I love the portrayal of the loíqek (sp?). Their makeup is not much more than what we usually get bumpy forehead wise but their mannerisms and way of moving, the hisses and clicks that punctuate their speech, make them appear far more alien in nature.
The do come across as a fairly primitive species seemingly driven by instinct and not just in their desire to return to their city but also in how they interact. Archer and Reed fight over who gets to the remaining bug pod but they donít try to take Hoshiís bug pod and Archer offers TíPol some bugs before chowing down himself. When Reed crawls over displaying submissive begging behaviour he allows him to eat. Its indicative of a pack mentality/hierarchy and primitive instincts at work.
I did find myself wondering how this species driven by such primitive instincts would have been able to build an underground city with flying gardens but this is a small group of individuals altered into Loíqek and suffering memory loss. The guy in charge of quarantining the place was scary in his determination though its hard to blame him given the harm caused by this mutagenic virus thing.
I do find it quite hypocritical of Archer at the end. He and Phlox are quite happy to preserve the last remaining sample of a dangerous and highly infectious mutagenic virus so that the species it represents wont be entirely wiped form existence but previously were quite happy to allow a living species that had asked for their help to die out because it was Ďwhat nature intendedí.
Yeah I call bs on that but the rest of the episode was great so four stars.
Okay her powers are freaky. At first I wasnít sure what she was doing though it eventually became clear that she was scanning their biology whilst influencing their minds in a date rapey kinda way.
All the scenes where Rajin uses her powers freak me out. The scene where she assaults TíPol is especially freaky. I wonder if the really strong date rapey vibes were intentional or something that wasnít evident in the script itself but showed up when they came to film it. Or maybe its all in my weird mind. Good thing Trip was meant to be visiting and he didnít just assume she was asleep or something but then he knows her well enough by now to know that if she doesnít answer her door after arranging to meet him there is something up.
Also sexual slavery in a star trek episode that doesnít resolve itself with the crew rescuing all of the sex slaves and freeing them. I didnít expect to see that. It is quite refreshing that they didnít go all morally preachy but surprising that they didnít try to interfere. Its good that they arenít involving themselves in an alien cultures buissiness just because it goes against human morals. The alien pimp guy should still burn in a special hell though.
That apothecary who sells them the formula for manufacturing trillium D in its liquid state is delightfully weird and funny. Also I kinda wonder what happens with Rajin is she allowed to go free or does she count as the property of the Xindi now and spends her days in a cell when not being deployed on reconnaissance missions.
Three and a half stars
I love this episode. It was really atmospheric on the damaged Vulcan ship with the blinking lights and mess of the corridors and the way crazy Vulcans keep popping up and attacking our guys as they stumble about trying to find a way out. TíPols growing paranoia and increasing inability to control her emotions is interesting to watch. It isnít until quite far into the episode that she begins to turn on Archer and Reed and the other guy whose name I canít recall.
The subplot with Travis and Trip trying to get some Trellion D ore from the very active/chaotic asteroid field is at first amusing then more serious. Its good that the crew finally got their hands on some of the ore and arenít going to drag this subplot out too long though I was worried it would remove the handy plot device of ship encounters freaky special anomalies. As it turns out Trellion D is poisonous to Vulcans and the reason for the Vulcan Zombies. I really like how the two plots tie together this way.
Four and a half stars
I really like the design of the alien in this episode and how he isnít just a bumpy forehead but something different from human aesthetics. I think they could have made him look way weirder but what they did was pretty good. Bonus points for there being a reason why he wouldnít be welcomed by his own people that isnít the over used last of his kind clichť.
I like that Archer is protective of Hoshi even though he is driven in his quest to find the Xindi he hasnít let it become an obsession that erodes his moral character. His protectiveness at the beginning of the episode is quite touching. You can tell that the Archer who visits Hoshi toward the end is an illusion just by his complete change in attitude to the idea of her remaining with the exiled alien dude.
I really really love how strong and confident Hoshi is here. She is creeped out by how the alien guy can see her thoughts and memories but she is confident in her own ability to handle the situation. She isnít entirely in control of the situation but she doesnít lose what little control she does have over it and does a very good job of standing up to the alien guy when he tries to get what he wants by force and manipulation.
Its kind of a shame cause without him trying to force her to stay with him they could have been friends creepy mind reading aside. He backs down and lets her go and still helps because he does genuinely care about her. I think his isolation and his abilities have made him bad at interacting with people.
We get more on the spheres and an explanation for why the expanse is plagued by freakish anomalies though it only leads to more questions about the spheres where they came from their purpose other than cause anomalies and inconvenience everyone.
Four and a half stars