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Star Trek Enterprise (ENT) Season 1 Guest Reviews

Season 1 - Season 2 - Season 3 - Season 4

 

Broken Bow 16th April, 2151: After a Klingon ship crash lands on Earth, the NX-01 Enterprise is launched prematurely to take the injured Klingon back to his people. (Series Premiere)

Besides "In a Mirror, Darkly" (which was pretty bad from memory, I almost stopped me from even considering watching) this is the first Enterprise episode I've watched, just now, on June 11th, 2007. I'll be reviewing the Enterprise episodes as I watch them, from start to finish.
First impressions are better than I expected. I'd heard a lot of bad things about Enterprise, and most of those were proven to be correct. But I still enjoyed the episode, and will probably enjoy the rest of the series, although never like I do with the older shows.
The endless annoyances that I encountered kind of ruined the experience for me. I stopped after ten minutes to calculate something, and came to the conclusion that it would take Enterprise 19 days to reach Alpha Centauri AT LEAST, depending on how far away Neptune is from Earth in the shuttle scene. So Qo'noS would be months away, not four days. The fact that almost all the species in the episode besides Vulcans, Klingons and Humans never appeared in any other Star Trek series irritated me, because the chances that they all became extinct in two centuries is outrageous. The reason that Starfleet moved from pulse phasers to beam phasers and then BACK to pulse phasers is almost as ridiculous as fighting with arrows, then bullets, then arrows. The communicators, while hand-held, are smaller than those in TOS. The temporal cold war thing was barely skipped over. For some reason there was like, five different people using the sensors on the bridge at one point. The chance that a Klingon ship would just happen to be passing through the Sol system when previously they never went near it is negligible. The "disastrous" first contact between the Klingons and the Humans seemed to never happen. And of course, the Akira-UH, I mean the NX.
There were good technology bits, like the wall communicators and the Spock eyepiece. While opening doors with buttons may seem stupid, I reckon until they get smarter sensors (i.e. doors that know when you want to lean on them, sotto TOS: "The Naked Time", when Spock falls back onto a door) the privacy of a button-door is good (lest it opens every time someone walks past).
There was the needless scene with T'Pol in the decon room rubbing gel on herself (which being a red blooded male, I didn't mind too much), and the unholy sight of Archer in short shorts for NO REASON WHAT SO EVER. Why?! Are they just reminding us that this is a modern show that requires near nudity, or are they unsure of how well the show will premiere, so they stick some half nude Vulcan in it? Whatever, I didn't mind that much.
The characters are... eh. Archer is better than I remember him. T'Pol has huge lips and seems to be rather emotional for a Vulcan. Trip is an arse whose accent annoys me greatly, and is just testament to how American the show is. Mayweather... he's the helmsman. That's about all I got from him. Reed is an attempt to de-Americanise the show, but a respectable character, I guess. Phlox is an annoying mix between Neelix and Weyoun, whom I don't wish to watch at all. The two characters are great by themselves, but not together. Hoshi, I dunno. She's a good example of how unprepared the crew are for the mission (unlike Mayweather who can master the controls of an alien pod within what seems like minutes).
The disagreement between the Vulcans and the Humans was, at first, a bit over the top. Although after they justified it, it made a little more sense. T'Pol's eventual participation in the mission was well shown.
The show is still painfully American, though. This could very well stop me from watching. I hate nearly all modern TV crime dramas like SVU, CSI and NCIS (anything with an acronym?) and this reminds me of them greatly. However, it still feels like Star Trek, even just a little.
I won't even talk about the theme song. Never the less, I don't like it.
Despite all the bad things, I'll try to watch the whole series. It's only four seasons, and hopefully some of the episodes will be good enough that I won't get bored quick. I'm looking forward to Jeffery Combs as Shran, though, because he did great work in DS9 and Voyager.
I give this episode an eight out of ten because I assume that (ignoring continuity) it's a rather good episode, and that there will be better ones.
Remarkable fact: This episode features the second guest appearance of a (former) WWF superstar on Star Trek.
Rating: 8 (Hon. David Kulessa)

Broken Bow Date not given: Synopsis in main ENT listing

When I first heard about Star Trek: Enterprise and its premise, I initially thought "WOW!"
The idea of the pre-Starfleet and UFP era sounded like a great place to showcase the ideas we now see as Treklore. There were references to "the Chuck Yeagers" of the UFP, and to me that had my imagination going riot - seeing prototype technology, ships, ideas, how this came to pass and so forth.
The thing I was looking forward to the most was the notion of seeing early/pre-warp capable ships, where the Starships of Starfleet lineage came from, like other rival nations coming up with their own vessels and so forth. The old tech and innovative ideas - I was thinking - this maybe the Star Trek that could be the MOST INTERESTING!
Then I saw Enterprise.
Like with Lawyers, Governments, and Regulative bodies, I was utterly disappointed. It was Berman and Braga's formula all over again - There is the Enterprise, a ship that ALWAYS saves the day; there are a lot of cookie cutter (brilliant nouns Bernd!) races; pomposity; the laws of physics bent for plot and convenience; and the usual suspects of a crew - the Captain being the keystone - no matter how useless he is; the engineer who knows everything; a Vulcan for traditional purposes; women there for titillation - no matter how skilled or dumb they are (Linda Park and Jolene Blalock are stunners not regular women), and ethnic races there for PC purposes and no other reason.
Here was a chance to do some back stories to one of the greatest sci-fi stories afloat, to show those who shaped what would become the Star Trek universe we know - from ships to transporters, from medicine to uniforms, to rules and regulations, to why phasers were made and warp drives were developed.
Instead, they repeat what we have seen - and be honest got bored of - in Voyager, The Next Gen, and DS9: a collection of heroes aboard the best ship afloat saving the day and being in the right place at the right time.
A slight twist is that we are not as advanced as the aliens we meet - an interesting premise - but one that is counterproductive - if we are that weak, we would not stand a chance out there in the first place. Like I said, the plot is bent for convenience. Classic point - The Suliban are more advanced than us yet the Enterprise sends them scurrying, they capture a ship of theirs, learn how it works, and fly it into enemy territory with unbelievable ease! Its like spitfire pilots figuring out how an F-22 works.
On the subject of the Suliban, this is one of Enterprise's failings and which to me is the reason why the series was doomed: introducing things we have never heard of - EVER. We have never heard of them in Star Trek prior to this series, nor the NX-01, or Archer, or his crew. The first travellers into deep space - and Star Fleet history "Forgot?" As a result, the credibility of this series is gone before it started.
Other things I felt doomed this project - it felt too Babylon 5 and Stargate SG-1 to me - Archer's dress with his baseball cap - reminded me of Colonel O'Neil, the pulse guns compared to the laser type weapons of the enemy - reminiscent of the PPGs of Babylon 5 and reminding me of the debate (at the time) of beam over pulse weapons. The fact that they introduce the "phase pistols" emphasise the point.
As for plot - not one but two dull concepts - getting an alien home, and the "Temporal cold war" - a time war? Purlease. The plot could not be simple - it had to be "clever complicated". However like clever complicated things it looks clumsy the more times you observe.
Despite a few unique (by Star Trek standards) moments like fear over the transporter, a more gruffer crew, and Vulcans being foe than friend, the premier of this series had long forecasted the way Star Trek under B&B's control was heading - out.
Broken Bow should have been renamed Broken Pencil - because like that wrecked writing instrument - the series was pointless.
- Suliban, Temporal Cold war, Suliban technology, the NX-01 - why were they never recounted in the future?
- The inspection pod looking over the Enterprise - and the way it bounced off the hull - like real zero gravity reaction - a rare moment they obey the laws of physics.
- The shuttles of the Enterprise - keeping within the lineage of shuttles to come. More feasible than the "Akiraprise".
- Star Trek: Enterprise was premiered on the USS Enterprise aircraft carrier.
Rating: 2 (Chris)

Fight or Flight Date not given: After three weeks without any contact, the Enterprise finds a ship full of corpses. When the aliens responsible return, Hoshi must overcome her nervousness and save the ship.

