Jar Jar Binks wrote:
I feel the same way about "Cogenitor" for the same reasons, S/U Fan. On paper it should have been one of ENT's all-time greats, but Archer's behavior and his hypocritical reaction towards Trip bring it way down in my estimation.
Even on paper, the script's dialogue has Archer being hypocritical and the senior staff uncaring, save for Trip. Perhaps the initial idea of the episode had the potential to be great, but this episode, as it was written, needed to have been re-written, imo.
Zombie Redshirt wrote:
Voyager and Enterprise both did this on a number of occasions, though the TOS/TNG/DS9 crews weren't completely free of it either. They set up an EXCELLENT moral dilemma but the way they resolve it makes the main characters either look like first class jerks, just plain stupid, or some combination thereof.
These are usually the episodes that are still stirring up debates years later. Sure the heroes aren't always going to be perfect, but there's a huge difference between making a morally questionable choice because you have to and regretting it and just not giving a damn or reveling in them.
I haven't seen all of any series but DS9, so that's the only one I can for sure speak to. What you just said is the reason why what some might call even DS9's absolute worst episodes are far better than this one. The crew and captain, and even non-crew on the space station, seemed to always understand the severity of the situations they were dealing with. They would grapple with tough issues, and even if you didn't like what they ended up deciding, you could at least say that they were trying and did everything in their power to be decent and fair.
One episode that's being debated over in the DS9 forum is Sons of Mogh and Worf's decision to give his brother a new identity. He decides this, in anguish and with guilt, after his brother requests that he perform a death ritual for him to put him out of his misery. Worf reluctantly tries to grant his brother's request, but he's stopped because of Starfleet regulations. His brother still begs him to do something. Worf doesn't know what to do, but works out this alternative. He's not happy about it and no one really wins. Worf's brother gets his wish of not having to live with the dishonor anymore, but he also loses who he is in the process. Worf is able to help his brother, in a way, but at the cost of losing him and having to live with what he's done. Not for one second, do you get the impression that no one understands the gravity of the situation.
Dealing with sex and sexism, Quark comes from a very sexist culture, and he's very much about being a good and average Ferengi (on the surface, but some of it is real). An episode like Profit and Lace might give tell to his sexism. But, he gives 10 bars of latinum as start-up money to a very capable Ferengi woman that has a crush on him so she can have the life of enterprise that she wants in the Gamma Quadrant. If he was really as sexist as he seemed, he wouldn't have done that. And as much as he squawked at his mother making achievements, he didn't do much to get in her way. It just lets you know there's more to him than meets the eye. I have a feeling that if he ever had a daughter, she'd be taking over the bar someday... I'm just saying that at least we saw room for growth with him.
I know for sure that Kira wouldn't have been as passive about what was happening as T'Pol, who interestingly enough had been mind-raped and knew what it was like to be "used" for someone else's benefit. She didn't seem to like it that much, if I recall correctly, and that's a bit similar to Kira knowing what it's like to live in captivity just because of how she was born. The difference is that I know Kira wouldn't have forgotten her experiences and would have had some compassion (and I'm sure rage knowing Kira) on the Cogenitor's behalf. T'Pol didn't even seem to want to fully acknowledge the Cogenitor's situation.
Sisko used trickery and deception to get the Romulans involved in a war they wanted to have nothing to do with because it would benefit the entire Alpha Quadrant in In The Pale Moonlight. It wasn't something he felt good about or did lightly, but he had to do it to save everyone from the Dominion... I guess I'm just saying that this episode was a real failure for the senior characters of the Enterprise in a very major way. It almost makes me not like the senior staff of the Enterprise (except Trip), and I'm pretty sure that wasn't its goal.
In the case of this episode, I get the fact that it's not Archer's call to make. He's establishing first contact here. But literally condoning the exploitation of a significant number of people in another species? At the very least he should have told Trip it's not their place personally to make a call there, but he's going to recommend Earth put diplomatic pressure on them because slavers are not the kind of people they want to be associating with. The way Archer did it, he probably would've been alright if he made contact with Nazi Germany who was in the process of gassing all their Jews.
Yes, and probably an even closer situation would be the "nice southern plantation owner" that believed his slaves were 3/5 human and don't deserve any rights, which of course is a load of @#$% because that was decided as a part of a political compromise
and not any kind of real scientific data. These people were just as bad.
It would have been nice if they'd all met up at the end of the episode to discuss what happened and how they would proceed in the future when dealing with species that were like the species they'd just dealt with.
All I can tell you S/U Fan is look out... some Archer's biggest bad calls are still yet to come.
I don't look forward to that, but I'll be watching.