Star Trek: Enterprise


2 stars.

Air date: 2/25/2005
Written by Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens
Directed by David Barrett

"Never thought I'd see the stars like this." — Tucker, the first human being to be outside a starship traveling at warp speed

Review Text

In brief: Watchable but disappointing. Too much mindless action and not enough character or story.

There's a fine line between audacity and goofiness, and "Divergence" flirts with it perilously. I see what's on the screen. I see that they're trying to do something new. I see that the envelope is being pushed on tech-action concepts. Do I believe what I'm seeing? Not exactly. But the real deal-breaker is: Does any of this feel necessary beyond the mechanics of a busy but meaningless plot? No.

If you will recall from the end of last week's "Affliction," the Enterprise's engine room was infected with a Klingon computer subroutine (i.e., virus) that caused the pressure in the warp core to build up (or whatever). The only way to relieve the pressure was to keep accelerating. Unfortunately, the ship is now maxed out and the pressure is still building. The only way to save the ship from a catastrophic core breach (i.e., explosion) is if Trip can get aboard and use his superb engineering skills to purge the subroutines and reinitialize the engines.

Already, the episode was losing me with its arbitrary tech solutions to arbitrary tech problems, and I had to wonder if this plan by the Klingons to destroy the Enterprise was more elaborate than it needed to be. Wouldn't it have been more honorable and glorious to take on the Enterprise in a direct fight rather than by sabotaging its engines? That doesn't seem particularly Klingon to me. But neither does it seem very prudently Starfleet that an entire ship has gone racing into hostile Klingon space to rescue one man. Check that; two ships.

The Enterprise's new chief engineer — Lt. Cmdr. Kelby — is apparently not up to the task of cold-starting the engines. Inconvenient for the crew of the Enterprise, but convenient for story conventions, which require zany stunts so that a hero can come in and save the day.

A warp-speed use of the transporter is not considered to be viable under these conditions. So instead, this leads to a crazy stunt that I'm calling a 49-to-51 percent blending of audacity and goofiness, with the slight edge going to goofiness. The Columbia rendezvouses with the Enterprise, inverts itself so that the bottoms of the two ships are just a few dozen meters apart, and then a tether is used to go between the two ships, attached at each end in the launch bays. Trip then lowers (raises) himself from the Columbia and into the Enterprise. Halfway through, he pauses to look at the stars warping by, and says, "Never thought I'd see the stars like this." No kidding.

I have to give credit for the spirit of this sequence — reckless and unprecedented and kind of memorable for its strangeness. At the same time, my voice of skepticism was saying, "Oh, come ON." Ultimately, I think the problem is that it feels too much like a stunt for the sake of itself. It ends up being neither good nor bad but merely a neutral fact whose surrounding events are both created and solved under completely arbitrary conditions.

Trip is able to purge the engineering systems and cold-start the engines, in a frenetic bit of plotting that is based on meaningless ship operations. I don't know or care about how to cold-start the engines, so Trip's geek-speak is all false urgency where there's nothing to understand as it unfolds. Maybe content isn't the point. Maybe the stunt is the point. But a clever stunt does not constitute substantive storytelling.

Fortunately, there are some story points here that aren't based solely on tech stunts. The Section 31 storyline is intriguing up to a point, including a scene where Archer gives Reed a way out but also an ultimatum: He tells Reed he has to choose a side; he can't maintain loyalties to both Starfleet and this shadowy intelligence agency. Archer launches an investigation into Reed's Section 31 contact, a man named Harris (Eric Pierpoint), who tells Archer that the fine print of Starfleet's code gives him the authority to make back-alley deals with the Klingons.

In this case (minus whatever lies Harris uses to cover his ass), the deal is that Section 31 permitted the kidnapping of Phlox so he could cure the Klingon outbreak, because a stable Klingon Empire is in the best interests of Starfleet.

I've always liked the notion of Section 31. It's too bad that it's a subplot here that doesn't get quite enough coverage. (Perhaps a Section 31 origin story might've been more intriguing.) And the down side is that Section 31— which is actually working in conjunction with a Klingon admiral named Krell (Wayne Grace) — finds itself deceived by its own co-conspirators. If Section 31 is supposed to be such a smart, skillful organization that survives for centuries in secret, they should not be so easily thwarted the way they are here by Krell.

