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Old January 11 2013, 03:57 AM   #1
Gotham Central
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Was the Xindi arc well thought out?

I know quite a few people really seemed to like season 3. I, however, despite appreciating the attempt at serialized storytelling, always had a problem with the actual arc itself. The story did not seem to be well thought out and the Xindi seemed kind of foolish in retrospect.

What do other people think?
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Old January 11 2013, 04:16 AM   #2
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Re: Was the Xindi arc well thought out?

I'm with you on that one. I certainly did enjoy the fact they were trying to tell a story and attempting a solid direction to go in the whole season. In execution, well... I found it wanting.

There were too many tangents and diversions throughout the season. So much in fact there seemed to me to be more filler material than less plot related content. And yes, the Xindi did seem a bit cliche. It was awfully nice of them to send a prototype to attack a full year ahead of the final version being ready to give Earth time to retaliate though.

They put so much faith in the Sphere Builders, it was almost like a child's belief in Santa Claus. Even when faced with overwhelming evidence, Dolim and the Reptilians just blindly continued on their course for little other reason than they are the bad guy.

Then the way they ended the arc... they end it in an engaging and exciting way where you almost want to cheer Archer as he fights Dolim..... then it's like they got together in a meeting to discuss how they could ruin that in the most facepalming way and came up with the Alien Nazi's.
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Old January 11 2013, 04:33 AM   #3
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Re: Was the Xindi arc well thought out?

I think there was some redeeming qualities to the arc, great concept but poorly executed in some aspects. I'd have rather seen the attack been as a warning that humans were advancing way to quickly and there were those who were trying to deter there exploration.

We get a very conflicting crew with the desire to get revenge only to take aid with some of the Xindi to stop the baddies. Didn't like Archer volunteering to kamikaze every mission either.

I did enjoy the arc though, finally gave some detail to the characters, some emotion and the ending was great except for Nazi America
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Old January 11 2013, 05:14 AM   #4
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Re: Was the Xindi arc well thought out?

R. Star wrote: View Post
I'm with you on that one. I certainly did enjoy the fact they were trying to tell a story and attempting a solid direction to go in the whole season. In execution, well... I found it wanting.

There were too many tangents and diversions throughout the season. So much in fact there seemed to me to be more filler material than less plot related content. And yes, the Xindi did seem a bit cliche. It was awfully nice of them to send a prototype to attack a full year ahead of the final version being ready to give Earth time to retaliate though.

They put so much faith in the Sphere Builders, it was almost like a child's belief in Santa Claus. Even when faced with overwhelming evidence, Dolim and the Reptilians just blindly continued on their course for little other reason than they are the bad guy.

Then the way they ended the arc... they end it in an engaging and exciting way where you almost want to cheer Archer as he fights Dolim..... then it's like they got together in a meeting to discuss how they could ruin that in the most facepalming way and came up with the Alien Nazi's.
Nothing about the Xindi's actions really made much sense.

1) Why exactly did they attack Earth the first time anyway? We are told during the course of the season that it was meant to be a test. Who tests a weapon on the ACTUAL TARGET. Furthermore the test theory makes less sense when there is an entire episode called PROVING GROUND featuring...A TEST SITE? So...why did they attack Earth again?

2) What was the point of Carpenter Street? If the Xindi had access to time travel why bother creating a plague? Why not just conquer the planet? Speaking of which...what was the point of the biological weapon? The whole point of the season was that they were developing a planet killer.

3) We learn later in the season that the Xindi do all of this work and killing on the word of the Sphere builders with NO PROOF. Lets be clear here, the Sphere Builders tell the Xindi that a race that up to that point they had never encountered was going to destroy a home world that they don't yet have centuries in the future...and the Xindi decide to go all genocidal without asking for ANY evidence Even after the attack on Earth, Starfleet and the Vulcans were having a hard time believing the story and they actually had evidence. This just made the Xindi look stupid.

4) On several occasions during the course of the season the Xindi have ample opportunity to destroy Enterprise....yet they don't. Why exactly did they let it roam around freely for so long. Hell in Azati Prime, they have Enterprise on its knees...why exactly didn't they destroy it? Remember, these are people that are about to commit genocide on a grand scale. What were they leaving Enterprise around for?

