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Old November 10 2009, 10:28 PM   #76
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Re: Treking through all Star Trek

Series: Enterprise – Season Two
Episode: “Vanishing Point”
Trek Installment # 35
Grade: C
Viewing Date: October 15, 2009

As an episode on its own, this was definitely not very good. However, knowing that this entire episode is nothing more than Hoshi having a very vivid transporter-induced dream makes it about ten times better. It reveals a side of Hoshi that goes unnoticed in the episode-to-episode run. It shows us that Hoshi feels excluded, ignored, and ultimately only really cared about when she dies and becomes residue.

And also that Archer really sucks as “the call.” Man, I have heard a lot of fictional officers tell family members about their loved ones dying, but none as bad as Archer.

So taken as a delusion, this was pretty good.
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Old November 13 2009, 06:36 AM   #77
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Re: Treking through all Star Trek

Series: Enterprise – Season Two
Episode: “Precious Cargo”
Trek Installment # 36
Grade: F
Viewing Date: October 16, 2009

This episode is like the ugly step-child of Elann of Troyius and The Perfect Mate. Cooking talkshow host Padma Lakshmi (really badly) plays a princess who Trip bonks with later on some deserted planet. Just awful. Clichéd, bad acting, and some stupid aliens with a “twist” that we can see coming from ninety light-years away.


This episode is so damn bad, I don't even want to talk about it.
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Old November 14 2009, 11:22 PM   #78
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Re: Treking through all Star Trek

Series: Enterprise – Season Two
Episode: “The Catwalk”
Trek Installment # 37
Grade: C
Viewing Date: October 16, 2009

I’m a little torn on “The Catwalk.” I really liked this episode for its premise and its willingness to break from the mold a little bit. That being said, like so many episodes of Enterprise, it fails to expose its full potential. This would have been a great episode to introduce some secondary characters and to toy around with claustrophobia.

Instead, it only skims the surface of this concept and instead meanders back to the “evil hostile aliens” idea that has occurred in almost every episode. I suppose I should just accept this as the standard of Enterprise and at least address the fact that in spite of that, it still manages to be fairly interesting. I actually wouldn’t have minded seeing the Takret again, because they seemed a lot less lame than other races Enterprise has encountered.

I’m willing to accept the sheer insanity of the space storm, despite it not making much sense. Why didn’t they just fly above it? It wasn’t that tall.
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Old November 15 2009, 03:56 PM   #79
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Re: Treking through all Star Trek

Series: Enterprise – Season Two
Episode: “Dawn”
Trek Installment # 38
Grade: C
Viewing Date: October 18, 2009

Not a bad episode, but not a great one. I liked the premise better when it was “Enemy Mine,” and even though Enterprise pulls it off surprisingly well, I gotta issue a reprimand for using Trip as the main character again. How much more interesting would this episode be if it was Travis down there? Or Reed? Opportunity like that can’t be wasted; I want a chance to love these other characters.

On the other hand, I did kinda like these guys (they reminded me a lot of the Takret) and (as with many foreheads of the week), I would have liked to see them again. Actually, wouldn’t that simply make sense? Have a race show up two episodes in a row? Continuity and all that?



For the record – the grading scale. I basically grade based on how much I enjoyed the episode versus the quality of the episode. Quality means the strength of the writing, how the acting on the parts of the main and guest cast was, characterization, continuity (both with the series itself and Star Trek as a whole), and if the potential of the elements was utilized. I also figure in the concept of the series. Enterprise, being a prequel, needs to have a certain amount of universe building.
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Old November 16 2009, 04:09 PM   #80
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Re: Treking through all Star Trek

Series: Enterprise – Season Two
Episode: “Stigma”
Trek Installment # 39
Grade: B-
Viewing Date: October 18, 2009

I’m really torn about this episode. On the one hand, I applaud it for dealing with relevant social issues. It’s important to Star Trek and honestly, I’m glad for it. That being said, I’m getting a little tired of this whole “Vulcan’s are assholes” mentality that has become the unfortunate norm for Enterprise. I know we get a kick-ass Vulcan arc later that puts these guys in their place, but to be honest, I’m just tired of it.

