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Star Trek Enterprise (ENT) Season 3 Guest Reviews

Season 1 - Season 2 - Season 3 - Season 4

 

The Xindi Date not given: Synopsis in main ENT listing

I will preface this saying I missed Season 2's final episode "The Expanse", which really pissed me off, so thanks Sci Fi for the re-scheduling. So missing that once again, as I have three times now is an annoyance but at least from what I've read from Bernd's review it's mostly introductory for the third season which I loved. So following on we know that Enterprise is looking for the Xindi, leading them to the Expanse in hunt for a Xindi to guide them to their homeworld...
And the episode does well to continue on from "The Expanse", in previewing what's to come. Of course it sets up the search for the Xindi home and gives us an introduction to their unique race with the five different sub-species which is a fascinating idea. We see the new Command Centre early and the MACOs are introduced. And on a more personal level we see a dramatic change in Archer's behaviour, it was only not long ago where he was a more open minded person, intrigued at meeting new cultures, exploring the unknown, but the attack on Earth has clearly changed his behaviour. From the get go we find him to be significantly changed, what was once naive enthusiasm has been replaced by impatience and anger after what has been happened upon Earth. And there's the prelude to the relationship between Trip and T'Pol, sure it wasn't subtle how they approached it, setting the two up for neuropressure, but that's jut the nature of the characters. Also along the lines of relationships there's the difference of opinion shared by Reed and Major Hayes, this I didn't like so much, I think that sort of ridiculous ego-driven arrogance could be better omitted as it adds nothing but un-needed tension between two characters whose only interests are the safety of the ship and it's crew, I just didn't think it was needed.
The episode was adequate setting up the season as I said, by itself it's nothing too special, just the usual prison-break routine as Archer, Trip attempt to escape a mine with a Xindi but given it's part of a larger story and is kicking off a season-long story arc I can appreciate what it is they had to cram in in just 40 minutes, and I thought they did that quite well. I liked how we can see a discernable change in Archer, he's come to realise that after two years of being being besieged by aliens of the week that space isn't what he once thought, the escape from the mine was alright even if it was only for two scenes and a firefight, and as I said, it fit a lot of story into a single episode, nothing outstanding, but a good set up for what's to come. Regarding the theme, I liked the change in tempo and found it appropriate in hindsight, considering this for me is where the series 'took off', as opposed to the more graceful song of the earlier 2 seasons which was more about exploration, this is where the show gained real direction and the theme really gets me excited for Season 3. 6/10.
Remarkable casting: Stephen McHattie (the mine's foreman), Randy Oglesby (Degra), Rick Worthy (Xindi-Arboreal), Scott MacDonald (Xindi-Reptilian), and Stephen Culp (Major Hayes) have all appeared in the Star Trek franchise before.
Rating: 6 (Cameron)

Anomaly Date not given: Synopsis in main ENT listing

Action dominates in this episode which once again goes to the greatest of pains to show Archer's drastic change in behaviour as the search for the Xindi continues. Already clearly irritated by the spatial anomalies plaguing the expanse it gets worse for the Captain after Osaarian pirates board the ship, steal resources and kill a crewman. A skirmish ensues and one of the pirates is left behind, after some typical goading and a story by the Osaarian about he and his crew use to be as moral as the Starfleet crew (how he worked all this out while unconscious and in captivity I'm unsure though), Archer is finally pushed after learning they also attacked a Xindi vessel, into putting the prisoner in an airlock and suffocating them till he agrees to co-operate. I guess after a healthy diet of "24" I got used to seeing torture being performed regularly, and IMO, in reality, bad things are done by the so-called 'good guys' in the name of duty. Archer's situation is no different, I believe its a bit early in the mission for him to be doing this sort of thing, but I could imagine him being pushed into doing this to get what he perceived he needed. Is it comparable with what Janeway did in "Equinox"? No, I don't believe so, for a start Janeway was in a much more enlightened age and she was only proving her immense hypocrisy in putting Lessing in the room with the extra-dimensional beings which would've consumed him had Chakotay not intervened. Archer was in a different situation, they had no leads on the Xindi, managed to get a vital one and the Osaarian gave him no choice.
There's more to the episode than that though, we have the danger of the expanse highlighted with the ship suffering malfunctions and being rendered adrift, it was amusing too to see Archer's coffee floating in his ready room too. And the discovery of the thousand year old sphere and the revelation it's responsible for the distortions add another element of mystery to the story sure to be followed up on in the season to come. Not so much in the way of character development here, not much time for it either nor is it really needed, having Trip or T'Pol at least note Archer's temperament I think would've been a better idea than to just have the crew share nervous glances after Archer stomps in and out of a scene barking orders, but oh well. So the whole episode is just a shoot 'em up setting up another plot point for the future, little seemed gained than to just show that being stranded in the expanse is going to cost this crew in more ways than one. So nothing extraordinary about this episode despite the impressive special effects, that's why it gets 5/10.
Rating: 5 (Cameron)

Extinction Date not given: Synopsis in main ENT listing

I don't have much to say about this episode other than it was a complete and utter waste of time. I almost thought of tuning out and starting on my review not 20 minutes into this piece of garbage, but persisted though my patience wasn't rewarded. Nothing in this episode was redeemable. There's only a very loose connection to the arc so far with a passing mention to a Xindi ship which had landed on the planet in question, the rest is something that would've been more in place in an earlier episode of the series, as it sure doesn't measure up to any of the better or even average episodes of Enterprise or of any other Trek, there were bad episodes of Voyager that were better than this.
Enough ranting, the episode, as I said, Archer tracks a Xindi ship to a planet, however upon arrival he, Hoshi and Reed are transformed into members of another species who generally act like primates, surely not capable of genetically engineering the virus responsible for the change which members of another alien species of the week feel compelled to contain using any means necessary. T'Pol for some reason prefers to stick around with monkey-Archer and monkey-Sato (good thing Mayweather wasn't transformed or this review would've gotten controversial FAST), while on Enterprise Reed has to contend with the alien clean up crew returning as they threaten to do what it takes to keep the virus contained lest it returns to plague their species again.
I asked myself 'why should I care about anything going on here?'. And I struggled to find an answer, the Loque'eque were people we had no knowledge of before other than they had a sweet underground civilisation, the aliens bent on wiping out the virus were a people we never knew of before and we only have Tret's heresay to have an understanding of their situation, and even monkey-Archer can't remember who he is thus there's little dilemma he faces while in this situation. And hell, monkey-Archer himself is a creature going on nothing but instinct in his search for the home he sees in his dreams. Same for Sato and Reed they're not people anymore for us to care about, they're just the most basic animals who can speak. Quite frankly I felt sorry for the actors Bakula, Keating and the lovely Linda Park, who had to embarrass themselves for the whole time, their talents sorely gone to waste in a dreadful episode which I give 0/10 to.
Remarkable trivia: According to Trekweb, LeVar Burton went to the producers and told them he was "ashamed" that he had directed this episode.
Rating: 0 (Cameron)