On top of the peculiar actions of the Xindi, we are also left to wonder why Earth would want to have ANYTHING to do with the Vulcans after this fiasco? Let be clear, the Xindi launch an unprovoked attack on Earth and the Vulcans...do nothing. In fact they do everything in their power to prevent Enterprise for figuring out what's going on. One wonders why Earth would want to have any sort of relationship with the Vulcans after that. (and Twilight makes the Vulcans look even worse since they apparently stood by and let the Xindi systematically exterminate the human race and then refused to aid the refugees).
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Old January 11 2013, 05:16 AM   #5
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Re: Was the Xindi arc well thought out?

NeedsOfTheMany wrote: View Post
I think there was some redeeming qualities to the arc, great concept but poorly executed in some aspects. I'd have rather seen the attack been as a warning that humans were advancing way to quickly and there were those who were trying to deter there exploration.

We get a very conflicting crew with the desire to get revenge only to take aid with some of the Xindi to stop the baddies. Didn't like Archer volunteering to kamikaze every mission either.

I did enjoy the arc though, finally gave some detail to the characters, some emotion and the ending was great except for Nazi America
Your idea would have, creatively, made more sense and made the Vulcans apathy seem more reasonable.
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Old January 11 2013, 05:46 AM   #6
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Re: Was the Xindi arc well thought out?

The Xindi were told by the sphere builders that humans were going to destroy them and in one of the episodes Degra explains that they did show them a "vision" of the future in order to convince the aquatics. It's also explained that the sphere builders were thought of as guardians since they helped bring peace to the warring races.

I think they went on to say that the first probe overheated or something happened to short it out before it was completely finished so the destruction was probably thought to be much larger than it really was when implemented. Then they figured, we'll just build something bigger and test it this time before we just send it off to kill.

I think the original arc was supposed to really focus more on the TCW and how humans really changed things up for future races.

Again it would have made more sense if say the Xindi had found a probe sent out into space by Earth hundreds of years prior and found its way into the Expanse, they are able to decipher the data and think its some sort of warning of some immanent danger, they research what they can on humans on see that we have had 3 World Wars and have manifest destiny syndrome always wanting to conquer new frontiers.. The non humanoids feel like humans resemble the humanoid Xindi which helped create great mass weapons during there wars and feel the humans would do the same and act.
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Old January 11 2013, 07:19 AM   #7
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Re: Was the Xindi arc well thought out?

Well the Xindi thought of the sphere builders as Gods. Degra admitted that he was raised since boyhood to revere them and their words as truth. Reptillians and Insectoids were just itching for a conflict harder than the other 3 races. Not like we haven't seen other races in Trek that were overly devoted to those they perceived as gods. Bajorans and the Prophets anyone?

I like the arc and generally satisfied with how it went. Some episodes like Extinction, Exile, Twilight, North Star, Similitude, Doctor's Orders (blatant repeat of VOY episode One), Hatchery and E2 could've been cut and really are filler episodes and or filler mixed with plot.
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Old January 11 2013, 07:23 AM   #8
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Re: Was the Xindi arc well thought out?

Testing the weapon on the target really is "out there." In retrospect, I can see why they did that storywise - to show how big a threat the Xindi were. The played the Death Star card. Okay, I can live with that - but, yeah, when you get into the Xindi just believing whatever the Founders - I mean Sphere Builders - tell them, it does get a bit "out there."

To me, it would have worked better if we learned that they were out to destroy us to prevent their own destruction in the future, because they had encountered a probe or message buoy from the future *of their own* telling them about us in the future and a coming conflict that resulted in their virtual extermination. Turn Earth into a *real* threat, not an imagined one, and work within the TCW arc so that our heroes have to both avert the creation of the planet killer and change the future. The whole Sphere Builder subplot strikes me as an added layer that didn't need to happen.
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Old January 11 2013, 10:48 AM   #9
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Re: Was the Xindi arc well thought out?

I love the Xindi arc. It's my favourite season of Trek - I couldn't wait for next week's episode. It brought back the ass-kicking adventure that had been missing from Star Trek since the TOS movies. And the Xindi were fantastic aliens, far more interesting than Klingons, Romulans and Suliban.

