Star Trek: Enterprise


2.5 stars

Air date: 5/5/2004
Written by Mike Sussman
Directed by Roxann Dawson

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

"I didn't come over here for a debate. I've already given the order." — Archer, in the usual we-have-no-time mode

In brief: Some good ideas in the midst of a derivative time-travel outing that ultimately can't transcend itself.

Multiple choice question: "E2" is a variation of which episode?

(A) DS9's "Children of Time"
(B) TNG's "Yesterday's Enterprise"
(C) TOS's "City on the Edge of Forever"
(D) Voyager's "Timeless"
(E) Two or three of the above
(F) All of the above
(G) Help! All time-travel stories look alike!

At this point in my Star Trek-viewing stage in life, I'm tempted to pick choice (G). While it's true that all the episodes on that list are memorable shows, I just can't do it anymore. I am about time-traveled out.

"E2" is an acceptable but all-too-familiar time-travel concept that writer Mike Sussman has woven reasonably well into the Xindi story arc. It has its moments, but it also has its share of tiresome action and derivative would-be revelations. In the end, it comes down to the fact that I have seen this story too many times over the years. It's old wine in a new bottle. Or maybe just the label on the bottle has been changed.

This episode also does not have the power of those aforementioned shows. The choice to be made in the end is not as demanding of our characters. And given the terrific past three installments of Enterprise, this is a step down. The previous three installments did not feel routine. This one did.

There's a lot here that's inspired by "Children of Time," which was a far superior episode because it was about our characters — astonishingly and agonizingly — choosing one destiny over another, and sacrificing a great deal in coming to that decision. (Only a brilliant last-minute twist, in the form of a character-based veto, spared them from that choice.) "E2," by contrast, is a more mechanically implemented storyline, because it involves choosing the best way to prevent, of course, the Destruction of Earth™. It's less about sacrifice and more about playing the best odds.

The familiar story involves the Enterprise crew coming face-to-face with their own descendants, who helm a future version of the Enterprise (which I'll henceforth call the Enterprise-2 for sake of simplicity). The Enterprise is just about to travel through the subspace corridor to make their rendezvous with Degra when they are contacted by the Enterprise-2, whose captain tells them that traveling through the corridor will cause an accident that will send the Enterprise back in time 117 years. (In a nice touch, the Enterprise crew at first thinks that perhaps this other Starfleet vessel could be the NX-02, which we learn is named the Columbia.)

The captain of the Enterprise-2, a half-Vulcan named Lorian (David Andrews), explains the history of the Enterprise-2, which is the would-be destiny of the Enterprise. Stranded in the past, the ship would become a generational starship wandering the expanse for the next century, having cut itself off from contact with Earth, lest they contaminate the timeline and possibly prevent First Contact with the Vulcans from ever happening (which, by the way, is exactly the premise of Star Trek: First Contact). The mission was then passed down to the children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren: Stop the future Xindi attack(s) from ever happening. When they fail to stop the initial attack that kills 7 million, they must then prevent Archer's crew from becoming trapped in the past.

Confused? It's actually pretty straightforward and by-the-book as these things go, including, naturally, the built-in time paradox, which is all but mandatory. Certainly, this holds more water in a story sense than most of the arbitrary Temporal Cold War and the shenanigans of Crewman Daniels.

There are good things to be found in "E2." There's an inherently intriguing notion in the concept of a "generational starship" that must become a community unto itself, making alliances and recruiting crew members from other worlds. (Indeed, this is what one might've thought — wrongly — that Voyager would be all about.) And there's a certain appeal in seeing characters' reactions to personal details revealed about the future.

For instance, T'Pol learns — in a conversation with her much older self, no less — that she will have to forever cope with the emotions her Trellium-D experiment has unleashed, and that Trip will become an invaluable part of her life in that process. Meanwhile, Reed learns that he's doomed to a fate of permanent bachelorhood — a future he immediately begins trying to rectify upon learning about it.

Still, a lot of this doesn't carry as much weight as it probably should've. The scenes involving Old T'Pol are pivotal, but unfortunately they are not particularly convincing; Blalock speaks too deliberately and does not capture the essence of a real character. (It's more like a parody of an old person.) And scenes of the crew discussing their futures seem too inconsequential, as if it were every day that you meet your descendants and find out how your life is (maybe) going to turn out. In a conversation between Travis and Hoshi, the deep conversation du jour is, "How about you? Did you get married?" (Would you really want to know?)

That question also surrounds Trip and T'Pol, who at the beginning of the episode are playing a low-key pursuit/rebuff game (he pursues, she rebuffs), providing the inevitable fallout from having had "sexual relations," as T'Pol so dryly puts it. The resulting banter is predictable. Later there's the (unsurprising) revelation that Lorian is the child of T'Pol and Trip, which forms the basis for some introspective dialog.

But the Enterprise-2 never really becomes a community that I felt for — certainly not like the community in "Children of Time." This is mainly because of the mixed blessing of tying all this in with the Xindi arc. It's a concept that fits in well with the single-minded focus of this season, but suffers in part because of that focus. The Enterprise-2 looks not much like a generational community that has evolved for 117 years but like yet another of this season's points on which the fate of Planet Earth pivots. The story, by its nature, is too invested in the Xindi to care much about the people or lifestyles of the Enterprise-2.