I feel like I’m being too harsh on this episode, though. I just feel like the issue is coming as excessively forced. But I do yield that this episode does awaken some debate in my mind about the stigma of HIV and the implications here are present in every day life. I have to exalt Enterprise’s ability to handle this issue with maturity and sparking some discussion about it.
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Old November 16 2009, 09:06 PM   #81
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Re: Treking through all Star Trek

thew40 wrote: View Post
Series: Enterprise - Season One
Episode: “Fusion”
Trek Installment # 16
Grade: D
Viewing Date: September 29, 2009

How much more interesting would this episode have been had it been revealed the emotional Vulcans were really just Romulans doing intelligence on Enterprise and messing with T’Pol out of hatred of their Vulcan ancestry? 100 times better, that’s how much.

But alas, we’re given a rather silly episode with some slap-happy Vulcans on a tour of the galaxy. There’s the round one that hangs around Trip, who doesn’t get along with his Dad. There’s the psychotic one who mind-attacks T’Pol. And there’s the one that loves chicken.

The episode just makes a big about showing off these Vulcans. “Look! Here are some Vulcans that are emotional, yet still jerks!” Yadda, yadda, yadda. Where’s the interesting part?

Now, I’ll give them a little credit in that emotional Vulcans are somewhat interesting, but it lost me when the sleazy Jazz music kicked in.

Archer very much gets into T’Pol personal life when he tells her to have an open mind. What business is that of his to say something like that to her? I mean, he’s not even being subtle about it like Picard used to be whenever he’d have Worf deal with other Klingons.

No thanks. I really wish these guys were Romulans.
I cannot possibly disagree more. Having them be Romulans would be just lame and really unconvincing. For one thing, if T'Pol and the High Command hadn't known that there were Vulcans who had a different lifestyle and beliefs, they would have figured out easily that those guys were fishy. There's no way Romulans would have fooled anyone that way - and why would they even try?! If Romulans were pretending to be Vulcans, surely they would be pretending to be typical, emotion-suppressing Vulcans!

And really, the introduction of a different faction of Vulcans with unorthodox interpretation of Surak's teachings and a non-mainstream lifestyle, was the best thing about this episode. It only makes sense that there would be some Vulcans who do not accept the majority views - especially since Vulcan is not supposed to be a totalitarian civilization, where such people would be persecuted or imprisoned. I am always very pleasantly surprised when Trek portrays one of its alien races as having some cultural diversity, rather than being a Planet of Hats.

A couple of other observations: I liked the idea that the attitude of Vulcan society to mind-melds changed so drastically in the 100 years between ENT and TOS timeline. Real life cultures aren't static.

However, I did not like the fact that they canonized the fanon belief that Vulcan males only feel the urge to have sex every 7 years - even though D.C.Fontana has tried to explain many times that this was a misinterpretation of the fans, and that TOS writers didn't mean it that way - that it was just the only time when they had to have sex; not that they couldn't or wouldn't any other time.

Oh, and this was a really good episode for T'Pol.

thew40 wrote: View Post
And just why was this episode called “Fusion?” What fused in it?
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thew40 wrote: View Post
And just why was this episode called “Fusion?” What fused in it?
Well, the jazz club in T'Pol's dream is called 'Fusion'. Plus, the practice of the Vulcan mind meld can be described as a fusion of two individuals, too.
And, one might say that the episode is about the (possible) fusion of logic and emotion.
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Old November 17 2009, 11:31 PM   #82
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Re: Treking through all Star Trek

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And really, the introduction of a different faction of Vulcans with unorthodox interpretation of Surak's teachings and a non-mainstream lifestyle, was the best thing about this episode. It only makes sense that there would be some Vulcans who do not accept the majority views - especially since Vulcan is not supposed to be a totalitarian civilization, where such people would be persecuted or imprisoned. I am always very pleasantly surprised when Trek portrays one of its alien races as having some cultural diversity, rather than being a Planet of Hats.

