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Old December 8 2009, 02:23 PM   #736
Alidar Jarok
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Enterprise

I like the fact that it was referenced earlier (they implied that they had seen another starfleet ship before, although it was never confirmed). I also like the idea of a generation raised to fight the war. The fact that they never met before isn't completely impossible to imagine because of the vastness and strangeness of the expanse.

Aside from that, it's fairly cliche and children of time-y, so it doesn't get many points from me either.
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Old December 8 2009, 04:50 PM   #737
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Enterprise

Jinglebell JaRock wrote: View Post
(they implied that they had seen another starfleet ship before, although it was never confirmed)
I don't remember that and I've been looking out for the reference all season, all I remember is the scene between Degra and the other primate Xindi from this episode. The best the episode seems to have to back it up is Dolim asking Archer how many ships Starfleet has in the expanse, but that's a normal question to ask given the circumstances.

The fact that they never met before isn't completely impossible to imagine because of the vastness and strangeness of the expanse.
But Livia T'Prano knows where Enterprise Prime is going to be and when because she lived through it, and even if her memory is foggy the ship should still have logs from Archer (we know Trip's engineering logs survived). So they could have been there on the other side of the thermobaric cloud at the exact time that Enterprise Prime entered the expanse, to tell Archer that the weapon is being built on Azati Prime.


The Council (****)

It's no West Wing, and Aaron Sorkin would probably, rightfully, jab my left eye with a fork for comparing this episode with his show, but I like it when Trek delves into the politics of an alien group, and this episode is one of the strongest examples. Archer goes before a council that does not trust him and presents evidence that humanity is not their enemy, while in the background Dolim positions himself to take control of the weapon regardless of what Archer says. I must admit that the first time I saw this episode I actually believed it when Dolim voted to prevent the launch of the weapon because I thought it was an unexpected plot-twist, so I also enjoyed it when I learned he was just playing for time and he had no intention of siding with Degra.

Ah Degra. The man who killed 7,000,000 humans is the tragic hero who is sacrificed to save billions. Who would have thought before this arc kicked off that he would become the standout character of the season, the man that we want to hate, but instead we admire him because we could never despise him as much as he despises himself. Perhaps having Trip forgive him before he dies is a bit too "Star Trek", but it works for me precisely because it is "Star Trek". Besides, we still have Dolim to hate as an idiotic, power-mad, quazi-religious baddie who wants to kill us all.
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Old December 8 2009, 05:23 PM   #738
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Enterprise

Good catch in noticing that the Kovaalans in "E2" use the same ships as the Shroomies, TheGodBen. I like to think they are indeed the Shroomies- perhaps the time travel encounters explain why the Shroomie ship attacked Enterprise unprovoked? (I don't remember the episode in detail, though).
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Old December 8 2009, 06:38 PM   #739
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Enterprise

The Council: A.

One of ENT's best episodes as it not only is a solid episode taken on its own but it serves as a nice end-point for the last several episode arc where the last remaining unanswered questions(the geopgraphical context of the council, more insight into the SB/Xindi dynamic etc) are resolved and the players are fleshed out in more depth before transitioning into the next and final stage of the season. the final battle that will decide everything. It is an episode like this that reminds one that despite some frustration and stall tactics along the way-- a long slowly developed unfolding season long arc is quite rewarding when the anticipation that has been building for months finally starts paying off. It makes it that much more satisfying and worth it.

With this episode we finally get to where time is up and the fate of Earth is going to be decided one way or the other imminently. Lots of great stuff in nearly every scene. Something this episode and the season has done well is the scope of the story. We’ve got several players each with their own agendas off in different areas working on different parts of the same problem contributing to the cause in their own ways—whether in the moment finally arriving and Archer actually steps into the lion’s den as he confronts the council as two sides come face-to-face to stop the launch or T’Pol taking a shuttlepod to penetrate a sphere to gather crucial data, the Sphere Builders behind the scenes manipulating the Reptilians in order to prevent the Federation, Dolum wanting to rule over the other Xindi, the more sympathetic Xindi wanting to save their future etc. The show also continues expanding the number of different sets and locales giving the feel of a complete universe the characters inhabit. We’ve visited the Expanse—a bizarre region, a water world in Azati Prime, a council chamber high above the ground numerous ship sets as well as the interior of the Super Weapon and now the transdimensional base of operations for the Sphere Builders. And if that wasn’t enough the series even takes the epic notions one step further by spanning several different time periods—2004 Detroit, ENT-J in the 26th century Expanse engulfed Alpha Quadrant, the 2161 Federation ceremony. We’ve had a myriad of interestingly designed aliens most notably the Sphere Builders and the Xindi. This episode also really turned up the intensity and excitement factor.

