Star Trek: Enterprise


3.5 stars.

Air date: 11/5/2003
Written by Mike Sussman
Directed by Robert Duncan McNeill

"You'd make a wonderful nurse." — Archer to T'Pol, a moment of ironic whimsy

Review Text

In brief: Many familiar elements, but a very solid episode nonetheless.

"Twilight" has a storyline that will be instantly recognized by anyone familiar with the film Memento (a masterpiece of narrative construction that you should rent immediately if you have not seen it), and then proceeds to add the sci-fi angles, taking on a "what if" parallel-timeline premise that can be instantly recognized by anyone familiar with TNG's "Yesterday's Enterprise" (among others) — except with the stakes becoming nothing less than humanity's existence itself. If I were a cynic I might say that I've already seen elsewhere most of what "Twilight" has to offer.

But "Twilight" repackages the material well, plausibly ties it into the current Enterprise story arc, and ups the action quotient to literally apocalyptic levels. All the while, it conveys an intimate character story that works in its own right. The Little Character Drama merges with the Big Action Spectacle and it all somehow holds together and seems justified and compelling. This is an episode that has something for everyone.

The episode begins with the disturbing — if perhaps overreaching — image of Earth being destroyed by the Xindi while the crew of the Enterprise watches helplessly from orbit (a presumably very distant orbit). This is like the opening teaser of "The Expanse" taken to the nth power, with a massive Xindi sphere emerging from nowhere and swiftly obliterating the planet. The potency of this image is almost justification for its presence in the episode ... since, logically speaking, I don't see how it could actually happen this way. If you follow T'Pol's dialog that takes place 12 years later, you might, like me, be at a loss to explain how the Enterprise could've possibly been anywhere near Earth to witness its destruction. (And, furthermore, you might wonder why the Enterprise was not the very next target after Earth.)

But it's a hook that's probably necessary given the weight of the episode's central situation — the last desperate gasps of humanity trying to survive — so I suppose dramatic weight should take precedence over the technicalities of plausibility. The episode is told from the point of view of 12 years in the future, where Archer wakes up in a strange place and finds himself 12 years older than he last remembers. He's unable to recall anything after having been hit by an anomaly in the Delphic Expanse.

This anomaly, T'Pol explains, left behind parasites that interfere with his brain's synaptic pathways. Thus, like the central character in Memento, he cannot form any new memories. After a few hours, any memory formed after the accident fades away, even though he retains all memories from before the accident. The notion of being lucid and perfectly cognizant, and yet trapped by the logic of this situation, suspended in a state of life forever interrupted — it's deeply disturbing to ponder, and hard to imagine how that would actually feel. Perhaps it would be like it is here for Archer, who experiences such a logical disconnect between his last memory and the current time that there's little opportunity for him to dwell on his condition; he's too busy learning that the condition exists and pulling the pieces together.

Despite years of trying, Phlox was never able to remove the parasites, because they exist, like DS9's Prophets, in a different zone that somehow transcends space and/or time. The only known way to destroy them would be with a subspace implosion that would kill Archer in the process. Astute viewers may quickly identify this as the solution to the entire plot, cleverly hidden in plain view.

Archer wakes up to find a very different — and yet very much the same — T'Pol making breakfast in his kitchen. As she explains his condition and the highlights (or, more accurately, lowlights) of the past 12 years, we are supplied a flashback narrative that documents the key events following Archer's affliction. Archer was eventually deemed unfit for duty and relieved of command, and Enterprise continued the mission to find the Xindi under T'Pol, who was granted a Starfleet captain's commission. Closing in on the location of The Weapon, Enterprise was increasingly besieged by Xindi attackers.

One particularly nasty attack forced T'Pol to ram the attacking ships, in an act that I find particularly interesting because it smacks of impulsive, un-Vulcan-like desperation, even if there is a logic that can be argued behind it. But don't bother trying to explain that logic to Trip ("What the hell were you thinking?"), who reports that the warp engine damaged in the crash will take him six months to fix. With the ship crippled, this makes it impossible to find the Xindi weapon before it is deployed.

(Digression: Why was Travis not piloting the ship, you ask — or perhaps you don't? Because he was apparently KIA, which I find amusingly pathetic. It's like the writers intentionally steer him out of scripts at every possible turn. In the case of alternate timelines like this one, all they have to do is have him lie dying on the floor early in the proceedings, without needing so much as a line of dialog addressing it. But never mind my tired Travis-is-a-cipher speech, blah, blah, etc.)

Earth is consequently destroyed, as is every human colony the Xindi can hunt down. Less than 6,000 humans remain, and they journey to settle on Ceti Alpha V — a planet whose ear-dwelling indigenous life, unseen here, makes you wonder whether those 6,000 survivors have a new problem to deal with on their new home.

This is a very bleak scenario, and an interesting one worth watching. Since obviously Earth won't actually be destroyed and the Xindi will at some point have to be stopped, "Twilight" permits us an imaginative look at the story arc's hypothetical worst-case scenario. The flashback structure of the "what if" future sometimes reminded me of DS9's "The Visitor" — although it must be said that "Twilight" is a substantially less poignant take on hypothetical material. (The loss of a parent evokes emotions we can understand, whereas Earth getting blown up is clearly reaching over the top into fantasy.) You don't quite get a real sense here that Earth's destruction is a cause for the unbearable anguish that it should be, because there's simply too much story to tell to dwell on people dealing with unimaginable despair. (Notably, Soval's matter-of-fact attitude toward humanity being wiped out seems awfully devoid of regret, even for a Vulcan.)

Rather, the emotional/character selling point resides less in humanity's destruction than in the nature of the relationship between Archer and T'Pol, after a decade of her serving as his caretaker. "Our relationship has ... evolved," T'Pol explains. Indeed. After 12 years, you would expect it to, even if Archer doesn't remember one minute of it. The nature of T'Pol's feelings for Archer are never explicitly stated, and it's left ambiguous as to exactly how deep they run. I think that's the right choice. Part of her feelings certainly stem from a sense that she owes it to him, since she was indirectly responsible for him being afflicted by the anomaly. But it's clear that there's more to it, and that she has grown attached; after 12 years, being with Archer has become a normal part of her life. Jolene Blalock and Scott Bakula find the right notes for their parts in this strange routine: T'Pol long accustomed to it, while Archer finds it brand-new every morning.

It can't be easy, and you can sense in Mike Sussman's script the allegory for people who have mental illnesses and the people who care for them (Alzheimer's Disease being the most obvious parallel) — there's a human toll in maintaining patience, dedication, and making daily sacrifices.

Of course, this being sci-fi, there's ultimately a cure here, and this cure also can change history. Because of the odd space/time properties, eradicating the parasites in the present also turns out to eradicate them in the past, which means an alternate timeline would emerge if the parasites were destroyed, thus having never incapacitated Archer. On this particular day, Phlox is arriving with a possible treatment he's been working on for the past decade. Archer returns to the Enterprise to undergo treatment. But, of course, this being an action episode, Phlox's solution is not carried out before an all-out Xindi assault that spells the certain end of the last remaining human colony, as the Enterprise is pummeled and hammered and boarded and the bridge is blown up and the officers are sucked into space.