Hoshi was annoying. She didn't need to be SO nervous about the whole thing. It was very over the top.
I liked Archer's bumbling through first contact, because it's a far throw from the very easy situations that the TNG crew had. Starfleet's lack of protocol and experience was well portrayed. I can imagine that is how we will really be when we start initiating first contact, just as early seafaring explorers did.
Vulcan vs. Human was a little more annoying in this episode than the last, although at least Archer went against Trip as well. It's nice to see T'Pol being polite at the dinner table, at least.
I'm still skeptical about Phlox. He just reminds me too much of a mean Neelix.
I'm pleased about the technology level on this episode, because they introduced physical torpedoes, space suits and the whole docking procedure (I might have missed that in the last episode though). One thing I did find silly was how much more damage the torpedo did when it was targeting properly. The difference between that and the one that exploded in mid-space was almost ridiculous.
Overall, it was a pretty good episode after the first. Rather action packed, which I do like.
Rating: 6 (Hon. David Kulessa)

Fight or Flight Date not given: Synopsis in main ENT listing

For one thing, I was more than a little baffled by the sudden disappearance of Enterprise's functional weapons. They didn't have any problem using them against the Suliban in "Broken Bow." Then again, they didn't HIT anything in "Broken Bow" either, so I would just assume that the earlier episode saw Malcolm firing a bunch of unguided torpedoes in a vain effort to distract their victims.
What's much more worrying is Captain Archer fumbling through a ship-to-ship introduction to an alien vessel. It's sort of understandable that he doesn't have a whole lot of experience in communicating effectively with alien cultures; the Vulcans, however DO, and theoretically so do the Boomers, which would imply that SOMEONE in the Solar System should have some idea how to phrase "Standard International Greeting" or some deep space equivalent. I could understand their not wanting to ask T'Pol how to do this, but why not ask Travis?
The boarding of the alien ship also seemed terribly mishandled (either by the writers and by Our Heroes, I'm not sure). Seemed unbelievably shortsighted to board an alien ship simply because it looks damaged and doesn't answer their hails, nor does Archer seem to have any idea what he's supposed to do when he gets on board or how to react if the crew is NOT, in fact, in trouble. Or even if they are in trouble. Or any other weird eventuality (the crew is in hibernation or something). I rather DID appreciate the utter coolness of the gruesome discovery as to the fate of the crew, but the reaction to that, also, was somewhat botched. Archer's feelings about leaving the ship is understandable; his decision to go back and try to track down the ship's point of origin is definitely not, considering that Enterprise at this point is virtually unarmed.
So it wasn't at all surprising that Archer very nearly got everyone killed this time. If the intent was to show that Starfleet still hadn't gotten the hang of this space exploration thing, the episode accomplished that perfectly. On the other hand, it may have slightly oversold that concept, since Archer is repeatedly shown making impulsive snap decisions with absolutely no thought whatsoever for what MIGHT go wrong, even when presented with a list of things that are fairly likely TO go wrong.
Character development: Archer here demonstrates, for the second time, a somewhat impetuous nature and a strange reluctance to plan anything, ever. In almost any serious endeavor with a real risk of death if something goes wrong (aviation, deep sea diving, etc) there's always a huge amount of planning involved to make sure everything goes smoothly, or to make sure everyone knows what to do if things don't go smoothly. Archer doesn't seem familiar with this mindset, and having failed to plan ahead he nearly plows into that mountain of starship that is the alien poachers. The entire crew comes off as woefully unprepared for this mission, but Hoshi here pulls it off in her own way by being unprepared on a PERSONAL level. She's mostly a linguist, not much of an adventurer, and doesn't much like to be in the line of fire. Her main internal conflict, apparently, is a general lack of confidence, which gets handsomely resolved when she manages to decipher JUST enough of the alien language to explain the situation.
Series development: Enterprise's primary weapons come online for the first time. It's a little odd that so-called "spatial torpedoes" appear to be so puny and underwhelming, considering that by this time Earth has had thermonuclear weaponry for over two centuries. Even MODERN weapons pack a bigger punch than that, so I could only assume that spatial torpedoes must use some kind of lower yield plasma explosive thingamajig that's less lethal for whoever you're shooting at. The starship equivalent of a riot gun, perhaps?
Nitpicks: T'Pol observes the "residual oxidation" of the burn marks on the alien ship's hull. While this is basically good science (metal tends to oxidize at high temperatures) it doesn't make sense in SPACE, where there is no oxygen and, therefore, nothing to cause oxidation. She might as well try to guess the age of an alien ship by counting the barnacles on its hull. T'Pol's sensors detect the alien ship at a distance of about sixty thousand kilometers. Apart from the fact that this seems unreasonably close for another ship to suddenly drop out of warp without being noticed earlier, Travis mentions that it'll take "ten minutes, maybe less" for the ship to "get here." Considering how much more advanced the Poacher vessel is than Enterprise, they should ALREADY be within firing range at that point, considering TOS Enterprise consistently traded punches with alien ships at similar or greater distances. As for why a ship that is capable of traveling at the speed of light would suddenly drop out of warp and cover the last one-fifth of a light second at hundred kilometers per second... I suppose for the same reason they didn't open fire from sixty thousand kilometers, the Poachers just weren't in that much of a hurry.
Rating: 5 (Kyle)

Strange New World Date not given: Enterprise arrives at an Earth-like planet. T'Pol, Tucker, Mayweather, Cutler and Novakovich are staying on the planet for the night when a storm forces them to leave their camp and seek refuge in a cavern. Soon they begin to hallucinate. Novakovich runs away, but can be beamed up and treated against the hallucinations that are caused by the pollen of a plant. In the meantime Tucker threatens T'Pol with the phase pistol, because he thinks that T'Pol is collaborating with the non-existent inhabitants of the planet. By claiming that this is actually true Archer can move Tucker to put down the weapon, and T'Pol can treat the survey team.