Lots of elements I liked a lot:
-seeing the Sphere Builders’ realm as they discuss timeline projections with menace was cool.

-the Sphere Builder/Degra scene.

-The VFX revealing the location of the council's chamber was an exhilarating moment and the Xindi mythology continue to receive welcomed development here with the interesting backstory of the council once being an Avian stronghold or the nice touch of the now extinct Avian skull kept as a continued reminder of what was lost and what must not be allowed to happen again. I originally thought the council was located on the bottom of the water world Azati Prime and the Aquatic members weren't inside a water tank but looking through to the chamber via a window.

--the thrilling moment as the shuttlepod pierced the sphere via the exhaust port.

-I enjoyed the final pieces of the puzzle that have been scattered about the season coming together and the Big Picture coming into focus much like LOST or Heroes giving the Xindi’s actions of trying to destroy Earth plausibilityas we learn that the Sphere Builders didn’t just appear out of the blue one day telling the Xindi to annihilate humanity. The Guardians earned their trust for over a century by guiding them to habitable worlds and helping them locate resources as well as being the ones who brought forth the idea of reconciliation before finally providing visual evidence of humanity destroying their new homeworld. Lots of people complained that the Xindi wouldn’t commit genocide or that they were dupes. I think the writers did a good job disputing that by providing a very carefully laid out plan and under those circumstances the Xindi really were doing what they thought was the right thing given what they had to go on. I bought into it. And it was a nice way to contrast the Suliban/FG relationship to that of the Xindi/SBs. The Suliban were proxies motivated by FG's gifts here the Council are acting on their own interests and the relationship is much deeper.

-I liked the efforts by Archer to sway the council to not see humanity as a mortal threat to their survival. I loved the moment as he and Hoshi are the first humans to enter the council chamber—much like the moment in Azati Prime when they finally reach the location of the weapon the moment they step into the chambers is a moment that we’ve been awaiting for a whole season and to finally see it occur is a satisfying moment to watch. You could really sense that literally the weight of the world was on his shoulders as he struggled to get through to these people. I liked the idea of the holo-image of the Sphere Builder in the escape pod as one way to prove that. And for the first time as he talks to the council and then Degra about Earth being part of a future alliance that stops the Sphere Builders in 400 years, Archer really understands Earth, now a insignificant world, will become one day a major force in galactic affairs ultimately helping to defeat the Sphere Builders. I enjoy watching characters’ reactions and we didn’t get enough of the crew reacting to the idea that the whole reason for the Xindi determination to annihilate humanity was not due to what it is but what it will become so it was very welcomed to see Archer realizing this here and then T’Pol later in Zero Hour.

-Trip making peace with Degra was very nice.

-I loved the scenes that harken back to similar ones on DS9 involving the Founders(which I loved), the Sphere Builder realizes that Archer is making headway with some of the council and their plans are in jeopardy so we see her manipulating the more aggressive and less thoughtful Reptilians into going behind the council’s back. I loved that entire scene on Dolum’s ship. The SB were desperate to stop earth and they were willing to leave the council in flames to do it who cares if it destroys the fragile alliance. They take desperate action when things don’t seem to be going their way. It made me think of the Founder telling Weyoun “I'd promise the Breen the entire Alpha Quadrant if I thought it would help win this war.” They are simply a means to an end and don’t realize it.
-Degra's surprising death—I figured he would die but in the finale stopping the weapon as a final act of redemption for the probe attack killing the initial seven million. It was done quite well. Not only it but the entire scene in Degra’s chamber with Dolum. The way it was lit with the red sky and the sunsetting through the window. It was such a quiet scene. I thought he might survive and when the transmission from the black humanoid Xindi turned out to be a message communicating to Archer that Degra had died instead of a message communicating that Degra had been attacked and was still alive I was floored and added a *great* deal more to it since it came so abruptly and the presentation couldn’t have been handled any better. It was such a sad death made even moreso with him dying not knowing whether the weapon would be stopped or his family safe from Dolum.

-The brief calm moment where everyone thought the worst had passed and the crew have let down their guards only to have the anxiety and tension return as we see the surprise launch in a beautiful visual of the SuperWeapon as it ascends from the desert floor. This caught me offguard since I figured it would be launched next week.