The final act crescendos into escalating disaster, like "Yesterday's Enterprise" ramped up to our current decade's action standards. Eventually, all the characters are blown up or shot by Xindi soldiers, and humanity's fate lies in T'Pol and Archer setting off a subspace implosion in engineering while being shot at from all sides. The whole ship goes up in a big fireball, which serves as the biggest explosion able to set timelines right since Voyager's "Year of Hell, Part II."

In story theme and sometimes in method, "Twilight" invokes a long list of its older siblings' classic predecessors: "Tomorrow Is Yesterday" and "The City on the Edge of Forever" from TOS; "Yesterday's Enterprise" and "All Good Things..." from TNG; "The Visitor" from DS9; "Timeless" from Voyager. It betters none of those examples (which comprise some fine company), but it does work as another iteration on the material, and it finds a workable balance between its extreme disaster scenarios and more personal moments. I tend to prefer these shows when they have a witness in the story that remembers at least some of what happened (or could've happened), but that's by no means mandatory. After all, we in the audience are the witnesses that count.

Next week: The good, the bad, and the Enterprise.

Previous episode: The Shipment
Next episode: North Star

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Comment Section

88 comments on this post

    this one reminds me of that final episode of tng. Also, it really makes me think about that episode where Sisko started skipping through time, and gets to see Jake as an old man. (one of my favorite episodes). This is probably the best episode of Enterprise so far. And it's probably the only one so far that's made me sit up and watch.

    I hate to keep pointing this out, but Travis is quietly missing AGAIN. When Archer goes back to Enterprise, EVERYONE is there to greet him. It was a very nice reunion. But why is Travis missing?

    One of the few completely acceptable uses of the Reset Button. As in All Good Things, Yesterday's Enterprise, or The Visitor, the *goal*, pressing that button, was intricately built right *into* the story in a clever and thought provoking way, rather being a tacked-on treknobabble gimmick that allows the writers to go nuts and then be able to dismiss it.

    "...and the bridge is blown up and the officers are sucked into space." - To put it with our most beloved android: Correction, Sir: That's blown out!

    I really enjoyed last weeks "shipment" and this episode, because they go in the right direction for me. They are thrilling without abandonig a certain Trekkian ethos!

    I think this episode is closest to DS9's "The Visitor." Both involve a Captain being as close to dead, without being dead, as possible, with the result being catastrophic. Additionally, the solution was simple, but hard to see, and resulted in a reset to the point in time when the problem began with a very different result.

    BTW, Travis was killed in the scene where T'Pol crashes Enterprise into a Xindi ship. That's why you don't see him for most of this episode.

    Battlestar: Enterprise?

    I hear the writer of this episode was able to check out a bootleg copy of Battlestar Galatica miniseries.

    One of the series' very best and, for me, the highlight of Season Three.

    I loved this episode.

    I disagree on the anguish. Earth being destroyed and Archer's reaction was gripping. T'Pol's loyalty and affection was convincing. Her season 3 look is softer and her acting is better.

    I loved the theme of loyalty, the dedication to something greater than yourself.

    Best episode so far.

    Jolene Blalock's subtle performance was excellent. This is one of the best of the 'Xindi Arc'.

    I really enjoyed the interaction between T'Pol and Archer I'm this one. It was actually kind of touching. I too was reminded of DS9's The Visitor. This episode isn't quite as good as that episode. But, The Visitor might be my favorite hour of Trek ever. So, that isn't to say that this wasn't a great hour of tv too.

    Also, on a shallow note, does anyone else think T'Pol looks a little like a Vulcan Angelina Jolie in this episode? I think this is the prettiest she's looked so far in this series. I'm glad they finally let her wear different colored clothing and grow her hair out a little. It makes her look less like the angry Vulcan fembot she was bordering on in the first two seasons.

    And, my last thought on this one... Poor, poor Travis. This poor kid can't get a break, huh?

    Zack Handlen's pulling ahead of your TNG reviews again, but he had this to say about "Cause & Effect" which exactly sums up the feeling I had while watching "Twilight":

    "In a very real sense, that's where the suspense comes from; not in whether or not the Enterprise will eventually survive, but whether or not the writer (Brannon Braga) will provide that resolution fairly."

    In fact, the only surprise about "Twilight" is that it *wasn't* personally written by Braga. That, and the fact that it trod much of the same ground covered by the revamped BSG, which debuted a month later.

    Quite honestly, that ending part where Archer survives three shots is one of the lamest, stupidest scenes in Trek history that I can remember. It's just arbitrary, especially since T*Pol and Phlox can't even survive one.

    This episode is effective in that you don't need to be following the Xindi thread at all to enjoy it, and it has plenty of intriguing "what if' moments, especially the notion that T*Pol or anyone else can't do this mission. (Though I note that is a cliche itself in fiction; that the predestined leader can only be the leader and no one else).

    You made it clear in the recent "Inner Light" (great episode worth the 4 stars) review of TNG that Picard should be a changed man after the events that occurred in that episode. Similarly, Archer should be a changed man after witnessing the cataclysmic events seen in this episode (kind of hard not to be emotionally scarred when humanity is closing down on its last few numbers).

    Of course, it's all too wrapped up to obviously with Archer clearly dodging the irregularity rather then trying to make sense of its purpose, (you know, if it all meant something).

    If you're wondering if I am for or against this episode, I'd give it 2.5 stars- large and cinematic in scope but not really making up for it in any way in the larger picture.

    You mention the ear-dwelling indigenous life forms on Ceti Alpha V being a potential problem. I also think the fact that Ceti Alpha VI is going to explode in 120 years and knock Ceti Alpha V out of orbit could also be a problem. : )

    Am I the only one who really loved the hairstyles everyone got? Malcolm and Hoshi looked great, and Archer ended up being Harrison Ford!

    I would like to mention another episode that this felt like for yet has not been mentioned: Voyager's Year of Hell.
    Both this and that story present a what if story in which things go so wrong that from very early on you know time travel is going to be involved to fix it, as they would never allow the show to take such a turn.

    I also would like to add that this was actually one of the instances with technically the most interesting way of time travel. Sure, something from outside our time-space continuum may be something of a hack, but with just one line of explanation, they make a rather consistent time travel theory.

    @Greg: How should this have changed Archer, if from his perspective it has never happened?

    How crappy are the Vulcans in this? They don't bother to defend Earth from the weapon and just let Earth get destroyed. Then it seems they refuse to protect the convoys. On top of that T'Pol's former boss all but blames it on the humans and tells T'Pol to come home and abandon them.

    What d-bags! I'm glad humans dominate them in the future.

    And...what happened to Porthos in the alternate timeline? :(

    What the Xindi are trying to do the human species in this fictional story - wipe them from existence - humans themselves do to about 200 species in real life everyday. But in this fiction the Xindi - who all appear to be similar to Earth animals (marine, insect, reptile) - not only kill the humans but also all life from Earth, non-human as well. For the lab rats and factory farms animals that is probably a mercy, however. Wouldn't it be far easier to engineer a virus that kills only humans and leaves everything else intact - including the Xindi's distant cousins? Even Men in Black explored this humourously (the cockroaches) - why does ST lack the imagination to do so? The remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still is another good example: humans destroyed but all the non-human flora and fauna left intact.

    p.s. correction: in The Day the Earth Stood Still, the alien threatens to kill humanity but doesn't.

