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Old August 25 2013, 03:51 PM   #226
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Re: The ENT and Melakon

I realize they could've maybe ended that episode in 5 minutes with this idea, but why not bring in Cutler? She was a technician of some sort and that could have at least been an offer to Hudak, I think. That could have added a different element to the conflict, e. g. she gets a bit dragged into things, she's not really qualified to treat him, he bitches about her incompetency or doesn't want her taking direction from a dirty Denobulan, etc. Not to begrudge Billingsley any scenes, but more of the late Kelly Waymire would not have been a bad thing, I feel.
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Old August 25 2013, 04:46 PM   #227
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Re: The ENT and Melakon

Unfortunately, Kellie Waymire had an undiagnosed heart condition, and died the year this episode aired, at 36. Her last Enterprise appearance was "Two Days and Two Nights". She was also working on other shows and projects, some of those released after her death.

The producers decided to not recast the character. Cutler only made 3 appearances. It feels like she did more though, because she would sometimes be mentioned in dialogue.
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Old August 25 2013, 10:54 PM   #228
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Re: The ENT and Melakon

Ah, thanks, got the timeline confused. Damn.
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Old August 28 2013, 08:05 AM   #229
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Re: The ENT and Melakon

2:22 - Cogenitor



TV Blurb: Trip makes the mistake of applying his personal social values when he decides an alien species' third gender citizens are being mistreated. Written by Rick Berman & Brannon Braga. Directed by LeVar Burton.

I 've known less than 10 openly LGBT people in my life, the last was about 15 years ago. So I don't always see the parallels that are sometimes assigned to this episode, though I do understand them. Some people might consider my interpretation of the episode as missing certain themes due to that.

There are obvious allusions to alternate gender identities, but there are also elements of how minorities and women have been thought of through the centuries. Women were not allowed to vote in the United States until less than 100 years ago (the anniversary is 2020).

At one point, it's stated that cogenitors make up only 3% of the Vissian population. Obviously they must number in the millions by now, due to their level of scientific advancement. But if it takes 3 people to create a child, and there are only 3% of the population of the necessary gender, how did this species ever manage to survive? That's 300 individuals out 10,000 births. How long did it take them to discover it takes three to tango? Perhaps there's some medical way of impregnation, but it sounds like the cogenitor must be physically present. The male and female genders apparently can have safe sex whenever they want, by not temporarily adopting a cogenitor.

One problem I had was how the cogenitors were treated, but maybe it's due to my human perception. It would seem to me that if these cogenitors were so rare, they should be honored or revered or celebrated as celebrities in their society. Not educating them also seems strange, but maybe Vissian physiology is such that the offspring's genes carry some sort of intellectual memory from the parents.

Like TNG: The Outcast, Star Trek plays it safe again by casting a woman as the androgynous character, rather than a man. The whole episode might have played differently, though there's no overt romantic relationship between Trip and the cogenitor; he truly believes he's helping It.

Of course everything goes wrong despite his intentions. When T'Pol reprimands him, it plays like a mother scolding her child. Archer gets the angriest he's ever been at his best friend.

Andreas Katsulas (dang, I spelled his name right without looking it up) makes a return to Star Trek, after spending time on Babylon 5.

Next: "Regeneration"
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Old August 28 2013, 01:02 PM   #230
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Re: The ENT and Melakon

The way I see cogenitors is that they're a downtrodden minority in their own society, valued solely for their genetic contributions and for nothing more. I would think, given their extreme minority status, that all they do is facilitate the making o' babies. Day in, day out. Hence there's little time for crazy things like education. You're sexually mature? Off to the bedroom salt mines with ya!

Actually, it wouldn't shock me - here's a fan fic plot bunny - if the Vissians weren't maybe trying to replace them with some sort of chemical factory hormones or enzymes or whatnot. If cogenitors are replaced by a shot of, say, progesterone, then they can all die out and be remembered centuries later as a curiosity of Vissian evolution. This slave caste would become almost zoo specimens. It's their minority (and necessary for reproduction) status that keeps them alive at all. Otherwise, who would want a child to be born if the fetus were shown to be a cogenitor?

That also makes me wonder, since the cogenitors don't bear the children, what do families do when Mom gives birth to a cogenitor (as, say, child #4 out of 5)? Surely you can't raise them with the boys and girls! Why, they've got intergender cooties!