The episode basically boils down to Lorian's dilemma and his resulting choices. You see, he had a chance to stop the initial Xindi weapon with a suicide run, but he hesitated for the briefest moment and missed his opportunity; 7 million on Earth died as a result. Lorian has agonized over this tactical error for months now, and is even more determined to make sure the mission to stop the second weapon is accomplished. What he fails to consider, however, is that stopping that first weapon would probably have only delayed an inevitable strike. (Indeed, without the initial attack, Earth might not have had a warning at all — which of course begs that silly question again: Why did the Xindi send that "test" weapon in the first place? All it really accomplished was prompting the Enterprise's mission to stop them.)

Lorian's plan is to help the Enterprise make modifications that will prevent the time-shift from happening (I won't bother with the technobabble). But Lorian hides crucial facts about the odds of success, and Archer and Lorian find themselves in a heated disagreement, which ends with another example of Archer invoking his this-isn't-a-debate decree. (I'm tempted to ask: Whether he agrees or not, what's wrong with a discussion?) Old T'Pol has an alternate plan, but Lorian doesn't think it will work, and instead decides to steal equipment from the Enterprise to install on the Enterprise-2 so he can make the rendezvous with Degra himself.

Lorian's reasoning ("Billions of lives are at stake") contains an interesting irony, because it follows the same logic as the decision Archer made in stealing the warp coil from the innocent aliens in "Damage." This is an irony, alas, that seems lost on Archer, who is made out here as having the right answers. It might've been more interesting if he had the wrong answers. What we get here, while decent, is not challenging. Lorian's internal struggle to do what's best is commendable, but I really could've done without the tired sequence where the two Enterprises open fire on each other.

Similarly, the solution we ultimately arrive at — both Enterprises working together to travel through the subspace corridor, with the Enterprise-2 fending off attacking aliens — brings us to an action climax that strikes me as too routine and pat for this material. That we never find out exactly what happens to the Enterprise-2 in the midst of this chaos is probably a good thing, and allows the time paradox to resolve itself with a minimum of complications. But on the scale of time-travel shows, this can only emerge as average fare. It does not have the troubling questions of a classic Trek time-travel episode.

Perhaps the Xindi angle is simply too mechanical here to fully support a premise that demands more human feelings. To put it another way, it would probably be more interesting to meet your great-grandchildren if they weren't in such a hurry to go into battle alongside you.

Next week: The Council. 'Nuff said.

Previous episode: The Forgotten
Next episode: The Council

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60 comments on this post

Sat, Aug 30, 2008, 7:57pm (UTC -6)
The answer to your multiple choice question is (A). This episode is a poorer version of DS9's Children of Time.

What annoyed me about this episode was that nobody, except Captain Archer at the end, mentioned that if the Enterprise isn't thrown back in time, there's no Enterprise-2. In Children of Time, this essential detail was referred to repeatedly.

How can the Enterprise-2 fire upon the Enterprise? If the former destroys the latter, then the former will never have existed (temporal paradox headache time!).

As for T'Pol's question about the fate of the Enterprise-2, the answer is that it was in a "superposition of states" (like the colony in Children of Time). In other words, it existed and didn't exist simultaneously. That's why she and Archer remember the Enterprise-2, even though its history had been erased from the timeline.
Sat, Jan 9, 2010, 4:01am (UTC -6)
"contaminate the timeline"

I hope someday in the future someone will come back a couple of thousand years to show us that time itself is always clean and cant be contaminated ;)
Thu, Dec 30, 2010, 6:30pm (UTC -6)
I enjoyed this one slightly more than it seems everyone else did. I didn't enjoy it quite enough to bump it up to three stars. But, if I could, I'd go two and three quarters stars on this.

I kind of like that Archer married an alien. It softened his character a little bit for me in a casual kind of way. Or at the very least, it gave me hope that one day he won't just be a bumbling idiot in space. That he could actually be sensitive and competent enough to get an alien to love him one day is somewhat reassuring.

I also thought it was interesting that Reed dies a bachelor. Maybe knowing that will help him be more open with the crew and lead to some good character development? I'm cautious to get my hopes up there. The last few episodes of Enterprise have been quite good. But, considering the two and a half seasons of banal garbage that came before that, I'm still not holding my breath for future plot point pay offs with this series.
Marco P.
Tue, May 10, 2011, 10:21am (UTC -6)
Here's an idea: instead of waiting 100 years to actually try and destroy the Xindi probe, why didn't Lorian & the Enterprise-2 establish first contact with the Xindi. Make peaceful relations... earn their trust... form an alliance? Avoid the necessity of a Xindi superweapon altogether?

I knew it couldn't last. In terms of greatness, I guess three consecutive episodes is the maximum we could ever expect from Enterprise. Leave it to a re-hashed time-travel storyline to break a good streak and bring us back to facepalming mediocrity.