A couple of other observations: I liked the idea that the attitude of Vulcan society to mind-melds changed so drastically in the 100 years between ENT and TOS timeline. Real life cultures aren't static.
I think you really strike up some good points here. I found myself agreeing with a lot of what you had to say. My ultimate problem with this episode is the mind meld parts.

It just seems to me that the switch over to Mind Melds becomin accepted in TOS when its strictly forbidden in ENT doesn't sit well with me. Like I had said, I always saw Mind Melds are something that Vulcans embraced because it was a part of them.

Maybe it's just fanon, but I recall Spock telling Picard in "Unification" that his father never melded with him. I was interpreted that line as meaning that Vulcans often performed a mind meld with children once they reach a certain age. I thought this was such an interesting concept. Maybe I was just reading too much into it . . .

In terms of reinterpretation of Surak's teachings, I'm fine with that, but the focus of the episode was lost on me. There some cliches about Trip's pal and then it devolved into mind rape. Had the attention of the episode remained on this aspect and truly challenging T'Pol's beliefs, I would have bought into it more.

However, I did not like the fact that they canonized the fanon belief that Vulcan males only feel the urge to have sex every 7 years - even though D.C.Fontana has tried to explain many times that this was a misinterpretation of the fans, and that TOS writers didn't mean it that way - that it was just the only time when they had to have sex; not that they couldn't or wouldn't any other time.
It's been a few weeks since I've watched the episode and I'm about a season ahead of myself. Was this in there? Did I just miss it?


-------------

Series: Enterprise – Season Two
Episode: “Cease Fire”
Trek Installment # 40
Grade: B +
Viewing Date: October 19, 2009

Like I said before, there are generally two mythology’s in Enterprise. You have the Temporal Cold War, which is featured heavily in “Broken Bow,” “Cold Front,” “Shockwave,” and “Future Tense.” Then there’s the secondary mythology, which is the eventual founding of the Federation. While the secondary mythology hasn’t really been touched on much, we start to see it here. “Cease Fire” presents us with a story that creates one of the building blocks for the Federation and firmly puts Archer (and by extension, Starfleet) into position as a mediator.

The episode itself is well-executed, giving ample time to both the Vulcans and Andorians. Even though Soval is still a jackass, the character plays off well against Shran and T’Pol. Archer tends to run around a lot and continue to be preachy, but for once, it works. Shran is, well, Shran. He’s probably one of my favorite characters on Enterprise and in Trek in general.

Ultimately, the importance of this episode in the greater sense of both the series and continuity is large. This is where we begin to see Earth’s destiny as the heart of the Federation and the beginning of the end of hostilities between Andoria and Vulcan.
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Old November 21 2009, 02:50 AM   #83
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Re: Treking through all Star Trek

thew40 wrote: View Post
I think you really strike up some good points here. I found myself agreeing with a lot of what you had to say. My ultimate problem with this episode is the mind meld parts.

It just seems to me that the switch over to Mind Melds becomin accepted in TOS when its strictly forbidden in ENT doesn't sit well with me. Like I had said, I always saw Mind Melds are something that Vulcans embraced because it was a part of them.

Maybe it's just fanon, but I recall Spock telling Picard in "Unification" that his father never melded with him. I was interpreted that line as meaning that Vulcans often performed a mind meld with children once they reach a certain age. I thought this was such an interesting concept. Maybe I was just reading too much into it . . .
Hmmm....It never occured to me to interpret that line that way, but you may be right. I just thought that he was emphasizing that he wasn't that close to his father as father and son should be... Anyway, there's no doubt that mind-melds were an accepted and apparently quite widespread practice in Vulcan society by Spock's time. I mean, Spock himself mind-melded with anyone and anything when there was a need to get information, from people he barely knew, to Horta, to whales, and even computers! So, in that light, it is quite ironic that he never mind-melded with someone as close to his own father.

