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Old July 12 2013, 06:33 PM   #166
JJohnson
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Re: The ENT and Melakon

Melakon wrote: View Post
teacake wrote: View Post
And Melakon, you've watched the whole thing!! Well I hope we still get reviews
Yes, I intend to review them all. When I originally saw the first season in broadcast, nothing really stood out for me until 5 or 6 shows in ("Civilization") so the review for it will be along after a few.

And I thought Archer was pretty lame originally (though Bakula does real well with him), after watching the later episodes I can see how the character grows.
The thing that got me about Archer was when he was speaking to an alien on the viewscreen, he would circle the bridge kind of throwing his legs around, turn his back to the viewscreen, nod and smile at his crew a lot, and randomly emphasize words in his speeches. It was just a mannerism that seemed odd to me. But looking back again, I can see the growth and respect the character more.
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Old July 13 2013, 11:38 PM   #167
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Re: The ENT and Melakon

2:02 - Carbon Creek

TV Blurb: Archer, Trip, and T'Pol share a bottle of booze while she entertains them. Teleplay by Chris Black; Story by Rick Berman & Brannon Braga and Dan O'Shannon. Directed by James Contner.

We don't know where Phlox, Malcolm, Travis, and Hoshi are during all this, but I suspect they were having a lot more fun.

It really is a well done episode, with fine performances, and the story it tells is sweet, but it doesn't tell us much at all about our regular characters. The episode feels like a style exercise to me more than anything else, and Star Trek always did little experiments like this. And it's another long flashback story, which I'm not fond of.

The script is really a showcase for Jolene Blalock and Trekguest J. Paul Boehmer. There are dozens of references to the 1950s, including "I Love Lucy" and The Three Stooges, whom Lucille Ball herself had worked with early in her career.

I liked the episode for the story it tells, but it really doesn't seem to introduce anything important to the Star Trek universe. Despite T'Pol's story of Vulcans on Earth a century before Zefrem Cochrane's historic flight, it appears to be simply that: a story. There's even an epilogue of sorts, but it doesn't really answer the question of whether T'Pol's yarn has any truth in it.

But it is a very well done episode, with fine direction by James Contner, location shooting, and some good performances from the guest and supporting cast.

Season's outtakes include Blalock getting goofy during a ship shaking scene.

Next: "Minefield"
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Old July 13 2013, 11:46 PM   #168
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Re: The ENT and Melakon

Well Velcro was invented before Sputnik was launched. I personally like to think T'Pol's granny conned the poor human dolt but it likely was just yet another inconsistency overlooked. It's a silly fish out of water episode, that really makes zero sense when you start thinking about it, but somehow is still entertaining.
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Old July 14 2013, 12:00 AM   #169
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Re: The ENT and Melakon

Yeah, the Velcro thing is the problem with the story. The fact that they use the actual inventor's name for one of the Vulcans makes me think it's all a fairy tale and T'Pol's making it up as she goes along, remembering something she read in a database.
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Old July 17 2013, 10:18 PM   #170
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Re: The ENT and Melakon

2:03 - Minefield

TV Blurb: Archer faces an explosive situation when Malcolm becomes the pin cushion for a mine attached to the hull. Written by John Shiban. Directed by John Contner.

Despite my criticism of how the show portrayed Romulans in another thread, I think writer John Shiban handled it correctly here. Staying with established canon, the characters don't get to see the Romulans themselves, and we don't get to see them either. In the fourth season, we learn more about the Romulans than the crew does.


This is really a character relationship story for Malcolm and Archer from the opening scene, and it does a good job of it. Neither man seems fully comfortable with the other, but they do seem to understand each other better by the end.

Malcolm's apparent desire to make a heroic sacrifice for the ship reminds of his wish to leave famous last words in last season's "Shuttlepod One", and this time he even attempts suicide.

A real highlight of the episode is the special visual effects, with exterior shots of a mine explosion on the hull, a jaw-breaking pullback from Archer and Reed walking on the saucer section, and our first sight of an early Romulan ship.

Next: "Dead Stop"
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Old July 18 2013, 12:15 AM   #171
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Re: The ENT and Melakon

IMO, "Minefield" is one of the best of the second season episodes. Also I like it because the mine makes one hell of a cool lamp!!!!

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Old July 18 2013, 12:26 AM   #172
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Re: The ENT and Melakon

Minefield was an episode I enjoyed. A good character piece, and the Romulans were exactly as they should be. A faceless, mysterious enemy with a definite threatening aura to them. Nice bit of continuity with the anticloak becon things too even if I hate time travel elements.
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Old July 19 2013, 09:22 PM   #173
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Re: The ENT and Melakon

2:04 - Dead Stop

TV Blurb: An automated repair station offers super service at low, low prices but doesn't explain terms and conditions of the deal. Written by Mike Sussman & Phyllis Strong. Directed by Roxann Dawson.

Imagine HAL9000 running a gasoline filling station, and you can figure this one out. The story resembles those movies where a family stops at some little gas station in the backwoods country, but the locals are hiding a dark secret. Except there aren't any toothless inbred families with shotguns this time.