    On another matter, Jammer is right -- this episode is much like Momento and Year of Hell Pt. II. Well, at least it does it well. The image of the last humans in existence living as refugees on a distant planet, constantly under attack, was quite compelling.

    Though Twilight was a one-off that probably will have no lasting impact and it featured a lot of T’Pol, I liked it quite a bit. I’d say 3 stars. It was so good that I lowered the setting on my T-Pol Auto-Skipper so I actually caught her scenes as captain and towards the end of the episode. It was so refreshing to see Blalock in a normal uniform and non-skin tight casual clothes. That and her acting a bit more really improves T’Pol. I will try to give her scenes a chance more often though her writhing in heat with Phlox is still burned in my memory.

    Reed’s goatee was very Mirror Mirror, Hoshi’s super-side bangs were cool, and Phlox was, well, awesome as always. But the real eye opener for me in Twilight was Captain Tucker - he we great! The accent was almost gone and he really cranked it up in the battle sequence. He was very convincing interrogating the Gollum/Goblin looking trader and he was powerful in command. His losing the accent and having a different role made all the difference. Now I wonder about Trinneer being cast as Archer instead of Bakula. Anyway, good episode.

    Brilliant stuff. Now the series is on fire!
    Yes we'd seen this kind of thing before, there are only so many story ideas that can ever be thought up and by now Trek had exhausted them - but it carried them out in an exciting, plausible and unique way. I like it a lot.

    Not sure about Reed's beard. He's no Riker.

    And I grinned at seeing Bakula staring at himself in the mirror seeing what he looks like - it was just missing a cheeky "Oh Boy.."

    Great episode, minus one logical flaw: why didn't Archer just start keeping a more regular log?

    All it would take to avoid wasting time and embarrassment by saying and doing things over and over would be to transcribe his memories to the log instead of to his broken brain. This could include a to-do list of things he wants to accomplish in future days, too. Certainly, the log would eventually get too large to read in a day, but that's when you devote a day to consolidating it and deciding what to do next.

    Considering everyone already keeps logs rather religiously in the Trek universe, this seemed like an odd oversight.

    I would generally agree with everything you've said Jammer.

    Something no one has mentioned yet: What do temporal brain parasites have to do with the anomolies being zapped out by the spheres in the Expanse? It felt like a bit too arbitrary a contruct for me.

    I also felt the action escalated too much and they tried too hard (as usual) to make the action take front and centre. Eg. Humaity has survived 12 years post-Earth and yet coincidentally, just now, as Archer is trying to effectively go back to his time, humanity is finally being wiped out for good.

    It's this focus on action, when the characters are doing a great job on their own and should remain the focus, that keeps this from being truly first rate for me.

    Having said all that, I'd still rate it as one of the better episodes of the series to this point.

    John: I think the spatial anomalies are basically just used as magical plot device factories by this point in the series.

    Frankly, they make no sense in any case. There are four logical outcomes for the parasites:

    1. The parasites are intentionally killed by a medical procedure;
    2. The parasites are killed when the host dies in a subspace implosion or similar event;
    3. The parasites are killed when the host dies of other causes and can no longer sustain them;
    4. The parasites find another host.

    Outcome #4 just loops back to the same list of possibilities when the new host dies.

    As such, we can assume the parasites will eventually die in all possible timelines. And when they die in the future, they die in the past. Ergo, their existence is a logical impossibility.

    That was an excellent episode !
    I hadn't been that entertained in a long time. It had a good balance between quiet and hell moments.

    I just have a (very small) quibble: I can't believe for one second that Starfleet gave a vulcan - even a trusted one - the command of the ship supposed to save humanity. On a mission like this, logic is an asset, but like Kirk said many times, emotions and gut feelings must be taken into account. And whatever the intents, you'll fight differently when it comes to save your own kind or another race (I'm not talking about racism, but self-preservation).

    Logically, Tucker should have taken command even if the chief engineer taking command isn't very effective. Saying that, it strikes me that there aren't many experienced officers on this ship. Only one (young) commander, one (trigger-happy) lieutenant, a vulcan subcommander (who wasn't intended to remain there) and many many many young ensigns ? No wonder Archer is shown as the only one able to complete the mission.

    I've had a virus this week and so have been spending a lot of time with Netflix and watching this series for the first time. This episode was very enjoyable, even if it borrowed from 50 First Dates. That was two in a row!

    And I like Archer with gray hair.

    Interesting episode (despite some plot holes) and they did a great job aging the characters. For the first time, T'Pol looked really attractive. Also, I agree with an earlier poster that the new Capt. Tucker, with a trace of an accent rather than an overblown one and a powerful command presence, is much more appealing.

    For the record, this episode was released before 50 First Dates was.

    Two in a row that were quite good, and this one was almost excellent (a couple of big plot holes that Jammer points out). Looking ahead in Jammer's reviews, there are a lot of 2-star episodes coming up so I'm wary. The writers hit their stride with this one and the last one, but presumably stumble afterwards, what a shame.
    What's the deal with Travis? Not only do they kill him off, but there's no fanfare for him in death. I really think the powers that be were trying to drive him off the series at this point. Good for him to hang on, it's a steady paycheck after all.
    I liked the allegory to Alzheimer's with T'pol as caregiver for Archer as well.
    We can now see the consequences if this mission fails so the stakes are at their highest. But I go forward to the next episodes with trepidation...

    I am surprised how much so many people loved this "reset button" episode.

    Someone made a good point that Archer could have recorded his new memories into a log instead of wasting T'Pol's time and depriving Starfleet of a valuable officer.

    Even Dana Carvey figured out that trick in "Clean Slate".

    Compelling episode.

    Sigh...all the creativity thwarted by the 42 minute / 26 episode format. I wish this show had been done outside of Hollywood, with a European approach of a short set of very strong hour plus episodes (like HBO is doing).

    I'm glad for the sake of the show every time they neglect Travis Mayweather's character. This excellent episode could only have benefited from the neglect. The actor can't do anything with him and it's like dead air when he's talking. W Smith said he feels the powers that be were trying to drive him off the show by then? I can see why they might. He doesn't give any subtly or nuance or anything even vaguely interesting in his facial expressions, his body language, his voice, anything.

    That's just being bad as an actor. I've never seen him in anything else and I've heard he's good in other things, but he's just so unremarkable in every moment he's had up to this point. I've never seen him so much as raise his eyebrow in an interesting way on this show. It may be a paradox but he's remarkable for how unremarkable he is. Zero creativity on display.

    Maybe it *was* something about this show behind the scenes or where he was in life at the time that caused him to be poor, but he was poor when he was given the most opportunity not to be. He must be the least of the actors who were regulars on any Trek series for the time they were there. I've seen people criticize Gates McFadden with the same adjectives (like wooden), and yet I think she was two leagues above this guy-at least during their Trek time. Which is like saying she was two leagues less wooden than a tree. A dead tree.