Vissian society would be quite the thing to study.
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Old August 30 2013, 02:45 AM   #231
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Re: The ENT and Melakon

2:23 - Regeneration



TV Blurb: All contact with an arctic expedition is lost after they discover strange cybernetic creatures buried in the ice. Enterprise is ordered to rescue the apparently kidnapped researchers after a freighter leaves orbit at unusually high speed. Written by Mike Sussman & Phyllis Strong. Directed by David Livingston.

Yes, it's showtime for the Borg again. I'm going to ignore all that stuff about the Borg not identifying themselves, Starfleet somehow not putting 2 and 2 together for 200 years, and whether this episode should have been written in the first place. Everyone else has already discussed that enough over the last ten years. It's here, and we have to deal with it, just like episodes from the other shows that don't win the "Most Popular' contests. So I decided not to focus on that aspect of the production.

The opening arctic sequence immediately evokes 1951's The Thing from Another World. For those counting, I was released into the world 3 months before the film was, but it is not a biography. We don't see Enterprise or its crew until Act 2, ten minutes in.

I'm not saying this because he might be reading, but thank the Great Bird that Mike Sussman's name is on this episode. He and Phyllis Strong do what they need to do with the story, and it's mysterious, fast moving, and presents a tough choice for Archer.

It's only natural that Borg stories appealed to the production staffs, as there was a wealth of stage set props and costumes to use. Obviously this was a way for a series to save money by reusing these items, but it also challenges a writer to somehow put a spin on the usual Borg story.

Borg shows also present challenges for directors, cinematographers, effects teams, stunt teams, and actors. So I sort of think the Borg shows appear because they're not only challenging, but to some degree fun to do for everyone.

My favorite moment is when two recently Borgified drones escape into Enterprise's Jefferies corridors/tubes. The scenes move quickly with security teams, phaser fire, and Archer making one of the most difficult decisions presented.




The whole sequence is complemented with an appropriately tense score by Brian Tyler.

So love it, or hate it. If any other writer had gotten the assignment, it could have been worse. Sussman's own Trek geekiness helped save this from being a disaster.

The season's blooper reel has a couple of outtakes showing that it wasn't all deadly serious for the cast.

Next: "First Flight"
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Old August 30 2013, 09:33 AM   #232
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Re: The ENT and Melakon

The Borg should NEVER have been used on ENT and doing so was a mistake. With that said Regeneration was easily the best Borg episode since VOY's Scorpion and one of my favorite episodes from the first 2 seasons.
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Old August 30 2013, 10:54 AM   #233
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Re: The ENT and Melakon

I was pleasantly surprised with Regeneration. It was a bit of an eye-roller hearing that the producers were actually going there and doing a Borg episode, but I was open-minded going in.

I'd agree with BruntFCA and say that it was easily the best Borg episode since Scorpion. It did a goo job of making the Borg a thrilling enemy again, after they had been thoroughly de-fanged during VOY.
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Old September 1 2013, 04:49 PM   #234
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Re: The ENT and Melakon

2:24 - First Flight



TV Blurb: During a shuttle mission, Archer thinks about an old friend from the NX testing days. Written by John Shiban & Chris Black. Directed by LeVar Burton.

Another flashback episode, and you already know how I feel about those.

Archer gets bad news about a colleague, A.G. Robinson (Keith Carradine), as preparations are made to search for a dark matter nebula. T'Pol tags along to get him to talk about what he's feeling. Which seems a strange thing for a Vulcan to do, act as a counselor.

We get a lot of information about what Starfleet was like before Enterprise was launched. Archer meets Trip apparently for the first time. We meet Ruby, waitress at the 602 Club, that Trip and Malcolm had reminisced over in "Shuttlepod One". And we learn a little bit about A.G. Robinson, whom we'd never seen before, and never will again.

We also learn the Vulcans were quite right in thinking humans weren't yet ready to venture into space. Starfleet officers apparently were in the habit of disobeying orders, letting test vehicles explode rather than abort a mission, getting into fist fights at the local bars, and performing unauthorized vehicle tests.

There are standard performances, though Robinson doesn't really seem that likeable, but the same criticism has been leveled at Archer by people, so maybe they deserve each other. T'Pol seems unusually concerned about how Archer takes the news of his friend's fate. There are some subtle reactions from Jolene Blalock that makes me wonder if T'Pol was perhaps secretly in love with Archer.

