African American". They even gave Hoshi some degree of status in "In A Mirror, Darkly". For that matter they've shown more respect for the damn beagle than for Mayweather. All the time in the world to condescend to him, in the aforementioned ep.

    And truthfully, none of the actors on here save for maybe the doctor were exactly Emmy-worthy. No chemistry between the leads whatsoever. Didn't think much of Dr. Beckett in Quantum Leap either. But he was a scientist in that which I liked as a teen and he did have some kind of rapport with Dean so I could deal with it (usually).

    Markus said June 2014: Was it just me or is the music playing when the Enterprise is almost destroyed cheap and awful?

    Nope, not just you.


    Apart from all the PEW PEW, KABOOM in the last act, Azati Prime is comprised mostly of boring, overacted, moustache twirling exposition (on both sides). And then there's the tweeker in the fuchsia catsuit. On the plus side, Maryweather got more than one line.

    Regarding Travis...a seriously underwritten character (even Hoshi has some cool tricks). Travis just steers the ship. I think Montgomery and Linda Park, both kids, are overshadowed by the titan acting of Bakkula-Trineer-Billingsly-Blalock. (The doctor is my favorite, but T'Pol is a close second.) I think that...if Enterprise was trying to be representative of post WWIII, then most of greater Asia would have had to be destroyed. I feel like Travis gets the stupidest lines "no way!" And the episode where he played some alien basketball with mellons sounds too much like trite watermelon and basketball cliches - I think as an actor, I would have thrown that script in the producers' faces.

    I just went back and listened to that music - unforgivable! WHAT were they thinking? It reminds me of a Worst of the Eighties keyboard parody. Painful.

    Regarding race & Star Trek - a very eye-opening documentary about Star Trek which collectively runs 8+ hours covers topics from transhumanism to racial constructs in Trek. The filmmaker's name is Lenon Honor, an extremely bright and astute black man with very pointed political observations. For a few, why were so many of the actors from "Roots" then seen in Star Trek? Also, why are so many of the helmsmen in Star Trek these overly sincere men of color who seem to be happy just to be doing the driving? (A la "Driving Miss Daisy" etc)
    Such as Geordi during season 1 TNG and our Travis Mayweather here.

    At times it is hard to reconcile this with what I, as admittedly a white person with limited frame of reference, consider truly exceptional black TV characters for their time like Benjamin Sisko and Uhura. Clearly, a conscious or unconscious racial subtext of some sort is at work.

    A strong but slightly unsatisfying episode that is big on spectacle but slow on resolution - hopefully setting us up for a big finale next time.

    What works well is the final act - the pasting the Enterprise takes is stunningly realised in VFX and live action work. Not every day we get a human torch on Trek. But it does take a while to build itself up to that point, and the problematic appearance of Daniels yet again as a plot device left me rolling my eyes a bit. What was better were the signs of internal conflict among the Xindi. 3 stars.

    Well, they certainly made up for not having any crew deaths for two seasons, that's for sure. Bodies flying outta hull breaches, and that one guy at the back of the bridge not only gets blown back from an exploding console, but a ceiling support then falls on him as he's trying to crawl away. Poor bridge extra guy. Meanwhile Phlox in sickbay must have a zoo going on. Good chaos for all them casualties that'll be coming in.

    Yes, I always enjoy a good 'wreck the set' scene. It's the lowest common denominator in me coming out. Haha.

    I will add that, I appreciate those scenes when they're rare, and go all out. Voyagers typical last act pyrotechnics did less and less for me as the show dragged on.

    Archer's gonna die. Archer's gonna die. Yeah, right :/ Who are you kidding, the 3 year old viewers?

    Very entertaining episode - the Enterprise takes probably its worst beating toward the end, another scene with Archer getting beat up but still spewing humor, and a bit of humanity as well with Degra talking about his kids and how they will remember him and his colleagues in the future for destroying Earth and billions of innocent people.

    The reptilian Xindi torturing Archer is your typical brainless bad guy so it is humorous when Archer pisses him off with talk about dinosaurs and brains the size of walnuts. A fun cliche here.