Krell's orders on behalf of the Klingon Empire are to destroy a Klingon colony (with millions of inhabitants) to contain the deadly outbreak. Phlox's hope is that he can find the cure before Krell's ships arrive. Also on hand at the colony's base are Antaak (John Schuck), who also wants to save lives, and General K'Vagh (James Avery), who wants a cure that will also create superior, genetically-enhanced Klingon augments. The plot is about all the maneuvering of the players at this base, while the Enterprise and Columbia (and Krell's ships) head toward it.

Ultimately, all parties arrive at this planet, with the Starfleet ships and Krell's vessels in orbit around the colony, and Phlox on the surface trying to finish the cure. Phlox is close, but Krell does not have any patience and is ready to carry out his mass-extermination mission.

Where the show runs off the rails is in these final 10 minutes, which feature frenetic action crosscut with a crazed approach to solving all the problems of the plot by using Archer as a human host to accelerate the synthesis of the cure. "It won't be pleasant," Phlox warns. He's right; eventually we're watching Archer's facial contortions as he groans and convulses while strapped into a chair. It simply looks too silly to work; we're painfully aware we're watching an actor's less-than-convincing writhing.

And there's too much going on that's less exciting than it wants to be. All logic and story flow is lost to a general sense of mayhem. The way Phlox and Archer gain the upper hand and convince Krell to stand down is a little hard to swallow, requiring an obstinate character to immediately believe what he is being told.

The ship-based battle scenes are painfully routine, with phasers pummeling everyone, and sparks exploding on the bridge(s), and terse warnings of "hull plating down to 32 percent," which is about the only line that is actually worse than "shields down to 32 percent" — a line that has been in need of being expunged from Star Trek for at least half a decade. Really, when are they just going to invent shields for the Enterprise? Hull plating works exactly the same way as a contrived level of scripted protection, only less believably.

For some reason, Enterprise sets up these entertaining multiple-episode stories, but often has trouble delivering a satisfactory finish — "The Augments," "The Aenar," and now this. The biggest problem here is that we have too much plot and not nearly enough interesting storytelling or characters who are invested with depth or personalities. In particular, I was hoping to see Captain Hernandez (Ada Maris) in action here, since one of the story's selling points was that we get to see her ship working alongside the Enterprise. But the story's action doesn't permit her (or anybody) any decisions or actions that demonstrate leadership or personality. Everyone is too busy firing phasers and shouting about the hull plating. It's boring.

It's too bad, really, because the basic plot is okay and the idea that this disease and its cure creates the non-ridged TOS Klingons is reasonable. The plot elements are here and could theoretically work. But this is a show that's too concerned with moving pieces around a chessboard, and doesn't consider the fact that the pieces should be people, and their movements should feel organic rather than mechanical.

Upcoming: Reruns until mid-April, followed by Enterprise's final six episodes.

Previous episode: Affliction
Next episode: Bound

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Comment Section

57 comments on this post

    Well, at least they managed to do what everyone thought was impossible: to come up with a believable idea to account for the human looking Klingons of TOS - hats off!

    Most of the time your reviews are enlightening. Sometimes they are disgusting. This review happens to be the latter. Trips moment was awesome, and your bias shows.

    I think you're being a bit harsh. While it is true that the Klingons may have just went on a frontal assault to destroy enterprise directly... and sending trip across the two ships was a little unbelievable... the episode was thoroughly enjoyable.

    These Klingons are much more refreshing than the post TNG Klingons. They are ruthless, and dark.

    I still give this episode 3 stars. While none of the episodes of this season were stellar 4 star episodes, almost all of them are competent and miles ahead of the crap that came before in season 1-3.

    I initially went into these two episodes thinking it was the stupidest concept for a story ever, and I had no interest in explaining away poor costume design from the original series... primarily because I just don't care.

    Having gone in with absolutely bad expectations... and then getting a very plausible and enjoyable story in return? I'd say that's a win.

    This has got to be the most ridiculous episode in the history of television. Only on a Star Trek show would anyone even try to get away with this. Were any fans vindicated by this "explanation"? Say, those who back in Enterprise's first season complained about the Klingons having bumpy foreheads? There are so many other things in Star Trek that strain credibility. For instance, why do 99% of aliens have a humanoid appearance? Why do all the women in the 23rd century wear 1960s hairstyles and act like bimbos? The answer: it's a frakking TV SHOW! Use your imagination. The joke in 'Trials and Tribble-ations' was funny in a toungue-in-cheek kind of way. But we definitely didn't need this.

    Why is it that whenever the script requires the Enterprise to lose a battle, they always seem to forget that they have "photonic torpedoes"? I am I the only one who finds this rather tiresome?

