Okay, you guys, settle down. I have a new episode for you to take apart.
Oh, boy. Time travel already? Jeez, guys, we're not even halfway through the first season.
So it turns out that a member of the Enterprise crew is actually some sort of temporal agent from the future. Well, I highly doubt it was a surprise to anyone watching that Daniels (Matt Winston, who I'm pretty sure was in Galaxy Quest
) was not who he appeared to be. From his very first scene, it was obvious that he would figure prominently in this episode, for one reason or another. Maybe if he had appeared once or twice in previous episodes, it would have been more of a surprise when it was revealed who he really was. Oh well. Just one more missed opportunity.
The interesting part of this episode is the mystery surrounding the motives of both Daniels and Silik. Daniels claims he's there to apprehend Silik, but Silik claims his mission was to prevent the Enterprise from being destroyed. Archer, naturally, is stuck trying to decide who to believe. Ultimately, he trusts Daniels, which seems
to be the right choice, as Silik ends up shooting Archer, vaporizing Daniels, stealing his little temporal snowglobe dealie, and escaping through the shuttle bay door. (I'm pretty sure you can't sky-dive in space, but I'll let it slide.)
So, is Silik a bad guy? Looks that way. But then again, I don't remember anything
about this Temporal Cold War story arc from the first time I watched ENT. So what do I know?
There were some dumb things about this episode that the writers apparently didn't catch. Like Daniels saying that he didn't want anyone to know he was a time traveller, and then walking through walls
right in front of the engineering crew. And how is it that the universal translator can instantly translate what those alien pilgrims were saying, even though it's never heard a word of their language before? And yet it magically doesn't translate the invocation of the Great Plume of Whoozawhatsits when Phlox is speaking? (AAAHH, shut up, Ryva, don't think about it!)
I did like the little tidbit that Phlox is interested in other species' religions. It was consistent with his character's natural curiosity. I also liked the story with the aliens on their pilgrimage, and the scenes where the Enterprise crew showed them around the ship. The whole "meeting new civilizations" thing felt like genuine Trek to me. And the shots of the stellar nursery were beautiful.
This episode was directed by Robert Duncan McNeill. Yay! I've enjoyed his directing in the past, for VOY as well as for the series Chuck
. And, well, despite the unoriginal time travel premise and the usual plot holes, I think he did a good job with what he was given to work with. The camera work was nicely done, and the acting was on a better level than what I've seen so far. Well done, Robbie.