2:25 - Bounty
TV Blurb: Archer gets kidnapped yet again, when T'Pol suddenly wants to get down to some serious Phloxing. Teleplay by Hans Tobeason and Mike Sussman & Phyllis Strong; Story by Rick Berman & Brannon Braga. Directed by Roxann Dawson.
I don't know which of the five credited writers were responsible for what parts of this mess, but it's very uneven. I wanted to have this entry up before Friday, but it took me this long to come up with an angle. I'm from an earlier generation, so I'm more forgiving of some the sexuality in some scenes. It used to be old people were shocked by the youngsters. In today's society, it seems to be the other way around.
The primary plot deals with Archer being kidnapped by a Tellarite bounty hunter. The first problem with this is Skalaar the Bounty Hunter manages to stun the chief engineer, stun and abduct the captain, and not a single security guard is within sight at the airlock. Malcolm really needs to strengthen those security protocols.
Then we're mostly along for the ride as Trip, Malcolm, Hoshi, and Travis (almost forgot him again) try to get Archer back. Archer spends a good part of his time learning all about his kidnapper's personal life including his brother, his rival, and some Klingons who were the sponsors for his action. That's an awful lot of people.
In contrast, the T'Pol pon farr story depends only on T'Pol, Phlox, with Trip and Malcolm in supporting roles, to get its story across. Much more economical than the uninvolving A-plot.
There's a lot of criticism thrown at the pon farr story, but I think it might have been perceived as much worse had Roxann Dawson not brought a woman's sensibilities to the direction. I'm guessing she and Jolene Blalock worked closely to keep some of the situations from going completely over the top. Blalock is very effective as a T'Pol out of control, with some subtle behavior cues. Billingsley gives a more comedic performance for her to play off of. The entire T'Pol B-Story has more tension and excitement than the Archer A-story can pull up with twice as many characters.
Robert O'Reilly is one of the returning Trekvets, and is instantly recognizable when he speaks in a somewhat similar voice to his Gowron.
I was glad to see Ed O'Ross in a Star Trek, although under heavy makeup as the Tellarite brother. I'd first noticed O'Ross in an odd little film called The Hidden
Next: "The Expanse", season ender