    I think the Trials and Tribulations non answer by Worf was enough to explain the non ridged Klingons. Trying to explain it seems just to forced. Especially when we all know it was judt a budget issue.
    I appreciate what Coto was trying to do with this season and he succeded in my opinion in most cases.
    This was needless. Much better to do a section 31 origin story as suggested than this wishy washy nonsense.

    So I'm watching the opening of Divergence and I think "wow, that's nuts, you can't take a cable between 2 ships at warp!" And then I remembered 2 things:
    1) FTL is total BS, about as real as anti-grav and the universal translator
    2) this is science *fiction* that is meant to be enjoyed

    Once I recalled that FTL and warp technobabble was bull, I thought "why not take a cable across if the ship's warp fields merge?" Now I could really enjoy an awesome scene.

    Both Affliction and Divergence were excellent, mining the Khan/mutant backstory and the ridgeless Klingons. I liked the general quite a bit. And the Klingon doctor was excellent, especially his warrior's take on victory and glory with medicine. Phlox's winning moment of beaming the cootie bomb on to the attacking ship and negotiating a peaceful conclusion was cool. Very good Trek, this is excellent stuff. 3.5 stars for both episodes.

    ps - Hoshi kicking but in the first episode was great!

    Crazy stuff.

    Seems I have to make some corrections from my comments for the previous episode...
    1) It wasn't a trilogy (yay!)
    2) The general embarrassment of the Klingons is more likely them knowing that human DNA is involved in their "infection", not that they screwed up implementing it
    3) No Trip/Hernandez stuff that I felt was at risk of brewing, thank goodness

    Another case of "not really that bad" and nice to see this (in)famous explanation for what happens to the Klingons

    Five minutes on Columbia's bridge is all it would take to make me ready to beam the designer into space. Pulsating floor-to-ceiling light tubes? Seriously?

    It's bad enough that TNG's engineering crew had to deal with that from the warp reactor. Putting four of them on the bridge is perhaps the most ridiculous piece of anti-ergonomics I've seen on Trek to date.

    I realise these are made for the TV audience's entertainment and not for the fictional crew, but some of us like our TV scenery to be at least _somewhat_ believable.

    This two-parter baffled me. Why were the Klingons trying to destroy Enterprise if this was a Section 31/Klingon coordinated plan? Wouldn't section 31 have insisted on no human casualties? And why did the Klingons use a small commando team with a fancy computer virus to do it? Why did the Klingons want to destroy the colony even after they were told that they were close to perfecting Klingon augments? How was section 31 so easily outmaneuvered by some Klingon general? Why is a stable Klingon empire in the best interests of Starfleet when the Klingons regularly attack Starfleet ships?

    Most of all, why bother trying to explain TOS-era Klingons' lack of forehead ridges at all? Why take up valuable season four real estate to do it when there are so many more pressing issues to explore (like character development for some of the underused regulars, like Hoshi?) I suppose in a way I could blame DS9 for not giving us ridged Klingons in "Trials and Tribble-ations", which would have made the entire issue moot. I just think it's pretty silly that what was nothing more than a TOS budget issue is now driving ENT's last season's development.

    And man, ENT's stupid, thuggish Klingons are almost as bad as its pre-Kirshara Vulcans. At least in TOS the Klingons weren't hypocrites: sure, they were constantly backstabbing us, but they didn't pretend they were being "honorable" at the same time. ENT's Klngons make me want to punch a wall. Or maybe punch Archer instead.

    I am generally so annoyed with the merged warp field/tether climbing stunt that when I do watch this episode, I aim the remote at the television and hold my finger firmly on fast forward until I'm past it. It's all a little too tedious when you know Tucker is going save the engines in the end anyway. And why is it that in a ship full of engineers Malcolm or T'Pol always seem to be the only people able to help Bubba fix the carburetor? The episode's saving grace is Phlox, of course. John Billingsley can act circles around every member of this cast. I don't like Columbia or Capt. Hernandez at all. She and her ship become pretty useless all too soon when really needed. I have no problem with the story or the way Phlox finally saves the colony from annihilation. Aside from having Archer being a part of the solution--again--I thought it rather clever. I do have a problem with the need to go to such great lengths to explain why Klingons will have smooth foreheads in Kirk's century. I think we all understand that TOS had a small budget and they cut a lot of corners in costumes and make up back then. There was no need to rationalize it with this elaborate two-part story.