    What I really didn't like about the episode is T'Pol's emotional outbursts and locking herself up in Archer's office, sobbing. Is she a Vulcan or not? Give me a break! Not a fan of extreme unprofessionalism from senior crew. There better be a good explanation...

    As for Daniels popping up and the idea of the sphere-builders being the real threat, that does pose a new twist. Really seems ridiculous that he could expect Archer to negotiate under the circumstances, however. But as Archer is captured, he winds up in forced negotiations and Daniels' desire seems to be ultimately underway.

    "Azati Prime" does tie together a lot of things -- some of the best action scenes with the Enterprise suffering maybe its heaviest damage yet. I'd give it 3 stars -- the Xindi council members are also starting to be more identifiable and their purpose and sensitivities is getting clearer as well.

    Regarding the future changing when Daniels took Archer this time, it's simple. Daniels already planned on sending him back a few seconds before he left. Basically, with 2 Archers on Enterprise at once, so when the one leaves, the other is still there. Makes that whole subplot in Shockwave where Archer is stuck in the future really stupid....that should have been obvious from the start and one of the Prime Directives of the Department of Temporal Affairs: Always send someone from the past back a few seconds before you took them.

    3.5 stars
    Finally after so much meandering get back to the arc.

    Liked the writers brought Daniels into the mix although demonstrated how the writers had to defy plot logic to keep the Ent cast the main players in a time travel arc. Realistically Daniels should have pulled the xindi council not Archer into the future and convinced them they were being manipulated. And it should have been the time cops who stop the weapon. But I did appreciate the visit to the 26th cebtury and seeing the ENT J. It'd stand to reason that every era will face a great threat. Tng had the borg and wolf 359. Ds9 had the Dominion War. So not hard to believe the 26th century Federation would have the Sphere Builders and by then all federation ships are lined with trellium seeing that no toxic atmosphere onboard the ENT j

    This arc had a lot of memorable striking images--among them the reveal of the final weapon underwater or the ebteeprise adrift to close out the episode

    I didn't much care for Archer joking and insulting Dolum. It was out of place. He had been captured. For all he knows the weapon was launched and the enterprise destroyed

    The attack on the enterprise was exciting and tense and well executed.

    The archer farewell scene really didn't work. With him being so critical to future events Daniels would never let him die. He'd yank him away like he did in Shockwave either to a different location in the 22nd century or someplace else in time

    Tpols trekllium addiction was a startling development. Not only is she struggling with it but also the xindi threat

    Or sweezeley it could be racist, sorry if you find that offensive. One black person on the show and they're shoved to the back. If acting was an issue than hire a black person who could act.

    It's funny that Yanks racism annoying, it's easy to glass over if It's not happening to you. And this "he's a bad actor" logic is stupid. Why hire him than if not to use him as a token black person and pretend that you care about diversity?

    How do you call these aliens? Sphere builders. Maybe introduce them to our Pyramid builders?

    This episode was solid, entertaining, and helped us see where the writers think this arc is going. Parts were troublesome, like Archer's weird obsession with suicide on this one, T'Pol's sudden emotional outbursts, but those did not destroy it for me.

    For the people who don't understand the timeline issue, here is the explanation.

    The only reason we are seeing Xindi and co. now in Enterprise is because the original timeline has been changed. Why? Because the Temporal Cold War is raging and cultures from the future are using current civilizations like Humans, Xindi, and Suliban as their proxies to fight one another in this part of the timeline. In Kirk's and Picard's time the Xindi and Temporal Cold W. were not known because that represented the original timeline (although Xindi and Sphere-builders will be known to the Federation in the original timeline by the 26th century). Again, the timeline that we all watched when we saw TNG or TOS or DS9, whatever, is now changed because that was the original timeline. We are no longer in the original timeline. Think of it this way, if we were watching Archer and Enterprise fulfill its mission, then we continued watching beyond the TV show and saw the Federation grow and hundreds of years continued to pass, then the Temporal Cold War WOULD be mentioned in all of the series that we love: TNG, TOS, VOY, etc. because now it happened.