The story moves at a reasonable pace from Point A to Point B, and there are some impressive visual effects with the robo-garage going about its business. I felt there were some problems with character motivation, as Trip and Malcolm decide to see for themselves the inner workings of the station, though at that point there is no reason for them to do so except idle curiosity. Coincidentally, the station is actually up to a nefarious purpose when they start crawling around in air ducts, but nobody realizes it at the time.

Anthony Montgomery gets something to do as Travis, and gets some screen time, but for most of that he's flat on his back with his eyes closed. Travis repeatedly gets the short end of the stick on the series. He's supposed to be an athletic guy, but he's almost always the first person forced out of action due to whatever threat of the week exists.

The reveal of the data processing center seems a bit incongruous to what we see of the brightly lit, sterile areas of the station. Considering what the processing center is used for, it really should be as sterile as the rest of the complex, and not some dingy dark hole that looks like it's in a basement.

Director Roxann Dawson does double duty as the automated station's voice, which was probably convenient during shooting since she could throw the lines out to the actors herself.

The episode is entertaining, but that's about it. I've liked writers Sussman & Strong's work better on other episodes.

Next: "A Night in Sickbay"
(I can already hear the groans)
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Old July 19 2013, 10:15 PM   #174
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Re: The ENT and Melakon

I liked this episode. All the little bits of continuity were nice. For once the ship getting blasted in the previous episode carries over into the next, and they even remembered Trip crashing the shuttle into the hull in the pilot.

The alien gas station was an interesting concept. Really doesn't make much sense when you think about it, but I give them points for originality. It's an episode I can watch without facepalming or getting bored.

A Night in Sickbay! Skip it!!!
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Old July 19 2013, 10:30 PM   #175
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Re: The ENT and Melakon

No, I can't skip ANIS (Beavis and Butthead laugh). If I skip "Sickbay", I have to skip "These Are the Voyages", and I'm dreading that one the most. I still haven't watched TATV a second time since first seeing it this past January.

I did mean to mention Dead Stop's continuity factor, and forgot-- I probably need to start taking written notes again instead of mental ones. It's almost like a mini 2-parter the way the damage from "Minefield" is the catalyst for the story here.
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Old July 19 2013, 10:44 PM   #176
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Yes, this episode reminded me of "Spock's Brain" for obvious reasons. I liked it though.
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Old July 19 2013, 11:04 PM   #177
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Re: The ENT and Melakon

Definitely there's a lineage there. "Brain and brain, what is brain?" gets replaced by "Your inquiry was not recognized."
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Old July 20 2013, 01:19 AM   #178
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Re: The ENT and Melakon

I'll get this in before you post the review - I LOVE ANIS! Yes, it's goofy and over the top but Bakula pulls out all the stops in the finale. It may be a sign of mental illness but it is one of my favorites.
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Old July 20 2013, 01:32 AM   #179
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Re: The ENT and Melakon

Mutai Sho-Rin wrote: View Post
I'll get this in before you post the review - I LOVE ANIS! Yes, it's goofy and over the top but Bakula pulls out all the stops in the finale. It may be a sign of mental illness but it is one of my favorites.

Goofy and over the top? Nah Archer...
.... isn't over the top at all.
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Old July 20 2013, 10:51 PM   #180
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Re: The ENT and Melakon

And away we go!

2:05 - A Night in Sickbay

TV Blurb: Porthos pisses, aliens get pissed, Archer gets pissy. Written by Rick Berman & Brannon Braga. Directed by David Straiton.

Warning: The following paragraphs contain personal observations on this subject. Some of these statements may cause shock or consternation on the part of the reader. If viewing statements of opposing viewpoints sends you into spasms of irrationality, it is recommended that you close this page now.

To my surprise (and perhaps others), this episode was nominated for a Hugo Award as Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form).

I do see how some fans could really dislike this episode. The biggest problem I have with it is the dramatic life-and-death plot involving Porthos doesn't work when combined with the comedic sexual tension subplot, and Sickbay features in both plotlines. Individually, they might have worked as separate episodes with different B stories. The Kreetassan tree misunderstanding also works better with the sexual tension plot's tone.

Plot A: Porthos must suffer. For a story about Porthos, it's amazing how little the dog actors actually get to do. There's even a dummy Stunt Porthos for some scenes. In the past, there were episodes not starring Porthos, and he'd gotten way more on-screen action than he does here.

Plot B: Archer hits puberty. Okay, let's make one thing clear-- this plotline is intended as comedy. And we all know Star Trek's success rate in the comedy department. A lot of the gags fall short, but others are gems. The dream sequence funeral, with Phlox's eulogy echoing his earlier lines, is hilarious, thanks to John Billingsley's delivery.

Scott Bakula works his ass off in this episode. He has to go from a frantic pet owner into a lovesick teenager sometimes right in the middle of a scene. And he's in nearly every scene. He handles the dramatic and comedic highlights equally well in my opinion. It's not his fault that he has to say a lot of dumb stuff that's out of character for what we know of Archer.

Amazing scene: During the bat hunt, around 23:25 begins an uninterrupted take lasting almost 90 seconds of Phlox and Archer talking, stalking and climbing around Sickbay with nets, handheld camera work, and a VFX bat, finally cutting away when Hoshi enters. I'll gladly give director Straiton credit for that, it was well done.

Next: "Marauders"
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