I still don't like the main theme, but at least I can press my DVD's "jump" button 6 times to get to the exact end of it. I won't watch it.
I'm only up to the campfire scene at the moment, and I know that within one minute, T'Pol is going to ruin Mayweather's story with logic, or something.
Here comes. Ah - there it is.
"Vulcan" this, "Vulcan" that. I'd hate to be in T'Pol's shoes. It seems everything anyone ever talks about has to do with Vulcan or Earth. You'd think they could vary their conversation a little.
I'm still at the campfire scene, and it's obvious that at least one of the two "red shirts" is going to die or be very hurt.
And there he goes. Injured severely. So far the whole "crazy" thing is being done... better than usual. I won't say it's original or anything, because it's anything but. Watching Trip wave a pistol at T'Pol for thirty minutes wasn't all that interesting.
I'm liking the end, in the cave. It seems that the crew might finally be letting T'Pol off a little. The constant complaining about her logic was getting annoying.
Well that was a pretty average episode. The "crazy crewmen" plot didn't help its rating, although I wouldn't be opposed to watching it again, at another time.
Rating: 4 (Hon. David Kulessa)

Strange New World Date not given: Synopsis in main ENT listing

I considered this episode something of a litmus test for Enterprise, at least insofar as the series' supposed intention to get "back to basics" and the business of examining mankind's first pioneering steps into deep space exploration. In that regard it was painfully disappointing: our intrepid star voyagers on their first deep space exploration turned out to be a bunch of tourists on an intergalactic camping trip.
The first half of the episode was positively cringe-worthy. I understand there's something to be said for Jonathan "We didn't come here to tiptoe around" Archer's enthusiasm, but there's something even greater to be said for professionalism. Archer is supposed to be a professional astronaut and scientist, which would seem to imply that Starfleet would have given him and his crew special training, instructions, or at least some words of advice for what to do when they found a planet that seems worth landing on. And given all the different planets and moons in the Solar System that probably weren't extensively explored before World War-III, Starfleet would have had plenty of time to refine its own protocols and procedures and maybe come up with new ones for its interstellar voyages. Instead, we have the Captain and his senior officers blithely jumping into a shuttle pod (with the Captain's dog) for a photo shoot in a meadow somewhere. It's the "oh c'mon, what's the worst that can happen?" approach to space exploration that seems more appropriate for, say, some freighter captain on a booze run than (what is supposed to be) the 22nd century equivalent of Neil Armstrong.
The outlook slightly improved once the ACTUAL story developed, namely the thriller-element of constant hallucinations, voices in the dark, paranoia, suspicion and prejudice. As subplots go, this one was fairly amusing. It would, perhaps, make a good anecdote from Archer back to one of his academy friends about "that time we landed on that Earth like planet with the hallucinogenic pollen." Overall, though, the driving force behind the entire plot was simply the complete unpreparedness of the crew for the unexpected, or even, for that matter, the expected (Tucker getting stung by an alien bug, for example; did it never occur to anyone on the ship that some or all of the life forms on this planet might be EXTREMELY toxic?).
Overall, "Strange New World" was an attempt to sell the idea that Starfleet's first mission of exploration was inexperienced and innocent, but enthusiastic and resilient. Instead, I come away from this episode with the impression that the Vulcans might actually be right about Humans being too immature to risk exploring deep space. In this case, they were looking that a thunderstorm and gust of hallucinogenic pollen was the most dangerous thing this planet had to offer.
Character development: Little to none, which is a little disappointing for a very early episode of a new Trek series, but hardly unprecedented. The effect of the pollen helped stir up some emotional intensity all around, which MIGHT have been interesting except that Trip (as usual) wound up hogging the spotlight for yet another episode of "Angry Redneck in Space." On the other hand there is a glimmer of indication that Archer, for the first time, is beginning to realize just how serious his job really is; hopefully, we might see a slight retreat from the prevailing "I can has flight plan?" attitude that's persisted so far.
Series development: Standalone episode. No mention of the temporal cold war or any other story arcs. Not much development as far as the overall mission either, except that this is the second time Archer has nearly gotten his people killed by failing to think ahead, so we might see a little bit more caution exercised in the future.
Nitpick: Odd how the ship's sensors can detect a "wind storm" moving across the entire continent but nobody bothers to warn the survey team... well, AT ALL. Actually the first indication they have of the storm is being nearly blown away by it before T'Pol has the presence of mind to whip out her tricorder.
Recycle bin: This episode has a flavor like so many TOS plots. Crew beams down to what appears to be paradise, only to discover a certain something on said planet that causes major problems. Refreshingly it wasn't anything as grandiose as a Klingon conspiracy, plants that shoot missiles, dreams-become-reality or a machine-god-lizard-thing.
Rating: 4 (Kyle)

Unexpected Date not given: During a repair mission on an alien starship, Trip becomes pregnant.

When I read the synopsis before I watched the episode, I expected something pretty bad. Not all my fears were realised, thankfully. The pregnancy was handled better than I thought it would; maybe just because he didn't have the huge belly that Arnold came with.
It was also rather humorous. I literally laughed out loud when the Klingon said "I can see my house from here!" and when Phlox said "You might just be putting those nipples to good use soon!", maybe just because they were so ridiculous.
It was very slow to start with, however, and when the two ships parted for the first time I thought "What, that's it?!" until it cut to Trip in ten-forward.
Yeah, come to think of it, besides the humorous tidbits, this episode was pretty slow and boring. And the K't'inga? What the hell. Try harder, Berman.
Remarkable ship: Klingon cruiser looks almost as futuristic as the Akiraprise.
Rating: 3 (Hon. David Kulessa)

Unexpected Date not given: Trip gets knocked up by a hot alien.

Sue me, I liked it, I thought it was funny despite its problems.
Yes, a holodeck in the 22nd century is problematic even if on an alien ship. Yes, it's a problem that Ah'len knowingly does something that normally results in pregnancy in her species with Trip, just because it wasn't 'known to have happened' with non-Xryillians. How the hell can Trip possibly help repair the engines on an alien vessel they just had First Contact with?
And the Klingon cruiser, I'm sure everyone will jump on Enterprise for getting this wrong, but there was a reason behind the usage of the K't'inga. They SFX team had already designed a primitive Klingon ship to use, but the production team were unsatisfied with the primitive model, thus at the 11th hour a K't'inga was inserted in its place.
Regardless of all that it's still a fun episode. Trip's experiences on the Xyrillian ship were interesting it had a really alien feel to it as opposed to any number of the other alien vessels that had appeared before on Star Trek which looked alike despite a different decor. How many had food growing off walls? How many had fish tanks?
Trip's pregnancy was also humorous, his hunger at the dinner table, becoming hormonal and paranoid over the 'deathtrap' elevator in Engineering. Phlox encouraging Trip that he'll be putting his newly grown extraneous nipples to good use as a crewman awkwardly walks in was hilarious. Plenty of funny moments in an episode not to be taken too seriously, as it only allows the errors in screenplay to make the episode look worse.
Remarkable quote: "I can see my house from here!" -Vorok in the Xyrillian holodeck overlooking Qo'noS' capital city
Remarkable Dialogue: "Three days. You were only there for three days, and you couldn't restrain yourself."  - "I'm telling you, Captain, I was a complete gentleman the entire time." - "I imagine that's a question of how you define 'gentleman'." -T'Pol and Trip
Remarkable scene: Trip stepping aboard the Xyrillian vessel, the cinematography capturing well the 'alien' feel of it all
Remarkable set: The Xyrillian holodeck
Rating: 5 (Cameron)