Forget about "contaminating the timeline". What I really wish is for someone to back into the past to 2001, prevent this shambles of a series from ever being produced. The world would have been spared the aberration; Trek fans would still have their self-respect.
Thu, Feb 23, 2012, 12:23am (UTC -6)

I was actually thinking about this the other day...when thinking about another Enterprise episode. What if, when you travel back in time, you're actually travelling to a parallel universe? In Micheal Chrighton's Timeline, one character explains that there were many paralell universes, and that they didn't really differ all that much in the events that happened, not enough for you to notice anyway. For some reason, some of them are offset in time from one another. Say, you find one that's 117 offset from your own. Also, time is passing in both timelines at the same time... meaning if you spent 3 days in the past and come back, 3 days have actually passed for the people back home too. More importantly, you can make all kinds of changes but none of it affects you or your timeline. It solves so many paradoxes. That model isn't very satisfying for the time-traveller; he ends up doing someone else a favour, but everyone else he left back home is still screwed. So what if it DOES affect his timeline? Just...the effects aren't felt until he goes back to his own (or maybe like Daniel said, it takes time for changes in the timeline to affect things - which suddenly makes sense now!). His own world is all changed once he gets back. He would probably meet a double that never time travelled, and a group of friends that don't remember ever having sent him to the past. The timeline that he's from is "dead", but he still exists.
Thu, Feb 23, 2012, 12:26am (UTC -6)
Marco said: "Here's an idea: instead of waiting 100 years to actually try and destroy the Xindi probe, why didn't Lorian & the Enterprise-2 establish first contact with the Xindi. Make peaceful relations... earn their trust... form an alliance? Avoid the necessity of a Xindi superweapon altogether?"

Thanks for ruining this episode for me with such a spectacular plot-hole Marco! :P
Fri, Feb 24, 2012, 9:50am (UTC -6)
@ Marco P.

I agree to an extent, but they're back in the year 2036, a time when Earth has yet to make First Contact with Vulcans. For the Enterprise to undertake the peace mission you suggest, they would have to do it on Earth's behalf (I don't see how they could negotiate with the Xindi while saying that our home planet can't be made aware of this - it's too convoluted and not exactly a trusting foundation on which to work), which would require the Enterprise to introduce itself to 2036 Earth, at the very least to prepare them. Who's to say that the Xindi, upon being told of the future they endure at Earth's hands a century later, won;t just decide to attack Earth in the here and now of this episode in 2036?
Fri, Feb 24, 2012, 12:42pm (UTC -6)
You make a good point Jay. Also, there's the problem of possibly tipping your hand to the sphere builders. Who knows how long ago they were first talking to the Xindi?

Still, the premise of the episode requires for them to fail at stopping the first probe that attacked earth. I just don't believe that they would fail. If it were me, I would prepare a time-capsule in space that would transmit a message telling them about this threat say... a few decades after the first warp signature is detected around Earth. (Just in case something happens to our ship in the interim) To hell with any worries about "contaminating the timeline"; that's just nonsense. You're already "contaminating" it by trying to stop the probe. They didn't seem too worried about causing paradoxes when they contacted the old Enterprise. The only reason I'd wait at all to tell them would be that they'd be more likely to believe us so many years later. Then, I'd go and tell them again in person, and have Enterprise get recalled back to Earth well before the probe attacked. Then we'd have 2 Enterprises, plus a bunch of other ships to destroy it. Maybe they wouldn't take us seriously, but I think they would with all that evidence Enterprise has in its cargo hold. Heck, just ask them to quantum date something.
Sun, Mar 11, 2012, 1:31am (UTC -6)
So if was "at all costs", why didn't 2036 Archer simply take the opportunity for fly back to Earth and gift them a starship with tech a century more advanced?

Who cares about contamination when your entire species survival is at stake.
Wed, Jul 25, 2012, 1:33pm (UTC -6)
The best scene in this episode is where Reed finds out he never hooked up with anyone =)
Tue, Dec 4, 2012, 3:22pm (UTC -6)
Poor Reed. (I sometimes think I have the same fate, and commenting on every review on a Star Trek site doesn't do much to deny that, heh)

It wasn't spectacular, but not worth too much of a slagging IMO. Given the description from the preview in the review for the previous episode, I was expecting an episode of "action against hard headed aliens" yawn fest, so this was a pleasant surprise.

I found that DeLorian guy quite a believable seeming half Vulcan, and think he would've made an interesting alternative if T'Pol hadn't been around. Keiko O'Brien as an officer worked surprisingly well too.

Even without any "Prime Directives" (temporal or not) and non-contamination rules and whatever else from 'future' Treks, I did find it a bit odd that they'd willingly just go around learning what happened to themselves. Don't think I could do that!

All in all, fine, I'm not grumbling too much.
Fri, Dec 21, 2012, 3:00am (UTC -6)
I would have though the first thing they should have done was fly to Vulcan and give them a heads up. At least they seemed disciplined enough to handle future information without blowing up the universe.
Sat, Jan 5, 2013, 2:54pm (UTC -6)
All this talk about temporal paradoxes assumes we're operating within a single universe. But we can in fact conclude that Star Trek operates within a multiverse, because

1. There's been too much mucking with the timeline to have a single universe, and

2. We saw the other multiverse branches explicitly in "Parallels" (TNG).

What seems to have really happened in this scenario:

1. Enterprise #2 (which is #1 at the time) exists in a multiverse branch we'll call "alpha" here.

2. By going into the past, they implicitly create and now exist in multiverse branch "beta", which is largely the same as "alpha" but now has Enterprise #2 running around a hundred years too early.

3. When Enterprise #1 meets them, all of their interactions have no effect on the history of Enterprise #2, because it came from "alpha", and we're busy altering "beta".

4. When Enterprise #1 goes through the rift the proper way, no time travel is involved, so we're still in "beta". They still remember everything that happened.