    I'm thinking about one logical flaw...

    Why does Phlox remember parasites being on the scans if they've gone before? Shouldn't they be gone from his memory as well, leaving Phlox saying "Well, our therapy was completely useless"?

    I have always been a sucker for 'what if?' episodes and this is another strong entry into the genre. If the plot device is fairly risible (spatial anomalies delivering subspace parasites... OK, then....) then at least it plays out in a nicely dark tone. There were definitely strong flavours of Year of Hell in there, as well as a bit of BSG too. Interesting.

    On the debit side the FX work looked really creaky here for the first time in ages, and as others have noted Travis is really getting sidelined here - killed with not a mention. 3.5 stars.

    Something that really irritates me about Enterprise is the sexism on display. Hoshi is intelligent and has invented revolutionary technology and helped facilitate first contact with a number of species and diffused a number of diplomatic problems: no promotion in 12 years. Trip on the other hand is dumb as a bag of hammers, racist, “learned about warp cores working on a fishing boat”, will blow up the engine and cause himself severe brain damage that requires a partial brain transplant not 2 episodes from now, and this is the man then gets promoted to captain of the Enterprise??? Is that the Star Trek utopian message? That if you’re a white male, you’re on the fast track to the top, no matter how inept and incompetent?

    When T’Pol is captain (finally she gets to wear something that makes her look like a professional), it is automatically described as a “disaster”. When she desperately rams the Xindi ship, Trip viciously condemns her decision, but he doesn’t offer an alternative on what they could have done. T’Pol gets them out of a tight situation, and Trip just disrespects her authority in front of everybody and offers nothing constructive (yeah, real command material there Trip…), whereas T’Pol remains very professional coolly reminding him that she’s in charge, and that he must go through proper channels to have her removed. And we’re supposed to believe her command is a disaster? T’Pol managed to get everybody out of the Expanse alive whereas Trip’s command resulted in his death, and the death of his bridge crew in the first few minutes of the battle.

    Reed, another white male, gets to be a captain of his own ship, but at least that makes sense given that he’s competent and knows how to follow the chain of command. Though the reason he’s manning a tactical station instead of captaining his ship is beyond me. Was his rank honorary?

    The ending of this episode really grates on me. It’s not the reset button that bothers me, it was obvious that was going to be pushed the moment Earth blew up, it was how we got there. T’Pol, whom throughout the episode has slowly devoted her life to Archer, captaining a ship throughout its darkest hours and deciding to tie her fate to humanity’s…is thanklessly shot in the back to die instantly while operating controls to save the day. They couldn’t even give T’Pol the heroic moment, despite all the sacrifices she made, they have to give it to Archer, whom gets shot square in the chest and is barely fazed, then gets shot in the back by the exact same weapon T’Pol was, and he can still has the fortitude to move levers around, this despite the fact that T’Pol, being a Vulcan, has the strength of 3 humans. Jeez, what does that say about T’Pol, that she can’t even last as long as Archer, a man who loses every fist fight he ever gets in, despite her discipline and strength. And as a final indignity, Archer collapses on T’Pol’s, as if all she was good for in the scene was to have her dead body soften the fall for the real hero: Archer. Even Phlox gets to have a heroic death, with sparks flying and his body flying several feet during his last stand. Guess the best women can hope for being allowed to wear a uniform…

    Still, horrible sexism aside, this was a great episode; combining the movie Memento with Year of Hell was an interesting idea. I do agree it should have been a 2 parter, imagine of Year of Hell as single episode, there would be no time to explore the damage or consequences. This episode I feel glosses over T’Pol’s captaincy too quickly, seeing what was left of humanity in that colony would have been interesting. Heck, how they rebuilt Enterprise’s nacelle is a total mystery, it would have been interesting to see Trip on EVA rebuilding the coil, Star Trek nacelles are hardly ever mentioned in the shows for some reason, and seeing a retro nacelle with the turbine would have been cool. So many things could have made the episode better, such as ditching the total reset button that means all of what we said never happened and had no effect. I point to the Stargate SG1 episode There But for the Grace of God where Dr. Jackson ends up in an alternate dimension, where the impending Earth invasion happens is in progress. Not only does he witness the devastation of the invasion and watch all his alt!friends die, but he also attains critical intel from that universe and brings it back into the prime universe. Everything that happened in that episode happened, while also showing what the stakes were, and providing tools for the characters to work against the problem. Archer should have gone back and retained some of the memories, even if it was a few hours of his last day. He should have taken with him some knowledge, like T’Pol’s regrets as captain, (ex. The Xindi aren’t united, we should have gotten some of them on our side, I shouldn’t have gotten high on Trellium-D, ect.), so that Archer in the present can now go forward with a plan and a direction, even if the outcome of the new direction is still uncertain.

    Glad I got another chance to see this episode again on Netflix because I didn't remember any of it.

    Two people have mentioned this in the comments, and I'm amazed Jammer didn't, but rewatching the series as I am, this is no the first instance this season of the stars managing to just be shaken for a moment by weapons that kill or stun everyone else. Archer takes THREE shots and still has the fortitude to push a lever, while those shots take out everyone else in one hit. Absolutely ridiculous and it's happened in several previous episodes as well.

    This is one of the best episodes of ENT. Only spoiled by the writers taking shortcuts to mark the characters more heroic when this wasn't necessary at all.
    1) Only reason for Trip to reject Phlox's suggestion is that the writers need to have an heroic self-destruct later. 2) Archer getting three shots and still surviving. Both were utterly unnecessary and could have been trivially fixed.

    An interesting note is that Commander Shran helps humanity (with shield technology) even when he seemingly had nothing to gain.

    @Edax: In a later episode, we discovered Hoshi got kicked out of Starfleet officer course (won't spoil the story) and isn't a 'proper' officer. That's one reason for Starfleet to not promote her. You didn't expect the near-extinction of Humanity would actually reduce bureaucracy, did you?

    (Also, I don't think she has any interest in any role besides the one she's doing. She's intrigued by languages, not command).

    Well, I sure feel stupid. I've been saying all season that ENT should stick to the main story arc, and that the main problem was wandering off into material that didn't advance the overall said arc. Then THIS comes along, using the reset button and contributing nothing whatsoever to the story arc, and it's the best damn episode of ENT yet. As a Canadian friend once said to me, "There's so much irony in that, you could move it around with magnets."

    Very early on, as soon as I got a basic idea what was happening, I started thinking of DS9's 'The Visitor'. Well, it ain't quite in that exalted territory, but miraculously, IMO, it's the first ENT episode which approaches greatness. What stops it tipping over the edge - again just IMHO - is primarily too much complexity. Too much going on. Too many ideas and action eventually swirling around together. It doesn't have 'Visitor's still center. Both episodes involve bizarre metaphysical weirdness, but in 'Visitor' it's always reined in, subservient to the emotional journey of Jake and his father. Here, though the episode makes strides with the emotional development of the characters which i frankly wouldn't have thought possible, the bizarre metaphysical weirdness is allowed to become the center of attention.

