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Old February 15 2011, 12:24 AM   #1
6079SmithW
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The Season 4 Vulcan Trilogy

So, Hulu is now airing ENT episodes via CBS and I thought that I would re-watch this trilogy of episodes and post my thoughts on them. Hopefully, you all will join in and share your opinions.

THE FORGE

My thoughts aren't in chronological order with the episode, but here we go:

*IDIC*- Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations. We are told this was one of Surak's ideas and he said it would have no end. Apparently mainstream Vulcans know nothing of this and it is a truth guarded by the Syranites. It is an interesting philosophy as Vulcans are usually portrayed as somewhat isolationist and seeing themselves as "more evolved" then other cultures.

-Soval's description of humans as having the traits of many species but reminding Vulcans of one they fear, themselves. I thought it was a good point in driving home the message that logic is a cultural choice (even a necessity) for Vulcans and not their natural programming. Also, it took the Vulcans 1,800 years to rebuild and reach the stars, a feat humans accomplished in a century. This is why Vulcans are worried about human expansion into the galaxy, their rapid progress. Interesting.

-The metaphorical parallels between Surak's and Christ's followers-

So, the mainstream Vulcans base their understanding of Surak off of stories his followers wrote about him, whereas the Syranites have access to the actual teachings written by the man (or Vulcan) himself.

This follows the split between the biblical cannon and the gnostic gospels. We have the "official" stories and teachings of Christ in the gospels but there are other books that show a different side of Christ. There is the issue of did the authors actually witness the events described as well.

On a side note, I loved how Archer responded to the knowledge that the current Vulcans do not have the writings or Sarek, only of his followers to go on. It sounded very familiar.

So, in this case, the Syranites are like the gnostics and claim true knowledge of what the actual teachings are.

-Mindmelds- Mindmelds are seen to be somewhat taboo and only certain Vulcans can do them, although the Syranites claim Sarek said it was the right of all. I wonder why they were taboo? Maybe too intimate?

-The High Command- Originally only in charge of space programs and is now the government. Reminds me of a lot of beaurocratic institutions that expanded beyond their original scope.

-Katras- The Vulcan consciousness, or soul, that can be transmitted from person to person. Again, mainstream vulcans seam to treat this as a myth.

Conclusion:

I'm sure I missed a lot of things and just wanted to dwell on a few topics that got brought up. It is interesting to see how the Vulcans transitioned from ENT Vulcans to the ones we know and love. It is also interesting to note the metaphors brought up between modern Christianity and the government in general.

I look forward to your comments and to watching the rest of this great trilogy!
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Old February 15 2011, 12:33 AM   #2
Admiral Shran
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Re: The Season 4 Vulcan Trilogy

I think you hit the nail right in the head as to the High Command. At first they were involved only in space matters, but now control everything. Such is the way with governments.

However, as to the Gnostics and "traditional" Christianity - I'm not seeing it. Both the Gnostic and "traditional" gospels can claim to be first hand accounts - unlike the Kir'Shara and "modern" Vulcan teachings. The problem is that none of the orginial texts of Christianity survive, for either account. The only thing we have are copies (and usually copies of copies).

That's what I think Archer was referring to - the fact that nobody in Christianity has access to the orginial documents, not that some do and some don't.
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Old February 15 2011, 12:36 AM   #3
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Re: The Season 4 Vulcan Trilogy

Interesting observations. (You might keep an eye on your typing (you switched from Surak to Sarek .)

This and the Andorian/Romulan arc are my favorites of S4. This was when Enterprise was at its best, filling in the stories of the Vulcans, Andorians, Tellarites and Romulans ...

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Old February 15 2011, 08:18 AM   #4
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Re: The Season 4 Vulcan Trilogy

I find the concept of the Katric Ark quite interesting and my interest was peaked when they were mentioned in the P'Jem Monastery incident.
In the Forge trilogy T'Pol is depicted at first as a regular, modern Vulcan who shares the views of the high command.
Yet when she shows the artifact Koss gave her to Archer she knows exactly that it is an IDIC so the symbol must be known to modern Vulcans.
The Syrannites are not portrayed as having true access to Surak's teachings as apparently Surak did not reveal the location of the Kir'Shara to Syran who had found the Katric Ark only 17 years earlier. They do follow the intellectual path of Surak though as it seems there has alway been a group of vulcan society that held his teachings dear.
The eventual reveal of the Kir"Shara validates and justifies their beliefs.

"This site is called 'Gateway', where Surak supposedly began his journey into The Forge."
"You keep saying 'supposedly'. You don't believe Surak did the things they said he did?"
"He brought logic to Vulcan in an age we call the Time of Awakening, but his writings from that period no longer exist."
"There must be some record of it."
"Over the centuries, his followers made copies of his teachings."
"Let me guess: with the originals lost, whatever is left is open to interpretation."
"You find this amusing."
"I find it familiar."
T'Pol and Archer as they enter the Forge.
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Last edited by I am Surak; February 15 2011 at 08:31 AM.
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Old February 15 2011, 04:10 PM   #5
6079SmithW
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Re: The Season 4 Vulcan Trilogy

Thanks for your responses everyone. JiNX-01, thank you for pointing out my name swap. So embaressing. I really like this arc because it explains why ENT Vulcans are different from the other series. It was a cultural revolution! I also find it interesting how the Syranites, who to me appear to be the more "religious" Vulcans, end up establishing the modern Vulcans of the 23rd-24th centuries, who are many times portrayed as cold, calculating scientists. But we know that's not really the case, that is just an outsiders perception.
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Old February 16 2011, 03:02 AM   #6
King Daniel Into Darkness
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Re: The Season 4 Vulcan Trilogy

It was really cool to see some Vulcan stuff from old Star Trek novels (such the Katric Arks and details of the Forge) used in these episodes.

I must admit, I don't think this Vulcan revolution made much of a difference beyond making mind melds a common thing. With a few exceptions, Vulcans continue to be arrogant, racist jerks in chronologically later Star Treks. They allow humans and other aliens on Vulcan, yet they exiled Sybok just because he chose to follow an emotional path over one of emotionless logic. Would they have done the same to Spock in "Yesteryear" and STXI if he'd chosen a human path as a child?
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Old February 18 2011, 11:58 AM   #7
Andromeda
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Re: The Season 4 Vulcan Trilogy

I couldn't watch the Vulcan trilogy in S4 because I was bored out of my mind. I watched the first episode of it, but promptly became uninterested in it. A lot of the Vulcan stuff doesn't really interest me much.

S4 was quite a disappointment compared to S3 of ENT.
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