5. Going through properly hasn't eliminated Enterprise #2, because that would only happen if the "alpha" Enterprise had gone through correctly instead.

Incidentally, given that the reptilians think there's more than one human ship running around, we can assume that the TV series has been following a variant of universe "beta", in which Enterprise #2 is running around and being occasionally spotted.

Some Trek episodes have treated time travel differently. For example, when the Enterprise C showed up in TNG, suddenly their absence in the past has created significant issues in the present. But that can easily be explained by just saying that the show jumps universes at the moment they show up. Reusing my previous terminology:

1. "Alpha" = universe where Ent-C didn't vanish, and everything went normally.

2. "Beta" = universe where Ent-C travelled into the future, and everything was messed up.

3. "Gamma" = universe where Ent-C vanished, but came back, and things were (mostly) back to normal.

The show jumps from "alpha" to "beta" when the Ent-C shows up, and jumps from "beta" to "gamma" when Ent-C goes back in time again (with Tasha Yar).

Another proof would be in "Cause and Effect" (TNG), where a huge number of multiverse branches are created. The proof is that Data received data from previous multiverses to avert the disaster that created the loop in the first place. This would be impossible if you subscribed to the "single universe" theory.

However, the multiverse theory also lends itself to some unsettling conclusions. Mainly:

You can never truly "alter the past". You can perform Action X in the past and create a new multiverse branch, and there will be an infinite number of future multiverses where Action X occurred, but there will still be a (larger) infinite number of multiverses where Action X didn't occur, including the one you came from when you time travelled. (Yes, there are different sizes of infinity; ask a math expert.)

Does that mean it's not worth doing? Well, maybe. For example, although there's a multiverse branch in which the Xindi blew up Earth, there are still infinite other multiverse branches in which they didn't. Humanity will live on *in other multiverse branches*, even if you don't lift a finger to stop the Xindi. But if you do successfully stop them, you create more multiverse branches in which Earth survived.

Perhaps more importantly, by completing your mission and preventing the destruction of the Earth, you get to live on in the branch where Earth was saved, instead of the one where Earth is gone. But that's tempered by the knowledge that there are countless other multiverse branches where you failed in your mission and had to live on without Earth. You're just leaving those behind by succeeding.

Pretty much every supposed time paradox can be explained by the multiverse in some fashion. The ones where the timeline seems to be consistent -- you go back, change something, and it turns out it had always been that way -- are just timelines akin to "gamma" above, where the past change occurred *and* the attempt to change the past occurred.

Obviously, Trek tends to ignore the details here and just "make it so" by following whatever timeline the viewer expects to be seeing. However, that tends to lead to some rather illogical decisions. For example:

Why attempt the "warp 6.9" approach before attempting the "go through with fixed impulse" approach? If they end up going back into the past again, you'll just end creating a cycle, and the Enterprise #2 will be able to tell the Enterprise #1 "yeah, we tried the impulse thing, it didn't work".

Another alternative would be to deliberately attempt to go back in time again. In some multiverses, you'd just be creating a loop, but there should be other multiverses where you now have both Enterprise #1 *and* Enterprise #2 appearing in the past 100 years prior. Or you could send both ships through and double your fun. Then send four ships through and get eight. And you could keep doing that over and over until you have a whole fleet.

Really, this is the biggest issue with time travel, regardless of whether you use a multiverse or a single universe theory: Most time travel mechanisms theoretically allow you to create infinite clones of yourself -- at least until you've run out of places to put them. Oops.

TL;DR: Trek is a multiverse, and anything is possible, but time travel can get very complicated in a multiverse and probably should be avoided.
Tue, Jan 8, 2013, 4:30am (UTC -6)
I think this episode is much worse than 2.5 stars. It is essentially pointless drivel. While there are a few okay scenes, I just can't help but conclude that this episode utterly destroys the tempo set by the previous 3 episodes.

Lorian's betrayal was also predictable, and it didn't feel much different than other 'take over the ship' kind of episodes. But moreover, it just didn't feel right to me at all. I didn't want to watch it as it unfolded. I wish it had never happened. It was just stupid and nonsensical.

The time-travel bits of this episode just don't make sense. I find it hard to believe so much of it. Why didn't we see Enterprise-2 attempt to stop the probe at all? Are we to believe the audience only saw the first incarnation of this event, but the second was had off-screen?

Moreover though, why wasn't the timeline polluted at all with Enterprise-2 roaming around in the expanse for 100 years? One has to think this would change an awful lot, especially how races interact with Enterprise in the normal time period. The Xindi would have surely learned of them as well.

Lastly, Time Travel episodes seem to utilize different logic to suite the demands for the story. In this case, the Enterprise-2 ceases to exist once an event is changed, but in other shows, the entities that belong to other time periods continue to exist. Which is it?

In the end, one could easily skip this episode and basically miss nothing. It's entirely forgettable.
Charles J Gervasi
Mon, Feb 25, 2013, 11:57pm (UTC -6)
It's hard to believe they would stay on the ship for over 100 years. This is supposed to be a ship more primitive than Kirk's Enterprise. I'm surprised they didn't leave the ship and approach the problem from some other angle. They could have gone to Earth and warned people about the attack. They could have parked the ship somewhere and tried to become part of some other civilization they encountered. They chose to live most of their lives in a vehicle the size of a college dorm building waiting their whole life to stop a single attack? It seems a single message sent back through time a few days could have stopped the attack. A whole ship sent back should have solved the problem. The crew's children could have transmitted all their details to the government and military and then gone about their lives.
Tue, May 14, 2013, 7:11pm (UTC -6)
Amazing that in 2004 on Star Trek is was still too controversial to suggest that ANY of the (2/3 male) crew might be gay and not need to pair off like Noah's Arc.

