The thing that is so frustrating about the episode, is that at its very outline level, the idea is really cool. People from the future use a historic lesson from Enterprise.
And certainly there are bits and pieces that do work, but on the whole its a true failure.
Ideally I would have dropped things like Riker interacting with the crew (I really disliked that aspect), I would have changed the whole subplot leading to Trip's death. I don't mind Trip dying, and I don't mind Trip dying from something rather mundane (that's actually something we should see happen on Trek shows). I would have expanded the starting of the federation bit (seriously) and I would have actually had the crew show some damn sadness that a friend just died (seriously what the hell was that).
And while I loved, loved seeing HD level Pegasus effects, I think I might have chosen not to use a known "Trek" character. Kind of like how in Visitor the unknown character who interviews Jake was really, really effective. I think picking someone, perhaps getting ready to start a tour of duty or something on the Enterprise might actually be more effective.
I also think to hold that level of detail, it really needed two hours.
Now would you want to spend two hours of Enterprise finally season on something that includes stuff in the future is a whole nother issue.
Not that season 4 really had much focus at all to it. One of the reasons as a whole I am not that happy with season 4 is that it truly doesn't feel like a cohesive season. I like certain stories (some a hell of a lot), but it felt to me like the writers instead of plotting out a real arc, and pacing out the season, just said ok, we have a year lets just throw in all the stories we wanted to tell. Generally that isn't good storytelling.
I agree with a lot of this. I also don't mind Tucker's death, or that it's essentially unnecessary. Shit happens. And space travel is (hell, Q said this) dangerous. While there had been casualties in ENT (and they were handled a lot more effectively than in, say, TOS), it really brings it home when it's a main character. In a way, that's a bit like the M*A*S*H finale, when Charles and Hawkeye go a bit loopy, and Mulcahy becomes deafened. They had been unscathed characters, and they shouldn't have been. I am all for sullying the characters, and for showing a reaction to that. 'Cause we barely even got T'Pol reacting. Even as a Vulcan, she had a connection to him and that should have been explored, that the connection was suddenly, tragically, cut.
The Riker framing is weird and all it did was make me think of how the actors had aged. An unknown, or even a prequel character, that would have made more sense. A young redheaded woman watches a holographic representation of the Enterprise
because she is about to head into space and is a bit concerned that it's all too much, and it ends up being Beverly Howard. Or a young man thinks everyone in space has to be perfect all the time, watches a holographic representation and he turns out to be Jake Sisko.
Or, the people who are watching aren't human at all. What if a Xindi Reptilian - say, a guy with an Initiation Medal that he's turning over in his claws nervously - is about to board the Enterprise-J
for the first time, and worries about being accepted. He watches a holographic representation and realizes that people might make mistakes and might even do damage, but they mean well, and we've got to take risks. And then Daniels appears and asks him, "Hey, Dolim, buddy, can I borrow your medal for a second? I gotta prove a point. I'll bring it right back, I swear."