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Old October 19 2009, 04:07 PM   #46
thew40
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Re: Treking through all Star Trek

Series: Enterprise - Season One
Episode: “Acquisition”
Trek Installment # 18
Grade: C -
Viewing Date: September 29, 2009

Y’know, even though the Ferengi being present make this episode a huge mistake canon wise, it was a lot of fun. A bit of a romp around the Enterprise. A good plan using the Big Three in fun ways. The Ferengi themselves are fairly typical Ferengi, being bumbling, greedy, and somewhat stupid. The episode goes to great pains to not name the species, but . . . uh, duh.

I actually found myself laughing a little a few scenes. Well, I guess more of a chuckle than a laugh. But still! This was an enjoyable, watchable, pretty decent episode. I’m just deducting points because of the Ferengi canon violation.
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Old October 20 2009, 01:53 PM   #47
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Re: Treking through all Star Trek

Series: Enterprise - Season One
Episode: “Oasis”
Trek Installment # 19
Grade: D-
Viewing Date: September 29, 2009

Crew meets some aliens that seem friendly enough. Encounter alien girl whom Archer and/or Trip fraternize with. Big mystery . . . resolved. Superior human lecture follows. End of episode.

This seems to becoming a very common and upsetting trend with this series. Instead of the more interesting, more character-involved stories we’ve seen, this basic plot structure has overtaken more than a few of the series. Enterprise has become predictable.

I’m tired of “this species has a mystery that the humans condemn” being the premise. This one is no exception. There is no saving grace here, save for T’Pol calling Trip out on hitting on alien female engineers. Oh snap!
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Old October 22 2009, 03:10 AM   #48
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Re: Treking through all Star Trek

Series: Enterprise - Season One
Episode: “Detained”
Trek Installment # 20
Grade: C-
Viewing Date: September 29, 2009

It’s not a bad installment, but it’s a ham-fisted one. The allegory is like a punch in the face. Morality play is one thing – making it so incredibly obvious that even the lead actor states that it’s just like it is another. I’m sorry, but I can figure this out on my own.

Archer pretty much gets the worst captain ever award in this episode too. He has the chance to escape and formulate a plan . . . when instead he decides to just hang out. He doesn’t even give his own officer a chance to get out. Instead, without considering that Al might be telling the truth about the Suliban or really caring about the consequences, he frees 80something Suliban. And doesn’t Archer know that old saying – “the enemy of my enemy is my friend?” Why didn’t he try to bargain with Al? Give him some info, try and get some info, and do it all for allowing the Suliban to go free or something.

Maybe I’m being too harsh. I’ve seen in others reviews that a lot of people like this episode, and I can see that reasoning. The fact that not all the Suliban are evil and that we have a decent character in Grat (Al) helped keep this episode afloat. And yes, Al. I actually liked having him here, but even though we never see him again. I felt like he needed to be smoking a big ol’ cigar the whole time and smacking his PADD, but whatever.

It just gets bogged down with the “echoes of World War Two.”
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Old October 23 2009, 07:20 PM   #49
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Re: Treking through all Star Trek

thew40 wrote: View Post
Series: Enterprise - Season One
Episode: “Dear Doctor”
Trek Installment # 12
Grade: B-
Viewing Date: September 23, 2009

Another strong showing for Enterprise as the spotlight finally turns on Phlox. Phlox is the best part of this episode, as the moral debate is a little bland for me. I mean to say, it’s interesting and I’m satisfied with its conclusion, but it just didn’t do much for me.