I didn't think Old T'Pol was so badly performed--at least, not any worse than Young T'Pol.

In a series that managed by this point to surpass DS9 in terms of making me not care about any of the main characters, just about the only thing to look forward to was the advancement of the serial plot.

In spite of the unnecessary syrup scene and religious rubbish in "Children of Time," one of the aspects of that episode which made it far superior was the use of Yedrin (trans-seriesed here as Lorian). In spite of the conflict between him and the Defiant crew, he never became a villain (ironically, like Archer became in "Damage").

It just goes to show in the end that all those excuses people give to justify the position that DS9 is the best incarnation of Trek--it's dark, it's serialised, it's gritty, it's non-Roddenberry, etc.--are all nonsense. Indeed, DS9 was a superior series to Enterprise, but as Season 3 emblemises, ENT was darker, more serialised and grittier than DS9 ever was, but never became a better show.

Anyway, for this episode, 3 stars is probably about right considering the series as a whole.
Tue, May 14, 2013, 10:02pm (UTC -6)

"It just goes to show in the end that all those excuses people give to justify the position that DS9 is the best incarnation of Trek--it's dark, it's serialised, it's gritty, it's non-Roddenberry, etc.--are all nonsense. Indeed, DS9 was a superior series to Enterprise, but as Season 3 emblemises, ENT was darker, more serialised and grittier than DS9 ever was, but never became a better show."

Call me crazy, but I think the part you're leaving out is all that DONE WELL that we think that makes Ds9 the best Star Trek series. But episodic and serial television can both be bad, as Voyager and Enterprise respectively show.

(Sorry for the all caps, but there doesn't seem to be any way of doing italics in this posting system.)
Lt. Yarko
Sun, Jun 9, 2013, 9:23am (UTC -6)
I am watching Enterprise episode by episode on and didn't notice that E2 is missing. I mean both that I didn't notice that the episode is missing from the View All page AND that it was missing from the story arc. It is truly a completely throw-away episode. I am almost sorry I went back to watch it.
Thu, Nov 28, 2013, 6:24pm (UTC -6)
Um...Voyager DID pick up crewmembers from other worlds (the Borg kids, Seven, Kes, Neelix), and make alliances, and become a community all in itself.

The execution may have been off, this can be argued. But they still did all these things! :P
Tue, Feb 18, 2014, 12:37pm (UTC -6)
The "old T'Pol" is terrible - overdone, unconvincing makeup and overdone, unconvincing performance. They should have gone less all-out on the fake wrinkles and gotten Blalock to give a more naturalistic performance, truer to young T'Pol.
Sat, Feb 22, 2014, 9:51am (UTC -6)
Did anyone notice that this is the third episode in the season dealing with a boarding party raiding another ship for parts or supplies? And Lorian's choice to raid Enterprise prime's injectors mirror's Archer's choice to raid the other ship for their warp coil.
Wed, Apr 30, 2014, 1:08pm (UTC -6)
I liked this episode a lot. Time travel stories always require even more suspension of disblief than other stories. I thought this was a good one, but I'm a big fan of time travel and parallel universes.

With two exceptions:

Old T'Pol was terrible (at least I thought so) and I'm getting really tired of Acher's unkempt, grim, unshaven look. Next episode should be "Archer takes a shower - Finally". I understand he carries the weight of the world, the fate of the earth on his shoulders... but everyone else still manages to look somehow civilized.
Sun, May 18, 2014, 5:03pm (UTC -6)
How come young T'Pol has brown eyes and old T'Pol has blue eyes?
John G
Fri, May 23, 2014, 6:20pm (UTC -6)
@Elliott: Actually, I couldn’t help but think that since Lt. Reed started out selling Vidal Sassoon products from his “sall-on” that he was probably as gay as a Christmas tree.* He certainly acts like an uptight queen in his hissy-fits with the MACOs. *cough*

* - Inside joke at the expense of the actor…all in good fun.
Mon, May 26, 2014, 9:14am (UTC -6)
@lizzie I think T'Pol went blind of developed some serious vision issues. Her eyes look more clouded than blue.
Shakaama Live
Fri, Jun 20, 2014, 5:45am (UTC -6)
I hate this episode, and the ending was a swift kick in the unmentionable male parts. I cannot say enough about this episode. Every scene is worse than the last.
Thu, Jul 17, 2014, 4:59pm (UTC -6)
Enjoyable outing for me. I got a kick out of Lorian stealing from Archer the same way he stole from those other aliens (which still has me seeing red -- what an unethical drip Archer can be.)

Lorian's casting was spot on. He looked enough like Trip to be believably blood related -- must have been an interesting casting notice -- "actor who looks older than Connor Trinneer needed to play his son." I got a kick out of him being Trip and T'Pol's son (saw it coming, since he looks a lot like Trip and has the ears). T'Pol getting advice from her future self was interesting -- more fodder for T'Pol to deal with as she struggles with her feelings for our engineer...