    I'm normally not one to quibble over technical details, but if the Columbia could bring Enterprise into its warp field, why could they then not simply do that. Have Enterprise shut down its warp drive as it did and then drop to impulse? It would not have been necessary for the whole tether stunt to boot.

    It's pretty clear that the whole storyline of Trip transferring to Columbia was to enable this action sequence where he has to return and save the day.

    This was a very cute amusing little story arc, but Krell was way too stubborn for my liking.

    In DS9's "Trials and Tribble-ations", Bashir and O'Brien speculated that the cause of the smooth heads might be either genetic engineering or a viral mutation. Nice to see they were both right:

    Worf: "They are Klingons... and it is a long story."
    O'Brien: "What happened? Some kind of genetic engineering?"
    Bashir: "A viral mutation?"
    Worf: "We do not discuss it with outsiders."

    Also laughed Harris's line "Re-read the charter: Article 14, Section 31. There are a few lines that make allowances for bending the rules during times of extraordinary threat." even though the black leather already cued us in on who this guy was working for.

    I loved this entire arc, because it answered the question of why Klingons looked different in The Original Series! Like Worf said, "We don't discuss it with outsiders." No wonder, because millions of them were contaminated with human DNA! How embarrassing for them!

    I also loved the Section 31 stuff, now that I've seen DS9.

    I am so happy to see so many TOS things being addressed this season. It makes me sad that there never was a fifth season. This is exactly what Enterprise needed to be -- a vehicle to fill in all those pesky gaps in our Star Trek lore.

    And no, the show didn't HAVE to address the forehead-ridge thing, but why not, when an interesting story could be made from it, a story that tied in so cleanly with the augment arc, which also tied in with TOS? Besides, the topic came up in DS9 (albeit briefly). If it had never been addressed, continuing to ignore it would make more sense, but they chose to mention it.

    I loved the sequence with the two ships flying in tandem. Seeing Columbia flip was cool, and the whole thing was thrilling down to my Trekkie soul. I don't care about the warp field mechanics (which are totally fictitious and nonsensical anyway!) -- the visuals were stunning.

    Nor am I bothered that Trip is indispensible. That is also very Trek. McCoy alone cured disease, as does Phlox. Only Scotty could nurse those engines to perform, as does Trip, and only Kirk could get them out of impossible scrapes (as Archer does, but with not nearly as much grace!).

    "If Section 31 is supposed to be such a smart, skillful organization that survives for centuries in secret, they should not be so easily thwarted the way they are here by Krell."

    Well you see, they haven't survived for centuries YET have they? They got to be such a smart, skillful organization in your precious DS9 by making mistakes early on and learning from those mistakes over the depicted in this (at least) 3* episode.

    Not really Sam S. I keep looking at Dr and expecting an oh, boy. Still get a kick out of S1's Detained. At the end of that ep I'm thinking "Sam, don't hit Al! Ziggy hasn't told him why you're here yet!"

    Maybe I missed it, but why was Archer the only one who came down to the planet? It's a hostile planet full of Klingons, wouldn't you at least take a few MACOs with you?

    I wasn't too impressed with either of these shows. The only part I liked was that Phlox wasn't his cheerful, gregarious self at the end. Decent science episode.

    Well I think this was a fairly ingenious explanation for what was ,basically, the unanticipated consequence of Star Trek TMP being popular enough to lead to more movies and TV shows.
    However I prefer the explanation in FASA's RPG and John Ford's novel The Final Reflection.

    I'm a longtime TNG fan and I recently made my way through DS9 and VOY which I never watched regularly while they were on. I then decided...what the heck...may as well finish the job with Enterprise which I never watched at all. I agree with everyone that Season 4 is leaps and bounds better than what came before.
    However I came on here to point out a plot hole in this episode that I haven't seen anyone mention. How exactly did Reed 'help' the Section 31 mission? The Section 31 bloke said at the end that it wouldn't have succeeded without him ....but why? At most he delayed them a few hours with his sabotage of evidence but Archer would still have likely allowed Phlox to finish his work.

    Ah well, it seems that any idea for an interesting story in this went out the window in favour of a by-the-book actioner. At least this is carried off with some verve - Trip's opening stunt is admirable for the sheer effrontery of it - but you can't help but be a little disappointed that there really isn't something a bit deeper going on.

    But as a nod to TOSit works fine, and as a nod to DS9 it also works fine (loving the Section 31 origin). It just could have been a whole lot better. 2.5 stars.