Extinction Date not given: Synopsis in main ENT listing

Yet another case of "rehash-itis".
The only good points were the main actors portraying the alien Loque'eque - or, at least, in their unsophisticated state - as embarrassing as it may have been for them to do so. [There's a rumour on Trekweb that LeVar Burton admitted to being "ashamed" of directing this episode.] That, this week's guest as Tret and the interesting design of the aliens' patrol ships (the prow resembling the aliens' forehead ridge!?) gain the points.
Yet again, there are so many problems with the story.
Archer's poor decision-making. Again. He has learned nothing of caution, despite all the things which have gone wrong due to his poor decisions from the start of this series. Even if we only take the first episode of this season - "The Xindi" - where he tore strips off his Armoury (Chief Security) Officer for his suggesting taking precautions in dealing with the mining colony's manager - his first decision is to immediately go down in a shuttle on an away mission. Despite knowing that the Xindi have abandoned a shuttle on the planet (it's been two weeks since their ship was there). Did it not occur to him - or anyone (what's happened to Vulcan T'Pol's logic??) - that there might be a very good reason for the Xindi doing so? Why didn't they do a full survey of the planet? That would have quite possibly shown that it wasn't the only vessel abandoned on the surface - others must surely have suffered the same fate - with ships/shuttles of various age and stages of disrepair. Which ought to have raised further questions as to why the Xindi abandoned it...
A probe could have been sent down to scan the area(s) - a sub-molecular bio-scan would have told them all they needed to know about the fate of the charred remains of aliens and flora. It might even have detected the virus in the atmosphere - it would have had to be in quite dense quantity to be so quick-acting on unprotected humanoids. The probe might have been able to access the shuttles' data banks - if not, this could have been used as a "catch-22" reason for a conflict-of-interest... The shuttle *may* have data crucial to the success of their mission - but the mutagenic virus puts it out of reach (could they be certain, even in suits with full bio-hazard protocols in place, that their ship and crew wouldn't be infected on an away team's return?).
The arrival of the alien patrol ships would add to the reasons for not going down to the planet - with a suitable tense difference of opinion and resolution (both crews going down in suits to study the situation) being a possible course for the episode.
Even without my "improvement", the ending of the existing episode was sorely in need of one... Having developed a cure, and passing it on to the aliens, THEY DON'T FIND OUT ANY INFORMATION ABOUT THE EXPANSE, THE XINDI, ETC, FROM THE ALIENS (if only as a reward)!! How ridiculous of them not to do so!
Life would have been *so* much easier in the coming months if they'd visited Tret's planet and learned everything they could relevant to their mission's success - alternative ways to protect their ship from the anomalies, etc, etc - not to mention making friends!
Another Trek site had a comment that the episodes seems to start or end prematurely - leaving out things which would have been interesting to see. The above is yet one example of this complaint.
One other point in the episode was the statement by Tret [(played by Jamaican-born actor Roger Cross - yet another British actor in an American show playing a "baddie"!?) Interestingly, he was a pilot before taking up stunt work and acting. Given his short but powerful performance here, would he not have been a better choice to play Mayweather? He came across as someone with "experience" more suited to the role of a "Boomer".] that they've been asking themselves Phlox's question ever since ("Why didn't they engineer it to stop when it replenishes the population?" - or words to that effect).
I think the answer is obvious...
The virus only changes them physically and gives them a "homing" instinct - it doesn't give them the Loque'eque's cultural knowledge (science, technology, etc) - and, as such, doesn't allow the mutated subjects the knowledge/ability to resurrect their civilization.
More opportunities missed...
Tret, the alien commander, makes much of containing the virus by essentially killing/burning the infected victims on the planet before they can infect anyone else. 
Yet, given that one of its primary effects is to cause the mutated victim to return "home" to the Loque'eque city, there is little likelihood that a infected victim would return to their shuttle and leave the planet to infect others. Unless this is what happens when the victim finds the city and realizes that there's nothing there? However, this also seems unlikely, as the victim would still be suffering from the "homing instinct" and appears to be in a unsophisticated stage of development - T'Pol has to remind Archer-Loque'eque of Enterprise and his place on it. Yet Tret indicated that the virus had infected his home world - how else could it have done so except through someone returning to the planet with the virus (not infected with it - as they shouldn't have wanted to travel to Tret's world - which means it must have been brought back as a sample and escaped)? Perhaps, if someone was infected with the virus on board a ship, they'd try to travel there (regardless of the distance?) and land a shuttle on the Loque'eque home world? 
As Bernd pointed out in his review, there are contradictions in the story (the "logical dilemma"). 
Also, in *my* version of the episode, there would have been the possibility of their (Phlox et al) back-engineering the virus to retrieve the information encoded within it - the virus shows the victim what the city looked like: how did it do that? It also seemed to encode their language. These at least, if not more, could have been retrieved from the information encoded within the virus and maintained as a historical record of the Loque'eque, both on Enterprise and Tret's world. 
Not without some tension. Whilst visiting Tret's world and learning about both their culture and any other cultures within the Expanse of which Tret's people are aware (including whatever they know about the Xindi), it might have been revealed that the Captain had kept a sample of the virus in stasis on the ship - potentially endangering Tret's world, again. [This assumes that no-one was infected - both crews having gone down in suits to investigate the Xindi shuttle, etc. The sample would have been brought back by the Captain, having been intrigued by the story of its purpose. Silly of him, I know - but it's the sort of thing he'd do - given the "quality" of his previous decisions! This would obviously remind Tret's people of the last time a sample of the virus was brought to their world, as I mentioned above.] There'd be plenty of room for drama before the tension was resolved with the suggestion to decode the virus' information. Granted, this assumes that their combined medical technology was up to the task(!) It would have to be done on a moon for maximum safety. Not to mention putting a proper quarantine on the dangerous planet - it certainly needs satellites/marker buoys alerting any who approach not to land or enter the atmosphere - and perhaps including the historical information decoded from the virus for those interested(!?) 
There might have been more than enough dramatic material for a double episode. It would have been nice to see Tret's world and culture. Given the pride he seems to show, it would help explain their draconic reaction to the threat the virus had posed to their world/civilization - and continues to pose. 
Also, the fact that Enterprise carries this virus could have cropped up later in the season - the Xindi perhaps discovering that its on board and accusing Archer of ulterior motives in bringing it on board/keeping it. 
Rating: 3 (James)

Rajiin Date not given: Synopsis in main ENT listing

Another beautiful, mysterious stranger causes trouble for a Starfleet crew, without the revelation she was working for the Xindi in gathering information on human physiology for them to create a bio-weapon, this episode would be no different than many others seen before. Nothing really stands out here, there's plenty of action but little else of substance. Rajin isn't much of an interesting character herself, just a nobody character with an ulterior motive, not much else happens otherwise, Trip expresses apprehension about his neuropressure sessions and how the crew is perceiving his seeing T'Pol nightly, T'Pol however is sensible again pointing out that if the two were having some kind of relationship it wouldn't be of anyone's concern. For all her shortcomings in the earlier seasons T'Pol has thankfully turned into a better character that is more practical and less dismissive of ideas about sexuality that any other Vulcan would immediately rebuke with disgust.
But that's all the episode has going for it, oh, that and a bit more information about Trellium-D which is required to protect the hull against the spatial anomalies which Trip picks up in an alien bazaar, the merchant was delightfully portrayed and I liked his sole appearance and it was amusing how Tucker told him wars were fought over spices such as black pepper, paprika and such.
As I said though, nothing much happens, Rajiin collects her information (sexily from T'Pol and Hoshi) and a is rescued by a pair of Xindi-Reptilian ships. An action and sex-spectacle with little plot development, it gets 4/10.
Rating: 4 (Cameron)

Impulse Date not given: Synopsis in main ENT listing

Sue me, I thought it was an exciting episode if anything. Being a sucker for things in the zombie-genre I guess that has something to do with it. Plot wise there's not much too it, there's the revelation Trellium-D causes Vulcans to lose it and it showed here, not sure exactly why they became 'zombie-fied' though, it's a big step from losing control of ones emotions to becoming mindless animals. Though that was just a conscious choice to show why Enterprise can't line its hull with Trellium and will face further trials in the Expanse and the price to do so is too high for T'Pol. That's all there is for story development, the rest is just focusing on escaping the Seleya which I enjoyed, thought it was pretty well directed, the atmosphere appropriate, the score good enough to match. And the visual effects were fantastic for a tv show, the asteroid field and the collisions were great to watch, so was the rendering of the adrift Seleya.
So there was enough here for me to enjoy, it really had nothing substantial of note in the story, but I did like the action presented, Jolene Blalock was great again however her suspicions about Archer trying to kill her and the Vulcans was ridiculous, then again she did tell the MACO how Vulcans used to be paranoid people before they controlled their emotions.
Anyway, I'm going to give it 5/10, it was fun for what it was, though it was really found wanting in other areas.
Rating: 5 (Cameron)