I have to say, I always question these episodes where someone from the future tries to correct things in the past to how they should be. These people only exist in the future, so the idea that someone would willingly snuff out their existence is a little hard to take. Then again, at least the excuse was decent -- trying to save Earth. Still, most of these new Enterprisians have never even seen Earth, so why do they have such an intense desire to sacrifice themselves to save it?

I agree that old T'Pol should have been played by a legitimately old actress. They cast young adults to play the characters, so why rely on hideous old-age make-up?
Fri, Sep 19, 2014, 6:51pm (UTC -6)
Marco, Eric, and wisq above pretty much cover the thoughts I've had on the writing here. I really like Trek time-travel and warped-reality stories whrn they're done well. This one doesn't hang together.

I think my favorite bit was actually T'Pol's horror upon being told she'd have to live with emotions. Blaylock conveys it well with just her eyes and some small movements.
Sun, Sep 28, 2014, 10:22pm (UTC -6)
I agree with Neall...the makeup odf T'Pol was absurdly overdone. T'Pol is in her 60s during the run of Enterprise, so here she'd be 180 give or take. We saw Sarek at 203 and he looked nowhere near as haggard and aged as they made T'Pol look here.
Sat, Dec 6, 2014, 8:08pm (UTC -6)
I think you're too hard on Jolene Blalock--I liked her performance here, in both roles (though I agree they went too far with the old age makeup--but then, at least she didn't look as monstrous as Picard did in "Inner Light"--how old was he supposed to be a thousand?) And the more I attempt to watch Enterprise and wring some enjoyment out of what was an essentially misguided and ultimately disappointing series, the more I've come to appreciate Jolene, and to realize that she has been my favorite part of it. Enterprise was blessed in that it had no overtly annoying characters, unlike all the other modern Treks (no Wesley, no Rom, no Jake, no Neelix, no Harry Kim.) It's too bad such a solid cast was so badly served by their writers, but I thought at the time I first watched the show, and I think even moreso now that I'm rewatching it years later, that Jolene was my favorite of that cast, and the heart and soul of that series.
Sun, Dec 7, 2014, 8:01pm (UTC -6)
Mark, I COMPLETELY agree with you. T'Pol is not only my favorite Enterprise character, but Star Trek character.

Also, Enterprise suffered only for coming last. All series had time to gain their footing. Enterprise did that and the plugged was pulled.
Wed, Feb 18, 2015, 11:32am (UTC -6)
@Hasjtracker from 2010:

"I hope someday in the future someone will come back a couple of thousand years to show us that time itself is always clean and cant be contaminated"

It doesn't work. I tried it. No one in this time period believes that I'm from 2688.
Fri, Jun 5, 2015, 1:23am (UTC -6)
I concur with mark and Yanks regarding Jolene; given the nonsense the writers had her traverse (and wear) I think she managed a very persuasive balancing act, whereas Bakula, an actor I actually enjoyed watching prior and since, never seemed to get a handle on the character—though, again, Archer's bipolar personality may be down to the consistently inconsistent quality of the scripts.

In any case, this story was a bad idea and made for a really dumb episode. So, nothing new then…. ; )

Wed, Jun 17, 2015, 12:42pm (UTC -6)

I believe you. To those of us from the Thirtieth Century your exploits are legendary.

Which is more than I can say for this episode of ENT.
Mallory R.
Fri, Aug 14, 2015, 5:59am (UTC -6)
"Lorian's casting was spot on" - that's an understatement. If I read later that it was Trinneer's father in the role, I wouldn't be surprised.

I liked the episode and am not easily bogged down by comparisons. SF readers are hard to please, but none of us shouted "ewww time travel" and turned on wrestling or unplugged the TV;most everyone likes a half way decent time travel episode...even Carpenter Street was ok, if hardly cutting edge.

I really liked T'Pol's message to her younger self about being grateful to have let Trip into her life. They're an odd combination, but I felt like it was a very honest scene.
Thu, Sep 3, 2015, 8:19pm (UTC -6)
I think Elliott's idea about same-sex crew members hooking up would've been neat and could've had some interesting conversations between say Reed and Trip.

REED: So apparently I hooked up with Rivers.
TRIP: Rivers? Really? Huh.
REED: Yeah. what's wrong with Rivers?
TRIP: Nothing, no I just thought maybe you'd be more attracted to someone like Kelby.
REED: Well Rivers is handsome in an unconventional way.
TRIP: You know who would've really made a good match for you? Major Hayes.

(My dialogue is garbage)

I did like the design of the old-Enterprise and thought Lorian was great.
Fri, Sep 4, 2015, 8:09pm (UTC -6)

"How come young T'Pol has brown eyes and old T'Pol has blue eyes?"

Maybe she ate a lot of a certain kind of confection over those 117 years, given that "Donuts make my brown eyes blue."
Diamond Dave
Mon, May 2, 2016, 1:52pm (UTC -6)
Well that one came completely out of left field - a definite WTF to find that another Enterprise had been doing a Voyager through the Expanse for over 100 years.

