R. Star wrote:
This was one of the better stories of season 4 and certainly could have wrapped up the series on a better note than a certain episode that shall go unnamed. Paxton made a compelling villain and there was certainly plenty of drama and conflict within the two episodes. Not to mention Archer gave perhaps his one good speech on Enterprise this episode.
The one major unresolved plot point that crossed my mind was, what about all the Terra Prime supporters that were protesting outside the foreign embassies? There were enough people that Soval remarked that humanity didn't seen ready to be joining nonetheless hosting such an interplanetary conference. Not to mention Nathan Samuels, who was a Minister of some sort, apparently had a prosperous and active political career despite his previous affiliation with Terra Prime, which would seem to indicate a lot of people were sympathetic or willing to turn a blind eye to the organization. Not to mention all the racist scenes at Phlox's expense throughout season 4 in the San Fransisco area indicates that sentiment supporting them is rather strong.
The major plot hole I see in this episode is... this is never addressed. Oh sure the good guys save the day again, the bad guy is captured, and Archer gives a good speech that apparently rouses all the foreign dignitaries so much they forget about all of this. But you seemingly have a significant percentage of the Earth population that is... against all this. So much for will of the people, I guess.
The ending of Terra Prime is comparable to the ending of TUC. The captain speaks before representatives and everybody cheers about the nasty attitudes we have overcome. You cannot present the opinion of ordinary people in a dramatic context unless you tell your story through their eyes.
To be concrete, what do you suggest? That we see people on the streets hugging aliens or some poll results about xenophobic attitudes or what? It is simply not dramatically feasible.
About this plot hole nonsense, the ending of Terra Prime makes it crystal clear that humankind has learned and evolved just like the ending of TUC makes it clear that, at least for now, the warmongers and racists have been defeated. Fiction isn't something you understand when you read it in such a hyper-literal fashion.
If it's so dramatically infeasible... then why did they include the element of rioting and protesters and aliens hating on Phlox every time they come to Earth in season 4? If you're going to include such things in a work of fiction you need to think about how they'll resolve themselves.
As for "plot hole nonsense"... why is it nonsense? Because you say so? The ending doesn't make anything "crystal clear" about humanity as a whole. The only thing clear is Archer and company saved the day. Paxton still had a large number of people cheering him on at Earth. Even Soval said in reply to that that humanity didn't seem to be ready to host such a conference. Yet Archer stopping one person and giving a speech changes that somehow? What's being hyper literal about wondering about such a gaping and obvious oversight? Yes it's fiction... but it's not a fairy tale where everything ends hunky dory just because the main bad guy is beaten and the work says so.