Unexpected Date not given: Synopsis in main ENT listing

If there is any proof that Star Trek: Enterprise helped destroy the credibility of itself and the entire franchise, look no further than here.
In typical Star Trek style, the Enterprise helps a crippled alien vessel, sends over their top engineer - once again begging why they have other crew members who all they seem to do is doss about ship - to help out. Typically something goes awry and they have to find said alien ship to help their friend who gained a problem from the aliens.
I must say at least the aliens - the Xyrillians - have no sinister motive and are a genuinely nice bunch; also their ship is brilliantly alien. The airlock sequence was stretched too long methinks and the fact Trip got pregnant SOMEHOW has some amusing points.
Where it goes horribly wrong are two fold.
First IS the Xyrillian ship - it has a HOLODECK! Bernd and Cameron expressed clever, technological and chronological reasons why this is so wrong, and I am not going to repeat, but the credibility of how the holodeck is now obliterated. The temptation of using CGI and 24th century tech was too much and despite what Bed and Breakfast think, this has ruined Star Trek's credibility.
If that is not bad enough, the second cock up is the introduction of the legendary Klingon D7/K't'inga - 100 years BEFORE KIRK!! The excuse behind this awful slip up is unforgivable - they already had a 'Raptor' and they could have changed the script but I felt it was a case of 'Arse and Elbow'. This is utterly irresponsible.
Despite their apologies and such, alas there is no time travel "get out of this card" to cover this mistake. It's incompetence like this that do more harm that any good.
5/10 for the Xyrillians and the humour - but there is no measurement here for the blunder of the powers that be for this.
The D7 excuse: See this here: Klingon Battlecruiser.
Rating: 5 (Chris S)

Terra Nova Date not given: The Enterprise crew go looking for an old colony they lost about 70 years ago, and some tribal dudes get all up in their business about it.

I found it pretty boring. Half way through, the computer crashed and I didn't end up watching the rest of the episode until my mum watched it. I wasn't really engaged with the plot. As soon as Archer said the word "trust" I knew that the scene with the pistol in the cave was going to take place, because it was so obvious. Kind of like that scene in "Aladdin", except done badly.
And after watching all of TNG, DS9 and VOY, I'm SICK TO DEATH of watching tribal natives. I nearly fell asleep in all the episodes where Chakotay said "Akoochi-moyah", and this was similar.
As always, the conversations between Archer, T'Pol and Trip are... amusing, to say the least. It's fairly obvious, however, that the producers were simply trying to recreate the "magnificent three" mold that was set in TOS, and they're not doing a very good job of it. I can just see now: Mayweather is going to have, like, three episodes based on him. The reason he's so forgettable is because nothing ever happens to him. He's almost an extra.
Rating: 2 (Hon. David Kulessa)

The Andorian Incident Date not given: Some angry blue guys take some Vulcans hostage. As usual, the Vulcans are the ones at fault.

Yay for Jeffery Combs!
Getting that out of the way, I actually liked this episode. If you ignore the (un)predictable twist at the end that reaffirms Archer's stupid attitude, and Archer's stupid attitude, it's not all that bad. The Andorians were portrayed well, although I don't know if Shran's wiggle of the antenna at the start was supposed to be intimidating or something? It didn't seem it.
I wrote (un)predictable, because I assumed that the ENT writers had, by now, gotten over the constant distrust between Archer and the Vulcans. Apparently not. Putting the Vulcans in such a bad situation just sets back the friend-making that's occurred over the past seven episodes. I was just starting to think that T'Pol and Archer might get along when she got under the blanket, but no. I guess that'll take at least four seasons (enough time to get canceled).
I hope if another series is made of Star Trek after the movie comes out (depending on if it's a success), the producers try to include Andorians and Bolians a bit more. Frankly, I'm hoping for a post-VOY series, with maybe an ALIEN captain for once?
Uh, yeah. Good episode, in my opinion. But, like every other episode of Enterprise so far, it could do without Archer's annoying prejudice towards the Vulcans.
Quite annoying quote: "Have you got a problem with that?!" -Archer to T'Pol, after she did nothing at all to provoke him.
Rating: 4 (Hon. David Kulessa)

Breaking the Ice Date not given: Reed and Mayweather crack a comet, while Trip helps T'Pol crack some of her rigid Vulcan traditions.

A nice episode. Could this really be the end of the "let's everyone beat up on T'Pol because she's Vulcan" phase? I hope so. This is one of the most annoying parts of the show.
It's good to at least see Trip warming to her. Archer is still a whiny cow when it comes to dealing with Vulcans, though. I know that won't change.
The amusing anecdotes, such as the children's questions, similar to Captain Picard Day, or "Disaster", where Picard gets stuck in the elevator with some kids are what makes this. These are the episodes I like more than most (i.e. TNG: "Family", DS9: "In The Cards", VOY: "Someone to Watch Over Me"), because they make me laugh, and develop the characters well (one of the only things I don't like about TOS). I usually only watch comedy on TV (with the exception of Star Trek), and I'm glad they can still integrate it without making the whole episode silly.
Rating: 6 (Hon. David Kulessa)

Civilization Date not given: Enterprise finds an M-class planet where a disease is spreading through the population, apparently due to the owner of an antique store. Archer takes advantage of the fact that there's no prime directive yet.

Why hello, TNG: "Thine Own Self"! I didn't know you were in Enterprise.
That aside, it was an alright episode. Frankly, I don't really like episodes of this nature. They go to a pre-industrial society, something bad happens, they sneak around, the captain loves someone, but they can't get together. In that sense, it's kind of like TNG: "First Contact", except that was more interesting.
The crew's inexperience really shows when Trip threatens to vent the nacelles of their plasma when T'Pol is about to leave orbit. EVEN IF, however, the crew is inexperienced, I doubt someone (i.e. the chief engineer) would go to such measures to question T'Pol's orders. It must have occurred to him that even if they did leave orbit, that they would go back just as soon to rescue the captain. It's always fun to see T'Pol gain the upper hand in an argument, though.
Why do they even have Mayweather on the ship? At least Tom Paris SAID things. Mayweather just sits there, does a few "yessirs" and gets his leg broken. That's ALL he's done over the past nine episodes (except for what he said on the pilot, but that was simply to show us that he's also a main character; obviously just not a very important one).
It got a lower rating because I don't like episodes like this. That freakin' flute music, as well! It's like every single civilisation in the galaxy that is remotely primitive has to have a flute accompaniment when anything happens. It reminds me too much of Chakotay and his "Akoochi-moyah", which pains me.
Rating: 2 (Hon. David Kulessa)

Civilization Date not given: Synopsis in main ENT listing

I have read the criticisms of this episode from many, and all have been rather poor about it. From similarities to "Thine Own Self", to the overall meandering of the plot.
Me, I agree in certain parts, it is a tad too drawn, and I certain aspects of exploration are ignored for action's sake - things like how do people there interact, their culture, their customs and so forth. I also agree with Mr Kulessa, the awful panpipes to dictate the innocence of an ancient time, the constant clashes of command, the inadequacies of Enterprise's weapons capable of beating better armed ships, and the banality of Mr Mayweather - only in there as the token BLACK BLOKE!
However it's not a bad episode as in VOY: "Threshold" bad, just average but the story is decent - it's as Bernd said a detective story, and on second glance it's a good base story - aliens in disguise doing some dirty work on an alien world too pre-industrial to understand - it's a good theme. The way it's played out is rather slow, a tad lame, but the potential is there and it's not that bad.
The real saving grace is Riann, played very well by Diane Dilascio. Her character is naive but in an intelligent way, she has strength but proves it with her mind and skills, not sexy clothes and the ability to kick ass. She is respectful and not a nasty bit of work under the veil of being a powerful woman. She shows her limits but out of inexperience and reasonable fear, not to show Johnny Archer what a man he is or coos him for it. She is my kind of woman and it's a shame we do not see more women like this - not since Gillian Anderson/Scully and Amanda Tapping/Carter have we had any just-smart women in Sci-Fi.
5/10 for Riann, and the overall plot - despite being delivered a tad luke warm.
Remarkable quote: "This must be why aliens are always landing in corn fields." -Archer. A heavy hint to aliens who land here allegedly.
Rating: 5 (Chris S)

Fortunate Son Date not given: Mayweather does something, and a freighter captain decides to get nasty with some Nausicans.