    Agree that without Billingsleys efforts and a partially well written bunch of scenes on the Klingon colony this is a pretty empty flimsy by-the-numbets technobabble set of arbitrary set piece action scenes, very routine stuff and surprisingly boring to watch despite all the noise and movement.

    The ship to ship jaunt was absolutely brilliant. Ships at sea in the military conduct that very exercise, a RAS or replenishment at sea. They run lines between ships as they steer very close parallel courses, and sling stores or personnel back and forth on those lines. Very cool to see a real life technique adapted into the universe.

    Agree Jimothy. My only dig would have been they could have sent another rline to Trip and pulled him up quicker with a winch of something. But not enough drama there I guess :-)

    Badass Phlox at the end was great. Cool to see him get the big tough speech.

    I was entertained throughout both parts.

    Season 4 was what I hoped Enterprise was going to be.... an actual prequel with origin stories, birth of the federation, filling in storyline gaps, and caring about continuity (Season 1 and 2 didn't give a rip about continuity).

    I did like the Xindi stuff in Season 3... perhaps if these were the first two seasons the series would have fared better. Season 1 and 2 pissed off a lot of trek fans due to blowing up continuity (they annoyed me in the premier with the 4 days to Kronos at warp 5).

    Just too much over the top action and stunts -- I'm never going to be impressed with that kind of episode. The opening 15 mins. or so with Trip scaling a rope between 2 ships at warp 5...Come on! Is this supposed to be 22nd century Indiana Jones?

    The ending scene was a blur of action and medical nonsense. I think the balance is off in this episode as far as how much action vs. how much background on the Klingon Augments program, Reed/secret agency, Trip/T'Pol etc. It went with too much action which is tiresome for ENT since we seem to get it nearly every episode.

    The whole thing with Reed's former allegiance - that secret agency - turns out to be a lot less believable after Malcolm basically tells the dude to eff off. That dude making deals with an untrustworthy Klingon who shafts him in the end basically shows how worthless that organization is. As for the situation it put Reed in -- pretty sure StarFleet wouldn't go for it.

    And another thing that pisses me off with ENT (and VOY, DS9) is all these one-word episode titles. TOS had clever episode titles but it's gotten ridiculous by the ENT series.

    I think 2 stars is the right rating for "Divergence". The conclusion of a messy 2-parter that could have been a lot better. The idea of the Klingon Augments is a good one with Phlox fooling the Klingon general about coming up with a cure while Enterprise tries to prevent an entire colony from being obliterated. Didn't need the excess action, stunts and probably not even the secret agency and Reed's difficult situation, although that was the strongest part of the 1st part of this episode.

    It was a 2 parter, not a trilogy - I was misled by other commentators!!!

    I enjoyed this episode far more than Jammer. 3 and a half stars. And the special effects were fun! What is wrong with people?!

    Loved the stuff about the Klingon ridges, or lack thereof. To be 'contaminated' by 'weak' human DNA! It's the stuff of Klingon nightmares. Serves 'em right. ( I wonder if there was going to be a plot strand later on looking at how this influx of foreign DNA might impact on future Klingon generations?)

    I got the distinct impression Reed hadn't heard the last of Section 31 actually, once an organisation like that gets its claws into you it is unlikely to let go. People are so impatient, why expect it (want it?) to be all resolved and wrapped up in one or two episodes? Why this need for instant plot gratification? Why not consider that the writers etc might be planting some plot seeds to be developed later on down the line? (not that they got the chance with Enterprise sadly).

    A very watchable mess.

    (I feel like I've said that for multiple Enterprise episodes in the last two seasons.)

    Elliot said: "if the Columbia could bring Enterprise into its warp field, why could they then not simply do that. Have Enterprise shut down its warp drive as it did and then drop to impulse? It would not have been necessary for the whole tether stunt to boot. "

    From the episode: [The Columbia] "won't be able to hold us for more than a minute or two." So Enterprise couldn't cut engines it until they were ready to do the restart; which had to be after Tucker was aboard.

    My question about the stunt is: why would the tether fly "backwards" out of the warpfield after it broke? Isn't the ship motionless inside the warp bubble while the universe moves around them? I guess I don't care enough to go try and read up on "warpfield theory" online.

    Overall I felt the stunt worked fine. The action scenes later in the show were more problematic. I know they couldn't communicate, but there's no reason for Columbia to sit around for a few minutes while the Enterprise fought multiple Klingon ships.