Exile Date not given: Synopsis in main ENT listing

Another wasted episode here in which not much of interest or relevance happens but for the B-plot and the final revelation in the last few minutes of the episode. Hoshi is asked to stay in a desolate castle with a telepathic alien who promises to reveal more information about the Xindi, but all that happens with that side of the story, which was clear to see, is the alien had little interest in giving up information of the Xindi and just wanted to keep Hoshi to satiate his own lonely desires. A bit like "Alter Ego" from Voyager now that I think of it, but not much of it is to the benefit of Hoshi, the alien in question just whines about his situation, exiled by his own people for being a telepath, and spends the rest of his time trying to convince Hoshi that she should stay with him. Hoshi really has nothing more to do than refuse his offer time and again, insisting her place is on Enterprise, all the talk the alien has about her feelings about being alone even on the ship, none of it seemed to make any sense, she gets along with the crew fine, she introduced herself to the MACOs no problem, nothing I've seen so far really makes any sense when it came to this picture painted of Hoshi's personality. In the end the alien allows her to leave, not before the obligatory threats to Enterprise, and gives Hoshi co-ordinates to a colony where part of the weapon is being constructed.
I just found it boring and inconsistent with Hoshi's character, and a distraction to the story at hand. At least Enterprise didn't stay in orbit bringing on the discovery of a second sphere which turns out to be part of a larger network encompassing the Expanse, causing the spatial anomalies.
Rating: 3 (Cameron)

The Shipment Date not given: Synopsis in main ENT listing

Good plot development is what this episode has going for it, as Reed points out they entered the Expanse with no knowledge of who the Xindi were or where they could be found, with the discovery of a Xindi mining colony as provided by the telepathic alien in the previous episode, this is a turning point in the story. So Enterprise finds the mining station and we are introduced to the foreman of sorts, Gralik Durr, whose anther refreshing character who sheds some much needed light on the Xindi as a people. Till now we just had the gatherings of the Council discussing their plans for Enterprise and Earth, a platoon of Reptilian soldiers and the lone Xindi primate in "The Xindi" who gave us just very basic tid bits of exposition. Gralik thankfully puts more of a face to the race more than we've seen so far, talking about how the 5 (formally 6) races of Xindi had a war long ago which resulted in the destruction of their planet. And he also has a telling line for Archer saying that not all Xindi are enemies of Earth, which could be equated to parallels in modern times, the idea that an entire race of people can be tarred with the same brush, placed immediately in the category of 'villain' is something humanity still has yet to overcome. So Gralik's line was an appropriate one.
So after gaining Archer's trust the Arboreal returns to the mine to sabotage a chemical needed to make the superweapon work, it's also here we get a better look at Degra, played by Randy Oglesby, who'll we'll get to know a lot more of in the coming episodes, but at least here he as a little more to say, and I liked Oglesby's characterisation.
The B-Plot is nothing but filler, Trip playing around with a Xindi-Reptilian firearm which causes it to blow up in the end, come to think of it, it didn't make much sense. Tucker makes the comment they may have been better off testing the weapon on a lone asteroid, but why not pull on some EV suits and take a pod down to the moon Enterprise was hiding behind? It didn't seem to be rotating too fast... The weapon itself though was rather fascinating, using some form of over-grown grub to power the weapon, as is the same with tracking drones used on the surface of the planet.
I'd probably give it a 6/10, it wasn't anything remarkable, but it adequately progressed the story at hand while giving us a useful guest character who helped the story in more ways than one.
Nitpicking: It's noted the Xindi ship landing on the surface is of the same configuration that attacked Enterprise, yet the ship that lands is totally different to the kind that had done just that.
Rating: 6 (Cameron)

Twilight Date not given: Synopsis in main ENT listing

Never...never has an episode of Star Trek moved me as much as "Twilight", from the shocking opening in which Earth is destroyed by the Xindi Superweapon to T'Pol recounting the systematic slaughter of humanity, to the destruction of Enterprise, the shock factor succeeded in bringing a tear to my eye which I'm not ashamed to admit. It was a masterfully put together episode, which has everything you can want from an excellent episode.
To the plot, Archer is hit by an anomaly an is unable to form long term memories thanks to parasite which exists outside of space time. When it becomes clear he can't command Enterprise anymore T'Pol is given the captaincy of Enterprise to continue the search for the Xindi weapon. After an attack by a pair of Reptilian vessels, T'Pol manages to destroy the pair, but at the cost of the starboard nacelle which hampers their search for the weapon. Eventually the weapon is launched, and Enterprise only manages to catch up with it in time to see it destroy Earth.
Archer awakens 12 years in the future to find T'Pol (who looks AMAZINGLY beautiful with the long hair) caring for him, she recounts the story to him before Phlox arrives presenting possibility of a treatment for the parasites. However before the treatment can be completed and after it's discovered destroying the parasites in the present neutralises them in the past, Enterprise is attacked by Xindi vessels. By overloading the core and destroying Enterprise, the parasites are too destroyed, and the reset button is hit to find Archer back in the 'present', unaffected by the parasites and fit to continue the mission to search for the Xindi weapon.
I LOVE this episode, as I said there's so much to adore about it, from the introduction, which was completely unexpected and I believe not without it's emotional impact even though it's obvious that all this will be undone in one way or another. Archer's initial reaction to this, and later when T'Pol informs him only less than 6,000 humans are left, deeply affected me, and made me think of what it would feel like to know that our home planet is gone, all that we accomplished over so long obliterated in the blink of an eye, our race made to be almost extinct, it was something I hadn't felt watching Star Trek for a very long time.
And the performances too were excellent, Bakula was so impressive in this role, seeing Archer's demise into near-senility, the heartbreaking reaction to learning of the loss of Earth and nearly humanity, certainly the best acting he's given so far in the series. Jolene Blalock was incredible once again, her nuanced characterisation of T'Pol hinting at a deeper relationship with Archer, as Phlox pointed out, rather a shame it was for nothing but that's ok, the T'Pol/Archer relationship doesn't get anymore intimate as it should for the remainder of the series, but I'm glad for that, yet still satisfied with the way it was handled in this alternate reality. What was contributed by the supporting cast was what was expected, again Connor Trinneer stands out with the little material he has to work with. Shame about Mayweather though, killed without having a line to say at all.
The visual effects are superb as well, once more the destruction of Earth, the battle between Enterprise and the Xindi ships resulting in the destruction of one nacelle, and the final battle where Enterprise's bridge is ripped off (in cruel irony considering the bridge being placed in such an illogical place never being an issue for any other Starfleet ship before).
And some great homages and in-jokes for the fans and fans of sci-fi, the remnants of humanity settle in the Ceti Alpha System, the same system where Khan and his 'supermen' were exiled by Kirk. A human ship is mentioned to have been destroyed in the Mutara system, a reference to the Mutara Nebula where the Enterprise and the Reliant do battle in "The Wrath of Khan". The colour scheme of the Enterprise control panels sported the same scheme as that of Kirk's Enterprise in TOS, the destruction of a planet at the hands of a giant sphere shaped weapon, is obviously taken from Star Wars, and a human ship leading the remnants of humanity to a new home is relatable to Battlestar Galactica.
Full credit all round, I found this to be a flawless episode, my favorite episode of Enterprise and up the very top of any episode of Star Trek there is, Robert Duncan McNeill did an incredible job directing this episode, the actors gave touching performances, the score was memorable along with the story, which I could never tire of watching or being moved by. 10/10.
Remarkable dialogue: "It couldn't have been easy for you, telling me the same story over and over again for twelve years." - "I don't always tell it in detail." - "I hope I've told you this before, but... I'm very grateful for everything you've done for me." -Archer and T'Pol
Remarkable scene: The destruction of Earth
Remarkable facts: After Archer was removed from Command and T'Pol resigned her commission, Trip became Captain, Reed became Commander, however soon to be made Captain of the Intrepid, Hoshi was promoted to Lieutenant. After Earth was destroyed, all human colonies on Mars, Alpha Centauri and the Vega colonies were too wiped out, leaving less than 6,000 humans remaining.
Rating: 10 (Cameron)

