How could Archers Racism have been better handled

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Enterprise' started by WesleysDisciple, Feb 22, 2013.

  1. WesleysDisciple

    WesleysDisciple Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I heard Archer often Derided for his anti Vulcan Bigotry.

    A point though?


    to tell a story of a charachter overcoming prejudces that they once subscribed to, you need them to be prejudiced in the first place.


    "Oh well I like the vulcans and am so glad their always holding back their info Im sure their doing it for a valid reason!"

    Would have made for poor Drama

    an idea how this could have been better handled/
     
  2. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Never saw Archer as the racist. I guess the Vulcan's racism against the humans overshadowed that.
     
  3. Skywalker

    Skywalker Admiral Admiral

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    Give him a better reason than "the Vulcans didn't help my dad finish his warp engine!" Maybe Henry Archer was off testing a prototype engine that suffered a warp core breach, and there was a Vulcan ship nearby, but they decided not to help because it was too great a risk with little chance of succeeding. Boom goes Henry.
     
  4. ChristopherPike

    ChristopherPike Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^ I admit that's the one way it absolutely needed to be better. Following in a pattern set by Sisko on DS9, holding a grudge against Picard for the loss of a loved one... even knowing the full facts about how the Borg were in control.

    It made sense to me that they gave the Captain of the Enterprise NX-01 a massive chip on his shoulder. Thankfully it wasn't full-blown bigotry, as Archer was shown trying to hold out the hand of friendship several times and basically met with the kind of condescension you'd find online then... "You are easily amused". :vulcan:

    I quite liked that there were folks who didn't like Vulcans. If they're supposed to have stuck around and offered aid after WWIII, there'd be resentment on both sides. On their part for coming to regret making first contact so soon with a race still recovering from a nuclear war and the worst parts of human nature prefering to bite the hand that feeds them.

    McCoy being more old fashioned than most and the exception to the norm a century later. Or else that's just Spock and he wouldn't be driven to almost want to strangle any other Vulcan he might be forced to spend as much time with. Seems to be in their nature to be coldly dismissive of others.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2013
  5. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    So you have an ipad in your back pocket, but you're standing their patiently on Mars watching the the green bugeyes trying to invent transistor radios...

    Or is America wandering the globe teaching everyone how to build nuclear reactors?

    We find out in the final season that Archer Senior had a degenerative neural disorder that struck him with dementia which apexed in long winded racist nonsensical rants which young Johnny all of 12 years old was well with in ear shot of.

    Angry at the Vulcans?

    He should be angry with the local govenment for forbidding the finding of a cure for what was wrong Hank and stopping it from being passed on to John and his kids.

    Point is Jonothan thought crazy talk was rational talk becuase he heroworshipped someone who was mentally ill and he was too young and stupid to know the difference.
     
  6. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    These days I'm leaning towards "knocking you on your ass" being all about some very special subtext.
     
  7. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I see Archer's apparent racism as being more about Vulcan politics than Vulcan individuals. The way 22nd century humans feel about Vulcans is a little like the way the world feels about Americans. The Vulcans attempt to force their will on Earth because they feel like their philosophy is superior, and that sparks resentment, but that resentment is oriented generally at the culture as a whole, and is not applied to actual Vulcans they meet personally, unless they start to display a superior attitude.
     
  8. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Archer was pretty rude to T'Pol in the pilot. But she was a tool of the Government that had oppressed them, which supports your point. The Vulcans weren't banning emotion, which is something they would have done if this had truly been an invasion, but this was about making sure that the human experiments with antimatter didn't turn out like on the Friendship One planet form Voyager. They felt responsible for humanity because they admitted that they existed.

    In Breaking the Ice, Archer was bloody nice to the Vulcan Capitan hosting dinner for the first half of that meal.
     
  9. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    Just bad writing. He came across as a whiny little ass when he should have been bitter.
     
  10. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    If I had to work for someone with Archer's personality IRL I would loath them.

    Thank goodness he takes his shirt off so much eh?
     
  11. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    What about Hatchery?

    The Crew says "#### this, we're taking over!"

    Poor Hayes, too untrustworthy after a fricking year with these Peopel to join their conspiracy.
     
  12. Ulva

    Ulva Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I'm leaning towards this. He wasn't alone either. Trip is his side-kick in this and I suspect Reed shared the resentment. As it came off screen it was more racist than bitter at politics, and it always bugged me. Less reference to physical attributes and what Vulcans are like and more grumble about political decisions and the situation they're in would have been appropriate.
     