But I find the idea that ENT introduced in the episode - that mind-melds were almost a taboo just one century before, and only practiced by rebellious 'emotional' factions of Vulcans - very interesting, and I don't think it's improbable. Societies are dynamic, and judging by human history, it's not at all uncommon to suppress things which are part of people's nature. Sex for pleasure is a part of human nature, and so is female orgasm... yet both those things were a taboo in "polite society" 150 years ago. If mind-meld is a part of Vulcan nature, it doesn't mean that they always had to embrace it... After all, strong emotions are a part of their nature, too, but their culture is build on their suppression.

thew40 wrote: View Post
In terms of reinterpretation of Surak's teachings, I'm fine with that, but the focus of the episode was lost on me. There some cliches about Trip's pal and then it devolved into mind rape. Had the attention of the episode remained on this aspect and truly challenging T'Pol's beliefs, I would have bought into it more.
You know, that's something that annoys me about Trek in general. Whenever a male assaults a female in any way, people immediately start calling it "rape", even if it is not sexual in nature. Yet when a male does the same to a male, or a female does it to a male, nobody calls it a rape, nor does the episode treat it as such.

I've even seen dozens of comments calling what the alien (whose name escapes me at the moment) was supposed to have done to Seven in VOY "Retrospect" an analogy to rape - when in fact, it was the closest to organ harvesting: there was nothing sexual between the two characters, and the guy just wanted to take the technology she had in her body. I don't recall people saying that Neelix was "raped" when the Vidiians stole his lungs!

Here, in "Fusion", there was sexual tension between T'Pol and Tolaris and she had a sexual fantasy about him, which might have helped Braga to make the forced mind-meld look like an analogy for rape. But Trek has been terribly inconsistent with its treatment of forced mind-melds. There was a debate on the Trek Lit forum about the Spock/Valeris meld in "The Undiscovered Country". Some posters were claiming that a mind-meld was a horrible violation, a criminal act, a mind-rape; and "Fusion" was mentioned as another example, where it is treated as such. But what about Tuvok in VOY "Random Thoughts" starting to force a meld on that alien telepathic guy - that wasn't all that different from what Tolaris did in "Fusion", but I haven't seen anyone call it a mind-rape? Could it be because the victim was male? And what about Sakonna unsuccessfully trying to force a mind-meld on Dukat in DS9 "The Maquis"? Even though in this case there was clearly no consent to begin with, I don't see anyone calling it an attempted mind-rape,and the episode definitely didn't treat it as such - quite the opposite, the characters all talk about as if it were a mild and nice interrogation technique, as opposed to Cardassian torture techniques. I know Sakonna is a terrorist, but, although she has been trying to use a forced meld to interrogate a prisoner, she remains holier-than-thou about how humane they are ("We don't have the Cardassian gift for inflicting pain, nor would we want to have it"). Inconsistent or what? A mind-meld is a mind-meld is a mind-meld. Either a forced mind-meld is a mind-rape no matter which the genders of the assailant and the victim, or it is not. It can't only be a mind-rape when the victim is female, but not when it's the other way round.


thew40 wrote: View Post
However, I did not like the fact that they canonized the fanon belief that Vulcan males only feel the urge to have sex every 7 years - even though D.C.Fontana has tried to explain many times that this was a misinterpretation of the fans, and that TOS writers didn't mean it that way - that it was just the only time when they had to have sex; not that they couldn't or wouldn't any other time.
It's been a few weeks since I've watched the episode and I'm about a season ahead of myself. Was this in there? Did I just miss it?
It's when the plump Vulcan - the one with the ill dad (I'm bad with names!) is chatting with Trip in the mess hall about human and Vulcan customs. He says that males feel an urge to have sex every 7 years, but "there are efforts to accelerate that cycle".
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Old November 21 2009, 03:08 AM   #84
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Re: Treking through all Star Trek

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Series: Enterprise - Season One
Episode: “Rogue Planet”
Trek Installment # 17
Grade: C-
Viewing Date: September 29, 2009

This felt like a real pointless episode. Much like the previous one, there was very little to it. I actually liked the hunters more than the shape-shifting telepathic slug people. They were fun, relatable, and well-rounded. I would have rather had an episode with Reed and Archer running through the jungle with these guys than the stuff we had. Actually, it would have been better that way – it could have played up the difficulty that they have in trying to be smug and superior in the face of a somewhat brutal, yet all too human tradition.