The story is meant to be a tribute to America's (not Earth's) space program, and perhaps to the Wright brothers. Three "Sailor of the Year" honorees from the real USS Enterprise, aircraft carrier CVN-65, make cameo appearances as extras.

Basically, this is Top Gun with two middle-aged guys. Or, The Wrong Stuff.

Next: "Bounty"
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Old September 1 2013, 05:37 PM   #235
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Re: The ENT and Melakon

I never knew about the sailor of the year nominees getting a cameo. I kinda liked this episode. It sorta captured the feel of a real exploration program... in Archer's hamfisted kind of way. Not that he should have ever gotten Enterprise after that little stunt.
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Old September 1 2013, 06:24 PM   #236
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Re: The ENT and Melakon

I think this is another episode I never saw until this year. I started off liking it, and I suppose A.G. is sort of a parallel to Chuck Yeager in a way. I think the episode would have been more effective though, if we'd seen A.G. during the first season, perhaps in "Broken Bow" or something. To bring him out only in a flashback seemed really weak.

Oh. I just hit Rear Admiral. Too bad I'm not an @$$ man.
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Old September 7 2013, 12:51 AM   #237
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Re: The ENT and Melakon

2:25 - Bounty



TV Blurb: Archer gets kidnapped yet again, when T'Pol suddenly wants to get down to some serious Phloxing. Teleplay by Hans Tobeason and Mike Sussman & Phyllis Strong; Story by Rick Berman & Brannon Braga. Directed by Roxann Dawson.

I don't know which of the five credited writers were responsible for what parts of this mess, but it's very uneven. I wanted to have this entry up before Friday, but it took me this long to come up with an angle. I'm from an earlier generation, so I'm more forgiving of some the sexuality in some scenes. It used to be old people were shocked by the youngsters. In today's society, it seems to be the other way around.

The primary plot deals with Archer being kidnapped by a Tellarite bounty hunter. The first problem with this is Skalaar the Bounty Hunter manages to stun the chief engineer, stun and abduct the captain, and not a single security guard is within sight at the airlock. Malcolm really needs to strengthen those security protocols.

Then we're mostly along for the ride as Trip, Malcolm, Hoshi, and Travis (almost forgot him again) try to get Archer back. Archer spends a good part of his time learning all about his kidnapper's personal life including his brother, his rival, and some Klingons who were the sponsors for his action. That's an awful lot of people.

In contrast, the T'Pol pon farr story depends only on T'Pol, Phlox, with Trip and Malcolm in supporting roles, to get its story across. Much more economical than the uninvolving A-plot.


"OPEN IT!!!"

There's a lot of criticism thrown at the pon farr story, but I think it might have been perceived as much worse had Roxann Dawson not brought a woman's sensibilities to the direction. I'm guessing she and Jolene Blalock worked closely to keep some of the situations from going completely over the top. Blalock is very effective as a T'Pol out of control, with some subtle behavior cues. Billingsley gives a more comedic performance for her to play off of. The entire T'Pol B-Story has more tension and excitement than the Archer A-story can pull up with twice as many characters.

Robert O'Reilly is one of the returning Trekvets, and is instantly recognizable when he speaks in a somewhat similar voice to his Gowron.

I was glad to see Ed O'Ross in a Star Trek, although under heavy makeup as the Tellarite brother. I'd first noticed O'Ross in an odd little film called The Hidden.

Next: "The Expanse", season ender
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Last edited by Melakon; September 7 2013 at 06:48 AM. Reason: lots of speling erorrs today, bad sign
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Old October 3 2013, 09:55 PM   #238
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Re: The ENT and Melakon

Sorry for absence--

My monitor crapped out September 10, and I wasn't able to get a new one until today. But it's widescreen (1920 x 1080 res and 21" viewing area compared to the old 1280x1040 15"), so maybe I'll be able to see the episodes a little better. Still getting this new monitor adjusted (and adjusting to it), but hope to have the next review up tonight or tomorrow.

Three and a half weeks without any computer access at all felt like four months!
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Old October 4 2013, 01:22 PM   #239
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Re: The ENT and Melakon

You were missed! I assumed some shit internet fail had befallen you.

Welcome Back!!
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Old October 4 2013, 01:48 PM   #240
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Re: The ENT and Melakon

I wondered if the Gorn ate your homework or something. Glad you're back.
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