-Loved the tension captured in the last minutes of the episode with chaos occurring simultaneously all around as everything spirals out of control and the tides turn for the worse as the weapon is launched, the Reptilians/Insectoids break from the council, Hoshi is beamed away(the look on Archer’s face in response was perfection) all leading to valiant struggle of the NX to inflict as much damage as they can to this massive weapon of death that eclipses everything only to have it enter a vortex leaving Archer with the grave realization that the Reptilians got away from him with the weapon heading for Earth and the anxiety of wondering if he’ll be able to catch up with them and stop it before it destroys Earth and if he’ll ever see Hoshi alive again. I also liked the shot of the shuttle crew watching from a distance the battle. I also found the moment when the Xindi joined Archer’s fight against the Reptilians to be a real stand up and cheer moment.

This was a very epic episode and I liked how the writers tackled the climax of the season arc by approaching it as a 3 act film with each episode serving as an Act.
The episode also did a good job in fleshing out the species and the individual players too. I admire the fact the writers continues sprinkling neat little traits about the Xindi or little flourishes that set them apart which doesn’t end with this episode-- the heating bed for the Reptilians, the Arboreals being claustrophobic, the Aquatics are deliberative in their decision-making etc. Little touches helped too—Hoshi tagging along because of her translation acumen, the Hoshi/Archer scene about the principal office, T’Pol & Reed’s quiet moment of reflection over the casualties they’ve suffered.

I give it 4 out of 4 stars. Excellent.

Last edited by startrekwatcher; December 8 2009 at 06:51 PM.
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Old December 8 2009, 10:54 PM   #740
Alidar Jarok
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Enterprise

TheGodBen wrote: View Post
Jinglebell JaRock wrote: View Post
(they implied that they had seen another starfleet ship before, although it was never confirmed)
I don't remember that and I've been looking out for the reference all season, all I remember is the scene between Degra and the other primate Xindi from this episode. The best the episode seems to have to back it up is Dolim asking Archer how many ships Starfleet has in the expanse, but that's a normal question to ask given the circumstances.
Yeah, I misremembered, it's that episode where it's discussed. Maybe a bit of a retcon with Dolim's question (the implication is that Dolim thought there was more than one ship because of the other Enterprise), but who knows?
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Old December 9 2009, 01:05 AM   #741
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Enterprise

I like to think of Season 3 as a commentary on the War on Terror, and how it should've played out. We can contrast what really happened to how Archer and co. handled it, and maybe feel a little embarrassed.
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Old December 9 2009, 06:13 AM   #742
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Enterprise

Glacial wrote: View Post
I like to think of Season 3 as a commentary on the War on Terror, and how it should've played out. We can contrast what really happened to how Archer and co. handled it, and maybe feel a little embarrassed.
...this is the stupidest thing I've ever read.
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Old December 9 2009, 09:01 AM   #743
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Enterprise

Red-Bonesed Reindeer wrote: View Post
...this is the stupidest thing I've ever read.
You must not read much.

I'm not surprised.
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Old December 9 2009, 02:14 PM   #744
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Enterprise

Glacial wrote: View Post
I like to think of Season 3 as a commentary on the War on Terror, and how it should've played out. We can contrast what really happened to how Archer and co. handled it, and maybe feel a little embarrassed.
Everyone involved in the production was very aware that people would see it as a tie to 9/11 but I don't understand what you mean by "feel a little embarrassed."
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Old December 9 2009, 04:57 PM   #745
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Enterprise

Glacial wrote: View Post
I like to think of Season 3 as a commentary on the War on Terror, and how it should've played out. We can contrast what really happened to how Archer and co. handled it, and maybe feel a little embarrassed.
Well, if the Americans found lizard men in Iraq then we would have had a much bigger problem than Saddam and his WMDs.


Countdown (****½)


This episode had everything you could imagine from this show, except for a Q. There was a Z and an X though, but luckily not in the same round! I'm not too good at the letter rounds, so the best I could manage was the six letter word "malign" and I was really upset when Dorothy managed the nine letter word "malignant". How could I have missed it?! But the numbers rounds have always been my strength, I managed to get the target in the first two rounds and in the last round I was only 1 off. But even Rachel didn't manage to get it, so I took some solace in that.

Di-doo, di-doo, didily-doo. BOW!

(The British readers are currently rolling their eyes at this obvious joke, while the American readers don't know what I'm talking about.)

Anyway, Enterprise. Yes, good episode this one, it carries on perfectly from The Council, then builds things up even more, then there's a big space battle, then it sets the scene for the final episode. Like The Council I enjoy how this episode continues to explore the fractured Xindi species, such as how Archer has to go and plead with the Aquatics for their assistance, but one of my favourite moments in the season is towards the end of the episode as the Insectoids realise what is really going on and turn on Dolim. Dolim's cold-bloodedness (no pun intended) in destroying the Insectoid ship at the first sign of trouble is great, and we get the added treat of watching the debris from the ship smashing into the weapon.