    W. Smith identified the most ridiculous thing about the episode: "Maybe I missed it, but why was Archer the only one who came down to the planet? It's a hostile planet full of Klingons, wouldn't you at least take a few MACOs with you? "

    Yes, it makes no sense, but the writers had Archer be the only one to beam down so later he could say "I don't see any other humans around." when he volunteered to be an incubator. Of course, he would have insisted on being the incubator even if there were other humans around, so they didn't need to have him beam down alone. Maybe the budget for extras were running low?

    The section 31 part of these two episodes felt like they were just reintroducing the concept. I don't think Malcolm is really allowed to quit. I agree with others who think the writers were going to bring this up again had the show been renewed.

    Regardless, of my complaints, this was still an entertaining episode. No, we didn't need a reason why TOS Klingons had no foreheads, but the answer they give here works well (although Archer sitting in a chair moaning was just silly). Phlox & the Klingons were the best part of the episode.

    A big part of why this episode works is that the writers are throwing a whole bunch of ideas at us: Augments, Klingons, Section 31, the Trip-T'Pol relationship, Starfleet's 2nd new ship Columbia. Most of these are only addressed superficially, but the sheer number of them (along with some action) keep us involved for 40-something minutes. Compare that with the first two seasons, where most episodes only had a single idea, often only a slight variation of an idea that had already been in previous Star Trek series.

    I'm not as high on this episode as some commenters are, but I'd certainly give it a passing grade.

    2.5 stars

    The same issues I had in the first part linger here

    The whole plan and arrangement seems overly complicated and convoluted to the point I’m not really buying the idea of Section31 allying themselves withthe Klingons. I also don’t like that they could be so unprepared for a double cross by the Klingons as occurs later in the episode. Again this has been my main issue with ENT this season —cool Ideas for fanservice in pursuit of the Trek mythos but the writers not being able to craft strong scripts around them leading to very uneven viewing experiences and questionable plot logic as a result

    I like the ideas behind these episodes but isn’t a wholly satisfying experience when you’re left scratching your head by certain things. Again the best parts are on the Klingon colony between Antaak and Phlox and seeing the TOS looking Klingons reacting to their change

    I also thought the jeopardy action stunts in the first act were exciting and held my interest.

    But Trip returning less than an episode after supposedly transferring was weak and Krell’s single mindedness in wanting to destroy the colony hurt

    I thought the tethering was a little silly, but a lot of Hollywood is silly, and Star Trek sometimes joins the party. I did not have an issue with the warp field stuff, as it currently is in the realm of fiction, as are the transporters, etc.

    The section 31 thing was interesting, I was not expecting that in this series.

    Regarding ENT, the 4th season, and the other series in this universse, I think we gave "a pass" to the other series that we hold dear (TOS, TNG, DS9), since we were more invested in the characters, so we did not care as much about wooden acting, them being totally out of character, suddenly revolting against the Prime Directive, etc. I recently rewatched the entire DS9, and was surprised to see that early on Major Kira's and Sisko had some issues before the actors became comfortable in their skin. But, since that series was one I enjoyed, I can happily suspend belief and get caught up in the exploits of life on the station. Except the Ferengi episodes, those are still terrible...

    It seems like it took 3.5 seasons for the ENT writers to actually generate interest in the viewer that we should care about what happens to the characters.

    This is my second time through "Enterprise " from start to finish. I only watched a few episodes when it first was on UPN, but enough that I did care about Trip and T'Pol. Anyway, I feel really really cheated not to have a fifth season to watch. You may not agree, but I have come to be much more attached to this crew, overall, than I ever have to the TNG Enterprise crew. Usually, I watch TNG when I want to take a nap! I'm especially tired of malfunctioning holodecks on the Enterprise D (that's what happened to that holoprogram Riker and Troi used in that out of sequence TNG episode that was supposed to be about the NX-01, another broken holodeck). Anyway, I've enjoyed "Enterprise", and not just the last two seasons. So sorry it ended so soon. Btw, I'm an original "Trekkie" since I was 11 y.o. in 1966.

    @Robin Smith

    Yes, I too am disappointed we didn't get a 5th season of ENT as I think it really stepped up after the 1st 2 seasons.

    And I also agree with you that I felt more attached to the ENT cast than the TNG one, which I think is overall the weakest cast among the 1st 5 Trek series. ENT's strength is the cast's character development -- both how Trip and T'Pol evolve over 4 seasons is very well done. Aside from the Travis (Anthony Montgomery) character, every main cast member is above average for their role, IMHO. And that's what makes it enjoyable to re-watch the series, even if it didn't hit the high notes TNG did.

