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Enterprise The final frontier has a new beginning in this forum!

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Old September 1 2012, 06:34 AM   #1
kythe
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I can't watch Enterprise anymore...

I recently started watching Enterprise on Netflix. The first couple of seasons weren't too bad, though it's been a bit slow moving and I dislike the direction they took the Vulcans. I'd read reviews that indicated the story really picks up in season 3, so I was looking forward to that.

I'm halfway through S3 and I've come to a point where I have no respect for any of the characters any more.

Sure, there were some moral issues with some previous episodes, like Dear Doctor and Similtude, where the characters didn't really question much about killing sentient beings if it served there purpose. But as the show went on, Archer is becoming increasingly violent and single-minded about the Xindi.

Once, Archer tortured a man for information by putting him in an airlock and decompressing it. In "Carpenter Street" he hit a man while trying to interrogate him, and T'Pol didn't even find that illogical. She went along with it. When he captured Degra, he pulled an elaborate scheme to try to trick him into revealing information, then wipes his memory.

Archer is so focused on getting this Xindi weapon he doesn't seem to realize the obvious fact that even if he destroys one weapon, they can always build another. But he doesn't even try to negotiate with them or convince them that humans can be trusted. He assumes the worst all the time.

Now I'm watching "Damage" and it looks like they are going to pirate a ship of innocent people who sent out a distress call because they needed help. Archer is so self-serving, he thinks he's out to save the world, his mission is so important that his needs supercede all others, and the troubles they've had in the expanse have created a situation where they now have no choice but to hurt others, because its all for the greater good. (barf)

If this mission was so important and so difficult that they couldn't handle it, another starship could have gone with them to provide greater resources. Or Archer could consider trying to make friends with some of these aliens they come across instead of whining about how hostile everyone is when he is the same way. Or time traveler Daniels could find a different way to help them on their mission, but he comes across as a bit sketchy himself. But I don't want to finish the episode "Damage" if it means they are going to prey upon innocent victims.

Star Trek, to me, has always been about peaceful missions and displaying the best of humanity. The other shows are set in a time when problems like war and poverty have been resolved (at least internally), and we see people being able to work out their differences for a real greater good. But I don't see that here with Archer and his crew. They are downright barbaric compared with Picard, for instance. This just isn't Star Trek to me.

Now that I'm done ranting, can someone explain why I should keep watching Enterprise?
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Old September 1 2012, 07:04 AM   #2
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Re: I can't watch Enterprise anymore...

For me, the theme of Season Three has always been about how you have to hit your lowest point before you can reach your highest. That's exactly what Archer goes through here. He starts off all eager and happy-go-lucky in the first season, but as the first season goes on (and especially into the second season) you can clearly tell that Archer is growing more cautious, even a little jaded. Then Earth is attacked in "The Expanse" and that's pretty much it for Archer the Boy Scout. He's decided that the galaxy isn't interested in being friends, so he's going to stop trying.

Then when Season Four comes around (particularly after "Home") Archer starts to pull back away from that darkness and starts to grow into the great captain and leader that Daniels kept going on about. It's actually one of the most interesting character arcs in all of Trek, IMO.
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Old September 1 2012, 07:06 AM   #3
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Re: I can't watch Enterprise anymore...

It gets better in season four...but I think season three was a reflection of the post-9/11 era ENT was made in.

If it's any consolation, though, there's a line in an early season four episode in which Archer finally admits that he lost something (of himself) during the Xindi mission.

For all of the fan complaints about Archer, I think his character was perfect for ENT. He made the mistakes that later captains like Kirk and Picard would learn lessons from and avoid, IMO. Season four also addresses the Vulcan issue and shows that they haven't always been the same.
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Old September 1 2012, 07:07 AM   #4
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Re: I can't watch Enterprise anymore...

Well you've basically hit Archer's low point. I will say that towards the end of season 3 they realize how stupid Archer is behaving and he and Degra have a chance to do things right. Though it is suitably ironic that Archer, even as he's trying to befriend Degra later on, never mentions the kidnap/brainwash bit.

In season 4 there's at least a bit of character moments where Archer realizes what a douche he's being/been.
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Old September 1 2012, 08:16 AM   #5
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Re: I can't watch Enterprise anymore...

Seven million people dead, threat of the entire species dying, only one Earth ship capable of reaching/searching/investigating the threat, a couple billion people expecting to be saved, an unknown enemy.

I think Archer and by extent the crew are allowed their moments of madness that can descend into depravity.
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Old September 1 2012, 08:22 AM   #6
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Re: I can't watch Enterprise anymore...

I never respected Archer until Damage. Finally, he has the stones to stop assing around and do something that costs. His whole manning up arc in season 3 was pretty good. No longer playing at Captain, answering school kids' questions about toilets and getting into power struggles with his pet Vulcan.

THE GODDAMN EARTH WAS GOING TO EXPLODE.

You bet he threw his ethics and starfleet protocols aside. If he had not it would have been a very lonely high moral ground once 99.9% of all humans were dead.
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Old September 1 2012, 09:13 AM   #7
R. Star
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Re: I can't watch Enterprise anymore...

I actually liked the moral crisis he faced towards the later end of this arc. It had a very DS9 feel to it, where right and wrong become blurred. Sure his actions were morally bankrupt, there's no doubt about that. But it was all for a good reason in his mind. I was hoping they'd explore upon this in season 4, maybe even with Archer temporarily losing his command because of his mindset of the ends justifying the means as he comes to terms with his behavior.
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Old September 1 2012, 09:18 AM   #8
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Re: I can't watch Enterprise anymore...