I have a few bad comments about this episode. First of all, Anthony Montgomery does a horrible job of acting in this episode. It all felt way too scripted and he moved his hands around too much when delivering his speech to the freighter captain. I've seen better acting on some fan films, and I now know the reason why he's never an important part of any episodes. Secondly, it was way too obvious from the start that the crew of the freighter were doing something bad. The first officer looks almost as evil as Captain Ransom (VOY: "Equinox"). I kinda like it when an episode surprises me. This was almost like I'd read the end of the book before I'd started.
Ignoring that, it was a rather good episode. It gave us an insight into the lives of boomers, and gave Mayweather some time to develop his character a bit more (even though all he said was "I was born on a freighter", basically). Adding the Nausicaans was a nice touch, although I didn't like the way they all wore leather jackets. If you ignored their hair-metal heads, you'd think they were humans.
It was filled with a nice mix of action and discussion, although I have to wonder why the Y-class could disable the NX for four hours so easily. They could hardly defend themselves against the Nausicaan raiders. AND they were damaged?!
No Vulcan/Human prejudice! Yay. A good episode, although I prefer not to be able to guess what happens so early in the show.
I'd like to take this opportunity to give my thoughts on the series so far, having watched (about) ten episodes. It's good; better than I expected, but I'd still rather watch some new TNG, DS9 or VOY. They are much more interesting, and most episodes from these seasons would rank above Enterprise ones (seeing as though I'm ranking Enterprise on its own little scale). I hope, if a new series is made, it'll take its tips from the 24th century series. This is good, but nowhere near the best I've seen from Star Trek.
Rating: 5 (Hon. David Kulessa)

Fortunate Son Date not given: Synopsis in main ENT listing

This episode was potentially enjoyable on so many levels. It offered a much wider glimpse into the nature of mankind's presence in space. The Boomers are a neat concept, sort of reflecting the earliest days of ocean exploration where the farthest expeditions were mostly merchants and businessmen exploring for profit. For an uncertain amount of years, Boomers have had the frontier pretty much all to themselves; there are hints in dialog that a lot of people stand to lose their jobs once the Warp Five engine becomes widely available, which meshes with a much broader theme about progress, patience, and people who have little patience for either. The Nausicaan simply lying through his teeth about their shield frequencies was a nice touch too. Ryan probably should have seen that coming, then again he IS a blockhead.
It's always satisfying in a Trek episode to add conflict with a second fully- or partially-staffed crew, at least insofar as we can see a somewhat even conflict between one captain and another. Ryan isn't the most impressive or most thoughtful starship captain in the world, but then that's exactly the point: he's young, cocky, and in WAY over his head. His crew only follows him because they want revenge as bad as he does, but like him, are too inexperienced to know just how foolhardy their plans really are.
Unfortunately what started out as a remarkably strong episode had an incredibly weak finish. It wasn't so much the fact that the entire conflict was resolved simply by browbeating Ryan into being reasonable (perfectly tolerable, considering this was essentially a fight between rival pirates and Enterprise had the big guns for once). What actually blew it for me was TRAVIS doing the talking. Since this is the first time any episode has focussed heavy on Ensign Mayweather, this is also the first time I've had a chance to notice that Anthony Montgomery is a HORRIBLE actor, and the entire discourse with Captain Ryan couldn't have been more irritating if it was produced on a chalkboard with a rusty nail.
Character development: This was the first episode to really focus on Ensign Mayweather. For whatever reason, he comes off here as "Black Wesley Crusher," only slightly more irritating since he is NOT a kid, and therefore doesn't have an excuse for why he's so annoying. Since first seeing this episode I have only been able to tolerate Travis' existence by telling myself that he's actually a twelve-year-old who caught some kind of rapid-aging disease from a Draylaxian girl.
Series development: Nothing in the major series arcs, but there is some historical relevance with the Boomers, since it's implied here that the Warp Five engine or its derivatives will very soon be made available for commercial use. When or where this first happens is, of course, totally unclear, but at the very least it helps to establish Enterprise's place in the scheme of things.
Nitpicks: Again with the weird range statements. Apparently the Fortunate's plasma cannons have an effective range of just a few kilometers. Unless this is just a limitation by their targeting systems (or lack thereof) it makes absolutely no sense why their weapons would be so profoundly limited. It seems as if the script writers are trying to justify the usual Trek-style unreasonably close exterior shots by referring to starships even in dialog as being just a few hundred feet away from each other even during high speed maneuvers; unfortunately, this means that at impulse power even Enterprise would only be moving a couple of hundred miles per hour.
Recycling: Tastes like "The Wounded," ends like "Gambit," has a unique flare in and of itself with the piracy element. Latter-century trek productions tend to portray space as a fairly orderly and well regulated environment, Baran's mercenaries notwithstanding. Here we see that space still appears to be a fairly lawless region where nobody really has hegemony beyond the confines of their own system and a few outlying colonies. The concept of matching your enemy's shield frequencies is, of course, a carryover from Generations, which works well as a plot device (giving the Nausicaan something to lie about and therefore get Ryan almost killed) but then again seemed pretty contrived in the first place and is probably better off not being repeated in the future.
Rating: 8 (Kyle)

Fortunate Son Date not given: Synopsis in main ENT listing

"Fortunate Son" is a rare thing - a great idea in ENT!
Why?
Well there is a lot to offer here and a lot could have grown from this. I loved the backstory of the Fortunate and the boomer crews, that they were the first travellers in space, that they were unregulated, that their ship bred communities, and so on and so forth.
I also liked the sneerness towards Star Fleet - think EU bureaucracy, and you get the idea. To me this is more than Scifi - it's great story potential.
However in the typical style of Bed & Breakfast, the idea was squandered and ridden with plotholes again.
Once more pseudo morality came to pass, stronger enemies were beaten by the weaker Star Fleet and a pompous speech by Travis Mayweather. 
The sign of things to come to pass.
The only reason this is a rare gem was it has a lot of good moments, most surrounding the Fortunate and the clash of destinies between StarFleet and the Boomers. An opportunity missed.
Remarkable ship: The Fortunate - a well designed vessel that appears realistic yet incorporates the warp technology we know. She is a gem to the eye, and the bit where she swings round the asteroid base of the Nausicaans - WOW! Only reason this episode has a higher rating.
Remarkable nitpicking 1: How did the Boomers get into space? Who allowed them? More to the point, considering the dangers they faced, how comes their ships are so poor in performance!
Remarkable nitpicking 2: If Earth freighters are being attacked, where are the escorts?
Remarkable nitpicking 3: If the Boomers were the first out there, where are the benefits? How comes some did not make themselves rich or famous or something along the lines? Christopher Columbus and Sir Francis Drake were privateers and look what they accomplished!
Remarkable Nitpicking 4: This episode had the look of Babylon 5, and again the pulse weapons for weaker people and beams for the stronger. Especially the fight scene in the Fortunate - the Boomers pulse guns were no match to the beam weapons of Star Fleet or the Nausicaans.
Rating: 5 (Chris)

Cold Front Date not given: Chef Daniels turns out to be a time traveling secret agent attempting to prevent the Suliban from getting all up in history's business.