    I love the epic long zoom into Hernandez ECU at the beginning of this episode!

    Agree with Snooky and dave johnson. I found this two-parter very entertaining. Love Phlox! This season is much better than all that came before, and I love that they are doing all these call-backs to Trek stuff from other series. Very very satisfying. Also, given Malcolm's odd unknowableness, it totally makes sense that he'd be an agent. I mean, totally. I love that they did this!!

    @dba Yes! That opening zoom shot of Columbia was terrific. Felt very feature-film.

    Enjoyed having Section 31 involved (despite them being too easily duped), but Malcolm is the worst secret agent ever! Completely fails to cover his tracks and leaves a direct trail back to his superiors. If I were Harris, I'd be quite happy to cut ties with him by the end of this fiasco.

    I didn't really care for this storyline and thought they should have just left well enough alone. They redesigned the Klingons when they had a bigger budget, and then DS9 made a joke about it. No need to waste two episodes explaining it. Oh well.

    Shout shout do this duh duh duh shout shout do that duh duh......oooooh the jeopardy......amazing they made it! 4 seasons of in heck's name did they get to 4 seasons!

    To paraphrase McCoy:

    On pure speculation, just an educated guess, I'd say that the commenter above me doesn't like Enterprise very much. ;-)

    Listen, nothing about having to transfer Trip to Enterprise to save the ship makes any logical sense. At all. And I'm pretty sure every viewer watching this episode is asking themselves "Why don't they just ___________________?", with any number of things able to be put in that blank, because it's just that bad. I also don't care. I think the entire sequence was one of the coolest things ST: Enterprise ever did. If the show had tried to do things like this to fulfill its required-by-the-network action quotient rather than mindless shootouts and fistfights . . . ugh, it doesn't bear thinking about how great this show might have been. It really hurts.

    The cinematography this season is certainly a departure from previous Trek styles. I believe that this season they switched to filming on HD video cameras rather than 35mm film, and at the same time are employing far more "dynamic" camera movements in action scenes. Lots of in-shot zooms and frenetic panning around. I'm not sure if it's novel or just jarring; I can't recall any other show (of the time) that looks quite like it.

    I think the original idea was to get Trip and T'Pol to use their subspace-imzadi connection demonstrated in the previous episode (the white room that they daydreamed together) to get Trip to save enterprise through T'Pol. The moment I saw a daydream start with one person and end with another, I wondered -- great plot device, what use will they put this to? I guess the rappling across a moving warp bubble was cool too, but then the telepathy capability is wasted.

    It is strange watching these episodes in COVID times. A lot of the science they are speaking about turns out to be the same that we discuss these days. Could the COVID virus be engineered? Or a side effect of a failed genetic experiment? Can a virus get modified by host DNA? Cool to see decent science in science fiction.

    The opening stunt was hard to watch. Even for a science fiction show. We've been told all this time in Trek that you can't survive at warp speed without inertial dampeners.
    And how does Colombia catch up with Enterprise anyway? They have the same engine and the latter is going at max.
    Bad writing by the Reeves-Stevens.

    @ZeroDave: your inertia is only a problem when the ship is *accelerating*: the ship begins moving, but you don't, so the back wall of the bridge will rush up and slam into you. But assuming you survive that, then once you and the ship(s) are up to the same speed (like with Trip & the NXs), there's no issue. Being "in motion" at a constant speed* is indistinguishable from being "at rest", from a physics standpoint. In fact there is no absolute sense in which anything is either "in motion" or "at rest". It all depends on the reference frame of the observer.

    *Of course, if we're appealing to known physics, then that constant speed must be less than c. When it comes to the physics of FTL travel, all bets are off, since it is impossible in real life. But that just further reinforces that the writers were completely free to depict things happening the way they did...

    Also it's ColUmbia (like the Space Shuttle, or like the Canadian province), not ColOmbia (like the South American country). But that's a good point about Columbia. They should have had no way to catch up. Seems like a legit plot hole.

    ^Regarding my (and ZeroDave's) previous post about Columbia not being able to catch up: it's also worth noting that speed is supposed to increase exponentially with warp factor (or something like that). So 5.3 is significantly faster than 5.2. If Columbia is able to sustain 5.3 for even just a short time, it might therefore be have been able to catch up. So I think this is one of the more easily hand-waved away plot holes.

