2:09 - Singularity
TV Blurb: Archer gets writer's block, Hoshi gets cooking, Malcolm gets alarmed, Trip builds a comfy chair, and T'Pol's fears of humans being irrational creatures is confirmed. Written by Chris Black. Directed by Patrick Norris.
The story is told mostly through flashback, and if you've been reading along so far, you know that I think flashbacks are an overused device on Enterprise
. I don't see why this story couldn't have been told in "the present", and the shifts in tense seem an unnecessary distraction.
There's not much of a plot really. Enterprise is caught in a radiation field that causes the crew to obsess over trivialities rather than their assigned duties. T'Pol has to save the day and everyone aboard.
Most of the characters are given something to concentrate on other than their actual work-- Archer has to write the preface to a biography on his father, Trip tries to build the biggest, bestest, Captain's Chair ever, Malcolm has a whole list of changes he wants made to ship security, Hoshi tries to perfect an old family recipe, and Phlox decides that Travis' headache is the key to something even more serious. The Phlox scenes are good, with the horror of how dispassionate Phlox can be amidst the lighthearted tone of the situation. John Billingsley again shows why he is so good at being Phlox, who is presented here as a dangerous menace. If anyone isn't really served by the episode's premise, it's poor Travis again. For a good part of the episode he's unconscious on a bed thanks to Phlox's shenanigans.
I didn't find it boring, but it certainly felt like a reworking of scenes we'd probably seen before strung together as character vignettes. The ship in danger plot also felt like something we'd seen too many times before. This was essentially a "bottle show" filmed entirely on the standard sets, and a few visual effects shots of the radiation cloud.
Remarkable line: "If this were a military situation, you'd be taken out and shot!" (Malcolm to Trip, and then a fight breaks out)
Next: "Vanishing Point"