Twilight Date not given: Synopsis in main ENT listing

Well I read Bernd's and Cameron's review and they gave this positive spins.
I will admit when I first saw it, my heart shrivelled at the destruction of Earth, and I was moved by T'Pol and Archer's relationship (something that made sense, rather than the stupid idea of her and Trip!) and what happened to the human race. How they were forced to become refugees, and ended up becoming the "rag-tag fugitive fleet". To be honest I thought this was a brave story arc - that the heroes failed, that mankind are nothing more than musk-rats, and that in the finale, things became desperate and heroic. Heck it was chosen as the #1 fan favourite in an on-line poll conducted by UPN at the time. Even T'Pol in Star Fleet garbs I thought this was the end of the series and this is how it was going to go out.
Silly me.
The moment I heard that there were parasites inside Archer's mind that affect his clichéd used neural pathways making him lose his long term memory (hence why we keep seeing glimpses of the future and meetings), and when removed with the most ridiculous idea I have ever heard, created a time clearing effect that when one lot goes today all go from the point of origin many years when he was infected by yet another spatial/temporal anomaly, I knew it - another F***ing time loop/reset switch story.
Some people like this idea - of having the crew go into an alternate dimension situation, be wiped out, changed, etc, etc, etc, but what purpose does it serve to the overall story? Nothing.
What is the point of watching a story where just as everyone is about to die, or lose, or even go off into the sunset happily ever after, the writers/directors/producers turn around and say "it's all a dream" or re-set it? This idea has been tried most famously in Dallas with Bobby Ewing, and over here in the UK making out that the entire re-launched soap Crossroads was nothing more but a dream of one lass in a supermarket! It got laughed out - and rightly so! The only 'reason' its done to death here is not to alienate the Trek Core, and because it's science fiction.
To the Trek audience this is manna from heaven, but I am not a trekkie; I like science fiction, but I also like drama and stories that make you feel with the characters, relate to a situation or make you think, and most of all does not take the urine. I also like dumb stuff too long as it knows it's daft. This is a stupid concept to make a drama without ruining the overall plot.
Bernd made a point to further emphasise the weakness of such an idea; "Trek authors are quite fond of 'what if' scenarios, and they don't need to make them plausible, as everything will be fine in the end anyway".
The above statement slaps down the credibility of the entire franchise - the crew will never be in peril because there is ALWAYS some sort of reset switch, or contrivance that saves them, and they need them for next week - unless they want to leave for real. Even then, the right whisper in the right ear will get said dead cast member back, no matter how stupid the idea. With this sort of concept, the feeling of support for the hero and any feelings for their cause is gone because you know that somehow someway, they will be back next week and will succeed! If not they can always throw a reset switch.
Such ideas also throws up sensible questions - why not reset the switch before the Xindi attack? Or use such a plot to prevent an attack on Earth? The result would be some clot saying "Temporal Directive" or "it creates poor drama" - so this is not? In addition we have seen so many trek stories that have trampled on the Temporal Directive - VOY's "Endgame" being the classic one.
How can you sympathise with their loss if they never lose, or their cause if it never fails? If all can be saved, cannot die, and win the day ALWAYS, so where is the drama is that?
Finally again there is the resurfacing of a sexist, racist element here. T'Pol fails to save the Earth but had Archer been in good nick he would have prevailed! So if he dropped dead suddenly, that's it for humanity? Great performances from all but wasted in a story that just does not exist.
4/10 for the effects and good concept, with great acting, but the reset button reset all the points!
Remarkable fact 1: Enterprise shepherding a "rag-tag fugitive fleet" to a new home after the destruction of Earth was an homage by writer Mike Sussman to the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica. Sussman had read a bootlegged copy of the pilot script for the re-imagined series prior to writing this.
Remarkable facts: Where the remnants of humanity (less than six-thousand) settle on Ceti-Alpha V, and a fleet of other human ships are ambushed in the Mutara Nebula - are all cruel homages to "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan". Even if man survives on that planet, a century later Ceti Alpha VI would explode turning it to desert.
Remarkable scene 1: The human shanty town on Ceti Alpha V, and Archer's reaction.
Remarkable scene 2: The destruction of Earth and Archer's reaction.
Irony of ironies 1: This concept was used in Star Trek 09; in the destruction of Vulcan and the ten thousand survivors - yet no one reset that....(yet)
Irony of ironies 2: Xindi superweapon - Death Star anyone? May not be the "size of a small moon" nor have a dish on one side, but its a sphere that kills planets - how much more similar can you get?
Rating: 4 (Chris S)

Twilight Date not given: Synopsis in main ENT listing

Okay - this is not going to be a proper review but a quick rant in defence of episodes who have a reset switch at the end. People commonly argue that despite the good quality of scripts and character developments the reset at the end makes its all pointless. No it doesn't!!!
Here are the big four reset episodes: TNG: "Yesterday's Enterprise", DS9: "The Visitor", VOY: "Year of Hell" & ENT: "Twilight". There is hardly anyone who complains about "Yesterday's Enterprise" yet it follows a similar ending to the others. Resets are great episodes and are definitely beneficial to the series.
1) Why is it pointless? People use the argument of "but it doesn't affect the story in the long run" - ahem, Sisko remembered the events in "The Visitor", I'm fairly certain Archer remembered the events here but it isn't totally clear - it does affect them and lets be honest if you moan that these episodes "don't effect the overall story" then you could argue that for practically any Quark/Ferengi episode, any romantic bond formed between characters and quite often the majority of episodes in Voyager (because they don't matter to the story of getting home!) This argument is null, it's wrong.
2) "Star Trek writers just want to smash the ship up." Be fair, the ships get smashed up regardless of it being a reset (see most of Voyager) and the number of times the ship does not get harmed or the self destruct is activated but not used is amazing so why not use it for a change - by destroying a ship / person in the form of a reset you prove these characters are willing to take the sacrifices they seem willing to show in other episodes. Everything being destroyed is not only different but proves to us the sacrifices offered by characters throughout the series would actually happen given the circumstances.
3) "There is no character development" - are you kidding? People claim that as it is reset there is no character development. Well, look at "The Visitor", Sisko learnt so much about his son and how much his son cared for him and it stuck! In "Twilight", T'Pol develops feelings for Archer which is great character development and although it doesn't last after the episode, did you imagine it to? Its a possibility but "Twilight" emphasised that.
4) "They mess with my emotions for no reasons". You're moaning about that. Everyone that watches DS9: "The Visitor" feels for Jake and people claim that just because it didn't happen the emotions were null and void - if killing yourself means the emotion to do so was pointless then we must all hearts of stone.
5) - "They just do what they want so they can reset it." People moan about clichés everywhere, you know the sort of thing - just look at the Voyager reviews - so when the Trek writers create an episode that goes OTT and uses tonnes of imagination it is slammed for using the cliché of being a "re-do". Oh, yeah because when a Trek episode uses only one cliché it's rated as low as "The Emperor's New Cloak" - see the DS9 Guest Reviews - this is stupid.
6) "I felt like an idiot as it played with my emotions". Oh yeah, because whilst watching DS9: The Visitor, you actually thought they'd make the rest of the series in that timeline - don't give me that crap.
7) "They use it lots." - okay, admittedly Voyager used it tonnes but come on, this is Voyager, its hardly the most original show ever. When it works it works but the majority that you are on about are minor re-dos, the big ones are always the best.
8) "No one remembers it." - Wrong! See "The Visitor", "Visionary" etc.
9) "Its a lack of imagination that creates an apocalyptic event aboard the ship." Erm, no. To depict such an event and to place the crew in such serious circumstances in a realistic manner needs good writing, acting and lots of imagination.
10) "I don't like the idea." Fair enough, I respect your opinion but just don't use flawed arguments as seen above.
11) "It was obviously a re-do." So what? You could do a better job, could you? It's hard to create such a futuristic and emotional story if you don't detach it from reality by setting it far in the future, in fact the only one that could have worked without a "re-do" is "Year of Hell".
12) "It's a cliché." - no it's not. It wasn't in TNG, DS9 but did become one later on not that it's a big argument, see 5.
13) "What is the point?" Because it's a damn better story then "crew discover planet, find strange creature, creature is evil etc". That's why.
14) "There is always a reset switch for any bad situation." - Great, now we reset the Dominion war, the Xindi arc, the entire Star Trek (2009), Voyager going to the Delta Quadrant and Wolf 359. Why wouldn't these work? They aren't designed to be resets, the stories that use it are and are often better for it.
15) "Why do they have to reset it?" That's simple, who wants to see the last four seasons of DS9 set from old Jake's perspective or the rest of TNG in the alternate "Yesterday's Enterprise" timeline? No one wants to see this.
And finally, in scientific terms there is an infinite amount of decisions leading to an infinite amount of possibilities and timelines so for every Star Trek episode there is an infinite amount of things that could happen next and lets be honest, Star Trek sometimes need more scientific accuracy so the fact that these timelines could almost certainly exist, they are not pointless!!!
Now for "Twilight". Great episode, see Bernd's and Cameron's reviews - I totally agree and think it is amazingly good fun, very action packed and doesn't lack anything except maybe a slightly less clichéd alternate timeline.
Rating: 9 (Darren Carver-Balsiger)

