I like this episode a lot especially its ambiguity. We get to see these different factions fighting over the future ship yet we donít get a lot of exposition dumped on us. We never properly discover who the weird ship belonged to or how it came to be drifting in space just then. We donít find out who the Tholians work for. We donít get to see the Tholians themselves just their ships and their eerie voices.
The episode functions as an offshoot of the temporal cold war arc but doesnít seem directly connected to those events. The main Suliban guy and his shadowy future boss arenít present and there isnít any sense that the timeline could be drastically altered by the outcome of events in this episode. Unless they go back and expand upon it further down the line then you could skip this episode and not notice.
When Reed and Trip started to experience little time loops when in proximity to the future ship I at first thought that the dvd had skipped back but then I noticed that though the dialogue and the actors movements were the same the scene was being seen from a different camera angle than before. And when a third time loop occurred we had yet another camera angle. It was a good way to signal to viewers that something was wrong besides the scene seemingly repeating itself.
I really like how the Suliban taunts Archer saying the Vulcans wont help and there is a slight moment of doubt but Archer sticks with the belief that the Vulcan ship they are racing toward will help. As it turns out the Vulcan ship got attacked and neutralised before it could try to help but the helpful sentiment was still there something that Archer recognises and thanks them for as well as apologising for dragging them into that mess in the first place. Its quite different from how he would have behaved during season one when he wouldnít have asked for help or trusted Vulcans to help out without an ulterior motive.
I think I may have caught the beginning of this on tv many years ago. The opening scenes are familiar though I obviously didnít get to see all of it since the middle and end of the episode where completely new.
The familiarity could be because it seems to have the same plot as Con Air, a movie in which a plane transporting prisoners is hijacked by the prisoners and Nicholas Cage, a parolee hitching a ride home, must pretend he is a hardened criminal and make himself useful to John Malkovich, the guy who masterminded the hijack, in an attempt to make sure that few people get as possible get hurt and the authorities catch up to them. The bad guys in that also had the plan of going to an out of the way place to abandon the other prisoners whilst they get picked up by a smaller plane.
I really feel sorry for Trip being stuck next to that weird looking alien guy who wont stop talking. Even the prisoners sat in front where clearly getting annoyed by his constant non-stop babbling about himself. And then he goes and ruins the escape plan out of a naÔve belief that Kuroda is telling the truth and his plan will end with everyone allowed to go free as opposed to everyone dying. I donít know who to feel sorry for. The only way this could be funnier is if it had turned out that weird looking alien guy was actually a female with a crush on Trip.
I give this episode three and a half stars.
Creepy ghostly wisps try to hijack the crews bodies. Creeeepy. I like that we get to see the crew having to make do hiding out in the catwalk again. Obviously their not as organised as last time when they set up their little shanty town.
Though I do wonder if the creepy wisps werenít able to get into the catwalk, due to some element the walls were made from I think, then how did that one wisp manage to take over Trip again? I could buy that having already swapped consciousness with him so many times before it had established some connection to his physical form making it easier to just pop into his body whenever but the catwalk was meant to be a safe place where the wisps couldnít go.
I like that the creepy wisps werenít able to take over Phlox or Típol as easily as they could the humans. Alien biology at work. I wonder what happened to the creepy wisps are they still wandering space in their weird giant ship? I give this episode three stars.