I liked this episode. It successfully followed on with the Suliban story from the pilot, and left us wondering who was really at fault in the Temporal Cold War. As I've said before, I LIKE not knowing who's the bad guys in a story. I mean, I know it's the Suliban, but after watching this without prior knowledge of the series, I would be skeptical.
I would have liked a little more closure, though. It's fun to leave someone hanging, but not like this (kind of like the end of Halo 2; they've left us hanging on "Finish the fight" for almost three years).
I have to wonder how Archer stayed conscious for so long in a vacuum. It was established in TNG: "Disaster" that you barely have ten seconds of useful consciousness after decompression. I don't know the real scientific facts, but yeah.
I look forward to watching the rest of the Temporal Cold War. Although, y'know, I could use some Deep Space Nine right now. I'll probably be more entertained.
Rating: 6 (Hon. David Kulessa)

Silent Enemy Date not given: Hoshi hunts Reed's favourite food, whilst the engineering team test a new weapon out on some crazy aliens.

I liked this episode. It had a lot of good character development, and a plot that was actually rather compelling.
Okay, to be frank, I can't remember much of this episode. I watched it about 12 hours ago when I JUST woke up. Suffice to say, I thought it was good. The scenes not involving the bad guys were better, simply because I enjoy character development.
Rating: 5 (Hon. David Kulessa)

Sleeping Dogs Date not given: Synopsis in main ENT listing

Ok, this immediately gets 2 points, no, make it 4, for having T'Pol and Hoshi strut about in very little which is great. Otherwise, there's not much that's remarkable with this episode, already it's very reminiscent of DS9's "Starship Down" which is sort of a shame. And second, regarding all that's Klingon. It's mostly a reintroduction of what we already know. Though I haven't as of yet reviewed "Broken Bow", I recall when Enterprise first premiered, even from the first few seconds when we saw Klaang, I knew that the Klingons depicted the way we're most familiar with them (TNG and DS9 incarnations) in Enterprise, was always going to be a problem, and I think it's highlighted best (or is that worse?) here. We have the usual routine of the surly Klingon making threats, T'Pol explaining the culinary tastes of Ga'gh and Targ, officers dying at their posts gaining acceptance to the Sto'vo'kor, the nonacceptance of cowardice in using escape pods. Half the purpose of a prequel is to tell how things have come to be, but because we have the eventual disruption of Klingon society where they stopped acting at all like we're most familiar in the 23rd century when Kirk encounters them, what we had in this episode doesn't satisfy at all. We're well and truly aware by now what Klingons eat, their obsession with dying in battle, and so on, so while an acceptable compromise is reached as to why Klingons stopped being so 'Klingon' in Enterprise's 4th season, it does seem a huge missed opportunity that Klingons from the very start of Enterprise couldn't have been depicted in the way we knew them from TOS in order to gain a better insight into that side of Klingon culture.
But anyway, now that that's over I can get back to the episode, yes, it's rather non-eventful, but there's a few things I liked which only Enterprise is capable of offering; Hoshi being brought on to literally translate what's on the Klingon vessel, any other Trek show would've had the away team reading and using the controls as if they were written in English. I also liked the rigging of the shuttle, reinforcing it with piping in a very rustic manner, it did add somewhat to the realism of the situation. And the character moments of Reed and Hoshi, Hoshi, after doubting herself but then realising she can adapt to her situation in "Fight or Flight" volunteers for the away mission, despite her enthusiasm her vulnerabilities are still on show, but again, she manages to overcome that hurdle and be assertive. If there's any one character mirroring the journey humanity is on in this series, it's definitely Hoshi. While other characters appropriately mirror our enthusiasm for interstellar travel and a passion for exploration like Archer and Trip, Hoshi at least shows us we can still be out of our depth as much as we'd rather not admit it, so that's something to take away from this episode.
In rating it, I'd probably give it a 5, it does seem a bit of a waste regarding what insight we have into Klingons is nothing no one wouldn't have known before hand. There's not much either gained in the grand scheme of things as we're in Enterprise's first year, the Klingon arc of the series isn't something I'm very familiar with, but this adds little to that too. And as I said above, bonus points for the lovely Jolene Blalock and Linda Park wearing skin tight outfits and those ridiculously tiny decon outfits at the end of the episode.
Remarkable quote: "You know, I read if they sense a leader's weak they'll try to kill him and take command." -Trip Tucker (to Archer)
Remarkable quote #2: "You wouldn't last ten seconds in a battle with us. You've got multiple hull breaches, your shields are down, and from what I'm told, you're fresh out of torpedoes. If I were you, I'd take what little honor I had left and go home. Fire one shot, and I'll blast you right back to where we found you." -Archer to the Klingon captain
Rating: 5 (Cameron)

Shadows of P'Jem Date not given: Synopsis in main ENT listing

An appropriately titled episode which deals with the ramifications of the P'Jem Monastery incident and the greater effect it has had on Vulcan/Andorian/Human relations. I already like the idea so far because unlike Voyager we can actually see the long term consequences of previous episodes, and it's fairly appropriate that here we can see that the exploits of Enterprise are having a further impact on the already volatile nature between the Vulcans and Andorians.
I suppose though nothing really feels that resolved at episodes end however, all we have is that Shran's debt to Archer is repaid, T'Pol would prefer to stay on Enterprise, and that things are still icy as ever between Andoria and Vulcan. So nothing actually feels too resolved but there's still plenty more story material to come from this conflict for the remainder of the series.
The plot itself, it's a bit of a shame that T'Pol's conflict about leaving Enterprise wasn't given a bit more time, instead we have her and Archer captured on a planet by rebels, who, backed by Andorians, are attempting to destabilise the reigning government, who are backed by Vulcans. So while it's always nice to have some contemporary allegories being used, it may have been better to have stayed a little more in the background, so I suppose this episode could've benefitted starting the plot a little earlier to allow time to get a better balance between T'Pol's dilemma, and the secondary plot of the rescue mission/Vulcan-Andorian politics.
I do have to say, out of all this it certainly had one of the funniest Star Trek moments, when Archer and T'Pol are struggling to get out of their restraints which are binding them together, they both fall down where T'Pol's chest manages to land on Archers face, leading Archer to be the most enviable man in the galaxy for a few moments, copping a face full of sexy Vulcan boob the lucky bastard... Great support also comes from Jeffrey Combs and Gregory Itzin, though once again the portrayal of the Vulcans on this show leaves a lot to be desired, but he does redeem things a bit in the end, allowing a chance for T'Pol not to be returned back to Vulcan to face punishment over the P'Jem incident.
So as for rating, I'd probably give it a 6, I liked the continuity, the laughs afforded, the action and the resolution.
Remarkable dialogue: "I'm curious about your starship, what can you tell me about it?" - "Our protein resequencer can make chicken sandwiches." -Traeg and Archer
Rating: 6 (Cameron)