But hackneyed time travel or not, I found this to be an extremely enjoyable episode. That may be because I'm a sucker for the "what if?" episodes, but there were a whole bunch of really nice character beats in there (Reed being the most amusing). Lorian was also an interesting character and brought something new to the table. The shoot-em-up finale, as great as it looked, was probably a little overdone but the ambiguous resolution worked fine for me. 3.5 stars.
Mon, Jan 30, 2017, 4:50pm (UTC -6)
If only they'd kept going back into the past to create a proper starfleet!
dave johnson
Wed, May 10, 2017, 3:00am (UTC -6)
Silly they keep alluding to Reed being gay but wouldn't out right say it. Well, 2004 had a Republican President and Enterprise would have taken a lot of heat from those Christian politicians for having an openly gay character.

They alluded to him again in These are the Voyages..... Riker is talking to Reed and then asks about attraction to Archer, a pause, then they show he is talking to Hoshi... wanted to swerve us there...

if there is a 2:1 ratio of men to women... well, even the sort of straight guys are going to hook up.. a potential lifetime of celebacy will lead many people to be more open. Phlox would have had a dream life here.. he will have sex with anyone.
Mon, Jul 17, 2017, 2:24pm (UTC -6)
Jammer - my sentiments exactly. Another time-travel episode. Ugh. Automatically know it won't be as good as the ones in your multiple choice.

I just feel this kind of departure from the Xindi arc was needless and a time travel episode should try and stand on its own as the classic episodes mentioned do.

I guess the main point of it is to see how the Enterprise crew react to knowing their futures - obviously T'Pol/Trip is the main one and it brings about some interestingly awkward situations. But I'm sick and tired of their sexual innuendos.

I like how the ending resolves itself and "resets" itself for the Xindi arc with Archer's Enterprise getting to the rendez-vous with Degra on schedule (or early). Also have to say that it was an interesting concept to have an Enterprise go back 117 years and become a generational starship waiting for their chance to help stop the 2nd Xindi attack.

Also liked the Lorien character and his Archer-like qualities (stealing the injectors from the Enterprise). As for older T'Pol meeting current T'Pol - that's always going to be weird.

"E2" deserves 2.5 stars - interesting concept but not really needed in the story arc, I feel. It was always going to compare unfavorably with other Trek time travel episodes.
Thu, Aug 3, 2017, 11:35am (UTC -6)
Perhaps it's just me... The chemistry between Trip and T'pol isn't really there. Archer and T'pol however... In fact when Archer demands that Phlox tell him who the father of T'pol junior is he didn't seem all that happy it was Trip. And Trip is so annoyingly smug on discovering that he is the father, that he and T'pol got married I'm surprised she didn't thump him.

Glad Phlox and Amanda hook up and have lots of little Denoblians.

Poor Reed though!
Mon, Sep 25, 2017, 8:30am (UTC -6)
I thought this episode was pretty average.

One thing that bothered me was that if the Enterprise 2 has better everything, but just needs new plasma injectors, then why not put the ones from Enterprise into Enterprise 2 and switch the crews? Archer could take Enterprise 2 to the meeting. Problem solved. No need to have Enterprise 2 steal the injectors. That whole situation was silly and contrived.

And when they start beaming parts off of Enterprise 2, to trade back for the injectors, why not beam the injectors back? And why cant Enterprise 2 beam all the stuff right back onto their ship? I didn't like that whole sequence.

2 stars
Tue, Oct 17, 2017, 8:18pm (UTC -6)
"E2" is a solid episode of Star Trek: Enterprise, but completely falls short of previous Trek time travel masterpieces such as "The City on the Edge of Forever" and "Yesterday's Enterprise". Episodes such as those were heavy on techno-babble, but kept a clear emotional through line that made them emotionally gripping, transcendent pieces of television. "City" had Kirk and Edith's romance, "Yesterday's Enterprise" had Tasha's sacrifice, etc. I also was far more invested in the cast of characters in the first three Trek shows than I am of Berman/Bragga era Trek (DS9 is in that era, but they handed it off to people who knew how to make *great* television, not just comfort food). "E2" is squarely focused on the sci-fi aspect of things. No one on the Enterprise crew even thinks about the fact that their descendants will be wiped out if they don't go back in time. I'm not saying I wanted it to follow the same beats as "Children of Time", but if the Enterprise writers wanted to rip off the plot of a superior episode from an infinitely superior show, they may has well have stolen what made that episode work so well. That aside, the plot largely works, and the episode is pretty entertaining on the whole, but it's also very hollow, as is par for the course for Enterprise. On the first three Treks, this would be a 2, but on Enterprise, this is a 3. I'll split it down the middle and say 2.5 stars for "E2".
Fri, Jan 12, 2018, 12:31am (UTC -6)
Did anyone at any point think that maybe the original Enterprise crew transfer their injectors and their dirty, unwashed asses to the new Enterprise and go through the vortex together?

That way, we get a fixed up and upgraded enterprise ready to do battle.

And poor Malcolm Reed can maybe find a mate among the grandchildren of his more reproductively successful colleagues.
Sun, Oct 7, 2018, 5:13pm (UTC -6)
I find myself wondering what color blood Human-Vulcan hybrids have.

I'm guessing it's the color of chocolate syrup.
Mon, Dec 24, 2018, 3:30pm (UTC -6)

"I find myself wondering what color blood Human-Vulcan hybrids have."