Spanky wrote: View Post
Seven million people dead, threat of the entire species dying, only one Earth ship capable of reaching/searching/investigating the threat, a couple billion people expecting to be saved, an unknown enemy.

I think Archer and by extent the crew are allowed their moments of madness that can descend into depravity.
agreed. Archer did have the weight of the world on his shoulders. i mean really, if you're in his position are you going to let the world be destroyed or inconvenience another ship by taking what you need.
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Old September 1 2012, 12:48 PM   #9
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Re: I can't watch Enterprise anymore...

kythe wrote: View Post
...

If this mission was so important and so difficult that they couldn't handle it, another starship could have gone with them to provide greater resources. ...
There is no one else. This is truly humanity at a very low point. Yes, there are Vulcans but they've had their own issues in the Expanse. They are not following Archer in. He is on his own.
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Old September 1 2012, 01:04 PM   #10
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Re: I can't watch Enterprise anymore...

The whole desperation thing and being alone.. it really ramps up this series.

The STAKES. Actually believable stakes, better than whales
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Old September 1 2012, 02:04 PM   #11
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Re: I can't watch Enterprise anymore...

R. Star wrote: View Post
Though it is suitably ironic that Archer, even as he's trying to befriend Degra later on, never mentions the kidnap/brainwash bit.
Actually, he did mention it and apologised for it.

As for stealing the warp coil from the other ship, he agonised over it, left them what supplies he could spare and as others have said... one ship taking it's chances going home slowly vs billions of lives... an easy decision in the end.
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Old September 1 2012, 07:33 PM   #12
kythe
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Re: I can't watch Enterprise anymore...

The problem is, I don't believe for an instant that this was their only course of action - or would have been if Archer's previous poor decisions hadn't led up to it. He never tried to negotiate with the Xindi, which would have been the logical course of action in the first place. His stopping their weapon would have only bought them some time, but you know they would just build another one. When he was told by the time traveler that he could stop them from bombing earth, I don't think they meant by force. After all, he did have only one ship that was seriously outnumbered and outgunned. But that was the only tactic he had tried so far.

It wasn't until Daniels stepped in again (his role in the plot often seems contrived according to what direction the writers want the story to go) in "Azati Prime" with that Xindi artifact and told him how to explain to the Xindi that they'd been duped that Archer even thought about just *talking* to them. But by then it was too late because he had already been captured by the reptilians. It came off as an act of desperation, not a negotiation for a peace treaty.

I kind of like the Xindi. They have a unique culture where 5 sentient species had all evolved on the same planet. They had their squabbles, but they had made it work where each had an equal voice in the coucil dedicated to their well being. This kind of unity shows that they have passed one of the tests for admittance into the Federation. They've been tricked into believing humans are a threat, and are acting in self-defense. So how is it necessary for Enterprise to see them as arch-enemies that need to be stopped at all costs? They need to have their information corrected, that is all. But Archer is proving them right - that humans are ruthless.

But this series has drastically reduced it's moral values to get to this point. Star Trek has always been about bringing out the best in humanity, but this is not an example of that. Archer's crew are more a reflection of how modern people (specifically Americans) perceive "problem solving" when it comes to threats. It doesn't show what we can be, it only reflects how we are now. There is a real "end justifies the means" attitude presented, since the hurtful actions Archer takes are presented as the "right" decisions for the circumstance. This is taking a low road for Star Trek, and I'm disappointed in it.
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Old September 2 2012, 12:12 AM   #13
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Re: I can't watch Enterprise anymore...

kythe wrote:
Archer's crew are more a reflection of how modern people (specifically Americans) perceive "problem solving" when it comes to threats. It doesn't show what we can be, it only reflects how we are now. There is a real "end justifies the means" attitude presented, since the hurtful actions Archer takes are presented as the "right" decisions for the circumstance. This is taking a low road for Star Trek, and I'm disappointed in it.
I thought they were subverting it. They started off looking for a fight, yet it was diplomacy and co-operation that won the day in the end.

...at least until...


I'd also dispute that Archer was shown to be in the right for his more questionable actions. There was always T'pol or Malcolm or someone else urging Archer to dial it back or find another way.
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Old September 2 2012, 12:29 AM   #14
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Re: I can't watch Enterprise anymore...

kythe wrote: View Post
Archer's crew are more a reflection of how modern people (specifically Americans) perceive "problem solving" when it comes to threats. It doesn't show what we can be, it only reflects how we are now. There is a real "end justifies the means" attitude presented, since the hurtful actions Archer takes are presented as the "right" decisions for the circumstance. This is taking a low road for Star Trek, and I'm disappointed in it.

I'm so glad that keith was not asked when decisions were needed on how to deal with the threat of the third reich and imperial Japan.

Its all fun and games in the debate club until the bully comes and gives you a wedgie.........
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Old September 2 2012, 12:37 AM   #15
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Re: I can't watch Enterprise anymore...

KingDaniel wrote: View Post
I'd also dispute that Archer was shown to be in the right for his more questionable actions. There was always T'pol or Malcolm or someone else urging Archer to dial it back or find another way.
I think Malcolm was more often asking him to dial it forward.
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