Fusion Date not given: Synopsis in main ENT listing

There isn't much to say about this episode because it's just so damned boring. Enterprise encounters a Vulcan ship whose crew have learnt to deal with their emotions and T'Pol is pressured into embracing their ideals by one crewman who gets pissed when she tries to break a mind meld they're having and they leave. And that's it, T'Pol's short experience with emotions is over for the time being and her previous experience being 'invigorated' on Earth is pretty much moot. It may have been nice if we had a bit more backstory to her life on Earth and how she may have been doing this thing on a semi-regular basis for a story, instead we have what we have, T'Pol's plot with the background noise made up of Enterprise flying through a pretty nebulae, and one other Vulcan dealing with the impending death of his father.
I'm going to give it 3 out of 10, it's got very nice visual effects, I think the guest performance of Enrique Murciano as Tolaris was convincing as well, at first he's charming and we can see from a mile away his intentions with T'Pol, but it slowly escalates to the confrontation with Archer. The small insight into T'Pol's life on Earth and her experience with an emotion was also nice to see to break up the monotony of the character thus far.
But a dull episode otherwise.
Rating: 3 (Cameron)

Acquisition Date not given: Synopsis in main ENT listing

Why, WHY FERENGI??? Oh boy, that's my only real problem with this episode, it opened with them approaching an adrift Enterprise and I started groaning and wondering if it really was worth watching, but luckily I had a beer in hand and that made a great deal of difference.
EDIT: I originally said here I had little problem with the Ferengi being used as I didn't find it to be that problematic in terms of the continuity but after reading Bernd's review and how he points out how much of an issue it is I now have to agree. It was a big deal and the usage of the Ferengi was just utter laziness and not to mention pointless.
And therein lies the problem with using them, nothing was gained, any random alien or other minor alien race like the Rigellians for instance could've been used and the plot would've remained largely the same, I doubt there would've been as much in the way of value for laughs, but nothing would've been lost by not using the Ferengi. But that's where the majority of the jokes come from, typical, clichéd Ferengi behaviour, squabbling over money, superiority issues, infatuation with attractive non-Ferengi females, obsession with Latinum and so on. So there's nothing but the usual Ferengi antics here you would normally see in a Deep Space Nine episode, which is a shame as it's another missed opportunity to show how out of depth the Starfleet crew are to have fallen victim to this ploy when it could've been perpetrated by any other species.
That aside I still have to admit I had a fun time watching it, from Trip running around in his underwear to T'Pol seducing Krem and Archer and Trip's argument over Trips "wife" Hoshi, it was still a funny episode, but very poorly conceived and executed, so it gets a generous 4/10. Though the alcohol most likely had an influence so for anyone planning on watching this, plan on drinking before and during the episode, it will ease the pain.
Remarkable appearance: Ethan Philips technically makes his third appearance as a Ferengi in 3 Star Trek series in this episode, he first appeared in "Ménage à Troi" as Dr Farek, the Grand Proxy (albeit as Neelix masquerading) in "False Profits" and this episode as Ulis.
Remarkable weapon: For the first time since TNG, the Ferengi Energy whip makes a reappearance.
Rating: 4 (Cameron)

Oasis Date not given: Synopsis in main ENT listing

Another crashed ship, another nefarious crew hiding things from our heroes, another doomed romance, we've seen it all before so much like "Strange New World" it's very much a shame on a series which has so much potential that it must fall back on these paint-by-numbers scripts.
"Oasis" is one of those episodes, after not long the dread sets in as it almost seems like the episode would be some lame Halloween-themed one with the talk of a ghost ship and the away team stepping aboard getting 'the creeps' and such. But even after that nothing very interesting happens, as I said, once more we have alien strangers who appear harmless at first but as we can see coming from a mile away have something to hide from our crew before taking violent action to protect their secret.
And the secret? They're all holograms. I've never been one to be too bothered by future technology appearing on Enterprise. I can overlook most things like the initial look of the Enterprise itself which seems to draw ire from people (but I don't see why), but along with the Xyrillian holodeck from "Unexpected", here we have another local race with this amazing technology which won't ever be in use by a Federation vessel for another 200 years to come. But that logic is lost for the sake of having a cheap twist in the script, which is so big a problem points to get deducted for that alone as it's such a crucial plot development in the story. The man who blames himself for the deaths of his crewmen creates holographic replacements for them, fair enough while René Auberjonois is credible in the role, it's still too much of a problem to accept that this man, who clearly had a great deal of experience in creating and programming holograms, would return to his planet and without sharing a damn thing about it the technology would die with him till it's 'reinvented' centuries later in a far less sophisticated format.
Even with all that aside it's still not a good episode, leave out the fact these people are holograms, side-step it somehow, and the final product is nothing exciting or provocative or interesting at all. I did like the small role Reed had in discovering the truth about the crash and it's nice he has a practical role, once again though Mayweather and Sato are left to fill in gaps of dialogue. The relationship between Trip and Liana was ok for what it was worth, Annie Wersching did a really good job in the role, more so considering it was her debut role, but her and Auberjonois' performances were the only things that really stood out for me, otherwise it was just a waste of time, so it get 2/10.
Remarkable irony: Trip suggests that if Liana were to ever be injured, would Exral program a holographic Doctor to treat her, clearly in reference to Starfleet's EMH program of the late 24th century.
Remarkable appearance: Annie Wersching, who played Liana, would later star as a regular in Season 7 of "24", which coincidentally starred Connor Trinneer (Trip) and John Billingsley (Phlox) in small roles.
Rating: 2 (Cameron)

Detained Date not given: Synopsis in main ENT listing

"Al, why am I here?" Sam asks. "Uhh, according to Ziggy there's an 89% chance you're here to free the Suliban from this Internment camp..." Al explains.
Ahh yes, it was inevitable that a series starring Scott 'Samuel Beckett' Bakula would have Dean Stockwell guest star, and "Detained" does so, albeit putting them in extremely different circumstances than when they were paired together on the fantastic "Quantum Leap" (which I have on tv right now after watching "Detained").
That really doesn't seem to have much of an impact however on the episode, while it's nice to see these 2 actors interacting again, that isn't the crux of the episode, instead it does well to address some all too true allegories with past and present society. From internment camps of civilians to the idea that people are only too happy to let their preconceptions blind them, leading them to blur the line between ordinary people and the 'terrorists' if you will who also happen to live in the same society. The fact that they're called the Suliban is clearly a reference to the Taliban, so another contemporary allegory there.
So the episode succeeds on that level, but that's really all it seems to focus on, it doesn't really address the ongoing Suliban arc at all but for a few throwback references to "Broken Bow" and "Cold Front", and we're not going to see these Suliban prisoners again. So while not saying this episode is inconsequential, I thought it did present a small window of opportunity to further the story in some way while at the same time it could've kept all the social commentary at the same time. So with what we have I would have to give it a 5, I think it's a missed opportunity, but was good for what it was.
Remarkable dialogue: "I'm willing to compromise, Captain. Just tell me what you know about Silik." - "Well, he's about this tall, a little on the scrawny side, bad teeth." -Grat and Archer
Remarkable dialogue #2: "Still think we're working with the Tandarans? You know, we could have left this place a long time ago if we hadn't decided to help you." - "I never asked for your help." - "Why? Because we're not Suliban? Because we look a little too much like Tandarans? I'll admit, when I first came here it wasn't easy to see past my preconceptions about the Suliban, but I did. Why can't you?" -Travis and Sajen
Remarkable running joke: A theme I've noticed many times now in the first season of Enterprise is that Earth is a planet no aliens have heard of or are familiar with, Sajen continues the trend, remarking that he's never heard of 'Humans'.
Rating: 5 (Cameron)