The development of Phlox is way past due, but it’s done very well here. I liked seeing his friendship with Hoshi, his working relationship with Archer, and his potential romance with Cutler through his eyes. And having Cutler along was something I appreciated, as I grew attached to her in “Strange New World.” Like I mentioned before, I would have loved to of seen a larger secondary cast build-up.
I watched that episode yesterday, and it was the first one that really, really pissed me off. Archer and Phlox did not have to "play God", all they needed to do was give a cure that they already had and help save countless lives. Instead, they decided to refuse help, to lie to the Valakians and condemn many of them to death... for what? The reasoning made no sense whatsoever. TheGodBen already put it very well in words in his thread, as did flemm and ProtoAvatar in the same thread.
http://trekbbs.com/showpost.php?p=3446050&postcount=210
http://trekbbs.com/showpost.php?p=3447921&postcount=216
http://trekbbs.com/showpost.php?p=3448439&postcount=220
http://trekbbs.com/showpost.php?p=3449580&postcount=222
http://trekbbs.com/showpost.php?p=3449731&postcount=224

This episode's moral "dilemma" and conclusion was a horrible example of both faulty science and faulty ethics.

Furthermore, Archer's decision made no sense for his character, from what we had seen from him so far. I would have expected him to want to help the sick and dying people, not find an idiotic reason not to. And does Phlox know about the Hippocratic Oath? What kind of doctor is he? Giving those people the cure would not have been "playing God" - it's called BEING A DOCTOR. That's what doctors are supposed to do. But the writers were not concerned with characters, all they cared about was to beat us over the head with their faulty ethics and faulty science.

Pity, because, before the Moral Dilemma and Decision of the Week, the episode was very good and very charming, and Phlox was being nicely fleshed out.

Two stars from me - 4 stars for the first 3 quarters of the episode, zero stars for the Moral Dilemma/Decision.
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Old October 24 2009, 02:56 AM   #50
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Re: Treking through all Star Trek

DevilEyes wrote: View Post

Pity, because, before the Moral Dilemma and Decision of the Week, the episode was very good and very charming, and Phlox was being nicely fleshed out.
This was actually what I really liked about the episode. I could live with the forgettable moral decision and all that, but Phlox was what made the episode good.

------

Series: Enterprise - Season One
Episode: “Vox Sola”
Trek Installment # 21
Grade: B
Viewing Date: September 30, 2009

I was actually very pleased with this episode. The crew encounter some serious aliens here. The easily offended Kreetassan are kinda fun. The web-monster was interesting too and it was very nice to have some conflict among Phlox, Reed, T’Pol, and Hoshi in regards to it. I really liked the scene with T’Pol and Hoshi where T’Pol tells her that she holds Hoshi to a higher standard. It was a nice moment, because it spoke of the amount of respect she has for Sato. Likewise, Phlox’s objection to Reed’s experimental force field use was appreciated.

Mayweather . . . well, someone had to say “I’m sorry.”

In addition to giving us some alien aliens (and some new regular good ol’ fashioned humanoid aliens), we’ve got a great chance to let the rest of the crew grow and develop – and react off each other. This was a good episode for it and I’m very pleased with it.
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Old October 24 2009, 10:00 AM   #51
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Re: Treking through all Star Trek

Is this your first run through Enterprise or is it a rewatch? Because if it's a first run, I won't start discussing how episodes that have yet to come tie in to stuff you're watching. If you're rewatching, you're spoiled anyway.
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Old October 24 2009, 02:11 PM   #52
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Re: Treking through all Star Trek

Cat in a blender wrote: View Post
Is this your first run through Enterprise or is it a rewatch? Because if it's a first run, I won't start discussing how episodes that have yet to come tie in to stuff you're watching. If you're rewatching, you're spoiled anyway.
This is a rewatch, though I haven't watched a lot of them in a loooooong time. Spoil away.
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Old October 25 2009, 06:47 PM   #53
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Re: Treking through all Star Trek

Series: Enterprise - Season One
Episode: “Fallen Hero”
Trek Installment # 22
Grade: C
Viewing Date: September 30, 2009

I’d rate this one pretty average, though this episode really came across to me as the first real step the humans and the Vulcan’s take to working together. In fact, I would have really liked to have seen Ambassador V’Lar in a later episode, as it seems she understands humans better than Soval ever did.