  13. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I imagine that despite what Hank taught Johnny, that Soval still attended Archer family gatherings and BBQs where Soval had to pretend that the Humans weren't cooking his fauxturkey sausages on the same grill as the sausages made of swine.

    Hank Archer died when John was 12.

    Near the end of the series, Soval says words to the effect that he literally and honestly thought of Jonathan Archer as his son. Which has many of us wondering how in denial of the loving paternal nature of his relationship with Soval was Johnathan Archer?

    Now I'm going to say two words that I want you to really think about: Sally Archer.

    Probably still a very handsome woman when her husband died.

    Very, very handsome.

    How couldn't Soval think of John as a son if he was diddlinghim mum? How couldn't John have raised through the ranks so fast to command the most powerful ship in the fleet unless Soval, henpecked by his girlfriend was secretly sponsering the boy to be worth of becoming his son?

    Maybe what we saw as racism in the beginning was just John subconciously acting out about his father being replaced on top his mother with a Vulcan?
     
  14. JiNX-01

    JiNX-01 Admiral Admiral

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    I don't think Archer was a racist. If he had been, I doubt SF would have even considered appointing him to captain the Enterprise, no matter who his father was.

    The problem with Archer's attitude is that the scene that opens "Broken Bow" was supposed to set up the resentment of humans toward Vulcans because the Vulcans were throwing up roadblocks to slow humanity's effort to build a deep space starship.

    I don't consider that to be much of an excuse to spit bile every time you see someone with pointed ears or threaten to "knock a 90 pound female Vulcan on her ass." Incidentally, I suspect that had he tried, he would have ended up in traction for three months. ;)

    I think that his resentment toward the Vulcans would have been better justified if the Vulcans had, for example, withheld treatment that could have prolonged his father's life, at least to see his Warp 5 engine fly, even if he never got to finish it.
     
  15. ChristopherPike

    ChristopherPike Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    IIRC eventually "Cold Station 12" went into some detail about how Henry Archer died and how banned Augment bio-tech might've helped him.

    With Season 4's Vulcan arc, it can likely be implied that Romulan influences within the High Command also played a part in humanity's warp program being set back. One less interstellar race to deal with, when they begin their reunification program and expand their Empire to reclaim their ancestral planet.
     
  16. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I reckon they were doing a McCoy and they were too up their own asses to realize just how dickish McCoy sounds to a modern audience when he makes chink jibes at Spock. They figured hey, this is what old school humans in TOS are like so obviously in the ENT era they were even MORE like that.. and people will just love it because it's soooo TOS-ish. More like tosser but this flew over their heads.
     
  17. heavy lids

    heavy lids Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Archer was a racist?
     
  18. HopefulRomantic

    HopefulRomantic Phloxist Moderator Moderator

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    ^ I never thought so.

    I think Archer represented all the humans who resented the Vulcans for being too nursemaidy and holding back humanity's progress, and the Archer/T'Pol dynamic was a microcosm for the human/Vulcan partnership-- rocky at times, but eventually smoothing out into mutual trust, respect, friendship. Archer's childhood perspective was the root of his resentment, and he learned to get past it. And there was that great conversation in "The Forge" between Forrest and Soval in which Forrest realizes that the Vulcans were actually worried that humans would become the stronger presence in the galaxy if they were allowed to progress at their natural pace, which was a great bit of backstory.

    By the end of "Broken Bow," Archer is already acknowledging to T'Pol the need to re-examine his disgruntlement about Vulcans. Less than halfway through Season 1, he is championing her and fighting tooth and nail to keep her as a member of his crew.

    Archer still encounters plenty of uppity, condescending, scheming Vulcans who have their own prejudices to get over, which makes the overall arc more interesting to me. Even T'Pol has her own preconceived notions about humans that she has to get past. I like that nothing happened overnight, that it took time and effort.
     
  19. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    4 days from the Klingon Home world at Warp 5.

    You can bet your ass that Vulcans were holding them back at warp one.

    The Vulcans didn't mention it but their fleet must have been standing between Qo'NoS and Earth for centuries, or be under some sort of protected planets treaty.

    (I just had a violent urge to watch some Stargate, how about you?)
     
  20. heavy lids

    heavy lids Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Yeah, just because Archer called out the Vulcans for being assholes, doesn't make him a racist. It's like those people who think that if you insult a woman you're automatically a sexist. Some people really have to go out of their way to find something to be outraged about.