Fallen Hero Date not given: Synopsis in main ENT listing

I was really into this episode, it's certainly been the most fulfilling episode I've seen for a long time in this series and there's many reasons why. Here we finally have somewhat of a compelling plot which is complemented by an interesting B-plot which elaborates further on the personality of T'Pol. Enterprise is asked to transport a Vulcan diplomat from a planet to a Vulcan transport. The diplomat is V'Lar, who is portrayed so well by Fionnula Flanagan as she brings a very satisfying portrayal of a much more interesting Vulcan than we've seen before. This seems to be the first instance where I'll comment on my opinion on the portrayal of Vulcan's on the show so I'll do it now before resuming my commentary of this episode. So far we've only seen 1 definition of a Vulcan, one that is condescending and arrogant. While people have found fault with this, I certainly have not. I have no doubt in my mind this is exactly how the Vulcans would've reacted to the attitudes of humans like Tucker and Archer. Put it this way, the Vulcans came to Earth and all but rescued them from the pit of oblivion following Cochrane's warp flight, for a century they helped rebuild their civilisation into an enlightened one which has abolished poverty, war, discrimination, disease and so on, so I'm not particularly surprised that when we have people like Archer and Tucker whining about the same Vulcans, who have nurtured and guided humanity for a century to setting foot in space only for them to turn around and whine continuously (which I admit is a character flaw for the aforementioned humans), I can understand why they would and do react and act the way they do. In "Shadows of P'Jem" and "Breaking the Ice" we are presented with two Vulcan Captains who would've been far more experienced than the human crew who rightfully show initiative in the situations presented because the sad fact (for Archer and co.) is that these people have had decades or possibly CENTURIES more experience than Humans at exploring the stars and dealing with conflicts on alien planets.
And considering following the end of "Enterprise" there is still another century worth of development for the two species to occur to the point where you can have much stronger relationships between the two races as personified by Kirk and Spock, or even between Janeway and Tuvok. So to me, the Vulcan depiction is accurate and nothing worth complaining about.
So that's why V'Lar is such a special character, she has much more depth to her than the other generic Vulcan's presented so far, that includes squabbling bureaucrats like Soval, or the brief appearance of the emotional Tolaris in "Fusion". V'Lar is a Vulcan who has the experience to see that there is more to her role as a representative of Vulcan than to just simply 'represent Vulcan' exclusively, her enthusiastic handshaking, sharing of jokes, showing appreciation for Hoshi giving up her quarters, mirrors the same Vulcan logic she resorts to later in the script. And the side-story of the conflict between her and T'Pol compliments both characters as we get to know a little more about T'Pol as well which is refreshing (and ANY excuse to look at Jolene Blalock is OK by me).
And the escape from the Mazarites looking to kill V'Lar is also competently handled, from the small pleasantries exchanged between Archer and the Mazarite Captain which was slightly reminiscent of Picard and the Romulan Captain in "The Pegasus", to the moment where Enterprise pushes her warp engine to the limit of Warp 5 were all well directed.
My only problem was the usual ignorance of the idiot bad guys who just shoot out Phlox's regeneration chamber believing they've killed V'Lar and just up and leave thinking little more of it, that was just poor direction of the plot.
But I was very pleased with this episode all in all, it's not groundbreaking, it doesn't have massive ramifications, but it's certainly one of the best episodes served up so far.
Remarkable dialogue #1: "It is my understanding that your mating ritual is effective in easing tension." - "That hasn't always been my experience!" -T'Pol and Trip
Remarkable dialogue #2: "I'm just a transport captain. I never try to make sense of what government bureaucrats are thinking." - "I'll have to contact my superiors." - "There's really no need." - "I'm just a starship captain. You don't think they'd trust me to make these kinds of decisions on my own?" -Mazarite Captain and Archer
Rating: 7 (Cameron)

Desert Crossing Date not given: Synopsis in main ENT listing

This is quite a boring episode which can be summed up simply: Trip and Archer in the desert.
That's the premise of the episode, after being invited to a camp by a seemingly nice guy, turns out the pair were duped, the nice guy's classified as a terrorist by the ruling government and Trip and Archer have to escape the bombardment of the "terrorists" camp by traversing the desert to other shelter. But it's so BORING. NOTHING HAPPENS! Archer himself said at the end of the episode and hinted earlier in the episode perhaps it was worth siding with Zobral in his fight against the oppressive regime in charge, but he gets to do no such thing. Zobral hides Archer away as soon as his encampment is attacked and disappears till later in the episode where he serves no other purpose. So any chance for this episode to mean a damn thing vanishes as soon as Zobral (played by Clancy Brown from "Starship Troopers") leaves the picture, as it dooms the episode to be as uneventful as possible, Archer and Trip walk, and walk, and WALK through the desert, Trip becomes delirious so there's some sad dialogue between the pair with Archer trying to keep a lucid Trip conscious. On Enterprise at least SOMETHING of note happens where T'Pol and Hoshi discuss protocol over first contact and the ramifications of 'who' first contact is made with, a reference to first contact with Earth, specifically in North America, made to justify Hoshi's point. But that's the only thing of merit to have happened in this episode, otherwise it's a waste of time.
Remarkable fact: Trip and Archer attended desert survival training in "the outback" in Australia.
Rating: 1 (Cameron)

Two Days and Two Nights Date not given: Synopsis in main ENT listing

I only have the inclination to write a short review but that's ok as there's not much to be said about this pleasant-enough episode.
I didn't think it was a bad episode, there were definitely some laughs; all 3 of the main men on the away mission being incapacitated while Hoshi is the one to have everything go her way for a start. The running gag of the aliens who rob Reed and Trip of their clothes 'never hearing' of Earth, the sight of that ugly, ugly dog of Keyla, Malcom and Tucker getting stripped to their underwear (once more), and of course Phlox on Enterprise providing comic relief as he's prematurely awoken from a state of hibernation and acting like a buffoon (I laughed out loud as he ordered the bridge to go to maximum warp in an effort to get fresh bloodworms to treat Mayweather).
And to compliment that we have a little continuity which I respected, I at first felt "Detained" was going to be completely without consequence and that what happened then would have no more bearing on the overall Suliban plot, but I've been proven wrong twice now, first in "Desert Crossing" Archer was lured to a planet to help in guerilla warfare due to exaggerated reports of his heroics from the Suliban Internment camp, and now here again it's referenced (along with Grat) as a surgically altered Tandaran attempts to get information from Archer. And as I said before it's nice that unlike "Voyager" there is a much better sense of continuity which is a sign of more competent writers who care a little more about their work.
So I'd probably give it a 5, it wasn't bad, but I wasn't expecting much though.
Remarkable appearance: This episode was Kelly Waymire's last before her sudden death from a heart condition. She played Crewman Cutler.
Remarkable fact #1: This episode was directed by Michael Dorn, better known as Worf.
Remarkable fact #2: In directing this episode Michael Dorn has been involved in all 3 main Risa-based stories in the Star Trek franchise, "Captain's Holiday" from TNG, "Let He Who is Without Sin..." from DS9, and this episode.
Rating: 5 (Cameron)

 


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