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

View Poll Results: "Harbinger" is:
My guilty pleasure. 17 34.00%
A joke! 2 4.00%
A solid character-driven hour of Star Trek 21 42.00%
One of Trek's lowpoints 9 18.00%
I honestly could not care less! 6 12.00%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 50. You may not vote on this poll

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Old February 8 2009, 07:10 PM   #1
Mach5
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"Harbinger" - really that bad?

This is one of those episodes that people either love or hate.
Where some see character development, others see character assassinations.
Where some see comic relief, others see only travesty.

How do you see it?
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Old February 8 2009, 07:26 PM   #2
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Re: "Harbinger" - really that bad?

Mach5 wrote: View Post
This is one of those episodes that people either love or hate.
Where some see character development, others see character assassinations.
Where some see comic relief, others see only travesty.

How do you see it?
I liked Harbinger a lot. I loved watching jealous T'Pol even if her inability to suppress her emotions was caused by the Trellium. Manny Coto's dialogue between her and Trip was funny and pretty cute.

Now, the Reed and Hayes storyline kind of made them look more like immature little kids than it needed to. I just wish their conflict had been based on something more substantial. It also produced one of the very few cringe inducing Bakula scenes in season 3. Scott was pretty solid in season 3 except for his yelling at Hayes and Reed in Harbinger.

The sphere builder storyline turned out to be extremely important in the Xindi story, but was much less interesting than what was going on between Reed and Haues and Trip and T'Pol.
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Old February 8 2009, 07:44 PM   #3
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Re: "Harbinger" - really that bad?

I recently just re-watched this episode and I liked it. I thought it brought a two subplots of the season to the forefront (namely the rivalry between Reed/Hayes and the Trip/T'Pol romance).

I thought the Trip and T'Pol thing was handled well and realistically (even if they did the soft-reset button with T'Pol claiming that it was all an experiment). Also, the dialogue between Trip and T'Pol was nicely delivered and well played.

The Reed/Hayes storyline worked. Their jealousy (moreso on Reed's side, I believe) was rooted in something ultimately stupid, so it was logical that it would come to juvinille blows. However, I did like how each were impressed with their fighting skills while they were fighting, such as Hayes wondering about Reed's Klingon move. The plot line also gave me one of the biggest laughs in ENT (and perhaps Trek). When Archer is tearing into them and he is quickly called away, Reed and Hayes are just standing there, prompting Reed to ask "Are we dismissed?" I somewhat wondered the next time Archer returned to his ready room, if Reed and Hayes were still there.

The only low point in the episode was the Sphere Builder story. Don't get me wrong, I did like it and it was probably the biggest revealation in the season thus far, but it felt completely buried with what was going on in the other two stories. Then again, if that plotline were to be beefed up to make it more important in the episode, I wouldn't know how to do it.
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Old February 8 2009, 08:20 PM   #4
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Re: "Harbinger" - really that bad?

I know Harbinger isn't high on many people's list of favorite episodes, but I really enjoyed most of it. My only problem with the episode is what Broccoli called The soft reset or T'Pol's backpedaling on her encounter with Trip.
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Old February 8 2009, 08:26 PM   #5
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Re: "Harbinger" - really that bad?

definitively not the best episode in season three, but no so bad.

trip/t'pol : very funny. t'pol jealousy was great. "she touched your behind" . the discussion between them, during the vulcan neuro-pressure was hilarious. and the line : " i think i have to thank you", "no need to thank me" trip says with a big smile.

reed/hayes : since the beginning of the season, reed is very silly. in the first episode of the season, we understand that enterprise crew has all to learn with the maco. and reed is worried about the position he has on the ship. come on, guy, you are in mission to save earth!!! so i agree with you, broccoli, it's just so juvenile. at one moment, i have thought that trip had going to say that to him when they had lunch.

the third story : what third story??? no, i'm kidding, but i think that three stories in one episode is too much. anyway, i like this third story, which is very important for the rest of the season.

to sum up, i think the t'pol/trip story+the sphere builder story would have given a good episode : the story line with the sphere builder could have be more developped
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Old February 8 2009, 08:41 PM   #6
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Re: "Harbinger" - really that bad?

Harbinger is a middling episode. The only worthwhile element was the Sphere Builder plot and gave that wonderfully ominous ending. The visuals of the anomaly, the design of the alien pod and the revelation from T'Pol about the planet being consumed by a sphere foreshadowing the ultimate goal of the sphere network were great.

Unfortunately, it only was a small part of the hour. The rest of the stuff was pretty bad. Reed barely ever got any focus as a person and we finally get something here and it made him look like an annoying unprofessional baby made even worse by the fact that the crew was in the middle of grave mission to save Earth. Archer's dressing down of the two was dead-on and the only good thing about this plot.

I was never a fan of Trip/T'Pol. I never felt they had chemistry. Instead of examining their relationship in a more mature manner it went off the deep end. It could have worked though under different circumstances as "The Forgotten" and "Terra Prime" demonstrated.
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Old February 8 2009, 08:44 PM   #7
Flibble
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Re: "Harbinger" - really that bad?