    But that being said, this is a genuine achievement from the writers and cast of ENT. I find I really cared about Archer and T'Pol. Not long ago I'd have thought that unlikely. The episode hits close to home on a number of personal levels, as I'm sure it does with many of you, but I think it would have affected me anyway.

    This is the first ENT episode which I think belongs in a list of Trek's best. Not high up on the list, but if you'd told me that near the end of last year - actually if you'd told me three episodes ago - I'd have been very dubious.

    Why the hell did it take nearly two and half years for this to happen?

    And why, looking ahead at the 2 and 1.5 star episodes ahead (at least according to Jammer), was it such an isolated event?

    Well, two worthy episodes in a row. Hats of to Mike Sussman and all concerned.

    Rock solid 3.5 stars from me (I'm sorry, but if I give this 4, what do I give eps like 'Visitor'?) I'll make it 3.75 and you can round it up.

    Yes yes yes! This is how you do a medical crisis without making the audience feel like they are in a hospital waiting room.

    Every Trek series has a few of these epic temporal stories. 'Yesterday's Enterprise', 'Year of Hell', 'The Visitor' and so on. I wasn't expecting ENT to pull that off as well as its predecessors, but I was pleasantly surprised. This is an excellent episode and one of the series' best. It is undermined somewhat by plot holes (why didn't Archer and T'Pol just keep a log so she didn't have to tell him the same story over and over?) and a contrived ending (who can take three kill shots from a phaser rifle?). The episode is exciting and even touching, especially when we see how Archer and T'Pol's relationship has developed over the years. Seeing T'Pol in a real StarFleet uniform, I felt like cheering; she looked great, without being objectified. Why didn't they just have hear wear one from the beginning?

    All of the future crew members look and act so much more interesting than their present versions that I was sorry to see them go. Reed's beard worked, T'Pol's hairstyle was more appealing, Trip's accent had softened, and with Mayweather having been killed in action, the show still seemed whole and I didn't miss him - a sad commentary, perhaps, on just how inconsequential his character was. While 'Twilight' isn't very relevant to the ongoing Xindi storyline due to the necessary Reset Button, it accomplishes something even more important; it proves that Enterprise had potential to be more than a flawed and redundant exercise. I'll wait until the finale to decide whether that potential was fully realized in Season 3.

    Charming episode, despite a few plot holes and the "women suck in command" moment.

    The homecoming felt so real, all of us have met old job pals with the same feeling, and the T'Pol/Archer connection felt so sweet!

    Just a note about the log: in real life, it doesn't work too well on such patients. A log does help, but it can't replace a careful explanation from a real person.
    Because the patients alone can't reliably keep track of all proper moments to write/read each entry (either they write the same info over and over, or they leave the log for the night and then they forget it, or they forget to reread as often as needed).
    This happens because the disease doesn't keep the memory tidily arranged in 1-day periods: memories fail after actual random periods of a few hours or sometimes minutes (depending on attention, pauses etc), and this makes difficult for the patient to keep a perfect log without help.

    A good log must be done with the help of somebody else.
    And the patient may forget to read it, so it's easier and friendlier to explain the log in a meeting as T'Pol does. In fact, Trip and T'Pol do so for a few weeks, until the technical details of command/engineering change too much to keep a proper track efficiently.
    Archer's intelligence is sharp anyway, so he can still cope with sudden emergencies (as he does in the end), but emergencies aren't everything in a captain's job: management, planning and tech is involved as well, and after too many log meetings Trip finally learns this part of the job and take charge. Sadly, it's more efficient than doing all the same job for meetings with someone who won't remember...

    Terrific episode that works on many levels -- the human Archer/T'Pol desperation angle as well as the alternate timeline/sci-fi angle. It is nearly worthy of being mentioned in the same breath as "The City on the Edge of Forever", "The Visitor", and "Yesterday's Enterprise" & "All Good Things..." It figures out a new way of resetting the timeline, which does take some creativity after all these other awesome episodes.

    The teaser being shocking, awe-inspiring, tragic sets this episode on the right track -- clearly, somehow Archer is in a new reality but can't figure out why. The timeline has to be reset to save humanity -- big enough stakes.

    Bakula does a good job here, especially showing his despair on the colony of 6,000 when he finds out all the other outposts the Xindi wiped out. Blalock as the caregiver is also really good -- having made the sacrifice to take care of somebody basically having Alzheimer's. I liked her look, being long removed from Star Fleet -- as well as the character move of wanting to pay Archer back for saving her from the anomaly.

    A couple of flaws include how the Enterprise was able to witness the destruction in the teaser. How does that jive with the ship being able to survive and lead the migration to the Ceti Alpha and the creation of the colony? I'd have to figure being so close to witnessing the destruction that it would become a target for the Xindi thereafter.

    The other part that was far-fetched was the ending scene with Archer creating the subspace implosion -- how many times was he phasered and yet he still pushes all the right buttons to detonate the ship?? This was over-dramatic. But you can't fault this episode for reaching for the sky -- seeing the Enterprise bridge get cut open was also very cool.

    Interesting that T'Pol/Phlox could not convince Trip to continue Archer's treatment, which was showing success. Maybe this is due to Trip being a captain while T'Pol/Phlox have been out of the picture for some time.

    To clarify 1 thing in Jammer's review - re. T'Pol taking control of the Enterprise and ramming the Xindi ship -- she did so because Travis had just been killed. This was an interesting move from T'Pol, kind of the desperation move that Spock (logically) pulled off in "The Galileo Seven". She figured this was the best course of action without having any kind of certainty that it will work, I believe.

    I like what ENT is doing with the season long arc -- bringing in different kinds of stories that all tie to the overarching arc. DSC could honestly take some hints from S3 of ENT, which is its best season and "Twilight" its best episode of the season so far.

    High 3 stars for "Twilight" -- does a great job with the elements of resetting the timeline story, creative, compelling, and with a couple of good performances from the main actors. It fits in nicely with the season-long arc and has the needed touching/poignant moments as well. Too bad ENT didn't have more quality episodes like this one.

    The CGI effects were great. It was fun seeing Earth blowing up. Well, we all knew the reset button would be pushed at the end. At least it was very entertaining. Great episode.

    There is a paradox with the parasites in this episode. When they die they cease to have ever existed in the past, so how would they even exist in the first place. Even if they lived a long and healthy life and simply died from old age they would erase themselves from existence.

    I really enjoyed the episode though, but as someone mentioned it was really hard to believe that Archer could be shot three times and kept getting back up.

    I liked this episode, 3.5 stars. The story arc seems a little convoluted, but it is nice to see some character development, some plotlines, and enough action to keep many people happy.

    I loved this episode. I thought the plot was well done and it worked in the 43 minutes it was given. Call me a romantic but I really thought the interplay between T'Pol and Archer was excellent. After years of taking care of Archer, she's grown "attached". There is probably more to it than that though. You don't dedicate that amount of time to care and not learn about the person you care for. Archer is an interesting, disciplined, well-rounded man. There is no reason why T'Pol *wouldn't* eventually fall for him. It is particularly poignant that Archer would forget in the morning all that she's done. You can only imagine what the rest of their day together would be like after she breaks the news to him. His fore knowledge that he would forget. His need for trusted companionship. His knowledge that it would be impossible to form lasting relationships with others in the colony. Archer *needs* T'Pol.