Although yes, it very much has a made-up-as-they-went-along quality. Why test a weapon on Earth and alert them? Why the need to build a steampunk Death Star and blow the planet to smithereens when you just need to eradicate all life on the surface? How does Earth destroy the Xindi homeworld 400 years in the future when we learn the Xindi destroyed their own world 300 years ago?

As for the Space Nazis at the very end, they didn't bother me one bit. Of course time-travelling aliens were involved in WWII! That kind of stuff is a given in Trek. Mark Twain knew Guinan and had to deal with soul-sucking weirdos with a snake-cane, Brahms/Da Vinci/Alexander the Great was an immortal alien who met Kirk and Spock, Zefram Cochrane got stuck in the middle of a future war between the Borg and the Next Gen crew... of course aliens were it league with Hitler.
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Old January 11 2013, 11:17 PM   #10
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Re: Was the Xindi arc well thought out?

Gotham Central wrote: View Post
I know quite a few people really seemed to like season 3.
For the record and generally speaking, people didn't love season 3 because of the Xindi arc. Most who loved that season would probably say it was because some of the best episodes of the series came in season 3 regardless (or in some cases), despite the Xindi arc.
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Old January 12 2013, 02:11 PM   #11
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Re: Was the Xindi arc well thought out?

I really like season three, despite it not making sense in some places. I'm not sure why the Xindi would test the weapon they aim to destroy Earth with, on Earth itself. All it did was piss everyone off, and resulted in the Xindi losing.

There were also perhaps a few too many diversions along the way - Extinction was an absolute stinker, whilst North Star (boring Western), Carpenter Street (time travel again), and Doctor's Orders (poor VOY rehash) also did my head in. I also didn't like the placement of E2; it's an alright episode, but it breaks the tension of what's been happening before.

However, the last third of the season, on the whole, is excellent. Everything that meandered before, comes together in this great cohesion. I think it's around Proving Ground where it seemed to step up, and I don't think ENT got this consistently good again.

The season also has Twilight, Similitude and Damage, which are maybe my favourite ENT episodes.
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Old January 14 2013, 03:42 AM   #12
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Re: Was the Xindi arc well thought out?

For what it's worth, I really liked the third and fourth seasons of Enterprise. It was hard for me to get into either of the first two. But with the second season finale, it just felt like the show had gotten a different tone and it felt more focused and exciting to me.

Certainly there were things in the Xindi arc that didn't make sense. I don't get why the Xindi just didn't swat the NX-01 off the map anytime they wanted to. And Enterprise somewhat meandered through the Expanse. The arc went on too long, with a lot of filler episodes. T'Pol's drug addiction was inane. And the expanse never turned out to be the wild, crazy patch of space it was advertised to be.

Archer's convincing Degra of his noble intentions-after being caught trying to blow up the super weapon-was too contrived. And I never got why Earth was so defenseless when the Xindi invaded for the second time.

All that being said, I liked a lot of season 3:

-The overall, dark, ominous tone.
-The Xindi were an interesting Federation-like villain. Dolim made for a good heavy.
-Sphere Builders, though I wish more had been done with them.
-Dark Archer was more interesting than constipated, namby pamby Archer.
-MACOs. This is an idea that should've come up on an 'earlier' Trek show, particularly DS9.
-Relationships/interactions (Tucker and T'Pol/Archer and Mayweather/Hoshi and Travis/Reed and the MACOs)
-T'Pol nudity.
-Harbinger, Twilight, Damage, Similitude, Azati Prime, Countdown, Zero Hour
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Old January 14 2013, 05:08 AM   #13
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Re: Was the Xindi arc well thought out?

I liked the concept of a story arc that went beyond two parts. But as was observed above, there was too much filler that added nothing to the storyline.

Also, made no sense to me was testing the prototype on Earth. Another issue: Why didn't Daniels warn Archer about the coming attack?

Extinction: Complete waste of time. Nothing came of it.

Rajiin: Obtained info on human anatomy so Reptilians could make a bioweapon wipe us out before we could get into deep space.

Exile: It was nice to see Linda get more screen time. But since the Beast didn't contribute enough to help the crew, another wasted hour.