Overall, this episode felt fluffy and made our heroes look just plain gosh-darn heroic. And not in a Kirk way.
The most interesting thing for me in the episode was how the treatment of the shapeshifters by the humanoid hunters justified/illustrated the Founders' claims about their treatment by the solids. Even though this was a different shapeshifting species, it is likely that this kind of humanoid attitude towards shapeshifters was not uncommon throughout the galaxy. Fortunately for Archer's crew and the Alpha Quadrant, members of the species from the Rogue Planet were less inclined to regard all solids as their enemies because of the few that were hunting them.
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Old November 21 2009, 06:51 AM   #85
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Back to the mind meld thing, I don't think it helped that "Stigma" ended up being such an allegory for rape. I suppose it might be a little sexest and maybe I should try and steer more towards the idea of simple "violation" over rape. But your observations about attitude say a lot about Trek.

In the larger scheme of things, one could also make the arugement that Sarek's generation of Vulcan's still had trouble fully accepting mind melds as a part of their culture. When Spock's generation came around and that younger generation embraced this part of their hertiage, mind melds became more regular -- but Sarek, who was already weary of this practice and feared emotional transference (see ST11), decided for a long time to not practice this with his son.

Perhaps the "sex every seven years" conversation could also be chocked up to differences in Vulcan culture. Maybe these Vulcans could seek to only focus on only having sex when they needed and instead made every effort to maintain balance with their emotions.

-------

Series: Enterprise – Season Two
Episode: “Future Tense”
Trek Installment # 41
Grade: B +
Viewing Date: October 19, 2009

This episode is a lot like “Cold Front,” in that it uses the confusion of the time travel to keep the viewer asking questions. The problem with that is, after a while, I want some answers. My appetite is whetted, so throw me a bone. A minor revelation, a small clue, an idea. Something. We know all about the Suliban, but what’s up with the Tholians? What’s their stake? Who are they working for? Anyone? Themselves?

The episode itself is executed very well. Archer himself verbalizes our own problems with the Temporal Cold War. I liked the Zephram Cochrane reference a lot. Nice continuity, Enterprise. The results of the time ship being on board was fun – what with all the déjà vu.

The Time Ship itself was a nice mystery – bringing qualities of Doctor Who into the Trek universe. It served as a good crux for the episode and did a good job of giving us something to wonder about. My issue is that we can only wonder about it for so long before we start to get antsy.
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Old November 22 2009, 11:51 PM   #86
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Re: Treking through all Star Trek

Series: Enterprise – Season Two
Episode: “Canamar”
Trek Installment # 42
Grade: B -
Viewing Date: October 19, 2009

“Canamar” was a surprisingly good episode. It’s a fairly typical jailbreak concept, but the characters are actually more interesting than the average fair. I liked how Canamar was never really seen, just talked about often enough to give us a basic idea that this place is pretty bad.

I do have to call up one of my old criticisms in that we get foreheads of the week as opposed to aliens we’ve only seen here or there (see “Maraduers”). I enjoyed the character of Kuroda as he was an actual bad guy not just the standard “misunderstood nice guy with good intentions.” There was no speech to him about his potential to be good, no excusing his actions, and no mercy from him. I would have liked to have seen him – or more like him – later on in the series.
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Old November 23 2009, 02:43 AM   #87
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You must have serious patience..

I bought the entire Star Trek collection last month and was tempted to do something like this, but in the end the urge to re-watch all of DS9 won out.But yeah, how are you watching these?did you buy all the dvd's seperately or are you watching off Netflix?I got the dvd's all together in one bundle, I'd be pretty sickened to learn there's a cheaper way to see them all..
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Old November 26 2009, 03:00 PM   #88
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Q-2 wrote: View Post
You must have serious patience..