There’s not a lot else that stands to with this episode. Reaching Warp Five was such a big event. That actually surprised, as I had believed they reached before hand. Hmm. Anyways, like I said, a fairly average episode.
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Old October 26 2009, 05:05 AM   #54
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Re: Treking through all Star Trek

Series: Enterprise - Season One
Episode: “Desert Crossing”
Trek Installment # 23
Grade: F
Viewing Date: September 30, 2009

Enterprise writing room transcript:
“So . . . who remembers Shuttlepod One?
“I do. Pretty good episode. What about it?”
“How about doing a version that focuses on Archer and Trip?”
“Uh . . . okay. But how is it going be different?”
“Well, let’s see. Since Trip and Reed almost froze to death, how about we do the opposite? Have Archer and Trip almost die in, say, a desert?”
“Why would they be in a desert?”
“Hmm. Let’s just do some sort vague story about a terrorist maybe being a good guy and make him kinda loveable and big and fat. Kinda middle-eastern, but he should sound kinda Russian.”
“But that doesn’t make any sense. What is he going to look like?”
“Meh, let’s just throw some paint on his chin. And for sex appeal -- ”
“SEX APPEAL?!”
“- let’s have Archer and Trip jump around with more of these aliens shirtless.”
“Okay, well, I think we need to focus on the characterization aspect of this episode. So Archer and Trip are in the desert . . . why?”
“I don’t know. Maybe they’re trying to get away from the nice guy terrorist? They grab some water packs from the Shuttlepod and - ”
“Why don’t they just stay in the Shuttlepod?”
“Because the village will be under attack!”
“They can’t dodge the weapons? After everything, they can’t avoid one ground-level weapon launcher? Really?”
“Yeah, well, maybe they just don’t feel like it.”
“UGH. So they go into the desert?”
“Right. And Trip can get sun stroke.”
“Whoa.”
“Yeah. He can maybe say some stupid and funny things. And Archer can keep him awake and be all BFF with him.”
“But that doesn’t make sense. Why wouldn’t Archer have sunstroke? And why are they in the desert again?”
“To find shelter.”
“How does it end?”
“Well, I guess we can have some convenient story point about a gap in the alien’s sensor grid that only our terrorist can pilot through.”
“This is really stupid . . .”
“Oh, and try and cram in a message about the Prime Directive, will you?”
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Old October 27 2009, 04:51 AM   #55
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Re: Treking through all Star Trek

Series: Enterprise - Season One
Episode: “Two Days and Two Nights”
Trek Installment # 24
Grade: D-
Viewing Date: October 7, 2009

I was really looking forward to this episode. I thought it was going to be a fun vacation adventure and we’d have these light-hearted vignettes from all these characters. Nope. What we got was Archer playing against the worst spy ever, Reed and Trip trying to get laid in their awesome “Miami Vice” outfits, and Hoshi having a one-night stand.

The only part I did like? When Phlox woke up. And Cutler, who I’m seriously going to miss, as this is her last episode.
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Old October 27 2009, 11:18 PM   #56
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Re: Treking through all Star Trek

Series: Enterprise - Season One
Episode: “Shockwave, Part One”
Trek Installment # 25
Grade: B
Viewing Date: October 7, 2009

The Temporal Cold War kinda explodes into Enterprise by destroying a colony and almost derailing the entire deep space mission. This episode does a good job of balancing out the more mysterious elements with action – it distracts from the unknown and unexplainable in a good way.

There’s not much to this episode, though the action sequences are fun. I really enjoyed the cell ships descending upon Enterprise. The drama, however, is a little over the top. To quote my wife: “Is this the episode where everyone is bitchy?”

Obviously, it’s a two-parter, but instead of building us up to a cliffhanger, this honestly feels just like half an episode.

As for the second half . . .