It's awful and should have never made it to the screen...except for the fight between Reed and Hayes the only redeeming feature of the episode!
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Old February 8 2009, 08:45 PM   #8
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Re: "Harbinger" - really that bad?

I am neutral about the episode myself. It is one I watch again when it is on TV, and I will watch again when I rewatch the DVD's sometime...which is something I can't say about Rajiin or Extinction.

My major reaction to the episode was the weak A-plot concerning the sphere builders...shoulda been given more weight and time.

I disagree and agree with other observations about the Hayes-Reed subplot. Although I felt Reed's reactions through the season were a little uncharacteristic of his character in general (I have a high opinion of the Reed character), I don't think it couldn't happen to other lesser folks in reality. Archer's response was spot on in my opinion...now the writers had develped an open brawl for the two characters, Archer had no other option than to respond with an ass chewing (and clearly deserved unlike the uncomfortable confrontation in Cogenitor.)

I was rooting for T/T, but this episode was characteristic of sometimes aggravating unfolding of their relationship.
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Old February 8 2009, 09:01 PM   #9
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Re: "Harbinger" - really that bad?

It was really, really immature, and frankly I cringe just thinking about it.
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Old February 8 2009, 09:06 PM   #10
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Re: "Harbinger" - really that bad?

I liked the Reed/Hayes story, I wasn't a fan of the Trip/T'Pol story and I don't care much about the sphere-builder since it was hardly in the episode at all. So it was average for me.

Thinking about it now, it seems kinda like a poor man's nuBSG. You have the soap-opera plot about Reed and Hayes coming to blows, you have the soap-opera plot about Trip and T'Pol frakking, and then there's a small story in the background which furthers the story-arc and adds to the mysticism. However, what this episode did for laughs nuBSG does with imposing gloom.

It's kind of dumb, but I can watch it.
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Old February 8 2009, 09:41 PM   #11
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Re: "Harbinger" - really that bad?

UGH.

Aside from the good stunts of the Reed-Hayes fistfight and the eerie ending with the sick and injured Sphere Builder vanishing from sickbay, this was one long turd. One of the two worst of the entire Xindi season if not THE worst.
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Old February 8 2009, 10:21 PM   #12
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Re: "Harbinger" - really that bad?

As I have said before, Haringer should have been three seperate episodes.

The Reed Hayes conflict could have been shown in more detail as to why Reed really was angry with Hayes. Not just because he believed that Hayes wanted to take his place.

Sphere builder. Again a complete episode which could have given us an insight in just who this creature was. He did say "My People will prevail after the Xindi destroy Earth". He didn't look at all like the sphere builders in other episodes.

Trip/Tpol, would have liked a complete episode without that crappy "all Senior Officer to their posts." that should have been "all Security personel to their posts" Leaving Trip/T-Pol to explore the depths of their relationship. Also, could have done without that Morning after scenario, Baloney. since t-Pol seduced Trip because of her jealousy of cole which indicared that she considered Trip hers. She acted like a scared teenager after a night of whoopee.

Still I believe Harbinger was a good episode.
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Old February 8 2009, 10:25 PM   #13
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Re: "Harbinger" - really that bad?

Yeah, the Sphere Builder in the test capsule could easily have been an entire episode all by itself like "Future Tense" dealt with the timepod and pilot from the distant future and all that. Loading the T'Pol, Reed and Hayes shit into the show along with the Sphere Builder mystery just diluted if not ruined it.
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Old February 9 2009, 01:02 AM   #14
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Re: "Harbinger" - really that bad?

Penguin wrote: View Post
Sphere builder. Again a complete episode which could have given us an insight in just who this creature was.
As much as I enjoyed the Xindi arc one weakness was the lack of insight into the Sphere Builders.
He did say "My People will prevail after the Xindi destroy Earth". He didn't look at all like the sphere builders in other episodes.
That was because unlike the other sphere builders this one was suffering the ill effects of being in our universe leading to the appearance. It was meant to show him disintegrating in our realm.
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Old February 9 2009, 12:17 PM   #15
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Re: "Harbinger" - really that bad?

I never really had a problem with this episode (then again, I don't really have any issues with A Nigh In Sickbay either ).

I was never really a fan of Trip/T'Pol, and it was a bit of a letdown that Amanda Cole never appeared again, but I thought it was a fairly decent jaunt.

I remember reading after its first airing that Hayes and Reed's fight was immature and complete character assassination, but I'm not convinced that's true. I think it was pretty natural for Reed to keep all that pent up negative feeling towards the MACOs, and then to finally explode. Archer obviously has the same opinion as the review I read, and the scene with them in Archer's ready room is one of my favourite.

While the Sphere Builder wasn't really the A plot in this episode, it was okay, there was plenty of other stuff going on, and this quietly slipped a major plot development into the mix. After all, the crew are becoming more anxious as they get closer to Azati Prime, so it seems fitting to me that the story would be mostly character based with no real major action.
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