I bought the entire Star Trek collection last month and was tempted to do something like this, but in the end the urge to re-watch all of DS9 won out.But yeah, how are you watching these?did you buy all the dvd's seperately or are you watching off Netflix?I got the dvd's all together in one bundle, I'd be pretty sickened to learn there's a cheaper way to see them all..
I'm buying them one-by-one. I've up to TNG season one. In terms of partience, it's tough. I've been waiting and waiting and waiting to get to TOS, which hopefully I'll be able to do so this weekend.

--------

Series: Enterprise – Season Two
Episode: “The Crossing”
Trek Installment # 43
Grade: C +
Viewing Date: October 19, 2009

This was a pretty decent episode, though it showed off the vast differences between Archer and some of his predecessors. Archer is so totally against “the crossing” that it makes him into a sort of anti-Kirk, as he was willing to swap out with Sargon for a while. Actually this race reminded me a lot of Sargon’s people and I would have liked to have seen a real connection made between them. They also kinda reminded me of the Calamarian.

There weren’t a whole lot of flaws to it, but it didn’t really grab me as much as so many others. This is the beginning of a long line of non-corporal entities.
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Old November 28 2009, 04:17 AM   #89
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Re: Treking through all Star Trek

Whew! I'm way behind! I just finished "Enterprise" today and I'm still posting season two! Here's a two fer to help me catch up a bit . . .

Series: Enterprise – Season Two
Episode: “Judgment”
Trek Installment # 44
Grade: B
Viewing Date: October 19, 2009

Out of all the Enterprise Klingon episodes, “Judgment” is by far the best. It deals with the many consequences of Archer’s other involvements with the Klingon, but what really works for it is that it shows us the Klingon Empire in the beginning of its age of corruption and war. Hertzler’s Kolos is a great character, an aging relic of a greater age.

I’m reminded a lot of Ezri Dax’s point of view of the Klingons here, in that by the 24th centrury, the level of corruption and warmongering is excessive. This is where he begins, I feel.

The story is pretty good as well and surprisingly character-centric, as most Enterprise Klingon episodes mainly just deal with the “cool” aspect of having the Klingons around.

***

Series: Enterprise – Season Two
Episode: “Horizon”
Trek Installment # 45
Grade: C-
Viewing Date: October 21, 2009

A Mayweather episode that’s as boring as Mayweather himself. While his character does do some developing, we spend far too much time rehashing parts of “Fortunate Son” rather than focusing on Travis’ grief over his father’s passing. We slip right back into sci-fi mode with some random aliens shooting at the Horizon because, well, we needed some action.

On other hand, the B-story about getting T’Pol to movie night was appropriately grin-worthy. Movie night is the down-time for the characters. TOS had the rec room and chess, TNG had ten forward and poker, DS9 had Quark’s and Vic’s, and Voyager had the mess hall and the holodeck. ENT? It has movie night. While I grant that watching characters watching movies can be pretty boring, I still would have liked to of seen more of that. Imagine T’Pol’s reaction to “Star Wars!”
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Old November 28 2009, 10:48 PM   #90
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Re: Treking through all Star Trek

Series: Enterprise - Season Two
Episode: “The Breach”
Trek Installment # 46
Grade: D +
Viewing Date: October 21, 2009

Not a good one. The Denobulans in the cave was extremely dull, the planet was uninteresting and the side-plot of Phlox dealing with prejudice was the only juice here. Actually, as a Phlox episode, it wasn’t too bad and it exposed more of Phlox than what we’ve seen in the past.

Unfortunately, the rather pointless running around the caves just bogged the Phlox plot down and made the episode difficult to hold my ADD-stricken attention –

HEY, MY WIFE BOUGHT MORE CANDY CORN!

What was I talking about?
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The Preserver Saga

Treking Through All Star Trek
Watching all Star Trek in chronological order
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