North Star Date not given: Synopsis in main ENT listing

I've never been a big fan of these parallel-Earth episodes, especially western themed ones as I think genre has been done to death, but I found "North Star" to be a refreshing and interesting take on the setting. There's clearly a comparison lined up and ready to go with Voyager episode "The 37's" about a group of primitive humans being abducted from Earth and taken to an alien world to be used as labor only to revolt and take over. One of my complaints about "The 37's" was despite everything there wasn't enough elaboration about the humans who had been taken and their society after revolting. "North Star" delivers on that, not on the same technological level clearly, but it still adequately addreses what issues would arise from a primitive human society and how they act after taking over. Clearly an allegory to racism in the early 20th century and perhaps even earlier than that with the racial slurs, illegality of teaching, and lynching of the alien species can be traced back to what has happened in our recent past. But once again after an appropriate amount of exciting action (Phasers vs. six-shooters, yee-haw!) the Trek message prevails and thankfully the Sheriff of the town, played to perfection by Glenn Morshower (who I thought was great in '24') agrees to repeal some of the more discriminatory laws in the town of North Star to allow for equality.
A very well balanced episode, there's a small dose of humour with Trip and T'Pol awkwardly riding a horse, good acting by all, a sensible amount of action which we saw coming a mile away, and a thoughtful resolution. So despite my apprehensions this episode doesn't rely too heavily on all the Western clichés, they're there undeniably, but the episode has more to show for it than that. I do feel that again it's another episode distracting from the Xindi plot, but perhaps you can have too much of a good thing and that it is good to have a good filler episode, one separate from the story in order to have a breather from the over-all plot. I did enjoy the episode despite that and was happy with the result.
Rating: 7 (Cameron)

Similitude Date not given: Synopsis in main ENT listing

Am afraid I have to rush this review but it was a great episode that didn't allow the subject matter to overshadow the drama of the story. After Trip is placed in a coma due to an accident in engineering, the call is made to create a clone of him which will allow vital neural tissue be replicated that will save Trip's life. The clone ages at a rapid rate and soon begins to question it's reason for being. Connor Trinneer and Scott Bakula both gave incredible performances here, Trinneer as the cloned 'Sim', and Archer, presented with yet another dilemma which he must overlook the ethical implications inherent in an effort to complete his mission, the acting powers of both coming to a head where in Trip's quarters, a defiant Sim who had all but refused to save Trip, has to face Archer who once more has to come to the realisation that there are no more happy endings, and that Sim's life must be brought to an end to save Trip.
As I said the controversy over the creation of life only to destroy it in an effort to save another life isn't the crux of the story, and instead we witness the growing up of Sim and the impact he has on the crew, notably T'Pol. So it's good that unlike "Cogenitor", or "Stigma", the controversial issue being tackled remains suitably toned down in favor of the performances and the ramifications of the story itself. So it succeeded highly on many levels, a fantastic episode.
Remarkable dialogue: "I'm sorry I doubted you, Doc." - "No need to apologize." - "Yes, there is. You see, I don't just remember Trip's childhood. I remember mine. You made a damned good father." - "You were a damned good son." -Sim and Phlox
Rating: 8 (Cameron)

Carpenter Street Date not given: Synopsis in main ENT listing

I didn't find much wrong but not a lot remarkable about another time-travelling romp to contemporary North American. Good continuity from "Rajiin" where the Xindi were looking to create a bio-weapon, and here we see the outcome, with time-travel sensibly handled with some nice in-jokes, like how Archer's explanation for the end of the dependence on fossil fuels cut off by T'Pol, Archer rationalising his ability to pilot a starship qualifies him to drive a Dodge Ram or the scene at the drive through, or T'Pol's many observations about human behaviour.
And to compliment the jokes was an overall ok story, it didn't seem too contrived and to me it made sense, a group of Xindi travelled back in time to develop their bio-weapon, to perfect it though they require samples of different blood types and recruit a human to do so. Daniels returns to Enterprise and informs Archer of this, then sends them back to stop the Xindi.
It was a nice distraction, there's been a lot of doom and gloom with the heartstrings pulled with recent episodes like "Twilight" and "Similitude" recently airing, it was good to sit back and be entertained with a simple story that provided a couple of laughs and still furthered the story somewhat.
Remarkable dialogue: "Have you ever operated a vehicle from this period?" - "I can pilot a starship!" -T'Pol and Archer
Remarkable allusion: T'Pol asking Archer if he is familiar with driving a truck recalls a similar line in "North Star", where T'Pol asks Tucker if he knows how to ride a horse. In both instances, the officer doesn't, but assumes that their past experience will be sufficient.
Rating: 5 (Cameron)

Chosen Realm Date not given: Synopsis in main ENT listing

I've never really liked this episode much, as one of those really arrogant atheists I suppose I should be happy seeing some nutbag fundamentalist like D'Jamat get his comeuppance but at the expense of another wasted storyline filled with clichés and predictable writing it wasn't really worth it.
After "rescuing" a group of aliens from their derelict craft, a group of aliens hole Enterprise to ransom as the leader of the group of radicals intends to use Enterprise to destroy those who doubt the religious word he and his people believe and spread. There's plenty of allegories again to contemporary society, religious fundamentalists killing non-believers and those who believe differently to them, suicide bombers. The total destruction of society at the very end of the episode of the Triannon planet which exemplifies the pointlessness of such conflict is only a few steps away unless we as humans can all get past the hatred and resentment that certain religious leaders preach to their followers which only encourages bloodshed.
But most of the episode just relies on the dangers of extremism and has little more to say about the conflict than that, it doesn't necessarily try to find a rational solution to the problem though apart from the one line from Archer: "As long as people like D'Jamat dictate what's true and what isn't... all you'll ever have is war." For that alone I think the story suffers slightly, and as we're only given a glimpse of the conflict there's not much else to take into consideration that all the people on D'Jamat's side think the same about from the predictable doubters like Yarrick and Indava who side with the crew of Enterprise.
And that's the only thing the episode has, just the worst example of how people abuse their power due to the faith people place in them and their religion, the retaking of the ship is a little bit exciting and I liked the final part of the episode where the Triannon homeworld is in ruins due to the conflict. I didn't appreciate the ridiculousness of the reasoning behind the Triannon's conflict, that one group believes the Expanse was created in 9 days while the 'heretics' believe it was created in 10. I have no idea whether that line was supposed to be taken as a joke but I found little to be funny about it, especially in an episode which had zero other opportunities for humour, just seemed like poor scriptwriting. Nothing progresses as far as the search for the weapon is concerned, and progress is even lost thanks to the deletion of so much information gathered in the Spheres which will at least serve to make Enterprise's journey a little more perilous, but it really didn't stand out as a good episode or much of a good commentary on the fanaticism responsible for so much death and destruction today.
Rating: 3 (Cameron)