    So when Daniels took Archer into the 26th century the writers are telling the viewer that Archer, Kirk, Picard, Sisko, Janeway and all of those versions of Star Trek have already come and gone because the battle in the 26th century was how the original timeline played out. So essentially, we as viewers are going back in time to watch Archer and co. in this altered timeline.

    Also, what is so difficult to understand about the Temporal Cold War?? It's kind of a logical extrapolation on our Cold War between the U.S. and Soviets, except this is much more complex. I think it's fascinating and it makes perfect sense.

    And what's with the hate for Daniels. He helped save Earth in the last episode that he was in "Carpenter Street". Did you all forget that? If not for Daniel's then the Reptilians have a bio-weapon. So Daniels was exactly correct and helped save Earth and for some reason that makes people hate : -/ ?? Daniels is a great character who is helping humans, he has time travel so if I were Archer I would listen to him. He knows things you don't, he has tremendous technological abilities, and he's trying to help.

    This was a great episode. I agree with Jammer on the rating. My only complaint is that I wish Archer had sent a team of MACO's to beam down and stun the 3 Xindi in the listening post instead of killing them and I think Archer should have followed Daniels' advice to go and negotiate. This builds Archer's and Human's credibility as a peaceful species. That is what a true hero might have done, someone with the biggest b*ll's in the galaxy, going in unarmed. What Archer did was trite.

    Rating: 3.5 stars

    My goodness, what good is a detection net if an unauthorized ship is allowed to just fly to the main planet that is being protected and scan your top secret weapon and then fly out again. Then the exact same ship flies in again, this time apparently without being challenged, and again flies down onto the planet being protected and is allowed to get within sight of the protected weapon.

    The Man
    Sat, Jun 30, 2018, 12:35pm (UTC -5)

    "It's funny that Yanks racism annoying, it's easy to glass over if It's not happening to you. And this "he's a bad actor" logic is stupid. Why hire him than if not to use him as a token black person and pretend that you care about diversity?"

    Wow... I guess I missed this drivel...

    Why hire Brooks?

    While I was very impressed with Anthony when I got to meet him in 2010, he just not a strong enough actor to get written in very much. He was given a couple opportunities early and then the writers knew what they had. Now if he had come across with the popularity of say a Garak, or a Seska, or a Barklay then they would have had more to work with. But he was a "secondary main character" as it was - so...

    This was a great climax to the Xindi arc! Unlike many of you, I like Daniels, and I like the temporal cold war-there's just enough given to fire the imagination (so we can fill the blanks ourselves) I like that

    Now I can not speak for what any television station or program does, and I also want it to be known that I am Black myself. I personally never felt that Travis is marginalised, or that anyone was racist. Like I've said previously, with the exception of Next Generation, all 5 Star Trek series have a core cast and a "backup cast" (TOS obviously has "The Big Three", DS9 has Sisko, Kira, Odo, and Dax, Voyager has Janeway, the Doctor, Tuvok and Neelix) I just think Travis isn't one of the main core. I don't know how people think it is racism.

    mefive said: "Archer's gonna die. Archer's gonna die. Yeah, right :/ Who are you kidding, the 3 year old viewers?"

    I get what you're saying but by this logic, no main character should ever be written to show them feeling fear because the audience knows that they aren't going to die.

    In this episode it makes sense for Archer to think he's taking a one way trip and for the other characters to respond with the way they did. I mean, we know Kirk wasn't really dead in Amok Time, but does that make Spock's "Jim!" any less awesome?

    You just have to be true to the characters and the situation.

    Great ep!

    Awesome, shocking attack sequence on the Enterprise. Excellent performances all around. Bravo!

    I don't like how Daniels can just turn up like Basil Exposition and explain the plan of the sphere-builders. Firstly it's not discovered by the characters through their own actions (though they'd worked out some of it). Secondly he could easily have told them before. It's only delayed till this point to serve the plot.

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