    I also thought that Scott Bakula played the part excellently well. He played the once virile assured captain of a starship and showed through, interestingly, body language the immasculation that a man might feel who had suddenly found out he was disabled. That his life was no longer in his own hands.

    You also wonder what Archer would have tried to offer when he and T'Pol are discussing what would happen if the procedure was successfuldespite knowing that he can never repay her for over a decade ofloyaltyWhat would he have said there.

    I was invested in this episode. I've watched it a lot. Enough to overlook the fact that Archer gets shot 3 times and still manages to manipulate the controls of a. I suspend my disbelief because I have an investment in Archer having one last moment of power and virility to get the job done. In spite of the odds against

    Shocker, even in a fake world Tucker is an insubordinate hot head who disrespects any authority besides for his friend Archer.

    Also I like a T'Pol/Archer relationship much more than T'Pol/Tucker. T'Pol/Archer is much more mature, natural and organic.

    @JD I think you share something in common with the writers, looking for reasons to get rid of black characters for obvious reasons. And then coming up with weak excuses when you don't like them.

    And yes @JD I do think that your angry response towards the Travis Mayweather character is laced with bigotry.

    Just happen to be rewatching ENT and happened upon this review just one day after your comments, The_Man. I've never commented on one of these before, but I felt the need to do so for the first time. One thing that has been consistently surprising to me reading through these Jammer reviews (and the comments) after watching each episode is actually the LACK of criticism of Anthony Montgomery's acting, and the complaints about his character's lack of action. There's always been a pretty wide spectrum of acting talent and experience across each Trek cast, but Montgomery has to be one of the worst, if not THE singular worst of all time. I'm not a huge fan of most of ENT's cast with the exception of Billingsley and Trinneer (and the amazing Jeffrey Combs when he thankfully appears), but they all look like Patrick Stewart / Avery Brooks / Brent Spiner / Robert Picardo / Tim Russ / Andrew Robinson etc. next to Montgomery's just-took-one-semester-of-acting-classes-and-now-I'm-in-my-first-high-school-production level. Also recently found out he's the grandson of the legendary jazz guitar great Wes Montgomery, but it seems like the creative talent sadly didn't make it to his generation.

    A really good time twist story. Also one of my favourites. Archer / T'Pol / Phlox chemistry works fine.

    There are many complaints regarding Anthony Montgomery and Linda Parks acting or Characters. They are too weak / bad.

    To be honest I am not sure. Perhaps two background characters where needed. It was the same with Garrett Wang in Voyager. I believe such character are needed or perhaps wanted. In real life there are a lot of people who not expose themselves to much. Hoshi get more space then Travis but I am not sure that it was just bad acting that brought Montgomery in the background. His acting / character has not been a big annoyance to me. But it is a pity that he could not be used more or better.

    Sometimes it seems as we need to bash.

    I would have liked to see more of the character Cutler from first season.

    Maq, I agree with you for the most part. It's fine for certain characters to not get much spotlight, nothing wrong with having background characters. And it's funny you mention Garrett Wang, he's probably the 2nd worst Trek actor ever behind Montgomery, haha, at least in my opinion. And yeah Linda Park is not my favorite actor either, but at least she's like....competent. Capable of relaying some basic level of personality/emotion/realness/presence. I don't think there's necessarily anything "wrong" with the actual characters of Mayweather or Hoshi as written, in my opinion it's just a lack of execution, which falls on the actors.
    Also I am in 100% agreement regarding Cutler, deserved much more screen time. Maybe I'm biased by the fact that she bears a striking resemblance to a girl I once knew, but......probably best not to dwell on that.

    I read recently that Anthony Montgomery felt that his portrayal of Mayweather was substandard because he hadn't been given any backstory.

    My first thought was, dude, that's your job! I am reading all the time about actors creating backstories for their characters. It never has to be directly communicated to anyone, but it helps inform the performance, to give it more depth and richness.

    Did Montgomery ever take an acting class in his life?

    Maq and DW, the reason we didn't get more Cutler is that the actress who played her died a sudden and untimely death from a previously undiagnosed cardiac condition.

    I really enjoyed this episode, but as usual, further thought brings out the time paradoxes. If Phlox's procedure eradicated the first cluster of parasites from the timeline, how do T'pol and Phlox still remember that they used to be there, since they now never existed?

    Depressing. This one reminds me of Battlestar Galactica (the 70s show-I didn't watch the new one)

    I must say that watching Earth destroyed, and then hearing the "It's Been a Long Road" happy jingle is a bit jarring!

    Overall though, it is a good episode, and I like the irony of the humans landing on Ceti Alpha V. (THIS IS CETI ALPHA V!!!!)

    I forgot that there was something I wanted to add-as sci-fi as that scenario of living each day and forgetting is, that REALLY happened! There is a young teenager that happened to-and she was cured awhile later. Let me see if I can find something on that...

    Her name is Riley Horner. Look it up-that's not a joke! Sad that something like this happened. She was healed, but again, the bible talks of a time when ALL illness and suffering will be healed.


    Thanks for info. Sad to hear. That explains a lot. She left a good imression. There has been more charcters where you would liked to have seen more. Ensign Ro, Ambassador K'Ehleyr, Airiam just to mention a few. I guess every has its reason. Still they have managed to resuse some very odd characters. Barclay is one. The first episode and his character was so embarrasing. But they made something out of him, He becam a very usefull and quite sympatich nerd.

    Mostly a good episode, but it just had to hate on the Vulcans again, didn't it? Soval is again depicted as an uncaring, obstinate, stubborn asshole. T'Pol applying "logic" in the space battle is apparently what ultimately resulted in the failure of the mission and the destruction of mankind. If only Archer wouldn't have been incapacitated, the mission would have been a success apparently.

    Why does ENT hate Vulcans so much? Before the Xindi appeared, they seemed like mankind's worst antagonists. In previous shows, they applied strict logic but weren't always right. Those shows tried to appreciate intellect and logic but also to show its limits. ENT has no such ambiguity, Vulcans pay lip service to logic but whenever they appear they're really just stubborn jerks, rarely even explaining their stance with logic. They're just comic book idiots.

    Vulcans appearing anywhere in ENT? 100% chance they're being assholes. Vulcans mentioned in the presence of Archer? 100% chance he makes annoyed/sarcastic remarks.

    Why is ENT so obsessed with depicting them as assholes? It feels like someone being bitter and vindictive about an ex and badmouthing them at any chance they get. I don't know what went on behind the scenes, but it feels like someone made sure that whenever Vulcans appear or are even mentioned, it must be made clear they're assholes.

    Instead of "Rosemary's Baby " on the movie night they should be showing "Groundhog Day"!


    All I can say is, stick it out. It wasn't planned from the outset, but the Vulcans ARE eventually addressed. Whether it'll work for you I cannot say, but at least it doesn't exist in a void and is given *A* reason.

    Wrote a glowing review of this ep four years ago. Reading what's been written since:

    @The_ Man - I can't see an iota of racism in JD's criticism of Montgomery's acting. Unless you're referring to something he said in a different review, it's a ridiculous allegation to make.