Proving Ground Date not given: Synopsis in main ENT listing

This is certainly one of the most satisfying Enterprise episodes as it successfully balances the ongoing story with this self contained plot of Enterprise discovering the Xindi testing a prototype of their planet destroying weapon in a "Proving Ground" after being saved from an anomaly by the Andorians, whom Archer is led to believe by Shran that they are there to help. Also to help are some great guest performances, once again the entire Xindi Council makes an appearance which I can't help by enjoy, Jeffrey Combs is outstanding as always as Shran, and even Molly Brink as Talas as her character and Reed verbally spar to make things interesting.
Problem though, the most obvious one being the prototype weapon, there's simply no excuse for the prototype to have been so small, perhaps even smaller than the first prototype which attacked Earth in "The Expanse". It makes absolutely no sense to me why the prototype should be so small as to fit in the cargo bay of Shran's vessel, the Kumari.
Anyway, it's a great exciting episode with lots to appreciate, the sprit of co-operation being hinted at between the three species personified by Archer, T'Pol and Shran is good to see, Combs is excellent as Shran as he's ordered to take the weapon back to Andoria yet expresses his doubts due to his begrudging 'friendship' with Archer. A clever plot too with the proving ground being discovered and a plan hatched to steal the weapon but for the betrayal of Shran where he takes the weapon and ousts Archer off the ship, then the stand off as Archer threatens to destroy the weapon in Shran's vessel. So as I've babbled (which I'm aware of, it's been another long day), a satisfying episode which fulfills what's to be expected, thanks to a good script and great guest performances. Continuity also maintained with the prototype's failure due to the sabotage committed by Grelick in "The Shipment".
Remarkable dialogue: "So... how did you get picked for this assignment?" - "I volunteered. It made sense. I've had the greatest amount of contact with pink... with Humans, and the last time we met you helped my people avert a war. I don't like unpaid debts." - "We keep doing each other favors." - "Isn't that how alliances are born?" -Archer and Shran
Remarkable scene: While scanning the Xindi weapon, Shran poses as a merchant of the Andorian Mining Consortium, searching the system for the rare and valuable element, Archerite ;)
Rating: 7 (Cameron)

Stratagem Date not given: Synopsis in main ENT listing

I guess considering the script "Stratagem" can be appreciated for trying something new, it's not the sort of script seen before in Star Trek and for that it's appreciated and applauded, but even then it still doesn't have as much excitement or intrigue as expected. After disabling Degra's vessel whilst scanning in the "Proving Ground", Enterprise captures him and his crew, erases his memories, plants him in a shuttle with an aged Archer in an attempt to discover the location of the weapon. The first half of the episode is just observing the ruse which doesn't add much but to give a little more insight in the character of Degra, but I didn't think it was too successful as he just gives generic answers about his family, and the tragedy of how he was a theorist before being called upon to design the weapon that would destroy Earth. Soon though Degra realises what is going on so another ruse is created to convince Degra Enterprise had arrived at the co-ordinates for the facility where the weapon may be being constructed.
As said I appreciated the originality, but from the outset it was clear the whole thing was staged, and apart from finding out perhaps where the weapons being built and a couple of tidbits of information from Degra's background, not much else comes of this episode, a little underwhelming, as I feel the script kind of limited the potential for story. 5/10.
Rating: 5 (Cameron)

Harbinger Date not given: Synopsis in main ENT listing

Time to see what the fuss was about, it did take a while but eventually I came to realise why this episode was so direly received on this website. Initially I had little problem with it, a little development is made with the discovery of an enormous anomaly created using the cumulative powers of a group of spheres, an inside an alien creature is found, apparently being used to test the effects of the sphere on its races physiology.
But the problem certainly came from the supporting story, which can best be summed up as everyone at the crew being pissed off at each other over stupid things, the episode opened with Trip administering neuro-pressure to a hot MACO chick, which causes T'Pol to be jealous before she and Trip have a poorly written squabble before having spontaneous sex. Reed and Major Hayes have more personal issues fueled by Reed's paranoia believing Hayes' intentions are to usurp him as chief of security after Archer agrees to MACO trained combat for the Starfleet crew. This culminates in a bloody fight which doesn't seem to resolve much as the pair are ordered to make up by Archer before the scene is abruptly cut off as the alien on board, after managing to escape sickbay and deliberately cause damage to the ship, is dying in sickbay and it's revealed he was sent there deliberately by his people who will gain an advantage after the destruction of Earth at the hands of the Xindi.
So almost nothing was gained from this episode apart from this new revelation about this alien species and their role in the building of the spheres and having a hand to play in the Xindi conflict for the rest of the episode we were treated with seeing the crew act like juveniles (which Archer even manages to point out even though he again sanctions the torture of another alien on Enterprise), and are at each others throats for petty reasons, which are concluded with rushed resolutions. So that's my biggest problem, I don't think it should get a 1 or zero, it did advance the plot to a degree, but that's really it, otherwise it was a very poorly thought out side story which didn't serve much purpose. And amazingly, the shot of T'Pol's naked back and upper butt had no influence on my rating, the whole thing was so rushed I'm amazed it caused as much controversy as it did.
Rating: 3 (Cameron)

Doctor's Orders Date not given: Synopsis in main ENT listing

Stupid, stupid episode, I saw in my previous review of "Harbinger" that that particular episode wasn't worthy of a 1 or zero, well this episode certainly is. Simply put, take the Voyager episode "One", now replace the title with "Doctor's Orders", and that's all the creative input in this episode. There's the outcast crewmember (Phlox/Seven), more at ease in large groups (Denobula/The Borg Collective), attempting to guide the Starfleet ship they serve on (Enterprise/Voyager) with assistance from a more logical, rational counterpart (T'Pol/The Doctor), whilst the remainder of the crew are rendered unconscious as the ship traverses space deadly to the crew due to spatial anomalies. Scary hallucinations and the focal character running around armed with a phaser as they attempt the save the ship in a risky move which might either rescue or kill them all, clearly the latter option wins out in the end. The only positive I can think of is Jolene Blalock, again she's wonderful in the pseudo-role of a hallucination of T'Pol, and I found the hallucination of T'Pol to be ridiculously adorable, as she was unable to assist Phlox beyond moral support and continually looked at him doe-eyed and innocent motioning for him to do things she could not. She couldn't save this episode though.
This is a paint by numbers script, absolutely nothing original came out of it, and I'm not even sure if it's worth a solitary point...no it isn't. In the grand scheme of Season 3 there's no reason to watch this episode. No reason whatsoever.
Rating: 0 (Cameron)

Hatchery Date not given: Synopsis in main ENT listing

I was initially prepared to rate this a little lower than I have as the story's particularly weak and unoriginal (another crewmember going insane after falling under the influence of something alien), but at least the acting and pacing of the story seemed credible enough it saves it from too harsh a score.
Enterprise happens upon a crashed insectoid ship, inside it's hatchery a spore sprays chemicals on Archer and he becomes obsessed with saving the creatures to the point of locking up his senior staff when they question his decision. That's all there is to the story however, Archer under the delusion he's a mother to these creatures to be and his obsession with ensuring their survival even at the expense of Enterprise's own resources, a mutiny ensues, Archer's rendered unconscious in the process by Trip and the reason behind his motivation is revealed and Enterprise warps off.
I'm not sure, there's really not alot to like considering the outline of the plot, but I felt the presentation of it was credible it does get maybe an extra point, the only other part of merit was Reed finally eating humble-pie and apologising to Hayes for the attitude he's been displaying, it's about time the pair put aside and work together.
So that's all I really have to say, another recycled script but with a different background story it slightly changes the impact it has so it gets 4/10.
Rating: 4 (Cameron)