North Star: Interesting concept. Problem: a few episodes prior to this one Archer bitched Reed out for recommending caution in their efforts to get information about the enemy. And here, he's taking a couple of days off to play cowboys and skagarans in the middle of an URGENT MISSION.

Doctor's Orders: (also known as the plagiarized VOY episode "One")

Hatchery: The only thing this episode contributed to the mission was the acquisition of an Insectoid ship so the crew could pass through Xindi space.

E2: This episode was interesting enough but seriously, again, nothing substantive came of it. We never hear from the E2 crew again. Did those families die providing cover for the NX-01? Are they still out there?
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Old January 14 2013, 06:44 AM   #14
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Re: Was the Xindi arc well thought out?

Gotham Central wrote: View Post
R. Star wrote: View Post
I'm with you on that one. I certainly did enjoy the fact they were trying to tell a story and attempting a solid direction to go in the whole season. In execution, well... I found it wanting.

There were too many tangents and diversions throughout the season. So much in fact there seemed to me to be more filler material than less plot related content. And yes, the Xindi did seem a bit cliche. It was awfully nice of them to send a prototype to attack a full year ahead of the final version being ready to give Earth time to retaliate though.

They put so much faith in the Sphere Builders, it was almost like a child's belief in Santa Claus. Even when faced with overwhelming evidence, Dolim and the Reptilians just blindly continued on their course for little other reason than they are the bad guy.

Then the way they ended the arc... they end it in an engaging and exciting way where you almost want to cheer Archer as he fights Dolim..... then it's like they got together in a meeting to discuss how they could ruin that in the most facepalming way and came up with the Alien Nazi's.
Nothing about the Xindi's actions really made much sense.

1) Why exactly did they attack Earth the first time anyway? We are told during the course of the season that it was meant to be a test. Who tests a weapon on the ACTUAL TARGET. Furthermore the test theory makes less sense when there is an entire episode called PROVING GROUND featuring...A TEST SITE? So...why did they attack Earth again?

2) What was the point of Carpenter Street? If the Xindi had access to time travel why bother creating a plague? Why not just conquer the planet? Speaking of which...what was the point of the biological weapon? The whole point of the season was that they were developing a planet killer.

3) We learn later in the season that the Xindi do all of this work and killing on the word of the Sphere builders with NO PROOF. Lets be clear here, the Sphere Builders tell the Xindi that a race that up to that point they had never encountered was going to destroy a home world that they don't yet have centuries in the future...and the Xindi decide to go all genocidal without asking for ANY evidence Even after the attack on Earth, Starfleet and the Vulcans were having a hard time believing the story and they actually had evidence. This just made the Xindi look stupid.

4) On several occasions during the course of the season the Xindi have ample opportunity to destroy Enterprise....yet they don't. Why exactly did they let it roam around freely for so long. Hell in Azati Prime, they have Enterprise on its knees...why exactly didn't they destroy it? Remember, these are people that are about to commit genocide on a grand scale. What were they leaving Enterprise around for?

On top of the peculiar actions of the Xindi, we are also left to wonder why Earth would want to have ANYTHING to do with the Vulcans after this fiasco? Let be clear, the Xindi launch an unprovoked attack on Earth and the Vulcans...do nothing. In fact they do everything in their power to prevent Enterprise for figuring out what's going on. One wonders why Earth would want to have any sort of relationship with the Vulcans after that. (and Twilight makes the Vulcans look even worse since they apparently stood by and let the Xindi systematically exterminate the human race and then refused to aid the refugees).
All excellent points, and a perfect example of why I thought the Xindi season was the worst season of Star Trek ever produced. Also, who writes a plot that has Earth facing the threat of destruction in the prequel when we all know Earth is around later?? With that alone, you kill suspense, and run the risk of driving viewers away.
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Old January 14 2013, 10:43 AM   #15
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Re: Was the Xindi arc well thought out?

Why didn't the Xindi just do something simple and build a dreadnought-type fleet of missiles and blow up Earth. Or open up one of those portal things in the middle of the sun, destablise the star and let it go nova and destroy the system.

I did like the concept and serialised nature of S3 (it's what VOY should have tried, given their circumstances), but the Xidi were a bit too sterotyped, in that the evil-looking reptilians were the bad guys, why not the primates? Also how realistic is it that six sentient species would evolve on the same planet?
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