The space battle is excellent, one of Trek's very best, you get all the excitement of ships shooting at one another and things getting blowed up real good, but you also get the majesty of the Aquatic ship flying above it all. It reminds me of the way Galaxy class ships act during the Dominion war. Then there's the cool plot twist as the sphere-builders interfere and anomalies tear ships apart in the middle of this epic battle. The special effects this season have been an absolute treat to behold, no moreso than in this episode.

Yes, I'm very shallow,I thought that I had already made that clear.

The final act sets the perfect tone in preparing for the final confrontation, there's a moment of doubt as Archer says goodbye to Trip and T'Pol and there is a feeling that these three might not be together again. If only Archer hadn't been sent in time to fight the nazis. The episode also has a few optimistic notes as the crew starts to make plans for the post Xindi era.

Transporter: 12
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Old December 9 2009, 05:13 PM   #746
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Enterprise

Countdown is another exciting action packed installment as the arc continues ramping up the intensity on its way to next episode's season finale. It gets 3.5 stars out of 4 from me.

-All of Act 3 was well executed and gripping action. It had great movie-quality space battles that conveyed chaos, confusion and frenzy wonderfully. I loved that far away shot of the anomaly-ridden battlefield. It was such a spectacle of Armageddon.


-The interior of the weapon was spectacular visually and aesthetically with its massive chamber reflecting its enormous size. Now I understand why it took a year to complete.

-It is always nice when various groups work together against a common enemy so seeing Aquatics, Primates, Arboreals take on the reptilians with Archer was a nice feel-good moment.

-The Reptilian/Sphere Builder scene was good where Dolum starts challenging the Sphere Builder and we learn the interesting detail that the Sphere Builder can’t see everything in the timeline chaos.

-The AX vessels were neat and seeing its water spewing out into the void of space and then freezing was a neat touch.

-the scenes where the Sphere Builders begin to grow increasingly concerned about NX thwarting Dolum which leads to them intervening was exciting culminating with a great visual of the sphere being activated and creating a field of anomalies.

-I enjoyed more of Archer's interactions with the Aquatics and the concession Archer promised made a lot of sense. The fear he had for Earth’s fate and his desperation the way it was depicted was painful to watch. It had the sense of a man pleading for his life but is dealing with a cold dispassionate force—here the Aquatics. His argument about the Xindi being endangered in the future if Earth was destroyed now was appropriate and needed to be said and was a smart way to light the fire under their decision-making.

-Archer's voiceover as they readied for a final battle was good.

-Hoshi was great willing to sacrifice herself by jumping off the gateway. I think it would have been really bold if the writers had let her.

If there were weaknesses it was Hayes' death being less than moving given how little we really got to know him over the season and the somewhat jarring dinner scene. It just seemed to me that with Hoshi kidnapped and the weapon hurling towards Earth would that be something they would really do in the midst of all this. It was though they already knew he outcome of the war. I also didn’t again care for the Trip/T’Pol bickering however brief.
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Old December 9 2009, 06:47 PM   #747
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Enterprise

Red-Bonesed Reindeer wrote: View Post
Glacial wrote: View Post
I like to think of Season 3 as a commentary on the War on Terror, and how it should've played out. We can contrast what really happened to how Archer and co. handled it, and maybe feel a little embarrassed.
...this is the stupidest thing I've ever read.
Bones, there is a wondrous variety of ways to disagree with an opinion without being disagreeable. The Mannerly Art of Disagreement has many useful suggestions. You might consider trying a few. It would make the atmosphere of the forum so much more pleasant for your fellow members.
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Old December 9 2009, 07:46 PM   #748
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Enterprise

I always have trouble deciding whether I like Council or Countdown better. Council has Degra's wonderful death scene, but Countdown has the cool destruction of a Xindi Aquatic ship (plus, I too liked it when the Xindi Insectoids changed sides, helping to indicate that even the non-mamillion Xindis could support the human side if the evidence was there).

The final episode does a good job closing everything that's been built up, but it is a touch paint by the numbers, which is a shame. But these two episodes are gems and make the entire season worthwhile.
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Old December 9 2009, 08:51 PM   #749
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Enterprise

TheGodBen wrote: View Post
(The British readers are currently rolling their eyes at this obvious joke, while the American readers don't know what I'm talking about.)
I'm glad you put this note in because I was totally clueless and wondered if it is because I am totally clueless.
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Old December 9 2009, 08:54 PM   #750
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Enterprise

TheGodBen wrote: View Post
(The British readers are currently rolling their eyes at this obvious joke, while the American readers don't know what I'm talking about.)
Your Dutch readers haven't got a clue either.
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