Azati Prime Stardate not given: Synopsis in main ENT listing

"Azati Prime" does well to once again further the story and brings out new revelations, and a powerful finish helps all the more. But I couldn't bring myself to feel much more strongly about it. Sure enough it's chilling to see the near-completed weapon, an imposing sight, and then there comes the travel into the future by Archer where Daniels tells him that the Sphere Builders are using the Xindi to destroy mankind to assure a successful invasion of the Alpha Quadrant at a later date with no United Federation of Planets to stand in the way. I didn't really like this scene that much, first of all the Enterprise-J is hideous, we can only see a graphic of it but you can look up rendered images and it's not an attractive vessel. I also found it odd Daniels referred to it too as simply 'Enterprise', I understand they did this for the NX-01 as it wasn't a special ship like 'the' Enterprise of Kirk and Picard, but it was very off-putting that Daniels addressed the Enterprise-J with no other sense of prestige befitting of a vessel bearing the name, perhaps I'm not clarifying that well enough, but I hope my point is understood.
So Daniels tries to convince Archer not to undertake a suicide mission to destroy the weapon as it would solve nothing and the Xindi must be negotiated with, almost thankfully Archer is captured before he can follow through on his mission, is tortured by Dolim, but manages to converse with Degra and the other Primate Councillor, and consideration is made that perhaps the weapon is being built under false pretenses. Meanwhile the Xindi have intercepted Enterprise which was hiding behind a moon near Azati Prime, and he episode has an exciting, yet ill-scored conclusion where Enterprise takes an absolute hammering by multiple Xindi ships, as it drifts off into space whilst still under fire.
Some parts of the episode do have some emotional pull, after Archer agrees to pilot the Xindi Insectoid ship to its doom in an effort to destroy the weapon, T'Pol admits she 'doesn't want him to die' rather touchingly, for the whole episode we can see something has changed with T'Pol and she is starting to crack under the pressure. But apart from that, Archer's farewell speech, and the final battle, the episode really lacks any other true memorable moments. It's great that it certainly brings about a new direction for the story with this turning point in the plot regarding the reason for the creation of the Expanse and Archer trying to get the Xindi-Primates onside in an effort to avert the, a good episode, but nothing great. As so far this series has produced good continuity and once again the trend continues, the tainted Kemocite appearing again, inside the near-completed final weapon, T'Pol cites her and Archer's trip to 21st century Detroit as a reason for her new belief in Time Travel, and Archer's knowledge of Degra garnered from the ruse in "Stratagem".
Remarkable dialogue: "I think I found reverse." - "Great, but unless we plan to fly in ass-first, we'd better figure out how to make it go forward." -Mayweather and Tucker, while learning to fly the Xindi-Insectoid shuttle
Remarkable quote: "I'm going to ask all of you to think back to the day when this ship was first launched. We were explorers then. When all this is over, when Earth is safe, I want you to get back to that job. There are four hundred billion stars in our galaxy – we've only explored a tiny fraction. You have a lot of work to do. Of all the captains who will sit in this chair, I can't imagine any of them being more proud than I am right now." -Captain Archer
Rating: 6 (Cameron)

Damage Date not given: Synopsis in main ENT listing

Damaged, in more ways than one, immediately following on from the battle our intrepid ship is adrift and barely operational, Archer is returned the Enterprise on orders of the Xindi council, and another crippled vessel hails requesting assistance, as they are unwilling to part with a warp coil which Enterprise needs to rendezvous with Degra, Archer considers boarding the vessel to take it by force. Meanwhile we learn that T'Pol's recent behaviour has been the result of an addiction to injecting Trellium-D into her bloodstream. I'm unsure how to react to this clear allegory to drug addiction, while I appreciate her performance I almost feel this new plot development is a bit forced, to justify her attraction to Trip, her sudden lack of self-assuredness, as if she couldn't have developed this way without the assistance of some good old fashioned drug abuse. It kind of feels like they needed to give her something else to do this season beyond be the logical bitch of the first couple of seasons, this late development almost feels unnecessary in my opinion. Jolene's done a great job with the re-evolution of the character from what she used to be, and the subtle differences in her performance this season have made the difference, so something this late doesn't feel like it was required to help differentiate from the person she is and the person she used to be.
On the other hand it's simply a new device to demonstrate the disparity of the mission, the ships sustained more casualties in the past half a dozen episodes than it had all season, the ship had nearly been destroyed, people are starting to doubt the success of the mission (Trip, now Hoshi in this episode has a line expressing her doubts), T'Pol's addiction is very much just another plot device to show how this has truly been a year of hell for the ship of which it looks like there's no turning back.
Archer's actions too further the sentiment, in a great scene he talks with Phlox about he's (once more) to cross a line he never thought he would in an effort to help assure success in his mission. It's strange though he talks as if it's the first time he's done something unethical, only in the previous episode did he mention how he had to order the creation and destruction of Sim's life to save Trip, he had to destroy a Xindi outpost with three Xindi on board to ensure Enterprise was not detected, and his torture of the Osaarian pirate in "Anomaly" can't really be forgotten either, so it was strange the way the script was written as if this was the first time Archer had to do something he believed to be wrong for the 'right' reasons. Though he does acknowledge this to Trip, where he admits every day he has to remind himself he is doing the right things.
So while there's a typical action scene where Archer and some MACOs board the alien vessel to acquire the warp coil needed, there's some thoughtful character analysation, even though I think regarding T'Pol it was a flawed revelation, but nothing worth complaining about too much.
Rating: 5 (Cameron)

The Forgotten Date not given: Synopsis in main ENT listing

Thankfully "The Forgotten" dispenses with controversy and an overdose of action and gives the audience a breather with an episode I would doubt to call 'filler' as it still as some relevance to the story at hand. After recovering the warp coil from the alien ship in "Damage", Enterprise proceeds to the rendezvous with Degra, and Archer pleads his case for Earth. Meanwhile Trip must wrestle with his demons, having to write an obituary for a dead crewmen, and at the same time accepting having the man responsible for his sister's death, Degra, onboard.
Connor Trinneer's performance seems the only thing worthy of mention beyond the norm, the experience of once more having someone close to him die whilst having the man who through other hands murdered his sister sets off a noticeable ticking time bomb which routinely explodes in Degra's direction, his anger understandable, not professional behaviour certainly, but it was a realistic reaction one could expect, so once more Connor Trinneer does a great job.
Otherwise the episode just recaps the events of the season, from the attack on Earth, the Reptilians in the past, the member of the Sphere Builders race being used as a test subject in the attempt to reshape the expanse and so on, it's not a clip show by any means, but if there were any way to make best use of an episode which doesn't go anywhere else, I thought it was appropriate to compliment the B-story with just a recap of how far the storyline has come, and it ends with Degra giving Archer co-ordinates to the Council, showing he's finally placing his trust in the Starfleet Captain to help avert the hostilities on both sides.
Rating: 6 (Cameron)

E2 Date not given: Synopsis in main ENT listing

I'm having trouble writing this review, which I suppose is a bad thing because I am a big fan of this episode so it won't get the attention it deserves. But to me there was a lot to like, I failed to watch this on cable so I got out the DVD version and the quality of the effects is fantastic, the action sequences are very well directed, as expected noted character actor David Andrews provides a complimenting performance as Lorian, plagued by his feelings of guilt and determination to complete his mission. The logic behind the time-travel isn't too heavily dwelled upon which is good as the drama behind the premise takes over and we don't have to technobabbled exposition in regards to Enterprise 2's existence.
And a few ok scene's were conceded to our resident background dwellers of late, Hoshi, Mayweather and Reed, one in particular where they discuss their future offspring, excepting Reed who discovers he had no children, but the scene ended with him suggestively offering a seat to a hot blonde crewmen which I found funny. T'Pol though discovers to her dismay she would have a child with Trip (the expression on her face was priceless) and would also have to deal with her emotions, great, now lets get over crack addict T'Pol and move on. The revelation about her Trellium use has been quite forced, only in the past three episodes has it been an issue, but for three months we were led to believe she was living with this problem, and no she's cleaning up. As I said, it's disappointing she needed to get hooked on rocks to explore her emotions, to have sex with Trip, the character has been through enough she could've done all this on her own accord, but no, so old T'Pol tells her she'll never fully recover, but it seems she will be better off for it, great. Thanks for forcing that needless drama on me then with her Trellium addiction. Anyway.
So it's pretty much the final episode before getting into the last arc, so it's a great way to send off the season leading into the conclusion, a great episode with clever writing, a notable leading guest character, and good performances once again from the main cast.
Rating: 7 (Cameron)