    I know it's sci-fi so who cares about the warp bubble stunt, but it didn't even make sense within the parameters of the episode itself. Trip boards the ship to do a cold reset of the computer and warp reactor. While the engines are shut down, Columbia maintains Enterprise's warp speed. What I don't understand is WHY?

    The whole reason for maintaining warp speed was because the fuel injectors or whatever were locked open, creating pressure in the core. Reducing speed would cause the pressure to burst while the engines were running. But once the engines were shut down, why couldn't Enterprise just fall out of warp?

    In other words, why couldn't Enterprise just do an emergency shutdown like Trip did, but without Trip, which would stop the fuel injection, which would stop the pressure build up, which would render the computer virus irrelevant? AHHHH!

    And WHY is Trip the only engineer in Starfleet who knows how to do this!? The plot makes it seem like Trip has to do something very special to shut down the core, yet all he seems to do are rip out wires and fry the whole system. Enterprise is a warp 5 ship. You're telling me they left space dock the second time without a qualified chief engineer who could've done that?

    What else...

    Columbia was useless. It was a golden opportunity to give Hernandez some screen time, but her presence was so background, that I wondered why she was even there.

    So many missed opportunities!

    The whole setup, execution and outcome makes no sense!!

    That character on Columbia's bridge saying "One of the ships is losing power, their port nacelle is vulnerable" to which Hernandez says "Then fire at will" kinda looks and talks like a grown Wesley to me, so I wonder if it's intentional they say "fire at will".

    Anyway, I love Wil Wheaton, so this is not to jump on the hate bandwagon.

    To echo @Robert
    Yeah, if, ultimately, the solution was to do an emergency shutdown, followed by a cold-reboot, then why do they need Trip? To do that in 2 minutes might need Trip. But the 2 minute deadline is all because Columbia is there in the first place.

    Speaking of which.... when we last saw Columbia, they were in space dock -- having failed to yet do Warp 1. And Enterprise is doing Warp 5.2 somewhere near Klingon space. How does Columbia catch them? Give Trip a week on Columbia, maybe they'll be pushing Warp 5. But catching Enterprise? No way.

    FInally, the whole notion of genetic engineering. Humans tried in the 1990's and got Khan and WW-III. And decided not to try again. But some did anyways. Including Dr. Bashir's (DS9) parents. And he (by all metrics) is a success story. And the Denobulans have used it successfully.
    My point: Whatever species perfects genetic engineering first has a huge advantage. Suppose the Klingons were 2x as strong, 3x quicker, and 3x as smart as humans? How long before they rule the Alpha Quadrant?
    Why haven't the Romulans used genetic engineering? Surely the Obsidian Order would love to recruit genetically enhanced operatives?

    Trek canon says "Genetically engineered people are psychopaths." But that's a statement of faith, not a scientific fact (again, see Dr. Bashir). It's pretty incredible that almost all the Trek races are roughly equivalent (or Q-like). With an obvious exception being the Dominion (DS9) who bred both the Vorta and Jem'Hadar - and managed to keep both races under control.

    Oh. Yeah. Cpt Hernadez:
    Everything everyone has said good about her.
    She has a presence Archer has lacked since day 1.
    Maybe I'm being unfair, we haven't seen that much of her. But, yeah, she seems way better than Archer.

    I agree with zzybaloobah – it would have been good to see how she would have acted under different pressures, or had to discipline someone. The Archer hoo-rah made Kirk look like a seasoned diplomat.

    I liked this two-parter in many ways, but every time Trek has a countdown to death and destruction averted with a second to spare you I just want to turn it off. How about a 3 minute countdown with 1 minute to spare? Or better yet, have at least other federation starships try that nonsense and suffer serious damage, even if they are not blown up.

    But no...

    So much good in this episode undone by tired tropes.

    A countdown to the last second ship-saving warp-drive reboot, to start the episode, with a down-to-the-last second medical miracle rolled into the plot. One of these in an episode is enough, but two?

    Archer goes down by himself without any backup – the reckless, daredevil captain determined to save the day – because no one else would have done something less self-aggrandizing and that is, supposedly, what the show requires.

    and while we are at it, let us throw in the classic relationship with unrequited love and sexual tensions thrown in just to remind everyone that the plot may never be resolved...

    Enjoyable insanity! I liked the explanation of the TOS Klingon appearance, good fun.
    Phlox kicked ass at the end, great move!
    If I was Archer, I would never trust Reed again.
    So that’s why it’s called “Section 31”! Cool!

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