    The parasites that were gone from the newest scan were gone from the earlier scans as well. This means that Phlox would have always believed there were no parasites in that region of the brain. Which means he would have targeted another region of the brain in his first test. Now the parasites in this region would be gone, which means they would have never existed in the first place and so on and on. Thus, Phlox's *first test would have been enough* to remove the parasites bit-by-bit, and time would have been reset. No need to destroy Trip's Enterprise.

    (With thanks to Bernd, I modified his theory)

    = = = =

    I wish there was a scene while Archer and T'Pol were both dying which gave some closure to the romance. I propose:

    (Archer has set the final subspace overload lever and both, dying from phaser fire are waiting for the outcome)

    Archer: Well, let's see if this works.

    T'Pol: If this doesn't work ...


    According to this logic, even the first test wouldn't be necessary. Since the existence of the parasites eventually leads Phlox's first test, which eventually leads to their eradication, they shouldn't have existed at all in the first place.

    But then, of-course, we would have no episode.

    @OmicronThetaDelta: Exactly my point!

    And we end up having "no episode" anyway, because the episode cancels itself out.

    Anthony Montgomery's acting is painful to watch. You can actually see him trying to concentrate enough to remember his lines as he delivers them. I have absolutely no idea how he made it through the casting process. I mean, how does that even happen? How many other actors must have been up for that role, and HE got it? Star Trek hasn't always featured the best actors or actresses, but nobody's in his league for awful. Absolutely nobody.

    Linda Park's acting, on the other hand, is perfectly adequate. She's definitely no worse than Blalock or even Bakula (who has charisma and presence, but does not particularly impress with his acting abilities). I feel she can handle a lot more than she's being given, and if memory serves, they find it for her in season four by allowing her character to be more assertive. They should have wrote her character different from the start, but what's the point in saying that--this is Enterprise, they should have wrote EVERYTHING different from the start!

    Jolene Blalock was obviously cast because they wanted a successor to Seven of Nine. But instead of finding another Jeri Ryan, they hired whoever Braga most wanted to screw next out of the women who showed up for auditions. And that, apparently, was some fake-boobed, collagen-lipped non-actress who was down to do softcore scenes involving slathering gel all over herself if it got her on TV. At least she seems to be learning on the job. Sometimes actors and actresses do. Remember Terry Farrell at the start of DS9? Couldn't hardly act at all, and how wonderful was she just a year or so later?

    I don't know why ENT stuck with characters like Mayweather who weren't working. TV shows still dropped performers for creative reasons all the time back in the aughts, so it's not like it was a different era of making television. And I don't know why they not only stuck with, but doubled down on the theme song. If this show premiered today, that song would have been gone by episode three after the savaging it would take on Twitter. Sure Twitter didn't exist back then, but the internet was alive and healthy and active and not something the producers were unaware of or could ignore. They knew. So many things they could have done, and they consistently decided not to help the show.

    Agree very much with Jeffrey's Tube.

    Though it is, surprisingly, my favorite and most re-watched of all the Star Trek series, I've recently felt that ENT would have been more successful as a 10 episode per season Netflix or Prime series. There's way too much filler in these seasons.

    Also, both then and now, I've always felt Bakula seemed "out of place" as the Captain. He never seemed to have the "commanding presence" of a Kirk, PIcard, Sisko, or Janeway. Frankly, I often wonder if the guy who played Major Hayes or (as another reviewer astutely stated in his review of "The Andorian Incident") perhaps even Dominick Keating would've been better suited for the role. But I get it, they needed a big name to bring in the viewers. Still, Bakula seems like a very, very odd choice out of all the middle-aged actors around in the early '00s. Stephen Lang, Craig T. Nelson, Scott Glenn, or even Bill Pullman would've done well. But I digress.

    The past comments about this episode do a great job, but one thing that stuck out when I watched it was the implied intimacy between Archer and T'Pol while she was his nurse. Having known a few women who worked in full time home healthcare, I'll just say such....occurrences...definitely DO happen between patients and nurses who know each other for years. I'm glad this episode had the courage to go there, even if it was just a few hints; more realistic that way.

    4 stars, loved this episode. I really liked the subtle Easter egg of the Andorian Shran gifting shields to the future Enterprise.
    As for Travis, honestly at this point why don't the writers just kill him in the real timeline?

    This episode was too reliant on what had gone before to be worth 3.5 stars. As mentioned, it had many precedents (Memento, previous episodes of Trek, other sci-fi). It was well put together in some ways, but it certainly wasn't better than "The Shipment", due to its many flaws. I'd give it 2.5 stars at most.

    Some observations:

    * Throughout the first two seasons, T'Pol has consistently been the better captain in terms of experience, judgement, and how to make the hard choices. Archer has been routinely impulsive, hot-headed, incompetent, and unable to make the hard choices. This makes it all the more difficult to swallow the notion that Archer is somehow imperative to the existence of humanity and the Federation. This notion was first pushed in Shockwave, and rears its head again in this episode. Yet we've seen nothing on screen to substantiate it. Apparenty the showrunners never heard the old adage, "Show, don't tell."

    * The above having been said, T'Pol's ramming solution was impulsive and reckless. She certainly hadn't done calculations or simulations showing that she could destroy the two Xindi ships without also effectively destroying Enterprise in the process. It was a huge risk to put something on a collision path with the nacelle (something that managed to destroy the Enterprise-D in TNG "Cause and Effect").

    * Ironically, when T'Pol's logic *was* perfectly sound, the scriptwriters just glossed over it! She pointed out to Soval that if the Vulcans had accelerated Earth's technological development, the destruction of Earth could have been prevented. And that makes sense! Soval's counterargument --- that the destruction resulted from Earth venturing into interstellar space before they were ready --- was completely out to lunch. Remember that the Xindi chose to pre-emptively destroy Earth because of a warning from the future. So they would have done that *anyway*, with or without the Warp 5 program in place. The NX program is what gave humanity a fighting chance. Without that they would have been sitting ducks.

    Second set of observations on ENT Twilight:

    * The starfleet armada defending Ceti Alpha V: it's really silly that along with the "Akira-prise" we have a redressed Steamrunner and Saber class starships too. They just recycled all of Foundation Imaging's CGI models from Star Trek First Contact! So now we have retcon this by saying that retro ship designs from the 2150s somehow came back into vogue in the 2370s. It's absurd.

    * For the people above (Edax mainly) complaining about Hoshi not having been promoted: you must have missed that she had two pips on her collar, rather than one. So she had been promoted from Ensign to Lieutentant (and that's full Lieutenant, not junior grade, which means two promotions). Granted, two promotions in 12 years is not a lot. But bear in mind that almost all of humanity had been wiped out, so if she had wanted her own ship like the others, they *probably* would have given her one. She was never that hot on space travel, and so she probably didn't pursue the command track. I'm willing to bet that the only reason she even stayed in Starfleet after such a disaster was because she knew that her skillset was desperately needed.