****


Season One Overview

Overall Season Rating: B –
Best Episode: Shuttlepod One
Best Episode Runner-Up: Breaking the Ice
Worst Episode: Desert Crossing

Enterprise Season One. Chronologically, this is the beginning of the Trek saga. It puts humanity a few steps ahead of where we are now and a few steps back from where we are in the 23rd and 24th centuries. It’s designed to show as an uncertain race on an ambitious mission to satisfy our hopes and dreams. We struggle with the overbearing hand of the Vulcans and strive to put a good face on no matter what – even if we find ourselves flying from one angry alien to another and get embroiled in a time war that is too large to completely understand.

Enterprise puts on a good show, but has its cracks and when those cracks show, they show bad. While giving us stories that are different and interesting, we’re also given episodes that follow the same basic formula with almost no deviation.

Enterprise has two basic mythologies. The one is Temporal Cold War, which is handled very well. It’s delightfully intriguing, twisting and turning with riddles about time and subterfuge. The only episode relating to the Temporal Cold War that I didn’t like was “Detained” and that was mainly because the allusions it drew were so stark and big that it crippled the ability to tell a good story.

When I first saw the Suliban, I found them to be a rather bland villain. They’ve definitely grown on me – especially Silik, whose character should have remained around for a good while. Silik is very much the anti-Archer. He’s as much as a player in the Temporal Cold War as Archer, but probably knows just a little more than him. Granted, he’s no Kahn or Dukat or Q or Borg Queen . . . but I like that. The Trek universe is filled with such huge villains that sometimes just a witty, emotional, sneaky pawn-turned-leader is appreciated.

On the other hand, we have the second mythology, which is the slow-build into the Star Trek universe that (most of us) will know and love. These episodes aren’t clearly defined as “Cold Front” or “Shockwave,” but are still very much present throughout the first season. I’m speaking mainly of “The Andorian Incident” and “Shadows of P’Jem” – both which I wasn’t very impressed with. Don’t get me wrong, I like the concepts dealt with in these episodes. I liked Shran and loved the idea that two of the four founding members of the Federation were at each others throats, but I think there was a failure in execution. And to be honest, it’s on the side of the Vulcans.

I’m not sure what I was expecting the first time, but coming in having known how the Vulcans were handled, I was ready for it. I feel like the Vulcans are portrayed as over-the-top, bossy, snobby asshats. Certain circumstances I can understand that, but it’s not so much in what they’re doing, it’s how they’re doing it. These Vulcans are far too emotional, far too snotty, and just overbearing.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that – except for V’Lar – the Vulcans don’t make the kind of space-faring, peace-loving companions I always envisioned them as. Instead, we have a conservative race of Sareks (Sarek during the flashback in ST5, that is; not post-Journey to Babel).

Let’s approach the grand-daddy of both mythologies – “Broken Bow.” As the chronological beginning of the Star Trek universe, this episode is great. In fact, the credit sequence is the most appropriate in the pilot, as that was our big step into deep space.

In terms of the crew, I think they each had the spotlight on them, even if the spotlight at times didn’t make them do anything. Phlox, Hoshi and Mayweather tended to be underdeveloped, but at the same time, weren’t exactly given as much time to grow as some of the others. Archers main arc was basically his attempt to get over the Vulcans, which he – at times – was able to do, but had some really bad regressions (see his treatment of T’Pol in “Andorian Incident”). Trip seemed to be always be up to something and you can see the beginnings of his relationship (in way or another) with T’Pol if you look closely.

Season One limps at times and runs at others. It's the not best Trek has had to ffer, but certainly not the worse (not yet, at least). But it's a start.


****


As I continue on, I plan on touching on the dealings with the main non-Federation race with each season. These races are the most common to Star Trek (Klingons, Romulans, Ferengi, etc) and this where their some of their arcs begin.