Mon, Dec 24, 2018, 7:17pm (UTC -6)
Given that Spock's was green, I'll day green.
Sun, Nov 17, 2019, 10:03pm (UTC -6)
One of my least favorite episodes so far. The pace finally picked up and then squash. A predictable slog that does what a lot of episodes have already done not as well.

What if Malcom found out not that he never met someone but that he paired up with a man? There's an episode I'd like to see.
Thu, Jan 9, 2020, 3:38pm (UTC -6)
Star trek could have found a technobabble reason for staying away from Earth other than "we didn't want to go there." Suspension of disbelief can work, but it needs at least some scaffolding from which to be suspended.

Also, @Capitalist and @Trajan are just pulling everyone's leg. Don't believe that they are from the future. Everyone knows time travel was impossible before the 32nd century.
Mon, May 25, 2020, 9:10pm (UTC -6)
This episode was actually a play on TNG's "Time Squared" episode from season 2, the 13th episode.
Thu, Sep 17, 2020, 7:31am (UTC -6)
Eight years ago, someone mentioned "Keiko O'Brien as an officer" in this episode and I'm struggling to understand what the Hell they were talking about? Rosalind Chao did not guest star in this episode.
Sat, Oct 3, 2020, 4:48pm (UTC -6)
Stories like these always make me want to pull my hair out.. They could have found a way to modify the impulse drive to bring them up to more than 2/3s the speed of light. Going back to the present would have been easy.

There is a simple way to time travel into the future, even in real life, you just have to be fast enough.

Same thing that voyager's crew could have done in "Eye of the needle" - unless there is no way of accelerating a star ship that much in normal space, even with 24th century tech. But even then I would have loved to hear an explanation.
Gail NYC
Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 6:42pm (UTC -6)
I actually kind of enjoyed this episode.

1) The scene where Malcolm finds out that he will end up by himself. So sad.

2) Loved T'Pol and Old T'Pol. I thought Jolene Blalock was great. I think she's doing a fantastic job with the character, in spite of some of the ridiculous outfits and situations the writers put her in.

I've actually grown tired of Scott Bakula as Angry!Archer. I came into the show a fan of Bakula, and loved him in seasons 1-2. But he does not seem to know how to approach this less optimistic captain. So far the only season 3 episode that I thought he was really great in was "Similitude."

Phlox is my favorite character, but T'Pol is now a close second.
Sun, May 16, 2021, 12:20pm (UTC -6)
I wonder if David Andrews deliberately based Lorian's speech pattern on Archer. He sounded a lot like Scott Bakula, especially in the early parts of the episode.
Paul Allen
Mon, Jul 19, 2021, 2:41am (UTC -6)
What is up with "Enterprise" and the plasma injectors? They appear to be the most essential part of the ship. But, they don't have any extras? They are small, portable, and are, apparently, standardized across ship designs and races. Why does the Enterprise not have a storage closet filled with them?
Paul H
Sun, Feb 27, 2022, 7:29pm (UTC -6)
"You can never truly "alter the past". You can perform Action X in the past and create a new multiverse branch, and there will be an infinite number of future multiverses where Action X occurred, but there will still be a (larger) infinite number of multiverses where Action X didn't occur, including the one you came from when you time travelled. (Yes, there are different sizes of infinity; ask a math expert.)"

you don't even need to think of different sized infinities to have a infinite number of Xs and an infinite number of non Xs. Even with the smallest infinite sets (countable sets) you can have set of all multiple of 3, and you have that set and the non-multiples of 3 which are both countable sets. (the mapping 3 -- 1, 6 -- 2, 9 -- 4, 12 -- 5 would be an isomorphism)
Sat, Jul 30, 2022, 10:43am (UTC -6)
There will never be an Enterprise sequel, but if there was this episode makes it possible to do so without having to deal with These Are the Voyages. Because this episode establishes that there is a second Enterprise in the Expanse where Trip is still alive. No need to explain why there haven't been any promotions or why the same crew is still together either.

I wasn't crazy about this episode at first, but it grew on me over the years. It's ok.

I think they did a nice job integrating old and young T'Pol in the same scene. It's tricky because of the lighting and perspective. Not only do the actors have to be shot in the exact same lighting set-up but the light also has to be altered as if a second non-existent person is in the room. They did a better job here than they did in Similitude and In a Mirror Darkly.

Two small things I liked:

1) T'Pol's hope and dejection when a ship arrives at the end only to realize it's Degra and not the ENT 2.

2) If you look you will notice a small green glowing spot on the right side of Enterprise's hull. A nice bit of continuity from Reed and Trip's repair job in the previous episode.

lizzzi asked: "How come young T'Pol has brown eyes and old T'Pol has blue eyes?"

Some elderly people also develop corneal arcus where a blue tint forms around the iris. And of course glaucoma can also make eyes appear misty looking. "Rheumy" looking contacts are not an uncommon way for makeup artists to age a character.
Mon, Oct 3, 2022, 3:48pm (UTC -6)
@Yanks (from Dec. 7 2014)

"Also, Enterprise suffered only for coming last. All series had time to gain their footing. Enterprise did that and the plugged was pulled."

Great point.
After some adjustment to the slightly different tone of Enterprise, I have enjoyed the series all the way through (to this point) on my first viewing. Good to know that the show has support out there.
Sat, Jun 10, 2023, 10:20pm (UTC -6)
Good Trekkian fun!

I predict Reid will now become a super stud to forestall his lonely fate!

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