    * I noticed that Travis was killed in action. Not sure what to say about there not even being a throwaway line of dialogue about it. He was obviously purposely being sidelined. I'm kind of surprised the actor and his agent didn't fight for more screen time. Unless if his performance was so bad that he worried about getting fired if he insisted on being more a part of the show. I think the episode is "Horizon" is evidence to the contrary: his performance could be passable if he were actually given stuff to work with.

    Third set of observations on ENT Twilight:

    * Some parts of the episode were poignant. I admit that the reunion of the Enterprise crew actually moved me somewhat. But it suffers from a common problem with this type of story: momentous events and changes happen over a long period of time for the characters, but not for the audience. So it has much less emotional impact on us. If the writers had been braver, they might have extended this story out into a multi-episode arc, making the stakes actually seem to matter (because the reset button is not a forgone conclusion). It's the same argument a lot of people made for VOY: "Year of Hell": that it should have been more than a two-parter, and shouldn't necessarily have been fully reset. Because the story matters much more to the audience if what we're witenessing actually has lasting consequences.

    * Related to the above: one of the plot flaws that people pointed out was the idea that for 12 years nothing happend, then all of a sudden at just the right time (when Archer was trying to be cured), the Xindi resurface and humanity is under existential threat. I agree that normally this would be an annoying coincidence and a tired trope. But the writers actually did a decent job of having it make sense here. Recall that the Yridian information broker had been asked to report to the Xindi if/when Phlox was on the move. If he left his system, it was likely he had a cure. (I mean, I guess he could have left his home planet for many other reasons over 12 years, including vacation). But the point is, someone well versed in temporal matters *knew* about the parasites, and tipped off the Xindi that their erasure from the timeline could restore humanity as a threat. This ties together nicely with the Xindi having been warned about humanity being a threat to them by someone from the Future in the first place. It's clear they're getting their marching orders (or at least tips on how to survive) from the future, and may simply be pawns in the Temporal Cold War. The fact that the Xindi could not eradicate the remaining human survivors without following Phlox to his destination also indicates clearly that they had no idea where the last remaining human colony was. So for 12 years, they had no actionable intelligence.

    Fourth (and final) set of observations on ENT: "Twilight":

    * Someone above pointed out the inconsistency that if Phlox eradicated the first cluster of parasites from history, then he should have had no memory of them existing in the first place. The problem is actually far worse than that: if Phlox eradicated the parasites from the past, then he would have no knowledge of their existence. But if he had no knowledge of their existence, he would have no reason to carry out the procedure that eradicated them. We're left with the logical contradiction that the parasites both did and did not exist, and the procedure both did and did not happen. This is the classic Grandfather Paradox, and it only has three actual resolutions I can think of:

    a) time travel to the past is impossible (obviously not true in Trek, but does make me sympathetic to the 22nd-century Vulcan Science Academy's insistence on this point)

    b) time travel to the past is possible, but *changing* the past is not. In particular, the "backwards causation", where a future event (Phlox's procedure) is the cause of a past event (the erasure of the parasites), would somehow be prohibited by the laws of physics. Whatever the time traveller does in the past is whatever already happened, and thus history is self-consistent.

    c) travel to and alteration of the past is possible, but only because the *act* of time travel/influence creates a parallel universe whose history can be different from the original one that the traveller/influence came from. I.e. an alternate timeline is created.

    Fiction seldom gets this right, least of all Star Trek. Like many episodes of Trek, this one wants to have a "middle ground" where there is only one timeline, but yet somehow it can be altered. Again, this leads to unavoidable logical contradictions.

    GUYS Don't people agree other than the Memento similarity this episode is VERY ORIGINAL..we've never seenntransdimensional subspace life forms before ir a temporal subspace implosion ...have we??

    Of course Phlox realizes he destroyed the parasites. That happens before he notices it, because they existed before he destroyed him. Time is not a constant. Phlox notices the brain images are different because he's seen them before but now they have changed, he perceives the change that he made. It doesn't matter much to me, these shows are fiction, i'm here for good TV and this episode is great. This is one of my favorites in the series, there is some great character work for Archer and T'Pol.

    I do have to say I agree with what others have noticed about Travis. I was wondering if the writers were doing this on purpose or if it was an accident. In this episode the kill him as soon as they get the chance, so i'm beginning to think they were disappearing his character on purpose. Were they hoping he would quit? It's one of the strangest things in Trek history.

    11001001 said: "But the point is, someone well versed in temporal matters *knew* about the parasites, and tipped off the Xindi that their erasure from the timeline could restore humanity as a threat. This ties together nicely with the Xindi having been warned about humanity being a threat to them by someone from the Future in the first place"

    I like this explanation.

    I didn't even realize Travis had been killed off in this episode or even notice that he was missing until after multiple viewings. They clearly show him getting killed, but somehow I always just thought it was a random crewman. I've said it before, but I think they should have killed Travis off in the second season episode Regeneration. It would have done a lot to make the Borg a legitimate threat again and would opened up a spot on the show for a more experienced actor.

    Anthony Montgomery wasn't much of an actor back then but he's had a long career and I believe he was even nominated for a daytime Emmy a few years ago so he must have improved as an actor over time. Good for him.

    On the commentary track the author mentions that he originally wanted to include a scene at the end where, in the middle of the climactic firefight, Archer loses his memory and tries to stop the warp engines from overloading. T'Pol is able to convince him on her word alone that he must let the ship be destroyed. I think this was a great idea and it's really a shame that it didn't make it into the final cut. I would much rather have had that than the "nurse" scene at the end.

    Complaints aside, this is still a top 5 ENT episode, imo.

    The Vulcans of this era are horrendous. They deserve every single bit of criticism that we have seen. The genocide of the humans didn't phase them in the least. Did the Vulcans help to relocate, or provide technology to the human refugees? Nope, but the andorians did. Humans on the verge of Extinction, pretty much already technically extinct and the vulcans we're gloating. This is fiction, but I was appalled at the vulcans response to what had happened to the humans.

    I'm surprised to not see any mention of "Future Imperfect". The "What's going on?" wake-up-in-the-future confusion was straight out of Riker waking up in the future with no memory of the past X years.

    For me, the episode is a mashup of "Future Imperfect" and "The Visitor" with a dash of "Memento" around it, and a climax pulled from "Yesterday's Enterprise".

    It's a nice mechanism to show us some more extreme situations they would never be able to show otherwise like the destruction of Earth, blowing Travis up and then the whole bridge - well, that certainly had the "Yesterday's Enterprise" vibe.

    Frankly, I'd say this might be up there as one of the episodes that borrows from/compiles the most OTHER episodes in Trek. T'Pol and Archer living alone together is reminiscent of Janeway and Chakotay in "Resolutions", and there are certainly a few other episodes that come to mind as well.

    It's by no means a bad episode, but I can't help but only be so enamoured with a plot that is so clearly telegraphed to reset at the end of the show. "The Visitor" was more novel in its day, and also brought so much emotional content into the show that transcended the "reset button" and still told us a lot about the two Siskos' personalities that would still apply in the "real" timeline. I didn't find that "Twilight" matched that level of character development. It seemed like they were trying hard to push T'Pol being indebted to Archer for saving her as a character trait, but it didn't have the same emotional payoff as "The Visitor" had.

    The writers kill off the only main black person on the ship. Shocking.

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