Klingons:
The portrayal of the Klingons in season one are akin to basically being big bullies. They don’t have much to say to Archer and the gang during first contact (which, while not as disastrous as Picard made it sound like, still wasn’t great). But it made them aware of Archer and humanity and I could see how the Klingons could believe that the empire being saved by humans would find such an act dishonorable – leading to the hefty hostile attitudes later on in the season. Beyond “Broken Bow,” we have “Unexpected,” where the Klingons have upped the bully ‘tude, and “Sleeping Dogs,” where they act like bigger bullies.

Ferengi:
Some aliens that historians believe could have been the Ferengi made first contact with Enterprise. Possibly.


One season down, twenty-eight to go!
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Old October 27 2009, 11:32 PM   #57
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Re: Treking through all Star Trek

We appear to have the opposite opinions in almost every matter, thew. I didn't like the Temporal Cold War (with the exception of Detained), and thought it only got worse, while I loved The Andorian Incident and Shadows of P'Jem. I thought Dessert Crossing was OK and Breaking the Ice too. I love the portrayal of the Vulcans. It gave Enterprise a new culture to explore (I think the reason Tuvok had so little to do on Voyager was that Spock had already done it all, and by changing the Vulcans they avoided this with T'pol) and it really showed they have changed a lot since joining the Federation. My favourite episode of the season was The Andorian Incedent, and my least favourite Unexpected (the teaser was funny though).

As for your reviews, they're pretty good, but usually a bit short.
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Old October 27 2009, 11:48 PM   #58
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Re: Treking through all Star Trek

So thew40, when do you plan to start watching season 2?
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Old October 28 2009, 12:00 AM   #59
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Re: Treking through all Star Trek

GhostFaceSaint wrote: View Post
So thew40, when do you plan to start watching season 2?
I actually already completed season two. I gave myself a review buffer so in case I fall behind, I've got plenty of reviews to put up. Which is good, actually, because it'll be another two weeks (or less) before I can get seasons three and four.

Cat in a blender wrote: View Post
We appear to have the opposite opinions in almost every matter, thew. I didn't like the Temporal Cold War (with the exception of Detained), and thought it only got worse, while I loved The Andorian Incident and Shadows of P'Jem. I thought Dessert Crossing was OK and Breaking the Ice too. I love the portrayal of the Vulcans. It gave Enterprise a new culture to explore (I think the reason Tuvok had so little to do on Voyager was that Spock had already done it all, and by changing the Vulcans they avoided this with T'pol) and it really showed they have changed a lot since joining the Federation. My favourite episode of the season was The Andorian Incedent, and my least favourite Unexpected (the teaser was funny though).
Different strokes for different folks.
I'm not a huge fan of the Temporal Cold War, to be honest. I would rather not have it there at all. That being said, since it is there, the execution of the involved episodes are pretty good.

In terms of the Vulcans, I don't think I would mind it nearly as much if their overbearing-ness wasn't being rammed down my throat all the time. But I do agree -- it does illustrate just how much they have changed since joining the Federation.

As for your reviews, they're pretty good, but usually a bit short.
This is a fault I'm aware of. It can be hard to review, sometimes. I often look at threads like TheGodBen's or other reviews, find myself sharing certain viewpoints, and just kinda say to myself "well, if I write it, wouldn't look like I'm just copying what they're saying?" It's strange, I know, but meh . . .

On the other hand, sometimes I just don't have a lot to say or what I plan on saying I'm saving for later episodes.

Anyways, it's something I'm aware of and something I'm trying to get better at. It's a little too late for season two (though some of the reviews are longer), but when I hit season three, I'll strive on details.

Hopefully, I'll just keep getting better at reviewing. Heck, by the time I get to Star Trek XI, I should be a pro!
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Old October 28 2009, 12:04 AM   #60
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Re: Treking through all Star Trek

Just to say Thew40 that I've enjoyed reading your reviews so far. I started a chronological Trek marathon of my own in September (currently up to the start of Enterprise season 3), so its good to see how we compare and contrast on our viewpoints.

Keep up the good work
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