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Old October 22 2013, 05:00 AM   #249
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Re: The ENT and Melakon

3:01 - The Xindi (3rd Season Opener)

TV Blurb: Malcolm feels threatened, Trip wants to kick some Xindi ass, T'Pol takes her shirt off, and Archer gets the finger. Written by Rick Berman & Brannon Braga. Directed by Allan Kroeker.

Six weeks after Enterprise enters the Expanse, they still don't know where to begin looking for the Xindi, until a questionable tip leads them to a trillium mining facility. When Trip has trouble sleeping due to nightmares from the Xindi attack on Earth, Phlox persuades T'Pol to use Vulcan neuropressure to treat him.

We're introduced to the Xindi Council, but again, we learn information about their nature and battle plans before the main characters do. This is the same problem I had with the Temporal Cold War, where we're given information long before our heroes, and it just seems like poor story structure to me. Archer has to solve the mystery, but we already have important clues he needs. Why couldn't they have kept us in suspense for a few episodes?

Several actors who have appeared in other Trek productions appear here, including Randy Oglesby, Scott MacDonald, and Rick Worthy as humanoid members of the Xindi Council. More notably, Richard Lineback (one of the druggie Onarans in TNG: Symbiosis) and Stephen McHattie ("It's a FAAAAKE!") have important roles. Steven Culp makes his first appearance as Major Hayes, head of the MACO team, and the thorn in Malcolm's side.

Apparently not having enough confidence in their main story about finding the Xindi, B&B tack on a completely unnecessary subplot about Trip having trouble sleeping. This serves to introduce the beginnings of a Trip/T'Pol romance, as well as proving once again that Jolene Blalock was hired to be the T&A girl. The Xindi search is essentially wrapped in the fourth act, with act five existing mainly to get T'Pol's shirt off. As much as I appreciate the female form, it's simply uncalled for in the story. The only time nudity has really worked in Star Trek was in TNG: Chain of Command during Picard's torture scenes.

Oddity: The Mining Foreman demands liquid platinum as the price for Archer to question the Xindi worker. Did B&B mean to say latinum?

Dirtiest Line: T'Pol (to Trip): "Harder. Harder."

Next: Anomaly
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