The Council Date not given: Synopsis in main ENT listing

There are times where this cumulative episode kind of feels like filler, and the anticipation really doesn't live up to what I hoped. Basically Archer confronts the Council after all this time in an effort to dissuade them from launching the weapon on Earth, presents his evidence, the Council bicker and take a recess, then the same happens again. It felt a little anti-climactic, the best moment I felt was his opening line to them about how he doesn't feel comfortable standing in the same room with the people who were responsible for the deaths of 7 million humans, but the passion and intensity seems lost after that. Not that I'm entirely surprised, understandably Archer had to tone down his feelings, but all we get after that was a rehash of what we already knew, the reconfiguration of the Expanse, the Sphere builders' nefarious plans, without fail the Insectoids and Reptilians are belligerent and only through deception do the Reptilians agree to halt the launch of the weapon long enough for Dolim to kill Degra (in what I always find a chilling scene, imagine if the last words you hear from the man killing you are that he will kill your wife and children too, wow, sucks to be Degra), and to prepare to hijack the weapon and launch it, which they do at the end of the episode.
All that really occurs here is the true nature of the Sphere builders revealed, the opening teaser shows their intriguing realm and their desire to destroy Earth, and later one attempts to bribe Degra into breaking his alliance with Archer, then when he refuses she convinces Dolim the Reptilians are destined to rule the Council with Earth destroyed. So after all this time and innuendo their true nature is revealed, shame their behaviour is all rather predictable as are their motivations, but I can happily live with that. The scene aboard the Sphere felt a lot like filler, the needless action scene in which the MACO is killed I didn't find very thrilling or exciting and didn't add a lot at all, so I'm hoping the information gathered from the Sphere's memory core was worth it.
So this episode sort of didn't live up to all the anticipation I had, for the last few episodes we've heard so much of the Council, and so much anticipation has been made on Archer's actions, so it sucks that it's all nullified due to the actions by Dolim, but in saying that it leaves us with a great cliffhanger in which the Reptilians beam Hoshi to their ship and the weapon entering a vortex on course for Earth...
Remarkable quote #1: "When I was on the future Enterprise, 400 years from now, there were Xindi aboard. Humans and Xindi were serving together in the Federation. That's a future worth fighting for." -Captain Archer, to Degra
Remarkable quote #2: "The crew of that ship are the last Xindi you'll ever betray. When the Humans have been eliminated, when the Council has been replaced by Reptilian rule, I am going to find your wife and children and do the same to them. Your traitorous bloodline will end at the tip of my blade." -Dolim, to Degra
Remarkable performance: Though at times he did get a bit melodramatic, I did enjoy Randy Oglesby's performance as Degra.
Rating: 6 (Cameron)

Countdown Date not given: Synopsis in main ENT listing

I don't know if I'm starting to love this final arc or hate it; to be honest I want a conclusion already and am not getting it! But all the same "Countdown" is still a fine episode despite my hoping the season would draw to a close, it's almost like it's dragging out at the very end now, Dolim has the weapon launched, they have Hoshi deciphering the codes but as predicted more time is needed as she must break the encryption codes of the Aquatics to ensure the weapon can be successfully launched against Earth. The Sphere Builders though recognise the threat to their plans to takeover the Alpha Quadrant so they initiate a barrage of anomalies from a nearing sphere emerge which protects the Weapon, this causes the Insectoid Councillor to become doubtful of their plans, and Dolim kills him to assure no more interference.
Archer thankfully convinces the immovable Aquatics to assist in the deactivation of the Spheres and a rescue is planned to retrieve Hoshi, in which Hayes is killed. I wanted to feel more for his death, but just couldn't, he hadn't really had much of an impact for a character who appeared so many times, I admit it would've been difficult to concede a lot of development to a recurring guest role, but his military speak on his death bed was very predictable and I wished for something more.
There's some spectacular special effects in play, I forgot to mention in my review of "The Council" the incredible VFX work in the battle between the Xindi vessels and Enterprise, but thankfully I can include a worthy mention here.
There's also a surprising turn worth mentioning of Dolim, for the whole season he'd been a slave to the idea of destroying Earth and though he maintains the rage here it was interesting to see even he questioning the Sphere Builders, he has had some impressive lines, but nothing beyond the usual villain fare, so it was refreshing for him to have done something out of the ordinary when he doubts the influence the "Guardians" have when he calls upon them to assist his cause. But he is quickly smacked down by the Guardian, so his one moment of character evolution was very short lived. Appreciated, but still short lived.
But all and all I can't help but be aggravated that this season could've been finished with here and now, it's almost the perfect chance to wrap up what's been an amazing journey in Season 3, yet these episodes pad the story out long enough we can afford another dinner round the Captains table where T'Pol reveals she will consider applying for a role in Starfleet. But I still enjoy the build up to the finale, so I should just appreciate being kept hanging on by a thread so the final episode can be appreciated all the more.
I really wanted to rate this higher than I am going to, and am genuinely surprised as last time I saw this I was under the impression that when the time came to review this episode it would be received much better than it is now. So it pains me to give it a 6/10. The great action scenes aside it's still nothing that could've been covered in the previous episode with some simple editing.
Remarkable dialogue: "Bring me back a piece of that weapon - a souvenir." - "With pleasure." -Trip and Malcolm
Rating: 6 (Cameron)

Zero Hour Date not given: Synopsis in main ENT listing

Could've been better, but as I've said the past few reviews at least we have the conclusion to the long running Xindi arc. Sadly though "Zero Hour" relies on too many clichés and familiar tricks used before to reach the end. Another deflector pulse is used to destroy the Spheres, more fiddling with technical systems aboard an enemy vessel disables the weapon, another rotating modulation of the phasers is the salvation against the alien aggressors who have boarded our Starfleet vessel, and a duel to the death between the Captain and the evil villain in a perilous location takes place before the ticking clock goes off.
And not much else really progresses or feels too concluded, T'Pol and Trip do have a chat where she reveals her age to him and that she considers sharing such knowledge as a sign of intimacy, but the episode just solely relies on performing all these stunts to put to bed the threat to Earth against the Sphere builders, who themselves have very little to say and less to do apart from appearing on Enterprise and messing with its systems. I think that's a real shame as these people had been well underused in hindsight as otherwise we just had scenes of the bickering council with its rehashed dialogue about Enterprise and Earth, some more utilisation of the Sphere Builders may have been a good idea, leaving their identity and motivation to be revealed so late in the season as in "Azati Prime" maybe wasn't the best idea.
On the Xindi arc as a whole, well something had to be done to shake up Enterprise, even I could see change was needed to break away from the tired form of story telling of the first and second seasons which suffered from both directions, on one hand there was the attempt to get back to the original form of story telling of TOS, TNG and Voyager, but that's 17 combined years of one-off science fiction stories revolving around the same premise of a lone vessel exploring the wonders of space. But those stories had been long exhausted. Potential was there to really get to the roots of the lore in Star Trek, talking about the formation of the United Federation of Planets and Starfleet, but this show failed to adequately address what it was perfectly suited to talk about. Instead there were a batch of irrelevant one-off stories using every cliché in the book, or the confounded mess that was the Suliban and Temporal Cold War arc which was never professionally handled and did more harm to the show than good.
So Season 3 was a welcome departure from the norm and made the best use of incredible situations (the attack on Earth, T'Pol's Trellium addiction, Archer's continual moral dilemmas) to develop these characters in ways that weren't even possible when the series began. Enterprise was way more successful in this season in terms of character development and the maintaining of continuity than Voyager was in its whole 7 year run. Sure Mayweather and Sato got shelved, and Reed and Phlox didn't have much to do, but not a lot can be expected of ancillary characters episode after episode. So some flaw was in the execution of this Season long story, there was perhaps too much in the way of padding, forgotten characters and poor stories, but there were still moments of clever writing, brilliant acting, and well thought out plots.
This episode though, like I said, made use of every trick in the book, I'm glad the season's over, but maybe it should've happened sooner.
Rating: 5 (Cameron)

 


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